Absolutely damning

Written By: - Date published: 6:04 pm, December 30th, 2011 - 25 comments
Categories: national/act government, Parliament - Tags: , , ,

Last month, I highlighted the new Internal Administration Circular 11-10 [PDF], which requires immigration officials not to record reasons for their decisions, in violation of both the right to justice and the Public Records Act. I was curious about how the Department of Labour had come up with a policy which apparently violates New Zealand law, so I asked them, requesting all advice and communications on its drafting, including any legal advice on its consistency with the Public Records Act or on Immigration New Zealand’s ability to defend a challenge to its decisions. Today I received a fat packet of emails and drafts – and they are absolutely damning.

The first point to note is that the offending clause was a rather late addition. The first draft of the revised circular took exactly the opposite approach, requiring a full rationale which

should show that the Immigration Officer has taken into consideration all the relevant facts of the case and has come to a logical, reasonable decision based on those facts.

This was then meant to be checked by a second officer to ensure quality decision-making. The first thing to go was the second-party check, after concerns were raised about it not matching existing practice (“officers make their own decisions”). The discussion email [PDF] calls this a “classic quality vs timeliness issue” – and the Department seems to have decided on timeliness.As for the recording of reasons for decisions, according to the timeline provided [DOC], this decision was made in early July after concerns were raised by “Resolutions” [PDF]. The immigration officers concerned wereremarkably frank about their reasons [PDF]:

[Resolutions] strongly feel that including rationale just opens us up to the risk of judicial review and ombudsman complaints.

And the ultimate reason for excluding them?

I wouldn’t want to make it mandatory to put something (rationale) in AMS [DoL’s database] which is likely to generate more work and complaints for branches.

Yes, that’s right: they did it explicitly in an effort to thwart complaints.There were no drafting instructions or Ministerial signoff for this decision. The new circular was developed by a business analyst, who according to the cover email [PDF] decided to “just forge ahead and redraft [it] and see if people scream”. There was no legal advice on its consistency with the Public Records Act, and the matter is never raised in any of the email discussion – though in their cover letter the Department asserts consistency, maintaining that the note that a decision has been made is enough for compliance:

In the Department’s view, the recent guidance around section 61 clearly articulates the most prudent business practice in terms of recording decision making under section 61 given that section 61 decisions are made in an officer’s absolute discretion.

In my view, this conflates prudent business practice around avoiding complaints with prudent business practice around records management. But that, I guess, is ultimately a decision for the Chief Archivist to decide.All-up, we have a government department which has acted deliberately to thwart judicial and Ombudsman oversight, for reasons of its own convenience, apparently in violation of New Zealand law. The question is whether the Minister will act – or whether he will effectively endorse this situation with his silence.

25 comments on “Absolutely damning”

  1. Good work again by IS.  The only description I can come up with is Kafkaesque.

    Hopefully the first person who receives a refusal under section 61 will have the ability to take it on Judicial Review. And seek costs from the Solicitor General.

  2. Ari 2

    A government department’s job is not to avoid complaints, it is to address them where necessary.

  3. randal 3

    disney special.
    hotdogs, candyfloss, popcorn.

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    Screw the Minister, will the MSM act.

  5. QoT 5

    This entire thing is just fucking ridiculous. That the decision was taken at all, that it was taken in this way, that some fucking business analyst just went “oh well, let’s speed things up” … modern capitalist money-over-everything attitudes at work, people. Which I’m sure the usual suspects will think is just fine and dandy since it won’t affect them or their friends personally.

  6. BLiP 6

    In the Department’s view, the recent guidance around section 61 clearly articulates the most prudent business practice in terms of recording decision making under section 61 given that section 61 decisions are made in an officer’s absolute discretion.

    Last time I looked, the DoL was a government department. Has something changed?

    PS: thanks IS, nice work.

  7. Sanctuary 7

    Reading that background material is fascinating. I am struck by the very poor quality of the senior management decision making process. It seems to provide evidence of the alarmingly narrow higher education path typically followed by our managerial class in this country. This Kathy Tait – the “Acting” Team Manager for immigration NZ – freely admits that for her it is “so complicated with so many different things to consider” and it is “quite hard to make decisions” and even though this is an apparently important email she says things like “I remember thinking (what you said) it seemed logical but I can’t remember what it was…” She has most likely, it seems to me, never heard of the public records act or considered anything from outside a very narrow text-book process driven model that she was taught at whatever qualification authority stamped her out. This ignorance doesn’t prevent her from happily taking responsibility for trying to drive a steam roller of perverve convenience through our democratic right to know and their duty of PUBLIC office.

    And that to me is the most depressing revelation of all, that in the 21st century our (presumably) ambitious senior managers are still dangerously narrowly (and poorly) educated technocrats who are ignorant of history, and who don’t understand or seemingly care about the wider implications of their decisions.

  8. Draco T Bastard 8

    …and the Department seems to have decided on timeliness.

    No, they’ve decided upon cost cutting. Having decisions checked costs extra.

    Yes, that’s right: they did it explicitly in an effort to thwart complaints.

    That’s not really surprising. Complaints cost extra as well.

    The question is whether the Minister will act – or whether he will effectively endorse this situation with his silence.

    As this government has been cutting funding to government departments at a guess I’d say that the minister will remain silent.

    • QoT 8.1

      Psht, Draco, they obviously have only the best intentions – after all, if complaints drop, and complaints resolved against the Department drop even further, it must just mean the Department is working perfectly!

      • lprent 8.1.1

        I can see that you are destined for higher things. Saying yes minister for instance….

        • Colonial Viper 8.1.1.1

          Seriously need a ‘like’ button.

        • QoT 8.1.1.2

          I can neither confirm nor deny having watched a lot of a certain classic comedy series recently …

          • lprent 8.1.1.2.1

            I can neither confirm nor deny that a US cloud server just woke up and requested a torrent of a certain classic comedy series after a ssh bash session talked to it. But VideoEzy might get my cash if they have the first series on the shelf when I get home.

            When are we going to have a online Netflix equivalent here? Then I don’t have to piss around with shopping expeditions and frigging scratched disks, or deluging torrents, or both.

            Damn – now I’m sidetracking. Anyone want to write a guest post?

  9. Last year it was reported shamefully that a fifth of immigration decisions were considered ‘poor and questionable’. That’s 21.8% of around 50,000 permanent applications and around 130,000 temporary applications, but it was okay because it was an improvement on what was previously 29.1%.

    Could you imagine any other government department (say the IRD or even the army) being allowed to have such shameful statistics? It wouldn’t be accepted and it should not be here, especially when you consider that migrants entering applications are often spending over $25,000, giving up their homes and risking their careers by moving here.

    With this error rate migration is not for the faint-hearted.

    So now we see how the department is planning on improving statistics if not performance – by hiding the reasons for decisions. I’ve already come across one associated department which confirmed that it “tended not to write things down” (which caused me all kinds of problems in getting Official Information and lodging complaints with the Ombudsman) and it’s obviously spreading.

    Immigration decisions must be transparent, correct and fair. The right of individuals, no matter what their status, to challenge and question decisions through the proper channels is vital.

    The department has a serious problem with staff retention and people can be on the job working on incredibly important, life-changing applications after less than a weeks training. With the high error rate, lack of experienced staff and importance of the decisions being made it makes perfect sense to have all decisions checked by another officer.

    Rather than accept silence from the Minister I’ll be writing to ask specifically what is to be done about this. The new Minister (Nathan Guy) is an unknown quantity and this will be an interesting opening conversation.

    Mike
    move2nz.com 

  10. randal 10

    its obvious that we are in the hands of post modern idiots.
    only their own truths count and service is when you get a smile with your latte.
    the nashnil gubmint are no better either.
    being in government for them is seeing how much you can rip off before the next election so really it is a gubmint of noo noo heads.
    its amazing in the age of information how much of it just gets chucked in the dustbin because no one has any desire to exert themselves except for themselves.

  11. just saying 11

    Where is our extremely well-paid Human Rights Commission on issues like this?
    Drawing up wish lists over their expensive lunch meetings? Nibbling canapes at goverment functions? On fact-finding overseas trips?

    Just generally doing sweet bugger-all, while creating the semblance of being a watchdog on behalf of those with little power, in my experience. And yes I know our human rights legislation is pathetic. Still…

    I’d like to see these bullshit watch-licky-puppy organisations axed completely They do much more harm than good in creating the illusion that NZ is doing something about human rights. They won’t be no matter how austere the governments cost-cutting plans, because bleach is an essential government tool for getting out those pesky bloodstains, and covering up the stench of brutality and decay.

    On a more positive note, Idiot Savant is a national treasure.

  12. prism 12

    The standard of government we have is being whiteanted. One wonders how many other departments pass documents around giving themselves permission to run things how they damn well like.

    The absence of civics in schools might be at the bottom of how a ‘business analyst’, who one supposes would be a citizen of this country, can have such a lame idea of how government runs and rules itself. Expedience is not the main motto on our badge of honour.

    • Carol 12.1

      I agree with your comment, prism, except that I would add (word in italics):

      can have such a lame idea of how democratic government runs and rules itself.

      Actually, a democratic government shouldn’t totally be running itself, but should always be accountable to the citizenry/electorate. But these current NActs have shown a widespread disregard for democratic process and the necessary checks and balances. This is at least partly due to the neoliberal mindset that elevates business practices above any other. They aren’t really concerned about democracy or related ethics.

  13. andrew 13

    The way I read the information is that reasons are still going to be written down – and will appear on the file – but not going on the newly designed standard template form. Not too sure how this – not writing down reasons on the template – would reduce complaints, potential review by the Ombudsman or judicial review in the courts, but the story perhaps is not as “damning” as first at sight. Or have I got something wrong? It is a worrisome still, should err on the side of creating and keeping records. If there’s not a clear paper record much harder for a department to respond to an allegation it acted irrationally, arbitrary or without reason. But not creating records, not writing things down is an issue across government. Haven’t checked but I don’t think the Public Records Act comes into it. The Act doesn’t oblige the creation of written records just says records cannot be destroy already created records without a declaration from the Chief Archivist… or it’s a criminal offence. The Act isn’t enforced rigorously internally or externally on government departments. Most officials haven’t heard of something called the “Public Records Act”. Ever seen what goes into those destruction bins without any thought?

    It’s worth praising the Department for the release of the information, perhaps not so much the Department but the officials involved, and particular praise for those (not all) willing for their names also to be released in the email trail. It is very easy for officials to play games with the Official Information Act. Its operation really depends on the integrity of officials. The Act (and state sector itself) provides many routes that allow officials to hide themselves behind and hide information.

    Some departments would not give out such material at first instance. You would have to put up a fight, and still then chances are you still wouldn’t get it. Many departments would have been declined the request (and cited a whole lot of grounds) or the information would have completely sanitised of any detail. I think the willingness and the fact the information was released undercuts the “absolutely damning” claim.

    • GregJ 13.1

      Actually the PRA does oblige the creation of records under Section 17 – Requirement to create and maintain records. This is further expanded on by the mandatory standard S.7: Create and Maintain Standard (available on the Archives New Zealand website).

      The Act is format neutral so other relevant standards are likely to be S8: Electronic Recordkeeping Metadata Standard (another mandatory standard) and S.5: Digital Recordkeeping Standard.

      All Public Offices are subject to audit on compliance with the Act (on a 5 year cycle) and an annual report on Audits has to be tabled in the House by the Minister (the first audits were due to be done in 2010-2011). Most Chief Executives take mentions of their Departments in House reports fairly seriously so if it is bought to ArNZ attention officially and raised with DoL I would have imagined it might cause some reaction. (Actually I know that this has been picked up on various recordkeeping fora and email lists so ArNZ will be unofficially “aware” of this – although I haven’t seen an official response from Archives New Zealand or any indication of whether it has been raised officially with them).

      Records Management staff within Public Offices are generally very well informed on their organisation’s obligations under the Act but whether they are always able to get the ear of senior managers and policy staff is another matter – when the Chief Archivist was also a Departmental Chief Executive they used to be able to talk fairly directly with other Chief Executives about issues like this when they arose – whether that is as easy now the CA is a 3rd tier manager in DIA is another matter.

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  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    1 week ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    1 week ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    1 week ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    1 week ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 weeks ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is this study legit? 5 questions to ask when reading news stories of medical research
    Hassan Vally, La Trobe University Who doesn’t want to know if drinking that second or third cup of coffee a day will improve your memory, or if sleeping too much increases your risk of a heart attack? We’re invested in staying healthy and many of us are interested in reading ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago

  • World-first plan for farmers to reduce emissions
    The Government and farming sector leaders have agreed to a world-first partnership to reduce primary sector emissions in one of the most significant developments on climate action in New Zealand's history. Today farming leaders and the Government announced a plan to join forces to develop practical and cost-effective ways to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 mins ago
  • More homes where they are needed
    More houses for homeless New Zealanders are being opened today in Tauranga by Associate Housing Minister Kris Faafoi. Six 2-bedroom quality units are being opened at 878 Cameron Road by Minister Faafoi and Accessible Properties, a local Community Housing Provider (CHP). Accessible Properties now provides more than 1,700 community housing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Minister of Finance and Sport and Recreation to visit Japan and Vietnam
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson departs tomorrow for events and meetings in Japan and Vietnam.  While in Japan, he will discuss economic and fiscal issues including meeting with the Minister of Finance, Taro Aso, and Minister of Economic and Fiscal Policy, Yasutoshi Nishimura. He will meet with the Minister of Education, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Dashboard tracks housing progress
    The Government’s Housing Dashboard released today confirms record numbers of state houses are under construction and shows the Government build programme is gaining momentum.  “After nine years of inaction, and a hands-off attitude from the previous government we’re starting to see things move in the right direction for housing,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Ministerial Statement on the International Convention Centre fire
    Mr Speaker, I wish to make a ministerial statement relating to the Auckland fire. The Government is closely monitoring the situation with the fire at the NZ International Convention Centre and is thankful that everyone is now safe. Firefighters are doing an incredible job managing the fire and bringing it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Government invests in Te Reo, environmental data research
    The Government is investing in ambitious research that will digitise Te Reo, grow the low-carbon protein efficient aquaculture industry, help interpret environmental trends, and large data sets says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. The four projects range from teaching Siri to speak Te Reo to crunching large environmental ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government announces next steps as part of a comprehensive plan to fix skills gap
    A new education-to-employment brokerage service to strengthen connections between local employers and schools. Funding for more trades focused ‘speed-dating’ events to connect schools with employers. Promotional campaign to raise profile of vocational education. The Government is taking action to increase the number of young people taking up vocational education and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Corrections Amendment Bill passes third reading
    A Bill to improve prison security and ensure the fair, safe, and humane treatment of people in prison while upholding public safety has passed its third reading. Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says the Corrections Amendment Bill makes a number of changes to ensure the Corrections Act 2004 is fit for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Ngāi Tahu CEO appointed to NZ-China Council
    Minister for Māori Development, Nanaia Mahuta, has selected Arihia Bennett MNZM, Chief Executive Officer of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, as the Te Puni Kōkiri appointed representative on the New Zealand-China Council. The New Zealand-China Council (the Council) was established in 2012 as a New Zealand led and funded organisation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Southern Response claims move to EQC
    Responsibility for processing the small number of Southern Response claims still to be settled will be transferred to EQC by the end of the year. “As claim numbers reduce, it no longer makes sense for the Crown to have two organisations processing the remaining Canterbury claims,” Grant Robertson says. “Since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Bowel screening starts in Whanganui
    Health Minister David Clark is encouraging Whanganui residents to take up the opportunity for free bowel screening, which can detect cancer early when it’s easier to treat.   Over the next two years 12,000 Whanganui locals, aged 60 to 74 will be invited to participate in the National Bowel Screening ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Pacific Peoples Minister to attend Our Ocean Conference in Norway
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, heads to Oslo today to represent New Zealand at the sixth Our Ocean Conference, which is being hosted by the Norwegian Government from the 23-24 October. “The Our Ocean Conference mobilises real action on issues like marine plastic pollution and the impacts of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government announces 27 percent increase in Trades Academy places
    Two secondary-school initiatives are being expanded as part of the Government’s plan to see more young New Zealanders take up a trade to help close the skills gap.   This includes the largest single increase in Trades Academy places in recent years. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures Conference: Connection...
    Session 4: Pacific Connectivity – Youth, Media and New Opportunities   Kia ora tatou katoa and Warm Pacific greetings to one and all. Representatives of Tainui, the local people of the land, or manawhenua – the indigenous peoples of this area – have welcomed you this morning in accordance with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago