All aboard the charter schools gravy train

Written By: - Date published: 7:34 am, May 21st, 2016 - 32 comments
Categories: accountability, act, education, Hekia parata, national, schools - Tags: , ,

No surprise to find more organisations lining up to run charter schools:

ACT’s charter school policy will expand with seven new schools budgeted for

Seven new charter schools announced by the Government will cost taxpayers up to $600,000 each to set up.

The new schools will expand the flagship ACT policy that saw five schools open, mostly in Auckland and Northland in 2014 – one of which, in Whangaruru has since been closed by the Education Minister – and another four opened in 2015.

Te Pumanawa o te Wairua in Whangaruru was given a series of warnings and closed down in March after the school was plagued with problems, including bullying, drugs, poor student achievement and inadequate teaching.

In a move to overcome some of those issues, Seymour has also announced the introduction of an independent entity to support schools. … The support entity, E Tipu E Rea, would join other independent organisations such as the New Zealand School Trustees Association in providing support services, he said.

It would receive most of its funding from private sources and was designed to increase the number of “high quality applicants” setting up schools, and supporting existing schools to “continuously develop”. It would also receive a conditional funding grant of $500,000, which would be drawn from a “contingency established in 2015,” Seymour said. Former CEO of EY Australasia, Rob McLeod, will chair the board, which includes Dame Tariana Turia, Dame Jenny Gibbs, Michael Jones, Bruce Ritchie and Ken Rapson as board members. …

I/S at No Right Turn is pretty scathing of the new body:

Cronyism in action

So, the government has just announced that they will be establishing more charter schools – because clearly one failure resulting in a private company running off with millions of dollars of government funding isn’t enough. They’ve also announced a new “independent” entity to support them, run by ACT crony Jenny Gibbs and Maori Party crony Tariana Turia. So, pork all round for the support parties then.

Speaking of gravy trains:

School cash flows to owners’ pockets

Some of the country’s flagship charter schools are paying their owners hundreds of thousands in governance fees to help manage average rolls of just 70 children.

An analysis of audited financial returns has shown administration and management at the publicly funded, privately run schools form a large part of their costs – up to 40 per cent of total salaries.

Accounts for the first five schools show that four made “related party” payments to their sponsor trusts or companies last year. One school, Vanguard Military School, paid $309,391 for management, over and above what it paid its principal. The money went to the Advanced Training Group. Both entities are owned by the Hyde family.

All of the $14 million of charter school funding came from the Government, with none of the first five schools partnering with business or other private backers in the way envisaged under an election deal between National and the Act Party.

The money comes rolling in whether the schools meet their targets or not:

Charter schools given $60k in performance payments despite contract issues

Four charter schools were awarded $60,000 in performance payments last year, despite only one of them fully meeting the terms of their contracts.

The Labour Party says the decision “defeats the purpose” of the contracts, and underlines the disparities between the well-funded charter schools and their struggling state equivalents. …

It comes rolling in whether they have the student numbers or not:

Ministry says charter schools “over-funding” is $888,000

The Education Ministry says charter schools are getting a total of $888,000 more than they would if their funding were strictly based on their enrolments.

Seven of the nine schools had fewer students in September than their guaranteed minimum roll, meaning they are being paid for students they do not have. …

Charter schools are pretty nice work if you can get it, no wonder groups are lining up.

There’s no evidence that charter schools are good for education. Reviews are mixed. Numbers are cooked by reporting “Participation Based” pass rates and not “Roll Based” pass rates (poorly performing kids don’t take exams). And the Minister Hekia Parata vetoed Education Ministry advice so as to ensure that achievement results from charter schools are not compared with those of state schools (it’s “too soon” you see).

There may well be some good committed teachers at charter schools doing good things. They certainly have funding resources that far exceed state schools – in some cases “$27,000 in operational funding per student each year, compared with $7000 per student in state schools” – so they have the opportunity to do things that state schools can’t – if they use their funding on education instead of “governance fees”. But there is no evidence of this so far. And just imagine what state schools could do if they were funded at the same level, where the funding could have “the greatest impact on the greatest number of students”…

32 comments on “All aboard the charter schools gravy train ”

  1. madtom 1

    The charter schools profiteers do not give up easily, as this history of their fight with the voters in Washington State shows. I suspect there is behind-the-scenes synergy here, as the immediate working operators make bundles of cash, and the sit-back, big-wealth backers like Bill Gates (in this story) hope to extend their control of the public mind by adding k-12 education to their media and copyright ownership.

    [I taught high school & beyond in Washington for about 15 years, so I take this personally]

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/04/how-bill-gates-and-his-billionaire-allies-used-their-wealth-to-launch-charter-schools-in-washington-state.html

    • greywarshark 1.1

      This is some of the above article mentioned by madtom. It sounds familiar to us doesn’t it.
      http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/04/how-bill-gates-and-his-billionaire-allies-used-their-wealth-to-launch-charter-schools-in-washington-state.html
      Posted on April 27, 2016 by Yves Smith
      By Joanne Barkan. Originally published at the Nonprofit Quarterly (Spring 2016; vol. 23, no. 1)

      Charter supporters tried another ballot initiative in 2000, and, for the first time, attracted the backing of a multibillionaire philanthropist. Paul Allen had cofounded Microsoft in 1975 and The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation in 1988.3 The state places no limits on individual campaign contributions for ballot measures, so Allen was able to give $3.275 million of the total $3.4 million raised by the pro-charter side. Opponents raised only about $11,000. Outspent 309 to 1, they still defeated the initiative, although the millions given in support of charters shrank the margin of victory. The vote was 51.8 percent against charters and 48.2 percent in favor.4

      In the next four years, the national context shifted. The debate around public education intensified as a controversial market-based education-reform movement grew stronger. “Ed-reformers” claimed that U.S. public schools were failing; that the culprits were bad teachers, teachers unions, and government bureaucracy; and that the private sector, using public resources, could run better schools. They promoted competition among schools to force out the weakest and measuring educational success via students’ standardized test scores.
      (My bolding.)

  2. Keith 2

    Isn’t cute the way National make unhelpful stats just go away and even cuter bypass the collection of potentially bad stats by not collecting them at all.

    This poor value for money taxpayer funded largesse for friends of the government is clearly not working if statistic cover ups are in full swing, but i guess thats not what really matters, its divvying up the cash that does.

  3. NZJester 3

    Even before they opened the fist charter schools in New Zealand the data from those places having tried them overseas have shown that charter schools simply are not value for public money and in a lot of cases are a total waste of money. Those already known results seam to be matching what has been happening with charter schools in New Zealand.
    If that money had gone into public schools instead it would have improved education in New Zealand instead of lowering our education standards.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      Charter Schools the world over have nothing to do with improving educational outcomes but are simply another way to transfer public wealth into the hands of the rich. They have no other reason to exist.

  4. One Anonymous Bloke 4

    Gone by lunchtime, with a full audit and clawing back of all funds provided under false pretences (which if you ask me is 100%). The only way to Tory proof education is to inflict massive damages upon anyone who collaborates with the National Party.

    Make them lose their shirts and they’ll think twice next time. Same applies to the likes of SERCO and other corrupt trash.

    • Chuck 4.1

      No doubt OAB you will be the leader of the “hit squad” to round up “anyone who collaborates with the National Party”

      And then “inflict massive damages upon” them.

      Maybe even shave their heads??…so everyone knows they collaborated with the enemy 🙂

      • Nic the NZer 4.1.1

        No need. Once the gravy train dries up these companies dont want to be in the business of education and are hopelessly inefficient at it. If they are sensible they just fold immediately when a different govt is elected.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1.2

        Since when does “shirts” mean anything other than “money invested”?

        cf: the failed privatisation of ACC.

      • Stuart Munro 4.1.3

        Not their heads Chucky my lad, but their margins.

        Make them repay for non-performance – Brownlee would be in debt for a hundred lifetimes for the bollocks he’s made of Christchurch.

        Nick Smith – wouldn’t have a penny to his name, and Bill English? The whole family would have to be sold into slavery for a geological age – just to recoup the public money they’ve pissed away like the ketone laden residue of an after-match function.

  5. Jenny Kirk 5

    A particularly lousy aspect of what is already a lousy policy is that these seven charter schools will be paid for by money originally allocated to the state school system. So – the charter schools will flourish, and the state schools will deteriorate even further.

  6. tinfoilhat 6

    sigh…there is so much emotive disinformation on both sides of the charter school debate in NZ.

    • seeker 6.1

      @ tinfoilhat@10.22am

      Have you looked into this ’emotive disinformation’ to see whether or not it is ‘disinformation’ and if it is why one might become a tad ’emotive’ about it.
      Or have you just ‘sighed’ and used this phrase to dismiss this issue to yourself with indifferent arrogance and swagger. (because the issue does not affect you personally).

      Really tinfoilhat.

      • tinfoilhat 6.1.1

        @ seeker – I have posted substantively on this issue at this blog.

        disclosure: I am a long serving secondary teacher in the Auckland region.

        • seeker 6.1.1.1

          Thankyou for your reply tinfoil.
          I too have served long and hard as a primary and secondary teacher, and particularly within special education in the UK
          Special Education in the UK means meeting the full spectrum from those children with severe learning difficulties and all it entails ,right through to the very able or’gifted children..
          I do not have a tinfoil lhat……only great sadness at what this government and the UK government have been doing to education. The USA never really had my respect for their approach to public education.
          Am now retired and am really concerned for the young people of today growing up in the world created but what are now known as ‘neolibs’. These people are so enamoured of ‘the market’ that I think of them as ‘black marketeers’, especially with our children’s lives. But perhaps this is a little too emotive.

          Happy teaching. Perhaps you are still young enough to be able to get a chance to teach in ‘charter’ school . Please let us know what you think.

          • seeker 6.1.1.1.1

            Oops a few typos on my comment, main one should read:
            “by what are now known as neolibs”

          • maninthemiddle 6.1.1.1.2

            Your argument about the ‘market’ intervention in education is fallacious. Partnership schools are not-for-profit, so the market is only partially utilised here. But, mores the point, the ‘market’ has delivered education for far longer than has government. The ‘market’ also successfully delivers a swathe of other services to government, including health care, public transport, IT support, printing, roading and other infrastructure work.

            I suggest to you that most opposition to partnership schools is ideological, not evidence based, and I suggest the same thing is true of much support. I suggest a reasonable approach is to wait and see. As other posters have said, if they improve educational outcomes for their pupils, leave them open. If not, shut them. I only wish we had the same ruler applied to public schools.

            • joe90 6.1.1.1.2.1

              But, mores the point, the ‘market’ has delivered education for far longer than has government.

              Do you mean prior to governments providing public education when only the 1% could afford to educate their children?.

  7. ianmac 7

    The State schools BOT were paid $50 per meeting for 10 meetings per year. About $2,500 per year.
    It seems that Advanced paid out $309,399 for the same thing but with fewer than 100 kids.
    Gravy?

  8. Byd0nz 8

    Would a Marxist school of economics get a look in?

  9. McGrath 9

    For me the debate is simple. If pass rates are higher in charter schools, they should stay. If not, they should go.

    • Incognito 9.1

      For me the debate is simple. If charter schools do anything to deal with The Long Tail of Underachievement as they said they would, they should stay. If not, they should go.

    • mpledger 9.2

      There will always be excuses and evasions about what their results are. Just like there is at the moment.

      Charter Schools get to chose their students and there is no come back if they push out students e.g. they still keep the money that pays for educating that student even when they go back to the state school system.

      It’s a way for private companies to get their hands on tax dollars to take as profit.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 9.3

      For me the debate is simple: close them by lunchtime so that the next time the National Party tries to inflict its dogma upon children, potential investors are gunshy.

  10. AsleepWhileWalking 10

    In shape contrast…if you choose to home school your kid (a smaller version of a charter school imho) the State gives you just over $700/year per child.

  11. feijoa 11

    I also heard somewhere that an extra $7 million of STATE SCHOOL FUNDING is going to be REMOVED for these wretched schools. Think I heard it on TV in the last day or so.

    • Jenny Kirk 11.1

      Yes – I heard that too, feijoa. State school money going straight into private Charter Schools. This stinks. Its not that the govt has found extra funds from somewhere (a foreign trust maybe) for the new charter schools. They’re taking it from us – middle NZ – to pay for the elite !

  12. millsy 12

    Charter schools serve the following purposes:

    – The privatisation of education
    – The lowering of the working conditions and wages of teachers
    – The indoctrination of children and young people with neo-liberal and Calvinist ideology. whereby fundamentalist Christian pentecostalism and free market capitalism are the order of the day, and kids are taught not to question authority. Look at what is happening in the US, whereby most charter school are either run by churches or millionaires.

    The charter schools here are a military academy, where kids are taught to say yes sir, no sir and not question anything, and a christian school, where kids are taught that the earth and mankind were created, women are baby vessels and LGBTI people are vermin that are fit only for extermination.

  13. marsman 13

    Thank you Anthony for your clear description of yet another neo-liberal scam.

    I want to post this article on my Facebook page but somehow that is not working. Any suggestions?

  14. Jack Ramaka 14

    Sounds like one big scam, surely the Education Department is sorting our problems and under achievement in schools in NZ, in 1907-1908 the Native schools in NZ were on par if not better than the European schools in NZ, so we have obviously gone backwards in the past 100 years. Why are we trying to re-invent the wheel?

  15. M. Gray 15

    You can’t and shouldn’t have different levels of accountability when you are using tax dollars the charter schools need to be accountable , transparent and subjected to the same scrutiny as public and other private schools otherwise get rid of them

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    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    6 days ago
  • Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
    Photo by Mathias Elle on UnsplashIt’s that new day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for our chat about the week’s news with special guests:5.00 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    6 days ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on how moderates empower the political right
    Struth, what a week. Having made sure the rural sector won’t have to pay any time soon for its pollution, PM Christopher Luxon yesterday chose Fieldays 2024 to launch a parliamentary inquiry into rural banking services, to see how the banks have been treating farmers faced with high interest rates. ...
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Thursday, June 13
    In April, 17,656 people left Aotearoa-NZ to live overseas, averaging 588 a day, with just over half of those likely to have gone to Australia. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Thursday, June 13 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Our guide to having your say on the draft RLTP 2024
    Auckland’s draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) 2024 is open for feedback – and you only have until Monday 17 June to submit. Do it! Join the thousands of Aucklanders who are speaking up for wise strategic investment that will dig us out of traffic and give us easy and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    7 days ago
  • The China puzzle
    Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrives in Wellington today for a three-day visit to the country. The visit will take place amid uncertainty about the future of the New Zealand-China relationship. Li hosted a formal welcome and then lunch for then-Prime Minister Chris Hipkins in Beijing a year ago. The pair ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    7 days ago
  • Fossil fuels are shredding our democracy
    This is a re-post of an article from the Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler published on June 3, 2024. I have an oped in the New York Times (gift link) about this. For a long time, a common refrain about the energy transition was that renewable energy needed to become ...
    7 days ago
  • Life at 20 kilometres an hour
    We are still in France, getting from A to B.Possibly for only another week, though; Switzerland and Germany are looming now. On we pedal, towards Budapest, at about 20 km per hour.What are are mostly doing is inhaling a country, loving its ways and its food. Rolling, talking, quietly thinking. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Hipkins is still useless
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Exercising with the IDF.
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    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Helm Hammerhand Anime: First Pictures and an Old English ‘Hera’
    We have some news on the upcoming War of the Rohirrim anime. It will apparently be two and a half hours in length, with Peter Jackson as Executive Producer, and Helm’s daughter Hera will be the main character. Also, pictures: The bloke in the middle picture is Freca’s ...
    1 week ago
  • Farmers get free pass on climate AND get subsidies
    The cows will keep burping and farting and climate change will keep accelerating - but farmers can stop worrying about being included in the ETS. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Wednesday, June 12 were:The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Six ideas to secure Te Huia’s Future
    This is a guest post by our friend Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which features “musings about public transport and other cool stuff in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and around the globe.” With Te Huia now having funding secure through to 2026, now is ...
    Greater AucklandBy Darren Davis
    1 week ago
  • The methane waka sinks
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    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • At a glance – Does positive feedback necessarily mean runaway warming?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Farmers get what they wanted – for now
    Since entering office, National has unravelled practically every climate policy, leaving us with no effective way of reducing emissions or meeting our emissions budgets beyond magical thinking around the ETS. And today they've announced another step: removing agriculture entirely. At present, following the complete failure of he waka eka noa, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Presumed Innocent?
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    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on our doomed love affair with oil and gas
    What if New Zealand threw a fossil fuel party, and nobody came? On the weekend, Resources Minister Shane Jones sent out the invitations and strung up the balloons, but will anyone really want to invest big time in resuming oil and gas exploration in our corner of the planet? Yes, ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Building better housing insights
    This is a guest post by Meredith Dale, senior urban designer and strategist at The Urban Advisory. There’s a saying that goes something like: ‘what you measure is what you value’. An RNZ article last week claimed that Auckland was ‘hurting’ because of a more affordable supply of homes, particularly townhouses ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • Putin would be proud of them
    A Prime Minister directs his public service to inquire into the actions of the opposition political party which is his harshest critic. Something from Orban's Hungary, or Putin's Russia? No, its happening right here in Aotearoa: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Public Service Commission will launch an ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths
    This is a repost from a Yale Climate Connections article by SueEllen Campbell published on June 3, 2024. The articles listed can help you tell fact from fiction when it comes to solar and wind energy. Some statements you hear about solar and wind energy are just plain false. ...
    1 week ago
  • Juggernaut
    Politics were going on all around us yesterday, and we barely noticed, rolling along canal paths, eating baguettes. It wasn’t until my mate got to the headlines last night that we learned there had been a dismayingly strong far right result in the EU elections and Macron had called a ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Numbers Game.
    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    1 week ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 10
    TL;DR: The six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty in the past day to 8:36 pm on Monday, June 10 were:20,000 protested against the Fast-track approval bill on Saturday in Auckland, but PM Christopher Luxon says ‘sorry, but not sorry’ about the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • In Defence of Kāinga Ora
    Given the headlines around the recent findings of the ‘independent’ review of Kāinga Ora by Bill English, you might assume this post will be about social housing, Kāinga Ora’s most prominent role. While that is indeed something that requires defending, I want to talk about the other core purpose of ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Baby You're A Rich Man
    “How does it feel to beOne of the beautiful peopleNow that you know who you areWhat do you want to beAnd have you traveled very far?Far as the eye can see”Yesterday the ACT party faithful were regaled with craven boasts, sneers, and demands for even more at their annual rally.That ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Stopping a future Labour government from shutting down gas exploration
    A defiant Resources Minister Shane Jones has responded to Saturday’s environmental protests by ending Labour’s offshore oil exploration ban and calling for long-term contracts with any successful explorers. The purpose would be to prevent a future Labour Government from reversing any licence the explorers might hold. Jones sees a precedent ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #23
    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 2, 2024 thru Sat, June 8, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is Yale Climate Connection's Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths, by ...
    1 week ago
  • Fission by the river
    This is where we ate our lunch last Wednesday. Never mind your châteaux and castles and whatnot, we like to enjoy a baguette in the shadow of a nuclear power plant; a station that puts out more than twice as much as Manapouri using nothing more than tiny atoms to bring ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 weeks ago

  • Major business deals signed on PM’s Japan trip
    Significant business deals have been closed during the visit of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to Japan this week, including in the areas of space, renewable energy and investment.  “Commercial deals like this demonstrate that we don’t just export high-quality agricultural products to Japan, but also our world-class technology, expertise, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Strategic Security speech, Tokyo
    Minasan, konnichiwa, kia ora and good afternoon everyone. Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today and thank you to our friends at the Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies and NEC for making this event possible today.  It gives me great pleasure to be here today, speaking with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
    The National Infrastructure Pipeline, which provides a national view of current or planned infrastructure projects, from roads, to water infrastructure, to schools, and more, has climbed above $120 billion, Infrastructure Minister Chris Bishop says. “Our Government is investing a record amount in modern infrastructure that Kiwis can rely on as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Making it easier to build infrastructure
    The Government is modernising the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk announced today. An independent panel will undertake an eight-week review of the Act and advise on common sense changes to enable large scale public works to be built faster and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ enhances North Korea sanctions monitoring
    New Zealand will enhance its defence contributions to monitoring violations of sanctions against North Korea, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced today.  The enhancement will see the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) increase its contributions to North Korea sanctions monitoring, operating out of Japan. “This increase reflects the importance New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Speech to Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference
    Good afternoon everyone. It’s great to be with you all today before we wrap up Day One of the annual Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference. Thank you to the organisers and sponsors of this conference, for the chance to talk to you about the upcoming health and safety consultation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Ōtaki to north of Levin alliance agreements signed
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed an important milestone for the Ōtaki to north of Levin Road of National Significance (RoNS), following the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) signing interim alliance agreements with two design and construction teams who will develop and ultimately build the new expressway.“The Government’s priority for transport ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Improvements to stopping Digital Child Exploitation
    The Department of Internal Affairs [Department] is making a significant upgrade to their Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, which blocks access to websites known to host child sexual abuse material, says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “The Department will incorporate the up-to-date lists of websites hosting child sexual ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New vaccine research aims to combat prevalent bovine disease
    A vaccine to prevent an infectious disease that costs New Zealand cattle farmers more than $190 million each year could radically improve the health of our cows and boost on-farm productivity, Associate Agriculture Minister Andrew Hoggard says. The Ministry for Primary Industries is backing a project that aims to develop ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
    New Zealand and Philippines are continuing to elevate our relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “The leaders of New Zealand and Philippines agreed in April 2024 to lift our relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership by 2026,” Mr Peters says. “Our visit to Manila this week has been an excellent ...
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    1 week ago
  • Paid Parental Leave increase to help families
    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Brooke van Velden says paid parental leave increase from 1 July will put more money in the pockets of Kiwi parents and give them extra support as they take precious time off to bond with their newborns. The increase takes effect from 1 July 2024 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Defence increases UN Command commitment
    The number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is increasing, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.  NZDF will deploy up to 41 additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand to attend 'Summit on Peace in Ukraine' in Switzerland
    New Zealand will be represented at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine by Minister Mark Mitchell in Switzerland later this week.    “New Zealand strongly supports Ukraine’s efforts to build a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Minister Mitchell is a senior Cabinet Minister and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Big step forward for M.bovis programme
    Farmers’ hard work is paying off in the fight against Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) with the move to a national pest management plan marking strong progress in the eradication effort, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The plan, approved by the Coalition Government, was proposed by the programme partners DairyNZ, Beef ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Build To Rent opening welcomed by Housing Minister
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Housing Minister Chris Bishop formally opened a new Build to Rent development in Mt Wellington this morning. “The Prime Minister and I were honoured to cut the ribbon of Resido, New Zealand’s largest Build to Rent development to date.  “Build to Rent housing, like the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Agriculture to come out of the ETS
    The Government will deliver on its election commitment to take agriculture out of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) and will establish a new Pastoral Sector Group to constructively tackle biogenic methane, Coalition Government Agriculture and Climate Change Ministers say. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand farmers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Luxon Tokyo-bound for political and business visit
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will travel to Japan from 16-20 June, his first visit as Prime Minister.   “Japan is incredibly important to New Zealand's prosperity. It is the world’s fourth largest economy, and our fourth largest export destination.  “As you know, growing the economy is my number one priority. A strong economy means ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago

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