A hero – really?

Written By: - Date published: 12:31 pm, December 6th, 2010 - 41 comments
Categories: Mining, workers' rights - Tags: ,

The modern urge to label leaders who perform adequately during an emergency as ‘heroes’ astounds me. Particularly in the case of Pike River. Peter Whitall is a boss who just had 29 workers die on his work-site. While reserving judgment on his blame for that, I’m not going to call him a hero for doing a decent job for the cameras.

So, he didn’t freak out and he tried to answer questions – good job but how is that heroic? It’s like how Bob Parker was deified for his media appearances after the earthquake (even though his leadership on the rebuilding work in the worst affected suburbs is a disgrace) or how George W Bush won a huge approval rating for managing not to sh*t himself after 9/11. Merely meeting expectations, to my mind at least, isn’t heroic.

Now, Farrar is mocking what he calls union attacks on a national hero – “Fresh from the PR triumph of attacking Sir Peter Jackson” ha ha ha. Yeah, well it turned out Jackson and Warners were screwing us for millions in return for no tangible gain, didn’t it?

The EPMU and CTU are quite right to say: ‘hang on a minute, before we declare this guy a saint, let’s remember that 29 men, whose safety he was responsible for, lost their lives in his mine’.

I’m not saying Whitall is necessarily to blame. I’m agreeing with Andrew Little: “We need to reserve judgment until we get credible answers to questions about why it all happened. The company has been treated as somewhat heroic and in a way I think it’s somewhat undeserving.”

The fact that a lawyer employed by Whitall and the mine is trying to sit in on the interviews of witnesses only makes me less willing to call the guy a hero.

I’ve no doubt that Whitall is personally heart-broken by the deaths and it may be that, ultimately, he and the company are cleared of any wrong-doing. But, until that time, I’m not prepared to laud the man. As it stands, he hasn’t even apologised for the deaths at his mine.

PS. I’m also not a great fan of the miners being labeled ‘heroes’ or ‘brave’. It seems to me that such labels somehow validate or excuse their deaths. They weren’t in the mine because they were brave men taking on a challenge in which risk is natural. They were working men doing a job to support their families and, while mining is inherently dangerous, they oughtn’t have lost their lives in the process. Even the mine admits that the explosion that killed them should not happen in a modern mine.

41 comments on “A hero – really? ”

  1. vto 1

    All good points mr marty, but just watch out you fullas don’t overstep the mark or take your eye off the ball. Farrar is correct in that the left and the unions often do not play the best public relations moves, and it backfires. The unions would go for miles if they had more of the general public on-side. In fact it is an area where they could learn from the ‘other side’.

    The point about Whitall has been well made and should be well left alone for a while now imo.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      ^+1

      Remember how good it was for the unions re: Peter Jackson = a spoiled brat, anyone

      If the public could just remember why we need unions and how modern unions are an engine of productivity in the real economy, the union movement would be unstoppable.

      Why do you think the Right puts so much time and effort into union bashing? Its an entirely precautionary tactic on their part.

      • Swampy 1.1.1

        Well see, I remember why we didn’t want union in the 70s and 80s. We’re still not very far from that and never will be as long as Labour is still run by them.

    • PR Hack 1.2

      Not sure where you get the idea unions don’t do good PR. The actors union managed to tar the rest of the movement with their incompetence but the likes of Andrew Little know what they’re doing, as his remarks in the linked article show.

      The media’s canonisation of Whitall has been seriously I’ll-advised. If management is found to be culpable here there will be a lot of red faces. The idea that unions should fail their members and just go along with the media frenzy to avoid possible bad press is sickening. Thank goodness someone is asking the inconvenient questions.

      • grumpy 1.2.1

        I have no problem with the unions being heavily involved in the inquiry, and they need to take the lead in protecting worker’s rights. From what we have seen Andrew Little will be effective but Helen Kelly is now “damaged goods” and needs to butt out.

        I am sure the inquiry will yield pllenty of information for EPMU to get their teeth into but wild flailing by Kelly is not productive.

        The only issue I see is Little’s dual roles as EPMU and Labour boss.

        • The Voice of Reason 1.2.1.1

          “The only issue I see is Little’s dual roles as EPMU and Labour boss.”

          That’s a good point. I suspect the EPMU will use another of their staff lawyers or a friendly lawyer from outside the union to avoid that potentially confusing look.

        • Pascal's bookie 1.2.1.2

          Hey grumpy, I’m sure everyone is grateful that you have no problems with the union being involved.

          Now how about either an apology or some evidence for your claims about blue ducks and ventilation shafts.

          Or was that just an example of the ‘productive’ sort of PR you are in favour of?

          • grumpy 1.2.1.2.1

            What have blue ducks and ventilation shafts got to do with union representation?

            There will be many issues come up in the inquiry and the workers need representation. For you to include ducks and ventilation shafts in this topic shows why politics needs to be taken out.

            it may be that the union cannot seperate worker representation from politics and in which case, I am sure the miners can obtain alternative representation.

            • Dave 1.2.1.2.1.1

              It’s sad you’re trying to play politics with death, grumpy.

              • grumpy

                This whole thing is about death Dave, tragic though it is, without the deaths of the miners, there would be no inquiry, no discussion on these pages and Pike River would still be running around trying to raise capital.

            • Pascal's bookie 1.2.1.2.1.2

              grumpy. what I’m talking about you claiming that PRC asked for another shaft and were turned down due to the presence of a duck. I’ve not seen any evidence that even a single aspect of that is true. No evidence that PRC asked for a second shaft, and no evidence that any request was turned down. It seems to be a piece of bullshit from beginning to end. The sort of bullshit that floats up out of a certain type of PR campaign.

              In this thread you are claiming that Kelly is ‘damaged goods’ from a PR point of view. Jut as in a previous thread, it was all about how fantasy ducks had damaged the credibility of the environmentalists. I’m just seeing a pattern and having doubts about your own credibility mate.

              But if you can’t be straight up son, tells me all I need to know.

      • Richard 1.2.2

        The media’s canonisation of Whitall has been seriously I’ll-advised. If management is found to be culpable here there will be a lot of red faces.

        I doubt that there will be a lot of red faces.

        If Pike River management is found negiligant/culpable, then the media will be able to construct a nice narrative around a) whether Whitall has redeemed himself by his actions post-explosion and/or b) the Shocking Fall From Grace of the media darling, that has been revealed by the inquiry report. Either option will generate a lot of media “opinions” and create a lot of ratings, and therefore sell a lot of advertising. Which is all that really matters, of course.

      • Swampy 1.2.3

        There is no canonisation and never has been.

        Whittle was lauded for his leadership and fronting up.

  2. just saying 2

    A disturbing culture demonstrated in these kinds of sycophantic attitudes.
    Maybe being exacerbated by people beings so damn scared nowadays of losing what they have, particularly their ability to support themselves and their families.
    Almost like a kind of mass Stockholm syndrome.

    Absolutely don’t agree that the Unions should avoid challenging popular opinion. The are unions they need to act like unions – The fear of “sounding” left, and challenging misbeliefs in the discourse is a big part of what is crippling the left. It’s thinking through a neolib lens IMHO.

    • just saying 2.1

      Just wanted to add that once the public start hearing left/union rhetoric, in all public debate – whether they agree with or not, it won’t be so damned shocking, that’s for sure. Part of the problem is the left has been shut out for so long.

      • KJT 2.1.1

        Part of the problem with the Hobbit episode is the Unions sort of cringed under the attack. I reckon they should have said loudly that they were doing their job and wages will continue to decrease unless we had more battling from Unions.

        Make some more of the facts such like, Sam Purnell would not have been able to collectivise for an 8 hour day, under present day anti worker laws.

        • Dave 2.1.1.1

          No, the problem there was that there was an incompetent union running the dispute. AE walked into a gun fight armed with a spoon.

          • grumpy 2.1.1.1.1

            Maybe the miners will have more luck with EPMU and Little, than the actors had with CTU and Kelly.

            • Dave 2.1.1.1.1.1

              The actors were represented very well by Helen Kelly after their epic public relations fail. The only substantial criticism I’ve seen of Kelly is an off the cuff remark she made that Jackson was behaving like a brat. She can hardly be blamed for the hand she was dealt by Equity.

              • grumpy

                Dave @ 2.25

                “AE walked into a gun fight armed with a spoon.”

                “spoon” is a novel name for “Australian”.

              • Colonial Viper

                the hand dealt to her and oh yeah Jackson stabbing everyone in the back after they had come to an agreement.

          • Swampy 2.1.1.1.2

            No, they walked into a spoon fight armed with a gun.
            Like blackmail trying to get the international unions involved.

  3. George 4

    I thought the hobbit dispute made Jackson and Key look bad. The polling certainly showed that most people weren’t happy with Key crawling to warners. Maybe DPF is trying to rewrite history?

    • Bright Red 4.1

      take that back! the hole penguin has never tried to re-write history… he’s always relied on Hooton to do that and then copied him.

  4. Unions cringe because they no longer stand for the working class.
    They stand for the working person in partnership with the employing person,
    all persons, good and bad, strong and weak, leading and led, in the same bed.
    Go back to 1908 when the difference was clear, bosses lorded it over us
    and workers had to strike to stop work to eat their lunch.
    Now they can have a lunch break that lasts a life time.

  5. JonL 6

    “The modern urge to label leaders who perform adequately during an emergency as ‘heroes’ astounds me.”
    Or who are merely doing what they are paid to do…..servicemen, policemen,firemen, etc.etc.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Another piece of Americana that we can do without.

      Next its going to be the tedious clapping at everything and ridiculous fake smiles in photos.

    • Vicky32 6.2

      True!
      As I write, TV3 is making with the schmaltz again – including comments from an (as far as I can see) irrelevant elderly American woman! Huh?
      Deb

  6. As it stands, he hasn’t even apologised for the deaths at his mine

    Oh come on Marty, that’s a low blow. These days we have it drummed into us that we’re not to even utter the word “sorry” when involved in a car accident or we’ll be dropped by our insurers for having “admitted liability”. I’m sure Whittal has received strict instructions to that effect and, even if he was willing to take the risk on behalf of the company, may have been told that he’d be held personally liable for consequential losses. It’s the same tactics business uses to muzzle directors or staff whose ethics compel them to warn the market about some potentially loss-making screw up.

    Aside from that, I agree entirely with your post. Performing your assigned role, even performing it admirably, doesn’t make you a hero. I reserve that term for people like the 10 year old boy who dragged his 5 year old sister from a burning car minutes before it exploded this weekend.

    And also – and more pertinently – that we should wait till the results of the inquiry before assigning “hero” and “villain” tags to people involved.

  7. Red Rosa 8

    The NZ media have been remarkably superficial in their analysis of the initial explosion and response.

    Clearly, those 29 men should never have been placed in the spot where critical levels of methane were present and disaster highly likely.

    Here is informed overseas comment, apparently reported in the Herald, but containing questions for which answers should be demanded.

    http://www.wsws.org/articles/2010/nov2010/pike-n26.shtml

    • Swampy 8.1

      It’s nothing of the sort. It’s opinion written by an anonymous person, like most of the posts in this thread.

  8. Swampy 9

    McCarten’s and Kelly’s attacks are obvious sour grapes, they think that Andrew Little and the union leaders should have been getting more of the limelight. Those types will piss on anyone’s parade.

    I doubt that Whittall sees himself as a hero, more as someone who was virtually unknown before this accident, who stepped up to the plate for what was necessary at the beginning of the crisis, and who has hardly been seen at all in the last week. We heard a lot more from NZOG lately and hardly anything from PRC itself.

  9. Swampy 10

    Let’s put some perspective on it

    “The EPMU and CTU are quite right to say: ‘hang on a minute, before we declare this guy a saint, let’s remember that 29 men, whose safety he was responsible for, lost their lives in his mine’.”

    Sure. However it is like saying an airline pilot whose plane crashed and 29 people were killed, we just ignore that there were 150 people on his plane and most of them are still alive.

    Glass is half full/half empty.

    • felix 10.1

      That is not only offensive and disrespectful but is also far and away the stupidest analogy I have ever read.

      The were no 150 people on the “plane” you fucking disgusting moron.

      Your glass is half full alright. Unfortunately it’s half full of cat piss and phlegm.

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    Last time National was in power, they looted the state, privatising public assets and signing hugely wasteful public-private partnership (PPP) contracts which saw foreign consortiums provide substandard infrastructure while gouging us for profits. You only have to look at the ongoing fiasco of Transmission Gully to see how it was ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Illusion of Power: How Local Government Bureaucrats Overawe Democratically-Elected Councillors..
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    1 week ago
  • Lowlights & Bright Spots
    I can feel the lowlights coming over meI can feel the lowlights, from the state I’m inI can see the light now even thought it’s dimA little glow on the horizonAnother week of lowlights from our government, with the odd bright spot and a glow on the horizon. The light ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Weekly Roundup 14-June-2024
    Another week, another roundup of things that caught our eye on our favourite topics of transport, housing and how to make cities a little bit greater. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Connor wrote about Kāinga Ora’s role as an urban development agency Tuesday’s guest post by ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 week ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s moves this week to take farming out of the ETS and encourage more mining and oil and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Climate policy axed in broad daylight, while taxpayer liabilities grow in the dark
    In 2019, Shane Jones addressed the “50 Shades of Green” protest at Parliament: Now he is part of a government giving those farmers a pass on becoming part of the ETS, as well as threatening to lock in offshore oil exploration and mining for decades. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Rage Bait!
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    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    1 week ago
  • Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
    Photo by Mathias Elle on UnsplashIt’s that new day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for our chat about the week’s news with special guests:5.00 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    1 week ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on how moderates empower the political right
    Struth, what a week. Having made sure the rural sector won’t have to pay any time soon for its pollution, PM Christopher Luxon yesterday chose Fieldays 2024 to launch a parliamentary inquiry into rural banking services, to see how the banks have been treating farmers faced with high interest rates. ...
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Thursday, June 13
    In April, 17,656 people left Aotearoa-NZ to live overseas, averaging 588 a day, with just over half of those likely to have gone to Australia. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Thursday, June 13 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Our guide to having your say on the draft RLTP 2024
    Auckland’s draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) 2024 is open for feedback – and you only have until Monday 17 June to submit. Do it! Join the thousands of Aucklanders who are speaking up for wise strategic investment that will dig us out of traffic and give us easy and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • The China puzzle
    Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrives in Wellington today for a three-day visit to the country. The visit will take place amid uncertainty about the future of the New Zealand-China relationship. Li hosted a formal welcome and then lunch for then-Prime Minister Chris Hipkins in Beijing a year ago. The pair ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Fossil fuels are shredding our democracy
    This is a re-post of an article from the Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler published on June 3, 2024. I have an oped in the New York Times (gift link) about this. For a long time, a common refrain about the energy transition was that renewable energy needed to become ...
    1 week ago
  • Life at 20 kilometres an hour
    We are still in France, getting from A to B.Possibly for only another week, though; Switzerland and Germany are looming now. On we pedal, towards Budapest, at about 20 km per hour.What are are mostly doing is inhaling a country, loving its ways and its food. Rolling, talking, quietly thinking. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Hipkins is still useless
    The big problem with the last Labour government was that they were chickenshits who did nothing with the absolute majority we had given them. They governed as if they were scared of their own shadows, afraid of making decisions lest it upset someone - usually someone who would never have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Exercising with the IDF.
    This morning I did something I seldom do, I looked at the Twitter newsfeed. Normally I take the approach of something that I’m not sure is an American urban legend, or genuinely something kids do over there. The infamous bag of dog poo on the front porch, set it on ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Helm Hammerhand Anime: First Pictures and an Old English ‘Hera’
    We have some news on the upcoming War of the Rohirrim anime. It will apparently be two and a half hours in length, with Peter Jackson as Executive Producer, and Helm’s daughter Hera will be the main character. Also, pictures: The bloke in the middle picture is Freca’s ...
    1 week ago
  • Farmers get free pass on climate AND get subsidies
    The cows will keep burping and farting and climate change will keep accelerating - but farmers can stop worrying about being included in the ETS. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Wednesday, June 12 were:The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Six ideas to secure Te Huia’s Future
    This is a guest post by our friend Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which features “musings about public transport and other cool stuff in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and around the globe.” With Te Huia now having funding secure through to 2026, now is ...
    Greater AucklandBy Darren Davis
    1 week ago
  • The methane waka sinks
    In some ways, there may be less than meets the eye to the Government announcement yesterday that the He Waka Eke Noa proposal for farmers to pay for greenhouse gas emissions has been scrapped. The spectre of farmers still having to pay at some point in the future remains. That, ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • At a glance – Does positive feedback necessarily mean runaway warming?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Farmers get what they wanted – for now
    Since entering office, National has unravelled practically every climate policy, leaving us with no effective way of reducing emissions or meeting our emissions budgets beyond magical thinking around the ETS. And today they've announced another step: removing agriculture entirely. At present, following the complete failure of he waka eka noa, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Presumed Innocent?
    The blue billionaireDistraction no interactionOr movement outside these glazed over eyesThe new great divideFew fight the tide to be glorifiedBut will he be satisfied?Can we accept this without zoom?The elephant in the roomNot much happens in politics on a Monday. Bugger all in fact. Although yesterday Christopher Luxon found he ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago
  • Gordon Campbell on our doomed love affair with oil and gas
    What if New Zealand threw a fossil fuel party, and nobody came? On the weekend, Resources Minister Shane Jones sent out the invitations and strung up the balloons, but will anyone really want to invest big time in resuming oil and gas exploration in our corner of the planet? Yes, ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    2 weeks ago

  • Reserve Bank chair reappointed
    Professor Neil Quigley has been reappointed as Chair of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Board for a further term of two years, until 30 June 2026.  “Professor Quigley has played a key role in establishing the new Board after the commencement of the new RBNZ Act on 1 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • School attendance increases
    School attendance data released today shows an increase in the number of students regularly attending school to 61.7 per cent in term one. This compares to 59.5 per cent in term one last year and 53.6 per cent in term four. “It is encouraging to see more children getting to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Record investment in public transport services
    The Government has announced a record 41 per cent increase in indicative funding for public transport services and operations, and confirmed the rollout of the National Ticketing Solution (NTS) that will enable contactless debit and credit card payments starting this year in Auckland, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“This Government is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • GDP data shows need to strengthen and grow the economy
    GDP figures for the March quarter reinforce the importance of restoring fiscal discipline to public spending and driving more economic growth, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  Data released today by Stats NZ shows GDP has risen 0.2 per cent for the quarter to March.   “While today’s data is technically in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Women continue to make up over 50 per cent on public sector boards
    Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees has reached 50 per cent or above for the fourth consecutive year, with women holding 53.9 per cent of public sector board roles, Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston says. “This is a fantastic achievement, but the work is not done. To ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government supporting Māori business success
    The Coalition Government is supporting Māori to boost development and the Māori economy through investment in projects that benefit the regions, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka say. “As the Regional Development Minister, I am focused on supporting Māori to succeed. The Provincial Growth Fund ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Better solutions for earthquake-prone buildings
    Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk has announced that the review into better managing the risks of earthquake-prone buildings has commenced. “The terms of reference published today demonstrate the Government’s commitment to ensuring we get the balance right between public safety and costs to building owners,” Mr Penk says.  “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up visit to Japan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has just finished a successful three-day visit to Japan, where he strengthened political relationships and boosted business links. Mr Luxon’s visit culminated in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio followed by a state dinner. “It was important for me to meet Prime Minister Kishida in person ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Major business deals signed on PM’s Japan trip
    Significant business deals have been closed during the visit of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to Japan this week, including in the areas of space, renewable energy and investment.  “Commercial deals like this demonstrate that we don’t just export high-quality agricultural products to Japan, but also our world-class technology, expertise, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Strategic Security speech, Tokyo
    Minasan, konnichiwa, kia ora and good afternoon everyone. Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today and thank you to our friends at the Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies and NEC for making this event possible today.  It gives me great pleasure to be here today, speaking with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
    The National Infrastructure Pipeline, which provides a national view of current or planned infrastructure projects, from roads, to water infrastructure, to schools, and more, has climbed above $120 billion, Infrastructure Minister Chris Bishop says. “Our Government is investing a record amount in modern infrastructure that Kiwis can rely on as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Making it easier to build infrastructure
    The Government is modernising the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk announced today. An independent panel will undertake an eight-week review of the Act and advise on common sense changes to enable large scale public works to be built faster and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ enhances North Korea sanctions monitoring
    New Zealand will enhance its defence contributions to monitoring violations of sanctions against North Korea, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced today.  The enhancement will see the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) increase its contributions to North Korea sanctions monitoring, operating out of Japan. “This increase reflects the importance New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference
    Good afternoon everyone. It’s great to be with you all today before we wrap up Day One of the annual Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference. Thank you to the organisers and sponsors of this conference, for the chance to talk to you about the upcoming health and safety consultation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Ōtaki to north of Levin alliance agreements signed
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed an important milestone for the Ōtaki to north of Levin Road of National Significance (RoNS), following the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) signing interim alliance agreements with two design and construction teams who will develop and ultimately build the new expressway.“The Government’s priority for transport ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Improvements to stopping Digital Child Exploitation
    The Department of Internal Affairs [Department] is making a significant upgrade to their Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, which blocks access to websites known to host child sexual abuse material, says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “The Department will incorporate the up-to-date lists of websites hosting child sexual ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New vaccine research aims to combat prevalent bovine disease
    A vaccine to prevent an infectious disease that costs New Zealand cattle farmers more than $190 million each year could radically improve the health of our cows and boost on-farm productivity, Associate Agriculture Minister Andrew Hoggard says. The Ministry for Primary Industries is backing a project that aims to develop ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
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    1 week ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago

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