Author Archive

Economic step-change or English side-step?

Written By: - Date published: 5:54 pm, July 20th, 2010 - 14 comments

Beware of a Finance Minister who is selective in the use of statistics. This was Bill English’s answer to a patsy question in Parliament about National and the economy…

What would you have done, Prime Minister?

Written By: - Date published: 11:36 pm, June 23rd, 2010 - 33 comments

A very strange statement from Timaru financier Allan Hubbard in this story from the Herald after his company had been put into statutory liquidation by Justice Minister Simon Power: Power said on Sunday there was not adequate documentation of loans made on behalf of 407 investors who were owed NZ$98 million. “I think if Mr […]

The beam in the eye

Written By: - Date published: 5:31 pm, June 10th, 2010 - 17 comments

For me the main scandal about taxpayer funding this week is the fact that we have all contributed $209,000 towards  helping Nick Smith  get  out of a $15 million lawsuit. For saying something for which he has given an apology in court and paid up more than that out of his own pocket. None of […]

Weasel words from no-balls McCully

Written By: - Date published: 7:51 pm, May 31st, 2010 - 11 comments

This from McCully – It is not up to the Minister of Sport to investigate allegations of racial team selection, Murray McCully says. He said if that was the case then he would have his staff monitoring talkback radio. McCully’s trying to tell us his staff aren’t monitoring talkback radio? The great strategist and spin-meister […]

Bill wants to shift Kiwibank risk to “Kiwi mums and dads”

Written By: - Date published: 6:56 pm, May 29th, 2010 - 12 comments

When floating the idea of Kiwibank’s possible sale to a post-budget audience last week,  Bill English said that the government did not want to  put more capital in  because it was risky. Mr English, fresh from delivering the 2010 Budget, told a gathering of South Island business people yesterday that the Government might consider a […]

Investment ethics a million miles away

Written By: - Date published: 12:20 pm, May 19th, 2010 - 6 comments

Brian Gaynor in Saturday’s Herald argues that investment industry organisations and their advisors owe a duty of care to investors. He calls it an “ethical overlay”, and says Unfortunately a number of developments indicate that we seem to be a million miles away from having this ethical overlay. There is little incentive for New Zealand […]

“Surgical mining” like “surgical bombing”

Written By: - Date published: 2:10 pm, March 23rd, 2010 - 12 comments

Remember John Key’s talk about “surgical mining?” It’s like “surgical bombing” – there is a lot of collateral damage. A lot of people get hurt. It’s no good saying afterwards that he didn’t mean for that to happen.

Lee, Joyce and Hide’s Super City “pig’s arse”

Written By: - Date published: 3:23 pm, March 17th, 2010 - 9 comments

In a letter to the Herald today, responding to Mike Lee’s op-ed of yesterday, Steven Joyce says:

“Contrary to what Mike Lee says, the Auckland Council will be able to appoint or dismiss any member of the Auckland Transport Board at any time.”

Problem is, Mike Lee didn’t actually say what Joyce says he did.

Herald’s “democracy lockout” campaign – pick it up!

Written By: - Date published: 5:44 pm, March 13th, 2010 - 5 comments

On Monday this week the front page of the Auckland Herald’s print edition announced that the paper was going to run a campaign to fight what it called “the lockout of democracy” in the Super City. There was nothing on the Herald website all week, which seems odd if it was a real campaign. On […]

National Standards Mk 2?

Written By: - Date published: 2:15 pm, March 7th, 2010 - 14 comments

Michael Gove, Britain’s Conservative shadow Children’s Minister, has unveiled their version of National standards. Like Anne Tolley, he is sure he knows what parents want. The Times reports: ‘I’m an unashamed traditionalist when it comes to the curriculum,’ Mr Gove said. ‘Most parents would rather their children had a traditional education, with children sitting in […]

Tax and economic growth – Bill comes clean

Written By: - Date published: 1:37 pm, February 22nd, 2010 - 19 comments

Bill English’s argument that cutting taxes for the few at the top can cause an economic step change has always been nonsense.

His appearance on Q&A yesterday simply confirmed it.

GST is not a tax – suck it up

Written By: - Date published: 10:03 am, February 12th, 2010 - 24 comments

The best political commentary these days doesn’t come from the political journalists. As Zetetic shows, they have turned themselves into government minders. But there are others who tell it like it is. Such as Karlo Mila in today’s DomPost. The article was headed up “If you could just suck it up, that would be nice.” […]

Pay the money back, John

Written By: - Date published: 4:00 pm, February 5th, 2010 - 22 comments

Today’s editorial in the Herald is headlined “Class standards leaflet a misuse of public funds.” It says: In response to criticism from educationists and an opposition roadshow by the primary teachers’ union, National MPs will host public meetings around the country and information on the standards will be mailed out to households. Unfortunately, this material, […]

Tax Working Groupthink

Written By: - Date published: 11:25 am, February 5th, 2010 - 29 comments

The Tax Working Group’s summary presentation at their December seminar came from a senior partner from one of the Big 4 accountancy firms, Price Waterhouse. One scenario for the preferred ultimate outcome aligned income, trustee and company tax at 27%, paid for by increasing GST to 15%. At the top: Big change The graph tops […]

A little knowledge

Written By: - Date published: 7:46 pm, January 21st, 2010 - 17 comments

David Farrar on Kiwiblog says When Labour reduced the top tax rate from 66c to 33c in the 1980s, the amount of tax paid actually increased. Wasn’t that because they introduced GST as a new tax?

Congratulations Mike!

Written By: - Date published: 12:25 pm, January 20th, 2010 - 82 comments

Good to see that Mike Moore has been appointed our new Ambassador to Washington. Mike’s energy and connections in Washington and the world will be an asset. It’ll also be a lot more satisfying for him than life as an author and columnist. Mike’s a  big picture man and gives 110 per cent  – we […]

Poll closes up in Britain

Written By: - Date published: 10:29 pm, November 23rd, 2009 - 2 comments

The latest poll in Britain has Labour within 6 points of the Conservatives. A hung Parliament is in prospect. One poll is not a trend but maybe it is too early to shoo Cameron in.

Government of Fantasyland

Written By: - Date published: 3:38 pm, November 18th, 2009 - 16 comments

This is Nick Smith in Parliament yesterday, replying to a question on Treasury’s re-calibrated $50 billion costs of Nationals ETS Bill: Hon Dr NICK SMITH: That number is a fantasyland number. Let me tell the member why. The member opposite wants to give great credence to what might occur in 2050. It is not rocket […]

Ashcroft out of Belize into New Zealand?

Written By: - Date published: 9:45 pm, November 1st, 2009 - 30 comments

‘Lord Ashcroft of Belize’ facing eviction as country turns on him. This is the heading in an article in today’s Observer. It’s worth a read. Some excerpts: So extensive are his interests, and so arcane some of his methods, that many Belizeans believe Ashcroft owns businesses that he may not. “He uses so many shell […]

Double-talk from Dipton

Written By: - Date published: 11:52 am, October 28th, 2009 - 10 comments

Here’s what Double-Dipper Bill English had to say about taxpayer-funded advertising before the last election. National has raised fresh concerns about Labour cashing in on government departments pushing key policies in the run-up to the election, after a $2 million jump in public sector advertising. Mr English said that Labour was piggy-backing on departmental spending […]

Farrar right on electoral administration

Written By: - Date published: 11:12 am, October 23rd, 2009 - 6 comments

I agree with David Farrar on the National Party’s proposed law combining the Electoral offices. These appointments are far too important to be decided by a Minister, who is only required to consult on the appointment. The Super-city showed us what little that means. David is worried about Labour, I’m worried about National.They have made […]

Fart tax Mk II – they fart we pay

Written By: - Date published: 10:30 pm, October 22nd, 2009 - 1 comment

I’ve thought for some time that some of the best political writing in the Herald is to be found on the business pages. Here is a taste of Brian Fallow on the Emissions Trading Bill, currently being rushed through Parliament with scant regard to submitters. Legislate in haste, repent at leisure. What we have right […]

Kicking the tyres at ACC

Written By: - Date published: 4:23 pm, October 18th, 2009 - 14 comments

The Sunday Star-Times details hitherto secret proposals from the John Judge-chaired ACC to cut back entitlements and increase user-pays. The hidden agenda: Introduce a $100 excess on every claim. Reduce income compensation from 80% to 70% after one year and 60% after two. Impose a two-year limit on compensation for soft tissue injuries, such as […]

Afghanistan election result crisis

Written By: - Date published: 4:35 pm, October 17th, 2009 - 6 comments

The Guardian reports today under the headline “Crisis looms in Kabul over Karzai election results:” Frantic diplomacy under way as report looks set to give Afghan president less than 50% of the vote, forcing run-off. Karzai’s share of the vote is expected to drop to below 50% as a result of the inquiry, forcing a […]

Nick Smith and “Patsy” Goudie

Written By: - Date published: 11:03 am, October 16th, 2009 - 8 comments

The Herald posts this clip from Parliament entitled “Nick Smith under fire for ACC bungling”. Nice catch from Darren Hughes at the end. What a shambolic lot.

Electoral SM

Written By: - Date published: 7:08 pm, October 12th, 2009 - 5 comments

Philip Temple makes some good points in the Herald today: The Minister of Justice, Simon Power, indicated that he would soon present a paper to Cabinet on the proposed referendum on MMP. Presumably this will hold true to National’s election promise, that it will be held “without any further consideration”. Meaning no consultation with the […]

Money and justice

Written By: - Date published: 4:24 pm, October 11th, 2009 - 32 comments

Jenny Ruth has the best comment I’ve seen on Philip Field’s sentence in today’s Sunday Star-Times – not available on the paper’s website or on Stuff.co.nz. Taito Philip Field was a pompous twit over the Thai tilers’ affair, particularly in his inept attempts at a cover-up, but his six -year jail sentence is outrageous. Ruth […]

Anniversary-gate?

Written By: - Date published: 9:45 am, October 8th, 2009 - 12 comments

The Standard would like to wish Mrs Mavis Lawson many happy returns on her 100th birthday yesterday. We also had a chuckle when we read this from today’s Herald: When Papatoetoe resident Mavis Lawson turned 100 on Tuesday she got the standard birthday card from the Queen but, rather puzzlingly, she also received a card […]

Nanny Coleman on immigrant advice

Written By: - Date published: 9:34 pm, October 7th, 2009 - 12 comments

Jonathan Coleman insists that there is nothing wrong with the Immigrant Advisers Act that restricts anyone giving any advice on immigration matters to registered advisers, against reasoned protest from Helen Winterbottom and others. David Farrar at Kiwiblog thinks this is a wrong call and I agree. Instead of insisting on shutting down any and all […]

No bull

Written By: - Date published: 8:51 pm, October 4th, 2009 - 1 comment

An interesting take on the Crafars from Bernard Hickey in the Herald. He starts off: The Crafar Farms tragedy is a microcosm of many of the things wrong about our business and investment culture. Then goes on to say: We believe land is the best investment always. We are happy to load up with debt, […]

Slow off the mark

Written By: - Date published: 6:58 pm, October 3rd, 2009 - 9 comments

Colin Espiner also writes in yesterday’s blog: The Government was slow off the mark in sending a minister up to Samoa. While Labour quickly dispatched two MPs, Winnie Laban and Chris Carter, as late as Wednesday McCully was still saying he saw no point in going up there. It took a couple of gentle digs from […]

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Recent Posts

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    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
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    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
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    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
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  • The Hoon around the week to July 19

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    Open access notables Improving global temperature datasets to better account for non-uniform warming, Calvert, Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society: To better account for spatial non-uniform trends in warming, a new GITD [global instrumental temperature dataset] was created that used maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) to combine the land surface ...
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  • We're back again! Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live

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  • Gut Reactions.

    Trump Writes His Own Story: Would the “mainstream” media even try to reflect the horrified reaction of the MAGA crowd to the pop-pop-pop of the would-be assassin’s rifle, and Trump going down? Could it even grasp the sheer elation of the rally-goers seeing their champion rise up and punch the air, still alive, ...
    6 days ago
  • Dodging Bullets.

    Fight! Fight! Fight! Had the assassin’s bullet found its mark and killed Donald Trump, America’s descent into widespread and murderous violence – possibly spiralling-down into civil war – would have been immediate and quite possibly irreparable. The American Republic, upon whose survival liberty and democracy continue to depend, is certainly not ...
    6 days ago
  • 'Corruption First' Strikes Again

    There comes a point in all our lives when we must stop to say, “Enough is enough. We know what’s happening. We are not as stupid or as ignorant as you believe us to be. And making policies that kill or harm our people is not acceptable, Ministers.”Plausible deniability has ...
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    6 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Thursday, July 18

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    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • What's that Jack Black?

    Ah-rah, deeSoo-guh-goo-gee-goo-geeGoo-guh fli-goo gee-gooGuh fli-goo, ga-goo-buh-deeOoh, guh-goo-beeOoh-guh-guh-bee-guh-guh-beeFli-goo gee-gooA-fliguh woo-wa mama Lucifer!I’m about ready to move on, how about you?Not from the shooting, that’s bad and we definitely shouldn’t have that. But the rehabilitation of Donald J Trump? The deification of Saint Donald? As the Great Unifier?Gimme a bucket.https://yellowscene.com/2024/04/07/trump-as-jesus/Just to re-iterate, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
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  • June 2024: Earth’s 13th-consecutive warmest month on record

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    7 days ago
  • Connecting the dots and filling the gaps in our bike network

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    7 days ago
  • Webworm Down Under Photos!

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    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    7 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:30 am on Thursday, July 18 are:News: Christchurch's sewer systems block further housing developments RNZ’s Niva ChittockAnalysis: Interislander: Treasury, MoT officials' mistrust of KiwiRail led ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Thursday, July 18, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Verbatim: Climate Change Minister Simon Watts held a news conference in Auckland to release the Government’s Emissions Reduction Plan, including ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • The politics of managed retreat

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    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    7 days ago
  • Some changes are coming

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    1 week ago
  • About fucking time

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    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: False accounting and wishful thinking

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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Enemies Of Sunshine And Space.

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    1 week ago
  • Still the 5 Eyes Achilles Heel?

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    1 week ago
  • Britain's Devastating Electoral Slip.

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  • Gordon Campbell on why right wingers think all governments (including their own) are incompetent

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    1 week ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Wednesday, July 17

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    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
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  • Open Letter to Pharmac

    All this talk of getting oldIt's getting me down, my loveLike a cat in a bag, waiting to drownThis time I'm coming downAnd I hope you're thinking of meAs you lay down on your sideNow the drugs don't workThey just make you worse but I know I'll see your face ...
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  • A blanket of misinformation

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    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 17

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    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 , the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day were:Simon Watts released the Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP), which included proposed changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • “Shhhh” – National's 3 Waters is loaded with higher costs and lays a path to ...

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  • Plugging a video channel: Dr Gilbz

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  • Some “scrutiny” again

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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago

  • Government moves to ensure flood protection for Wairoa

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    3 hours ago
  • PM speech to Parliament – Royal Commission of Inquiry’s Report into Abuse in Care

    Mr Speaker, this is a day that many New Zealanders who were abused in State care never thought would come. It’s the day that this Parliament accepts, with deep sorrow and regret, the Report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care.  At the heart of this report are the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Government acknowledges torture at Lake Alice

    For the first time, the Government is formally acknowledging some children and young people at Lake Alice Psychiatric Hospital experienced torture. The final report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in State and Faith-based Care “Whanaketia – through pain and trauma, from darkness to light,” was tabled in Parliament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Government acknowledges courageous abuse survivors

    The Government has acknowledged the nearly 2,400 courageous survivors who shared their experiences during the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in State and Faith-Based Care. The final report from the largest and most complex public inquiry ever held in New Zealand, the Royal Commission Inquiry “Whanaketia – through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Half a million people use tax calculator

    With a week to go before hard-working New Zealanders see personal income tax relief for the first time in fourteen years, 513,000 people have used the Budget tax calculator to see how much they will benefit, says Finance Minister Nicola Willis.  “Tax relief is long overdue. From next Wednesday, personal income ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Paid Parental Leave improvements pass first reading

    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden says a bill that has passed its first reading will improve parental leave settings and give non-biological parents more flexibility as primary carer for their child. The Regulatory Systems Amendment Bill (No3), passed its first reading this morning. “It includes a change ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Rebuilding the economy through better regulation

    Two Bills designed to improve regulation and make it easier to do business have passed their first reading in Parliament, says Economic Development Minister Melissa Lee. The Regulatory Systems (Economic Development) Amendment Bill and Regulatory Systems (Immigration and Workforce) Amendment Bill make key changes to legislation administered by the Ministry ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • ‘Open banking’ and ‘open electricity’ on the way

    New legislation paves the way for greater competition in sectors such as banking and electricity, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Andrew Bayly says. “Competitive markets boost productivity, create employment opportunities and lift living standards. To support competition, we need good quality regulation but, unfortunately, a recent OECD report ranked New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Charity lotteries to be permitted to operate online

    Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden says lotteries for charitable purposes, such as those run by the Heart Foundation, Coastguard NZ, and local hospices, will soon be allowed to operate online permanently. “Under current laws, these fundraising lotteries are only allowed to operate online until October 2024, after which ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Accelerating Northland Expressway

    The Coalition Government is accelerating work on the new four-lane expressway between Auckland and Whangārei as part of its Roads of National Significance programme, with an accelerated delivery model to deliver this project faster and more efficiently, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “For too long, the lack of resilient transport connections ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Sir Don to travel to Viet Nam as special envoy

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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Grant Illingworth KC appointed as transitional Commissioner to Royal Commission

    Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden says newly appointed Commissioner, Grant Illingworth KC, will help deliver the report for the first phase of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into COVID-19 Lessons, due on 28 November 2024.  “I am pleased to announce that Mr Illingworth will commence his appointment as ...
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    1 day ago
  • NZ to advance relationships with ASEAN partners

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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Backing mental health services on the West Coast

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    1 day ago
  • NZ support for sustainable Pacific fisheries

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    1 day ago
  • Students’ needs at centre of new charter school adjustments

    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says proposed changes to the Education and Training Amendment Bill will ensure charter schools have more flexibility to negotiate employment agreements and are equipped with the right teaching resources. “Cabinet has agreed to progress an amendment which means unions will not be able to initiate ...
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    1 day ago
  • Commissioner replaces Health NZ Board

    In response to serious concerns around oversight, overspend and a significant deterioration in financial outlook, the Board of Health New Zealand will be replaced with a Commissioner, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti announced today.  “The previous government’s botched health reforms have created significant financial challenges at Health NZ that, without ...
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    2 days ago
  • Minister to speak at Australian Space Forum

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    2 days ago
  • Climate Change Minister to attend climate action meeting in China

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    2 days ago
  • Oceans and Fisheries Minister to Solomons

    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is travelling to the Solomon Islands tomorrow for meetings with his counterparts from around the Pacific supporting collective management of the region’s fisheries. The 23rd Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Committee and the 5th Regional Fisheries Ministers’ Meeting in Honiara from 23 to 26 July ...
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    4 days ago
  • Government launches Military Style Academy Pilot

    The Government today launched the Military Style Academy Pilot at Te Au rere a te Tonga Youth Justice residence in Palmerston North, an important part of the Government’s plan to crackdown on youth crime and getting youth offenders back on track, Minister for Children, Karen Chhour said today. “On the ...
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    4 days ago
  • Nine priority bridge replacements to get underway

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    5 days ago
  • Update on global IT outage

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    5 days ago
  • New Zealand, Japan renew Pacific partnership

    New Zealand and Japan will continue to step up their shared engagement with the Pacific, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “New Zealand and Japan have a strong, shared interest in a free, open and stable Pacific Islands region,” Mr Peters says.    “We are pleased to be finding more ways ...
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    5 days ago
  • New infrastructure energises BOP forestry towns

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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • 'Pacific Futures'

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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Delivering 24 hour pothole repairs

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    5 days ago
  • Peer Support Specialists rolled out in hospitals

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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Consultation opens for the Emissions Reduction Plan

    The Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows we can stay within the limits of the first two emissions budgets while growing the economy, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “This draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows that with effective climate change policies we can both grow the economy and deliver our ...
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    6 days ago
  • Benefit stats highlight need for welfare reset

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    6 days ago
  • School attendance continues to increase

    Provisional school attendance data for Term 2 2024 released today has shown more students are back in class compared to last year, with 53.1 per cent of students regularly attending, compared with 47 per cent in Term 2 2023, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. “The Government has prioritised student ...
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    6 days ago
  • $22.7m of West Coast resilience projects underway

    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news of progress being made by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) on the first of several crucial resilience projects underway on the South Island’s West Coast.“State highways across the West Coast are critical lifelines for communities throughout the region, including for freight and tourism. ...
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    7 days ago
  • Migrant school leavers to get part-time work rights

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    1 week ago
  • Funding to support use of NZ Sign Language

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    1 week ago
  • Inflation data shows progress in economic recovery

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    1 week ago
  • Experts to advise Minister on Oranga Tamariki

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    1 week ago
  • Expectations set for improved medicines access

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    1 week ago
  • Regional Development Minister to host summits

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    1 week ago
  • Government delivers new school for Rolleston

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    1 week ago
  • New speed camera signs to improve safety

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