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All that is wrong with America’s democracy

Written By: - Date published: 10:46 am, November 10th, 2018 - 40 comments
Categories: articles, Deep stuff, democracy under attack, democratic participation, elections, International, Politics, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, us politics, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: ,

If this was a third world nation the UN would have sent in election observers. Such is the state of American politics and the politicisation of its electoral system as shown by the recent midterm elections.

There are many examples, Texan voting machings flipping votes from Beto to Ted Cruz, the most astounding gerrymandered electorates possible, and the shutting down of polling stations in Democrat strongholds to make it that much more difficult for people to vote. No wonder than even in a good year less than half of eligible voters actual exercise their democratic rights.

But one example really struck a nerve with me. The example was the Georgian governor’s race where the Democrat candidate Stacey Abrams, a black woman, looks like she may have only just fallen short in her attempt to become the first black governor in a state whose history was mired in slavery and where the force of the Voting Rights Act was required to force that state to begrudgingly start to respect that most basic of human rights.

The Republican candidate, Brian Kemp, proudly billed himself as a Trump conservative. He was Georgia’s secretary of state and even though he was a candidate and had so much hanging on the result he continued to oversee the elections in that state. So much for independent and impartial oversight.

Here is the kicker. For the past few years Abrams has been busy doing her best to make sure that as many people as possible could exercise their democratic rights, and for many years Kemp has been doing his best to make sure they couldn’t.

From Carol Anderson in the New Atlantic:

Kemp had no intention of relinquishing a post he has held since 2010, and often wields as a weapon to cull Georgia’s electorate. He understood that he would need every trick in the book because he was up against a woman who, in addition to serving as the minority leader of the state’s House of Representatives from 2011 to 2017, founded a formidable voter-registration organization, the New Georgia Project.

Several years ago, Abrams noticed that the state’s demographics were changing quickly, as minorities made up an increasing share of the age-eligible electorate. Abrams noticed, as well, that more than half a million black Georgians were not registered to vote. In 2013, as the executive director of the New Georgia Project, she set out to “register and civically engage the rising electorate in our state.”

When tens of thousands of voter-registration cards poured into Kemp’s office, he heard warning bells. He told the media that “we’re just not going to put up with fraud,” and launched a highly publicized investigation into Abrams’s organization. While accusations of criminality hung in the air, however, he relayed a very different story to his fellow Republicans. Kemp explained to them in 2014 that “Democrats are working hard, and all these stories about them, you know, registering all these minority voters that are out there and others that are sitting on the sidelines, if they can do that, they can win these elections in November.”

The claim of voter fraud, it seems, was a ruse to try to intimidate the New Georgia Project, Abrams, and black voters with criminal prosecution. It didn’t work. Abrams, a Yale-educated attorney, knew the laws, knew that the New Georgia Project had not broken any, and stood her ground. Kemp was forced to walk away, unable to even charge her or the organization with any violations. (A countersuit by the New Georgia Project alleging voter suppression was thrown out.)

Greg Palast has been doing a lot of work in the area tracking Kemp’s actions including publicising the fact that potentially hundreds of thousands of voters were removed from the electoral rolls. His conclusion?

If you do look at the numbers, it’s impossible to imagine that Abrams wouldn’t have won outright if everyone who is entitled to vote could vote. If all the provisional ballots are counted, if all the absentee ballots are counted, I don’t have any doubt about what the outcome would be or would have been.”

And how he formed this conclusion?

Brian Kemp, Georgia’s secretary of state, purged 550,702 Georgians from the voter rolls in 2016 and 2017 — that is, canceled their registrations. I’m not guessing. After much resistance, Kemp turned over the names and addresses of each one of these purged voters in response to a threat of a federal lawsuit (which I filed in federal court in Atlanta and served on Kemp Friday).

Of these, we are certain that 340,134 were wrongly removed, with no notice that they were purged. I want to thank Salon for your report, which went viral, letting Georgians know my foundation had listed all the names of the purged at GregPalast.com. Unfortunately, there were only a couple of days left to re-register, but it appears that thousands did so.

That still leaves hundreds of thousands disenfranchised. If they show up to vote on Nov. 6 — though they won’t get notices of polling places, nor get absentee ballots if requested — they can only receive “provisional ballots,” with little or no chance they will be counted.

How did Kemp pull off this mass purge? He moved voters from his state’s so-called “inactive” list to “canceled,” based on his assertion they had all moved out of the state or out of their county.

But they hadn’t moved. According to a team of experts led by John Lenzer, CEO of CohereOne, 340,134 had never moved at all. Lenzer led a group of the nation’s top “advanced address hygiene” professionals, who use dozens of databases (including deep post office files) to know exactly where every American lives. Our experts advise companies like American Express to make sure you get your bill (or find you if you don’t pay).

As Lenzer told me of the 340,134 Georgians, “They hadn’t moved, and they should not have been removed from the voter rolls.”

How could Kemp assert these voters had moved? Each one was “guilty” of missing the 2014 and 2016 elections, and they failed to return a postcard. The postcard looks like junk mail; most people throw it away. Kemp argues, correctly, that the Supreme Court said states could use this procedure — but only so long as the state had a good-faith basis to believe voters have moved.

Kemp sent the “inactive-to-canceled” list to counties to check the accuracy of the list, knowing damn well the counties don’t have the experts and resources to do this.

The people disenfranchised included a cousin of Martin Luther King who was involved in the original movement to gain the vote back in the 1960s.

There were other administrative ruses.  Like requiring signatures of late enrolees to actually match other recorded signatures.  When this decision was made it was clear that Kemp was just mucking around with people’s rights to vote.

These were not the only underhand tactics that Kemp engaged in.  When it was discovered that the state’s electoral data had been potentially compromised he accused the Democrats of hacking the site.  Wonderful tactics.  Deflect attention from the obvious question, how come he sucked so badly at his job to allow this to happen, with an attack on the other side.

From PR Lockhart at Vox:

In the final days of Georgia’s tight governor race between Republican candidate Brian Kemp and Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams, things are heating up.

Kemp, who is Georgia’s secretary of state and also the chief officer overseeing the election, has been repeatedly accused by Democrats and civil rights groups of trying to influence the results. However, on Sunday, Kemp accused Democrats of attempting to hack the state’s voter registration system — a claim that has rankled Democrats.

“While we cannot comment on the specifics of an ongoing investigation, I can confirm that the Democratic Party of Georgia is under investigation for possible cyber crimes,” Candice Broce, a spokesperson for Kemp’s office, said in a statement on Sunday. “We can also confirm that no personal data was breached and our system remains secure.”

And what actually happened?  Again from Vox:

When Kemp was made aware of the issue, he released the statement accusing Georgia Democrats of trying to break into the system. Democrats have maintained that the cybersecurity experts simply reviewed the websites and did not attempt to hack the state’s registration system.

Election experts like UC Irvine law professor Richard Hasen criticized the allegations and accused Kemp of voter manipulation and engaging in “some banana republic stuff” in a Slate article published Sunday. Georgia Democrats called the probe “a reckless and unethical ploy,” adding that the FBI was being used to support “false accusations.”

And during a Monday appearance on Good Morning America, Kemp’s opponent Stacey Abrams, who is running to become the first black woman governor in the US, argued that Kemp “cooked up the charge, because he realizes, once again, he left the personal information of six million voters vulnerable,” citing previous data leaks during Kemp’s eight-year tenure. Later in the day, Abrams added that Kemp was “abusing his power” by launching the probe so close to the election.

Apart from baseless smears and the mass disenfranchisement of people of colour what else did Kemp do?  He made it as difficult as possible for votes to be recorded in Abrams friendly areas.  Like not providing power.

And keeping voting machines under lock and key so that people had to queue for hours to vote.

From Amy Gardner at the Washington Post:

Another problem was the limited number of voting machines in some locations. More than 1,800 machines sat idle in storage in three of the state’s largest and most heavily Democratic counties. In Fulton County, according to figures provided by elections director Rick Barron, the ratio of machines to registered voters was lower than it had been in 2014, despite predictions that turnout was likely to break records for a midterm election.

While some voters waited in hours-long lines in Fulton County, 700 of those machines sat in stacks in a warehouse in downtown Atlanta, Barron said. The machines were sidelined because they are evidence in a lawsuit alleging the equipment had been exposed to the threat of hacking in 2016.

The federal judge in the case had ordered state and local election officials — including Kemp — and the plaintiffs to weigh the demands of upcoming elections in deciding how many machines to set aside.

In an interview, Barron said more machines “would have made a huge impact on operations yesterday” and acknowledged that “it would have been a good idea” to push for the use of more machines before Election Day.

“The lines were long in the morning and we just didn’t have any machines to throw out there,” he said.

Broce, too, said additional machines “would have really helped with the long lines.”

She blamed the litigation for tying up those machines. One attorney for the plaintiffs, Bruce Brown, called that “rubbish” and said officials could have sequestered fewer machines, or later decided to put some back into service.

Brian Pearce in Esquire called this particular activity election ratf*&king 101 and called Kemp a cheap crook.  It is hard to disagree with him.

There was also the problem that the machines that were in use seemed to occasionally have a major operating fault, flipping Abrams votes to Kemp.

Despite everything that the Republicans did, every low down dirty trick, every administrative action taken because it would disenfranchise Black voters Abrams still has a chance.  Currently Kemp is on 50.3% of the total vote.  If this drops to 50% or below then there has to be a fresh election in a month’s time.  The current number of votes needed by her is 25,622 out of nearly 4 million cast and there are still provisional votes to count.

If Kemp wins then clearly it will be because his actions in wrongly suppressing the rights of people of colour to vote.  If he loses it will be despite this.

But this is the sort of behaviour you expect from a third world tinpot dictatorship, not the leader of the Western World.

On behalf of the rest of the world can I ask America to sort its democratic system out?  There is far too much at stake for the will of the people to be distorted in the way that Kemp and Co so gleefully do.

40 comments on “All that is wrong with America’s democracy”

  1. patricia bremner 1

    What a bloody travesty Micky. After the behaviour in Florida to elect Bush, nothing would surprise me about USA elections.

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    There’s two problems with the US system:

    1. It’s a system designed to prevent democracy and leave the power of the state in the hands of the rich. It was designed that way by the Founding Fathers.
    2. Despite all this obvious corruption nothing will happen to the rich person doing it or any of the people supporting him. Tough on crime – as long as the crime wasn’t done by rich white people.

  3. Macro 3

    On behalf of the rest of the world can I ask America to sort its democratic system out? There is far too much at stake for the will of the people to be distorted in the way that Kemp and Co so gleefully do

    Totally agree Micky. I’ve been following this travesty in Georgia and similar situations in other States for sometime now and to my mind the US has lost all pretence of being a democratic nation. Take Texas for example. The requirements for voter registration there are unbelievable!
    https://www.thenation.com/article/texass-voter-registration-laws-are-straight-out-of-the-jim-crow-playbook/
    Bearing in mind the enormous difficulty for anyone not white and male to actually register to vote in that State the performance of Beto O’Rourke is amazing – and the election of 19 Afro-American women to the judiciary is stunning.
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/nov/08/black-women-texas-judge-harris-county
    And excellent article I have linked to previously on this very topic of voter suppression and its consequences for democracy:
    Rigging the vote: how the American right is on the way to permanent minority rule

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      And excellent article I have linked to previously on this very topic of voter suppression and its consequences for democracy:
      Rigging the vote: how the American right is on the way to permanent minority rule

      And that, of course, is how you bring a country to bloody revolution. I suppose that the RWNJs are expecting to win it because of all their fellows in the NRA.

  4. Dennis Frank 4

    It seems elementary that the state official supervising the electoral process ought not to be a candidate – it gives them both incentive and opportunity to rig the system in their favour. The voters discriminated against ought to launch a class action against their state, and fight it up to the Supreme Court. I reckon even conservative judges will agree that such legal discrimination is wrong. State-authorised subversion of the democratic process is a travesty of democracy.

    • Andre 4.1

      Your faith in the ability of American judges, particularly recently appointed ones, to put principle over partisanship, is truly touching.

      • Dennis Frank 4.1.1

        😎 Not faith as much as you may think though. More a blend with observation of how judicial ideology plus realpolitik operates in the group mind. Sometimes the primadonna motivation will force a judge to dissent, but often groupthink prevails. I agree partisanship is an operational factor in their group, despite the normal pretence of objectivity, but I think a class action would be likely to succeed due to the bias of the supervisor being undeniable.

        In other words, the threat of making the Supreme Court overtly partisan by rejecting the suit would bring the entire judiciary into disrepute and rend the fabric of the social contract as well. True conservatives get spooked by just the appearance of anti-establishment behaviour. The prospect of having to actually subvert the democratic process in the eyes of all would deter them.

      • soddenleaf 4.1.2

        Unprincipledness. Trump declares if only they carried guns. yeah, that would have helped the security guard at the night club, who was shot by Police. I think it’s truly touching that idiot Americans would get if wrong half the time, and really that’s the point since they have layers of review to weed out stupid. Once Trumps gone, lots of people are going to disrance themselves, and no justice wants to be any Politicians themed judge. Trump only won in red states, in the senate, and lost heaps for Republicians were jerrymandering is two way. I.e six governorship.

  5. mary_a 5

    The obvious fact the US voting system, mainly in minority areas is rigged to suit the present government!

    Disgraceful conduct by US administrators! Corrupt to their filthy rotten core!

    Mandatory UN electoral inspectorate monitoring required in future US elections after this.

  6. Shocking how blatant they are now – don’t even half try to hide their behaviour. ffs

  7. Ad 7

    Good post Mickey.

    I must do one on LBJ in Texas.

  8. Adrian Thornton 8

    Nice piece there Micky, the American electoral system has been a shambles for a long time, which is of course very ironic, as the US seem to be the first to point the finger at other countries real or imagined electoral shortcomings when it suits them

    It would be interesting to see how these elections could have turned out if the Democratic Party and their friends in the media had spent even 1/4 of the time/resources and energy on this as they have chasing Russian boogeyman?

    It not as if any of this is anything new to the Democrats, they should have been mobilizing and informing the public in a huge way, bringing the eyes of the whole country on to this, shaming the Republicalians, Obama should have been crisscrossing the affected states using his awesome oratory skills as a counter and energizer etc.

    Imagine Rachel Maddow crying on air about the injustice Stacey Abrams and her supporters have just suffered, instead of her ridiculous crocodile tears over Russian interference…

    ‘MSNBC’s Maddow covers Russia more than all other topics combined: analysis’

    https://thehill.com/homenews/media/328771-msnbcs-maddow-covers-russia-than-all-other-news-topics-combined-analysis

    Media obsession: 55 percent of broadcast news coverage of Trump centered on Russia probe

    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/jun/27/media-obsession-55-percent-of-broadcast-news-cover/

  9. RedLogix 9

    Great work mickey. It seems odd to me that any candidate, incumbent official or not, should be allowed anywhere near the mechanics of the electoral process. It just invites abuse.

  10. Bill 10

    And what has been the Democratic Party’s role in combating all of this? Why is it falling to a private citizen, Greg Palast, to get to the bottom of things?

    Also. Am I correct in saying that there is no paper print off in Georgia?

    Meaning that if the electronic vote is monkey wrenched in any way, it’s that more difficult to pinpoint and also meaning that a recount simply isn’t an option under any circumstances.

    For what it’s worth, if Kemp winds up losing, he’s already resigned as Secretary of State, meaning he’ll be gone from politics. .

    • mickysavage 10.1

      Abrams herself has been doing the hard work for years in the area of voter registration.

      I guess the basic problem is if only one side does it then they have a permanent advantage.

      • Bill 10.1.1

        Sorry. Guess I should have asked the role of the DNC – those upstanding stalwarts of electoral probity – in highlighting and pushing a major issue.

        As for only “one side” being involved in election jiggery pokery (if we allow for red and blue being different sides 😉 )…then what about the fiasco around Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s election in 2016 when ballots were unlawfully destroyed?

        That not count?

        There might be a redder hue to much of the electoral corruption in the US, but it’s by no means all red.

  11. greywarshark 11

    I suppose this Georgia thing examples our present situation in a nutshell. The good nuts have been eaten and gone leaving their broken home.

  12. ianmac 12

    “If this was a third world nation the UN would have sent in election observers. ”

    So true. And think Iraq and the great help USA was to develop their democracy!
    All terrifying to we the NZers who have a foolproof Electoral system.
    A great post Micky. Thanks.

  13. One Two 13

    Systemically broken = can’t be fixed…both sides are the same entity…

    This Blue v Red (it’s all purple) being somehow a worthy narrative, is part of the problem….

    Decades upon decades upon decades…

    The US interferes with foreign elections, naturally it interferes in local elections…

    Keep voting though…maybe the system owners will walk away, eventually…

  14. Sabine 14

    I did especially like the tweet of Abrams, vowing to count that ballots that were found in a smashed honda civic.

    Same is currently going on in Florida.

    Nelson vs Scott is going into recount territory, Gillum vs DeSantis might.

    Currently ,this tho.

    https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2018/11/9/1811613/-Republican-Congressman-leads-disturbing-rally-outside-Florida-Board-of-Elections-to-harass-officials?utm_campaign=trending

    and this

    https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2018/11/9/1811538/-How-widespread-are-efforts-to-invalidate-FL-votes-Former-Congressman-says-his-ballot-was-rejected?utm_campaign=trending

    and for a bit of good news

    https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2018/11/9/1811618/-On-Election-Day-19-black-women-made-history-in-Texas-by-winning-their-races-for-judicial-seats?utm_campaign=recent

    Beto might not win, but he sure helped up the game, help get people on the polls and helped get people to the polls.

    Maybe, just maybe the left is not quite as bad as some would like them to be, and maybe just maybe the other side is exactly as bad as they are.

  15. AB 15

    Time to think the unthinkable? That the American Revolution was actually a bad thing, a reactionary movement to entrench the power of wealth, and it made future democracy less likely.

    • Ad 15.1

      Less headchopping than the French one

      • AB 15.1.1

        Yep – there’s that.
        But is seems to me (though I’m no historian) that the loyalists in Canada developed a democracy that, to date, is a superior example to the one created by the revolutionaries in the USA.

      • Gabby 15.1.2

        Quite a bit of tarring and feathering though, and confiscations.

    • Draco T Bastard 15.2

      The US revolution, just like the UK revolution, was taken over by the capitalists who didn’t want democracy and so they put a sham one in place to ensure that the rich maintained power.

      • JohnSelway 15.2.1

        You use the term “the capitalists” with such breadth and frequency it is devoid of all meaning.

        It would help if you could actually provide a workable definition of what you actually mean by it because as it stands it is just “people Draco doesn’t like”

        • Draco T Bastard 15.2.1.1

          What a load of bollocks but fully what I expect from you.

          Really, if you don’t know what a capitalist is perhaps you should read a friggen dictionary.

          • JohnSelway 15.2.1.1.1

            I know what capitalist means Draco.

            I am asking you to define what it is you mean because the term “the capitalists” lacks any definition in the way you use it. It could literally somewhere in the order of 95% of the NZ population as almost all of us are people who use their wealth to invest in trade and industry for profit in accordance with the principles of capitalism is some form or another (to use the most readily available dictionary definition).

            So you need to be more specific. I assume you went to university so can construct an argument instead of using broad terms which lack meaning without specificity.

            (BTW – I am very careful to not talk a load of bollocks . Asking you for a meaning when you use a word with a specific meaning, and shades of meaning, in such fell swoop is like me calling you a communist because you are anti-capitalist. Try harder)

            • Tricledrown 15.2.1.1.1.1

              DTB hates capitalism as much as Trump hates communism?
              But with out capitalism DTB wouldn’t have a soap box or a computer he would scratching out a living on the steeps.

  16. Sabine 16

    can you see the economic anxiety of the white working female :), so anxious, so worried about jobs, and income and such. Surely, any day now, this anxiety is gonna be all gone, baby gone.

    https://www.rawstory.com/2018/11/watch-republican-activists-harass-black-people-see-florida-election-theft-demonstration/

  17. NZJester 17

    They have so many dirty tricks they use.
    I would like to point out my 9 Nov 2018 post #5 on “Disestablish the establishment”
    on how even when Republicans lose they try and keep power in any way they can.

    Disestablish the establishment.


    I link to a video that discusses how the Governor of Wisconsin Scott Walker who failed to win re-election has been conspiring with other Republicans during his last days in office to strip the new Governor of power before he is sworn in leaving the power in the hands of the Republicans.

  18. Anne 18

    America is no longer a democratic country. It is in the intermediary stage between what was once a democracy to becoming a totalitarian state. WW3 (ie. nuclear war) is just around the corner if the inmates of that country allow it to continue to progress towards totalitarianism.

    • Sabine 18.1

      This is what frightens me the most, a failed state with a leader who needs a win at all cost and nuclear weapons.

      Ain’t it great?

      • Anne 18.1.1

        Terrifying.

        • In Vino 18.1.1.1

          Well.. I remember George Bernard Shaw writing something like, “The USA is the only country to have passed directly from the state of barbarism directly to decadence without passing through the intermediate phase of civilisation.”
          Maybe Shaw was not stupid…

  19. Draco T Bastard 19

    Federal investigators scrutinized Whitaker’s role in patent company accused of fraud, according to people with knowledge of case

    Federal investigators last year looked into whether Matthew G. Whitaker, as an advisory board member of a Miami patent company accused of fraud by customers, played a role in trying to help the company silence critics by threatening legal action, according to two people with knowledge of the inquiry.

    Whitaker, named this week by President Trump as acting attorney general, occasionally served as an outside legal adviser to the company, World Patent Marketing, writing a series of letters on its behalf, according to people familiar with his role.

    The US government has been bought and paid for.

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    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First demands answers from Meridian Energy
    Mark Patterson MP, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is appalled that Meridian seems to have been unnecessarily spilling water from its dams to drive up its profits."While New Zealanders have been coming together in some of our darkest hours, we don’t expect power gentailers to waste water and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Getting New Zealand moving again: June 2020
    We wrapped up the first half of 2020 with a busy month, taking additional steps to support New Zealanders as we continue with our economic recovery. We rolled out targeted packages to support key industries like tourism and construction, helped create jobs in the environmental and agriculture sectors, and set ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori union leader appointed to Infrastructure Commission board
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Infrastructure Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones has welcomed the appointment of Maurice Davis and his deep infrastructure and construction experience to the board of the Infrastructure Commission. Mr Davis (Ngāti Maniapoto), is the seventh and final appointment to the board led by former Reserve Bank Governor ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Click-bait journalism at its worst
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand’s click bait journalism is taking a turn for the worse, with yet another example of sensationalist, wilful-misrepresentation of the facts. “New Zealand First has worked constructively with its Coalition partner on hundreds of pieces of legislation and policy, and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party proposes transformational Poverty Action Plan
    The Green Party is today unveiling its Poverty Action Plan, which includes a Guaranteed Minimum Income to ensure people have enough to live with dignity.     ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF accelerates Rotorua projects
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development The Rotorua Museum redevelopment and Whakarewarewa and Tokorangi Forest projects will be accelerated thanks to a $2.09 million Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) boost, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Market Manipulation in the Energy Sector
    The Minister for State-Owned Enterprises Winston Peters, has expressed an equal measure of shock and concern at the recent Electricity Authority Board’s preliminary finding that Meridian Energy was involved in an ‘undesirable trading situation’ during December 2019. Between December 3 and 18 last year Meridian spilled water from their hydro ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Growth in Police numbers enhances diversity
    Diversity in frontline Police ranks has been enhanced by rapid growth in officer numbers over the past three years. Stuart Nash today presented awards to new constables from Wing 339 at the Royal New Zealand Police College in Porirua. It is the 37th Police recruit wing to graduate since the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Government open to Rugby Championship being held in New Zealand
    Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson says the Government is keen to work with New Zealand Rugby and SANZAAR to see if The Rugby Championship can be held safely in New Zealand. “We are open to the idea of hosting these international games here, but of course we will need ...
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    16 hours ago
  • $242 million boost for mothers and maternity services
    Maternity service providers, women and their babies will receive more support after a $242 million maternity package announced today by Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter. This is the largest ever funding boost for primary maternity services, and is targeted to recognise the work midwives do when caring for women ...
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    17 hours ago
  • Funding boost helps Pasifika Education Centre expand its online reach in Pacific language courses
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio spoke at the opening of the new premises for the Pasifika Education Centre (PEC) in Manukau this morning and announced a $3.9 million allocation over four years, that will enable PEC to offer free community Pacific language courses including online platforms and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Search and rescue gets funding boost to save lives
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today a $58.4 million boost over four years for New Zealand Search and Rescue, recreational boating safety and safety awareness to help save lives. Phil Twyford said safety is this Government’s top transport priority.                         ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • $5.3 million for Southland producers
    Two Southland businesses will receive loans from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) to boost production and take on more local workers, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. Up to $5.3 million will go to Alliance Group Limited’s meat processing facility and Drysdale Hydroponics’ vegetable growing business. “These businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Homer Tunnel upgrade: Jobs and improved safety
    A Government investment of $25 million will create 180 jobs and improve the safety and resilience of the Homer Tunnel on the crucial State Highway 94 (The Milford Road) tourist route linking Te Anau and Piopiotahi Milford Sound, Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones says. The multimillion-dollar investment from the Government’s rejuvenation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Te Arawa Lakes Trust among first to benefit from Jobs for Nature and biosecurity investment
    Whenua/land, roto/lakes and awa/rivers in the central North Island will benefit from increased habitat protection with new biosecurity investment across iwi and Crown-managed lands and lakes announced Conservation and Land Information Minister Eugenie Sage in Rotorua today. “I’m delighted to announced that Rotorua iwi entity Te Arawa Lakes Trust will ...
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    19 hours ago
  • Independent review of the New Zealand Defence Force’s Operation Respect released
    An independent review of the New Zealand Defence Force’s progress against its action plan for Operation Respect has been released by the Ministry of Defence today, announced Defence Minister Ron Mark. Operation Respect was implemented in 2016 with the objective to address inappropriate and harmful sexual behaviours, discrimination, harassment and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • PGF delivers more jobs and skills training for the regions
    The Coalition Government is again delivering for jobs and skills training in Otago and Southland through the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones said today. “A total investment of over $3.5 million from the PGF will help close to 1,500 people become work-ready,” Shane Jones said. ...
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    1 day ago
  • Clutha and Arrowtown: Govt support for community facilities
    Government support for two community facilities will provide a major economic boost for Otago, helping the region’s recovery from COVID-19, Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones has today announced funding for the Lakes District Museum and the Clutha Community Hub – two locally-led projects that will retain and create ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Less flooding, more jobs in Southland and Otago
    New investment in flood protection measures in Southland and Otago will keep residents safer and boost their local economies, with funding of $30 million from central Government announced by Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones today. The funding forms part of the $210m for shovel-ready climate resilience and flood protection ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Condolences on passing of Sir Toke Talagi
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has expressed his condolences regarding the passing of Niue’s former Premier, Sir Toke Talagi, which occurred today in Niue. “Sir Toke, who was also formerly Niue’s Foreign Minister, made a significant contribution to Niue over a long career. He served as a dedicated Premier of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Prime Minister extends condolences on passing of Niue’s former Premier
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has extended New Zealand’s condolences following the death of Niue’s former Premier, Sir Toke Talagi, who has passed away in Niue.  “We extend our condolences to his family and to the people of Niue. Sir Toke was an elder statesman of the Pacific and a long ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Whānau Ora localised approach to be tested
    Whānau in North Island communities are set to test the benefit of a new localised commissioning approach, Minister for Whānau Ora Peeni Henare announced today. Four organisations will receive a total of $500,000 each to trial a localised approach that will seek to move investment decision-making a step closer to whānau in their region.  This funding is a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Gore community facilities get Government backing
    Two leaking and run-down community facilities in Gore will receive Government funding to provide jobs for local contractors and long-term benefits to the Gore community and wider region, Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones has announced. The funding comes from the $3 billion tagged contingency set aside in Budget 2020 for infrastructure. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Hood Aerodrome upgrade gets the green light
    A major Government investment will see construction on a revamped Hood Aerodrome get underway this year, creating jobs and boosting the local economy.  “The $10 million investment from the Government’s recently announced infrastructure fund will support Masterton District Council to get the project into construction. “Hood Aerodrome is an important ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Clean energy future for more public services
    New Zealand’s state sector has taken another important step towards a clean energy future, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw said today as he announced six new projects that will be supported by the Government’s clean-powered public service fund. The University of Canterbury, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Next steps in COVID response
    Kia ora tatou Today I am setting out our plan in the event we have a new case of community transmission of COVID-19 in New Zealand. I will take a bit of time to do that, and then I’ll be happy to take questions at the end. Since we moved ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government steps up action on waste – funds recycling infrastructure and expands levy scheme
    ·$124 million Government investment in recycling infrastructure ·Plans confirmed to increase and expand the waste levy to divert material from landfill, and recycle revenue into resource recovery and waste minimisation ·Innovative construction and demolition facility opened in Auckland with $3.1 million in support from Government’s Waste Minimisation Fund (WMF). As ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Wellbeing infrastructure for Kaipara
    A package of wellbeing infrastructure investments in Kaipara which focuses on improving the lives of the elderly and upgrading the iconic Kauri Museum has been announced by Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones today. “These shovel-ready projects will have significant benefits for their respective communities and I’m pleased this funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • More support rolls out for SMEs
    More support is rolling out for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) from the COVID Response and Recovery Fund, to help them adapt and innovate to deal with the impact of the virus. The Ministers for Economic Development and Small Business have announced a further $40 million for the Regional Business ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • District Court Judge appointed
    Stephen Clark, Māori Land Court Judge of Hamilton has been appointed as a District Court Judge with jury jurisdiction to be based in Hamilton, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. Judge Clark graduated with an LLB from Auckland University in 1988 and was admitted to the Bar in the same year. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Hawke’s Bay Airport agreement protects jobs, safeguards terminal development
    The Crown will provide a loan to Hawke’s Bay Airport to ensure it can trade through COVID-19 economic impacts, support the region’s recovery and protect up to 200 jobs. The Crown has a 50 percent shareholding in Hawke’s Bay Airport Limited (HBAL), with Napier City Council holding 26 percent and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Funding boost for four cultural events
    Four celebrated Māori and Pasifika events will receive up to $100,000 each in funding from the new Creative and Cultural Events Incubator fund, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford announced today. The four events that were successful in the inaugural funding round are: Kia Mau Festival, Wellington Māoriland Film Festival, Otaki ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Inaugural launch of Kiribati Language Week
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio is pleased to announce the inaugural launch of Kiribati Language Week as part of the 2020 Pacific language Weeks programme. “I am so pleased that this year we are able to provide resourcing support to the Kiribati community in Aotearoa which will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New support package for wildlife institutions
    Wildlife institutions affected by a loss of visitor revenue during the COVID-19 lockdown are set to receive government support with nearly $15 million of funding available announced Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage.  “Eco-sanctuaries, zoos, aquariums, wildlife parks, and wildlife rescue, hospital and rehabilitation facilities provide crucial support for the recovery ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • 300,000 students to benefit from free mental health services
    The Government is expanding and accelerating frontline mental health and wellbeing services at tertiary education institutes (TEI) to help students manage ongoing stresses related to COVID-19. “The lockdown has been hugely disruptive for students. Many of them have had to relocate and move to online learning, isolating them from their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Gang crime, meth harm targeted in Waikato
    The Minister of Police says a major operation against the Mongrel Mob in Waikato will make a big dent in drug harm and violent offending linked to organised crime networks. “Senior leadership of the Waikato Mongrel Mob has been taken out as a result of Operation Kingsville, which resulted in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Supporting victims and families to attend mosque attack sentencing
    The Government is extending the border exception criteria to enable some offshore victims and support people of the Christchurch mosque attacks to attend the sentencing of the accused beginning on 24 August2020, says Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway. “We want to support our valued Muslim brothers and sisters who were directly ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Boost for community freshwater restoration projects
    A project to support volunteer efforts to look after streams and rivers is getting a boost thanks to support from DOC’s Community Conservation Fund announced Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today.  “The government is backing efforts to look after waterways with $199,400 for the Mountains to Sea Conservation Trust from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • More support for women and girls
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter today announced that funding for the COVID-19 Community Fund for women and girls will be doubled, as the first successful funding applications for the initial $1million were revealed. “Women and girls across the country have suffered because of the effects of COVID-19, and I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Crown accounts stronger than forecast with higher consumer spending
    The Government’s books were better than forecast with a higher GST take as the economy got moving again after lockdown, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Crown Accounts for the 11 months to the end of May indicate the year end results for tax revenue will be stronger than forecast. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Govt releases plan to revitalise wool sector
    A plan to revitalise New Zealand’s strong wool sector and set it on a new, more sustainable and profitable path was unveiled today by Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. The newly-released report - Vision and Action for New Zealand’s Wool Sector - was developed by the Wool Industry Project Action Group ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Funding for Predator Free Whangārei
    Community efforts to create a Predator Free Whangārei will receive a $6 million boost, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage announced today. The new funding, through Government company Predator Free 2050 Ltd, will create around 12 jobs while enabling the complete removal of possums over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand to review relationship settings with Hong Kong
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced that the New Zealand Government is reviewing the settings of its relationship with Hong Kong. “China’s decision to pass a new national security law for Hong Kong has fundamentally changed the environment for international engagement there,” Mr Peters said. “New Zealand remains deeply ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Funding for Whangārei’s infrastructure projects revealed
    Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced details of a multimillion-dollar investment in Whangārei for infrastructure projects that will help it recover from the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 200 jobs are expected to be created through the $26 million investment from the Government’s rejuvenation package ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Managed isolation and quarantine update
    Following a second incident in which a person escaped from a managed isolation facility, security is being enhanced, including more police presence onsite, Minister Megan Woods said. “The actions of some individuals who choose to break the very clear rules to stay within the facilities means that more resourcing is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Call for providers of new kaupapa Māori primary mental health services
    New kaupapa Māori primary mental health and addiction services are being sought, Associate Minister of Health, Peeni Henare has announced today. This work is part of the $2 billion mental health package announced in Budget 2019 and will make it easier for Māori to access primary mental health and addiction ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago