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AMI socialises its losses

Written By: - Date published: 10:30 am, April 8th, 2011 - 70 comments
Categories: capitalism - Tags: , ,

Another week, another massive corporate bailout as National reaches into our pockets to aid a company. He’s got the pot out and is saying ‘right, I need another $125 each from you, but keep your wallets out, it could be $250 in the end’.

Whatever happened to free-market ideology? Isn’t failure of bad businesses healthy? When did every financial sector company become ‘too big to fail’?

Yes, we’re protecting the policyholders – we can’t let all these people who have dutifully paid their premiums lose their coverage or not get their payouts. But remember, AMI is a mutual insurer. That is, the policyholders are also the owners.

In many cases of financial collapse, we look back and see years of owners creaming off huge dividends up to the point where disaster struck and the company had too little capital to see it through.

That happened with AMI too, except it didn’t pay its owners dividends, it offered cheap premiums instead, and the capital it was lacking was inadequate re-insurance. The policyholders effectively got a ‘dividend’ from under-capitalisation in the form of a lower bill for their insurance.

Now, on the one hand we might say ‘don’t blame the policyholders, they’re just people trying to get the best deal for their insurance, what do they know about capitalisation levels?’ but that logic is a lot like saying ‘don’t blame the finance company investors, they were just after the best rate’. Low premiums for insurance, like high interest on savings means greater risk that the money won’t be there when you need it.

Well, it used to. Now it means that when the business model collapses the rest of us pay out the people who have benefited from doing business with an under-capitalised company.

OK. Maybe it’s too harsh to put the cost on the individuals who just thought they were getting a good deal but we’re actually undermining New Zealand business with all these bailouts. The advantage of the capitalist free-market is supposed to be its Darwinistic survival of the fittest. It used to be that a company that had a shonky business model got wiped out when the times got tough and you were left with only the better business models standing. Now, good business models are effectively being punished and bad ones subsidised.

No wonder Vero and other insurance companies are fuming. They’ve seen AMI stealing their customers for years with too-low premiums and now that it can’t pay its bills the government is, whereas poor old Vero’s reward for being a better-run company is that it has to carry its own losses.

Hopefully, AMI will be able to raise the cash it needs (via de-mutualising and selling shares) and the government back-stop won’t be called upon. Ideally, the government back-stop would never have been needed in the first place and the government would just have worked to find a good insurance company to buy up AMI’s business so that coverage would continue while a bad business died. But we are were we are, all that can be said now is this situation must never to allowed to be repeated.

Just as finance companies need to be compelled to have better asset ratios to prevent SCF-style collapses, insurance company rules need to be tightened. It is scandalous that an insurance company in New Zealand can be allowed to operate with too little cover (particularly, re-insurance) to survive a large earthquake in a major city. It’s hardly an unprecedented event. Being under re-insured for a major earthquake is like saving costs by not buying a seatbelt for your car and then expecting the taxpayer to dive in between you and the steering wheel when you crash.

When Bill English is finished doling out our money to private risk takers once more, I hope he’ll get around to looking at those rules. Better yet, he could raise the disaster coverage limits for the EQC, which should be funded through rates, so that we’re not making such a large call on the reserves of private, under-capitalised companies when large-scale disaster strikes.

70 comments on “AMI socialises its losses”

  1. Dan 1

    Sorry – just seen the warning on the other post. Probably should rethink this 🙂

    • lprent 1.1

      Well this post is written by Marty G. Sure it sometimes it feels like he writes everything here (he writes a lot of posts). But his output is less than a fifth of the posts on the site at present.

      It is a multi-author site. You can’t treat the authors as if they were all just some kind of machine component. The authors have some quite differing views from Bill’s anacho tendencies to my conservative reluctant socialist ideas.

      Don’t treat the programs as having the ideas, and I’ll treat you as an person well.

  2. Bored 2

    ……the story of the world since the bail outs during the Crash. One questions why two things have not happened:

    the companies bailed out have not been nationalised by the parties bailing them out (or standing gaurantee).
    the people who took the profits leading up to the bail outs, in particular directors, majority shareholders and senior executives have not had their assets and earning siezed. 

    • As I just said on Open Mike …

      “Maybe AMI should be nationalised? Whatever did happen to Government Life? Oh, that’s right – ‘Tower’, which now wants to buy AMI.”

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.1

        KiwiSure: New Zealand’s own Government backed insurance company – forcing down insurance profit margins and creating better insurance behaviour for all NZ’ers.

  3. Lanthanide 3

    It makes AMI’s old advertising campaign rather ironic – “Am I insured?”
     
    Also I haven’t actually found AMI’s premiums to be substantially lower than other companies. When looking to ensure my car, I got online quotes from multiple places. Tower came out the cheapest anyway.

    And yes, I really think this is different from other companies being bailed out – many companies undercut other companies on price all the time, either through cost efficiencies or offering a lower quality product. It turns out in the case of AMI they’re offering a lower quality product, but insurance isn’t a tangible thing you can appraise just by looking at it. Often many people buy insurance and never even deal with their company within a 10-15 year time frame, so have no idea if the quality (which is first and foremost customer service response) is worth what they’ve been paying, let alone have any idea about the re-insurance deals the company has set up (do they even publish this anywhere for interested customers to find out?).

    • Simon 3.1

      I hadn’t found their premiums to be lower at all… but that’s not how I judge insurance companies. I judge them by how good they are to deal with – one example is when my dad’s house started sliding down the hill. He was one of two conjoined houses… he was with AMI, his neighbour with State. My dad called AMI and they told him to move to a motel, and have the bill sent to them. State advised his neighbour that they had assessed their property would have had a rental value of $XXX a week, and that they would contribute 80% of that towards accomodation while the houses were sorted out. I’ve had other similar experiences… this doesn’t mean I support bailing companies out that fail – but AMI failing is a bit of a shame, they are the best insurance company I’ve dealt with and I’ve dealt with a few (personally and working in IT).

  4. prism 4

    It seems that AMI are suffering from one of the downfalls of competition which is that there is a need to compete at the lowest price level, and cut spending on proper procedures, quality and reserves and safety and the factors that result in company probity.  It all seems famliar – sounds like the neo liberal financial stuff of operating for highest profit and never mind the downside.

    As someoneI insured with AMI, I notice they have a well run office, and I haven’t heard any bad reports about them. Fair Go would be one of the places where I would gain information about fairness to customers. So I don’t really know whether they are good or not. But I expect that NZ will have suitable controls. Trusting eh. All insurance seems to be expensive when I pay it, I didn’t go just for the cheapest. I don’t like companies that advertise on tv about being quick and easy though. They make me wary to insure with them.

  5. Johnm 5

    These bailouts show the neo-liberal free market system doesn’t work and can lead to social chaos when the weaker players go the wall. Why do they then cling blindly to the doublethink of selling off  our public assets to the failed private business sector? If they had their way 100% The state reduced to bath tub proportions wouldn’t be able to bail out anyone including deprived kiwis! Madness!
    Thank Goodness for the PUBLIC which means we can pay homeowners to repair their homes and enable CHCH to recover eventually! Note Roger the neo-liberal dodger said in Parliament this AMI bailout is wrong! The likes of him and ACT are the sort that cause eventual revolutions against despicable inequalities.

  6. randal 6

    hanover and ami. both adverised heavily and both were houses of straw.
    somebody wants to buy ami.
    if english borrows to bail out ami then the tower of credit just gets bigger and bigger.
    soon someone will come along and buy new zealand.
    silly captions about socialising the company will make even less sense then.

  7. Two words for you all – “Moral hazard”. AMI was arguably hit hardest by the Canterbury Earthquakes, as it has larger percentage of its customer base in Christchurch.
    Notwithstanding, even as a client, it should have been allowed to fail. Surely it would have been cheaper for the Government to simply make good on the claims for individuals and businesses affected than to bail out the company. And in doing so, it would upheld both the principle of moral hazard without unduly causing a massive loss of confidence of the insurance market within New Zealand.
    If AMI does now accept this assistance, I hope their executives and board reduce their pay to the minimum wage on a pro-rata basis for time worked.
    N.B. This is a slightly different scenario from Air New Zealand in 2001, partly because critical operational staff had significant wages and entitlements outstanding which would have been forfeited if Air New Zealand was not bailed out, but the assets sold and the airline reconstituted as “NZ Air”, as some commentators were calling for at the time. The Government still held a significant cornerstone shareholding as well (20-23%) and would have also lost out if it failed.

    • toad 7.1

      AMI was arguably hit hardest by the Canterbury Earthquakes, as it has larger percentage of its customer base in Christchurch.

      So why didn’t it occur to them to assess the cumulative financial risk of a second quake in Christchurch after the first one, and to purchase reinsurance accordingly?

  8. vto 8

    Well I am just completely gobsmacked by Key and klowns.

    They are the socialising sluts from hell.

    Does anyone know what the rules are anymore?

    • Daveo 8.1

      Yep. If you’re our mates we’ll give you heaps of cash if you’re a dirty bennie or someone else that’s never gonna donate to us you can starve.

  9. HDS 9

    This is what will happen too, if ACC is privatized.

    • sean 9.1

      What, a natural disaster cause an ACC insurer to fall over?
       
       

      • Lanthanide 9.1.1

        It’s quite possible. ACC pays for accidents, which includes those from natural disaster. There’s also going to be a lot of physical therapy to get people back in to work, and while you’re out of work ACC pays a large chunk of your regular salary.

  10. ianmac 10

    SCF guaranteed against failure so  invest plenty. You get your bet back if you lose.
    Insurance company guaranteed against failure so next Insurance company can take risks because you get your money back if you fail.

  11. ghostwhowalksnz 11

    Remember too, Key  offered to  save ‘iconic’ companies who found their big

    mistakes caught up with them during the GFC, such as  Fisher & Paykel.

    Key and English talk like Reagan or Thatcher but act like Castro & Chavez

  12. randal 12

    no they act like predators looking to grab a piece of the action at every opportunity.

  13. Peter Rabbit 13

    I have two questions from all of this:
    1) What actions is AMI now taking to minimise the risk to NZ tax payers, for example are they refusing new policies? 

    2) What actions should current AMI customers who don’t have claims be taking?  One of my workmates was commenting that when news of this first appeared in the media on Wednesday that they were considering moving to another insurer but now with this guarantee they see no need to as they are guaranteed coverage and their current premiums.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 13.1

      New policies are not at risk. Its the existing claims that are a problem

  14. Kleefer 14

    This analysis is spot on.

    • ZeeBop 14.1

      I disagree.  Sure AMI is heavily exposed to the Earthquakes that have hit. Sure it just lost lots of money having to re-assess all the properties again. But AMI seems to had a cash flow crisis, happens to all kinds of business all them time, they go back to the banks and get a loan. Now AMI being so big and given the current world financial crisis the bank of last resort has been called on. I don’t think its fair to speculate that they were not covered or are not covered, only that black swans happen, we’re not in the ACT party, we don’t believe the market is perfectly functioning, and its astonishing that so many seen to lap up that particular boogeyman. Government rightly steps in when the loses to the economy would be greater if it had not done anything. Whether its low cost health care to the poor, or saving the insurance industry in NZ. For if AMI had gone under who would trust insurance again?? As to the argument AMI policies were cheaper, that’s be counter by the argument that AMI is a small player globally and doesn’t have the benefit of a large global footprint of risks, those argument might work for a private company, but this was a mutual society and all the benefits flow directly back to the NZ community. So this is actually a better deal than the SCF which just got a whole lot dirtier.

  15. infused 15

    It’s not a bail out. Labour have supported this. They could be nationalised. Tower are looking at buying this. When did you write this, two days ago?

    • Bright Red 15.1

      If there’s a net cost to the taxpayer, it’s a bailout. We bailed our AirNZ but effectively nationalising it.
      Yesterday in the House, Cunliffe said, as Marty and others have, ‘yup, we have to pay but it’s a disgrace that things got to this situation in the first place’

      • Tangled up in blue 15.1.1

        Isn’t it an opportunity cost to the taxpayer? We get the money back don’t we? If the Govt. gets a stake in the company maybe they can sell it off down the track for a profit.

        • Bright Red 15.1.1.1

          i don’t think you know what opportunity cost is. You’ve described an investment.
           
          If you think that the Crown ought to be in the insurance game, like it used to (State Insurance), that’s one thing. But if you think it ought to be buying up failing companies and speculating on on making a profit flogging it off later, that’s another thing entirely. Why not let other insuance companies purchase AMI’s books? They’re already lining up.
          Remember, the Crown won’t necessarily own AMI as a result of the bailout.

          • Tangled up in blue 15.1.1.1.1

            I meant it’s an opportunity cost because arguably the money could have been of better use elsewhere (or not extra borrowing if that’s the case).
            And letting other insurance companies purchase AMI’s books sounds like a good idea. Though I wonder why National & Labour have not supported this option.

          • Puddleglum 15.1.1.1.2

            If you think that the Crown ought to be in the insurance game, like it used to (State Insurance)…

            As I alluded to above, Government Life was the first nationalised insurance scheme – it became ‘Tower’, which now wants to buy AMI. Here in Christchurch we still talk about the ‘Government Life’ building in Cathedral Square.

  16. tsmithfield 16

    I can see from your article that you are pissed off, Marty. But do you disagree with the government for taking the action it did with AMI?

    • Marty G 16.1

      my position is perfectly clear from the post. We’re being forced to carry the losses from others’ risks. The regulations should never have allowed it. And I’m not convinced the crisis has been well handled. English and Key kept this secret for weeks when they should have been negotiating another insurance company to but AMI’s policy book

      • sean 16.1.1

        So, you must’ve found it pretty hard to stomach when Goff said it was the only choice also eh?

        • Sean 16.1.1.1

          To avoid confusion, this is a different Sean from me, quite probably new.

          I’ve been posting here for a few years now.

      • tsmithfield 16.1.2

        “my position is perfectly clear from the post.”

        You are still only telling me that you are pissed off. However, you haven’t answered my question.

    • todd 16.2

      If AMI is not re-insured properly, that is not our fault. We should not pay to keep a company afloat that does not have enough intelligence to re-insure itself against such circumstances. It is basically greed that’s to blame. What should happen is that the company adheres to a free market ethos. If it cannot meet its legally binding obligations, the Government should help those people that are affected.

      No tax money should go to a failing private company. The Government and those concerned should take legal action against any business that falsifies information and cannot meet its obligations. AMI should be allowed to fail for having an unsustainable business model
 that is what capitalism is all about. There is no safety net for the impoverished if they get in trouble; they have to suck it up and go without. Awarding AMI with millions of dollars for their failure sends the wrong message.
       
      This is an interesting reply:

      http://nz.news.yahoo.com/a/-/top-stories/9155582/ami-bailout-should-be-last-critics/

      AMI’s name and ownership structure appear to have been created to hide who actually owns the company. The primary company is owned by a holding company which in turn is owned by a trust (which doesn’t declare who the actual owners are). The company claims to date back to 1926, but was not incorporated as AMI until 1978. And was formally called Australian Mutual Insurance

  17. lyndon 17

    The critical difference is that if AMI actually calls on any of the capital it will likely get taken over. Hardly encouraging copycats.
    Thing that strikes me is that, once agin, the rating agencies were a bit shit.

  18. bobo 18

    Think this is the first standard post I can remember that agrees with Roger Douglas regarding not supporting the AMI bailout. I’ll state my conflict of interest having my car insured with AMI. So its the consumers fault for not realizing AMI was under-insuring its risk… maybe the lack of gov regulation is to blame on this too.

    • todd 18.1

      I think Act are just fishing for whatever votes they can get. I doubt that Douglas really believed what he was saying… He’s always been into getting the poor to pay for everything after all. What’s a few bucks to a beneficiary when we need to bail out another failed private business? A few million dollars going over seas into private hands is the same dynamic with privatization, so what’s the difference? Nothing! Douglas is a two faced twat! Hopefully we will never hear from the dead wood again after the next election.

    • Jenny 18.2

      bobo, Sir Roger sez, ‘this is our very last bailout of the wealthy, we won’t do it again, I promise’.

      Like problem gamblers or a drug addicts always promising that this is the last time,
      We won’t do it again,
      I promise,
      Please believe us. 

      Dealing with drug addicts and other shifty con-artists, you have  look at their actions rather than their words. 

      Throughout his long political career Sir Roger has always sought to soak the lower paid tax payers to be able to gift huge amounts of money to the wealthy. (ie. people like himself).

      A lifelong proponent of flat taxes,  Douglas was the author of GST which switched a bigger burden of tax to the lower paid. Once this flat tax was in place, it was cemented in place with massive tax cuts for wealthy.

      Sir Roger is a supporter of bailing out the wealthy and would do it again if given the chance. But Douglas knows that his long political career is nearing it’s end and probably he will never have the opportunity to support another massive bailout before he retires, and so he figures he can afford to make statements that he knows he will never be called on. 

  19. Jenny 19
    So the government has been able to majik up $300 million to bail out AMI. (possibly increasing to $1billion)

    Only last week the talk was all about “Austerity”

    “There is no money” we were told.

    Well, well, how to be proven a liar. 

    Any attempts now to oppose Austerity on the rest of us, must be treated with the contempt it deserves. 

    • Jenny 19.1
      Ostentatious Consumption vs Austerity?

      More evidence that the government has money to burn, “literally”

      Hundreds of $millions is being spent on expanding Auckland’s already extensive motorway system. The latest piece, of this jigsaw white elephant, an underground tunnel, 400metres long, most of it below sea level and whose exit is only a matter of metres above the high tide mark.

      Just like the much vaunted South Western Wiri interchange, price tag $1billion, which was supposed to relieve congestion but actually made it worse by transferring the traffic jam from Wiri Station Road directly onto the Southern Motorway, catching thousands of extra North South traffic bound commuters in the jam, making the jam up much bigger. 

      The most likely result of the Victoria Park tunnel will be to move the bottleneck to Green lane, where like the South Western example, the jam up will be much bigger than the jam at Victoria Park because it will catch all the city workers heading south, plus all those who join the Southern Motorway from the North Western, plus all the port traffic. 

      All the evidence points to all this motorway expansion to be a colossal waste of public money.
      $Billions for bailouts, $Billions for Motorways?

      Austerity? my eye.

    • Draco T Bastard 19.2

      Any attempts now to impose Austerity on the rest of us, must be treated with the contempt it deserves.

      FIFY

  20. Innocent bystander 20

    Allow me to disagree. When I hand over my monthly payment to AMI I expect to get what I’ve paid for (should I need it) just like any other good or service. I do not expect to be taking on a financial risk. In fact that whole idea of insurance is quite the opposite. 

    There is actually a much bigger hazard here which is that if AMI can’t pay claims and falls over it sends people a strong message that having insurance is completely worthless.

    It is near impossible to judge the merits of one insurance company over another, other than through price and service. The average consumer has no idea whether a given company has enough assets or re-insurance cover and its completely unreasonable to expect that they should. I see that as the role of government basically to ensure that there is a strong set of rules for these companies to operate in to protect consumers.

    AMI may have just been unlucky or it may be that the regulations around assets and re-insurance need to be strengthened or that legislation needs to be put in place to limit exposure / market share  within a given geographic area. This is worlds apart from the deliberate greed surrounding the finance company collapses and subsequent bailouts.

    • Jenny 20.1

      “This is worlds apart from the deliberate greed surrounding the finance company collapses and subsequent bailouts.”

      Innocent Bystander

      I beg to differ, I think we need to take a hard line, to protect Innocent Bystanders.

      • Innocent bystander 20.1.1

        Um….except there’s been no suggestion that any criminal behaviour has taken place or that anyone will benefit from this other than policy holders. 

        I guess a few company employees will benefit by actually getting to keep their jobs….yes that includes some managers it also includes other rich pricks including office staff, receptionists, secretaries, Derek from accounts and possibly the tea lady. Better crack down on those fuckers they deserve everything they get.

        I’m all for getting tough on the finance sector but AMI are so the wrong target.

        • Draco T Bastard 20.1.1.1

          except there’s been no suggestion that any criminal behaviour has taken place or that anyone will benefit from this other than policy holders.

          Legal != moral and the policy holders definitely benefited but the problem is that the taxpayers now have a possibility to lose which shouldn’t be there from the immoral, if not illegal, actions of the managers of AMI.

          I’m all for getting tough on the finance sector but AMI are so the wrong target.

          They are merely one in a show of missing and inadequate regulation.

          • PeteG 20.1.1.1.1

            Yep, we should regulate earthquakes, limit them to about one damaging one a decade, the rest can be off in the backblocks. We might as well, we regulate most other things.
            (I do support some financial sector regulation, but sometimes unexpected shit just happens.)

            • MrSmith 20.1.1.1.1.1

              “(I do support some financial sector regulation but sometimes unexpected shit just happens.,)”
              Pissing in the wind again I see Pete , “But sometimes unexpected shit just happens”. that’s why we have insurance ! You right’os change your color depending on where the biggest hand out is, beneficiaries the lot of you.

              • ZeeBop

                Who owns AMI? Why are there discussion about forced takeover of the company in its entirety? I thought AMI had a capital problem, a cash crunch, and given the size and nature of the beast (and the conditions of the capitalist forest) the park ranger was asked to man up with a loan. How many companies give $15 million to the government if they are bankrupt? It does not mean that anything untoward has happened if AMI passed on its profits to its customers and got into trouble because it was heavily exposed in the ChCh earthquakes – that nobody predicted and nobody though would happen so severely. AMI STILL seems to have enough cover, just doesn’t have enough cash in the short term – just like many people and businesses suffering in ChCh due to the Earthquake with or without insurance. So this is not a bailout, its part of the regional rescue effort. If it does not pay one dollar of the money it borrows back the government will own it.

    • Puddleglum 20.2

      And if I buy a book voucher from Borders or Whitcoulls I assume I’ll get what I paid for. Problem is, if the company goes belly up I don’t get what I paid for. I’m an ‘unsecured creditor’. No-one worries that it will send a message to people that they shouldn’t buy book/gift vouchers.

      Sorry IB, you’re collateral damage in the free market. Don’t you just love the free market?

      • Innocent bystander 20.2.1

        The difference is that the consequences of people getting burned by whitcoulls and choosing not to buy gift vouchers in future are pretty trivial. The consequences of people choosing not to have insurance are serious. Therefore I support a bail out for one and not the other. The government’s actions shouldn’t stop there though. They should review the regulations that insurance companies operate under and take steps to reduce the chance of this happening again in the future especially given the relatively high risk of a disaster of a similar scale happening somewhere else in the country or even again in Christchurch.

    • Jenny 20.3

      “Allow me to disagree. When I hand over my monthly payment to AMI I expect to get what I’ve paid for (should I need it) just like any other good or service. I do not expect to be taking on a financial risk. In fact that whole idea of insurance is quite the opposite.”

      Innocent Bystander

      In fact the whole idea of insurance is quite the opposite?

      Well not anymore, it seems. Insurance companies are quite free to take people’s premiums and not pay out, and get away with it. 

      There has not been even the slightest censure from the law. 

      As you put it:

      Um
.except there’s been no suggestion that any criminal behaviour has taken place or that anyone will benefit from this other than policy holders.

      Innocent Bystander

       

      So Innocent, tell me how this works again?

      Innocent, as your first comment hints at, this sort of malfeasance undermines the whole premise of taking out insurance. Even more so now, now that the government has said this is the very last time they will cover an insurance company failure.

      You would have to be an idiot to take a new policy with AMI in light of their wilful refusal to meet their responsibilities to those who have paid money to them, and not facing any punishment at all.
      The government said they won’t be bailing out insurance company failures again. (and certainly not AMI) But what would AMI or any other insurer care whether the government pays out their policies or not.  Whether the government pays out insurance policies or not, all the insurance companies now know, that they can get away with not paying out, and they will be let off. 
       
      capcha – “rubber” as in cheque. 

  21. Jan 21

    The link and and quote above from Todd
    AMI’s name and ownership structure appear to have been created to hide who actually owns the company. The primary company is owned by a holding company which in turn is owned by a trust (which doesn’t declare who the actual owners are). The company claims to date back to 1926, but was not incorporated as AMI until 1978. And was formally called Australian Mutual Insurance?
    are to an unsubstantiated quotation not the NZPA article linked to.
    AMI’s ownership structure and directors are available from the companies website just like all other NZ owned companies.  It’s annual report is on it’s website.
     
    Are Todd and other posters against a bailout saying that: NZ is too small to have home-grown insurance companies? ( I hope not)
    That insurance companies never struggle even when overwhelmed by the most extreme conditions? (I’m afraid they do – even the big ones)
    That early declaration of a possible financial issue is irresponsible? Insurance companies have some legal responsibilities in this context related to ratings downgrades (It would in any case be far more irresponsible to go into receivership or bankruptcy without giving due warning especially given the enormity of the aftermath of the quakes).
    That insurance companies are required to purchase re-insurance in NZ or that buying re-insurance is mandated to a particular level of the property covered by law? (I’ve looked briefly at the industry code of practice and the insurance ombudsman’s site and neither mentions re-insurance) Neither does the Insurance Companies (Ratings and Inspections) Act 1994 which, while it mandates rating inspections, does not appear to demand a specific re-insurance level as part of the registration.
    If this were such an issue then I daresay that the foreign insurance companies (now casting themselves as ’responsible’ when they may merely be more diversified) would have been calling enthusiastically for all companies to be re-insured to a set level. I’ve looked back through a year of stuff business news (although this is not exhaustive research of course) and can find no such evidence.
    I think it’s important to differentiate between different kinds of financial difficulty. Calling companies crooked and citing moral hazard is sometimes (often even?;-0) appropriate but I fear not so straight-forward in this case.
    I’ve read that AMI has $600M of re-insurance that can be triggered –which seems reasonable when compared to the total bill to government including EQC payouts at this stage is $1.2BN.
    I can’t help thinking that a lot of the comments above are simply following the herd of dismay which may work against what is a reasonably good NZ mutually-owned company and certainly preferable to a share traded  variety rather then spending a bit of time checking at least some of the facts. BTW  – I don’t work in the insurance industry

    • todd 21.1

      Jan

      home-grown insurance companies?

      AMI is no longer a home-grown company. What I am saying is that we should not bail out privately owned companies with unknown owners. If you know who the owners are, then please let us know so that we can allay any fears that there is a conflict of interest similar to the Mediaworks debacle?
       
      Does not appear to demand a specific re-insurance level as part of the registration.
       
      It is not the Governments job to ensure a privately owned company undertakes its business in a manner that does not require assistance when the business fails. You do realise that AMI is a private business with none of the profits going to New Zealanders and they operate under a capitalist structure?
       
      I think it’s important to differentiate between different kinds of financial difficulty.
       
      So while we have a horrendous amount of childhood poverty in New Zealand which the Government makes worse by their policy changes that favour the already wealthy, they are all too happy to give billions of tax dollars to their rich mates. You are right
 we should differentiate between types of financial difficulty. The type that causes starvation, homelessness, third world diseases and other social ills should take precedence.
       
      I can’t help thinking that a lot of the comments above are simply following the herd of dismay which may work against what is a reasonably good NZ mutually-owned company and certainly preferable to a share traded variety rather then spending a bit of time checking at least some of the facts.
       
      The herd mentality is not particularly relevant to the Standard. The facts are that the New Zealand population is once again required to bail out a privately owned business. National are so quick to stump up with the dosh it is hard to take their claims that the country is so in debt we have to sell our assets and cut social spend seriously. It is simply bullshit! Those are the facts lady!

      • RobC 21.1.1

        Todd, you have fallen into the trap of reading something someone has said and believing it is true.

        AMI is a mutual company, owned by its policyholders. And the “Australian Mutual Insurance” previous name is just crap; it’s history is as a car insurance cooperative and its name is derived from AA Mutual Insurance as it used to be known for a while.

  22. HC 22

    Well – could we not use Key’s and English’s actions in regards to SCF, AMI and whatever may come next as the best argument for nationalising key companies and assets in NZ?
    Maybe the time has come to seriously rethink the agenda followed since the mid to late 1980’s?
    If we want certain “standards” to prevail and the law to be enforced we may as well consider going down this way. The laissez faire approach has brought about all this madness we have to tidy up and pay for now.
    And wait for the further fall out from the World Fiancial Crisis down the road. Governments – being the sum total of tax and levy paying citizens and residents – have bailed out banks, finance companies and so forth, we as tax payers are going to be forced to pay for the insane speculations, fraud and deception that went on large scale for decades now.
    All these modern financial instruments that were created to make money for the few selected entrepreneurs involved in the finance and banking industry did originally come from Wall Street and London. That is what caught on all over the world, so we know who we should blame.
    And now JK and consorts want to make us pay for the damages done.
    Thank you very much, the bill will be presented to you in November, that is provided enough New Zealanders bother to think ahead and get the message!

    • MrSmith 22.1

      Fast forward a couple of years:
       
      So gentlemen I see Johnny has lined us up a few strategic assets in New Zealand these come with a government guarantee of-course.

      The stupid kiwis are all a bunch of right wing socialists so we can’t lose, they still think these companies are to big to fail . So we buy them sit on there boards collecting millon dollor salaries while striping them bare, then wait for the government bailout , the easiest money we will ever make, another pinot anyone.

  23. RedLogix 23

    I’m reluctant to get into bashing AMI.
     
    It is after all one of the few examples of anything that looks like a cooperative in this country.
     
    It was not one earthquake, but two. The latter one of the the most intense ground accelerations ever recorded and highly damaging.
     
    And as bad luck would have it, being a SI company AMI was especially exposed to a quake in ChCh. We’ve long known that insurance companies were vulnerable to large scale events like this.. which is why we have the EQC.

    My thoughts are that AMI has been let down by the EQC component of cover having been fixed at $100k for far too long, allowing inflation to erode away it’s effect.

    Now I understand that none of this is rocket science and AMI could have arguably covered itself better, but even the big re-insurers the world over are also being hit hard at present….it’s easy to selectively criticise AMI in hindsight… when black swan events like this confound the actuary’s  predictions.

  24. RobC 24

    I am reluctant to AMI-bash, too. Their position is not helped by the large differences in damage assessments from EQC and other assessors meaning they cannot accurately calculate their potential liability.

    However I do criticise the action taken, on the basis it is corporate welfare. But 85,000 (?) policyholders = 85,000 voters and I am trying to keep my cyncism in check.

    • PeteG 24.1

      There may be more voters than that due to jointly held policies.

      Would many people vote based on one issue like this?
      If so, which of the parties that supported the measure would they vote for?
      Would some people who are against the measure vote based on this one issue?

  25. Afewknowthetruth 25

    Another turn of the screw overnight, which will devalue all the money in the ststem,  as we proceed along the path to total collapse of the present economic arrangements.

    Dated Brent Spot
    126.74

    • johnm 25.1

      Hi AFKTT
      Even now most people don’t understand how totally we depend on cheap oil (Now Gone) to keep the current show on the road now falling off the road!

      • Afewknowthetruth 25.1.1

        johm.

        I know. cheap oil underpins EVERYTHING…..money, housing, food, clothing ….the whole lot.

        It’s quite surreal how contributors to forums prattle on about all sorts of irrelevant matters and never notice the ‘elephants in the room’ that are demolishing all the furniture and are about to start demolishing the walls.

        After a decade of denial the International Energy Agency finally indicated we were in trouble with respect to oil last year. Now even the IMF has admitted we are in very deep trouble. Yet most people still remain completely clueless (and don’t want to know). They probably won’t even notice when petrol goes to $2.30 a litre.

        I guess they will notice when the ‘elephants in the room’ have knocked down the walls and the roof has fallen on them. That might take another couple of years.

        • Jim Nald 25.1.1.1

          Almost everything. Don’t forget electricity which is driving most household appliances and also heating. And electricity will be our fallback source of energy.
          Our hydrodams will be more valuable. Just watch who will want to get their hands on that. Actually, they are really cheap to buy and control now for the future.  *Cough

          I would like to think most of my fellow Kiwis are not clueless, ignorant or don’t care. We can see how urgent it is to prepare for the future. When will the political parties campaign on policies that will really matter to us?

          • HC 25.1.1.1.1

            Most fellow Kiwis are addicted to mad modernday consumerism and brainwashing, that is the truth! The ones that realise what is going to happen are far and between. We are all well advised to learn basic gardening, horticultural and other survival skills, because the shit will soon really hit the fan. There won’t be any money to cover costs for welfare, retirement, health and more, because the money may be worth a lot now, but eventually it will not be worth the paper it will be printed on.
            Sadly most are so deluded, they continue to dream that some miracle will happen and all continue as we have been used to since the boom after WW2. That was a very extraordinary period in history. It will be known hereafter for the immense wastage of resources and energy that happened.

  26. Tangled up in blue 26

    Could all of this have been avoided if in Labours three-terms it had properly regulated the Finance & Insurance industries?

    • jbanks 26.1

      Haha Speaking of elephants in rooms

    • Pascal's bookie 26.2

      Probably. But labour was and is still pretty much toeing the imf, neo lib, self regulating market, bullshit, line. Only marginally better than nats.

      Seemt o remember Brash saying that we needed o dergulate the financial sector even more so that e could experience the full awesome of innovative financial product development like what they had in the US.

      ‘Bullet dodged’ is about the best one could say on labour’s record.

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    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Wage theft – I’m fucking over it.
    Today, a worker contacted me asking if she could go to the police over her employer stealing thousands of dollars from her in unpaid wages. The employer also did not pay this worker’s taxes or student loan which amounts to tax fraud. As a workers rights activist, who founded the ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    2 weeks ago
  • On The Rebound.
    Signed, Sealed, Delivered, They're Yours: Is there any person more vulnerable than a jilted lover on the rebound? Or, anything more certain than that the charmer, the predator, the glib spinner of lies and promises will seek such broken people out? Yes, of course, he will love every one of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rabbi urges congregation to vote against Corbyn
    Though Jonathan Romain is a fairly high profile Rabbi, writing in several papers and popping up on TV and the radio, this story doesn't seem to have made it to the Guardian yet, so I'll take the unusual step of linking the Stephen Pollard edited Jewish Chronicle:Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain ...
    2 weeks ago
  • My absurdly optimistic prediction
    There's an election afoot, and that is when noted opinion formers such as myself get to make wild fools of ourselves by pretending we have the faintest idea what will happen.So, here is my absurdly optimistic prediction:Labour - 285Conservative - 262SNP - 53Lib Dems - 20PC - 5Ireland - 18 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • October ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image Credit: Increase Social Media Traffic & Website Traffic I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A mountain of a challenge in banning glyphosate
    Belinda Cridge I was reading my son a story last night. A great tale of derring-do of five mountaineers scaling the Matterhorn for the first time. One in the party had tried six times previously and failed, this was the last attempt before winter closed another season. They tried a ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • This government has a problem with secrecy
    As introduced, the Zero Carbon Bill included an expansive secrecy clause, which would have covered virtually all decisions by the Climate Change Commission over our most important policy area. The Ministry for the Environment admitted this was a mistake (or as they put it, an "oversight"), and the select committee ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A small New Zealand songbird that hides food for later use provides insights into cognitive evolutio...
    Rachael Shaw, Victoria University of Wellington When we think about animals storing food, the image that usually comes to mind is a squirrel busily hiding nuts for the winter. We don’t usually think of a small songbird taking down an enormous invertebrate, tearing it into pieces and hiding these titbits ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Referenda on Euthanasia – NZ First’s Victory – or a Major Miscalculation?
    . . NZ First’s success in putting the euthenasia bill to a public referenda may not be the victory they believe it to be. They may even have sounded the death-knell for a second Labour-NZ First-Green coalition. On 23 July this year, NZ First MP, Jenny Marcroft, submitted a Supplementary ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn the Mighty vs BoJo the Clown
    Interesting contrasting pictures in the Guardian:Corbyn gets the classic positive shot - low angle and a clear background, making him look authoritative (of course, being Corbyn, he doesn't do authoritative very well).Where as Johnson gets pictured with children at some sort of mad-hatters' tea party:Begging the question, who is the ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    19 hours ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    5 days ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    6 days ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    7 days ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Closer cooperation with Korean horse racing industry
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters met with Korea Racing Authority Chairperson Nak Soon Kim in Seoul today to discuss closer cooperation between the New Zealand and Korean horse racing industries. As part of the visit to the Seoul Racecourse, Mr Peters witnessed ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Otago to lead digital creativity
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10 million to establish Otago as the centre of New Zealand’s creative digital industry over the next ten years, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “The initiative will bring us closer to the vision of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Young Otago students encouraged to take on forestry careers
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF)’s skills and employment programme will help young Otago people into long-term forestry careers, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Ara Mahi will invest $63,000 in the 2020 school year to support eight 17 and 18 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF backing Dunedin’s waterfront ambitions
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will support local plans to revitalise and stimulate economic development opportunities in Otago, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The four Regional Economic Development Ministers have approved an in-principle investment of $19.9 million towards the region’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • M. Bovis eradication progress welcomed
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is pleased to have received the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) report on the Coalition Government’s Mycoplasma bovis eradication efforts, which shows significant progress in the fight against the disease. New Zealand First Spokesperson for Primary Industries, Mark Patterson, says the report’s findings ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF boosts Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sector
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development Hon David Parker, Minister for Trade and Export Growth The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing to support economic growth opportunities for Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sectors, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Trade and Export Minister David Parker announced today. Almost $20 million ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Peters discusses Pacific challenges and denuclearisation in Seoul
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters and his South Korean counterpart, Kang Kyung-wha, discussed in Seoul today opportunities to work more closely in the Pacific and the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Mr Peters and Minister Kang confirmed New Zealand and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF supports high speed broadband for marae at Parihaka Pa
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development  Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Minister for Māori Development The three marae in the historic Parihaka Pa complex in Taranaki have been upgraded to high speed broadband with the support of the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Connecting the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 launched
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence Minister of Defence Ron Mark will today launch the Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 Defence Assessment  during a speech at Te Papa.  The Assessment outlines how Defence will partner with our Pacific Island neighbours and invest in Pacific regional security architecture. The Plan aligns with the Coalition ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF funding could transform Gisborne company into “beacon of employment” in two years
    A new Provincial Growth Fund investment could create about 80 new jobs in Gisborne over the next two years, turning a local small business into a “beacon of employment” in the process. Regional Economic Development Parliamentary Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau said the PGF’s Te Ara Mahi funding stream would provide $1.6m ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Two years of progress
    This week, we’re taking action on climate change, expanding trades education – and celebrating two years of progress! ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs to visit the Republic of Korea and Japan
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters will travel to the Republic of Korea and Japan next week. “The Republic of Korea and Japan are two of New Zealand’s closest partners in the region with whom we share common values and ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand to lead Bougainville Referendum Regional Police Support Mission
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters has announced today that New Zealand is leading a police support mission in Bougainville as the region prepares to vote in a non-binding referendum on its political future. “New Zealand has accepted an invitation ...
    3 weeks ago
  • We’re taking action on climate change
    “I refuse to accept the challenge of climate change is too hard to solve.” – Jacinda Ardern ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Shane Jones annoyed at “elevated sense of entitlement from a lot of immigrant leaders”
    New Zealand First MP Shane Jones is defending Immigration New Zealand (INZ) after it instructed officials to stop granting visas as an exception to instructions. He has also lashed out at immigrant leaders upset with the tightening of the rules, saying they had an “elevated sense of entitlement”. Members of ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand public likely to vote on euthanasia bill thanks to NZ First
    A change to the End of Life Choice Bill was passed in Parliament, meaning if politicians decide to vote for the law it must be approved by the public first. A binding referendum was a condition insisted on by New Zealand First, and Jenny Marcroft’s supplementary order paper (SOP) successfully ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Fisheries innovation projects supported
    Groups involved with innovative fisheries research projects are encouraged to apply for government support in the latest funding round from the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures programme. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash says the SFF Futures funding is designed to be flexible enough to support small or large projects across a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Government fixes culturally arranged marriage visa issue
    The Government has fixed an issue affecting how Immigration New Zealand has processed visa applications for culturally arranged marriages, which will now see a consistent process applied which ensures people with legitimate arranged marriages can visit New Zealand while also preventing any rorting of the system. Earlier this year Immigration ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Extension for Royal Commission into Mosque attacks
    The Royal Commission into the Attacks on Christchurch Mosques will report back on 30 April 2020 to give it more time to hear submissions and consider information, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The Royal Commission was originally scheduled to report back to Government by 10 December 2019. “There has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Terrorism and Trade on agenda as Foreign Minister visits the United States
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington DC today to attend a ministerial meeting focused on defeating ISIS, and to continue pursuing New Zealand’s trade opportunities. Mr Peters will participate in a meeting of Foreign and Defence Ministers from key countries contributing to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Hoiho get extra support alongside 168 community conservation groups backing nature
    The recently crowned Bird of the Year, the hoiho/yellow eyed penguin, is getting a much needed helping hand alongside more than 168 other community conservation projects announced Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage today. 168 community conservation projects throughout New Zealand are benefiting from $8 million in government grants, including $500,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • New safety measures for modified pistols
    Controls on assault rifles and semi-automatic firearms are to be broadened to include some types of pistols, under changes to a bill currently making its way through Parliament. Police Minister Stuart Nash has tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to the Arms Legislation Bill, which is currently before a Select Committee ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit Singapore and Thailand
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark will travel to Singapore today to conduct a counterpart visit and to co-chair the third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting with his counterpart, Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen. “Singapore is one of our most important defence partners in the region, and our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Future secured for Salisbury School
    Nelson’s Salisbury School is to be rebuilt, creating a modern and suitable learning environment for students at the residential special school, Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The school for girls aged 8-15, in Richmond, was earmarked for closure by National until the process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Resource management reform options released
    The panel undertaking a comprehensive review of the Resource Management Act has identified the main issues to be addressed and options for reform and is calling for feedback to inform its final report.  In July the Government announced the comprehensive review of the resource management system, including the RMA - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission established
    An important safety valve has been added to New Zealand’s criminal justice system with the third reading of the Criminal Cases Review Commission Bill today. The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) will investigate claimed miscarriages of justice. “We’ve seen how our justice system can very occasionally get things spectacularly wrong, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Racing Industry destined to be on-track
    Racing Minister Winston Peters welcomes the tabling of the Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) 2019 Annual Report in Parliament today. He says the 2019 Annual Report marks the point when New Zealand’s racing industry’s decline was arrested and a turnaround started. RITA’s 2019 Annual Report recorded an industry net profit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand firefighter support to Queensland
    The New Zealand Government is today sending 21 firefighters to help fight the ongoing catastrophic Australian bushfires. “The fires in Australia are in some of the toughest, most challenging conditions ever,” says Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin.  “As of yesterday morning, there were 100 active bushfire-related incidents across Queensland and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Supporting all schools to succeed
      More frontline support for schools through a new education agency, as part of a redesigned Ministry of Education More support for principals and school boards including through a new centre of leadership and local leadership advisor roles New independent disputes panels for parents and students Management of school property ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Reform to support better outcomes for Māori learners and whānau
    The Government’s reform of the Tomorrow’s Schools system is a watershed moment in education and an opportunity to create meaningful change for ākonga Māori and their whānau, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis said today. “Last year through Kōrero Mātauranga | Education Conversation, Māori teachers, parents, ākonga, whānau, hapū and iwi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Infrastructure pipeline growing
    Infrastructure Minister is welcoming the first of many updated project pipelines from the newly established New Zealand Infrastructure Commission today. The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga, has released an expanded pipeline of major capital projects – another crucial step towards delivering better infrastructure outcomes. “The first iteration of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Tighter firearms law to further improve safety
    Tougher gun laws designed to improve public safety through firearms prohibition orders are proposed in a new document released for public input. Police Minister Stuart Nash says firearms prohibition orders (FPOs) would give new powers to Police to ensure high-risk individuals come nowhere near firearms. “We have already prohibited the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New TVNZ chair & directors confirmed
    Andy Coupe has been confirmed as TVNZ’s new Board Chair. “Mr Coupe has strong commercial and capital markets experience and TVNZ has benefited from his technical knowledge of business and finance, as well as his extensive governance experience,” the Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Kris Faafoi said.  Andy ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Hutt Road cycle path officially opened
    Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter today officially opened a separated pathway, following the completion of the Kaiwharawhara Stream bridge, which will improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians along Hutt Road.  The $6.8m Hutt Road project provides a separated path for cycling and pedestrians, the replacement of informal parking ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Announcement of new Ambassador to Russia
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of career diplomat Si’alei van Toor as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Russia. “I’m pleased to appoint Ms van Toor to this position. She brings a wealth of experience to the role having previously served as Senior Trade Adviser to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update
    The Treasury’s 2019 Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) will be released on Wednesday December 11, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Coalition Government will publish the 2020 Budget Policy Statement at the same time, outlining the priorities for Budget 2020. Further details on arrangements for the release will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Giving a Boost to Kiwi small businesses
    A new initiative to better support small businesses through hands-on mentoring and advice has been launched by the Minister for Small Business. The first event in the Kiwi Business Boost series of regional workshops and online tools has been launched in Wairoa by Stuart Nash. “The Business Boost initiative combines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Nearly three quarters of Rolleston connected to UFB
    The latest Quarterly Connectivity Report shows that more and more New Zealanders are moving to Ultra-fast Broadband (UFB), with Rolleston having the highest uptake at 74 per cent, as at the end of September. “This means that nearly three quarters of Rolleston’s households and businesses have moved to ultra-fast services. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Historic day for landmark climate change legislation in New Zealand
    The passing of the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill will help ensure a safe planet for our kids and grandkids, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw said today. The landmark legislation which provides a framework to support New Zealanders to prepare for, and adapt to, the effects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Release of Oranga Tamariki Practice Review
    The review of Oranga Tamariki practice around the planned uplift of a Hastings baby in May shows significant failings by the Ministry and that the planned and funded changes to shift from a child crisis service to a proper care and protection service need to be accelerated, Children’s Minister Tracey ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Minister wishes students success in exams
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins has wished students the best of luck for this year’s NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams which start tomorrow. Around 140,000 students will have participated in 119 NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams by the end of the exam period on 3 December. “I want to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New High Commissioner to the United Kingdom announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of Bede Corry as New Zealand’s next High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. “The appointment of a senior diplomat to this important role underlines the significance New Zealand places on our relationship with the United Kingdom,” said Mr Peters. “The United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Police recruits making Auckland safer
    An innovative approach to boosting the number of frontline Police has seen 20 new officers graduate from one of the uncommon training wings in Auckland. Police Minister Stuart Nash says the graduation of 20 constables today means that 1,765 new Police officers have been deployed since the coalition government took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Over 1.2 million hours of community work helps local communities
    Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says the 1.2 million hours of community work completed by offenders in the last financial year has helped local communities right across the country. “Community work sentences are a great way for people to pay something positive back to society. There is a massive benefit to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Te Huringa o Te Tai – Police Crime Prevention Strategy
    "A pathway for Police in leadership with Iwi Māori, to achieve the aspirations of Māori whānau." Police launch of Te Huringa o Te Tai, Pipitea Marae,  Thorndon Quay, Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou. Hello everyone, warm greetings to you all. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Kiwis getting higher pay
    Working New Zealanders are getting more in their back pockets under the Coalition Government’s economic plan. Stats NZ data today shows average weekly ordinary time earnings are up by $83 since the Government took office. This shows that working New Zealanders are getting higher take-home pay, and that employers are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More support for schools to reduce energy consumption and environmental impact
    The Government is supporting schools to cut down their energy consumption and reduce environmental impacts, with a quarter of all schools having their lights replaced with LEDs, a sustainability contestable fund and a plan to improve the environmental sustainability of all schools in the future. Education Minister Chris Hipkins and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s manaakitanga highlighted in China
    Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis heads to China on Friday to lead the New Zealand Government presence at the China-New Zealand Year of Tourism closing ceremony. The ceremony will take place at Canton Tower in Guangzhou on Sunday 10 November. “The Year of Tourism has been mutually beneficial for both New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Climate change research boost
    Should we plan for drought or deluge and how is CO2 released from the ocean’s floor? Several climate change projects were given a boost in the latest Marsden Fund investment of $83.6 million, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods said today. “Climate change is long-term challenge that requires out-of-the-box ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Significant progress on Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)
    Leaders of 16 countries negotiating the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) have announced the completion of negotiation on the text as well as agreement on virtually all market access issues between 15 countries. The leaders said they will work with India to resolve its outstanding concerns in a way that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Learn how to stay safe on World Tsunami Awareness Day
    Civil Defence Minister Hon Peeni Henare says World Tsunami Awareness Day today (5 November) is a chance for all New Zealanders to learn more about the tsunami risk in our regions and the right actions to take to stay safe. “All of New Zealand’s coastline is at risk of tsunami. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Formal recognition at last for paramedics’ frontline medical role
    New Zealand’s more than 1000 paramedics are to have their role as key frontline health professionals formally recognised and regulated in the same way as doctors and nurses, Health Minister David Clark says. The Government has agreed to regulate paramedics under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003. “Paramedic leaders ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government improving protections for consumers and workers when businesses fail
    Changes to insolvency law announced by the Government today will include requirements to honour up to 50 per cent of the value of gift cards or vouchers held by consumers, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi says. “When a business is insolvent, these consumers are often left out of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Outstanding public service recognised
    Six New Zealanders tonight received medals for their meritorious work in the frontline public service. The Public Service Medal, established by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, is awarded annually. “For the second year this Government has recognised public servants who have made a real difference to the lives of New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Global trade, business promotion focus of Shanghai meetings
    Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker heads to Shanghai today for the China International Import Expo and meetings focused on reforming the WTO. Over 90 New Zealand companies will be exhibiting at the second China International Import Expo (CIIE), which runs from 5-10 November. “China is one of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Drivers to get more time to gain full licence
    Drivers holding a current five-year learner or restricted car or motorbike licence, expiring between 1 December 2019 and 1 December 2021, will receive an automatic two-year extension, Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter announced today. Over 144,000 drivers’ time-limited licences are due to expire in the next two years; 67,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago