web analytics

Australia – Labor’s unwinnable election

Written By: - Date published: 7:25 pm, September 7th, 2013 - 73 comments
Categories: australian politics - Tags: , ,

Tony Abbott billboard

Australia heads to the polling booths today.  The polls suggest that a change in Government is not only inevitable but that many Labor MPs may lose their seats.  There is even the suggestion that Kevin Rudd may not make it back into Parliament.

Late polls suggests that after distribution of preferences the Liberal Coalition will have 54% of votes and Labor 46% of votes.  This could result in the ALP having as few as 50 seats in the 150 seat House of Representatives.  Labor is polling as low at 33% of the primary vote but with the Greens at a respectable 10% and most of their preferences expected to head Labor’s way Labour’s preferential vote should be in the mid to high 40s.  But given the nature of Australia’s election system this could result in a landslide victory to the Liberal National Coalition.

Labor stalwarts will be hoping that Kevin Rudd can repeat the success of Paul Keating in 1993 when he won the unwinnable election. Despite Labor being written off at the time Keating somehow overcame what appeared to be hopeless odds to win.  A six percent deficit two weeks out was turned into a narrow majority for Labor after all the votes were counted.

Keating’s election night speech is one for the ages.  He put the win down to Labor’s appeal to the decency in Australians, their refusal for Australia to be divided and to the hard work of the party and described the win as “the sweetest victory of all”.

Keating’s success was helped by the good will extended by progressives to a leader who was brave and willing to speak his mind.  In his Redfern Speech the year before he said this about the plight of Australia’s Aboriginal people:

… [T]he starting point might be to recognise that the problem starts with us non-Aboriginal Australians.  It begins, I think, with that act of recognition.  Recognition that it was we who did the dispossessing.  We took the traditional lands and smashed the traditional way of life. We brought the diseases. The alcohol.  We committed the murders.  We took the children from their mothers.  We practised discrimination and exclusion.  It was our ignorance and our prejudice.  And our failure to imagine these things being done to us.  With some noble exceptions, we failed to make the most basic human response and enter into their hearts and minds.

Unlike Kevin Rudd, Keating has also been scathing about the way that the refugee issue has been handled.  He is reported as saying last year that there were “racial undertones” to the debate.

I often used to say as prime minister, when they were handing out continents, not many people got one, but we did and there’s only 20 million of us.  And yet we’re complaining about 6000 people coming by boat and we want to push all of them away.

Mr Keating also said Australians demonstrated no “generosity of spirit” when it came to asylum-seekers.

His attitude should be contrasted to that of Kevin Rudd’s who recently advocated a policy about refugees that was so bad that Tony Abbott thought it was promising.  Keating’s bravery, at least concerning issues of race is in stark contrast to Rudd’s focus group inspired cowardice.  Because there is nothing to enthuse progressives in Australia I doubt that Rudd will be able to emulate Keating’s accomplishment.

If Rudd is bad however then Tony Abbott will be absolutely appalling.  He is already up to his Crosby Textor designed tricks.  Yesterday, the day before the election, the Coalition released its budget costings and promised what in real terms are wafer thing cuts.  This reminded me of a description of National’s campaign in Aotearoa in 2008 where their campaign was described as “not answering questions and not debating policy except when it suits them; and now, mid-election campaign, releasing “policy” that is little more than publicity stunts and too late for proper scrutiny”.  I wonder if National and the Coalition have the same advisors?

For all of Rudd’s faults he is not in the same league of terror inducing as Tony Abbott.  The coalition will cause a great deal of damage.  For instance their climate change policies are a joke.  As described by George Monbiot:

His views have changed, but don’t expect Tony Abbott to acknowledge this, let alone apologise to Australians for misleading them. In 2009 he maintained that manmade climate change is “absolute crap”. Now he says “I think that climate change is real, humanity makes a contribution.” But he has merely switched from denying global warming to denying the need to act on it.

Abbott is following a familiar script – the 4 Ds of climate change inaction promoted by fossil fuel lovers the world over. Deny, then defer, then delay, then despair.

His Direct Action program for reducing emissions is incapable of delivering the cuts it promises, absurdly underfunded and surrounded by a swarm of unanswered questions. Were it to become big enough to meet its promises, it would be far more expensive than a comparable carbon trading scheme, which Abbott has falsely claimed would incur “almost unimaginable” costs. But it won’t be big enough, because he refuses to set aside the money it requires. Direct Action is a program designed to create a semblance of policy, in the certain knowledge that it will fail to achieve its objectives.

I seem to recall that John Key also denied the existence of climate change but then accepted that it was occurring but effectively gutted the ETS so that nothing significant is happening about New Zealand’s output of greenhouse gasses.  As Monbiot says there does seem to be a similar script used by conservatives throughout the world.

After the election and presuming things go the way they appear to be going then the Labor Party will need to have good think about things and work out what went wrong.  And it will need to work out how to respect its proud history while remaining relevant to voters and at the same time adhering to its core values and refusing to travel along the dead ends that focus group politics entails. [Edit did a quick tidy up of this]

73 comments on “Australia – Labor’s unwinnable election ”

  1. Forget the polls and the votes, what are the trends saying?

  2. Ad 2

    A grand set of lines from Keating there.

    Australia is marching quickly into the quarry-enclave economy New Zealand had from the 1870s to the 1920s. Except this time made worse with its dominance by just a handful of listed multinational mining conglomerates. Has New Zealand chosen a comparatively more sustainable path?

  3. BM 3

    Expect big changes in the lucky country once Abbot gets in.
    The place is being choked to death by union interference so expect Abbot to cut a few union throats within a very short period.

    It’s desperately needed if OZ is going to get back on track.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      Australia will be in a deepening economic and unemployment crisis 12 months from now, as the Tory poison prescription takes hold.

      • srylands 3.1.1

        Yes that evil John Howard prescribed that poison and it made Australia the richest country in the world. It only went off the rails when he lowered the quality of spending like a maniac, a trend continued by Rudd and Julia. Lucky there is no party in NZ that would take us down that destructive track again. Oh bugger, wait..

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1

          Australia shipped real physical resources offshore for electronically generated credits, as well as creating masses of money by acquiring huge amounts of private debt.

          It’s sorta stupid strategy, and is coming to an end now.

          edit – do you really think Abbott is another John Howard? You’re fucking dreaming.

          • Poem 3.1.1.1.1

            Would say, puppet Abbott is the Australian version of Mitt Romney.

          • KJT 3.1.1.1.2

            We had the same commodities boom as Australia. In dairying not mining.

            In fact ours earned more per capita than Australia’s.

            Due to the fact they still have union power in Australia, however, the income from their commodities boom was spread throughout the economy.

            Most of ours went offshore for Hawaii holidays and offshore corporate profits, particularly to the Australian(US) banks.

            Note: Sweden has gone downhill by all indicators since they swallowed the poison pill recently.

      • Poem 3.1.2

        “Australia will be in a deepening economic and unemployment crisis 12 months from now, as the Tory poison prescription takes hold.”

        +1 Colonial Viper

      • Green machine UpandComer 3.1.3

        Viper, at least you’re consistent in your off the scale parallel universe-isms. Australia will be in a deepening economic and unemployment crisis 12 months from now, if OZLabour’s present poison prescription isn’t remedied by Mr Abbot.

    • tricledrown 3.2

      what unions the unions have been decimated in Australia just like NZ

  4. amirite 4

    I was listening to one Aussie voter yesterday who said he’ll vote for the Pirate Party because both Labour and Libs are as bad as each other and both have failed to address the fact that the whole Aussie economy relies on mining and the housing market.
    Hear, hear.

  5. Colonial Viper 5

    Clue for the NZLP: Labor and Rudd fucked up by trying to position themselves as Liberal Lite. The PNG boat people policy, crowing about ditching steps to reduce climate change, etc.

    People vote RED when the Red Team shows true bright red values, not when it tries to hide them.

    Oh yeah, the endless division in caucus and with the leadership was the finishing touch.

    • srylands 5.1

      Oh that must explain why the Hawke/Keating governments won 5 terms opening up Australia with long lasting economic reforms that you would obviously hate.

      I suggest Colonial Viper that you take a break from your obsession with posting to the Standard and come back when you know something about economics and Australian economic history.

      There is ZERO chance of Australia EVER electing a left wing government. The last one left office in 1975.

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        Don’t get nervous mate, just watch the Oz economy crash and burn over the next 12 months under the Coalition.

        • infused 5.1.1.1

          It would crash and burn anyway because of the stupid policies introduced over the last 5 years.

          It’s the same shit here when you say Labour left the govt in best fiscal shape ever… What a load of shit.

          • muzza 5.1.1.1.1

            So you’re good with how the current government are working things?

            Do you feel like we’re all heading in the best direction, or is it a case of you don’t really care for anything other than petty point scoring, trying to make yourself feel like a winner!

          • tricledrown 5.1.1.1.2

            con fused the stupid policies that the labor govt introduced like the A$200 million stimulus package kept Australia out of recession the only OECD country to do so!
            Australia has the lowest govt debt of any country!
            The mining tax +carbon tax allows Australia to keep valuable minerals in the ground !
            under Abbott those will be dug up quickly leaving within 50 years no mining income!
            Labour reduced the child subsidy that Howard introduced!

      • KJT 5.1.2

        Talk about re-writing history.

        Comparing the Hawk/Keating reforms with Douglas’s Richardsons is like comparing a few drone strikes to carpet bombing. In very many ways they have done the diametric opposite to New Zealand.

        I can only assume that Srylands was too young to remember.

        Just a few differences of the top of my head.

        Douglas de-regulated the financial sector leading to a crash only two years later, 1987.
        Keating strengthened regulation. A large part of the reason why Australia’s, and our banking systems did not join the GFC.

        Ricahardson cut benefits to below subsistence level. Australia never has.

        Douglas unilaterally removed almost all tariffs, leaving us nothing to bargain with for free trade agreements and decimating local industry and employment. Like the embarrassing spectacle of the prime minister trading on our dead soldiers to get trade concessions from Korea. Douglas left us nothing to bargain with.

        Australia kept steeply progressive taxes and liveable minimum wages.

        We have been borrowing for tax cuts we could not afford since 1986.

        Australian unions rejected their equivalent of the ECA. Meaning Australians actually have enough money to invest in buying their own assets back, and there wasn’t the same hemorrhage of money to offshore banking and profit taking, and massive transfer of wealth to the parasitic sectors..

        Australia has been more successful than us very obviously because they did not buy into the neo-liberal poison to the same extent.

        To say otherwise shows a profound cognitive dissonance.

      • tricledrown 5.1.3

        Schrillglands Hawk Keating Govt took measured steps of change and didn’t throw the baby out with the bath water!
        Your understanding of Australian economic history is far removed from reality!

  6. Sosoo 6

    This result makes me glad we have MMP. It means we don’t have the stupidity of pretending that there is a massive change in public opinion (a landslide) when the vote changes by only a few percentage points.

    I’m also proud to say that someone like Tony Abbott could never be elected Prime Minister of New Zealand. John Banks is perhaps the worst we’ve got, and he voted to legalise gay marriage. We’re not a particularly sophisticated or liberal people here in NZ, but compared to the small minded, bigoted Neanderthals who live across the Tasman we look just great.

    There will be lots of mealy mouthed press about this election, but the truth should be told: the average Australian is an ignorant, hate-filled, racist bigot.

    • Richard Christie 6.1

      the truth should be told: the average Australian is an ignorant, hate-filled, racist bigot.

      I’m glad I’m not you.

    • Jimmie 6.2

      Pots and Kettles are a darker shade of gray lol

    • Murray Olsen 6.3

      I’m not sure the average Australian is an ignorant, hate-filled, racist bigot, but enough of them are that Rudd thought it was worth rolling out his travesty of a policy on refugees.

      My prediction is that they’re in for a shocking recession, with total mismanagement by Abbott and Hockey, but as in all recessions, a small number of the very rich will do well. And SSLands will cheer on the policies as he goes to the wall, believing all the time that they just needed to be applied a bit more fervently for him to become one of the super rich.

    • karol 6.4

      And the number of Kiwi guys in the NZ media cheerleading Shane Jones, shows misogyny can be a winner for some Kiwi guys.

      Add Matt MCCarten to that list of people, showing NZ does not have a lot to gloat about.

      • LynWiper 6.4.1

        My thoughts exactly karol. I really thought that Matt would have a different take on the SJ debacle. I am extremely disappointed in SJ’s apparent popularity. While I can understand the entertainment value, hearing that NZ’rs (most likely kiwi guys) are seriously considering voting him for Labour Leader is very disheartening.

      • Murray Olsen 6.4.2

        I’ve always considered McCarten one of the blokish Waitakere man types on the left. That he admires Jones doesn’t surprise me at all. I’m appalled that Jones is even in the Labour Party. Even if we don’t consider his neanderthal-like misogyny, his attitudes on the environment and industrial relations could come straight from Tony Abbott and Gina Stoneheart.

    • tricledrown 6.5

      Sosoo anger is not going to help hate filled rants either !
      Australia has an upper house called the senate its proportionally elected it will moderate the rampant right!
      They also have state govts which usually vote opposite to the federal elctorate !
      NZ is where we have to focus on getting the 800,000 that didn’t vote out at the next election!
      Frustration can be good motivation we need a change here and in recent times we have voted the opposite of Australia thats a good Omen!

      • Murray Olsen 6.5.1

        All the things Sosoo mentions do exist in Australia, but happily they are not all the things that exist in Australia. There are some signs of hope.

  7. Richard Christie 7

    “I seem to recall that John Key also denied the existence of climate change but then accepted that it was occurring …”

    Funny, I recall Key saying that he considered man made climate change an issue of global importance – but this was a year or two before he became PM. I’ve long since added the remarks to the list of BS he delivered as part of his sheep’s clothing.

  8. Richard Christie 8

    Oh, and my condolences to Australian readers on the election of a full blown science-denier to their highest political office.
    Your future regret will prove to be painful.

    • Steve Wrathall 8.1

      Yes, the lack of an Australian carbon tax will make the world 0.000005 degrees warmer in 100 years than it would have been…painful!

      • Colonial Viper 8.1.1

        What is painful is your condemnation of billions of people, just so you can keep business as usual burning for another 10-20 years.

        What a fucking dick.

      • tricledrown 8.1.2

        SW Doing nothing laissez faire why not we all increase our carbon footprint and stuff the planet quickly is what your saying!
        Good leadership is leading by example, we lead the the world on nuclear free legislation and now even the right wing claim that policy .

  9. big bruv 9

    What a great result for the people of Aussie. This is a comprehensive thrashing of the Labour/Green party.

    Now Aussie can start to repair the damage done by the socialists in six long years.

  10. big bruv 10

    “the average Australian is an ignorant, hate-filled, racist bigot.”

    A lot like Hone Harawira really.

    • Sosoo 10.1

      See, in New Zealand the hate parties (like Christian Heritage) characteristically garner about 1-2% of the vote.

      In Australia hate is mainstream.

      • tricledrown 10.1.1

        SoSo In Australia hate is not mainstream.
        Its the the Murdocracy that dictates the debate!
        their was only a 3.5% percent swing against labor with a lot of marginal seats lost have given the coalition a land slide.
        NSW has had a state government mired in corruption,Labor mired in leadership wrangles have handed Abbott a clear majority but like Howard before Abbott will have to run inclusive policies because if he pushes unpopular policies he will only last 1 term!
        I have lived and worked in Australia nearly half of my extended family are Australian !
        Australians are well educated and love a good debate.
        No more hateful than Kiwis!

    • JonL 10.2

      Unlike you, of course……..

  11. tc 11

    It’s all academic, the senate passes laws so depends who controls that, only half the senate is elected tonight. Unlike here gov’t can’t run riot unless it controls the senate.

    An awful campaign. Rudd overrode his campaign advice and made many bad calls, Abbott is driven by CT with neither addressing any serious issues.

    Hawke/keating did the hard yards 25years ago and now the reality of a fading minerals boom, 7 governments and many other non productive entities, a high dollar etc will catch Oz.

    As keating noted there’s an uneasy racial tone and a mean spirit about the place now just wait till Tony, Joe, Malcolm and co get busy.

    • mickysavage 11.1

      Thanks TC. I am just watching Rudd’s concession speech and I am wondering WTF? He is happy? He is trying to make it sound like he almost won?

      Some politics is far too choreographed and the injection of a bit of honest emotion would be a good thing.

      • Colonial Viper 11.1.1

        He’s probably planning to stay on as Labor Leader. Seriously.

      • Murray Olsen 11.1.2

        Rudd was in a room full of people who adore him. That’s enough to make him happy. Sadly, I’m serious.

        • Colonial Viper 11.1.2.1

          He probably did salvage up to 10-15 seats that would have been lost under Gillard. Kept most of QLD intact when just 24 hours ago predictions were that Labor would be wiped out.

          So a loss, some of it seriously self inflicted, but with a few bright spots. However for Australia over the next (4?) years. It’s going to be frakkin horrible.

  12. tc 12

    Yes the mining boom fades, a high dollar and neither party addressed the elephant in the room…..tax reform. States arent getting enough from federal and Gillard screwed the big revenue fixer, mining tax. Universities and the massive public service will be hit like the retail sector has been and will continue to be.

    What goes up….it will not be pretty.
    I’m unsure Gillard would’ve done any worse, those that backed Kevin will hold the line she was leading them to slaughter but she had abbotts number and you tolerate kev or you don’t not really a warm character.

  13. muzza 13

    That’s Australia done and dusted then, as if it wasn’t already.

    The experiment continues, oz and nz destined to become the vassels of neoliberal exploitation.

    Our largest trading partner is going to have major impacts on nz, unlikely to be positive!

    Australians all let us rejoice…

  14. Wensleydale 14

    So, hands up who thinks Gina Rinehart’s going to be soiling her over-sized panties in glee?

    • tc 14.1

      Yes allowing gina to have her way is going to fix all oz’s issues…..and packer, murdoch, palmer, stokes, qantas, telstra etc etc

      • KJT 14.1.1

        Yeah. How well are the countries with no welfare, low or no taxation and little Government regulation doing, again?

        Rienharts and Murdochs unfettered capitalism do exist, in Somalia and similar examples of “success”.

  15. Sanctuary 15

    It gets worse, it loks like Pauline Hanson may win a seat in the senate.

  16. Sanctuary 16

    And how about old Murdoch’s tweet, eh?

    Rupert Murdoch@rupertmurdoch

    Aust election public sick of public sector workers and phony welfare scroungers sucking life out of economy.Others nations to follow in time

    • muzza 16.1

      Murdoch is a tool of the system, it created him, which is why he is untouchable.

      They workship at the alter, his task being the head of swaths of the global psy op known as the entertainment industry, of which the so called msm news media is part of!

      Another who sold his soul, and who is responsible for the deaths of many innocent souls, which is always the intent, physically or psychologically!

      Yes Rupert, its the workers and beneficiaries who have wrecked the planet, and who have a destroyed nations such as Australia, its financial stability etc, nothing at all to do with neoliberalism!

    • Wensleydale 16.2

      If this nation “follows in time”, I shall spend my retirement years living in a shack in the bush.

      • tricledrown 16.2.1

        Wensleydale there are 1 to 2 million people in the US living rough now under tarps and in tents its a complete disgrace that the richest country in the world can’t look after their own.

  17. millsya 17

    No point in saving the furniture when the house has burned to the ground.

    This is an absolute thrashing. Lowest primary vote since 190-whatever, votes lost in every state, Coalition inroads into safe ALP seats, saying “it could have been worse” and “at least we still have our cabinet ministers” is not good enough. There are no such things as “moral victories” or whatever the cuss they are, the winner on the day is the one that has the bigger number on the scoreboard than the rest that is a fact. It doesnt matter if a side wins by 30 seats or 3.

    Australia moved (further) to the right last night. That is a fact. Even the Greens took a hit, though their core vote still held, and the seat of Melbourne looks like it will be a green fortress.

    Labor have only themselves to blame really, I need not go into the details of the past 3 years.

    I cannot see them getting back into power this side of 2020.

    So, plenty of time to drill, mine, sell and slash.

  18. KJT 18

    This must be extremely frightening for National.

    The days of hiding their unemployment figures in Australia may be over.

    And the effect of Australian Labor’s stimulus policies, on hiding National’s recession, will became shockingly apparent.

    • s y d 18.1

      It’s frightening for the hundreds of thousands on New Zealanders who currently live and work in Australia, but who have absolutely no access into their social security system – they must be fearful for the future. I foresee an application of ‘targetted austerity’ by Mr Abott. And when and if the jobs for New Zealanders (the wife be damned) go, I’m guesing the only viable option will be a return to NZ. What are WE going to do when the 50,000 a year from the last 10 years all come back at once? Treat them like boat people? Set up refugee camps? Our very own Pacific solution?
      How could we cope? can we? It’s nice to have the family back for christmas, but I suspect the love runs a bit thin by June.

      This could be a defining issue for our near future.

    • JonL 18.2

      “This is an absolute thrashing. Lowest primary vote since 190-whatever, votes lost in every state” – 1996 was worse.
      Labour self destructed – as usual, it was voting a party out, not a party in, for most people., but the example of the Nat-Lib state gov. in Queensland may have swayed many voters back to Labour, there.
      For all the tories rhetoric, I don’t see how they could have done any better than Labour – and the next 3 yrs are going to be frightening, to all except the rich, those who would aspire to be, and the terminally stupid – which covers a large chunk of the Australian landscape unfortunately. Then they’ll turn around and blame labour’s “mismanagement”!
      There are some truly creepy people in the higher echelons of the nat-Libs!

  19. Macro 19

    As Einstein once said:

    “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former”.

    And as Joseph de Maistre said:

    “In a democracy people get the leaders they deserve.” Not that Rudd is any better than Abbott.

    Australians only had to look across the ditch at the disaster that is the NZ “economy” to realise that 4 years of austerity, union bashing, and laissez faire government is the road to ruination.

    But then we live in the Age of Stupid – and I fear the “lucky country” is just about to get very unlucky..

  20. SHG (not Colonial Viper) 20

    It’s hard to explain to anyone who hasn’t seen it up close and personal over years and years, but Rudd is insane. I disagree with almost everything Tony Abbott holds dear, but I would rather have him as PM than Kevin Rudd.

  21. Core_Labour_Voter 21

    Sad day in Australian history.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • March 15 Collective Impact Board appointed
    The voices of those affected by the March 15 mosque attacks will be heard more effectively with the establishment of a new collective impact board, Associate Minister for Social Development and Employment Priyanca Radhakrishnan announced today. Seven members of the Christchurch Muslim community have been appointed to the newly established Board, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • More young Kiwis supported with mental health and addiction services
    Nearly quarter of a million more young New Zealanders will have access to mental health and addiction support in their communities as the Government’s youth mental health programme gathers pace. New contracts to expand youth-specific services across the Northland, Waitematā and Auckland District Health Board areas have been confirmed, providing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • New hospital facilities mean fewer trips to Auckland for Northlanders
    Northlanders will no longer automatically have to go to Auckland for lifesaving heart procedures like angiograms, angioplasty and the insertion of pacemakers, thanks to new operating theatres and a cardiac catheter laboratory opened at Whangārei Hospital by Health Minister Andrew Little today. The two projects – along with a new ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Fair Pay Agreements to improve pay and conditions for essential workers
    The Government is delivering on its pre-election commitment to implement Fair Pay Agreements which will improve wages and conditions, as well as help support our economic recovery, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood announced today. Fair Pay Agreements will set minimum standards for all employees and employers in an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Establishment of the new Māori Health Authority takes first big step
    Sir Mason Durie will lead a Steering Group to provide advice to the Transition Unit on governance arrangements and initial appointments to an interim board to oversee the establishment of the Māori Health Authority. This Group will ensure that Māori shape a vital element of our future health system, Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Cycle trails move up a gear in Central
    Work on new and upgraded cycle trails in Queenstown, Arrowtown and Central Otago is moving up a gear as two significant projects pass further milestones today. Tourism Minister Stuart Nash has announced new funding for the Queenstown Trails Project, and will also formally open the Lake Dunstan Trail at Bannockburn ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Picton ferry terminal upgrade consent fast-tracked
    The planned upgrade of the Waitohi Picton Ferry terminal has been approved under the fast-track consenting process.  Environment Minister David Parker today welcomed the decision by the expert consenting panel to approve the Waitohi Picton Ferry Precinct Redevelopment Project.    The project will provide a significant upgrade to the ferry facilities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Quarantine Free Travel with New South Wales paused
    COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins has announced his intention to pause Quarantine Free Travel from New South Wales to New Zealand while the source of infection of the two cases announced in Sydney in the last two days is investigated.  Whole genome sequencing has linked the case yesterday to a recent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Covid-19 immigration powers to be extended
    The passing of a bill to extend temporary COVID-19 immigration powers means continued flexibility to support migrants, manage the border, and help industries facing labour shortages, Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi said. “Over the past year, we’ve made rapid decisions to extend visas, vary visa conditions and waive some application requirements ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • “Supporting a Trade-Led Economic Recovery”
    Trade Policy Road Show SpeechManukau, Auckland   Kia ora koutou – nau mai, haere mai ki Manukau, ki Tāmaki.   Good morning everyone, and thank you for this opportunity to discuss with you current global challenges, opportunities and the Government’s strategy in support of a trade-led recovery from the economic ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Building consent numbers at an all-time high
    A record 41,028 new homes have been consented in the year ended March 2021 March 2021 consent numbers the highest since the 1940s Record number of new homes consented in Auckland The number of new homes consented is at an all-time high, showing a strong and increasing pipeline of demand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Whānau-centred support for parents and tamariki
    Up to 60 whānau in Counties Manukau will be supported through the first three years of their parenthood by a new whānau-centred model of care, said Associate Health Minister, Hon Aupito William Sio. “Providing this support to young parents is something we have to get right. It’s a priority both ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ backs moves to improve global access to COVID vaccines
    New Zealand welcomes and strongly supports the announcement made by the United States Trade Representative to work for a waiver of IP protections on COVID-19 vaccines at the WTO, Trade Minister Damien O’Connor said. “New Zealand supports equitable access to COVID vaccines for all. No one is safe from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Tourism communities: support, recovery and re-set plan
    TIHEI MAURI ORA Tuia te whakapono Tuia te tumanako Tuia te aroha Tuia te hunga ora Ki te hunga ora Tihei Mauri ora Ka nui te mihi ki a koutou Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa. Thank you, Hilary and thank you, Chris, and everyone at TIA for this ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Support, recovery and re-set plan for tourism communities
    Five South Island tourist communities targeted for specialist support Pressure on Māori tourism operators and Conservation facilities recognised Domestic and international-facing tourism agencies put on more secure footing Long-term plan to re-set tourism with a focus on sustainability, industry standards and regional economic diversification A plan to ensure the immediate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech on NZ Rail Plan
    Check against delivery E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā karanga maha o te wa, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa. Ki ngā mana whenua o Taranaki Whānui anō nei aku mihi ki a koutou. Nōku te hōnore kia haere mai ki te whakanuia tēnei huihuinga whakahirahira. Nō ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government hits massive milestone in Violence Prevention & Elimination
    Minister for Family and Sexual Violence Marama Davidson announced a major milestone at a hui in South Auckland today, with the launch of the national engagement process on the prevention and elimination of family and sexual violence. “There is no room for violence in our lives – there is no ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Fee waiver extended for conservation tourism businesses
    Tourism businesses operating on public conservation land will have another six months of fees waived to help them adjust to the downturn in international visitors in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Acting Minister of Conservation Dr Ayesha Verrall has announced. "We acknowledge it has been a difficult year for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • ‘Lua Wave’ to future-proof Pasifika Festivals in Aotearoa
    Pasifika festival organisers will receive additional support to adapt to the COVID-19 environment thanks to the Government’s newly launched ‘Lua Wave’ component of the Pasifika Festivals Initiative, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “This initiative has not only been to support festival organisers to recover from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Crown accounts show confidence in Govt economic plan
    The Government’s financial accounts continue to reflect the resilience of the economy and confidence in the Government’s economic recovery plan. The Crown accounts for the nine months to the end of March 2021 show both OBEGAL and the operating balance remain better than forecast in the Half Year Economic and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Energy Trusts of NZ Autumn Conference
    It’s a pleasure to be here today. Thank you Karen [Sherry] for the introduction and thanks to the Energy Trusts Executive for inviting me to speak at tonight’s event. It is an exciting time to come to speak to trustees of distribution companies. For many decades the electricity industry was ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New partnership to grow Māori success in STEM
    A new partnership with the Pūhoro STEM Academy will support thousands more rangatahi Māori to participate and succeed in the fields of science, technology, and innovation, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Since 2016, Pūhoro has worked with Māori students to build their capability and create pathways to employment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Rail builds platform for economic recovery
    Transport Minister Michael Wood and State-Owned Enterprises Minister Dr David Clark today released the Government’s long term vision for a sustainable rail network that supports our economic recovery. New Zealand Rail Plan lays out how the Government is building a resilient, reliable and safe network, as well as the indicative ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ and UK agree to lift the pace of free trade talks
    New Zealand and the United Kingdom have agreed to rapidly lift the tempo of talks, as the two countries enter a new phase in free trade negotiations, Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. “UK Secretary of State for International Trade, Liz Truss, and I spoke today about ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Counter-Terrorism Legislation Bill passes first reading
    The Counter-Terrorism Legislation Bill has passed its first reading and will now be considered by Parliament’s Justice select committee. “The Bill updates and improves New Zealand’s counter-terrorism legislation and ensures that the right legislative tools are available to intervene early and prevent harm,” Minister of Justice Kris Faafoi said. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Statement on The Speaker and Annual Review Debate
    “The serious issue of alleged sexual assault and harassment at Parliament was poorly managed and inappropriately politicised last night. The tone of the debate did not reflect well on Parliament as a whole,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “Any investigation of claims of sexual assault should be in a manner ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt motoring towards zero-carbon buses and protecting drivers’ conditions
    Transport Minister Michael Wood is seeking feedback on options for the next phase of the Public Transport Operating Model (PTOM) review to better protect bus drivers’ pay conditions, and also achieving the Government’s target of fully decarbonising the public transport bus fleet by 2035. Michael Wood said investing in our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Drop in unemployment shows Govt economic plan is working
    The Government’s economic recovery plan continues to be reflected in the labour market, with more people in work and unemployment falling. Stats NZ figures show employment rose by 15,000 in the March quarter, with 14,000 more women in work. The unemployment rate fell from 4.9 percent to 4.7 percent. This ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government sets pay and workforce expectations for the Public Sector
    The Government’s Workforce Policy Statement issued today sets out its expectations for pay and employment relations in the Public Sector, the Minister of Finance and Minister for the Public Service say. “New Zealand has had an exceptionally successful health and economic response to COVID-19. This has been supported by the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Author Ben Brown is New Zealand’s first Te Awhi Rito Reading Ambassador
    Lyttleton writer Ben Brown (Ngāti Mahuta, Ngāti Koroki, Ngāti Paoa) will be New Zealand’s first Te Awhi Rito Reading Ambassador, promoting the value of reading for children and young people, Internal Affairs Minister Jan Tinetti announced today. A poet and award-winning author, Ben Brown writes books, non-fiction and short stories ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Celebrating New Zealand’s firefighters this International Firefighters’ day
    With two fire stations already complete, and building underway on 16 fire stations around the country, today we celebrate International Firefighters’ Day for the important role firefighters have in keeping communities across the country safe, says Minister of Internal Affairs, Jan Tinetti. The work is progressing due to Government funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Ron Brierley knighthood to go
    Ron Brierley has written to the Clerk of the Executive Council to tender his resignation as a Knight Bachelor. The Queen has been informed. The forfeiture follows the Prime Minister initiating the process to remove his Knighthood. The Clerk of the Executive Council wrote to him on 6 April 2021 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Employment boost for rural communities
    The Government is continuing to create opportunities for at-risk rangatahi overcome barriers to employment, education or training with the next tranche of He Poutama Rangatahi programmes, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “We’re focused on supporting rangatahi to get what they need to progress in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Pre-Budget speech to Wellington Chamber of Commerce
    Thank you for the invitation to speak today, it is great to be here.  I mean that both sincerely and literally. For this equivalent speech last year I took part virtually, beaming in from the Beehive Theatrette with only a socially distanced press gallery bearing silent witness. You are a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Budget 2021 reprioritises nearly $1 billion
    The Government’s strong pandemic response and the better than expected economic recovery means not all the money allocated in the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund has been spent, Grant Robertson said in his annual pre-Budget speech to the Wellington Chamber of Commerce this morning. “As part of Budget preparation I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech on Digital Identity Trust Framework
    I'd like to start by thanking Graeme, David and Ben from NZTech and Digital Identity New Zealand for inviting me to speak to you. I’m so sorry I can’t be there in person, but I want to acknowledge those of you who are, including some of this country’s top tech ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ Cook Islands travel bubble significant step in COVID-19 recovery
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown have today announced that, pending final confirmation by New Zealand’s Director-General of Health and the Cook Islands Secretary of Health, two-way quarantine-free travel will commence between the two countries on 17 May (NZT). “Two way quarantine-free travel ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Minister for State Owned Enterprises saddened by passing of KiwiRail Chair
    Minister for State Owned Enterprises, David Clark is deeply saddened to hear about the passing of KiwiRail Chairman, Brian Corban. “I know Brian was seen as a transformative leader within KiwiRail, well respected for his wisdom, honesty and sense of humour,” said David Clark. Mr Corban served as Chair of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to the China Business Summit by the Minister for Trade and Export Growth
      Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.  Tena koutou katoa.  Good morning. It is my pleasure to join you today for this China Business Summit – my first as Minister for Trade and Export Growth as well as Minister of Agriculture – and to have the opportunity to speak to you ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Productivity Commission inquiry into immigration settings
    The Productivity Commission will hold an inquiry into immigration settings to ensure New Zealand’s long term prosperity and wellbeing, Grant Robertson and Kris Faafoi say. This inquiry, the first under the new Productivity Commission chair, Dr Ganesh Nana, will focus on immigration policy as a means of improving productivity in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago