1600 Dead Again

Written By: - Date published: 1:52 pm, May 17th, 2009 - 32 comments
Categories: greens, health, housing - Tags:

Each year and every year, around 1600 New Zealanders die prematurely because we live in cold damp houses. This “excess winter death rate” is four times higher than the road toll. They die, most especially the young, unwell, disabled and elderly, of respiratory illnesses, strokes and heart attacks because far too much of our housing stock is cheap, crappily built rubbish. By contrast, really cold countries like Russia have almost zero excess winter deaths.

Our welfare state is a miserly one. Our total social housing stock is only 5%, a very low provision by OECD standards, and much of it is old and in dire need of upgrading. Worse still the building regulations around heating, insulation and efficiency are effectively a sick-making joke. No form of heating is actually required, other than a 3-pin plug on a wall somewhere. Even the latest new building codes with marginally improved insulation and double glazing measures, are a feeble catch-up on world standards, and apply to new houses only. They do nothing for the 99% of houses people actually live in.

The whole commercial building industry is totally geared to place almost ZERO value on the real costs, both direct and indirect, of owning and living the houses they build. The industry only cares about making a profit today, while the buildings they create are in use for 90 years or more.

The market creates huge disconnects. Tenants typically pay for all their energy costs, while the capital burden of any improvements falls onto the owner, meaning that the landlord has very little incentive to spend the typical $15-25k needed to bring a home up to a reasonable standard. Worse still even if that money is spent, the valuation of the home is likely to only improve a small fraction of that, say $2-5k, making it very difficult to fund the improvements from the bank. With many, many rentals running cash-flow negative, the money has to come directly out of the landlord’s own pocket if it is to happen. Given that most landlords are just ordinary working people themselves, and even with good intentions, there remains a big hurdle to leap over.

As for HNZ, I’m not sure what excuse they have.

It all stands as a terrible indictment of the so called ‘market system’ and a total failure of political will. The ‘Green New Deal’ document addresses this issue directly, and is a very pointed challenge to this government. Housing in this country is a massive market failure by almost every measure of social equity, human health, environmental sustainability, and plain old commonsense. And this winter; we can count on another 1600 New Zealanders dying quite unnecessarily, because it would appear that their lives don’t really matter that much.

32 comments on “1600 Dead Again”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    while the buildings they create are in use for 90 years or more.

    No they won’t be because the standards of the building materials just aren’t good enough and neither are the building standards themselves. My nephew’s a builder and he puts more faith in his 30 year old, cheaply built house, than in any building that he works on today. His two biggest gripes are that the materials are crap and the standards that he’s forced to build to are worse. He predicts that most buildings built today will have leaky building syndrome in about 10 years time.

  2. bilbo 2

    Your conclusions are at variance from the clinical study you link to …. their conclusion is

    “EWM in NZ is substantial and at the upper end of the range observed internationally. Interventions to reduce EWM are important, but the surprising lack of variation in EWM by ethnicity, region and deprivation, provides little guidance for how such mortality can be reduced.”

  3. andrei 3

    Maybe there’s flawed logic at work here.

    Mortality goes up during weather extremes both during heat waves and cold. snaps

    Given NZ doesn’t have many heat waves compared to cold snaps the answer could be that.

    I don’t think there is any political mileage to be gained out of this, and it is certainly not an indictment of the ‘market system’. as it stands

    • felix 3.1

      Proper insulation mitigates the extremes of both heat AND cold.

      It’s exactly the same issue.

  4. charlie 4

    Meanwhile the refurbishing of existing state house stocks looks to be all talk and no doing, from an initial 30 or so state house upgrades that were announced here in Whanganui only 5 have been completed and 7 have contracts in place. The other 20+ seem to have offed themselves into the ether with no contracts on the horizon and PAE are staying mum.

    btw, anyone who is thinking about winning contracts for this work think again because PAE is a shit of an outfit to deal with. .

  5. Nick 5

    I just came back from the supermarket in Newtown in Wellington, where the houses are 100 year old workers cottages shoe horned onto postage stamp sections. These structures were not built to last as long as they have and are generally wood from the wholesale cutting down of our native forests. They are not fit in my mind for human habitation even when refurbed BUT in todays housing market these inner city properties still attract a huge premium. IMHO they should all be bulldozed….but we are still stuck with a false concept of the market value and worth of these dog boxes.

    The physical problem we have is that the earthquake environment we live in restricts how we build and with what materials. I would advocate that we rethink the economics and utility of housing, have a really good think about sustainability and the social implications of housing. Its an area where neither the market nor government have exclusivity of answers. We have however done this before, it was the State housing project. We now know enough to make the resulting buildings healthier, it just requires a government with the vision to initiate.

  6. tsmithfield 6

    The article states that 1600 more die in winter than in summer. From that simple statistic the authors of the study seem to be basing their conclusion that poor housing quality is increasing mortality.

    To put all that difference down to housing quality is illogical. People are exposed to colder temperatures when they go out of their houses in winter regardless of the quality of their houses. I suspect there probably are more driving accidents due to more hazardous road conditions over this period too. There is a greater spread of viruses due for the tendency for people to congregate together indoors during winter, thus more people getting sick and dying. In this case, better quality housing may actually INCREASE the likelihood of death due to the fact that people would prefer to congregate together in warmer surroundings than colder ones, thus increasing the spread of disease in warmer homes.

    When the multitude of confounding variables (such as those above) have been partialled out, I suspect only a handful if any of the 1600 deaths could be attributed to housing quality. Thus the study seems to be launching wildly into the realms of speculation.

    On the face of it a stupid and speculative study.

    • bilbo 6.1

      “The article states that 1600 more die in winter than in summer. From that simple statistic the authors of the study seem to be basing their conclusion that poor housing quality is increasing mortality.”

      They have done no such thing … they state that…

      “EWM in NZ is substantial and at the upper end of the range observed internationally. Interventions to reduce EWM are important, but the surprising lack of variation in EWM by ethnicity, region and deprivation, provides little guidance for how such mortality can be reduced.’

      It’s Redlogix who has drawn rather dubious conclusions.

    • Anthony Karinski 6.2

      If you look at the study you will find it addresses relevant issues such as the methods employed, discussion of relevant research from other studies, and areas of uncertainty requiring further research. They do for instance discuss the flu and model causes of death (cardiovascular, respiratory etc.). They don’t however attribute the 1600 deaths to poor housing. This is one of the areas they suggest further research on.

    • RedLogix 6.3

      Prof. Philippa Howden-Chapman at DL last week made it clear that the authors of the study (close colleagues) and herself, believed that the large majority of the EWM is attributable to poor quality housing.

      Moreover she went on to outline some of the very direct political reasons WHY so much of our housing stock is so bad. But that is the stuff of another post.

      • bilbo 6.3.1

        I pretty sure a proportion of the EWM is attributable to poor housing and a proportion is due to high power prices etc …. just that one cannot conclusively make those claims on the back of the study you quote.

  7. tsmithfield, clearly not all 1600 additional deaths are attributable to poor housing, but certainly a decent chunk of them would be.

    I remember in 7th form my calculus teacher was from Russia – Siberia even (Novosibirsk I think). Yet she said that she’s never been as cold as she got in Auckland. This was simply because we live in denial that it gets cold in winter and build rubbish houses.

    I am stuck in a nasty situation at the moment myself. I live in a nice half-villa (rented). Yet it’s bloody freezing at night, with our heaters having somewhat little impact at all. What incentive is there for my landlord to insulate this house though? Very little I would think as it doesn’t save their power bill.

    Someone suggested a while back that the level of insulation should be included in a house’s LIM report. In a similar way to how cars for sale now need to show their fuel efficiency and how much an average person driving that car would spend on fuel a year, something similar should be done for houses and their power bills.

    Regarding state housing, I think for so many reasons it is essential for Housing New Zealand to build like crazy over the next few years. For a start, it would create a huge number of jobs (28,000 jobs for each 6000 houses built according to the Greens). Secondly, the increased supply of housing would bring housing prices down to a more affordable level for first home buyers (as not all HNZC houses built would need to be kept for subsidised housing). Thirdly, land development is clearly a profitable business so it wouldn’t necessarily impose a particularly high cost on government to undertake such a programme of massive HNZC land development.

    Housing New Zealand own something like 26,000 houses in Auckland. Often these are on unnecessarily large sections and would be very suitable for some level of intensification. Many of the houses are reaching the end of their economic lifespan. Recent HNZC developments (such as Talbot Park in Glen Innes) have been huge successes and have been built to a really high standard. There is enormous potential for additional stock to be built.

    • RedLogix 7.1

      I remember in 7th form my calculus teacher was from Russia – Siberia even (Novosibirsk I think). Yet she said that she’s never been as cold as she got in Auckland.

      Absolutely. I have heard exactly the same story from a woman who hailed from a small village in the Altai Mountains area (sort of near Novosirbirsk) where the snow was often meters deep all winter.

    • George D 7.2

      I’ve lived in houses where a glass of water would freeze overnight.

      It shouldn’t be in the LIM report. Fuck that “informed consumer choice” neoliberal crap. That’s a half-hearted intervention that in any other country would being suggested by parties to the right of National (eg. ACT). No disrespect to you Jarbury, you’re hardly alone with this suggestion.

      Regulate. Insulate, within the next five years, or you lose the privilege of selling your house.

      Policy in NZ is complete rubbish because Labour are chicken-shit, and the Greens water things down to peasant soup in order to get them by that bunch of neoliberals. Labour are scared of doing what’s right (and will be popular) because they don’t want to have to fight the reactionaries, the capitalists, and the idiots. They win by default.

  8. I’m interested in the conclusion of the study:

    “EWM in NZ is substantial and at the upper end of the range observed internationally. Interventions to reduce EWM are important, but the surprising lack of variation in EWM by ethnicity, region and deprivation, provides little guidance for how such mortality can be reduced.”

    So on the basis of the study why are you blaming housing? If it really is just about housing and weather won’t Auckland have a lower death rate then Southland? But there are no regional differences.

    • I should have added that if there are no differences relating to “deprivation” and therefore the wealthy, who should have better housing, suffer just as much as those who are poorer then, again, why do you blame housing?

    • RedLogix 8.2

      It is not unreasonable to suggest that the standard of housing and heating does generally improves the further south one goes, so that overall not a lot of regional variability remains.

      It’s worth noting that WHO recommends a minimum overnight temp of 16degC to maintain good health; temperatures lower than that would be common enough across the whole country.

      • Paul Walker 8.2.1

        On what basis do you say housing improves as you go south? The weather also gets worse as you go south, so I would have thought some regional variation would occur if it is about housing.

  9. Paul, it’s the same story (to a lesser extent) as what RedLogix and I are talking about with regards to Siberia.

    In the South Island people realise that winter is cold, and therefore houses are generally built with better insulation. Meanwhile, in Auckland our winters may not seem that cold but because they’re horribly damp and often windy the cold gets to chill the bones all the same.

    • At least in Christchurch I have not noticed any large amounts of insulation in older homes. In fact this is often commented on by the overseas people I work with.

    • George D 9.2

      It often gets down near or below zero in an Auckland winter. With no insulation, you’re likely to get sick, and certain to suffer.

      Why did people vote Labour out? Because they felt like their lives weren’t improving. They still don’t seem to realise that. Living in cold damp houses does not make for a happy electorate.

      • RedLogix 9.2.1

        Yeah so they voted in a NACT govt whose first act was to toss out the Greens $1billion home insulation scheme.

        You’re not serious are you GD?

        • George D 9.2.1.1

          Well, none of the scheme had come on-line at that stage (because Labour fought actively against the policy for years). Was a single house insulated under this in late 2008? No.

          People don’t realise things until they happen, generally – they don’t follow politics like you and I. And to the extent they did realise, that nice man Mr Key said he’d keep business as usual, and the media parroted his lines at face value. How were they to know?

          So yes, I am serious.

  10. RedLogix 10

    On what basis do you say housing improves as you go south?

    In general (and I accept it is a generalisation) the further south one goes, the more consideration is given to low winter temps. More heating, smaller windows, and a minimum install of insulation is an entirely reasonable thing to suggest… even if the nett result is still not really adequate.

    In particular many NZ homes are only heated in one room; the bedrooms, hallways and bathrooms remain unheated.

    Another factor is likely to be an almost complete absence of decent ventilation, particularly a problem when temperatures are in the 0 – 10 degC range, due to moisture build up encouraging mould.

    From memory I also recall that the 16degC minimum temp has a distinct threshold effect, ie any temp below that is detrimental.

    • As I said above, in Christchurch a least, I haven’t noticed a great amount of insulation in older homes. In addition I would assume those who are wealthier would have better insulation and homes in general but the study fines no difference from socioeconomic status. Even if homes do get better as you move south, for there to be no regional variation the effects of improved homes would have to exactly offset the negative effects of worse weather. How likely is this?

  11. RedLogix 11

    Paul,

    Turn it around. If inadequate housing is NOT the cause of our high EWM, what would be? If very cold countries like Russia (and others in Northern Europe such as Sweden) can manage a zero EWM, what is it that we are doing wrong?

    As I said above, the authors of the study believe an inadequate standard of heating and ventilation (and this can be true of a house in a posh suburb as much as a poorer one) is the dominant cause… and they are not alone in suggesting this.

    If not, what do you suggest IS the reason?

    • bilbo 11.1

      Fascinating …..

      “One study of Yakutsk—one of the most bitterly chilly cities in eastern Siberia, and thus the world, where the average temperatures between October and March sink to a positively unbalmy minus 16 degrees Fahrenheit—concluded that lower temperatures did not cause any significant increase in mortality. The frosty denizens of Yakutsk exercised the seemingly obvious safety measures of wearing layers (more than four, on average), staying where it’s warm, and keeping the heat cranked up. A small increase in mortality stemming from respiratory disease due to breathing cold air was offset by a decrease in death from accidents—presumably because during chilly spells cold enough to freeze bone marrow, few people go anywhere or do much at all, significantly reducing the opportunities for accidents.

      Falling icicles, which each winter skewer roughly 100 Russians who happen to be under the wrong building eave at the wrong time, haven’t—yet—been the subject of extensive demographic research. .he

      In Russia, summertime mortality soars for the demographic groups prone to combine imbibing copious amounts of alcohol with a dip in the local swimming hole; seasonal diving teams make a sport of dredging for the bodies of the drowned after every weekend. Mortality among the sober, but unsupervised, children of drunk-drowners also escalates. This notwithstanding, overall, excess deaths of young people in the summertime are far outnumbered by those of the elderly in the wintertime.”

      “One of the few silver linings of the seasonality of mortality is the impact of global warming on wintertime deaths. One study suggests that an increase in temperature of roughly 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit by the middle of this century would boost total heat-related deaths in the United Kingdom more than threefold, to just under 3,000, but the number of cold-related deaths would drop by 25 percent, or 20,000, to 60,000.”

      http://www.slate.com/id/2088323/

  12. The authors of the study suggest:

    “More targeted research is needed to explore a number of other possible factors that could be contributing to EWM, including the role of climate, influenza, behaviour, crowding in winter, levels of home heating & thermal performance of houses.”

    Looks like a good place to begin.

  13. mike 13

    “have found that 1600 more people die over the winter months than summer”

    Long bow RL to claim it’s because of ‘cold damp houses’ makes you sound alarmist and lack credibility I’m afraid

    • felix 13.1

      Don’t be afraid, just explain why you think he’s wrong and offer some less alarming explanation.

  14. outofbed 14

    having lived in England, a number of years I can safely say I’ve never been so cold at home inside till I lived in Christchurch,
    most homes in England have central heating
    in CHCH I think it’s the difference between night and day time temperatures which can be 15° in winter in the UK it’s only three or four .

    In the UK there has been subsidies for insulating homes for 40 years I think the Greens are on the right track with their Greens new deal

  15. JT 15

    Interesting discussion.
    Regardless of the exact number of deaths due to poor house insulation, perhaps Philip Alpers should know about this issue.
    Sorry, I’m being off topic. I just really hope Mr Alpers takes note of this issue.
    Cheers
    JT

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Further details of Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visit to New Zealand
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed further details on the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s visit to New Zealand next month. Their Royal Highnesses will visit New Zealand from 17-23 November – their third joint visit to New Zealand and first in four years. They arrive in Auckland ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • O’Connor in Thailand to push for RCEP deal
    Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth and Minister of Agriculture, Damien O’Connor, heads to Thailand today to attend the final Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial meeting, as negotiations enter their final stages. “The RCEP Agreement would anchor New Zealand in a regional agreement that covers 16 countries, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Young Pacific people can access earning and learning opportunities in Hawke’s Bay, Otago and South...
    Pacific young people living in the Hawke’s Bay, Southland and Otago regions will have access to support services that have proved successful in helping young people find new earning and learning opportunities. “Tupu Aotearoa is about changing Pacific young peoples’ lives. Our young people are talented, they are smart, they ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Protecting wellbeing – ACC HQSC Trauma Forum
    Introduction As the Minister for ACC I thank you all for the work that you do supporting New Zealanders in their literally most vulnerable moments. From those who hold people’s lives in their hands, to the people who research technique, technology and trends, your work is highly valued. A special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ economy in good shape – notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch
    Notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch – Wednesday 9 October 2019 Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • World Mental Health Day a reminder of the importance of mental health work
    Minister of Health Dr David Clark and Associate Minister of Health Peeni Henare say this year’s World Mental Health Day theme is a reminder of why the Government’s work on mental health is so important. “This year the World Federation for Mental Health has made suicide prevention the main theme ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Cultural Ministers Meeting
    Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni will represent the government at Australia’s Meeting of Cultural Ministers in Adelaide this week. “This year’s meeting is special because New Zealand is expected to become an International Member of the Meeting of Cultural Ministers at this Australian forum,” Carmel Sepuloni said. “The meeting is an opportunity to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • 608 claims resolved by GCCRS in first year
    The Greater Christchurch Claims Resolution Service has resolved 608 insurance and EQC claims in its first year in operation, Minister Megan Woods has announced. The government service, which celebrates its first birthday today, provides a one stop shop to help Cantabrians still battling to get their homes repaired or rebuilt ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ economy in good shape
    Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There has been an increasing amount of attention paid to the outlook ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZTA to refocus on safety following review
    The Government is acting swiftly to strengthen NZTA’s regulatory role following a review into the Transport Agency, and Ministry of Transport’s performance as its monitor, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. An independent review by Martin Jenkins has found NZTA failed to properly regulate the transport sector under the previous ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Joint Cooperation Statement on Climate Change between the Netherlands and New Zealand
    The Netherlands and New Zealand have a long-standing and close relationship based on many shared interests and values. We value the rule of law, our democracies, and multilateralism.  And we value our environment – at home and globally. Right now there are major global challenges in all of these areas – ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government putting right Holidays Act underpayment in Health
    The Government is putting right a decade’s worth of underpayment to nurses, doctors and other health workers, says Health Minister Dr David Clark.  Initial sampling of District Health Boards payroll records has found that around $550-$650 million is owed to DHB staff to comply with the Holidays Act. It’s expected ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government accounts show strong economy
    A strong surplus and low debt show the economy is performing well, and means the Government is in a good position to meet the challenges of global economic uncertainty. “The surplus and low levels of debt show the economy is in good shape. This allows the Government to spend more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ministers approve application to expand Waihi mine
    New applications from mining company OceanaGold to purchase land in Waihi for new tailings ponds associated with its gold mines have been approved. Minister of Finance Grant Robertson and Associate Minister of Finance David Parker considered the applications under the Overseas Investment Act. Earlier this year, applications from OceanaGold to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla launches with tribute to tangata whenua
    New Zealanders in Tūranganui-a-Kiwa / Poverty Bay will witness Māori, Pākehā and Pacific voyaging traditions come together today as the Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla assembles for the first time, Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti Minister Kelvin Davis says. “Tuia 250 is a national commemoration and an opportunity for honest conversations ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Visit to advance trade agenda with Europe and the Commonwealth
    Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker leaves tomorrow for Dubai, London and Berlin for a series of meetings to advance New Zealand’s trade interests.  In Dubai he will visit New Zealand’s Pavilion at Expo 2020 where construction is underway.  There he will meet Minister of State for International Cooperation, Her ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More cancer drugs confirmed – even more on horizon
    Confirmation that PHARMAC will fund two new cancer drugs is further evidence of the good progress the Government is making to improve the treatment of New Zealand’s leading cause of death, Health Minister David Clark says. From 1 December PHARMAC will fund alectinib (Alecensa) for ALK positive advanced non-small cell ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Boost for women in high performance sport
    An additional $2.7 million has been announced for the Government Strategy for Women and Girls in Sport and Active Recreation on the first anniversary of the strategy’s launch. Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson gave the opening address to the first Sport NZ Women + Girls Summit in Wellington today, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Parent support to help retain skilled migrants
    As part of its work to ensure businesses can get the skilled workers they need, the Coalition Government is re-opening and re-setting the Parent Category visa programme, Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. The move will: support skilled migrants who help fill New Zealand’s skills gaps by providing a pathway for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Senior NZDF Officer to lead Peacekeeping Mission in the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has today announced Major General Evan Williams of the New Zealand Defence Force has been selected as the commander of a significant, longstanding peacekeeping mission in the Middle East. In December, Major General Williams takes over as Force Commander for the Multinational Force and Observers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Nurses star as Govt rebuilds health workforces
    A record number of nurses are now working to deliver health services to New Zealanders as the Government’s increased funding and new initiatives rebuild key workforces start to show results, Health Minister Dr David Clark says. •    1458 more DHB nurses since the Government took office •    106 more midwives ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New agricultural trade envoy appointed
    Farmer and former Nuffield scholar Mel Poulton has been appointed New Zealand’s Special Agricultural Trade Envoy, Minister for Trade and Export Growth, David Parker, and Minister of Agriculture, Damien O’Connor, announced today. The position supports key Government objectives, including raising the value of New Zealand agricultural goods and services. Mel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific and Māori voyaging heritage celebrated for Tuia 250
    New Zealand’s Pacific and Māori voyaging heritage is acknowledged and celebrated today as waka of the Tuia 250 voyage flotilla arrive in Tūranga / Gisborne. “Today we celebrate Tangata Whenua, the first people of Aotearoa, and the triumphs of the voyaging tradition that brought our ancestors here from Polynesia 1000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Pacific languages are a root from which prosperity will grow
    “Fijian Language Week starts on Sunday and the theme reminds us how important it is that we each have something to anchor ourselves to, something that can help us pause and feel in control in a rapidly changing world,” says Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio. “Family, culture, faith, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • NZ Government establishes innovative, industry-focused Airspace Integration Trials Programme
    The Government is establishing an Airspace Integration Trials Programme to support the safe testing and development of advanced unmanned aircraft and accelerate their integration into the aviation system, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods announced today. The Government will work with leading, innovative aviation industry partners to test and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago