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Battlers vs billion dollar banks

Written By: - Date published: 11:56 pm, April 21st, 2010 - 33 comments
Categories: business, capitalism, monetary policy, Unions, workers' rights - Tags: ,

The New Zealand banking sector made a tax-paid profit of $1.05 billion in the most recently reported quarter. That is a huge amount of money. It’s over $11 million a day or $479,000 an hour – 24/7.

The result is all the more remarkable when you consider that it is a near reversal of their performance in the previous quarter, when they reported a combined loss of $1.2 billion. That loss was the result of the banks having to pay the IRD over $2.1 billion in back taxes after the high court found some of them had committed tax avoidance.

If that wasn’t enough the massive profit was recorded in some of the worst economic circumstances in a generation. Unemployment has hit a 10 year high; many workers have been forced into accepting wage freezes or cuts; the banks cost of wholesale credit has increased etc etc.

So they have done extraordinarily well given the circumstances.

But despite this massive profit would you say that your experience of banks has improved? Have your fees gone down? Has your mortgage payment become more manageable? Is your bank offering you new and better services? Are there enough staff in your local branch? Do you even have a local branch?

The New Zealand finance workers union Finsec has teamed up with our Australian counterparts, the FSU to run a Trans-Tasman campaign for Better Banking that is calling into question the whole way that banks operate down under.

We’re asking bank customers to take a few minutes to complete a survey in which we look at some of the key issues of our campaign such as:

  • The costs of fees charged and interest on debt and the way debt is sold, even to customers who can’t necessarily afford to repay
  • Banks increasing the interest rate margins customers pay
  • How our banks have cut costs in ways harmful to New Zealand (such as through offshoring of jobs) when their profits were increasing

We’ve tried to push the New Zealand government to adopt measures that would increase public accountability in our banking system, but have found the National government in particular to be on the side of the banks rather than on the side of customers.

So we’re working on both sides of the Tasman and hope that the views of the public will push the Australian and New Zealand Government’s to  lends a more sympathetic ear. The more people who fill in the survey the more chance we have to win the changes we all deserve.

Andrew Campbell

Finsec Campaigns Director

33 comments on “Battlers vs billion dollar banks”

  1. gingercrush 1

    That was a slightly strange survey. I love my bank and I think we should be rather thankful for our banking institutions. Considering what happened elsewhere etc.

    BTW many of us use multiple banks therefore I found it frustrating that the survey didn’t accommodate those who use multiple banks. (Though I guess I could use a proxy to do the survey twice)

    • felix 1.1

      Me too. I’m a customer of two banks, one of which I find friendly, helpful, and reasonable with the fees (guess which one). The other bank are a bunch of ungodly bastards with whom every dealing is an expensive test of my patience.

      I could have taken the survey twice and given almost opposite answers.

  2. Jenny 2

    Make the banks pay

    Join the campaign

    http://www.badbanks.co.nz/

  3. tsmithfield 3

    “The New Zealand banking sector made a tax-paid profit of $1.05 billion in the most recently reported quarter. That is a huge amount of money. It’s over $11 million a day or $479,000 an hour 24/7.”

    What you are saying is: Shock, horror, this is a huge figure and much too much for one business sector to be making.

    On what basis do you make this claim? How much has been invested to generate this profit? Remember, banks, as with other businesses, are taking risks with not only their money, but also with the money of their depositors, who can be average NZ families. Therefore, they need to make enough profit to justify putting the money of their investors (including average NZ families) at risk.

    If they can only make enough profit on what has been invested to justify a low risk, then they won’t be lending money out to risky endevours such as lending to small businesses, or you and me . They will stick to the safest investments they can find. Not too good for growing the economy though, is it?

    So try and put a bit more context to your figures rather than trying to shock and awe with big numbers.

    What is the return on investment?
    What is a justifiable return to considering the risks involved in doing business?

    Then I might find the article a bit more interesting.

    • Bored 3.1

      TS,

      I dont think the numbers per se shock, nor does the return on investment or justified returns on risk. What is contentious is the manner in which the banks treat the standard deposit holder (i.e you and me). We probably resent banks because:
      1. They as demonstrated can treat us however they like with charges we cannot influence except by going elsewhere in which case we get copy cat cartel response.
      2. They dont actually bear risks when the crunch happens….they socialise them, and as happened during the recent crash they do this at the expense of the taxpayer.
      3. They create money (fractional banking) out of thin air in our name.

      When the Papacy banned usuary banks could not be run by Christians if they wanted to go to heaven, it was seen as evil. The reason for this viewpoint is still evident in the action of banks. Further the Pope understood the challenge that money would have to the spiritual world in temporal behavoirs. It would seem to me that the Papacy was correct in outlawing usuary. Do not however confuse this ban with commercial practices demanding a return, these were merely tied to the material as opposed to ephemeral (money). There may be some historic echo in how we see banks five hundred years later.

      What I am getting at is that when we see the banks as usurious, they dont dissappoint. My answer is to socialise the usuary, we the citizens should own the banks, the right to create money in our own name, and control of our own currencies.

      • Jared 3.1.1

        Pet peeve. Our BANKS in New Zealand didn’t ask for a hand out, the Finance Companies didn’t either, the Labour Government in an attempt to provide stability in the market introduced the Deposits Guarantee Scheme, but you must remember our banking system is in far better shape than the American banks people love to chastise for wanting a hand out.

        Also, I don’t agree with the nationalisation of all banks. Having commercial banks outside the control of the state provide a competitive environment that works for customers. I work for Kiwibank but bank with Asb, why? because Kiwibank branches are still located in NZPost outlets rather than real branches. I prefer going to an Asb Branch and talk to someone whose job is banking, not sending letters. Also, the fees situation has changed remarkably in the last couple of months, most banks have removed substantial fees like dishonoured AP charges. So your assertion that it is a cartel response to charges is incorrect, they are very competitive with each other.

        • Bored 3.1.1.1

          Jared, You are right our banks did not ask for a hand out. The government then as I recall put in place the deposits and loans guarantee scheme specifically because of fear that the international banks might fail and our banks suffer the knock on effects. And you cannot deny that the taxpayer worldwide bailed out the international finance system, especially Wall St.

          My experience of banks as a customer for 50 years tends to confirm my assertion that with regard to charges banks act in concert, lets just call it aped behavoir as opposed to cartel. Where one leads the others follow for better or worse as far as the customer goes. When the customer benefits you can tell that the banks are having issues of competitveness. I do however like banks that treat you as a person and customer, pretty rare now.

          On the nationalisation front I dont care what markets do, no bank except the bank of the last resort i.e you and me ( as demonstrated by the US bail outs which were tax payer guaranteed) should be able to create money in my name or yours. To do so forces us, the citizenry onto the wrong side of the golden rule (he who makes the gold makes the rules). Bankers should be the servant of the people, not their lords.

    • Clarke 3.2

      ts, it might be helpful if you did a little bit of research on how credit is created in a modern economy, as it would help you to avoid basic errors such as this one:

      How much has been invested to generate this profit? Remember, banks, as with other businesses, are taking risks with not only their money, but also with the money of their depositors, who can be average NZ families.

      You seem to have the idea that banks take in deposits (the mythical average New Zealand family) and then loan them out to hard-working businesses. In reality, this hasn’t been true since the 19th Century – today, banks create money by loaning it into existence, then borrow from the central bank to cover their fractional lending requirements. Here’s Wikipedia on the subject:

      The mainstream economics theory of monetary creation is that commercial bank money is created by commercial banks re-lending central bank money: the central bank (an institution that can be characterised as a partnership between the government and a private corporation) lends money to another commercial bank, which re-loans part of it, due to fractional reserves, and this portion is in turn itself re-lent (it is re-re-lent central bank money).

      On this basis – that the banks have negligible capital invested and negligible risks, other than the ineptitude of their own traders – their profit margins are exceptionally wide, and likely to be a drag on the profitability of the companies they lend to.

  4. Bored 4

    Just as an aside, banking and Eftpos represent a fabulous hidden rort of you and I….given that our wages are now generally deposited direct to our bank accounts and we use cards when we purchase.

    Consider this: the bank does not have to front with hard cash for the employer so they retain the deposit on which they can generate interest by loaning it elsewhere. Granted they pay interest aswell but only at a very much lower amount…kerching Bank 1-0.
    The use of eftpos attracts charges to the card holder and the merchant…kerching Bank 2-0.
    When we have too little the bank bridges the gap for some of us with overdraft facilities.kerching Bank 3-0
    The above encourages our profligacy kerching Bank 4/5/6 – 0

    I could go on till the bank is 100 nil up….if we however recieved our pay in hard cash we might be at risk of losing it to robbery or misplacement…but the bank would not see it (or only the surplus). They might then treat us a hell of a lot better.

    • Pascal's bookie 4.1

      The whole system needs a good hard lookin at.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/21/opinion/21foer.html

      seems to me at least that fees should be smaller now than when all transactions were handwritten and physically carried between banks.

      • andy 4.1.1

        Banks also have a thing called ‘sweeps’, every night the sweep up all the small deposits in all of the accounts and can lend short term against all those aggregated deposits to businesses who need very short term funding or an Overdraft facility, usually overnight.

        So they charge you for having your money in the account and use that money but don’t pay you for it via less fees or higher interest on chq style accounts.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.1

          Which is supported by the way the banks transfer money to other banks. If I pay someone @ 10am via internet banking the money goes out of my account @ 10am. The bank transfer doesn’t occur until 10pm (different banks use different times). That’s 12 hours that that money is “missing” but the bank will still be earning interest on it.

  5. RedLogix 5

    One special pet hate of mine is mortgages with 25yr plus terms. They are the most common and insidious forms of usury. Mortgage terms should be legally limited to a maximum of 15yrs.

  6. ak 6

    Maybe a good time for someone to kick off a “Move your money” campaign a la Huffington Post (quite successful apparently) – in our case of course to Kiwibank or TSB. The current Kiwibank ads would assist, and TSB is growing like a mushroom, so it’s already out there….a total of profits by the big four for the last decade or two would be a pretty mind-boggling selling point.

    • nzfp 6.1

      “Maybe a good time for someone to kick off a “Move your money’ campaign” absolutely. There are soo many benefits to this, the fact that KiwiBank is public means all of the “$11 million a day or $479,000 an hour 24/7” profits could be re-invested back into our economy as micro-loans or cheap 0% – 1% farmers/student/small medium business loans or green sustainable transport and power infrastructure or free university education or free dental care or no GST and so on and so on…

  7. Chris 7

    I would have thought that Finsec, as a corollary to the campaign, would be investigating ways of setting up their own banks. Can’t beat them, join them, as Kiwibank proved.

  8. Ianmac 8

    I had banked with the BNZ for decades. But the bank charges kept on mounting up which seemed a bit cruel since they had the use of my modest funds to make a profit. So I went in and cancelled my accounts. The response was but let’s find ways of reducing the bank charges. We are sure that we can.
    Nope. You are too late. It is dishonest to offer reductions only after I wish to close my accounts. Should have offered before.
    I put all my accounts into the PSIS and the charges are minimal, the service excellent and the service international.

  9. outofbed 9

    The SBS bank give me xmas cake and real coffee at xmas , no large screens between me and the teller and are very very customer orientated , I want to have their babies
    The ANZ in comparison are the devil

  10. On a relevent tangent…

    I’m sure most of you have read this but seeing as how this is the sector where Key got his chops from i thought it might be interesting for those who haven’t…

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/;kw=%5B3351,11459%5D

    …explains why he’s keen on the ‘cap and trade’ ETS scheme as well, cos i bet he’s got a wad of carbon credits ripening up nicely in his blind trust.

  11. Nationalise the parasite banks. They do nothing but push state created money and make super profits.
    They take no risks as they are backed by state created guarantees. They get bailed out if in trouble. They are too big to fail. They fuel land speculation. The fuel speculation in currency. They spawn amoral imbeciles like John Key. They are the enemy of the people.
    Amazing what a petty, docile, subservient bunch of wankers we bank customers are.

    • Jared 11.1

      When was the last time a NZ bank got bailed out (other than the BNZ back in the early 90’s)
      Also, they provide a service for us. If you don’t like it, don’t use them, use kiwibank. But, in reality Kiwibank isn’t that dissimilar.

      • Draco T Bastard 11.1.1

        They do provide a service but the $1.02b profit is a dead weight loss to the NZ economy. Why would we want to keep losing?

        • Jared 11.1.1.1

          Because it would be hypocritical to expect a net profit from investments in the Super fund from offshore investments in companies and not expect offshore companies to trade in NZ for a profit. I totally don’t understand the nationalistic anti free market approach the left have. The banks in NZ are regulated, well run, and provide a generally fantastic service. Why does it matter who runs them? Sure they provide a profit for offshore services, but they also provide a supply of loanable funds for NZ enterprise to generate growth and profit within NZ. They also provide employment opportunities and in the case of ASB provide charitable donations.

          • Draco T Bastard 11.1.1.1.1

            I’m quite happy to have all FDI around the world to be banned.

            Why does it matter who runs them?

            It matters because foreign investment means that the profit goes overseas which means that the wealth that was created within an economy can no longer be reinvested in that economy. This forces that economy to stagnate and eventually to start failing.

  12. nzfp 13

    Hey Clarke,
    I was going to respond to “ts” highlighting the understandable and common misconception about banking. ts – don’t worry, most people in the world think banking occurs in the methods you described – unfortunately it isn’t true as highlighted by Clarke.

    Our very own New Zealand Banking Association (NZBA) and Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) are also great resources for explaining credit creation.

    The NZBA published “Banking in New Zealand (4th ed)”, originally published in 1991 and revised and updated in 1997. Chapter 4. “THE CREATION OF MONEY AND CREDIT” states:

    There is a direct mathematical relationship between the fraction held in reserves (r), the initial cash injection (M) and the deposit money created (D) which is D=M/r. In the example above, M = $100 and r = .1 (or 10%) so D = $1000. This simple credit multiplier formula illustrates that the smaller the fraction banks hold as reserves, the more deposit money and credit is created. (page 19)

    The RBNZ published “Defining money and credit aggregates” states:

    The deposits, or money balances held with banks are the direct counterpart to the assets that banks hold on the other side of their balance sheets, namely their loans. When a bank makes a loan it places the amount of the loan (which constitutes “credit’) in the borrower’s deposit account (which constitutes “money’), and the latter can be “spent’. Hence, an analysis of the role of money in the economy needs to incorporate the role of credit. Thus, throughout this article money and credit will often be referred to together. Indeed in many respects they are “different sides of the same coin.’ (page 1-2)

    Clearly the Banks create credit when they make loans. However, what is rarely covered is the fact that the Banks now control over 98% of the “credit” in circulation in our society. The RBNZ is the sole source of the “notes and coins” in circulation. However, the “notes and coins” also represent the only “money” created by our Government. The RBNZ C1 Monetary aggregates demonstrate that the total volume of notes and coins held by the pubic is only 3.477 Billion dollars. This is important because the “notes and coins” are the only “money” that is interest and debt free. The RBNZ C1 Monetary aggregates also shows that the M3 (which loosley translates to the total money supply including Bank credit) is 205.430 Billion dollars, that means that the percentage of money and credit in circulation that doesn’t carry interest bearing debt is (3.477/205.430*100) 1.7%. That means that the other 98.3% of our money supply is owed to a Bank at interest and that interest is generating the “$479,000 an hour 24/7” profits to the Banks.

    Another problem to consider is that this windfall of profit is going to a cartel of almost entirely Australian Banks (ANZ National, ASB, Westpac, BNZ). That means that these profits – like the 40,000 New Zealand citizens a year – are winging their way over to the Gold Coast never to come back again. This represents a loss of money and credit in our economy requiring households and businesses to take out more loans at interest to replenish the lost Bank profits which results in a “growth” in our economy and ultimately the loss of more money and credit – just like a pyramid or ponzi scheme.

  13. tsmithfield 14

    I would like to respond to several points above:

    Bored: “What is contentious is the manner in which the banks treat the standard deposit holder (i.e you and me).”

    Bored, if you want to see true immorality from banks, go and look at the situation in the US. Over there the people have bailed the banks out, and lent them money at essentially 0%. The response of the banks has been to invest that market in stocks and other normally risky assets but with essentially no risk because they are guaranteed by Uncle Sam. However, they have got the lending taps turned off so far as the average citizen is concerned, the very people who have effectively rescued the banks. At least our banks have kept lending and have been generally fairly supportive in comparison to US banks.

    Clarke: “ts, it might be helpful if you did a little bit of research on how credit is created in a modern economy, as it would help you to avoid basic errors such as this one:”

    I know a bit more about this than you give me credit for, and I think you are missing an important point yourself in this respect.

    When credit is created, it is created against an asset (a personal debt owed to the bank, a house mortgage etc). The money is not quite created out of thin air. It has to be represented by an asset on the other side of the equation. This creates a revenue stream for the banks against which they plan their own expenditure and other investments. But what happens when the value of the asset suddenly depreciates dramatically as in the subprime saga in the US? Most of the “assets” that have been created and the associated income streams suddenly diminish hugely. Thus banks can suddenly become insolvent. So there are definite risks for banks in their business activities. Its not quite like creating money risk-free and lending it out as you seem to believe. Banks have to account for this risk by charging appropriate interest rates and generating sufficient profits.

    • Descendant Of Smith 14.1

      However having worked in the banking industry for a number of years in a past life these sorts of things also happened:

      Clients who would overdraw by $20-00 having a cheque bounced and charged $30-00 for the privilege while a business $1million over their overdraft limit not having anything bounced ever

      In those days Reserve Bank ratios were quoted as the reason for bouncing the poor working class buggers cheque who often ended up in a viscous cycle where cause the bank fees left them less money their A.P’s bounced resulting in a downward financial spiral.

      It was quite clear that the little fulla was paying for the big fulla.

      At least in those days the $30-00 fee could be justified by the work done. As once the cheques came back from databank someone would pull them out and they would be taken upstairs where the clients file would be reviewed and someone would make a conscious decision about bouncing them. They decision would be typed out and then a clerk downstairs would type out a dishonour notice in duplicate and post one notice out to the client and one to the person who banked the cheque along with the cheque.

      There was some work involved and some conscious decision making done. Only a small number of people had their cheques bounced and while it was clear to me that working class people were much more likely to have this happen to them it meant that in a reasonable sized branch maybe 30 -50 cheques per day got bounced.

      The banks then decided to totally rort by automating the process and by introducing honour fees. This in effect meant that every transaction you had over your limit – even if your pay was going in tomorrow incurred an automatic $30-00 fee for being honoured.

      I don’t know how much money the banks rorted off people through doing this but it would have been enormous – money for jam. It was even more farcical when I had a postdated cheque – legitimately post dated – banked early by my children’s school. It was a mistake on their part. When I asked why the post dated cheque was accepted and incurred a fee my choice was pay a $30-00 fee for it being honored or a $30-00 fee for it being dishonoured. You clearly coundn’t win.

      At least too in previous times banks actually went through cheques looking for fake signatures or trust accounts with only one signature instead of two. I know several instances of fraud by lawyers and trust accounts were picked up in that way. These days they don’t even get looked at.

      They clearly don’t see any role any more in preventing this type of abuse from their own account holders.

      These are only little things but for everyday normal working class people make an enormous difference.

      There are also issues of margins between the interest rate they charge and inflation – their is always a bigger gap between inflation and rates in NZ than Australia i.e. they make more money off us.

      Before the latest crash it was obvious to me that banks were following similar behavioral patterns to when the crash came in 87. They had relaxed their lending criteria to loan above 70% to 80%. This increases the exposure and also pushed house prices up through more people competing as more can access easy credit. This puts finance companies under pressure as good payers who previously couldn’t meet the banks deposit criteria moved out of the alternative finance sectors for borrowing for mortgages. This leaves the finance sector left with a greater percentage of risk based around second hand cars and HP’s etc.

      From my observation that pattern spells disaster.

      You then see the charlatans come out of the woodwork promising great returns, you see previously invisible share-market spokesman telling ordinary people it’s a great time to invest and the doom and gloom merchants are wrong, you see the forestry people on telly saying what a great investment this.

      In reality many of the well off by now are moving their money out of shares and property and getting the ordinary working class people to invest. They are stealing their wealth cause they know the crash is coming.

      I could see this and said to people it’s 87 all over again. But I’m just an ordinary guy – although I did influence a few people who have avoided the worst effects of the crash and not lost substantial amounts of money. I could have been wrong in seeing the same pattern but I wasn’t.

      It was quite telling when a property investor locally said to me he had sold all his properties and was sitting with several millions of dollars waiting for the crash. He knew it was coming and had been in the game long enough to know when to get out and wait.

      These are simple observations of how the banks both rort and mis-manage. you can argue complex calculations and world markets and a whole range of theory as much as you like but sometimes the simple observation of what I see in front of me tells me I’m being ripped off and my money isn’t being looked after.

      • tsmithfield 14.1.1

        I agree that sort of behaviour is clearly not good enough.

        I am with the BNZ. At least, to their credit, they have done away with honour fees. Also, our personal banker has to personally approve any cheque dishonor for our personal or business accounts. Even when honor fees were still in play, the few times we incurred a fee, our personal banker was happy to waive them for us.

        So, the BNZ have been quite user friendly in my experience.

  14. nzfp 15

    Hey ts,
    I think Clark was addressing the common misconception that Banks lend customer deposits when in fact increased customer deposits allow banks to create credit at 90% of the new deposit.

    But what happens when the value of the asset suddenly depreciates dramatically as in the subprime saga in the US

    Yes and this is a very important point and is described in the “Stuff” article where “[i]mpaired asset expense improved significantly during the quarter”. Impaired assets are defined:

    Investopedia explains Impaired Asset
    If the sum of all estimated future cash flows is less than the carrying value of the asset, then the asset would be considered impaired and would have to be written down to its fair value. Once an asset is written down, it may only be written back up under very few circumstances.

    The effect of asset write-downs can be greatly magnified when leverage is considered. In the last days of Bear-Sterns it was found that “Bear had $11.1 billion in tangible equity capital supporting $395 billion in assets, a leverage ratio of more than 35 to one”. This is no surprise because “a 2004 SEC exemption, given only to five big firms, allowed them to lever up 30 and even 40 to 1”. High levels of debt means it takes only a small decline in the value of the firm – such as the case of write-downs for impaired assets – for the firm to go bankrupt. This was highlighted during the crash as many of the mortgages bundled in the Collateralised Debt Obligations (CDO) and Collateralised Mortgage Obligations (CMO) sold by Wall Street Banks were found to be fraudulent, not only that but Goldman Sachs was found to be betting against CDO’s they created and sold themselves with insurance policies called Credit Default Swaps (CDS) taken out against AIG.

    AIG was the single biggest recipient of former US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s TARP bailout. The majority of AIG’s TARP bailouts went to counter parties of their CDS’ exotic derivatives. Goldman Sachs was the biggest recipient of AIG bailout funds for AIG CDS’. Henry Paulson was the CEO of Goldman Sachs before becoming the Treasury Secretary. Considering all of this – it all starts to look a wee bit fraudulent – and this maybe why on April 16, 2010 the Securities and Exchange Commission “charged Goldman, Sachs & Co. and one of its vice presidents for defrauding investors by misstating and omitting key facts about a financial product tied to subprime mortgages as the U.S. housing market was beginning to falter”.

    • tsmithfield 15.1

      Yes I was aware of that too. However, I don’t think it changes the point I was trying to make.

      • nzfp 15.1.1

        No it doesn’t at all – sorry mate – I was reinforcing your very good point and at the same time I just *had* to throw something in about the fraudulent banking practices of Wall Street.

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    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 days ago
  • Winston is the PM’s problem
    In Question Time today the Prime Minister was naturally facing questions about Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and his dubious party financing arrangements, which seem to violate electoral finance law. Her response was to pretend that it was nothing to do with her, and that she is not responsible for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Australia’s secret prisoner
    A prisoner stripped of their name, imprisoned for a secret crime after a secret trial, with all details legally suppressed for secret reasons. A story by Kafka or Dumas? China? No, its just the latest stage of Australian tyranny:An Australian citizen was prosecuted, convicted, and jailed in the ACT last ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Bridges should put his money where his mouth is
    Stuff has more details on what New Zealand First's slush-fund has been funding, with much of the spending directly benefiting the party. Which makes it look a lot like hidden donations, rather than the completely-innocent-giant-pile-of-cash Winston is trying to portray it as. The Electoral Commission is now investigating, but Simon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • The APEC police state enabling bill
    I've joked before about how hosting international summits effectively turns part of your country into a police state for the duration. Well, New Zealand is hosting APEC in 2021, with events throughout the year in Christchurch, Wellington, and Auckland. And the government has put up a bill to give itself ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Why coastal floods are becoming more frequent as seas rise
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz I saw an article claiming that “king tides” will increase in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • The cost of a range clearance.
    It has been revealed that firing ranges used by the NZDF while deployed to the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Bamyan Province, Afghanistan, contained unexploded ordnance that caused numerous deaths and injuries after the NZDF withdrew the PRT in April 2013. In 2014 seven children were killed when an unidentified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    3 days ago
  • Still denying responsibility
    Stuff's story on NZDF's negligence around its Afghan firing ranges has produced a result, with a commitment from the Prime Minister for an urgent cleanup. But this doesn't mean NZDF is accepting responsibility for the deaths and injuries that have occured - they're still refusing compensation. Which given that the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A corrupt practice
    Last week RNZ broke the news on NZ First's mysterious "foundation" and its dodgy-looking loans. The arrangement seemed to be designed to evade the transparency requirements of the Electoral Act, by laundering donations. But now Stuff has acquired some of their financial records, and it gone from dodgy to outright ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Democracy “A Bit Bonkers” – Thoughts Inspired By Lizzie Marvelly’s Latest Co...
    Didn't See It Coming: NZ Herald columnist Lizzie Marvelly's latest column merits serious scrutiny because such a clear example of anti-democratic thinking is encountered only rarely on the pages of the daily press. Which is not to say that the elitism which lies at the heart of such social disparagement ...
    4 days ago
  • Colombia: historic memory, massacres and the military
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh Initially it was reported that in an aerial bombardment that took place on August 30th seven children were massacred; the figure then went up to eight and then on November 11th Noticias Uno reported that, according to people from the community in close proximity to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • On the road to Net Zero, the next step is to update our UN pledge
    A lot has happened since the UN’s report on 1.5ºC was released in October 2018. New Zealand’s Zero Carbon Bill has passed, and enshrines the 1.5ºC goal in law. The UK and France have also legally strengthened their targets to Net Zero 2050. The School Strike For Climate and Extinction ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    4 days ago
  • Corruption as usual
    Next year is an election year, and Labour needs money to fund its campaign. So naturally, they're selling access:Labour is charging wealthy business figures $1500-a-head to lunch with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at its annual conference later this month. [...] On the weekend beginning November 29th, around 800 delegates will ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Fairer rentals
    Yesterday the government announced its changes to tenancy laws, including an end to no-cause evictions, limits on rent increases, and anonyminity for tenants who defend their rights against bad landlords (sadly necessary because landlords are scum who maintain blacklists of "uppity" tenants). They're all good moves, and have resulted in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Another NZDF coverup
    In 2003 New Zealand sent a Provincial Reconstruction Team to Afghanistan to support America's doomed war there. While there, they conducted regular weapons practice on local firing ranges, littering the landscape with unexploded ammunition. These ranges weren't secure - they're on land used by locals for animal herding - so ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A loss for the Greens
    Green MP Gareth Hughes has announced he will retire at the election. Its understandable - he's been there ten years, and wants to actually see his children grow up rather than miss it while drowning in the toxic parliamentary sewer. But his departure is also a huge loss for the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • New era for Ngāti Kuri and Auckland Museum
    Words and images by Jacqui Gibson Gone are Auckland Museum’s days of doing science using a museum-centric academic approach, after Māori land rights holders Ngāti Kuri gave the museum an ultimatum.
    Tom Trnski holding a fossilised whale tooth from the Far North.Aussie-born Head of Natural Sciences at Auckland Museum ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Circling vultures: Why MediaWorks TV is really in trouble
    MediaWorks announced in October 2019 that it intended to sell off its struggling television business and cancel or cut back on several popular local programmes, including New Zealand Today, Married at First Sight New Zealand and 7 Days. Its radio and outdoor advertising arms are currently performing well, but MediaWorks’ ...
    Briefing PapersBy Peter Thompson
    5 days ago
  • Scary Opinium Poll
    Westminster voting intention:CON: 44% (+3)LAB: 28% (-1)LDEM: 14% (-1)BREX: 6% (-)via @OpiniumResearch, surveyed this weekChgs. w/ 08 Nov— Britain Elects (@britainelects) 16 November 2019 This, of course, doesn't look good.  Labour have been chucking big, headline grabbing policies left, right and centre ... Well, maybe not right.  Left, left ...
    5 days ago
  • A coward’s ploy.
    Some readers may remember that I mentioned last year that I was applying for NZ citizenship. I filled out the paperwork and had my original citizenship interview in February. Everything went well until they discovered that, because I had spent five months in the US in 2017, I had not ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Left censorship and exclusion against gender-critical women: a Marxist critique
    by Deirdre O’Neill It is becoming quite acceptable for certain sections of the left to declare that people like me – women who are ‘gender critical’ – should not be allowed in leftist or anarchist spaces. Leaving aside the arrogance and implicit authoritarianism of this claim, its lack of critical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • “Uncertainty” can be better solved with a better grasp of life’s inherent complexities…
    There is an article in The Conversation, written by Jeremy P. Shapiro (Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychological Sciences, Case Western Reserve University), about what he sees as the psychologically-based underpinnings of three main matters that seem to vex people all around the planet. The article is titled “The Thinking ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    7 days ago
  • Citizens vs the Rogue Deep State
    . .   Blogger Martyn Bradbury has won his case against unreasonable search and surveillance against the NZ Police; and subsequent Police attempts to produce evidence in secrecy, in a closed Court. His case highlights a disturbing growing trend in Aotearoa New Zealand for State power to be used against ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • Massey University’s free speech policy double-plus-good
    The Committee of Disobedient Women has intercepted an email from Dr Emma Eejut, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Massey University to the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Jan Thomas. Dear Jan, Thank you for your courageous move.  I think 10 pages of blether** should tie any of the students game enough to try holding ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Unacceptable
    That's the only response to the findings of the Ombudsman's investigation into LGOIMA practices at the Christchurch City Council:My investigation identified serious concerns about the Council’s leadership and culture, and its commitment to openness and transparency. In particular, Council staff raised concerns with me about various methods employed by some ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • There is what corruption looks like
    NZ First seems to be nakedly trying to enrich itself from public office:A powerful New Zealand First figure helped establish a forestry company that then pushed for money from two key funding streams controlled by a New Zealand First Minister. An RNZ investigation has found Brian Henry, lawyer for Winston ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Escape from Manus Island
    Behrouz Boochani is an award winning author and journalist. He is also a refugee, who for the past six years has been detained in Australia's offshore gulag on Manus Island, and in Papua New Guinea. But last night, with the cooperation of the WORD Christchurch festival and Amnesty International, he ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When World’s Collide.
    Different Strokes: If a multicultural immigration policy imposes no obligation on immigrant communities to acknowledge and ultimately embrace their host nation’s most cherished traditions and values, then how is that nation to prevent itself from being reduced to a collection of inward-looking and self-replicating ethnic and cultural enclaves?THE COALITION GOVERNMENT’S ...
    1 week ago
  • Could There Be Method In Massey University’s Madness?
    Protective Zone: Reading the rules and guidelines released by Massey University, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that its governing body considers the whole concept of free speech a disruptive threat to the orderly imparting of orthodox academic knowledge.IN TRUE ORWELLIAN fashion, Massey University has announced its commitment to ...
    1 week ago
  • How does poor air quality from bushfire smoke affect our health?
    Brian Oliver, University of Technology Sydney New South Wales and Queensland are in the grip of a devastating bushfire emergency, which has tragically resulted in the loss of homes and lives. But the smoke produced can affect many more people not immediately impacted by the fires – even people many ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: We need more trees, not less
    Farmers held a hate-march on Parliament today, complete with MAGA hats, gun-nut signs, and gendered insults. While supposedly about a grab-bag of issues - including, weirdly, mental health - it was clear that the protest was about one thing, and one thing only: climate change. And specifically, forestry "destroying" rural ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Holy bin chickens: ancient Egyptians tamed wild ibis for sacrifice
    Sally Wasef, Griffith University and David Lambert, Griffith University These days, not many Aussies consider the ibis a particularly admirable creature. But these birds, now colloquially referred to as “bin chickens” due to their notorious scavenging antics, have a grandiose and important place in history – ancient Egyptian history, to ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The IGIS annual report: Dead letters and secret law
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released their annual report today, and I've been busy reading through it. In amongst the usual review of what they've been doing all year, there's a few interesting bits. For example, a discussion on "agency retention and disposal of information", which points out that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why municipal waste-to-energy incineration is not the answer to NZ’s plastic waste crisis
    Trisia Farrelly, Massey University New Zealand is ranked the third-most-wasteful country in the OECD. New Zealanders produce five times the global daily average of waste per person – and they are getting more wasteful, producing 35% more than a decade ago. These statistics are likely to get worse following China’s ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    2 weeks ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: Tackling child poverty
    It's been a great week of progress: we've celebrated Children's Day, we've made communities safer with 1800 new police, and we've seen almost 90% of eligible schools take up Government funding to scrap school donations - taking pressure off the families of more than 416,000 students. ...
    15 hours ago
  • New measures for wood processing boost
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister of Forestry The Government will further strengthen New Zealand’s wood processing sector as part of our focus on ‘value over volume’ in our forestry industry, Forestry Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones will today meet with forestry representatives in Northland to signal new measures to help the ...
    17 hours ago
  • New high tech traps will reduce the need for 1080 poison
    New Zealand First are celebrating the announcement of an investment of $3.5 million into five new trapping devices. These are a range of bait and trap devices, all designed to be left unattended for long periods of time. NZ First conservation spokesperson Jenny Marcroft says that this latest development will ...
    2 days ago
  • Cowboy clampers will be stymied
    Clayton Mitchell, Spokesperson for Consumer Affairs The ‘wheel clamping’ Bill that will cap clamper fees to $100 passed its third reading in Parliament today. New Zealand First welcomes The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill to combat predatory wheel clamping behaviour in what is currently a largely unregulated business. Cowboy clampers are: gouging ...
    3 days ago
  • Mental Health Commission back on track
    Jenny Marcroft, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its first reading in Parliament. “Today’s progress takes serious action on the mental health and addiction crisis the country is facing,” says New Zealand First Health Spokesperson Jenny Marcroft. “The re-establishment ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand’s key assets are not for sale: national interest test delivered
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries Today the Government announced the delivery of the promise to protect New Zealand interests by applying a new National Interest Test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. This further strengthening of the Overseas Investment Act will ...
    4 days ago
  • National interest test added to protect New Zealanders’ interests
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high-risk assets to overseas buyers. Under current Overseas Investment Act (OIA) rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and ...
    4 days ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
    Rt Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years. Declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission. Our ...
    4 days ago
  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    5 days ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    5 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    1 week ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    3 weeks ago

  • PGF approves wind turbines funding for Stewart Island
    Stewart Island/Rakiura has been granted $3.16 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to help build two wind turbines, putting the island on a path to sustainable electricity generation, Environment Minister David Parker announced today. “Stewart Island is our third largest island, after the North and South Islands, and it is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • NZ economy in good shape amid global headwinds
    A major new report on the global economy shows New Zealand is in good shape amid increased global headwinds. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has just released its latest Economic Outlook. It shows the OECD group of economies is forecast to grow between 1.6% and 1.7% across ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Milestone of 1800 new Police officers
    The Coalition commitment to add 1800 new Police officers to frontline policing has been achieved with the graduation of 59 constables from the Royal New Zealand Police College today. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters say today’s graduation means 1825 new Police have been deployed all ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • PM appoints business leaders to APEC Business Advisory Council
    Ensuring APEC work gets input from diverse New Zealand business and trade interests is behind three new appointments to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. Rachel Taulelei, Malcolm Johns and Toni Moyes have been appointed to represent New Zealand on the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • PM speech notes for Trans-Tasman Business Circle
    Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tatou katoa. Thank you for having me to speak today. To start, I’d like to acknowledge Sharron Lloyd, the General Manager of the Trans–Tasman Business Circle, the partners for this event Westpac’s  David McLean, and Derek McCormack from  AUT, and, of course ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Otago Regional Council given deadline for freshwater management plan
    A four-month investigation by former Environment Court judge Professor Peter Skelton found that Otago’s freshwater planning system is not fit for purpose to manage the region’s rivers, lakes and aquifers and that the Council has inadequate rules for the taking of water and the discharge of nutrients.   “Existing planning provisions ...
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    2 days ago
  • LGNZ Rural and Provincial Sector Speech
      Introduction Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This is the first opportunity I’ve had to speak to an LGNZ meeting since the local elections, and I’m delighted to see the fresh faces of newly elected mayors. To returning mayors here today, as well as chief ...
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    2 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Japan
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters departs New Zealand today to attend the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Nagoya at the invitation of this year’s G20 President, Japan. “This is the first time New Zealand will attend a G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and we are deeply honoured that it is at ...
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    2 days ago
  • Ambassador to the European Union announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of diplomat Carl Reaich as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to the European Union. “The Ambassador to the EU is one of the most important and senior roles in New Zealand’s foreign service, advocating for New Zealand’s interests with the EU institutions,” Mr ...
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    2 days ago
  • New inventions boost Predator Free 2050 effort
        Innovation and technology are behind five new tools to give nature a helping hand by helping eliminate predators, funded through the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage and Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “The new tools will be trialled in ...
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    2 days ago
  • APEC 2021 Bill passes first reading
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation 2021 (APEC 2021) Bill in Parliament today. The temporary bill supports New Zealand’s security preparations for hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in 2021. “APEC is the leading economic and trade forum ...
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    3 days ago
  • Making progress for our kids
    The Government is making progress on improving the wellbeing of the one million New Zealanders under the age of 18,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on World Children’s Day. The Government has today recommitted to the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history – the United Nation’s Convention on ...
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    3 days ago
  • Māori women in business contribute to our economy, whānau and communities
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter has released a new report celebrating the contribution of Māori women in business across Aotearoa New Zealand. “Māori women are leaders in our communities, they employ many people and support our economy and our communities,” Julie Anne Genter said. The report, Ngā wāhine kaipakihi: ...
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    3 days ago
  • Two schools on the way for Omokoroa
    Four parcels of land have been bought in Omokoroa, in the Western Bay of Plenty District, for an education facility that will accommodate both a primary and secondary school on a campus-like facility, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Two parcels were acquired from private land owners and two were ...
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    3 days ago
  • Families Package helps over 1 million New Zealanders in first year
    1 million New Zealanders warmed by the Winter Energy Payment 36,000 families bank the Best Start Payment in first year 6,000 more families received the Family Tax Credit, 220,600 in total   They receive an increase too – from an average of $117 to $157 a week for Inland Revenue clients, ...
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    3 days ago
  • Clamp down on wheel clamping passes third reading
    New rules to clamp down on overzealous wheel clamping and extortionate fees charged in order to release a vehicle have passed their final stage in Parliament today. The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill has now passed its third reading. “These changes mean $100 will be the maximum wheel clamping ...
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    3 days ago
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill passes first hurdle
    An independent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission is a step closer after it unanimously passed its first vote in Parliament today.  The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill lays the groundwork for establishing the Commission as a fully independent crown entity – delivering on a key recommendation of He Ara ...
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    3 days ago
  • Boosting border security with electronic travel authority – now over 500,000 issued
    We’ve improved border security with the NZeTA, New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority, which helps us to screen travellers for border and immigration risks off-shore before they travel to New Zealand. It was launched in August and became mandatory on 1 October 2019. More than 500,000 NZeTAs have been issued since ...
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    4 days ago
  • Plan of action to protect seabirds
    A proposed national plan of action to reduce the number of seabirds caught in fisheries is being circulated for public feedback. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage say New Zealand is a global centre of seabird diversity with about 145 species in our waters. It has more ...
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    4 days ago
  • National interest test added to overseas investment rules
    The Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. Associate Finance Minister David Parker said under current Overseas Investment Act rules, assets such as ports and ...
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    4 days ago
  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
    The Government is building special housing to accommodate one of Aotearoa’s greatest taonga- our kaumātua, says the Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Speaking at a National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference in Rotorua today, the Minister reinforced the importance kaumātua play in maintaining and passing on mātauranga Māori, knowledge, ...
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    4 days ago
  • Forestry helps prisoners into jobs
    Eleven men from a pilot forestry training programme for prisoners in Northland now have full time jobs or job offers upon release, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis and Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. The ‘release to work’ programme was a collaboration between Te Uru Rākau and the Department of Corrections, ...
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    4 days ago
  • Reform of public service a step closer
    Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins today introduced into Parliament a Bill that will make it easier for the public service to tackle the biggest challenges facing Governments. The Bill represents the most significant change in the public service in 30 years. The State Sector Act 1988 will be repealed ...
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    5 days ago
  • Donations scheme to relieve pressure on families
    The families of more than 416,000 students will be better off next year as their schools have signed up to the Government’s donations scheme, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. The scheme will see almost $62.5 million in additional Government funding go to schools nationwide next year. “I’m really pleased ...
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    5 days ago
  • Further support for Samoan measles outbreak
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced further support as the Government of Samoa responds to a serious measles outbreak. “New Zealand will deploy a further 18 vaccination nurses, bringing the total to 30 working in Samoa over the next four weeks,” Mr Peters said. “A New Zealand Medical Assistance ...
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    5 days ago
  • Speech to the Child Poverty Action Group 2019 Summit
      Fa’atalofa atu, malo e lelei, Kia ora koutou katoa Thank you to the Child Poverty Action Group for asking me to be here today to provide an update on some of the things that have been happening across my the social development portfolio.  Can I firstly acknowledge the vast ...
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    5 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Annual Conference
    ***Please check against delivery*** Good morning everyone. It is a pleasure to be with you this morning to open this year’s New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Conference and AGM. Firstly, thank you Dr Alan Jackson, NZTR Chair for your introduction. And let us acknowledge also: The NZTR Board; Dean McKenzie, Chair ...
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    5 days ago
  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
    The Government has delivered on its promise to the over one million New Zealanders who now rent to make it fairer and more secure, Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Kris Faafoi has announced today. Both renters and landlords will benefit from the suite of practical changes to the Residential ...
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    6 days ago
  • Two decades of marine protection celebrated at Te Tapuwae o Rongokako in Tairawhiti
    A marine conservation milestone - the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve - is being celebrated today at a community event in Tairāwhiti/East Coast attended by the Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “The creation of this marine reserve in November 1999 was a game ...
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    7 days ago
  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
         The Government is asking the food industry to step up work to tackle obesity including reducing sugar, fat and salt in their products, better information for consumers, and tighter restrictions on advertising to children. Health Minister David Clark and Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor have responded to a ...
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    7 days ago
  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
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    1 week ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
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    1 week ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
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    1 week ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
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    1 week ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
    Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting 14 November 2019 Joint Statement 1. Defence Ministers Ron Mark and Dr Ng Eng Hen today conducted their third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Singapore. 2. Building on the Enhanced Partnership signed between both countries in May this year, this annual meeting ...
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    1 week ago
  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
    A Bill to improve the court system’s response to sexual violence has passed its first reading in Parliament today. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill will reduce the trauma sexual violence complainants experience in court, while maintaining defendants’ fundamental rights and making sure the trial process ...
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    1 week ago
  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
    Streamlined payment practices are a step closer for Kiwi businesses with the formal launch of New Zealand’s e-Invoicing framework. Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says the government has now established the structure to enable automated and direct data exchange between the accounting systems of buyers and sellers. “The move to ...
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    1 week ago
  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
    Another 51 quarantine officers and four new biosecurity detector dog teams will help protect New Zealand from invasive pests and diseases this summer, says Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “The Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen New Zealand’s biosecurity system and support our valuable primary sector “New Zealand’s flora, fauna ...
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    1 week ago
  • NZ space economy worth $1.69 billion
    A new report has found New Zealand’s space sector contributed $1.69 billion to the economy in the last financial year and employs 12,000 people, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. The report by Deloitte was commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and shows New Zealand ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Chair for Royal Commission into Abuse
    Judge Coral Shaw has been appointed as the new Chair of the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. "Judge Shaw, who is currently one of the inquiry commissioners, is extremely well qualified for the ...
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    1 week ago