web analytics

An Ineffectual Opposition Is Bad News

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, October 28th, 2018 - 42 comments
Categories: broadcasting, clickbait, Deep stuff, democracy under attack, democratic participation, elections, internet, jacinda ardern, journalism, leadership, making shit up, Media, news, newspapers, Parliament, politicans, Politics, radio, spin, tv - Tags: , ,

Hinemihi meeting house at Te Wairoa, after the Mt Tarawera eruption of 10 June 1886. The name of the house in full is Hinemihi o te Ao Tawhito (Hinemihi of the ancient world).

It is often said that the role of the Opposition in the House of Representatives is to hold the Government to account. One of the other important roles of the Opposition is to represent the people and this does not mean only their supporters (i.e. the ones who voted for them).

About once every three years the fickle beast of Public Opinion emerges from the wilderness. In between, it rarely comes into full view with only brief & hazy glimpses under the cover of darkness and surreal howling & hissing sounds in the distance. Around that time, the Opposition changes its spots and goes into full peacock mode to wow the fickle beast and present an alternative government in waiting.

What happens when there is (an) ineffectual Opposition? It might give the Government of the day an easy ride so that it can get on with its business relatively unencumbered. The Government is well-resourced compared to the Opposition. It may also mean poor representation of the people.

Politics is also a contest of ideas; NZ politics currently appears to be a contest of sleaze & dirt against kindness. The irony is that the best way to combat the message of Jacinda Ardern (bringing people together, kindness, hope, being positive, compassion) is to be an ineffectual opposition. I will try and build the argument.

The MSM help to shrink the Overton window. The people are in a mental prison cell with a tiny dirty window high up and they are staring at shadowy projections on the wall, which they take as connected to reality (in fact, as reality). They euphorically cry out “nailed it!” when one of those projections resembles an archetypical symbol buried in their deep sub-conscious and when they seem to recognise it. The thing is though that this mental prison is self-imposed, through conditioning and indoctrination; the door is not locked and ‘prisoners’ can walk out any time they want. But it never occurs to them to even try the door; it is locked, this is as good as it gets, there is no alternative (reality or world), you will be blinded (oh, the irony), you will die …

People generally have no suitable forum to discuss politics other than on Social Media, which in turn, by and large, get their cues (and headlines) from the MSM. People need to be part of the conversation, or at least feel included and listened to. But so-called opinion leaders and (political) commentators have a reputation to uphold and they want to own the narrative, they want to set it (i.e. determine the talking points, what is of interest and what is not – possibly guided by the Editors of the MSM whom they work for and who pay their salaries) and dominate & control it; no room for the plebs to join the elitist (arrogant & patronising) Fourth Estate and their inner sanctum, the Parliamentary Press Gallery. The perverse outcome of this is that it narrows public political ‘discourse’ to a reflexive rant fest, at best.

To satisfy the advertisers, from a narrow range of topics the most important ones are carefully selected and annotated with luring headlines to increase the number of readers and encourage them to stay on the site and click away (click bait). Never forget that MSM are struggling for existence and fighting for their (commercial) lives. This is not and never has been a contest of ideas and it certainly is not politics, not even reporting on politics; it is often just making up shit in the absence of a real contest of ideas in the house and without leadership and model examples from real politicians that could and should be used as a starting point for the MSM to report on and kickstart and encourage public debate. And it shows. The result: the people are switching off from politics.

In and by the MSM issues are presented and ‘dealt’ with as simplistic binaries; politics is about winners & losers, the Left vs. the Right. Of course, this fuels the perception of politics as a pugilistic partisanship and it polarises opinions, which puts off people even more.

This does not just apply to the written word. Live shows with panels made up of the usual experts suspects that regurgitate the same stuff over and over and each and every time surely must bore the hell out of people. Those panel members have become caricatures of themselves like Statler and Waldorf on the Muppet Show, blurring the boundary between politicians and commentators – unsurprising when many of those are ex-politicians or former wannabies. To stay with this analogy for a moment, Statler when watching the show opined “no one would watch junk like that”.

No one would watch junk like that.

These shows and their audiences do not tolerate cliff hangers; they demand clear conclusive answers , decisive actions, and absolute promises from politicians featuring on the show. They will certainly not leave you pondering “what if” or contemplating the complexities of politics and (life in) our society. And an absolute taboo is to encourage viewers to start doing some critical thinking themselves; leave it to the professional experts.

Rather, these shows feed (on) people’s biased opinions and provide a mix of low blows and gotcha moments that separates and alienates people from each other. They are an extension (and often a copy) of the written columns in the MSM – funnily enough they often involve the same key players from a small ‘incestuous talent pool’. No wonder that politics gets a bad rap!

I know the above generalisations are unfair to some outstanding work in the media but my point stands: Mainstream Media are for mainstream audiences who want mainstream ‘solutions’, etc., and you can read into this anything you like 😉 Politics is for all people or at least it should be.

Please do not get me wrong, all this o.k. as long as it is not the only game in town. When we have an ineffectual Opposition, however, it easily does become the only game in town with its own set of rules and its own (commercial) interests (i.e. of the MSM). This is bad news.

42 comments on “An Ineffectual Opposition Is Bad News ”

  1. Ed 1

    Reform the media.

  2. marty mars 2

    The media is just the media. Take it, leave it – it really doesn’t matter because they have their own agenda and that is to generate revenue. That’s it. There is no conspiracy, there is no dumbing down – there is revenue generation and anything that will drive that. It is lazy and t.rumpish to blame the media as many do. Yes they can generate stories, spin stories, put slants on stories – to generate revenue.

    The opposition is weak, disorganized and losing support – it is cyclic and doesn’t really follow logic – it just goes around and around. I say lets take advantage of this part of the cycle and make some real changes for the people that need it. Soon enough it will change.

    • Ed 2.1

      If you think this, j highly recommend you watch this film.
      Shadows of Liberty.

      • marty mars 2.1.1

        What’s the synopsis?

        • Ed 2.1.1.1

          That’s a trailer.

          Synopsis
          “Shadows of Liberty is a documentary indictment of America’s media echo chamber. The film’s title is inspired by a quote from American revolutionary journalist Thomas Paine, “When men yield up the privilege of thinking, the last shadow of liberty quits the horizon.

          Canadian Director Jean Philippe Tremblay’s film has methodically analyzed the crisis of democracy that is the dearth of actual news reporting in the American corporate media.

          Shadows of Liberty begins by telling cautionary tales of three journalists whose careers were destroyed when they refused to let go of stories their corporate masters wanted spiked. “

          • marty mars 2.1.1.1.1

            Sounds true to type.

            This review…

            “None of these stories are new, but it helps to be reminded that news organizations (and the people who run them) are capable of errors of judgment, laziness or, as one interview subject puts it, “following the lead of silence.”

            February 21, 2013″

  3. JanM 3

    Good stuff, Incognito – thank you.

  4. Rosemary McDonald 4

    “What happens when there is (an) ineffectual Opposition?”

    The answer to that question is all around us.

    How many years now have we had an Opposition which is barely distinguishable from the Government in actual policy and culture?

    An Opposition which it appears has the primary responsibility to set the stage and the script for the shameful displays in the House.

    To provide entertainment for the masses.

    I’m not going to trot out the statistics that prove how ineffectual (or is it?) successive Oppositions have been in the past three decades….we all know them.

    The unique environment we have at the moment, with the Opposition effectively out of commission, presents a real opportunity for Government to simply get on with the job.

    Now the Government could, while the plebs are distracted watching individuals scrabbling and clawing each other to extract themselves from the shit-wallow of their own making, choose to be bold and address some of the less sexy issues that they and their predecessors have willfully ignored to the point where some in the most disadvantaged groups have simply given up hope…..

    Open Mike 26/10/2018

    Beneficiary for life: the joys of permanent disability in present day NZ

    This is life on a benefit for ill and disabled people

    …or they could just run true to form of typical governments of recent decades and focus on the positive…https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-27-10-2018/#comment-1543049

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/108157197/first-kiwibuild-families-welcomed-to-new-homes-by-prime-minister

    • Carolyn_Nth 4.1

      It’s usually said the time for any government to make its most radical policies and legislation is at the beginning of its first term. It gets harder after that.

      Of course, NZF is acting as a brake, but to me it always looked like the preferred partner in government for team Ardern-Robertson, was NZF. They welcome the having the brakes on.

      • Rosemary McDonald 4.1.1

        “It’s usually said the time for any government to make its most radical policies and legislation is at the beginning of its first term. It gets harder after that.”

        Yes.

        And I think they’ve missed the tide.

        Tough shit for Kay and Tui.

        • Bill 4.1.1.1

          “Missed the tide” would only be a thing if they ever wanted to catch it. Paint me cynical, but I have visions of NZ Labour running back up the beach as fast as they can, stopping only to throw up hasty barriers of sand before setting off again screaming something about ‘wet feet’ and getting ‘swept away’.

          On the positive front, the tides coming in everywhere, and sand doesn’t make for much in the way of a barrier 🙂

      • Kahu 4.1.2

        Yeah so they get best of both worlds …see capitalists we’re not such a threat, see party base/activists we tried but… see people on struggle street we’ll talk the talk (but not walk the walk)

  5. AB 5

    Not sure I can agree with this.

    Chomsky and Herman anatomised decades ago how the power of private media ownership operates and how the range of opinion is constrained. It’s not a conspiracy, just an inherent property of that sort of media ecosystem. Rather than constantly getting frustrated by it, some ideas for alternative media structures and funding might be more interesting.

    Our local media have pretty much forgotten that politics is (or should be) a practical manifestation of an underlying moral purpose. They lack the inclination and the vocabulary to ask questions about what the ‘good’ should look like – and that is what ‘holding governments to account’ is really about, enquiring as to whether they are advancing the ‘good’, or causing harm.
    Instead they get obsessed with the operational and the salacious – is Winston pushing Jacinda around, is the coalition unravelling, did Meka leave bruises, did Phil ‘own’ Judith on the radio or the other way round, will Simon be axed, what do the polls mean, etc. This sort of tripe is not holding anyone to account.

    The strength or weakness of Oppositions is pretty much unimportant – it varies naturally as part of the political cycle and eventually looks after itself. And Oppositions never hold governments to account – the whole reason we have different political parties is because they have different ‘accounting’ principles. The role of oppositions is to provide an alternative narrative, so that the public can hold both government and opposition to account.

  6. Ad 6

    This government have achieved many of the promises it set out without an effective opposition. Long may it continue.

    Many of New Zealand’s big policy problems like housing, health, transport, and incarceration are so large it’s easier for a Labour-led government to stay the course with as little interruption as possible. Three terms while National sorts itself is ideal. Or four.

    There will never be radical or very strong policy in New Zealand – with or without the mainstream media or National – because MMP is specifically designed to make governments milder. That’s not the fault of the MSM, and won’t be cured by blogs or Twitter either.

    Don’t worry about political discourse in the media. 95% of New Zealanders pay no attention to it at all unless a Prime Minister dies or gives birth or scores a massive policy victory. Only us nerds care otherwise.

    • Bill 6.1

      I’m not seeing the basis for this assertion that there will never be radical or very strong policy in New Zealand […] because MMP is specifically designed to make governments milder.

      Scotland’s MMP environment has housed a concerted effort to foster more social democratic priorities in government – ie, a break from liberal orthodoxy even though the Scottish Parliament, due to the asymmetries of political power in the UK, remains tethered and limited by Westminster’s liberalism.

      If a break from “accepted political truths” can happen there and in other polities where forms of proportional representation determine the makeup of government (eg Podemos in Spain) , then it can happen here too.

      • Ad 6.1.1

        Our MMP history has done precisely what I say.

        It won’t be the same in other countries – but Scotland isn’t a great example.

        GDP statistics showed economic growth less than half the UK rate, the third consecutive year Scotland has lagged.

        One in 12 under-25s is now on a zero-hours contract.

        The chair of NHS Tayside was forced to resign after the health board dipped into donations to buy a new computer system.

        Labour councillors voted to increase the allocation of Tory seats on Falkirk Council’s executive committee.

        Attempts to quit smoking hit a record low after the SNP slashed cessation budgets.

        Primary classes with 30 or more pupils soared by 44 per cent. School exclusions for assault with a weapon reached a five-year high.

        The economist John McLaren noted last week:

        ‘One of the reasons that the Scottish Government can get away with its facile comment on the state of the economy is that so little scrutiny is brought to bear on its performance. This is a political problem, in the sense of a general lack of interest, as well as a wider one, with few think tanks and media specialists highlighting the economic issues. If the UK economy had grown by less than one percent a year for the last three years there would be uproar and possibly a new Governor at the Bank of England. In Scotland, silence reigns.’

        Former Labour Minister Brian Wilson suggests an explanation:

        ‘Most of “civic Scotland” has shown a resolute lack of interest in being awoken. Organisations which once existed to stand up for Scottish workers and public services now operate as if wholly owned subsidiaries of the Scottish Government, acutely aware – and regularly reminded – of where their funding comes from. The tentacles of dependency run deep.’

        Scotland’s democratic infrastructure does not match the scope of devolution.

        MMP didn’t cure anything in Scotland. And the hope for any stronger politics is always that receding mirage – that one where in an “independence” vote it swaps one form of dependence with England, for another with the EU.

        • Bill 6.1.1.1

          Just because NZ has shuffled along since ’96, doesn’t mean it always will, and given that countries with first past the post systems have also been sleep walking/shuffling/doing “by the numbers”, suggests the problem isn’t MMP but ideological capture.

          And it was on that ideological political shift (from liberal to social democratic) that I was commenting. Why you respond with comments on economic performance, when I already noted that the Scottish Parliament is constrained by Westminster – well, it’s a bit beyond me.

          • Ad 6.1.1.1.1

            22 years and four 9-year governments give you the sense of things. MMP tends to generate coalitions and hence tends toward very strong compromise in order to achieve government.

            That’s not ideological capture; that’s the structural capture of MMP itself.

            You mentioned Scotland as a break from something. I showed that it’s really not a break from anything.

            • Bill 6.1.1.1.1.1

              MMP and FPP have produced the same moribund politics “the world over”, so you can’t sensibly pin it all on MMP. Granted, MMP tends towards the “lowest common denominator”….so bring in a Fixed Parliaments Act and be done with coalitions and all the horse trading and compromising they entail.

              I mentioned Scotland as a break from liberalism – not some nebulous “something” 🙂 Under Corbyn, UK Labour is making the same break. It’s simply a matter of priorities. “For the many, not the few” as it were – social outcomes taking precedence over economic outcomes – people before profit – making the economy serve society instead of, as under liberalism, society serving the economy (and waiting for that trickle).

              As an example – period poverty. Sturgeon and the Scottish government decided to eradicate it. That’s unthinkable by liberal ways of thinking, where people are offered so-called equal opportunity, and if they blow it, then hey….with some charity for those “lesser fortunates” and all round “lesser” types thrown in on the side 😉

              • Ad

                MMP isn’t the sole cause of any one policy and it’s foolish to suggest that.

                Nor is MMP the killer causal app for or against radical policy frameworks – just a dampener.

                Not sure about the period poverty thing. Australia – not a paragon of radical political thought in this century – have just taken GST off those items. Plenty of states already give away tonnes of stuff for free, at least as liberating as your example. Your example is not the revolution.

                Any government that managed to eradicate actual wholesale poverty I would count as a break from the usual status quo. But there are plenty of social democrat countries who’ve worked on that irrespective of their system – like Denmark and Sweden – not because they do or do not have MMP, but because their social democrat compact has held for many generations.

                And all of that would never persuade me to change the system that we have. It’s not perfect. It’s the best we’ve had so far.

              • Bill

                MMP isn’t the sole cause of any one policy and it’s foolish to suggest that.

                Who was the fool who suggested such a thing?

                Period Poverty (if you want to come up to speed).

                Do you even perceive difference between liberal settings and social democratic ones by the way? I’m asking because none of your comments have actually managed to engage on that footing.

                Social democracy will never eradicate poverty because it’s still wedded to the same economic order as liberalism (ie, capitalism). But at least it tries to rein capital in and make it work for the betterment of society – in lieu of assuming that what’s good for capital will be good for society – by and by.

                • Ad

                  The labels you point to are so fluid as to be pretty meaningless so I don’t bother with them as much as you do.

                  I’ve never seen anything stronger than social democratic governments sustain meaningful democracy and ameliorate capitalism at the same time for any useful length of time. I don’t bother imagining something “beyond” capitalism any more – there are some great theories, some marches in history, and stuff that works for a generation or two on a city scale, but otherwise the world is what it is an there are limited bounds for change. The rest is just a binge-purge cycle of romanticism and heartache.

                  • Bill

                    Well, if you can’t see any meaning in talking about social democracy, and can’t see the basic difference between social democracy and liberalism, then why the hell did you bother entering into this exchange Ad?

                    And whether you imagine something or anything “beyond” capitalism is irrelevant to this exchange where I merely attempted to point out the reality of an ideological break (a meaningless one in your book) that’s wholly contained within a capitalist framework. But hey…

            • Wayne 6.1.1.1.1.2

              The fact that NZ has had three, nine year governments in succession actually says a lot about how stable our system is. Each of these governments (except perhaps 1996 to 1999) governed NZ in predictable and basically acceptable ways. Neither was any of them radical.

              I would say NZ has done pretty well over the last 30 years. Sure there are problems, but far fewer than in most countries.

  7. Bill 7

    I’d say it’s politicians, not media, that are putting people off politics. They’ve been spouting the same narrowly defined crap for decades and while the political promise has been for “better things to come”, things have gotten generally worse for the bulk of people .

    The media (mainstream liberal) reporting on smash emanating from the political class and building it up to be presented as something important just puts people off liberal mainstream media.

    I know I keep throwing out these examples, but here we go again.

    When the SNP presented a political message that resonated, and even though they had a coconut shy of the entire media railing against them, they won enough support to form the government.

    Likewise, Jeremy Corbyn has almost the entire media establishment set against him, but he’s got a message that people relate to, and UK Labour has become the largest political party in western Europe.

  8. Stuart Munro 8

    So there are two questions that occur to me from your premise of an ineffectual opposition:

    How does a party effectively simulate the critical feedback that would be generated by an ideal Burkean loyal opposition? Might as well eat their lunch since they’re too corrupt to do their job.

    How does it generate sufficient public involvement in decision making to not only get to the root of the real problems afflicting our state, but to involve them sufficiently that the solutions they generate also generate assent through confidence in the validity of the process? A party practicing real democracy enjoys considerable advantages within a democratic polity.

  9. WeTheBleeple 9

    Both politicians and MSM put people off politics.

    It’s easier to not listen.

    What’s JA wearing? Will inexperience hobble the left?

    This is not reporting, it’s horseshit.

    • tc 9.1

      That’s why a non msm is required. Intelligent public broadcasting brings people in on the issues as it holds the bally lot of them to task.

  10. One Two 10

    When was there last, an effective opposition…

    The system has been debased to such a level that effective only applies for those who pull the levers…

    Innefective government, and opposition is the great ‘gift’ and boon for the gatekeepers of ‘westminster’…

    Further decline is the outcome in the same way that a debt problem won’t be solved using debt…

    NZ parliament will not be turned…recent years and indeed recent weeks are the evidence…

    Broken and bent system…Broken and bent politicians…

  11. Philj 11

    Politicians and journalists are currently ’embedded’. ( pun noted) They are co-dependent instead of independent. A strong independent media is essential to a healthy democracy. The public have lost trust in both, unsurprisingly.

  12. gsays 12

    Perhaps to be more effective in opposition would be to find common ground with the ‘others’. Then seek to work on legislation/reform together.

    Child poverty is an issue that both sides of the house want to fix.
    Do it together.

    Affordable housing is not something I trust them to fix properly as most of the pollies are landlords… Turkey for an early christmas anyone?

  13. SPC 13

    Then again the media can simply help National be a more effective opposition …

    Newshub keeps reporting the lies of National MP’s about the cost of a years free tertiary education for example.

    It is in fact under $1B pa for the first year free study.

  14. R.P Mcmurphy 14

    yadda yadda yadda.
    marxist rhetoric and capitalist delusions will be no match for the little surprise mother nature is about to bestow.

  15. Tuppence Shrewsbury 15

    Said the same, but didn’t blame the media, for 9 years and got called a troll. Go figure

    • Difference was, with Key and the ChiNational party , THERE WAS NO criticism , – ever !

      Key and co could have pulled wings off seagulls in front of the media and the voters would have lapped it up. Never mind the fact that Dildo Joyce once owned TV3 and had his mates all through the media industry to slant it.

      The great big list of John Key’s big fat lies (UPDATED) « The Standard

      The great big list of John Key’s big fat lies (UPDATED)

      By contrast , the media DOES criticize the coalition – even after just one year in power. And much of that is from the same tribalists that the OP is talking about. The fact they cant hang much on them says an awful lot about successful they are.

      • Tuppence Shrewsbury 15.1.1

        Just looking for excuses as to how inefficient the last opposition was there

  16. Morrissey 16

    An Ineffectual Opposition Is Bad News. True. Never has this been shown to be more true than by the non-performance of the so-called Democrats, obsessing like flying-saucer nuts about “Russian meddling” while Trump and his cronies dismantle civil society in front of our eyes.

  17. Michelle 17

    they are an ineffectual opposition( the gnats) and they were also an ineffectual government so what is new

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Over $300m returned to COVID-hit travellers
    The Government’s Consumer Travel Reimbursement Scheme has helped return over $352 million of refunds and credits to New Zealanders who had overseas travel cancelled due to COVID-19, Consumer Affairs Minister David Clark says. “Working with the travel sector, we are helping New Zealanders retrieve the money owed to them by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Hundreds more schools join free lunches programme
    An additional 88,000 students in 322 schools and kura across the country have started the school year with a regular lunch on the menu, thanks to the Government’s Ka Ora, Ka Ako Healthy School Lunches programme. They join 42,000 students already receiving weekday lunches under the scheme, which launched last ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Govt’s balanced economic approach reflected in Crown accounts
    New Zealand’s economic recovery has again been reflected in the Government’s books, which are in better shape than expected. The Crown accounts for the seven months to the end of January 2021 were better than forecast in the Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU). The operating balance before gains ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Over half of border workforce receive first vaccinations
    More than half of New Zealand’s estimated 12,000 border workforce have now received their first vaccinations, as a third batch of vaccines arrive in the country, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. As of midnight Tuesday, a total of 9,431 people had received their first doses. More than 70 percent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Boost in funding to deliver jobs while restoring Central Otago’s lakes and waterways
    The Government is significantly increasing its investment in restoring Central Otago’s waterways while at the same time delivering jobs to the region hard-hit by the economic impact of Covid-19, says Land Information Minister, Damien O’Connor.   Mr O’Connor says two new community projects under the Jobs for Nature funding programme will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Next stage of COVID-19 support for business and workers
    The Government has confirmed details of COVID-19 support for business and workers following the increased alert levels due to a resurgence of the virus over the weekend. Following two new community cases of COVID-19, Auckland moved to Alert Level 3 and the rest of New Zealand moved to Alert Level ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt committed to hosting Rugby World Cup
    The Government remains committed to hosting the Women’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in 2022 should a decision be made by World Rugby this weekend to postpone this year’s tournament. World Rugby is recommending the event be postponed until next year due to COVID-19, with a final decision to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Support Available for Communities affected by COVID-19
    Community and social service support providers have again swung into action to help people and families affected by the current COVID-19 alert levels. “The Government recognises that in many instances social service, community, iwi and Whānau Ora organisations are best placed to provide vital support to the communities impacted by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt announces review into PHARMAC
    The Government is following through on an election promise to conduct an independent review into PHARMAC, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Andrew Little announced today. The Review will focus on two areas: How well PHARMAC performs against its current objectives and whether and how its performance against these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Impressive response to DOC scholarship programme
    Some of the country’s most forward-thinking early-career conservationists are among recipients of a new scholarship aimed at supporting a new generation of biodiversity champions, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. The Department of Conservation (DOC) has awarded one-year postgraduate research scholarships of $15,000 to ten Masters students in the natural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to ANZLF Virtual Indigenous Business Trade and Connections Event
    I acknowledge our whānau overseas, joining us from Te Whenua Moemoeā, and I wish to pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging. Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you all today. I am very pleased to be part of the conversation on Indigenous business, and part ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Main benefits to increase in line with wages
    Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced today that main benefits will increase by 3.1 percent on 1 April, in line with the rise in the average wage. The Government announced changes to the annual adjustment of main benefits in Budget 2019, indexing main benefit increases to the average ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Deed of Settlement signed with Ngāti Maru (Taranaki)
    A Deed of Settlement has been signed between Ngāti Maru and the Crown settling the iwi’s historical Treaty of Waitangi claims, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little announced today. The Ngāti Maru rohe is centred on the inland Waitara River valley, east to the Whanganui River and its ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Support in place for people connected to Auckland COVID-19 cases
    With a suite of Government income support packages available, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni is encouraging people, and businesses, connected to the recent Auckland COVID-19 cases to check the Work and Income website if they’ve been impacted by the need to self-isolate. “If you are required to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Statement on passing of former PNG PM Sir Michael Somare
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has expressed her condolences at the passing of long-serving former Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare. “Our thoughts are with Lady Veronica Somare and family, Prime Minister James Marape and the people of Papua New Guinea during this time of great ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Speech to the National Māori Housing Conference 2021
    E te tī, e te tā  Tēnei te mihi maioha ki a koutou  Ki te whenua e takoto nei  Ki te rangi e tū iho nei  Ki a tātou e tau nei  Tēnā tātou.  It’s great to be with you today, along with some of the ministerial housing team; Hon Peeni Henare, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Drone project to aid protection of Māui dolphin
    The Government is backing a new project to use drone technology to transform our understanding and protection of the Māui dolphin, Aotearoa’s most endangered dolphin.    “The project is just one part of the Government’s plan to save the Māui dolphin. We are committed to protecting this treasure,” Oceans and Fisheries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New water regulator board announced as major Government reform moves forward
    Major water reform has taken a step closer with the appointment of the inaugural board of the Taumata Arowai water services regulator, Hon Nanaia Mahuta says. Former Director General of Health and respected public health specialist Dame Karen Poutasi will chair the inaugural board of Crown agency Taumata Arowai. “Dame ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • North Auckland gets public transport upgrade
    The newly completed Hibiscus Coast Bus Station will help people make better transport choices to help ease congestion and benefit the environment, Transport Minister Michael Wood and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said today. Michael Wood and Phil Goff officially opened the Hibiscus Coast Bus Station which sits just off the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Supporting work to protect Northland reserve
    New funding announced by Conservation Minister Kiri Allan today will provide work and help protect the unique values of Northland’s Te Ārai Nature Reserve for future generations. Te Ārai is culturally important to Te Aupōuri as the last resting place of the spirits before they depart to Te Rerenga Wairua. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Critical step to new housing deal for Pacific communities
      Today the Government has taken a key step to support Pacific people to becoming Community Housing providers, says the Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio. “This will be great news for Pacific communities with the decision to provide Pacific Financial Capability Grant funding and a tender process to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Consultation opens on proposed Bay of Islands marine mammal sanctuary
    Conservation Minister Kiri Allan is encouraging New Zealanders to have their say on a proposed marine mammal sanctuary to address the rapid decline of bottlenose dolphins in Te Pēwhairangi, the Bay of Islands. The proposal, developed jointly with Ngā Hapū o te Pēwhairangi, would protect all marine mammals of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Three District Court Judges appointed
    Attorney-General David Parker today announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges.    Two of the appointees will take up their roles on 1 April, replacing sitting Judges who have reached retirement age.     Kirsten Lummis, lawyer of Auckland has been appointed as a District Court Judge with jury jurisdiction to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government announces list of life-shortening conditions guaranteeing early KiwiSaver access
    Government announces list of life-shortening conditions guaranteeing early KiwiSaver access The Government changed the KiwiSaver rules in 2019 so people with life-shortening congenital conditions can withdraw their savings early The four conditions guaranteed early access are – down syndrome, cerebral palsy, Huntington’s disease and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder An alternative ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank to take account of housing in decision making
    The Reserve Bank is now required to consider the impact on housing when making monetary and financial policy decisions, Grant Robertson announced today. Changes have been made to the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee’s remit requiring it to take into account government policy relating to more sustainable house prices, while working ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Investment to reduce cochlear implant waitlist
    The Labour Government will invest $6 million for 70 additional adult cochlear implants this year to significantly reduce the historical waitlist, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “Cochlear implants are life changing for kiwis who suffer from severe hearing loss. As well as improving an individual’s hearing, they open doors to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Māori wards Bill passes third reading
    The Local Electoral (Māori Wards and Māori Constituencies) Amendment Bill passed its third reading today and will become law, Minister of Local Government Hon Nanaia Mahuta says. “This is a significant step forward for Māori representation in local government. We know how important it is to have diversity around ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers 1,000 more transitional housing places
    The Government has added 1,000 more transitional housing places as promised under the Aotearoa New Zealand Homelessness Action Plan (HAP), launched one year ago. Minister of Housing Megan Woods says the milestone supports the Government’s priority to ensure every New Zealander has warm, dry, secure housing. “Transitional housing provides people ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Second batch of Pfizer/BioNTech doses arrives safely – as the first vaccinations take place in the...
    A second batch of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines arrived safely yesterday at Auckland International Airport, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. “This shipment contained about 76,000 doses, and follows our first shipment of 60,000 doses that arrived last week. We expect further shipments of vaccine over the coming weeks,” Chris Hipkins said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $18 million for creative spaces to make arts more accessible
    The Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni has today announced $18 million to support creative spaces. Creative spaces are places in the community where people with mental health needs, disabled people, and those looking for social connection, are welcomed and supported to practice and participate in the arts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Moriori Claims Settlement Bill passes first reading
    Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Andrew Little today welcomed Moriori to Parliament to witness the first reading of the Moriori Claims Settlement Bill. “This bill is the culmination of years of dedication and hard work from all the parties involved. “I am delighted to reach this significant milestone today,” Andrew ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government action reduces child poverty
    22,400 fewer children experiencing material hardship 45,400 fewer children in low income households on after-housing costs measure After-housing costs target achieved a year ahead of schedule Government action has seen child poverty reduce against all nine official measures compared to the baseline year, Prime Minister and Minister for Child Poverty ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Entries open for the 2021 Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards
    It’s time to recognise the outstanding work early learning services, kōhanga reo, schools and kura do to support children and young people to succeed, Minister of Education Chris Hipkins says. The 2021 Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards are now open through until April 16. “The past year has reminded us ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Jobs for Nature benefits three projects
    Three new Jobs for Nature projects will help nature thrive in the Bay of Plenty and keep local people in work says Conservation Minister Kiri Allan. “Up to 30 people will be employed in the projects, which are aimed at boosting local conservation efforts, enhancing some of the region’s most ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Improvements to the Holidays Act on the way
    The Government has accepted all of the Holidays Act Taskforce’s recommended changes, which will provide certainty to employers and help employees receive their leave entitlements, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood announced today. Michael Wood said the Government established the Holidays Act Taskforce to help address challenges with the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ’s credit rating lifted as economy recovers
    The Government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and faster than expected economic recovery has been acknowledged in today’s credit rating upgrade. Credit ratings agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) today raised New Zealand’s local currency credit rating to AAA with a stable outlook. This follows Fitch reaffirming its AA+ rating last ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to National Remembrance Service on the 10th anniversary of the Christchurch earthquake
    Tena koutou e nga Maata Waka Ngai Tuahuriri, Ngai Tahu whanui, Tena koutou. Nau mai whakatau mai ki tenei ra maumahara i te Ru Whenua Apiti hono tatai hono, Te hunga mate ki te hunga mate Apiti hono tatai hono, Te hunga ora ki te hunga ora Tena koutou, Tena ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government reaffirms urgent commitment to ban harmful conversion practices
    The Minister of Justice has reaffirmed the Government’s urgent commitment, as stated in its 2020 Election Manifesto, to ban conversion practices in New Zealand by this time next year. “The Government has work underway to develop policy which will bring legislation to Parliament by the middle of this year and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New creative service aims to benefit 1,000 peoples’ careers
    Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage and Social Development Hon Carmel Sepuloni today launched a new Creative Careers Service, which is expected to support up to 1,000 creatives, across three regions over the next two years. The new service builds on the most successful aspects of the former Pathways to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Honey exporters busy meeting surging demand
    Overseas consumers eager for natural products in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic have helped boost honey export revenue by 20 percent to $425 million in the year to June 30, 2020, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor says.   “The results from the latest Ministry for Primary Industries’ 2020 Apiculture Monitoring ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago