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Archive for April, 2008

Who do you want answering the phone?

Written By: - Date published: 3:41 pm, April 30th, 2008 - 71 comments

Just received this parody of Hillary Clinton’s 3am ad, but with a New Zealand twist. Very funny.

Know your Nat: Judith Collins

Written By: - Date published: 3:36 pm, April 30th, 2008 - 45 comments

If National were the Government, Judith Collins would be Social Services Minister. That should be enough to send shudders down the spine of anyone who is worried about ensuring there is a safety net for the most vulnerable members of our society. Collins is rabidly anti the welfare state and a nasty piece of work. […]

The Golfball and Sickle

Written By: - Date published: 12:38 pm, April 30th, 2008 - 56 comments

Personally, I think it’s hilarious. A brilliant piece of activism that got the public’s attention and raised the issue of why we have American spy equipment on our soil. All without any real harm done and no violence. The wannabe semiotician in me loves that you’ve got a rag-tag bunch of ordinary people attacking a huge, […]

Right answer, wrong question

Written By: - Date published: 11:32 am, April 30th, 2008 - 3 comments

It’s not often National gets something right but their latest flip-flop, on bio-fuels, is a good policy (well, partially and for the wrong reasons). National has announced they will no longer be supporting the bio-fuel requirement in petrol because it may put up the price of petrol a few cents. The bio-fuel requirement was always […]

Herald Digipoll

Written By: - Date published: 10:41 am, April 30th, 2008 - 33 comments

Today’s Herald Digipoll has National up 2 points and Labour down 2, a result the Herald describes as the “Nats pulling away”. As ever you can’t read too much into a single poll, but the pattern continues to show National coming off the highs in the mid 50s it reached earlier this year and Labour […]

Tweaking the updates

Written By: - Date published: 3:45 am, April 30th, 2008 - 17 comments

Yesterday’s site issues were due to a combination of inadequate Expires (causing a lot more files being transmitted) and the web-crawlers grabbing the updated site. It blew out the memory. I’ve limited the simultaneous sessions to prevent that until I get more RAM. Bandwidth usage for this month is indicating this would be a wise […]

Aloha means hello and goodbye

Written By: - Date published: 2:28 pm, April 29th, 2008 - 59 comments

Strangely, given the fact the National Party is doing so well in the polls and looks to be the favorite heading into the election, things seem to be coming apart for them. We’ve heard a few stories about tense caucus meetings and divisions but mostly only as rumour and, in an election year, that sort […]

National on personal attacks

Written By: - Date published: 2:24 pm, April 29th, 2008 - 13 comments

Greenwoman just flicked us this:

Child beating petition falls short

Written By: - Date published: 12:45 pm, April 29th, 2008 - 95 comments

Family First’s petition for a referendum on reversing the amendment to s59 of the Crimes Act that removed the defence of reasonable force for assault on a child (try saying that three times fast) has failed to get enough signatures. It needed 280,275 signatures and seemed to have enough but the Office of the Clerk […]

Put it on the kids’ tab

Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, April 29th, 2008 - 6 comments

Some may have noted an odd series of questions in Parliament and press releases from Bill English around government borrowing over the last month. The questions purposely conflated the idea of maintaining current debt levels with increasing debt. We noted this at the time and Tane correctly picked the strategy: First, sow confusion about debt […]

On child poverty

Written By: - Date published: 10:27 am, April 29th, 2008 - 26 comments

The Child Poverty Action Group has released a report [PDF, 400k] showing there were 185,000 children living in poverty in New Zealand in 2004. That’s a big number but it is out of date and already well down from the dark days of the 1990s. It is estimated that higher employment, higher wages, paid paternal […]

7 reasons why cutting GST on food will not help

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, April 29th, 2008 - 30 comments

Scrapping GST is a classic, populist issue that sounds delicious in times of high food prices but at closer inspection – it doesn’t taste good at all and isn’t the best way to help those struggling to buy food. The cost of food and fuel has dominated the media over the long weekend and there […]

Repeating the mistakes of others

Written By: - Date published: 7:07 am, April 29th, 2008 - 13 comments

Remember National’s policy of charging a $50 levy on everyone convicted of or, maybe, charged with (Key keeps on mixing up the terms) an offence? Remember all the obvious problems with it enforcement, administration cost, natural justice issues, the pitiful size of the sum that would be collected? Well, it turns out we missed one. […]

Interview the leaders VI: United Future

Written By: - Date published: 4:47 pm, April 28th, 2008 - 19 comments

Thanks to ACT leader Rodney Hide for participating in our ‘Interview the leaders’ series this morning. Our next leader is the Maori Party’s Tariana Turia. The general question remains: Of which of your achievements in politics are you most proud? For the two other questions we’ve gone with Higherstandard’s question: Can you envisage a NZ […]

Clem Simich stepping down

Written By: - Date published: 3:13 pm, April 28th, 2008 - 14 comments

Clem Simich has just announced he will be stepping down at the election. As regular readers may have noticed I’m not generally a fan of National MPs, but Simich’s liberal voting record made him one of the better ones. To see Simich leaving to make room for the likes of Stephen Franks is not encouraging. […]

Buy it back

Written By: - Date published: 1:07 pm, April 28th, 2008 - 21 comments

I see that the Wellington lines network has been sold. Given the network has been in in the hands of foreign investors before I can’t see a sustainable argument for blocking the sale as the Auckland Airport bid was blocked. I do think the government should have bought it back. Electricity is too important to […]

Dunne: feathering his own nest

Written By: - Date published: 12:40 pm, April 28th, 2008 - 12 comments

Peter Dunne is once again touting his plans to introduce income splitting. It’s a policy aimed at helping out the wealthy. New Zealand Institute of Economic Research senior economist Patrick Nolan tells us that “80% of the tax gains of income-splitting would go to the top 20% of taxpayers”. Dunne was reportedly “not bothered” by […]

Pepsi vs Coke

Written By: - Date published: 11:53 am, April 28th, 2008 - 79 comments

Last week, Campbell Live ran an article about the framing of Key as slippery. It could have been an excellent piece on the merits of such attacks, the wisdom of them, and their effectiveness. In parts it was, but then Campbell did this: The shallow premise that politics is only identical brands competing for popularity, […]

Right question, wrong answer

Written By: - Date published: 10:39 am, April 28th, 2008 - 15 comments

Interesting to see people gradually waking up to what Fidel Castro, last year, called “The sinister idea of converting food into combustibles”. Even crazy ol’ Mike Moore writes about it today, although he is dead wrong when he calls biofuels “a populist Green response to global warming”. Environmentalists were always suspicious of biofuels, seeing them […]

Rodney Hide answers your questions

Written By: - Date published: 9:23 am, April 28th, 2008 - 27 comments

We’re very pleased to have ACT leader Rodney Hide respond to your questions as part of our Interview the Leaders series. Question to all leaders:  Of which of your achievements in politics are you most proud? Making the IRD legally and culturally more accountable and responsive and getting my Regulatory Responsibility Bill to the Commerce Committee and, I […]

Upgrades

Written By: - Date published: 6:19 am, April 27th, 2008 - 73 comments

I upgraded the site tonight. There have been a lot of security fixes since we pushed a test site together in August 2007. It was only meant to be a trial (as I keep saying plaintively to the posters), and it sort of got away on us. This version is meant to be much more […]

Mistakes, I’ve made a few

Written By: - Date published: 2:22 pm, April 26th, 2008 - 91 comments

David Farrar’s three more prominent weaknesses came together in a speculator PR disaster yesterday. The weaknesses are his ego, his trick of using pictures of naked women to boost hits on his site, and his reverse midas touch, whereby every he touches turns to, well, it doesn’t turn out well. See, Farrar led the campaign […]

Fairfax reporting staggeringly awful

Written By: - Date published: 12:42 pm, April 26th, 2008 - 36 comments

This morning’s Dom Post buys into National’s “Aussie exodus” spin with a lead story claiming “A staggering one in 10 voters are considering a move to Australia” in the next twelve months. The facts, of course, are somewhat different. As we’ve shown before, as few as 0.67% of New Zealanders actually emigrate to any country […]

Helen Clark answers your questions

Written By: - Date published: 12:35 pm, April 25th, 2008 - 62 comments

We’re very pleased to have Prime Minister Helen Clark respond to your questions as part of our Interview the Leaders series. Question to all leaders: Of which of your achievements in politics are you most proud? I am proud to lead a government which has worked so hard to restore fairness, opportunity, security, and hope to many New […]

If I were National’s campaign strategist

Written By: - Date published: 11:05 am, April 24th, 2008 - 61 comments

National will not win by running on its rightwing principles and policy. For 20 years, New Zealanders have consistently said they do not want to sell public assets, they do not want weaker employment law, they do not want tax cuts at the cost of public service cuts, and they like government assistance like Kiwisaver […]

Roy Morgan

Written By: - Date published: 9:48 am, April 24th, 2008 - 32 comments

No real surprises in the latest Roy Morgan poll, but Gary Morgan’s hilariously bad political analysis continues. You’ll remember in the last Morgan poll our man Gary put the thirty percent increase in the Greens’ support down to Earth Hour, and this week he’s at it again: the Greens are down 2.5% to 6.5% – […]

Bad Comics

Written By: - Date published: 7:33 pm, April 23rd, 2008 - 12 comments

So, one internet comic writer challenged another internet comic writer to draw 200 bad comics and this was the result. Awesome on so many levels. I especially like number 10. I wonder if that will be New Zealand come November.

Clark’s answers delayed

Written By: - Date published: 4:33 pm, April 23rd, 2008 - 25 comments

We had hoped to have the answers for our ‘interview the leaders‘ series from Helen Clark today. I talked with the PM’s office and they explained the questions are with Clark, she’s been busy travelling, and we’ll have them as soon as they come back. So, they’ve asked for an extension and I said ‘fair […]

Does money buy happiness after all?

Written By: - Date published: 4:15 pm, April 23rd, 2008 - 29 comments

In 1974, economist Richard Easterlin, published a study in which he argued that economic growth didn’t necessarily lead to more satisfaction. In poor countries, gaining the necesseties of life raised happiness but beyond those gains there was no increase. This became known as the Easterlin paradox. Just last week, two young economists presented what they […]

Flat-Earthers heart climate change deniers

Written By: - Date published: 3:19 pm, April 23rd, 2008 - 4 comments

The Climate Science Coalition is the last of a dying breed; a rabid, climate change denying lobby group. Of late, they have been performing a desperate, last-ditch attempt to slow the introduction of a carbon trading scheme. And, now, it looks like they’ve received some heavy-weight support in the form of the venerable Flat Earth Society:

50 ways to help the planet

Written By: - Date published: 2:26 pm, April 23rd, 2008 - 5 comments

Check out 50 ways to help the planet. My favourites? Shower with your partner Invest in your own reusable coffee cup Picnic with a marker pen

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  • Government funding to fight infectious diseases
    $36 million for research into Covid-19 and other infectious diseases The investment will improve our readiness for future pandemics Research will focus on prevention, control, and management of infectious diseases The Government’s investing in a new Infectious Diseases Research Platform to boost Aotearoa New Zealand’s Covid-19 response and preparedness for ...
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  • Quarantine-free travel with Australia to remain suspended for a further 8 weeks
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  • Extra support for Ethnic Communities to share vaccination information
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  • School holidays remain unchanged for Auckland region
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  • Government continues crackdown on gangs and organised crime
    Operation Tauwhiro extended until March 2022 Since it was launched in February, Operation Tauwhiro has resulted in:   987 firearms seized $4.99 million in cash seized 865 people charged with a firearms-related offence Gangs and organised crime groups will continue to be relentlessly targeted with the extension of Police’s successful ...
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  • Speech to Body Positive 'HIV Treatments Update Seminar 2021'
    E ngā mana E ngā reo E ngā iwi Tēnā koutou katoa Ka huri ki ngā mana whenua o te rohe nei. Tēnā koutou. He mihi hoki ki a tatou kua tau mai nei I raro I te kaupapa o te rā. Nō reira tēnā koutou katoa Acknowledgements It’s a ...
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  • NZ economy’s strong momentum will support rebound from Delta outbreak; COVID fund replenished
    The economy showed strong momentum in the period leading up to the recent Delta COVID-19 outbreak, which bodes well for a solid economic rebound, Grant Robertson said. GDP rose 2.8 percent in the June quarter, following on from a 1.4 percent increase in the previous March quarter. This was a ...
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  • Projects create benefits into the future
    Making a well-known lake swimmable and helping to halt the decline of the endangered hoiho/yellow-eyed penguins are among a suite of new projects being supported by the Government’s Jobs for Nature programme across the southern South Island, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “It’s no secret that many of our most ...
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  • Opening statement for Whāriki Indigenous Small Business Roundtable
      Kei ngā tōpito e wha o te āo e rere ana te mihi maioha ki a koutou nō tawhiti, nō tata mai e tāpiri ana ki tēnei taumata kōrero mo te ao hokohoko arā mā ngā pākihi mo ngā iwi taketake Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa – Pai Mārire.  ...
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  • New members appointed to Kāpuia
    The Government is adding four additional members to Kāpuia, the Ministerial Advisory Group on the Government’s Response to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch mosques. “I’m looking forward to having Pamela MacNeill, Huia Bramley, Melani Anae and Katherine Dedo  join Kāpuia and contribute to this group’s ...
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  • Timeline confirmed for Emissions Reductions Plan
    Cabinet has agreed to begin consulting on the Emissions Reduction Plan in early October and require that the final plan be released by the end of May next year in line with the 2022 Budget, the Minister of Climate Change, James Shaw confirmed today. “Cabinet’s decision allows organisations and communities ...
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  • Pay parity pathway for early learning teachers confirmed
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  • Speech to the New Zealand Nurses Organisation Conference 2021
    Kia Ora tatau katoa.   Ka tuku mihi ki nga nēhi, He pou Hauora o Aotearoa, E ora ai tatou.   Whakatau mai  I runga i te kaupapa o te ra Te NZNO conference.   Tena koutou tena koutou Tena tatou katoa   Good morning, and thank you inviting me ...
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  • Government investment in farmer-led catchment groups sweeps past 150 mark
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  • Fight to protect kauri on track
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  • Joint statement of Mr Bernard Monk; Hon Andrew Little, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry,...
    [Note: The Parties have agreed on terms to fully and finally settle the proceeding and will jointly issue the below statement.] At the heart of this litigation are the lives of the 29 men tragically lost at the Pike River mine on 19 November 2010 and to whom we pay ...
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  • More financial support for businesses
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  • Aotearoa New Zealand provides further humanitarian support for Afghanistan
    Aotearoa New Zealand is providing a further $3 million in humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today.  “There is significant humanitarian need in Afghanistan, with the crisis disproportionately affecting women and girls,” said Nanaia Mahuta. The UN has estimated that 80% of the quarter of a million ...
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  • Innovative te reo prediction tool announced in Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori
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  • Further Government support for people to access food and essential items
    The Government is responding to need for support in Auckland and has committed a further $10 million to help people access ongoing food and other essential items, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced today. This latest tranche is targeted at the Auckland region, helping providers and organisations to distribute ...
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  • Half a million Pfizer vaccines from Denmark
    The Government has secured an extra half a million doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines from Denmark that will start arriving in New Zealand within days, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. “This is the second and larger agreement the Government has entered into to purchase additional vaccines to meet the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Inland Revenue providing essential COVID support for businesses
    Inland Revenue is seeing increased demand for Resurgence Support Payments and other assistance schemes that it administers, but is processing applications quickly, Revenue Minister David Parker said today. David Parker said the Resurgence Support Payment, the Small Business Cashflow (loan) Scheme and the Wage Subsidy are available at the same ...
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  • New Zealand marks 20th anniversary of 9/11 attacks
    New Zealand is expressing unity with all victims, families and loved ones affected by the September 11 2001 terrorist attacks, and all terrorist attacks around the world since, including in New Zealand. “Saturday marks twenty years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States, which killed nearly 3,000 people ...
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  • Speech to SPREP Environment Ministers
    Talofa Honourable Ulu of Tokelau Faipule Kelihiano Kalolo Tēnā koutou katoa and warm Pacific greetings from Aotearoa to your excellencies, ladies and gentlemen. The new science released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on 8 August paints an alarming picture of the projected impacts of climate change on the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Additional Resurgence Support Payments to support business
    Businesses affected by higher Alert Levels will be able to apply for further Resurgence Support Payments (RSP). “The Government’s RSP was initially intended as a one-off payment to help businesses with their fixed costs, such as rent. Ministers have agreed to provide additional payments to recognise the effects of an ...
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    1 week ago
  • More Dawn Raids scholarships announced
    Details of the ‘Manaaki New Zealand Short Term Training Scholarships’, a goodwill gesture that follows the Government’s apology for the Dawn Raids of the 1970s, were released today by Pacific Peoples Minister Aupito William Sio. “These scholarships that are targeted to the Pacific will support the kaupapa of the Dawn Raids’ ...
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    1 week ago
  • One-way quarantine-free travel for RSE workers starting in October
      One-way quarantine-free travel for Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) workers from Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu starts in October New requirement for RSE workers to have received their first vaccination pre-departure, undertake Day 0 and Day 5 tests, and complete a self-isolation period of seven days, pending a negative Day 5 ...
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    1 week ago
  • Govt boosts Pacific suicide prevention support
    Applications have opened for the Pacific Suicide Prevention Community Fund as the Government acts to boost support amid the COVID delta outbreak. “We know strong and connected families and communities are the most important protective factor against suicide and this $900,000 fund will help to support this work,” Health Minister ...
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    1 week ago
  • Govt parks the expiry of licenses, WoFs and regos
    As a result of the Delta outbreak, driver licences, Warrants of Fitness (WoFs), Certificates of Fitness (CoFs), vehicle licences (‘regos’) and licence endorsements that expired on or after 21 July 2021 will be valid until 30 November 2021, Transport Minister Michael Wood has announced today. “While this extension won’t officially ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 community fund to provide support for vulnerable women and girls
    Minister for Women Jan Tinetti today announced a $2 million community fund that will provide support for women and girls adversely affected by COVID-19. “We know that women, particularly those who are already vulnerable, are disproportionally affected by the kind of economic disruption caused by COVID-19,” Jan Tinetti said. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Next phase of support for Fiji’s COVID-19 response announced
    A further NZ$12 million of support for Fiji’s COVID-19 response has been announced by Foreign Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta today. The package builds on previous tranches of assistance Aotearoa New Zealand has provided to Fiji, totalling over NZ$50 million. “Fiji remains in a very challenging position in their response to ...
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    1 week ago
  • Robotic asparagus harvester aimed at addressing industry challenges
    The Government is backing a $5 million project to develop a commercial-scale autonomous robotic asparagus harvester, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. The Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund (SFF Futures) is contributing $2.6 million to the project. Project partner Robotics Plus Limited (RPL) will build on a prototype asparagus ...
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    1 week ago
  • Additional Pfizer vaccines to arrive tomorrow
    More than a quarter of a million additional doses of the Pfizer vaccine are on their way from Spain to New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. The additional doses will arrive in Auckland on Friday morning to help meet the current surge in demand for vaccination. “It’s been ...
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    1 week ago
  • Young people to have their voices heard in Youth Parliament 2022
    The dates and details for Youth Parliament 2022 have been announced today by Minister for Youth Priyanca Radhakrishnan, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Youth Parliament is an opportunity for 141 young people from across Aotearoa New Zealand to experience the political process and learn how government works. ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Boosting support for tertiary students affected by COVID-19
    Students facing a hard time as a result of COVID-19 restrictions will continue to be supported,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. The Government is putting a further $20 million into the Hardship Fund for Learners, which will help around 15,000 students to stay connected to their studies and learning. ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Immediate relief available for Māori and iwi organisations
    The Government has reprioritised up to $5 million to provide immediate relief to vulnerable whānau Māori and communities during the current COVID-19 outbreak Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson announced today. The COVID-19 2021 Whānau Recovery Fund will support community-driven, local responses to gaps in access and provision of critical ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New beef genetics programme to deliver cows with smaller environmental hoof-print
    The Government is backing a genetics programme to lower the beef sector’s greenhouse gas emissions by delivering cows with a smaller environmental hoof-print, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. Informing New Zealand Beef is a seven-year partnership with Beef + Lamb New Zealand that is expected to result in more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Appointments to the New Zealand Qualifications Authority
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced new appointments to the board of the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). Former Associate Minister of Education, Hon Tracey Martin, has been appointed as the new Chair for NZQA, replacing the outgoing Acting and Deputy Chair Professor Neil Quigley after an 11-year tenure on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt supports residential house building by allowing manufacture of building supplies
    The Government has agreed to allow some building product manufacturing to take place in Auckland during Covid lockdown to support continued residential construction activity across New Zealand. “There are supply chain issues that arise from Alert Level 4 as building products that are manufactured domestically are mostly manufactured in Auckland. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government invests in scientific research to boost economy, address climate change and enhance wellb...
    Research, Science and Innovation Minister Hon Dr Megan Woods has today announced the recipients of this year’s Endeavour Fund to help tackle the big issues that New Zealanders care about, like boosting economic performance, climate change, transport infrastructure and wellbeing. In total, 69 new scientific research projects were awarded over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago