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Banks sued over exceptional bank fees

Written By: - Date published: 12:58 pm, March 11th, 2013 - 88 comments
Categories: Economy - Tags: , ,

The NZ Herald states

New Zealand banks face what’s expected to be the biggest class suit the country’s seen over $1 billion in default fees claimed by lenders over the past six years.

Three of Australasia’s biggest law firms will announce the class suit to reclaim the fees, according to a statement.

The fees are charged when customers overdraw their accounts, pay credit card bills too late, or bounce a cheque, it said.

A press conference is being held in Auckland at 1pm to make the announcement.

It is going to be a popular class action and I’ll await further news on it with anticipation. This particular legal battle has been ongoing over the Tasman as stuff reports.

In 2010, Maurice Blackburn lawyers announced it intended to sue 12 Australian banks for charging unfair dishonour fees and late credit card payment fees.

Since then, 170,000 Australian customers have jumped on board the action and are seeking to claw back more than A$223 million (NZ$278m).

The argument is that fees charged when customers exceeded limits were a form of punishment for the purposes of profiteering, unrelated to any actual cost recovery.

ANZ Bank lost a battle in the Australian High Court in September, and will now have to convince the Federal Court that its fees were a genuine reflection of costs.

Locally they point out..

Under the provisions of the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act, the default fees that banks charge must not be “unreasonable”.

Many local lenders drastically slashed their exception and dishonour fees in mid-2009.

However the main issue with such fees is that they disproportionally fall on the least able to either afford them or to challenge them. I remember reading an article a few years back…. google found it.

The great bank fees scandal from 2008

Budgeting advisers say the poor are bearing the brunt, with some paying up to $30 a week in charges – more than $1500 a year – when they can barely afford food and rent.

The Salvation Army’s Auckland director Gerry Walker said some people seeking budgeting advice were paying up to $30 a week in fees for late payments, dishonoured cheques and overdrafts, and the people who could least afford it were “most definitely” suffering most.

“This is being identified as a growing problem. People don’t always read their bank statements and what’s being charged and whether they can afford those charges.”

“It doesn’t sound much to some people on high incomes but it can equate to 5 per cent to 10 per cent of people’s incomes.”

Walker said the kind of people getting into trouble were the least likely to challenge banks or seek better deals.

Update: NZ Herald reports on the press conference content

88 comments on “Banks sued over exceptional bank fees ”

  1. Matthew 1

    Someone needs to do this to Telecom. They charge the best part of $20 as a late fee. If you dont catch up that month, they charge it again. I missed one payment (half the total bill, about $80) due to doctors bills, and so far that has cost me $40 & will probably cost me at least $40 more over the next 8 weeks until i can catch up. This is outrageous seeing as their collection fees for this debt is $0.
    The Commerce Commission doesnt care, & the poorest people again get slammed with ridiculous fees to cover costs that dont exist.

    • Colonial Weka 1.1

      That is really bad. Vodafone said they were going to do this, but they must have a leeway period – I usually pay within a week of the due date, and haven’t been hit yet. But I don’t think it was as high as $20.

      It’s hard to know if the people that come up with such a policy really don’t understand that $20 extra on a late bill can through someone’s monthly budget out, or if they understand fully and don’t give a shit, or if they understand fully and are doing it deliberately to generate revenue.

      • Matthew 1.1.1

        Its Shocking. I pay the same each fortnight (pay period) I cant afford to up it & i pay more than i need to but only just. I missed one payment, & because i cant up the amount i pay, they will continue to charge me even though i am actually covering each months bill, its just the due amount from that one payment i missed. By the time I catch up, i will have been charged that fee probaly two, maybe three more times.So a missed payment for an amount totalling about $80, will cost me $80-100 in fees.
        Its a frickin scandal, & the CC dont care because they are a private company.

        • prism

          It sounds as if you are paying on a fortnightly account, which means that twice in a month you would be checked to see you are current. If you were on a monthly account, then you would only have one balance for each month. You could still pay fortnightly as a matter of choice, but you would have some extra time round the mid-month payment which you would monitor not the company. It sounds as if you are going to be hit every fortnight at present.
          Though maybe I’ve got it wrong.

          • Matthew

            I am on a monthly account, which i pay fortnightly. So I still get the fee added every month, unless my balance is zero (before current charges are added). It will be interesting to see how much i pay in total for it, & i might add it up & contact Fair Go or something.

            • Tim

              That’s a bit like paying TelstraClear an amount each week, such that 99.9% of the time one is actually in credit, YET when one is a day late with an outstanding amount, OR is about $1.50 in debit because an extra toll call was made – a $15 late payment fee is slapped on.
              If they do it once again to me, it’ll be the day they lose a customer that’s been with them since Clear Communications began operating.

              • Tim

                Oh …… and while I remember – does anybody remember Fair Go doing a stroy many moons ago about Telecom charging a 1 minute call for unconnected calls?
                Might be worthwhile checking accounts because Telstra have been doing it for eons as well.
                If I misplace my cellfone, I sometimes call it from a landline to hear it ring. Even though I only let it ring about twice and it is never answered, you can be sure that the next month a one minute call appears on the bill.

                A mass claim might be in order if the above sort of shit continues.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Yeah man, that’s akin to fraud.

                  Its also why they put answer phone messaging on all services…so more calls are connected and hence chargeable.

                  • Tim

                    Indeed!. I think I might actually get involved. not ONLY because of that, but because of another little banker’s scam whereby I have an account with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (Uni of Melbourne Branch) with a positive balance (following a withdrawal to pay for an an Air NZ Electra airfare home).
                    Mysteriously, they’ve lost all record THough I continue to hold the original bank book. I suspect the compounded interest due on the positive balance might now be quite a substantial sum (an unintended super-annuation if you will – where previously I’d have to put faith in the grace and good will of offspring).
                    Yep …. Commonwealth (and ASB reps) here I come). When I last inquired, ASB was standalone, yet now there’s not much excuse for them to disavow any knowledge since they have NZ representation.
                    I’m aware of at least a couple of others in the same waka ( and others that once were interstate refugees living in Melbourne – but are now in their native state of Tassy)

            • David C

              Stop blaming someone else for your disorganisation and get it sorted.
              A small overdraft ($2K?) with your bank would cost peanuts and this problem would vanish.
              However if you abuse the facility you will get further in the shit.

              • Colonial Viper

                we should taking profiteering out of the system, and make the system less dangerous, with fewer traps for young players.

                • David C

                  I disagree.
                  People need to own their own shit.
                  Default on a payment and there is (and should be) a penalty.
                  There is no shame in having to run your finances close to the wire, we are all there or have been there at one time or other.
                  Take responsibility and sort the problem, it isnt hard or expensive.

                  • Colonial Weka

                    DavidC, there are people in NZ that cannot afford a $2K overdraft, and others who can afford it but don’t consider it ‘small’. What planet are you living on?

                    If we run society so that a phone is considered essential, then it’s the responsibility of that society the make sure that people can afford one.

                    • David C

                      CW, this man needs maybe $100 for a month or so. Do the math. He can run a un used facility ($5 a month? probably not that much )for a few years for the late charges on his phone account.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      make the system less dangerous for people

                      don’t allow systems filled with traps and fine print

                      don’t allow corporations to make up rules which aren’t based on any real costs they incur

                      prevent the laying of anti-consumer minefields which benefit only corporates

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Default on a payment and there is (and should be) a penalty.

                    Sure, a $2.50 penalty, not a $25 one.

                    And it has to work the other way.

                    If a corporate fucks up, it pays their customers through the nose.

                    What’s fair is fair after all eh mate?

                  • Tony

                    Classic. Don’t happen to work for a bank do you? Or perhaps it’s pure ideology that’s behind your reasoning, but it certainly takes an extreme viewpoint to support the banks in this class action.

              • millsy

                An overdraft might be good insurance from being caught short at a busy checkout, or for getting enough petrol to get you home, but other than that, it gets you in the shit very quickly.

                • David C

                  no I do not accept your appoligist BS.

                  The Man has signed a contract and has accepted the terms.

                  He has said its going to cost $80 in late charges because he has not set up a facility to deal with eventualtiy.

                  Shit happens to everyone, you need systems in place to deal with this.

                  A $2K overdraft costs nothing UNLESS YOU USE IT.

                  Abuse it, go buy another TV, and your a moron and deserve the end results.

                  The Stacey Jones fronted company feeds off the people who cant control spending.

                  To me Stacey Jones is a traitor to New Zealand and should be first up againt the wall.

                  • muzza

                    A $2K overdraft costs nothing UNLESS YOU USE IT.

                    Actually the most standard, and often maximum OTC OD is $500, is all a bank will generally offer without a deeper credit check and approval process, what’s more you will most likely pay a monthy fee of at least $5 for the $500 OD, whether you use it or not!

                    If someone is late with their bills, they are unlikely to get the chance of an OD facility, are they!

                    On this part of the conversation, you’re appear to be too simplistic in your argument!

                    • David C

                      The Man has a job and regular income.
                      A bank will leap at chance to give him debt.
                      It is his CHOICE is he uses it or abuses it.

                      You do know tellars get paid to sell these facilities?

                    • muzza

                      DC, you’re right in some of what you say, but if you think a bank will give a fee free 2K OD, say which lender, and under what conditions!

                    • Colonial Weka

                      David C, what’s the lowest income you have every earned for a period of more than 2 years? and 5 years? and 10 years? State whether you are single, own your own home, and have any dependents. If you think that the issue with a $2K OD is that someone will buy a TV, you’re pretty out of touch.

                      I’d also like to know who this bank is that will give ODs for free.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      It is his CHOICE is he uses it or abuses it.


                      It’s the bank’s RESPONSIBILITY not to issue credit in an IRRESPONSIBLE manner.

                      And if they don’t take that responsibility seriously, they’ll be forced to by regulation.

                      This is an exact repeat of the subprime mortgage collapse in the USA. The right wing moaned on about how people need to be responsible for making good financial choices. Yes they do.

                      Except it was shown that those bank managers DELIBERATELY handed loans out that they knew were never likely to be repaid, for their own personal gain (quarterly profits etc).


                      its crucial that people receive sufficient levels of wages that they do NOT ever need to turn to credit.

              • Simeon

                You don’t need a overdraft. Just live within your means. Or get a credit card and get 55 days interest free, credit interest by not touching your cheque account and reward points. Skip the retailers who slap on the credit card surcharge.

                Manage your money better or simply don’t sign up for a 500GB or a iPhone plan.

                • Colonial Viper

                  take the traps and profiteering out of these systems.

                  A large part of the fault lies with corporations acting as rentier capitalists.

                • QoT

                  Just live within your means.

                  Look, Matthew! A psychic financial advisor has appeared to magically inform you of the errors you must be making! You may think to yourself that he has no fucking idea what your personal circumstances are, but you will be amazed at his insights!

                  • Simeon

                    As Matthew has decided to complain of the $20 late fee it shows that he is hasn’t looked for alternatives.

                    Probably similar to his budgeting skills. He earns H but spends Y. He doesn’t look for alternatives to make sure he only spends D.

                    It baffles me that you lefties see the solution to escaping debt is to simply pay more. Can’t afford it? Then don’t buy it.

                    • Colonial Weka

                      “Can’t afford it? Then don’t buy it.”

                      What’s the longest period of time you have lived without a phone?

                    • McFlock

                      Or an oven

                    • Simeon

                      Colonial Weka. If you mentioned that you pay your Vodafone bill late. Even though when you signed the contract payment due dates would have been quite clear.

                      Having this attitude means you think the corporates SHOULD supply you with free credit over the current 25 days. Shit you knew you had to pay in 25 YES 25 days but you can still not manage that.

                      Do you work? If so are for paid fortnightly? How is that fair the employer should say they will payd you monthly on the 25th but only pay it 7 days later. That way they get 37 odd days free credit like you do.

                      Don’t buy an oven. You will probably burn your food. Eat canned food because you cannot manage things you want.

                    • Colonial Viper


                      Who said the corporates should provide people with free credit?

                      No one did.

                      They should charge no more than the minimum bank unsecured rate of credit however. Say 12.95% pa on whatever sum is overdue. If $50 is over due, than the penalty should be roughly 50c.

                      Anything more is bloody rentier capitalism and you know it.

                    • Simeon

                      Colonial Viper,

                      Did any corporate MAKE people take up the “free” credit?

                      Sure the fee’s may be a revenue stream but there are always alternatives. Signing up to something where everything is made clear and then moaning about it afterwards is just dumb. Similar to investing in Hanover. Or you could just commit to the contract you signed.

                      If the banks are found wrong in the alleged estimated $1bil fees case then that is $243mil less tax to fund your Labour programs. And it is $626mil less for the banks to spend on brining bank tellers wages up (if they choose to).

                      MOE needs to bring in budgeting studies in Home Economics. But then again if you crowd expect others to pay your way then it will be wasted. Put out the hand kiddies.

                • millsy

                  $99 huawei smartphone here (running android).

                  Does all the things that one would expect from an IPhone, but without the 2 min noodle diet.

                  Dont lecture me about fiscal responsibility.

                  • Simeon

                    Don’t moan because you cannot budget.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      We’re moaning becuase of corporate profiteering and ticket clipping. Don’t you ever get tired of supporting big money against your own people, your own family?

      • risildowgtn 1.1.2

        Telstra Clear are $15 – even for 1 day late 🙁

        so I paid the amount and left..

        I think it is common practice esp amongst Telco’s in the day and age

    • prism 1.2

      I wonder what the charge would be if you underpaid by even a few cents? It is my feeling that the collection system is so automated that you would be charged the $20 because you hadn’t paid in full. One can always ask for this to be lifted but it is just another difficulty to struggle with made by people to whom $20 is the price of a cheap bottle of wine to them.

      I pay through a telephone system and because of my concern at the above possibility I always round up to the next dollar and there can be no mistake with the 0’s registering leaving a small credit. The 10% penalty fee on a number of bills is such a rort as the extra costs involved in printing out ‘Have you forgotten..’ and the daily rate of interest they have to pay is nowhere near 10% of any reasonable sized bill.

      And for God’s sake don’t anybody say ‘ Pay your bill in time and you’ll be right’ in a superior prissy way. People can’t always get everything right and the treatment for slip-ups should be appropriate and real not like a ruler over the knuckles.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.3


      Although I’m usually late (I pay it that month just not by the due date) in paying they haven’t charged me late fees. In fact, the only time I had trouble with the bill was when they stuffed up and over charged me and it took awhile for them to fix their mistake (their customer service can leave a lot to be desired).

      And the best bit, IMO, is that they’re state owned so at least the profit is going to NZ rather than offshore owners.

      • Colonial Weka 1.3.1

        Orcon is state owned? I didn’t know that. How did that come about?

        • millsy

          Owned by Kordia, which used to be BCL, which used to be TVNZ’s tranmission arm,

      • Lanthanide 1.3.2

        Pity their customer service is completely abysmal. I had to complain on Facebook before anything happened, and it took them 5 minutes to sort it.

    • tc 1.4

      Also check they haven’t levied GST on it, that’s not allowed as it’s a Finance charge so it’s GST exempt.

      Often they do this but will happily reverse when challenged, funny that.

    • Simeon 1.5

      With Vodafone the fee only kicks in if the unpaid amount is over $50 – http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10820754.

      • Herodotus 1.5.1

        Also telecom like to bill 1st of the month with the payment expectd within 3 weeks, result they don’t have to pay the gst until the 28th of the following month, so they are able to bank the GST for 30 days, think what the gst component of a months billing is for telecom, and using the govt as a bank ???
        Also a bug for me as Jafaland is one big city why are there still toll charges for ringing say from Orewa to the north shore ? No additional cost for the teleco.

        • Simeon

          The due dates for GST are standard. What about IR3 taxpayers who only have to pay tax every 3 months? That can be a lot of interest.

          Telecom and Orcon have those plans that include national landline calling. Vodafone has the deal which comes with free calling to 5 mobiles or national landlines.

          The info is out there is one looks. Complaining that something sucks is dumb because you don’t have to stay there.

  2. prism 2

    The argument is that fees charged when customers exceeded limits were a form of punishment for the purposes of profiteering, unrelated to any actual cost recovery.

    I so agree. Would this cover the case where I was paid a cheque for $30 which was dishonoured and I was charged I think $30 for the ‘service’? When everything is done on line in a flash. If you have automatic payments and can’t meet them, that too is merely a flash on a list that a slave computer broadcasts and then if it receives a negative response it flashes back to your account so where is the high cost?

    Just loading your info is the longest time spent, and the wear and tear on machinery and electricity is small. I was surprised to find that Kiwibank had adopted this approach when I first thought of changing to them. I was disappointed at their facile following of this common practice.

    • Tim 2.1

      That’s close to it prism. Having been a sysprog in days gone by handling just this sort of thing in the banking sector, whatever spin the banks try and put on it, the costs charged cannot be justified on the basis of actual costs of processing.
      And aside from all that, the 4 (now 3) major players CHOSE to increase their actual costs when corporate image, interbank jealousy, and a few other reasons they took BASIC CORE BANKING activities in-house, rather than allow the jointly owned Databank to continue.
      Those were the days when one used to see assembler source code one had written, handed over to the likes of the bailed-out BNZ with one’s name obliterated in change control fields – and replaced with names like Paul Little – (Not the same Paul Little however).

      Oh how the same mistakes are recommited – such as with ANZ/Nat merger. Same shit – different stink as they say. Clip the ticket, pay your fee, roll the dice.
      (and when the limit is reached, squeal like pathetic pigs and scream wasn’t me wasn’t me when people have become so pissed off, bankers are seen hanging from the cross-members of lamp posts).
      Whilst I might not go THAT far personally, excuse me if I piss on their graves when I’m caught short.

  3. Colonial Weka 3

    Heh, was just telling someone today about how my bank will issue a new eft pos card where the default is that it will put an account into OD if you try and use more than the available balance. The bank then charges OD fees. Last time this happened to me, I rang the call centre to get it put back the way it was on my previous card (ie transaction declines if limit reached) and was told they couldn’t and that it had always been this way. Crock of shit (I’ve had an eft post card longer than some of these people have had bank jobs), and very weird having to get educate them about how their own system works.

    They’ve done that same trick with credit cards too, upping the limit without permission and but at least then they notify the customer afterwards.

    I don’t use a cheque book, for the very reason that it’s too easy to bounce a cheque or end up with OD fees. It’s very hard to manage a cheque book when your bank balance zeros out once a week. Credit Unions offer bank cheques at fairly reasonable rates, trading banks could do the same thing.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      Time that Labour comes out with plans to turbocharge Kiwi bank…

      • Tony 3.1.1

        Totally. They could lower fees, make it more competitive & up membership – it’d still return dividends (economies of scale).

        I’m overseas and ASB just charged me $3 after my Mum put a few dollars into my account for my birthday! There’s got to be a middle ground!!

  4. emergency mike 4

    About time.

    “…and will now have to convince the Federal Court that its fees were a genuine reflection of costs.” That should be fun – Yes m’lud, um our systems for maintaining accounts are mostly fully automated, but we don’t want people to think they can use our services willy nilly! Besides, poor people deserve to be punished and kept in their place right?

    How else are Australian banks supposed to stay the most profitable in the world?

    When I try to explain the concept of ‘bank fees’ to people in Korea they look at me like I’m nuts.

  5. clashman 5

    I recently ahd an issue where my eftpos card was linked to the ‘wrong’ account and I was being charged $1 every time i used my card. Cost me about $80 one month as I wasn’t aware it was happening until I got my monthly statement, I wonder if this type of charge is applicable.

  6. Walking on Air 7

    If the banks lose I’m afraid I’ll have to insist on interest

    : )

  7. DH 8

    Takes the aussies to do it for us huh, says a lot about the legal profession here IMO.

    This highlights one of the biggest problems with our justice system; that judges rulings don’t get enforced proactively. There’s been a number of Disputes Tribunal cases over the years where people have taken the bank or similar to task over fees. Can recall a guy winning a case when the bank charged him $50 to receive an international payment, the fee was ruled to be unreasonable & he got some 50% of it back.

    Those who presented a well argued & well researched case at the Tribunal usually won, but all they won was a refund on the fees they paid. It was a moral victory but no more. No-one in authority ever took the matters further and ordered the banks, Telecom, parking companies etc, to refund everyone else they’d ripped off. Kinda sucks really doesn’t it.

    I got hit with that Telecom $20 fee too. Not a happy camper. I inadvertently paid into the wrong account so my phone account was in credit & the mobile still owing. I’m not going to take up a dispute over $20 but if taking it to the Tribunal meant everyone else would also get their $20 back then I would do it.

    • tc 8.1

      Oz has regulators with teeth both legal and resource wise, whereas here we have a few monkeys with wet bus tickets.

      The mindset there is the little Ozzie battler should get a fair suck of the sav and it percolates through the ecosystem.

      • DH 8.1.1

        Yeah that’s probably it. People here put too much trust in the various authorities. Mathew above for example expected the Commerce Commission to act on the Telecom rort and most Kiwis are like that; expect the civil service to actually perform a civil service.

        Truth is the Commerce Commission are, and always have been, as much use as tits on a bull. They never act on things like that unless it coincides with one of the management’s pet crusades and that happens rarely. They get over 10,000 complaints from the public each year and they chuck nearly all of ’em of them in the bin.

        The best way for the individual to deal with overcharged fees is to deal with the supplier direct. Send a well crafted letter to Telecom and as long as you have a reasonable record for paying and aren’t known as a serial whiner they’ll usually wipe the existing fees off the bill…. won’t stop them charging again in the future though.

        The big companies don’t like publicity over their fees, they know as well as we do that they’re illegal. As long as you deal reasonably with them they normally play ball with the tacit understanding that any settlement isn’t publicised….

  8. fabregas4 9

    I internet bank. This means I mostly do everything myself. The other day I amended an Automatic Payment. Took all of a minute. Charge $2. Thanks Kiwibank, I should have charged you for my work.

  9. Don't worry be happy 10

    I rang Westpac to cancel a cheque that had gone missing in the mail. Was told that it would cost $25 to do that. Decided to flag it and take my chances.

    Bank robbery used to be when someone went into a bank wearing a balaclava and waving a pistol…

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      That’s right…you can’t compare the wholesale thievary which occurs robbing a bank versus owning a bank.

      • Colonial Weka 10.1.1

        I’d like to know what happens to the money in the 2-3 days between them taking it out of the cheque writer’s account and depositing it in the payee’s account.

        • Colonial Viper

          It’s worse than that. You buy something from the corner dairy on a Friday morning using Eftpos, that money disappears out of your account straight away.

          It doesn’t appear in the dairy owner’s accounts until Tuesday morning.

          Basically it’s a fucking scam.

  10. muzza 11

    This class action is a good start, although I assume it will get settled.

    What the public should be demanding:

    1: Odious Debt Investigation by an Audit Committee – Genuinely independent, if that’s still possible!

  11. RedBaronCV 12

    Telecom used to run another scam.If payment was by credit card or direct debit they used to take the money out about a week in advance of the due date on the bill. I challenged them and was told -“so many of the card charges fail we do it in advance” .I have a feeling they killed the problem by removing a due date.

    Genesis have an even monthly pay option. The estimated reading usually takes all the money already paid. The actual reading when it comes is much much lower so people wind up paying most of a two month bill in the first month.

  12. Peter 13

    It would be nice to also include penalties for early repayment of a mortgage.

  13. vto 14

    The banks should be sued for charging interest fullstop ffs.

    All it is is printed paper. And yet we pay, what 5%, 10%, sometimes more than even 20% for the banks’ to print paper for us?






    • vto 14.1

      What is the reason for allowing banks to charge interest to print paper money ?

      Are you allowed to ask yourself questions?

      • Colonial Viper 14.1.1

        because the global private banking system has for the last 100 years managed to monopolise the act of money and credit creation in the global economy. And our pollies all go along with it.

    • muzza 14.2

      VTO – The notes and coins are paid for by the tax payers, the banks dont mint the *legal tender* for the 2-3% of the *cash* in circulation in NZ, so far as I know.

      The rest enters circulation as interest bearing credit, which is digital ledger entries, mostly!

      • vto 14.2.1

        Yes I realise it is just a keyboard entry. But that just makes it worse! It doesn’t even have to be printed? So what again are we paying for?

        • muzza

          We are paying interest as a contribution to our own demise…

        • Colonial Viper

          It’s financial blackmail with the ever-present threat of a capitalist coup d’état.

          You attempt to move to a system of government issued money and credit, and the international financial powers will launch a capital strike against NZ. Credit lines will be closed and loans recalled.

          The NZD will into a forced to nosedive, tripling the price of petrol, medical supplies and technology overnight. It will become impossible to meet out debt servicing obligations with the weak dollar (usually denominated in USD), and local banks (= local branches of the international banking system) will demand all loans and mortgages are paid back in full or they will start repossessing assets. Access to international capital will be denied and our bond yields will soar over 8% aka Greece.

          Global pressure combined with protests from a local population suffering from destruction of their living standards will cause he NZ Govt to either capitulate to costly foreign demands, or resist and fall, and be replaced by a more compliant government which will.

          • Colonial Viper

            They’ve created a system of global finance and international governance which absolutely constrains the sovereignty of governments to rule in the interests of their own people.

          • vto

            Well that is no reason to not do it.

            Let them ask for their loans to be repaid and try to take assets. The current money printing interest bearing scam will have just been cancelled so I don’t see how the obligation could then exist. It only ever existed due to the will of the populace / government in the first place so to lose out on one bunch of printed money loans at the end of over 100 years aint too much to wear on their chinny chin chins.

            But sure there would be large scale squealing – weee weeeeeee. It is called cold turkey and everyone will sweat it out and then be far better off for it.

            It has long been maintained that money printers are no better than drug dealers – get them hooked and then hoover up when they default.

            the current system is pure evil.

          • muzza

            Odious Debt Investigation, by an independent audit committee – AFAIK, NZ has not had an audit carried out on the RBNZ/OoDM, ever!

            Should an audit happen, the next steps would likely be a write off of large tracts of our supposed public debt, and using the servicing costs to the benefit of NZ!

    • Colonial Viper 14.3

      The government should issue, increase and decrease the money supply as a public good into the economy as it is required, free of debt and free of interest.

      • vto 14.3.1

        But what about the risk of political interference? Do politicians act in the public good? Especially when something so monumentally manouvreable and masterful is available?

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  • Regenerative agriculture research receives Government boost
    The Government continues to invest in farm sustainability, this time backing two new research projects to investigate the impacts of regenerative farming practices, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. Soil health and regenerative agriculture “We’re contributing $2.8 million to a $3.85 million five-year project with co-investment by Synlait Milk and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • David McLean appointed as KiwiRail chair
    David McLean has been appointed as Chair of KiwiRail Holdings Ltd, the Minister for State Owned Enterprises Dr David Clark and Minister of Finance Grant Robertson announced today. “Minister Clark and I are confident that David’s extensive business knowledge and leadership experience, including his time as former Chief Executive and ...
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    3 days ago
  • New Ambassador to Turkey announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Zoe Coulson-Sinclair as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Turkey. “Aotearoa New Zealand and Turkey’s relationship is one of mutual respect and underpinned by our shared Gallipoli experience,” Nanaia Mahuta said. “Turkey is also a generous ANZAC Day host and has ...
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    3 days ago
  • Announcement of new Consul-General in Guangzhou
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Rachel Crump as New Zealand’s next Consul-General in Guangzhou, China. “China is one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s most significant relationships – it is our largest trading partner, and an influential regional and global actor,” Nanaia Mahuta said. “As the capital of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government marks International Day of Persons with Disabilities
    The Government joins the disabled community of Aotearoa New Zealand in marking and celebrating the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Minister for Disabilty Issues Carmel Sepuloni said. The theme for this year’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities is “Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities toward an inclusive, ...
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    3 days ago
  • Deputy Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, and Advisory panel member appointed
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced the appointments of Graeme Speden as the Deputy Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, and Ben Bateman as a member of the Inspector-General’s Advisory Panel.  “These are significant roles that assist the Inspector-General with independent oversight of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies,” Jacinda Ardern said. “While ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Five million COVID-19 tests processed
    Associate Minister of Health, Dr Ayesha Verrall has congratulated testing teams right around New Zealand for reaching the five million tests milestone. Today, an additional 31,780 tests were processed, taking the total since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020 to 5,005,959. “This really is an incredible and sustained team ...
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    3 days ago
  • Funding for extra ICU capacity
    Care for the sickest New Zealanders is getting a major boost from the Government, with plans to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on expanding intensive care-type services, Health Minister Andrew Little announced today. “Through good planning, we have avoided what the COVID-19 pandemic has done in some countries, where ...
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    3 days ago
    Speech to the New Zealand Centre for Public Law Tēnā koutou katoa Thank you for providing this opportunity to speak with you today as Attorney General. I’m here to talk about the constitutional consequences of Covid -19. I love the law. The way it exists with the consent of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • The legal and constitutional implications of New Zealand’s fight against COVID
    Speech to the New Zealand Centre for Public Law Tēnā koutou katoa Thank you for providing this opportunity to speak with you today as Attorney General. I’m here to talk about the constitutional consequences of Covid -19. I love the law. The way it exists with the consent of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Pharmac Review interim report released
    Health Minister Andrew Little has released an interim report by an independent panel reviewing the national pharmaceuticals-buying agency Pharmac. Pharmac was established in 1993 and is responsible for purchasing publicly funded medicines for New Zealanders, including those prescribed by GPs or administered in hospitals. The review, chaired by former Consumer ...
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    4 days ago
  • Appointment to Network for Learning board
    Former MP Clare Curran has been appointed to the board of Crown company Network for Learning (N4L), Education Minister Chris Hipkins says. Hon Clare Curran served as a Member of Parliament for Dunedin South from 2008-2010. During this time, she held a number of ministerial portfolios including Broadcasting, Communications and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Putting home ownership within reach of Pacific Aotearoa
    Pacific community groups and organisations will get tools to help them achieve home ownership with the implementation of the Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP) Pacific Housing Initiative, said Pacific Peoples Minister Aupito William Sio. In July 2021, MPP launched the Pacific Community Housing Provider Registration Support programme and the Pacific ...
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    4 days ago
  • Coastal shipping will help keep New Zealand’s supply chain buoyant
    Transport Minister Michael Wood today welcomed the release of the Coastal Shipping Investment Approach State-of-Play report as an important step towards a more sustainable coastal shipping sector, which will further diversify New Zealand’s supply chain. “This Government is committed to strengthening our domestic supply chain by making coastal shipping a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Response to Human Rights Commission's reports into violence towards disable people
    Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa.   Thank you for that introduction Hemi and thank you for inviting me to respond on behalf of Government to the release of these two important reports (Whakamanahia Te Tiriti, Whakahaumarutia te Tangata -Honour the Treaty, Protect the Person and Whakamahia te Tūkino kore ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Law change strengthens petroleum decommissioning regulation
    Petroleum permit and licence holders operating in New Zealand will now have an explicit statutory requirement to carry out and fund the decommissioning of oil and gas fields after a new law was given Royal assent today, says Energy and Resources Minister Dr Megan Woods. Once in effect The Crown ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand Response to assist peace and stability in Solomon Islands
    The New Zealand government has announced that it will deploy Defence Force and Police personnel to Honiara to help restore peace and stability. “New Zealand is committed to its responsibilities and playing its part in upholding regional security,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.  “We are deeply concerned by the recent ...
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    5 days ago
  • Continued growth in volume of new home consents
    In the year ended October 2021, 47,715 new homes were consented, up 26 per cent from the October 2020 year. In October 2021, 4,043 new dwellings were consented Canterbury’s new homes consented numbers rose 31% to higher than post-earthquake peak. New home consents continue to reach remarkable levels of growth, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Saddle up for summer with cycle trail funding
    New investment will keep the best of New Zealand’s cycle trails in top condition as regions prepare to welcome back Kiwi visitors over summer and international tourists from next year. “Cycle tourism is one of the most popular ways to see the country ‘off the beaten track’ but the trails ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand provides additional funding to COVAX for vaccine delivery
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced additional funding will be provided to COVAX to support vaccine delivery in developing countries. “New Zealand remains cognisant of the dangers of COVID-19, especially as new variants continue to emerge. No one is safe from this virus until we all are and this ...
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    5 days ago
  • COVID-19 Community fund providing support for 160 organisations focused on women and girls
    Minister for Women Jan Tinetti today announced financial support will be allocated to the 160 successful applicants for the COVID-19 Community Fund, to support organisations helping women/wāhine and girls/kōtiro in Aotearoa New Zealand affected by the pandemic. “COVID-19 has had a disproportionate effect on women around the world including in ...
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    5 days ago
  • Government delivers reactivation package as Aucklanders reconnect for summer
    A new support package will help revive economic, social and cultural activities in our largest city over summer, and ensure those in hardship also get relief. The Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni and the Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash have announced a Reactivating Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland ...
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    5 days ago
  • Mobile services and broadband come to Chatham Islands for first time
    World class mobile and broadband services have been switched on for the 663 residents of the Chatham Islands, Minister for the Digital Economy and Communications, David Clark and Minister for Economic and Regional Development, Stuart Nash announced today. “This eagerly awaited network will provide fast broadband and mobile services to ...
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    5 days ago
  • Crown accounts reflect strong economy amid pandemic
    The Government’s financial accounts continue to reflect an economy that has performed better than expected, despite the latest Delta COVID-19 outbreak. The Crown accounts for the four months to the end of October factors in the improved starting position for the new financial year. Core Crown tax revenue was $2.5 ...
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    5 days ago
  • Applications open for new 2021 Resident Visa
    The first round of applications for New Zealand’s new 2021 Resident visa open today (6am). “This one-off pathway provides certainty for a great many migrant families who have faced disruption because of COVID-19 and it will help retain the skills New Zealand businesses need to support the economic recovery,” Minister ...
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    5 days ago
  • More Vietnam Veterans to receive compensation for Agent Orange Exposure
    Minister for Veterans, the Hon Meka Whaitiri announced today that two new conditions associated with Agent Orange exposure have been added to the Prescribed Conditions List. Under the 2006 Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Crown and representatives of Vietnam veterans and the Royal New Zealand RSA. Vietnam veterans in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government commits to international effort to ban and regulate killer robots
    Minister of Disarmament and Arms Control Phil Twyford announced today that New Zealand will push for new international law to ban and regulate autonomous weapons systems (AWS), which once activated can select and engage targets without further human intervention. “While the evidence suggests fully autonomous weapons systems are not yet ...
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    6 days ago
  • New freedom camping rules – right vehicle, right place
    Tougher freedom camping laws will be introduced to prevent abuse which has placed an unfair burden on small communities and damaged our reputation as a high quality visitor destination. Tourism Minister Stuart Nash has confirmed that new legislation will be introduced to Parliament following an extensive round of public consultation ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government invests to support a classic Kiwi summer
    Vaccinated New Zealanders can look forward to Kiwi summer events with confidence, while artists and crew will have more certainty, following the launch of details of the Arts and Culture Event Support Scheme, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “The Government recognises that the arts and ...
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    6 days ago
  • Grace period for expired driver licences cruises into 2022
    Due to the ongoing Delta outbreak and extended lockdowns, all New Zealand driver licences and licence endorsements that expired on or after 21 July 2021 will now be valid until 31 May 2022, Transport Minister Michael Wood announced today. “This further extension to the validity of driver licenses recognises that ...
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    6 days ago
  • Delivered: 1,000 extra transitional homes
    A further 1,000 transitional homes delivered  New housing development starts in Flaxmere, Hastings  The Government has delivered the next 1,000 transitional housing places it promised, as part of its work to reduce homelessness. Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods is marking the milestone in Hastings at a new development that includes ...
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    6 days ago
  • Traffic light levels announced
    The levels at which different parts of New Zealand will move forward into the COVID-19 Protection Framework this Friday have been announced. Northland, Auckland, Taupō and Rotorua Lakes Districts, Kawerau, Whakatane, Ōpōtiki Districts, Gisborne District, Wairoa District, Rangitikei, Whanganui and Ruapehu Districts will move in at Red The rest of ...
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    7 days ago
  • Financial support to move to traffic light system
    A new transition payment will be made available particularly for affected businesses in Auckland, Waikato and Northland to acknowledge the restrictions they have faced under the higher Alert Levels. Transition payment of up to $24,000 as businesses move into traffic light system Leave Support Scheme and Short Term Absence Payment ...
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    7 days ago
  • New Ambassador to Russia announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Sarah Walsh as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Russia. “Aotearoa New Zealand and Russia have a long-standing relationship, engaging on a range of regional and global interests including disarmament and Antarctica issues. We also work together as members of the East ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Permanent Representative to the UN announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Carolyn Schwalger as Permanent Representative to the New Zealand Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York. “Aotearoa New Zealand is a founding member of the UN and we have worked hard to ensure our stance on human rights, ...
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    1 week ago
  • Further COVID-19 economic support for Cook Islands and Fiji announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced a further package of support for the Cook Islands and Fiji for COVID-19 economic support and recovery. “Aotearoa New Zealand remains committed to supporting our Pacific fanau and vuvale to respond to the impacts of COVID-19 on their economies, and move towards long-term ...
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    1 week ago
  • New law will clear the air for tamariki in vehicles
    From today, it’s illegal to smoke or vape in most vehicles carrying children aged under 18 years old - whether the vehicle is moving or not. “Second-hand smoke poses an unacceptable risk to our tamariki and rangatahi,” Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall said. “We know children in vehicles ...
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    1 week ago
  • Nine countries designated very high risk
    Nine southern African countries are being added to the very high risk countries list following public health advice around the newly discovered COVID-19 variant Omicron, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said. This afternoon, a public health risk assessment was carried out to assess the emerging evidence and any risk to ...
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    1 week ago
  • Foreign Affairs Minister concludes final stage of world trip
    Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta today departed North America to return home to Aotearoa, concluding the last stage of her 17-day world trip. The final leg of her trip saw her visit the United States of America and Canada for a number of high-level discussions. While in Washington D.C., ...
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    1 week ago
  • Milestone launch of Pacific Languages Unit
    Today’s official launch of the Pacific Languages Unit is a milestone for our Pacific communities, the Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio said. The Pacific Languages Unit brings together a new set of language supports within the Ministry for Pacific Peoples to provide advice, commission research, maintain standards, promote ...
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    1 week ago