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Auditor-General shoots down Nats’ Brown smears

Written By: - Date published: 10:49 am, June 25th, 2010 - 51 comments
Categories: accountability, auckland supercity, local body elections - Tags: ,

Behind in the polls and losing the face to face debates, National’s handpicked man for Auckland Supermayor, John Banks, is in deep trouble and unable to match Len Brown. So in a desperate attempt to stop bleeding votes, they did the political equivalent of BP’s ‘junk shot’ in the Gulf oil spill. They got together whatever dirt they could and threw it all at Brown.

Brown asked the Auditor-General to look into his credit card records to officially declare whether he had purposely abused his card or clear his name. Now, the Auditor-General has found there is nothing to warrant investigation saying:

Thank you for your letter of 22 June which was e-mailed to me this morning.

We have been aware from media reports that you intended to ask the Auditor-General to look at your use of a Council purchasing card for sensitive expenditure. We have given considerable thought to the appropriate response to that request, should it eventuate. My decision is to decline your request.

Since your statement last week, the Council’s Audit Committee has asked our appointed auditor to carry out additional work on the Council’s systems and processes for sensitive expenditure during the course of ongoing normal audit work. The additional sampling, testing, and reporting by our appointed auditor will not be confined to transactions on credit or purchasing cards, or to the spending of any particular individual. I note too that the auditor has already commented on shortcomings of these systems and processes.

We understand that the Committee has also asked the Council’s chief financial officer to review certain aspects of the Council’s expenditure policies and processes to ensure that they are operating appropriately and will continue to do so.

In addition, the details of the purchasing card transactions are in the public arena and you have publicly acknowledged shortcomings in your personal use and administration of the purchasing card.

In reaching my decision, I have considered the effect of the additional annual audit work, alongside the previous work that has been carried out by our appointed auditor and the Council’s internal audit staff, the review of expenditure policies and processes, and the public disclosure of Council spending that has already taken place. It is also relevant that the Council will shortly cease to exist as a separate organisation.

I consider that, in all these circumstances, the Council’s response is appropriate and there is no need for further involvement of the Auditor-General.

I doubt we’ll be waiting long until the next smear will be from the Nats, because they sure as hell don’t have any other shot at winning.

51 comments on “Auditor-General shoots down Nats’ Brown smears”

  1. lprent 1

    Hah – that is funny… What is that stupid phrase beloved by wingnuts…

    Move along – nothing to see here..

    Now someone authoritative has said it, we can expect the usual wingnut response. A descent into conspiracy theories.

    (I block-quoted the text of the letter to make it easier to read where it started and ended.)

  2. Mark M 2

    Its called buck passing.
    The AG thinks it is the responsibility of the council to investigate and ensure their rules are followed.
    You clearly think it is an evil smear to hold someone to rules , yet this site complains bitterly when a Nat MP dosent declare a directorship .
    Not declaring a directorship dosent cost the taxpayer , but it is against the rules .
    Brown has clearly broken the rules and stolen money from the Manakau ratepayer.

    The fact he paid it back is like someone breaking in to your house , stealing your stereo , returning it a year later and expecting to avoid theft charges.

    • Pascal's bookie 2.1

      Lay a complaint with the cops then Mark.

    • Lew 2.2

      Can’t have it both ways. If the A-G had seen fit to investigate y’all would be crowing that, on account of the smoke, there must be fire. if the A-G had found something in the investigation, y’all would be claiming Brown’s scalp.

      This result is a ‘not even worth my time’. Better than an exoneration. And cheaper, too. Aren’t you happy that the A-G is being so frugal with your money?

      No? How irony.

      L

    • Roger 2.3

      “Not declaring a directorship doesn’t cost the taxpayer , but it is against the rules.”

      Actually this has he potential to cost the taxpayer a huge amount of money through conflict of interest. The theft here would be much greater than the amount involved in the credit card smear, would be harder to prove, and could have damaging consequences outside of the money involved as well.

  3. ianmac 3

    I live nowhere near Auckland but despair at the smear. (That rhymes.) The sad thing is that rather than show accountibility, the after-taste is that NZ politics is smelly. Baby with bath water sort of thing. Loss of trust. Sad.

  4. PK 4

    ***They got together whatever dirt they could and threw it all at Brown.***

    His style of slapping his face while apologising was pretty unusual. Why isn’t Bob Harvey running?

  5. Craig Glen Eden 5

    While you are at the police station file a complaint about the money Brownlee, Heatly and Grosser has stolen will you Mark M. Given you are so concerned about double standards that would be the only right thing to do aye. Pigs might fly aye Mark m ?

  6. WOOF 6

    Looks like they were barking up the wrong tree 🙂

  7. sean14 7

    “you have publicly acknowledged shortcomings in your personal use and administration of the purchasing card.”

    What’s the smear? Brown misused his credit card, as did several MPs from both National and Labour.

    • The problem is that the media have made it appear like a LP scandal only.
      The Nats have been guilty of a number of dubious acts yet hardly any publicity has been given to their dirty actions. Key’s Trust , Nick Smith’s slander case , the hidden directorships ect. just imagine how often the ugly bully actions of Brownlee would have been mentioned if it was a Labour Minister,oh dear ! Granny Herald would refer to it when ever it could. They still mention “Paintergate ! yet never mention that the painting in question made a lot of money for child cancer fund. Im sick to death of the way Labour people are targeted by the well organized Political Right it’s time the Left stopped being decent and opened the flood gates on this sleazy lot.Start on their fund gathering and then expose their cover up of their breaking electoral laws and their refusal to pay GST at the last election. Lets start being realistic and expose these barstards for what they are ,money grabbers who have no intention of working to help the underprivileged or in making Aotearoa a social democracy , They are there to improve the lot of the wealthy nothing else.

  8. American Gardener 8

    Possibly both things can be true at the same time: it is a smear campaign and Len Brown has crossed the line with his credit card use. If it is a smear campaign aimed at reducing Len Browns polling it doesn’t change his acts or the poor way he has handled the allegations.

    • Lew 8.1

      I think it’s very clear that it is both. But it seems that one allegation has rather more veracity than the other, since one appears to have been grossly exaggerated, and the other doesn’t.

      L

  9. I personally more pissed that Bill-DoubleDipton-English blatantly rorted the taxpayer for thousands of dollars and gets away scott free.
    And i want that chump from Nelson, Nick Smith? to return the $200.000 dollars the taxpayer generously donated for opening his big mouth and getting sued for the effort.

  10. tsmithfield 10

    No way could that statement from the AG be seen as a vindication. In fact, it raises more questions than it answers. I’m sure Brown would have preferred that the AG have a look at the expenditure. As it is now, the AG points out that there is acknowledged offending and has not ruled out the possibility that there might be other offending that has not been acknowledged.

    • ianmac 10.1

      This time your logic disappoints ts.

      • tsmithfield 10.1.1

        How so ianmac?

        1. Quote from the AG: “you have publicly acknowledged shortcomings in your personal use and administration of the purchasing card.’

        2. Where does the AG specifically rule out other misdemeanors with the credit card?

        Case made, I think.

        • Pascal's bookie 10.1.1.1

          He didn’t rule out islamofascism either. Or murder most foul. Clearly bad news for Brown.

          Instead he just said it wasn’t worth wasting the AG office’s time with this, ever so serious, matter.

          • tsmithfield 10.1.1.1.1

            The point is he could have ruled out other mis-spending had he bothered to do an audit. The fact that, as the AG says, Brown has admitted some mis-spending, it follows that unless all the spending is investigated there is the possibility of other mis-spending that can’t obviously be ruled out without an audit.

            I don’t see anywhere in the statement any reason that Brown should be over the moon about this. It is in no way a declaration of innocence or the like.

            The reason the AG considered it wasn’t worth wasting his time over it was that there are already other processes under way likely to pick up mis-spending and that the general thrust of the information is in the public eye anyway. This says nothing about the relative seriousness of the offending.

            • Lew 10.1.1.1.1.1

              But it does say that the A-G is confident that any such offending will be discovered by the council’s own processes, rendering her own investigation redundant.

              L

              • tsmithfield

                Yep. Just what I said if you read my last paragraph. But the AG is not saying that the offending is trivial or inconsequential though.

                • Lew

                  The point is that there’s no special, serious or urgent wrongdoing of the sort which warrants a special investigation. The allegation against Brown has been that there is. Square that circle for me.

                  L

                  • tsmithfield

                    I guess theres no evidence of fraud or the like, if thats what you mean by serious. However, that says nothing about other issues that arise such as ability to manage his own affairs (yet alone the council ones), moral hazards (setting a bad example) and the like. After all, in some employment situations this sort of behaviour would have resulted in a sacking.

                    • Lew

                      Indeed. These are bad, and I’m all for Brown (and anyone else) being held fully to account by the Powers That Be (internal audit and censure processes; the media; ultimately the electorate) for them.

                      But these aren’t the alleged misdeeds which were on the table. They formed a lower bound for a whole range of speculative attacks against Brown which have been proven without foundation. So the shift from “he’s a corrupt crooked trougher and he’s got to go” to “issues around the ability to manage his own affairs and setting a bad example” is a massive and very rapid retreat.

                      Classic smear politics: trying to obscure the fact that only a tiny fraction of the wrongdoing initially alleged was demonstrated to have any foundation.

                      Don’t get me wrong: it’s a fair enough tactic. Just don’t get arsey when it’s called out for what it is.

                      L

                    • tsmithfield

                      In nothing I’ve said above have I made any claims that the offending was at any particular level of seriousness. I was just pointing out what the AG was actually saying, which could not be read as a vindication.

                      I don’t live in Auckland, so I’m not particularly interested in Auckland politics, so I’ve got no particular axe to grind against Brown.

                    • Lew

                      And here we have the “well, it’s not my argument that’s crap” disclaimer. Nice.

                      The comment wasn’t a criticism against you, TS. I don’t know what you have or haven’t alleged. The point was about the wider attacks against Brown by the usual suspects.

                      L

              • davidg

                Oh do stop being willfully obtuse. The AG does not clear Brown or ‘shoot down’ alleged smears of Brown. The AG just says he’s not interested in investigating as the current process that may or may not end in court seems to be working fine.

                To attack Mr Smithfield for explaining this is pathetic.

        • felix 10.1.1.2

          Verging on a pig-fucker there tk.

          (cue mock offense and willful ignorance)

  11. Buster 11

    The NBR is carrying a story that confirms John Banks’ negative campaign is behind the desperate attempt to take down Len Brown.

    It states “Auckland politics has descended into dirty tricks with an attempt to smear Manukau mayor Len Brown… An attempt was made to drag members of Len Brown’s extended family into his credit card spending saga.’

    It goes on to say someone linked with John Banks tried to peddle that the dinner in support of a local singer, was in fact a family affair to celebrate the birth of a grandchild, and that those at the table included “Chief Employment Judge Graeme Colgan and his son Tim, said to me married to Len Brown’s daughter from an earlier marriage, who had recently given birth.’

    Brown confirmed he doesn’t have a daughter from his first marriage and the Colgans were not present at the dinner. Justice Colgan also confirmed this.

    I wonder if Banks will reveal who the dirty smear-merchant is, fire them, and apologise to Brown for trying to drag his family into the campaign. I think this deserves a wider audience.

    • I dreamed a dream 11.1

      It looks like not all right-wing media loves Banksie, huh? Hopefully, this story gets wider coverage.

    • Mako 11.2

      Interesting NBR story. Slater has made similar accusations on his blog. At a rough count, he’s posted 26 times on this issue since 6 June (a feat that would be vaguely impressive were it not for the fact that, even with all the spare time that a taxpayer-funded life of leisure gives him, his stories are just repetitive, vindictive, childish, poorly-written paranoid rants). Every time a smear gets proven wrong, the focus shifts. Fraudulent, falsified receipts? Nah. Len’s birthday party? Nah. Wetting the baby’s head, with a member of the judiciary in attendance? Nah. So now it’s a desperate spin about how the Auditor-General told “Looney Len” to “bugger off”‘. Seriously, why doesn’t John Banks do something to disassociate himself from this sleaze?

      • I dreamed a dream 11.2.1

        “repetitive, vindictive, childish, poorly-written paranoid rants”

        Behaviour from mental health problems? — “The wife of prominent blogger Whale Oil says mental health problems are driving his internet behaviour – which has included a campaign to break suppression orders and insult people online.” – NZHerald

        “why doesn’t John Banks do something to disassociate himself from this sleaze?”

        Good question. We probably know the answer.

    • Anne 11.3

      I can think of several people who probably have a finger in the ‘Len Brown Dirty Smear Campaign’ pie, and they all had former links to the Act Party.

    • Anne 11.4

      I know of several people who probably have a finger in the ‘Campaign to smear Len Brown” pie and they all have past links (at the least) to the Act Party.

      • Anne 11.4.1

        The Request Deletion link (7:39pm) doesn’t seem to be working…?

        • lprent 11.4.1.1

          The comment gets put into moderation and an e-mail is sent to me as the admin. When I see the e-mail I zap it. However if (like tonight), I’m where the wireless networks aren’t available, another moderator can pop it back into general circulation before I see it.

          Best idea is to reread it and to not press the submit button

  12. peter 12

    I just cannot wait for the turd that is John banks to be flushed into the sewer of history…

    Roll on October !

    • Rharn 12.1

      Celebrity toilet rolls come to mind. May be some enterprising young turk, as a fund raiser of course needs to get some rolls printed Banks portrait on the roll.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 12.2

      But Kohi needs its beach sand. Without and C and R mayor and council who is going to keep approving more funds for more sand?

  13. Ian 13

    Wish Doonesbury would do a cartoon or two of this nasty little right wing smear. Don’t know if you idiot Aucklanders see his cartoons but they are simply brilliant.

  14. Rharn 14

    I can not help but wonder how Banks aligns his Christian values with lies and deceit.

    Perhaps some journo should ask him.

  15. Chris 15

    Wow hypocrisy! I think the whole blind trust thing counts as a smear by a mile if this counts as a smear

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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    6 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    6 days ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    6 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    7 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    7 days ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    7 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    2 weeks ago

  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago