web analytics

Appalling men and great art

Written By: - Date published: 1:32 pm, November 27th, 2017 - 49 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, art, Deep stuff, film, Media, music - Tags:

Great to see more and more bad men being taken down with sex scandals, more damaged women standing up for themselves and each other.

It’s like a little bit of a catchup for all of the times women were shamed out of the film industry.

But can appalling people make great art?

Caravaggio                        – Murderer

Painter Edgar Degas        – Anti-Jewish

See: Linda Nochlin, “Degas and the Dreyfus Affair: Portrait of the Artist as Anti-Semite”, in Norman L. Kleebatt, ed., The Dreyfus Affairs: Art, Truth, and Justice, (Berekely, Calif., 1987).

Poet TS Eliot                      – Anti-Jewish

Poet Ezra Pound             – Anti-Jewish, Fascist

Pablo Picasso                  – Of his seven relationships with women, two went mad as a result of his misogyny and two committed suicide

Poet Lord Byron              – Incest

Playwright Jean Genet     – Thief

Opera composer Richard Wagner              – Anti-Jewish

Don’t even talk to me about Gustav Flaubert. Or the Medicis and their Renaissance patronage of art. OMG.

Multiple film directors in the 1970s            – Cruelty to animals particularly horses

The Los Angeles suburb of Hollywood has turned movies into the greatest art form of the twentieth century, but it would be hard to describe it as a high island of moral virtue.

What’s worse, sex crime is the driver of the artistic imagination in a great percentage of films, and of course in most detective fiction. More broadly, the transgressive imagination and how it feeds, reproduces, and amplifies sex and crime as thrilling fun, remains the core engine of our popular culture.

(I’m not proposing Don Burke of Burke’s Backyard fame as high art, and he’s probably not going to work in that industry again after this)

Would these men have made great work if their great crimes had been exposed? In summary mostly they got away with it and mostly people knew about it.

I’m hoping at some point there will be some criminal charges successfully prosecuted and sentenced on one of the big sex scandals going through the U.S. entertainment industry. This surge now going through the U.S. is continuous with that ongoing through Britain with its great Police investigation Operation Yewtree and the further ongoing independent inquiry into child sexual abuse.

Otherwise without real charges sticking in a criminal court it is going to run a high risk of going the same way as the inchoate Occupy and Black Lives Matter movements and simply be a passing faded echo of the great liberative struggles of the 1970s and early 1980s.

Until then, the cultural machine of all kinds of people good and bad making great things for us grinds on, bloodied but unbowed.

49 comments on “Appalling men and great art”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    Would these men have made great work if their great crimes had been exposed?

    No, someone else would have.

    • Phil 1.1

      EXACTLY

      How many great artists/creators/performers have we lost before their best work because they were victims of abuse within their industry or profession?

      I’ll wager it’s many many many more people than the number of ‘great men’ who abused them.

  2. It’s all subjective. Even the crimes that they supposedly did are subjective, let alone some value in their art.

  3. Andre 3

    I’m often struck by how frequently those who achieve great things also inflict great damage to those close to them. Not just in art, but across all fields of human endeavour. I suspect top-end achievers that that are also mentally healthy and well-balanced are the exception, not the rule. I suppose the drive needed for that top-level achievement is inherently unbalancing.

    But yeah, hopefully more exposure of the damage these people do will push at least some of them to find some way to release their demons that doesn’t involve harming others.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1

      how frequently those who achieve great things also inflict great damage to those close to them.

      I wonder how frequent it actually is, given the amplification that excess public interest provides. There’s nothing newsworthy about quiet stable genius, and there’s nothing individual about the quality of a movie, or theatre production: they’re team efforts.

      • Andre 3.1.1

        I had grandparents that were at the very top of their field. Stories about how they treated my dad and aunt growing up make me relieved I was the next generation after. That stuff doesn’t appear in google searches about them.

        I have acquaintances that have worked with Nobel prizewinners. The stories about private personal behaviour are somewhat unpleasant, even though their public reputations are fairly good.

        The only field where I’ve interacted with top-of-the-world achievers was sporting, and that contact was somewhat limited (due to my lack of talent in that sport). But even so, the majority of them I quickly learned I wanted to keep well clear of them, and it was only a small minority I enjoyed hanging out with.

        To be sure, none of the private stories I’ve heard come close to rising to the level of Weinstein or Spacey or Trump etc, but they’re still enough I’m relieved it’s stories I’m hearing, not something I’m experiencing.

        Probably “inflict great damage” is a crap way to put it. But my (very limited) experience of top achievers agrees with the stories I’ve heard – most of them are not nice to be around.

  4. Appreciation of art is about what you like. If you can’t like something until you’ve conducted an examination of its creator’s ethics and prejudices, it’s you that’s broken, not the art.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1

      When you like a certain artist’s work, and then discover their ethics and prejudices, it’s normal for that to affect how you feel about their work.

      • In Vino 4.1.1

        I disagree. I liked certain pieces of music after I listened to them a few times, and still like them just as much despite learning later on that the composer had attributes I did not admire. The music remains an independent work for me.
        Regardless of whether it was composed by a genocidal homophobic paedophilic right-wing leper.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1.1.1

          I didn’t say it was ubiquitous, I said it’s “normal”. For what it’s worth I think your position falls into the “normal” range of reactions too.

          I see Rolf Harris artworks have dropped in value.

    • McFlock 4.2

      Yeah, but the context of the art expands our appreciation of it, and includes the factors that influenced its creator.

      Jacques Louis David being the classic example – started as a chocolate box-style painter for the French nobility, foments revolution with works like Oath of the Horatii, promises to stand by Robespierre but is sick that day (lol), does a humble self portrait to get his arse out of jail, paints Marat as a revolutionary JC in his sacrifice, and ends up painting one of the most famous and fawning pictures of Napoleon. A massive cock, but with great big brass balls (which were not permitted to be buried in France).

      Another example is Louis CK – his film that got nuked included him doing an act of which he was accused in real life. Sort of changes the experience of the scene.

      Or Roman Polanski or Oliver Stone (The Pianist and Platoon respectively). The knowledge of what they experienced feeding in to their work does add another level to the movie, I think. But then there’s the other context of Polanski…

      • Shona 4.2.1

        Polanski admitted his crime and pleaded guilty and was convicted ,he served his time albeit at a weekend holiday camp style prison for nearly 2 years. Good behaviour had that sentence commuted until the due date. ( like a probationary period) At 11 pm of the day his sentence lapsed an elected county judge known to be a racist and an anti semite chose to recall him and make him carry out the rest of his sentence at a medium security jail, no leave. The USA justice system is shit and it sucks big time. It is so effing corrupt. His victim was sexually experienced offered to him by her mother( she should have been prosecuted) and has never blamed him for anything.I don’t blame Polanski for bolting. Polanski is a genius his childhood was a nightmare of surviving the Warsaw ghetto and eventually getting to the USA to pursue his undoubted greatness. The film industry would be much much less without his directorial vision.Only Kubrick comes close.

        • McFlock 4.2.1.1

          Didn’t his 13yo victim sue him?

        • Lara 4.2.1.2

          “His victim was sexually experienced”

          should be:

          “his 13 year old victim was already abused”

          There. Fixed it for you.

          FFS

          13 year olds are CHILDREN. Adults having sex with children? Pedophiles.

          And you don’t have to have that 13 year old grow up and publicly state they were abused to believe it’s abuse. FFS.

          • Shona 4.2.1.2.1

            In the doco I saw and base my opinion on the victim herself claimed to be 15 at the time. Who do you believe?She has never claimed to have been traumatized . Her mother is the abuser and the pimp.Many of have us have experienced sexual abuse and continued to be happy functioning people. Abuse is not the end of the world.It is how you deal with it that matters not the fact that it happened.

            • McFlock 4.2.1.2.1.1

              Given that the victim was 13 at the time of the offending, you probably should watch more than one doco before adopting a firm position.

            • Lara 4.2.1.2.1.2

              “Abuse is not the end of the world.It is how you deal with it that matters not the fact that it happened.”

              Way to go to minimise the effect of sexual abuse of kids.

              Nope. Not bloody buying it Shona. No, it’s not the end of the world as you so blithely put it. But it’s a very big deal.

              Saying “it’s how you deal with it” puts the onus on victims of abuse to just get over it. It’s like saying that the trauma and ongoing issues they’re dealing with are their fault, they just somehow choose to not deal with it the right way.

              I was abused at 13. I’m a happy and highly functioning person, but I still deal with the effects of abuse decades later.

      • Psycho Milt 4.2.2

        Yeah, those are good examples. None of the things I’ve read about David would lead you to the conclusion he was a top bloke, but I like his paintings. I laughed a lot at Louis CK’s comedy, particularly the stand-up – it would be hypocritical to now pretend that it wasn’t funny. And I’ve enjoyed various Polanski movies, which didn’t somehow become bad movies by virtue of me finding out Polanski did some bad stuff.

        • McFlock 4.2.2.1

          Bad movies and comedy? Nope, not necessarily.
          Uncomfortably close to real life offending? yep. That skews the perception of the art, and art is all about perception.

          Watching The Jazz Singer without knowing the context of the makeup probably makes it a better movie.

  5. McFlock 5

    It is a recurring sadness to me that my favourite film, Casablanca, was directed by Michael Curtiz (whose filming of Noah’s Ark drowned three actors and injured dozens of others just 15 years earlier).

    But at least he, and Byron for that matter (who also tried to purchase/”marry” a 12y.o. Greek girl, if I recall correctly), died well before I was born. I’m not contributing to their income by watching or reading their work.

    The more recent ones… bugger.

  6. rhinocrates 6

    It touches on what Robert Hughes called the “Therapeutic Fallacy” of art – ie., that art is supposed to be uplifting, good for you etc. It in argument put forward by fundamentalist Christians to suppress any radical statement or critique of social norms as they wished them to be determined. I tend to think of art as being cathartic or critical instead.

    I’m likewise rather uncomfortable with an ad hominem being applied to a work of art. Few artists, and virtually none from other times and cultures will meet our bourgeois western standards of morally good behaviour.

    I don’t mean that as a free pass for bad behaviour by any person – expose and condemn the behaviour of of bad people pour encourager les autres by all means, but engage with art on its own terms – I’m with Oscar Wilde on that one.

  7. rhinocrates 7

    There’s this discussion between Daniel Barenboim and Edward Said on Wagner. Both agree that Wagner was an appalling man – and he would have hated them respectively as a Jew and a Palestinian – but both love Wagner’s music.

    Scroll down to the last third for direct discussion, but earlier on they point out that art exists to be interpreted – in static form by the observer and in performance by the performers and the audience together.

    https://www.west-eastern-divan.org/news/wagner-ideology-barenboim-said-in-conversation/

  8. adam 8

    Just wondering why you used anti-jewish Ad? The term seems a tad underdone in particular when you talk about wagnar who was solidly anti-semitic in action and thought. He and pound, both engaged in anti-semitism, as it relates to propaganda and promotion of violence against religious, cultural or ethnic jews.

  9. Bill 9

    Appalling people can do great things, and great people can do appalling things (be it in the arts or sciences of whatever).

    And sure, once called out or exposed as appalling, the “great person” may no longer be considered “great” (or at least not as great) and their appalling things remain. Hmm.

    So people can be both great and appalling depending on the time of their lives, or events in their lives we look at, and the things they’ve done remain great or appalling…assuming that what constitutes “great” and “appalling” is universally accepted – which isn’t the case.

    There are people. There are things. We make of it all what we will.

  10. Morrissey 10

    Byron could have run for the ACT Party.

  11. Cinny 11

    With Art I’ve this outlook, if it makes you feel something, whether it be love, disgust, fear, amazement etc it is art. Art should make you feel, if it doesn’t it is not art.

    Art is a form of expression, perhaps art is the only way SOME artists can communicate, maybe some are unable to have a conversation.

    Then there is ego, that sense of entitlement that destroys lives… the don’t you know who I am??!! Now spread your legs or whatever (sorry to be crass but I’m sure you know where I’m coming from).
    Combine ego with manipulation and power, then people cross the line, add a bit of talent and fame in there and many blind eyes are turned and it sucks. The twisted artists should be held accountable just like anyone else, just because they are an amazing artist does not mean they are allowed to get away with being an arsehole.

    That being said, by crikey there are some freaks out there. Good post, I didn’t know there were that many weirdo artists, thanks for the info.

    Went to a Pablo Picasso exhibition in Sydney a number of years back it was amazing, just because he was a perve doesn’t change the fact he was a great artist. But if he leveraged his talent to manipulate others then he is a nasty person, but is still a great artist and his nastiness should not be hidden away just because he is a great artist.

    My favourite artwork is that of Erte

  12. Macro 12

    Talking of Sex Scandals…
    Perhaps the greatest Non Sex Scandal was John Ruskin and his marriage to Effie Gray.

    • Cinny 12.1

      Macro, just did the google, that was a really interesting story.

      • Macro 12.1.1

        Yes Poor Effie – Actually there is a really good movie written and part directed by Emma Thompson on “Effie” If you get a chance to watch it, its well worth the time. We were in UK earlier this year and visited many art galleries and inthe lake district where Ruskin’s house – just down the road from Beatrix Potter’s and Arthur Ransom’s. Saw a lot of Ruskin and Mallais’ work.

        • Cinny 12.1.1.1

          Cheers Macro, have been looking for good film to watch, will have to check it out.

          You and yours would have had a wonderful time over there exploring, that should always happen, what a neighbourhood eh, Beatrix, Ruskin and Ransom, hard case.

  13. greywarshark 13

    Art for the politically interested, the man is – Escher, things going down are going up and around and going there and coming out somewhere over there.

    https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2015/jun/20/the-impossible-world-of-mc-escher
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M._C._Escher
    http://www.mcescher.com/about/biography/

    And bike art?
    Shared bike dump in China. A good idea ruined by competition?
    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/nov/25/chinas-bike-share-graveyard-a-monument-to-industrys-arrogance

    • Cinny 13.1

      Escher is incredible. How about those bikes… that’s nuts, that’s reality, insane.
      Must show my girls in the morrow, thanks for sharing those links Grey.

  14. greywarshark 14

    NZ creativity and how there is always someone who knows the price of it but not the real value.
    Edward Bullmore’s art
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/sunday-star-times/latest-edition/6595622/Art-scandal-valuable-works-go-missing

    Have you heard of USA Crumb?
    Interesting cartoon art – Robert Crumb – unusual.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Crumb

    • joe90 14.1

      I was15 when I found Crumb and Fritz the Cat.

      • greywarshark 14.1.1

        I read about his non-standard family life and see how his stuff would be different than the norm for the outliers.

        I think I was trying to express what Space Monkey has in the considered comment below.

  15. vto 15

    This is not surprising and has been noticed with other genders too. For example, there is a significantly larger number of rude and crude women today yet they still manage to punch out all the good and amazing things that women do.

  16. SpaceMonkey 16

    I have come late to this discussion but my thoughts for what they’re worth…

    The creative artist in whatever form they manifest their creative output often plays within a complex web of light and dark, colour and shade and in discovering it the artist frequently has a foot in two camps – one in what we might call the acceptable part of society (a necessary bridge between the artist and the audience) while the other stands firmly in everything else, in whatever form that may take. That everything else is frequently dark and dangerous, pushing against all that society says is right (or wrong), daring the artist to challenge everything from themselves to the world around them.

    To me, the greatest artists have dived the deepest, faced the most intense darkness, and gone to hell and back that they can never have anything like a “normal” life. It is completely understandable to me when some indulge and engage in “abnormal” or immoral behaviours and practices.

    Then again, the exploration of darkness intensifies the light. Love, as the ultimate expression of light, can be more intense and the expression of that emotion in daily life can go both horribly wrong and/or beautifully right.

    And then there are those where coming back to a “normal” society which, when you have enough perspective and have questioned it enough, is obviously so fucked up in its own way, that anything normal is too much. Alcohol, drugs, sex are ready substitutes to ease the pain of living in a real world which you know to be no less an artificial construct than your own imagination or direct experiences from wandering in the dark.

    Am I condoning these behaviours? No. The innocent will always need protection. The challenge for these artists is to leave that darkness behind when they’re not creating. Some can do it, many can’t. They need help just like any other.

    Does this alter the quality of their work. Not to me. Their work stands alone, in its own right. After all, I suspect most creative artists will tell you they don’t feel like they are the ones that created the work in the first place – they were just a channel for something divine, or dreadful.

    “He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby become a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee.”

    Such is the burden of the great artist.

  17. Lara 17

    I’m tired of watching the “great art” of men who are abusers. I’m speaking here of movies.

    Outside of movies to me it really doesn’t matter. I’ll still enjoy Picasso for example.

    But the older I get the more I notice the movies put out by these Hollywood men have shallow depictions of women. The women have to be young and attractive, usually white. There’s often sexual violence and it’s titillating. Ugh. The balance of male vs female actors in these movies is so often towards male. And finding a good movie with a female protagonist? Bloody hard. And when you do get one then invariably she has to be put down either violently or some other way by a man in the movie.

    Also, the older I get the more I notice that when an artist is said to be “edgy” that what they’re usually doing is just promoting the same tired old stereotypes about women and sex. Nope. Not edgy. Edgy would be to challenge stereotypes or overturn them.

    And so I think the attitudes of these men to women and sex comes through in the work they produce. And I’m really bored with watching it. Just another sausage fest.

    Just my 2 cents.

    • greywarshark 17.1

      A woman actor the other day on radio commenting that there are not the roles for older actresses that there are for the older males. Yet I have an old book – In Praise of Older Women. It is interesting as he discusses his life and the people he meets with this outlook.

    • See Phil’s comment at 1.1 re abusive “great men” robbing us of what would have been better art. The shit portrayal of women in Hollywood movies is absolutely an effect of people like Weinstein running things – not so much appalling men making great art, as appalling men turning what might have been great art into shit.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • New Zealand First calls for tahr cull halt
    Mark Patterson MP, Spokesperson for Primary Industry New Zealand First is supporting calls by hunters and the New Zealand Tahr Foundation (NZTF) to halt a large scale cull of Himalayan Tahr by the Department of Conservation in National Parks. The calls are supported by a 40,000 strong petition and the ...
    2 days ago
  • Response to Spin-off allegations
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand First leader Winston Peters today scoffed at suggestions that a team of six political operatives have been dispatched to New Zealand to assist his campaign. ‘As President Ronald Reagan once said, ‘there they go again.’ ‘The clickbait journos can’t ...
    2 days ago
  • Jenny Marcroft MP to represent New Zealand First in Auckland Central
    New Zealand First is pleased to announce Jenny Marcroft as the party’s election 2020 candidate for the Auckland Central electorate. Jenny spent years working in Auckland Central, having spent a vast proportion of her broadcasting career there. She says she, "knows the place and knows the people." Ms Marcroft says ...
    3 days ago
  • Creating jobs and cleaning up our rivers
    New Zealanders deserve healthy rivers and lakes that are safe to swim in - but they have been getting worse for decades. That's why, with our latest announcement, we're investing in projects that will help clean up our rivers and lakes and restore them to health, within a generation. ...
    4 days ago
  • Jacinda Ardern: 2020 Labour Congress Speech
    Jacinda Ardern's speech to the 2020 Labour Party Congress. ...
    4 days ago
  • Kelvin Davis: 2020 Labour Congress Speech
    Kelvin Davis' speech to the 2020 Labour Party Congress. ...
    4 days ago
  • Week That Was: Another week of major progress
    This week we moved into the second half of 2020 - and our Government delivered another week of big changes and major progress for New Zealanders. Read below for a wrap of the key things moments from the week - from extending paid parental leave, to making major investments in ...
    6 days ago
  • Green Party opposes RMA fast-track bill that cut corners on environmental safeguards and public cons...
    The Green Party has opposed the COVID-19 Recovery Fast-track Consenting Bill which shortcuts normal consenting processes under the Resource Management Act (RMA), reduces public participation and narrows environmental considerations. ...
    7 days ago
  • Site of new freight hub revealed
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister of Regional Economic Development A regional freight hub for the lower North Island will be built just northeast of Palmerston North, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The Government is investing $40 million through the Provincial Growth Fund to designate and buy land and design ...
    7 days ago
  • Greens call for Guaranteed Minimum Income to alleviate skyrocketing debt with MSD
    Green Party Co-leader Marama Davidson is calling for the introduction of a Guaranteed Minimum Income to lift hundreds of thousands of people out of poverty and prevent more families entering into further debt with the Ministry of Social Development.  ...
    1 week ago
  • Winston Peters: Facts matter when taxpayer money is on the line
    There has been renewed focus on New Zealand First acting as a handbrake on the Government after our decision to not support Auckland light rail. We are a handbrake for bad ideas, that is true, but our track record since 2017 has seen New Zealand First constructively also serve as an ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill raising minimum residency requirement for NZ Super passes first reading
    Mark Patterson MP, New Zealand First List MP New Zealand First’s Fair Residency for Superannuation Bill passed its First Reading in Parliament today. The Bill makes a significant change to NZ Super by raising the minimum residency requirement from 10 to 20 years, after age 20. “Currently, a migrant of ...
    1 week ago
  • Harsher penalties for assaults on first responders one step closer
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Law and Order A New Zealand First member’s bill in the name of Darroch Ball introducing a six-month minimum prison sentence for assaults on first responders has passed its second reading in Parliament. The new offence of "injuring a first responder or corrections officer with ...
    1 week ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission delivers Coalition promise
    Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Deputy Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand First welcomes the launch of the new Criminal Cases Review Commission, gifted with the name from Waikato-Tainui - Te Kāhui Tātari Ture, announced in Hamilton today by Justice Minister Andrew Little. “New Zealand First has long believed in and ...
    1 week ago
  • Greens welcome huge new investment in sustainable projects
    The Green Party is celebrating over $800m in new funding for green projects, which will get people into jobs while solving New Zealand’s long-term challenges. ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand First demands answers from Meridian Energy
    Mark Patterson MP, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is appalled that Meridian seems to have been unnecessarily spilling water from its dams to drive up its profits."While New Zealanders have been coming together in some of our darkest hours, we don’t expect power gentailers to waste water and ...
    1 week ago
  • Getting New Zealand moving again: June 2020
    We wrapped up the first half of 2020 with a busy month, taking additional steps to support New Zealanders as we continue with our economic recovery. We rolled out targeted packages to support key industries like tourism and construction, helped create jobs in the environmental and agriculture sectors, and set ...
    1 week ago
  • Māori union leader appointed to Infrastructure Commission board
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Infrastructure Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones has welcomed the appointment of Maurice Davis and his deep infrastructure and construction experience to the board of the Infrastructure Commission. Mr Davis (Ngāti Maniapoto), is the seventh and final appointment to the board led by former Reserve Bank Governor ...
    1 week ago
  • Click-bait journalism at its worst
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand’s click bait journalism is taking a turn for the worse, with yet another example of sensationalist, wilful-misrepresentation of the facts. “New Zealand First has worked constructively with its Coalition partner on hundreds of pieces of legislation and policy, and ...
    1 week ago
  • Green Party proposes transformational Poverty Action Plan
    The Green Party is today unveiling its Poverty Action Plan, which includes a Guaranteed Minimum Income to ensure people have enough to live with dignity.     ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF accelerates Rotorua projects
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development The Rotorua Museum redevelopment and Whakarewarewa and Tokorangi Forest projects will be accelerated thanks to a $2.09 million Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) boost, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Getting people into jobs
    This week, we rolled out the next steps of our recovery plan, with new infrastructure investment, extra support for tourism operators, and a new programme to get Kiwis into agriculture careers. The global economic consequences of COVID-19 will continue to be a challenge, but we have a detailed plan to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Coalition commitment establishing Mental Health Commission delivered
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its final reading in Parliament today fulfilling a coalition agreement commitment. “This is an important step in saving the lives of New Zealanders and delivers a key coalition commitment ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whakatāne gets a $2.5m ‘turbo boost’
    Whakatāne has been given a $2.5 million boost to speed up previously funded projects and create more than 450 jobs in the next decade. Of those, the equivalent of 160 full-time jobs could be delivered in the next six weeks. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters is in town to make ...
    2 weeks ago
  • $2.5m PGF funding to speed up economic recovery in Whakatāne
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $2.5 million to accelerate three infrastructure projects in Whakatāne, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “This package is about ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Shane Jones calls out those holding drought-stricken Auckland ‘to ransom’ over water
    Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones is throwing his weight behind a bid by the Auckland Council to fast-track the more than doubling of the city's water allowance from the Waikato River. And he's coming out strongly against anyone who plans on getting in the way of this campaign. "It is my ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another Green win as climate change considerations inserted into the RMA
    The Green Party is thrilled to see changes to the Resource Management Act (RMA) that mean consents for large projects can be declined if they will have significant climate change implications that are inconsistent with the Zero Carbon Act and Aotearoa New Zealand’s Paris Agreement obligations.  ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Navy vessel Aotearoa to arrive in New Zealand
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence The Royal New Zealand Navy’s new ship, Aotearoa, set sail for New Zealand on 10 June from the Republic of Korea, and is due to arrive in Auckland tomorrow, announced Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “Aotearoa is the Royal New Zealand Navy’s new fleet ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Racing Industry Bill passes third reading
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters has today welcomed the Racing Industry Bill passing its third reading, creating the legislative framework for revitalising the racing industry while limiting the need for future government intervention. “For too long our domestic racing industry has ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party seek amendment to ensure all prisoners can vote
    The Green Party has today put forward an amendment to the Electoral (Registration of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Bill to ensure all people in prisons can vote in general elections. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party welcomes new approach to delivering light rail
    The Green Party welcomes the decision to not proceed with Public Public Investment (PPI) delivery of Auckland’s light rail project and to instead run the process through the public service. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First welcomes PGF investment in Wairarapa Water
    Hon Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in the Wairarapa New Zealand First List MP Hon Ron Mark welcomes the announcement of Provincial Growth Funding investment of $1.4 million to help secure the Wairarapa’s water supply. The funding boost will allow the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC), and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First MP Mark Patterson selected as candidate for Taieri
    New Zealand First list MP Mark Patterson has been selected to represent the party in the newly formed Taieri electorate at the upcoming election. Mr Patterson, his wife Jude and two daughters farm sheep and beef at Lawrence and Waitahuna. He previously stood in the Clutha-Southland electorate however boundary changes ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ground-breaking on NZ Post depot
    Hon Shane Jones, Associate Minister for State Owned Enterprises A new ‘super depot’ to be built for NZ Post in Wellington will create around 350 jobs during construction, Associate Minister for State Owned Enterprises Shane Jones says. Shane Jones today attended a ground-breaking and blessing ceremony for the parcel-processing depot ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Putting our economic plan into action
    Our strong economic management prior to COVID-19 - with surpluses, low debt and near-record-low unemployment - put us in a good position to weather the impact of the virus and start to rebuild our economy much earlier than many other countries. Now we're putting our plan to recover and rebuild ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fleeing drivers hit new record-high yet again
    Darroch Ball MP, New Zealand First Spokesperson for Law and Order Recently released Police fleeing driver statistics have shown yet another increase in incidents with another record-high in the latest quarter. “This new quarterly record-high is the latest in a string of record-high numbers since 2014.  The data shows incidents ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fletcher Tabuteau selected as candidate for Rotorua
    New Zealand First MP Fletcher Tabuteau is pleased to be confirmed today as the party’s candidate for the Rotorua electorate. Speaking at the Rotorua AGM for New Zealand First, Mr Tabuteau said this is an election that is incredibly important for the people of Rotorua. “The founding principles of New ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Greens call for Government office to address Rainbow issues following Human Rights Commission report
    The Human Rights Commission’s PRISM report on the issues impacting people based on their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC) provides an excellent programme of work for future governments to follow, say the Greens. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters continues push for trans-Tasman travel as military take control of operations
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters said the trans-Tasman bubble had not been jeopardised after a border botch-up resulted in New Zealand having two active cases of COVID-19. On Friday, Mr Peters told RNZ's Morning Report he had heard from Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison that borders for trans-Tasman travel would open by ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Government will support the people and economy of Southland
    The Government will support the Southland economy in the wake of multinational mining company Rio Tinto’s decision to follow through with its long signalled closure of the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter. “This day has unfortunately been on the cards for some time now, but nevertheless the final decision is a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    40 mins ago
  • New transformational tools for the Predator Free 2050 effort
    New tools being developed to help boost Aotearoa’s Predator Free 2050 effort were unveiled today by Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage and Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau. A new rat poison, a camera with predator recognition software to detect and report predators, a new predator lure and a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • New Armoured vehicles for New Zealand Army
    The Coalition Government has approved the purchase of a fleet of Bushmaster vehicles to replace the New Zealand Army’s armoured Pinzgauers, Defence Minister Ron Mark has announced today. The new fleet of 43 Australian-designed and built Bushmaster NZ5.5 will provide better protection for personnel and improved carrying capacity. “The age ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Community-led solutions to prevent family violence
    The Government’s three prevention frameworks to reduce family violence in Aotearoa were launched this week by Associate Minister for Social Development Poto Williams.   The frameworks were developed in partnership with communities around New Zealand, and build on the work the Government has already begun with its new family violence prevention ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Govt confirms investment in better radiology and surgical services for Hawke’s Bay
    The Government is pleased to confirm funding for improvements to radiology and surgical services at Hawke's Bay DHB, Health Minister Chris Hipkins says.     "The Minister of Finance the Hon Grant Robertson and former Health Minister Dr David Clark approved funding for Hawke's Bay DHB’s redevelopment of their radiology facilities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Specialist alcohol and drug addiction services strengthened across New Zealand
    •    New funding for four beds at Napier’s Springhill Residential Addiction Centre •    A new managed withdrawal home and community service, and peer support before and after residential care at Tairāwhiti DHB  •    A co-ordinated network of withdrawal management services throughout the South Island •    Peer support in Rotorua and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Coastal Shipping Webinar
    Introduction, seafarers and POAL Good morning everyone, I am delighted to be online with you all today. Before I begin, I have to acknowledge that COVID-19 has disrupted the maritime sector on an unprecedented scale. The work of seafarers and the maritime industry is keeping many economies around the world ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Support for resilient rail connection to the West Coast
    A $13 million investment from Government will create jobs and improve the resilience of the rail connection between Christchurch and the West Coast, Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones and Regional Economic Development Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau say. The funding comes from the tagged contingency set aside in Budget 2020 for infrastructure projects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Major investment in safe drinking water
    The Government is investing $761 million to assist local government upgrade under-pressure water services across the country, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today.  The announcement was made at the site of the water bore that was found to be the source of the fatal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Supporting stranded seasonal workers to keep working with more flexible options
    Recognised Seasonal Employers and migrant seasonal workers stranded in New Zealand will be able to continue working and supporting themselves with more flexible hours and roles, says Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway. The time-limited visa changes are: Stranded RSE workers will be able to work part-time (a minimum of 15 hours ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Relief for temporary migrants, employers and New Zealanders who need work
    The Government is making immediate short-term changes to visa settings to support temporary migrants already onshore in New Zealand and their employers, while also ensuring New Zealanders needing work are prioritised, Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. We are: Extending temporary work visas due to expire by the end of 2020 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Freshwater commissioners and fast-track consenting convenor appointed
    Professor Peter Skelton CNZM has been appointed as Chief Freshwater Commissioner and Alternate Environment Court Judge Craig James Thompson as Deputy Chief Freshwater Commissioner for the newly established Freshwater Planning Process (FPP). Environment Minister David Parker today also announced the appointment of Chief Environment Court Judge Laurie Newhook as the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Appointment of Judge of the High Court
    Auckland Queen’s Counsel Neil Campbell has been appointed a Judge of the High Court, Attorney‑General David Parker announced today. Justice Campbell graduated with a BCom and LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland in 1992. He spent two years with Bell Gully Buddle Weir in Auckland before travelling to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Feedback sought – Commercial Film and Video Production Facilities
    The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to better enable the development and operation of commercial film and video facilities in Christchurch. The Proposal, developed by Regenerate Christchurch in response to a request from Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt launches bold primary sector plan to boost economic recovery
    The Government has launched a bold plan to boost primary sector export earnings by $44 billion over the next decade, while protecting the environment and growing jobs. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today released Fit for a Better World – Accelerating our Economic Potential, a 10-year roadmap to unlock greater value ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Wellbeing of whanau at heart of new hub
    A new approach to prevent family harm that encourages greater collaboration across government and community groups is being celebrated at the opening of a new facility in Auckland. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today opened the Multi-Disciplinary Family Harm Prevention Hub Te Taanga Manawa in Lambie Road in Manukau. The facility ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Report on Auckland Port Relocation
    The Government has released a major new report on the options for relocating the Port of Auckland’s freight operations while deferring any decision on the issue. “That decision needs to be informed by policy analysis that is still to be completed. As a result it will be up to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Dual place names for Te Pātaka-o-Rākaihautū / Banks Peninsula features
    The history of Rāpaki is being restored through the inclusion of te reo in thirteen official place names on Te Pātaka-o-Rākaihautū / Banks Peninsula and around Lyttelton Harbour/Whakaraupō, the Minister for Land Information, Eugenie Sage, announced today.   “I am pleased to approve the proposals from Te Hapū o Ngāti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government and Air New Zealand agree to manage incoming bookings
    Bookings for seats on Air New Zealand flights into New Zealand will be managed in the short term to ensure the Government is able to safely place New Zealanders arriving home into a managed isolation or quarantine facility, says Housing Minister Megan Woods.  “Last week Air Commodore Darryn Webb and I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • $80 million for sport recovery at all levels
    Grant Robertson has today announced the first major release of funding from the $265 million Sport Recovery Package announced at Budget 2020.  “Today we’re setting out how $80 million will be invested, with $54 million of that over the 2020/2021 financial year for organisations from community level through to elite ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Keeping ACC levies steady until 2022
    The Government is maintaining current levy rates for the next 2 years, as part of a set of changes to help ease the financial pressures of COVID-19 providing certainty for businesses and New Zealanders, ACC Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. “New Zealanders and businesses are facing unprecedented financial pressures as a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Extended loan scheme keeps business afloat
    Small businesses are getting greater certainty about access to finance with an extension to the interest-free cashflow loan scheme to the end of the year. The Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme has already been extended once, to 24 July. Revenue and Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says it will be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New investment creates over 2000 jobs to clean up waterways
    A package of 23 projects across the country will clean up waterways and deliver over 2000 jobs Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Environment Minister David Parker announced today. The $162 million dollar package will see 22 water clean-up projects put forward by local councils receiving $62 million and the Kaipara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to Labour Party Congress 2020
    Tena koutou katoa  Nga tangata whenua o tenei rohe o Pōneke, tena koutou Nau mai, haere mai ki te hui a tau mo te roopu reipa Ko tatou!  Ko to tatou mana!  Ko to tatou kaupapa kei te kokiri whakamua  Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena tatou katoa   Welcome. I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • PGF top-up for QE Health in Rotorua
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $1.5 million to ensure QE Health in Rotorua can proceed with its world class health service and save 75 existing jobs, Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The PGF funding announced today is in addition to the $8 million ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Building a more sustainable construction sector
    A new programme, which sets a firm course for the Building and Construction sector to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, has been announced by the Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa. “A significant amount of New Zealand’s carbon emissions come from the building and construction sector.  If we’re serious ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • PGF funds tourism boost in Northland
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing more than $7.5 million in Northland ventures to combat the economic impact of the COVID-19 virus, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) investment is going to the Northern Adventure Experience and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Four new projects announced as part of the biggest ever national school rebuild programme
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced significant funding for Auckland’s Northcote College as part of the first wave of a new nationwide school redevelopment programme to upgrade schools over the next 10 years. The $48.5 million project brings the total investment in Northcote College to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19: Support to improve student attendance and wellbeing
    The Government has opened an urgent response fund to support schools and early learning services to get children and young people back on track after the Covid-19 lockdown. “While we are seeing improvements in attendance under Alert Level 1 Ministry of Education data shows that attendance rates in our schools ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Fast-track consenting law boosts jobs and economic recovery
    The law to boost the economic recovery from the impact of COVID-19 by speeding up resource consenting on selected projects has passed its second and third readings in the House today. “Accelerating nationwide projects and activities by government, iwi and the private sector will help deliver faster economic recovery and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Whanganui Port gets PGF boost
    Five port-related projects in Whanganui will receive a $26.75 million Provincial Growth Fund investment to support local economic recovery and create new opportunities for growth, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This is a significant investment that will support the redevelopment of the Whanganui Port, a project governed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • More support for Sarjeant Gallery
    Whanganui’s Sarjeant Gallery will receive an investment of up to $12 million administered by the Provincial Growth Fund to support its redevelopment, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. The project is included in a $3 billion infrastructure pipeline announced by Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Shane Jones yesterday. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Funding for training and upskilling
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing nearly $2.5 million into three Te Ara Mahi programmes to support Manawatū-Whanganui jobseekers and employees to quickly train and upskill, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Up to 154 local people will be supported into employment within the first year by these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Statement from the Minister of Health Dr David Clark
      This morning I have formally tendered my resignation as Minister of Health, which was accepted by the Prime Minister. Serving as Minister of Health has been an absolute privilege – particularly through these extraordinary last few months. It’s no secret that Health is a challenging portfolio. I have given ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Scholarship placements for agricultural emissions scientists doubles
    Scholarships for 57 early-career agricultural emissions scientists from 20 developing countries is another example of New Zealand’s international leadership in primary sector sustainability, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. Mr O’Connor, announcing the scholarships today, says hundreds of applications were received for this fourth round of the CLIFF-GRADS programme (Climate, Food ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Funding for Foxton regeneration
    A project to help rejuvenate the Horowhenua town of Foxton will receive a Provincial Growth Fund investment of $3.86 million, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This funding for the Foxton Regeneration project will be used to make the well-known holiday town even more attractive for visitors and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Plan to improve protection of moa bones
    Moa bones and other sub-fossil remains of extinct species are set to have improved protection with proposals to prevent the trade in extinct species announced the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today. “We have lost too many of our native species, but these lost species, such as moa, remain an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Free lunches served up to thousands of school children in the South Island
    The Government’s free and healthy school lunches programme moves south for the first time creating jobs for around 30 people in Otago and Southland. “Eighteen schools with 3000 students are joining the programme – 11 have already begun serving lunches, and seven are preparing to start during Term 3. This is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Screen Sector recovery package protects jobs, boosts investment
    Thousands of Kiwi jobs and investment in New Zealand productions will be protected through a screen sector support package announced today by Associate Minister for Arts Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford and Minister for Broadcasting Kris Faafoi. The package also includes investment in broadcasting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New fund to help save local events and jobs
    The Government has established a new $10 million fund for the domestic events sector to help save jobs and protect incomes as it recovers from the impacts of COVID-19, Minister of Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. This funding from Budget 2020 follows talks with the event sector designed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago