web analytics

A legacy of poisoned water

Written By: - Date published: 7:01 am, April 28th, 2017 - 66 comments
Categories: national, quality of life, useless, water - Tags: , , , ,

We won’t be able to say that we didn’t have ample warning, with a another detailed and damning report on our water out yesterday. The Herald has a good summary:

‘Damning’ rivers and lakes report: Nitrogen levels rising, fish threatened

A major report out today makes a sweeping assessment of how our lakes and rivers are faring, and the news isn’t good. Science reporter Jamie Morton takes a look at what it reveals.

Another major stocktake has painted a grim picture of New Zealand’s freshwater environment, showing that nitrogen levels are rising and three-quarters of monitored native fish species are nearing extinction.

The 100-page report, published today by the Ministry for the Environment and Statistics New Zealand, has been described as “damning” by the country’s largest independent environmental organisation, which is calling for a dramatic reduction in cow numbers.

The report, measuring a range of indicators including water quality and quantity, and the welfare of biodiversity, confirmed that urban waterways were the most polluted, but declining trends in pastoral areas were just as concerning. …

It’s a long and depressing summary, with sections titled: How polluted are our waterways? Native species on the brink, Our vanishing wetlands, Who’s taking the water? Freshwater issues ‘not new’ – minister. Newsroom summarises five takeaway points:

1. There’s a shocking amount we don’t know about our water.

2. Government swim-ability estimates are different from officials’ estimates and nobody yet has a good handle on how to measure it.

3. Canterbury farms account for about a quarter of New Zealand’s freshwater consumption … we think.

4. City water is facing a multi-billion dollar stormwater problem, and animal urine is an amazingly potent rural polluter.

5. Whitebait is in dire straits, and there’s a real prospect we will lose some of our other native fresh water species, too. …

On RNZ:

NZ needs to act now on rivers, top official warns

New Zealand cannot afford to wait to address the problems with fresh water, Ministry for the Environment head Vicky Robertson says.

A landmark report from the ministry, released today, describes serious challenges facing the country’s rivers and outlines how fresh water is under increasing pressure from agricultural and urban areas.

The report found freshwater biodiversity was declining and 72 percent of native fish were threatened or at risk of extinction – as were about a third of freshwater plants and invertebrates.

The Environmental Defence Society called today’s report alarming. Its chief executive, Gary Taylor, said the report laid the problems with fresh water bare.cHe said farmers should be required to obtain resource consents for agricultural land use in sensitive catchments, to set maximum levels of stock.

“It’s all very well setting water quality limits in a national policy statement and in a regional plan … but in the end I think we need to reduce the size particularly of the dairy herd in New Zealand by about a third. “Particularly in these more sensitive catchments where we’ve got serious pollution.”

Federated Farmers said it did not want more regulation on land use and farmers were already doing the work to help restore degraded water. …

In related news see:
New water guidelines labelled “sneaky backdoor attack”
Federated Farmers: It’s damn lies and alternative facts
When the river runs dry: The true cost of NZ water
“No-one owns water”
National is ruining our rivers

This current National government isn’t going to leave much in the way of a legacy. Does it really want to be remembered for allowing the poisoning of our water?


66 comments on “A legacy of poisoned water”

  1. Janet 1

    Whats new. We have been saying the diary takeover of everywhere a cow can stand is wrong, for years for years, and not only for water quality reasons , but for the need for farming New Zealand to stay diversified and ultimately sustainable and we are fourth, fifth and sixth generation NZ farmers. But who listened ! Who acted ? Nobody !
    Change the government to one who understands how this world works, naturally.
    Look for the Lorax….. it’s sure not Steven Joyce who only thinks of biggering and biggering.

    • Molly 1.1

      Hi Janet.

      As farmers, did you manage to get heard at all by Federated Farmers or Fonterra (if you are a shareholder?).

      What avenue do farmers such as yourselves have to get heard at national body level? (I’m just thinking it may be very difficult for sustainable method farmers to be heard, and wonder if there is a place for them to go)

      • Janet 1.1.1

        Exactly right as sustainable lifestyle farmers have no voice and actually threaten political directions where production gains over ride environmental outcomes….

        • roy cartland 1.1.1.1

          Janet, it’s time to bring your sustainable and conscientious farmer mates over and stand with the greenies on this. It’s you and us against the destroyers, not greenies against *all* farmers.

          I’m actually pro farming, but anti-taking-the-piss, as I imagine you are.

  2. Jenny Kirk 2

    “This current National government isn’t going to leave much in the way of a legacy. Does it really want to be remembered for allowing the poisoning of our water?”

    They don’t care. They probably all have swimming pools and don’t ever swim anywhere else – so it doesn’t matter to them if others want to swim in lakes or rivers.

    • keepcalmcarryon 2.1

      No its worse than not caring and its worse than “allowing” our water to be poisoned.
      This government is actively subsidising the poisoning of our water.
      Its not accidental, its not poor management , its active destruction.
      What else do you call policy of doubling primary production, including a half billion dollar taxpayer irrigation subsidy and removing democratic protection by gutting ECan?
      Take a look at the Mackenzie country next time you are down that way and see what they have done. Then read the reports on loss of native habitat.

      Labour, be definitive on this, its time for waving the stick on water allocation and breaches of consents. Its time to cancel some allocations and enforce nitrogen caps on all our farming systems.
      This pollution is not accidental, its government policy.
      Do not let the National government get away with this.

      • Fustercluck 2.1.1

        Nitrogen and phosphorus caps are key. Its not the the number of cows or dairying itself, it is the rampant over-fertilizaiton of the land that is hosing the water.

        We have a perverse system with the fert co-ops where the amount of rebate farmers get is based on the amount of superphos they use. There is a structural incentive to pollute.

        Never heard a word about this. Ever.

    • Chris 2.2

      A good protest could be taking a few cows for a swim in a few of those swimming pools.

  3. Ad 3

    The political upside for the opposition is there’s nothing National can do through to election day.

    The increasing damage will increase due to the massive irrigation schemes and weak regulation by South Island regional councils.

    To turn it around you would have to alter whole District Plans – which is years worth of leaking legal poison. Which means for years to come it will be really really hard to halt, before you get to reversing the trends.

    Mike Joy’s suggestion this morning of replacing the $400 million irrigation fund with a $400 million reparation fund looked incredibly practical. Hope a future government picks up on it.

    If that doesn’t happen I’m just gong to keep writing cheques to Forest and Bird. They are the real river protectors in this country.

    • Rosemary McDonald 3.1

      “Mike Joy’s suggestion this morning of replacing the $400 million irrigation fund with a $400 million reparation fund looked incredibly practical. Hope a future government picks up on it.”

      Has the bones of a solid campaign….Action Station or the like?

      Or we could all boycott dairy products until the dairy herd is reduced and farmers are held accountable for polluting.

      Low impact dairy farming is possible ….http://www.radionz.co.nz/programmes/water-fools/story/201841352/water-fools-sacred-pipi-beds-polluted

      “Mr Watson and his wife Sue milk about 280 cows in the flood prone Waiotahe Valley and in the past five years they’ve halved the number of cows and switched to once a day milking.

      The new system requires less expensive feed, less fertiliser, and less work.

      It was a more sustainable way of farming and the family had not looked back, said Mr Watson.

      “We’ve basically not quite halved the amount of effluent we create.””

      Perhaps more focus should go on those who make a real effort to reduce environmental impacts from dairy farming…

      • Janet 3.1.1

        I agree , the fastest way to start to turn the situation around is to work with the farmers to motivate them to voluntarily adjust their farming systems. A lot of public education is needed to help some of these farmers see ways forward out of this predicament that they in many cases unwittingly have found themselves in.

  4. ianmac 4

    It is hard to know what to add to the above column Anthony. Such a depressing outlook. Sighs loudly.
    Sorry kids. Back then we didn’t realist that we had it so good and now the Government just ignores our concerns.

    • gsays 4.1

      Hi ianmac, I can add something.
      There are a few more sobering aspects to intensive farming.
      Recently ‘spray and pray’ has been highlighted.
      This has a massive impact on soil structur and it’s ability to function, e.g. hold water, nutrients etc .

      Sorry if any of this is teaching you to suck eggs.

      Seemingly harmless practices, none of it sustainable.

  5. saveNZ 5

    The government has failed every body. Canterbury sounds like a basket case where it’s too dry to run cows in many places, let alone cram more in and steal the community water.

    The farmers could diversify to another less water intensive farming measure for goodness sake. Even if the government helped them, still better than stealing and polluting the water.

    Don’t blame the farmers, it’s the government leading the charge and changing the laws to make it so.

    Maybe somebody can read ‘the golden goose’ to the Natz, in parliament today. It might be over their heads so get the opposition to get a few sock puppets to mime it out for the yokels.

  6. tc 6

    Ffs hang this albatross around national/acts neck, shout loudly about it and let the chips fall where they may.

    Farmers vote national so go hard labour/greens

    • saveNZ 6.1

      Although similar left blame discourses to the National party discourses against beneficiaries… not sure all the ‘bad’ Kiwi polluters goes down well if you are trying to get votes…

      Labour and Greens need to get away from punishing and blaming and try something constructive. Most farmers are not educated lobbyists pushing the government – they are more just trying to run their farms with industry telling them to put more nutrients on, banks giving them money to expand… etc etc They are not rocket scientists – just do what they are told and try to have as little government involvement as possible.

      The sad thing is the government’s policy is to drive out family farms that are more sustainable, and the ‘new’ mega farms run by big business.

      That is the worry for farmers and the Greens and the public.

      • tc 6.1.1

        Becoming tenants in our own country is another issue they need to be bashed over.

        Stuff the nuanced approach go for broke and keep it simple

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.2

        Labour and Greens need to get away from punishing and blaming and try something constructive.

        Why shouldn’t we hold people accountable for their actions? Especially when they’ve known for decades the consequences of those actions.

        Most farmers are not educated lobbyists pushing the government – they are more just trying to run their farms with industry telling them to put more nutrients on, banks giving them money to expand… etc etc

        If they’re that uneducated then they shouldn’t be in business and most definitely shouldn’t be allowed to run a farm.

    • McFlock 6.2

      An albatross?
      wouldn’t that curse them to stay at the helm of the country while everyone else was dead?

      “there was a country” said he…

      • saveNZ 6.2.1

        It’s not actually getting the left any votes by the blame game. Just pushes the rural industry to the Natz on a platter and turns them off change.

        • tc 6.2.1.1

          Imo the rural community always votes blue, efforts to swing them are a waste of scarce opposition resources.

          Agree with dtb that if the blame fits wear it and in this case its blatant from encouraging intenstification/corporate model/neutering water standards/hobbling and gutting govt depts with environmental briefs etc etc

          Screw the softly softly and call them for the wreckers they are. Motivating the non voters is crucial and a strong message is required.

        • McFlock 6.2.1.2

          Actually, my comment was just a lighthearted observation that the albatross analogy is from the Rime of the Ancient Mariner, whereas if we want this government to sink a millstone might be more appropriate…

          Anyway, as to “blame game”, as TC points out the farmers who don’t care about waterways don’t vote leftish anyway. The ones who do care will also be pissed about the rest of the country subsidising the polluters.

  7. Cinny 7

    A legacy of poisoned water and a legacy of pristine water exploitation for export.

    An excess of nitrogen should be utilised instead rather than used to poison our waterways in the name of greed. Would it be appropriate to have some sort of ‘cap’ on large scale commercial dairy farms? Seems sensible to me considering the damage that is happening to the environment.

    Maybe farmers should be growing nitrogen loving crops to absorb the excess nitrogen in conjunction with their nitrogen excreting dairy farms.

    Maybe if they did they would find the crops possibly making a great profit for them than the cows? After all nitrogen loving crops include medical marijuana, the economic benefits of which would be massive for NZ. Not to mention the benefits of a crop which requires no herbicides or pesticides to grow, as well as absorbing excess nitrogen from the soil. Would be a win win for the environment and the economy. JS.

  8. The Fairy Godmother 8

    It’s so awful and humans do not need cows milk. Infants and young children do fine on just mother’s milk. We could have breast milk banks for for children with no mothers or mothers unable to feed them and a culture that supports 2 years paid maternity leave. There is no reason to consume cows milk.

    • saveNZ 8.1

      Sadly under 30% of Kiwi mother’s breastfeed exclusively up to 6 months which is the recommendation from World Health Organsisation. Yet another bad statistic….

      • The Fairy Godmother 8.1.1

        It’s a tragedy when the natural age for weaning is sometime in the sixth year. Human infants along with other primates are very helpless and undeveloped compared with other mammals such as cows which are on their feet soon after birth. It’s about what we value as a society. I am rereading Marilyn waring counting for nothing at the moment and it seems to me some of the most valuable things such as our environment and mothers milk have no monetary value and therefore our society doesn’t care.

        • Rosemary McDonald 8.1.1.1

          “I am rereading Marilyn waring counting for nothing ”

          +lots and lots. 🙂

          (A vastly under acknowledged work by both the right (Oh my god!!! Unpaid work has value!!!) and the left (We’re not going give credit to work done by a former National MP!!!).

  9. Antoine 9

    Is whitebait munted because of whitebaiting, or for some other reason?

  10. Draco T Bastard 10

    We shouldn’t be surprised. Many farmers have lobbied to prevent effective regulation of farms and the pollution that they produce and our government have supported them. What we need now is a government that will bring in string regulation and enforcement of those regulations. If this means that some farmers will go under, well, that’s the nature of the market.

    What we cannot afford is to continue to allow them to pollute our waterways.

  11. Venezia 11

    And Bill English, in his usual dishonest way, on the news last night, blamed the urban population for the disgusting state of our fresh water sources. Non one in MSM pointed out that urban sources are 1% of the total. Farming occupies 40% f total.

    • David Kinane 11.1

      Yes that bias was in the Herald reporting yesterday I felt. Emphasis first on the urban waterways masked the rural devastation.

  12. Draco T Bastard 12

    It’s possibly OT for this thread but I think it has bearing.

    When the river runs dry: The true cost of NZ water

    The Government says nobody owns the water, but that hasn’t stopped people making hundreds of thousands of dollars selling it, reports Eloise Gibson

    The message trickled down from Bill English a month ago, albeit in watered-down form.

    New Zealand will probably not start charging businesses to use fresh water, English told the AM Show, because it is too difficult and would upend a century-old convention of letting people have it for free. “You’d have to work out pretty basic things like who owns it? What would you charge them?” he said.

    But in the absence of a Government price tag, the market has put a value on water in some of our driest regions: between 70c and $1.60 for a thousand litres – a cubic metre – and most recently about $1.

    It’s not just this governments inaction about protecting our waterways that’s poisoning our water but also the fact that excessive licenses have been dished out by the councils and now people are making a massive profit on that declining availability.

  13. Wyndham 13

    All the way through this National Party water debacle there’s one MP whose name pops up repeatedly – – – Nick Smith. He has vigorously defended the government’s point of view often lambasting those that query him in parliament.

  14. I see we are moving onto a ‘ safe ‘ topic…

    How ‘ nice’…

    How ‘ neutral ‘

    How ‘ banal’….

    ‘Water Quality ‘

    Here’s a working class solution , – why not prosecute the offending bastards and be done with the fucking issue?

    Get on top of it and shit all over the offending party’s heads?

    Make em scared to let even one dairy cow piss in a creek.

    Ever heard of Riparian planting and fencing ???

    Instead of your bullshit pussyfooting around and entertaining yourselves online with the latest online fad on how bad the world has gotten post 1984 , – put your money where your mouths are and campaign to bring the offending fuckers to court , – and while your at it , – start naming and shaming councils, corporations and backyard farming outfits who collude in the whole neo liberal charade.

    Grab a pair of balls and get on with the fucking job.

    We’ve only got until September until we get to kick the arse of this shithead govt – and that’s only 5 fucking months away you fools !!!!

    • marty mars 14.1

      Dairy is indeed out of control as are city folk having their water wastage and not giving a shit about their shit – maybe you’re doing your bit maybe you can look in the mirror, maybe… can you say you are not also implicated and responsible for this disaster.

      • WILD KATIPO 14.1.1

        The best bit anyone of us can do is vote this govt out in September.

        And from there we work backwards.

        Theres not a lot of good wringing our hands on the sidelines going tut tut tut, is there ?,… that’ll change nothing. Screw the bastards. The only way we get change is by the vote. And if there’s one thing about this blogsite that turns my gut is that it tolerates those who come as wolves come in sheep’s clothing.

        Che Guevara had a saying about inner city / urbane communists :

        He called them ‘ useful tools’.

        And the reason he viewed them as such was because they were tantamount to being like tits on a bull. Always seeking for the ideal / optimum conditions before they got off their fat bloody arses and did anything. They were viewed by the rural people as liability’s while they did all the heavy lifting and shed their blood fighting the Batista’s.

        You want change ? … vote in Labour with its support party the Greens and NZ First.

        Then you will see some action.

        Then you will see some accessibility and positive measures to end this literal load of shit in our rivers.

    • All very nice for future economic initiatives but I want to swim in a fucking river and not contract E. coli / campylobacter diarrhea , thank you very much.

  15. Sittin here in the middle of suburbia listening to a possum burping and farting and growling , … the Pukekos have gone into mating and nesting and all I’ve got is some scrub introduced cats screaming as they fight over who gets the latest questionable 100 square meters of turf to brawl over…

    FFS ,.. lifes tough on a country lad living in the city.

    Ferk your lattes .

    Just do the right thing and vote for Labour , the Greens or NZ First.

    Preferably Labour as that will bring the rest of them onboard.

    • bugsolutely nz 16.1

      yea that will fix it, different snouts at the trough. Its not till we make fundamental changes in the way we treat this planet that it will start to heal.

    • Janet 16.2

      Still kind of hoping The Lorax will appear and lead the way forward… in other words there is nothing, no one out there that I am convinced meets all the needs of leading NZ at the moment. Very disconcerting.

  16. Tautoko Mangō Mata 17

  17. timeforacupoftea 18

    The report failed to say salmon and trout are the biggest threat to our native fish species are which nearing extinction.
    They could start by removing trout and salmon from the rivers and lakes.

    Some small towns are still dumping sewerage in lakes and rivers.
    You would think they should have been fixed by now.

    If any dairy farm is dumping in rivers they should automatically be shut down.
    For all farmers livestock and cropping, If runoff from paddocks after heavy rain enters rivers same sort of cop especially if no in paddock ponding areas have not been established.
    It has been pointed out to me from time to time around Otago Southland and Canterbury where topsoil is washed off paddocks straight into creeks and rivers during storms etc.

    Perhaps no swimming or wading in rivers either until they are clean again.

    I would be interested to know how clean the mighty Clutha River is, the river always looks perfect but you do see a dirty stain as small streams and rivers drain into it for a few hundred meters down stream then it is clear and beautiful again and probably drinkable.

    • keepcalmcarryon 18.1

      It failed to say trout and salmon are the biggest threat because thats unproven?
      Also pollution kills introduced trout too. What you have spouted is the fed farmers line.
      The actual stuff we do measure isnt comfortable for farmers to talk about though is it:

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/91956116/serious-pressures-facing-rivers-government-report-finds

      “t found nitrogen levels were worsening at more than half of the measured sites. Nitrogen levels were worst at urban sites, but were declining significantly in pastoral areas.

      The decline in pastoral areas coincided with an increase intensive agriculture. Nitrogen leaching from agriculture had increased by 29 per cent since 1990, it said. The main source was livestock urine”

      Remembering of course urban acounts for 1% land area, agriculture 40%

      • timeforacupoftea 18.1.1

        In reply to :
        (keepcalmcarryon 18.1
        29 April 2017 at 8:34 am
        It failed to say trout and salmon are the biggest threat because thats unproven?
        Also pollution kills introduced trout too. What you have spouted is the fed farmers line.
        The actual stuff we do measure isnt comfortable for farmers to talk about though is it:)

        Please !
        KeepCalm : All I said was from my husbands and his friends 60 years of fishing knowledge not fed farmers as you suggest.
        These guys lure fish using imitation white bate lures all season and catch trout with stomachs full of white bate.
        Did Gary Taylor ask enough lure fishermen if they had much luck with imitation white bate lures. Our guys don’t know they were never asked.

        • keepcalmcarryon 18.1.1.1

          Fed farmers ran an attack against fish and game (protectors of water quality) implying trout were the baddies and that fish and game somehow protected freshwater carp (invasive pest species), which was rubbish.
          Certainly trout eat whitebait no question.But that effect has been constant since establishment, if not declining recently, yet Native fish are even more threatened.

          With introduced trout numbers in decline in polluted waterways, and habitat loss and pollution major factors in native fish decline, the increased threat to native fish does mirror the increase in pollution were are learning of, rather closely do you see.

          I think we should at a minimum ban the sale of whitebait and ideally close whitebait fishing altogether.

          PS: Fed farmers perverse logic says that your husband and friends have contributed to native fish decline by supporting Fish and Game!

          Read this clown:
          http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/91008689/taking-aim-at-fish–game-over-conflict-of-interests

  18. millsy 19

    Everyone forgets that when all these fancy irrigation schemes come online, they arent going to be run as a charity. They are going to be run for profit. So when the farmers get the bill, they are going to be under pressure to make even more and more $$$, and our rivers are going to take more of a pounding.

  19. Philj 20

    Katipo. I would call Health and Safety to ensure I am safe before I go for a swim. Lol. The Banks have the farmers by the proverbials. Getting farmers to be indebted,
    they are trapped once they have the costly irrigation systems. And the Government(taxpayers) are paying for this!

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Week That Was: 2020
    We are back for 2020! From changes to Family Funded Care, to a record high number of Kiwis in construction in the trades - we're already back making progress on those long-term challenges. Read all about it and more ...
    3 days ago
  • Winston Peters: “Ihumātao deal still a long way off”
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters told Mike Hosking that a settlement deal regarding Ihumātao in Auckland is still a long way off. The Maori King's flag was lowered at the site near Auckland Airport yesterday, sparking suggestions an announcement of a deal could be made by Waitangi Day. Pania Newton, ...
    4 days ago
  • Winston Peters accuses Gerry Brownlee of ‘politicising’ Holocaust memorial
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters is accusing Gerry Brownlee of "politicising" a Holocaust memorial event after the National MP questioned the lack of Kiwi representation there. The Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Centre in Jerusalem, Israel, is holding the World Holocaust Forum on January 23 to mark 75 years since ...
    4 days ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund to help Waipukurau Pā sites attract thousands of tourists
    The Ngā Ara Tipuna - Waipukurau Pā Site Interpretation project is receiving $2.798 million from the Provincial Growth Fund. It is is expected to boost the town's employment and tourism, creating sixteen new jobs once completed and attract up to 15,000 visitors a year. Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development ...
    5 days ago
  • “Common sense will prevail, not extremism” Winston Peters backs Shane Jones’ pro-meat stance
    New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is backing his MPs who have spoken out against a new climate change teaching resource that advises students to eat less meat to save the planet. The new teaching resource, announced by Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Climate Change Minister James Shaw, tells students ...
    6 days ago
  • Violent assault on paramedic highlights need for law change
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Justice Today’s horrific violent assault of an on-duty female paramedic which rendered her unconscious is truly unsettling. “Our thoughts are with the paramedic, her loved ones and the St John’s team at Warkworth Station,” says New Zealand First Justice Spokesperson Darroch Ball. “Harsher penalties for perpetrators ...
    6 days ago
  • Acting PM Winston Peters confirms NZDF troops in Iraq not hit by Iranian attacks
    Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters called for calm and diplomacy following Iranian missile strikes on bases housing United States troops in Iraq, but confirmed New Zealand's base in the country was not hit. The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) was earlier today investigating claims New Zealand's base in Iraq had ...
    7 days ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive ...
    1 week ago
  • Delivering a stable water supply to Wairarapa
    Hon. Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in Wairarapa The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $7.11 million to create a sustainable water supply for the Wairarapa. The PGF will provide a $7 million investment to Wairarapa Water Limited to progress the Wairarapa Water Storage Scheme towards procurement, consenting, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing consents hit highest level since 1974
    Housing consents have hit a 45-year high, as Statistics NZ data shows a total of 37,010 residential consents were issued in the year to November --- the first time they have breached the 37,000 mark since the mid-1970s. Statistics NZ said the trend had been rising since late 2011, when ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Darroch Ball MP: “Violence against first responders is a problem on the rise”
    New Zealand First MP Darroch Ball says that a paramedic being kicked unconscious last night in an attempted burglary in Warkworth, north of Auckland, is a symptom of a larger problem. "Incidents like this are becoming more and more frequent...and it’s getting worse," Mr Ball said. The MP is pushing for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Ron Mark asks NZDF to conduct fire risk assessment from defence point of view
    Defence Minister Ron Mark said there was nothing to prevent similar large-scale bushfires seen in Australia from also happening in New Zealand, and has asked the New Zealand Defence Force to conduct a nfire risk assessment from a defence point of view. The defence assessment would help prevent a disaster ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Defence Minister Mark expresses “absolute confidence” in NZDF forces stationed in Iraq
    While feeling worried about increased Middle East tensions, Defence Minister Ron Mark said he had "absolute confidence" in New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) leadership. His statements come as the fate of Kiwi troops stationed in Iraq comes under intense scrutiny. Forty-five Defence Force personnel were thought to be in the ...
    3 weeks ago
  • ‘No Body, No Parole’ Bill is pointless dog-whistling
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Law and Order National MP Tim Macindoe Member’s Bill, Concealment of Location of Victim Remains Bill does not do what he claims. The Bill specifies a requirement for the Parole Board to only “consider” denying parole if an offender refuses to disclose the location of the body. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Defence Force sends support to Australia
    Hon. Ron Mark, Minister of Defence Minister of Defence Ron Mark today announced New Zealand is sending three Royal New Zealand Air Force NH90 helicopters and crew, and two NZ Army Combat Engineer Sections as well as a command element to support the Australian Defence Force efforts in tackling the Australian ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Defence Minister Ron Mark: “NZDF focused on protecting troops in Iraq from retaliation”
    As tensions in the Middle East continue to grow after the assassination of top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, the New Zealand Defence Force is focusing on the protection of Kiwi troops deployed in Iraq. Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says that "recent attacks on coalition bases and embassies constitute unacceptable ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Health staff to meet flights from China as precautionary measure
    Public health staff will begin meeting flights from China from tomorrow, to actively look for signs of the novel coronavirus and provide advice, information and reassurance to passengers. Health Minister Dr David Clark says the additional measures are being taken following the arrival of the disease in Australia, via flights ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • National Yearling Sales 2020
    National Yearling Sales at Karaka   26 January 2020    [CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY] Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here on opening day of the 2020 National Yearling Sales Series. Let us all acknowledge Sir Peter Vela and the Vela family for their outstanding contribution to the New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Government and construction industry to build big, lift productivity with Transformation Plan
    Delivering the workforce and productivity gains required to build the houses, schools, roads, rail and hospitals New Zealand needs will become easier with the Government-industry Construction Sector Transformation Plan launched today, Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa says. “The action plan launched today delivers on the Government’s Construction Sector ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Log trains to begin on Wairoa-Napier line
    Log trains are about to start running between Wairoa and Napier following Provincial Growth Fund investment to reopen the rail line, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The Government invested $6.2 million to reopen the mothballed rail line which was closed after significant storm damage in 2012. “With PGF ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister of Defence concludes successful visit with his US counterpart
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark met with United States Secretary of Defense Mark Esper today. “This was an excellent opportunity to meet with one of our closest security partners,” Ron Mark said. “The main focus of the meeting was to discuss challenges that New Zealand and the United States share ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand acknowledges ICJ decision on Myanmar
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today acknowledged the ruling of the International Court of Justice in relation to the Rohingya people in Myanmar. The ruling ordered the Government of Myanmar to take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of acts of genocide in relation to members of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ’s trade aims advanced at Davos meetings
    A proposal to cut “trade and production-distorting subsidies” in the agricultural sector by 2030 has set out important measures to ensure a fair agricultural trading system.  Speaking after attending meetings of trade ministers in Davos, Switzerland, Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker welcomed the joint proposal from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Great news for New Zealanders with cystic fibrosis
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says he is delighted that PHARMAC has struck a provisional deal to fund Kalydeco – a medicine which is set to improve the quality of life for about 30 New Zealand children and adults with cystic fibrosis. “While rare, cystic fibrosis is an awful inherited ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand least corrupt country in the world
    New Zealand has regained its position as the least corrupt country in the world for the second time under this Coalition Government, says Justice Minister Andrew Little. “New Zealanders can be proud that our reputation as one of the least corrupt countries in the world has been restored,” says Andrew ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Boost for Rēkohu/Wharekauri/Chatham Islands Community Conservation
    Community conservation in Rēkohu/Wharekauri/the Chatham Islands is receiving a boost, with grants to support local projects announced today by Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “Rēkohu/Wharekauri/ the Chatham Islands are home to 20 per cent of New Zealand’s threatened bird species and 11 per cent of New Zealand’s threatened plant species. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Rātana Pā goes high-tech with UFB
    Iwi, hapu and visitors to Rātana Pā near Whanganui now have access to ultra-fast broadband following its connection, completed in time for annual Rātana celebrations, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The connection and associated hardware were funded from the Provincial Growth Fund’s $21 million Marae Digital Connectivity programme, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt’s strong financial management acknowledged
    The Government’s strong financial management and plan to future proof the economy with new infrastructure investment has gained further recognition from an international ratings agency. Credit rating agency Fitch has upgraded one of its main metrics assessing the Government’s books, lifting its foreign currency AA rating outlook to ‘positive’ from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Boost in Whānau Ora funding to keep changing lives
    Whānau throughout New Zealand are set to benefit from an extra three million dollars that will go directly to Whānau Ora Commissioning Agencies, the Minister for Whānau Ora Peeni Henare announced today.  Including previous funding boosts, the Agencies will now receive $87 million this year between them.  In Budget 2019 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • More people getting into work
    The December quarter benefit numbers released today show the Government’s plan to get people off the benefit and into work is starting to pay off,” Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni said.   “Nearly 19,000 people cancelled their benefit and went into work in the last few months of the year – ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Wairoa gets up to $6.1m to rebuild heart of CBD
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing up to $6.1 million to revitalise business and tourism opportunities in Wairoa, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The PGF is funding: Up to $4.8 million for the Wairoa Integrated Business and Tourism Facility Up to $960,000 for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Major Events support for creative and cultural events
    Creative and cultural events that highlight New Zealand’s diverse culture and build national pride are set to get a funding boost through the Major Events Fund, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. The new Creative and Cultural Events Incubator, which is funded through the Major Events Fund, will open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Classroom internet in hundreds of schools to get a boost
    The Government has begun a massive IT upgrade to provide more seamless internet access to 200 schools around the country. Te Mana Tūhono – Technology in Schools work programme will launch with a pilot of 10 smaller state schools early this year. IT equipment that gives students access to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Construction workforce, apprenticeships hit record highs
    Working with industry and committing to rebuild New Zealand’s infrastructure has produced a record high number of Kiwis working in the construction industry and learning trades, says Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa. New figures available today from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Tertiary Education ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ concludes digital economy trade talks with Singapore and Chile
    A new trade agreement concluded today helps New Zealand exporters and consumers take advantage of opportunities from digital trade.    Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker together with Chile’s Vice Minister of Trade Rodrigo Yañez and Singapore’s Minister of Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing, have announced conclusion of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund to fund Waipukurau cultural development and tourism
    The Ngā Ara Tipuna -  Waipukurau Pā Site Interpretation project will receive $2.798 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to create an authentic cultural tourism experience, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today “The project will inform visitors about the history of six pā sites in Waipukurau with a combination ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • 21 new judges boost diversity, improve access to justice
    Twenty-one new District Court judges have been appointed in a move that will improve access to justice and boost diversity on the bench. The new judges include replacements for retirements and 10 new positions. Attorney-General David Parker today announced the 14 judges who can immediately be named, with the remainder ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Puhinui to Auckland Airport in 10 minutes
    Aucklanders are another step closer to getting rapid transit to the airport, with the start of construction to upgrade State Highway 20B to the airport, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. SH20B will be upgraded with additional lanes in each direction, dedicated to bus and high-occupancy vehicles between Pukaki Creek ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Advancing New Zealand’s trade agenda focus of Europe meetings
    World Trade Organisation reform, agricultural trade and a free trade agreement with the United Kingdom will be the focus of Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker’s visit to Europe this week. David Parker leaves on Tuesday for a series of meetings in the UK and Switzerland that aim ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit counterparts in US and Canada
    The Minister of Defence, Ron Mark, departed today for the United States and Canada where he will meet with his counterparts.  While in Canada Minister Mark will meet with his counterpart, Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan.  “New Zealand and Canada are close friends, and share an instinctive like-mindedness on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government to deliver family carers $2000 pay rise, expand scheme to spouses this year
    The Coalition Government is delivering this year the changes to Funded Family Care the disability sector has long-asked for, says Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa. “Today we are announcing the details of our big changes to Funded Family Care, including an annual average pay boost of $2,246.40 for funded ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ko te reo kua mū: Piri Sciascia
    Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta joins te ao Māori in their sorrow as they learn of the loss of one of the great orators and spokespersons of a generation – Piri Sciascia.  “The son of Pōrangahau was a staunch advocate for Māori development and served his people for over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister opens new ecosanctuary at Cape Farewell
    A new ecosanctuary with a predator proof fence on Golden Bay’s Cape Farewell, which will restore a safe home for sea birds, rare native plants, giant snails, and geckos, was officially opened today by the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “There has been a fantastic community effort supported by the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific partners work together to provide additional support to Australia
    The NZDF continues to support the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as it battles fires in Victoria and New South Wales, including by transporting Republic of Fiji Military engineers from Nadi to Australia, announced Defence Minister Ron Mark. On Saturday morning a NZDF Boeing 757 will depart New Zealand to uplift ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive PGF funding: A $9.88 million investment to begin the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt accounts in surplus, debt remains low
    The Government’s books are in good shape with the accounts in surplus and expenses close to forecast, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown accounts for the five months to November. The operating balance before gains and losses (OBEGAL) was above forecast by $0.7 billion resulting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Auckland focus for first Police graduation of 2020
    The number of Police on the Auckland frontline is increasing with the graduation today of a special locally-trained wing of new constables. Police Minister Stuart Nash says the graduation of eighteen officers from Recruit Wing 333-5 means that more than 1900 new Police have been deployed since the Coalition Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Wairarapa gets $7.11m PGF water boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund is putting $7.11 million into creating a sustainable water supply for Wairarapa, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The following two projects will receive Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) funding: A $7 million investment in Wairarapa Water Limited for the pre-construction development of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Progress with new Police station in Mahia
    Community safety and crime prevention in the East Coast community of Mahia has moved forward with the opening of a new Police station to serve the growing coastal settlement. Police Minister Stuart Nash has officially opened the new station, which was relocated almost 20 kilometres along the coast from the nearby ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Plans to protect the future of whitebaiting announced
    With several native whitebait species in decline the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage has today released proposals to standardise and improve management of whitebait across New Zealand. “The need for action for a healthy whitebait fishery has never been greater,” Eugenie Sage said.  “Four of the six whitebait species are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New resource for schools to increase awareness and understanding of climate change
    A new Ministry of Education resource available for schools in 2020 will increase awareness and understanding of climate change, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The resource, Climate Change – prepare today, live well tomorrow, will help students understand the effects of climate change at a local, national and global ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Getting more out of our most productive firms
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has approved the terms of reference for an Inquiry into the economic contribution of New Zealand's frontier firms. Frontier firms are the most productive firms in the domestic economy within their own industry. “These firms are important as they diffuse new technologies and business practices into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • NZDF sends more support to Australia
    The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is sending an Environmental Health Team, a Primary Health Care Team and a Chaplain to Australia, boosting New Zealand support for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as it battles bush fires in Victoria and New South Wales, Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand joins partners in calling for full investigation into air crash in Iran
    Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Winston Peters says that developments suggesting a surface-to-air missile is responsible for the downing of the Ukrainian International Airlines flight in Iran is disastrous news. “New Zealand offers its deepest sympathies to the families of the 176 victims. It is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Staying connected to Australian agriculture
    Agriculture Minister, Damien O’Connor, says the Ministry for Primary Industries is continuing to stay connected to federal authorities in Australia as devastating fires affect the country.  “The Ministry is using an existing trans-Tasman forum for discussions on the agricultural impact of the fires and the future recovery phase,” says Damien ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Investment in schools – a commitment to communities
    Thousands of school-age children, their teachers and wider communities are benefiting from the Government’s multi-million dollar investment upgrading and renewing schools, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “We want New Zealand to be the best place to be a child and that means learning in warm, comfortable and modern classrooms,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago