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Beneficiary bashing – an inglorious National sport

Written By: - Date published: 11:45 am, March 30th, 2010 - 29 comments
Categories: john key, Media, national, same old national - Tags: , , ,

Lifted from comments for wider reading by commentator acclaim..

Beneficiary bashing in this country is definitely becoming uglier by the day. It seems that Paula Bennett’s attacks on beneficiaries seemingly condoned by the Prime Minister has given prejudice free reign in the country. It is now permissible to demonize a vulnerable group in society based on the pretext of ‘ending bludging’.

The SUNDAY STAR TIMES article ‘Solo mum racks up 36 years on benefit’ (28 March), was a grubby piece of pseudo-journalism. The article was critical in it’s tone of an un-named woman who has cared for children for 36 years. The article failed on every level of professional journalism to ask the basic questions; What, How, Why, and Who.

For all we know, that woman has dedicated herself to raising unwanted children from broken families children who might otherwise have ended up like Nia Glassie or James Whakaruru.

But we don’t know.

Because the SST took a few facts and figures (provided no doubt by a compliant Minister of Social Welfare) and presented them in a way to guarantee a moral outrage response.

This is not journalism. This is propaganda. And though Dr Goebbels would have been pleased with it, I found it vile.

As for the Q & A last night; we sat and watched with a mixture of horror and amusement (if the two can ever be mixed). Bennett’s statements became more outrageous every time she opened her mouth and god knows what Guyon Espiner must have thought of that grinning idiot.

The most telling moment came when Espiner suggested that sickness beneficiaries would probably end up working for the equivalent of $1 an hour. Bennett blithely replied that it’s not all about money, it’s about other ‘benefits’ to working.

I have three responses to that.

  1. Ms Bennett earns $243,700 plus perks plus generous retirement packages plus god-knows-what-else. So much for ‘it’s not all about money’.
  2. Five haunting words, taken from one of the darkest periods of the 20th Century: ‘Work will set you free’.
  3. John Key originally had more humane ideas about welfare, prior to the election;

Before I get into that, I want to talk a little more about welfare in general.

You might ask why I use the word ‘welfare’ when the vogue nowadays is to talk about ‘social development’. I unashamedly use the word welfare because I believe in the welfare state. I have a personal commitment to it. My father died when I was seven years old. My mother, my two older sisters, and I had no other family in New Zealand. For a period of time after my father died, my mother relied on the safety net provided by the Widows Benefit.

My family was poor, and we knew it, but the benefit gave my mother enough security to keep us together and keep us focused on a time when things would improve. By having our most basic needs covered as a family, we were able to hold on to that most precious human emotion hope.

Over time, my mother moved off the benefit and into work. The welfare system continued to support us, however, by providing us with a state house. It wasn’t flash, but it was home.

I think almost all New Zealanders believe in the desirability of the welfare state. In particular, I think New Zealanders take it on trust that there will always be a safety net of social welfare benefits. We’re a compassionate and fair people whose instinct is to give a person a helping hand when they need it.

National is committed to a benefit system that is a genuine safety net in times of need. We’re committed to a comprehensive system of benefits that provides temporary support to people as they return to independence, and also provides indefinite, compassionate support to people who are physically or mentally unable to support themselves.

Yeah, right.

Frank Macskasy

29 comments on “Beneficiary bashing – an inglorious National sport”

  1. Peter Johns 1

    The people who get bashed most are the middle income tax payer. All you leftards want is to screw working class people to keep paying for things we will not be able to afford in the future.

    As for beneficaries, cry me a river. Paula rocks.

    [lprent: Who have you been pissing off? Just had to rescue your last three messages from the ‘probably spam’ queue. Feels like someone fed a pile of your messages into akismet. Mind you, I’ve felt like it a few times… ]

    • Pete 1.1

      “We’re a compassionate and fair people whose instinct is to give a person a helping hand when they need it”

      Except for the Peter Johns’ of the world I’d agree. Don’t even get me started on the Stuff/Herald comments sections when a benefit story rises up like the proverbial in a badly plumbed toilet bowl. Clearly this sort of statement comes from someone with limited capacity for even the most basic comprehension of compassion (particularly when it eats into his personal bottom line) – and sadly, there’s plenty more where he came from.

      Oh, and Paula certainly does rock, when she moves her head around too fast they knock about up there.

    • Zepher 1.2

      “As for beneficaries, cry me a river.”

      They’re already in one.

    • pollywog 1.3

      The people who get bashed most are the middle income tax payer.

      No…the people who have been bashed the most is pasifikans inclusive of maori. It’s like we’ve been institutionally bashed so much that if a nation could be represented as a person, we’d all have post traumatic stress disorder and be drug addicted paranoid schizophrenics, or at the other extreme, suffer narcissism with delusional bouts of grandeur from thinking that, eating the crumbs of the massas table is the same as living in the big house and feasting on the banquet.

      Heres a comparison to Jamaica as a person and their problems…

      http://pollywannacracka.blogspot.com/2009/04/ya-betta-lively-up-yo-self.html

      But back on the local front, y’all should thank fuck you still got a semblance of christian values holding the rage back and theres not the gun culture, but times, they are a changin’…

      captcha : irrelevant – ( yup thats me, a lone voice streaming from the cloud saying ‘make way a highway in the desert to prepare for the comin of’…oh fucked if i know actually but shit’s gonna get a lot worse 🙂 )

    • Frank Macskasy 1.4

      Peter, I’m a middle-class taxpayer and I certainly don’t feel “screwed”. Well, maybe a bit since National came to power.

      At least under Labour (for all their faults) the Middle Classes got Working for Families, Kiwisaver, and Kiwibank (which ultimately forced Australian-owned banks to reign in their bank fees. You should have been present when the manager of the ANZ tried to offer me a ‘sweetener’ not to close my accounts and go to Kiwibank!)

      And at least under Labour, we didn’t get this constant demonisation and vilification of an entire group in society.

      Tell me, Peter, that you don’t feel a wee bit uneasy about the current climate we’re in?

      And it’s not about “crying you a river”. Just consider that you and every other NZ worker, middle-manager, and upper manager, is only a redundancy-notice away from going on the dole yourself.

      Being a beneficiary is a life-lesson that you wouldn’t want to repeat. Trust me on that one.

  2. JAS 2

    If the national party really were committed to helping people acheive true independence, they would not have canned the proven Training Incentive Allowance for those really trying to acheive independence from the state.

    • Ms X 2.1

      Anyone remember apprenticeships? They’ve gone west(ie) too.

      • A Nonny Moose 2.1.1

        Who wants to be a lowly chippy or sparky when you can make all your money in being the site manager?

  3. Ianmac 3

    Frank: Succinct and powerful. Thanks.
    I do believe that John’s mother was not forced off the benefit to work once the youngest reached 6. She went with dignity when she was ready and able.
    Somehow John and Paula’s hypocrisy leaves them unscathed.

  4. Sally Ann 4

    You are so right. National, via the Prime Minister and the Minister charged with ensuring that those most vulnerable in our society are able to eek out an existence – Bully Bennett, have given every redneck New Zealander permission to slag off Beneficiaries all for the sake of Middle NZ swing votes.

    Vilifying and making all Beneficiaries out to be criminal-like is a sad and scary indictment of what this Government stands for … ‘kick ’em when they are down and keep them down and then smile at the rest and say “see we are being tough so vote for us” ‘. It amazes me how so many people are being sucked in by this legalised bullying by the very people who we have chosen to look after and grow our country.

    I like this comment posted in reply to Tapu Misa’s commentary about Paula Bennett’s ‘reforms’ ..

    “Paula Bennett holds herself up as a shining example of a success story.

    Single DPB mum raises a child that then gets arrested for alcohol issues. Would appear the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

    Said daughter then goes on to get pregnant at an early age while the father of the child who has gang connections is incarcerated.

    Well done Paula, well done for showing us that whilst you cant keep your own house in order, you think that you are an expert in doing it for everyone else.

    The hypocracy of this woman is unbelievable, and she holds the Child Youth and Families portfolio as well, what example is she setting to the most vulnerable in society? that double standards are ok?.

    She doesn’t know how to get it right for her own family, why should we trust her with everyone else’s?”

    Also remember, that Paula herself has said she holds herself up as a role model to Sole Parents mothers!!!! I think NOT.

    • Daveosaurus 4.1

      Surely Paula Bennett’s done enough on her own account to earn widespread disrepute without bringing her family into the discussion? Some of your comments show an almost Wishartian level of creepiness.

    • B 4.2

      I can’t say I agree with the implication that it’s Bennett’s job to ‘keep her house in order’ ie make sure her family are perfect model citizens. There are many factors which contribute to teenagers getting into situations like Bennett’s daughter (one example the gang culture in west auck) and this may come as a shock but its not always the mothers fault. I admire Bennett for getting to where she has but really really wish she hadn’t. I know National would have put the same policies through – it just seems like a sick joke to have a former solo mum doing the bashing.

  5. tc 5

    All this from someone who has never had a job in private enterprise going from benefits to taxpayer funded roles being carefully groomed by the Nat’s for one of the resident rottweiller roles.

    She’s just a moth drawn to the flame of money and power where she’s got plenty of mates like Collins/Tolley etc to encourage and boost her not insignificant ego.

    She’ll get alot more arrogant before the inevtiable fall and find that the pot of gold that was promised at the end of the rainbow’s actually a tincup alongside a graffiti ridden wall in west akl……what goes around people etc etc.

  6. Name 6

    There again I do know of a ‘beneficiary’ who has apparently been unable to work for 20 years because of a ‘sore finger’, and who is fairly unapologetic about living off the system. He lives in a beautiful, remote part of the country where there are few jobs anyway and spends his days fishing, hunting and ‘pottering’ in the garden. In short the taxpayer (including me) is supporting his choice of lifestyle and the one real marketable skill he has is knowing the relevant legislation inside out and backwards – far better than the average staff-member in Work and Income.

    He sees no ‘dignity’ in work. He doesn’t see why he should spend his life jumping to the whim of other, or making money for owners, managers or shareholders. Nor does he measure his worth in possessions or equate his value to his income. He lives simply but needs some cash, and the ‘state’ (or us) is (or are) kind or stupid enough to give it to him.

    Is Bennett right in wanting to force this guy into some mind-numbing, soul-destroying job for a few dollars a week?

    • quenchino 6.1

      He lives simply but needs some cash, and the ‘state’ (or us) is (or are) kind or stupid enough to give it to him.

      Frankly I don’t care. Our benefit system is incredibly mean and tightfisted as it is… if you’re happy to live on the pittance it doles out then good luck to you.

      I’d much rather pay a few percent of my tax towards these folk than have them in my face begging or worse still trying to hold down jobs they are hopeless at.

      • jcuknz 6.1.1

        As each wave of beneficiary bashing comes around it seems to usually when things are ‘tight’. For years I have seen no point in forcing those who apparently can happilly live on a benefit into paid empolyment, when we have hundreds if not thousands desparately trying to find work to regain the life style they prefer. The bene’s are to be commended in this situation for not depriving somebody else of a job. What little income they have goes to keep the ecconomy turning over which is another point in their favour.

    • B 6.2

      sore finger – good one : )

  7. The thing that really grates about her, amongst admittedly many things, is that she is going off for a 5 week self enhancement course on pay!!

    Where are all of the wingnuts complaining about this terrible waste of taxpayers money?

  8. Xtine 8

    John Key is a bean counter who, like most of his mates, dodges more tax in a week than someone on the dole gets in a year. People on benefits are not a drain on anyone- their income is all spent on consumables and goes straight back into the economy. It makes me so angry to hear the people who want to hand some of our most amazing public assets to their mates, who will strip the minerals out leave the taxpayers to clean up the mess, and take the profits offshore- call anyone bludgers.

  9. Joe Bloggs 9

    Xtine – “dodges more tax in a week than someone on the dole gets in a year”

    And your source for this gem is … what???

  10. Some maths, very, very round numbers only:

    50 million, earning, say, 5% = 2.5m taxable income. Lets say one million due in tax. If Key or his tax advisers can find a way to minimise that tax by a quarter, that’s a saving of $250K. Or enough to cover the UB for 12 people.

    So, on those numbers, it should have read “dodges more tax in a month than someone on the dole gets in a year’

    But if Key can find a way to pay no tax at all, which is the name of the game, then, on those numbers, the line “dodges more tax in a week than someone on the dole gets in a year’ is actually spot on.

    Anyone know how much tax Key actually pays in NZ?

  11. Jenny 11

    “The SUNDAY STAR TIMES article “Solo mum racks up 36 years on benefit’ (28 March), was a grubby piece of pseudo-journalism. The article was critical in it’s tone of an un-named woman who has cared for children for 36 years. The article failed on every level of professional journalism to ask the basic questions; What, How, Why, and Who.”

    How true, it reminds me of a similar case in the last National administration when they tried the same trick. The solo mother they chose to demonise for being on the DPB for many years, had been fostering and caring for unwanted and severely handicapped children often in difficult and trying circumstances, Social Welfare had even referred troubled children to her care.

    By reporting the bald fact of the length of this woman’s time on DPB in isolation and not supplying the “What, How, why and Who”, the Sunday Star Times trajectory to the gutter is well under way.

    • Frank Macskasy 11.1

      Jenny, not only do I remember that article – but actually TWO stories were written on that family. The first was in the late 1990s, and was pushed by ACT MP Muriel Newman. (I can’t give you a link to it cos I only have it on hard-copy – the media weren’t publishing online back in those dim, dark, days.) Both were published by the SST.

      As it turned out, subsequent questions revealed that the family in-question were indeed caring for children with disabilities.

  12. john 12

    When Paula Bennett gets tips from the War Criminal Colin Powell she may learn some Shock and Awe tactics which may be useful for dealing with lazy solo mothers! (The Eisenhower bullshit Corporation rip off method)This government is pathetic and stupid still trying the failed greed tactics of Reagan and Rogernomics.It’s so sick I could throw up!This so called government have the intellectual calibre of a beech crab except the latter is much less self important.Still! You pathetic Kiwis voted in Xmas for the Turkeys!

  13. john 13

    Paula will be learning about Corporate responsibility from Colin Powell and others. For those interested in American Corporate responsibility (Think of Bhopal in India as one example where profits and cutting costs come before the safety of people) refer this link http://carolynbaker.net/site/content/view/1590/1/

  14. john 14

    Another link illustrating American Corporate greed and criminality, the system John Key made his millions in as a money trader. The failed neo-liberal,Reagan,Rogernomics system he wants us to follow, a junk economics system,a ponzi scheme where the rich get richer and the workers get very little. the system Paula Bennett is going to America to learn how to practice and pay ideological obeisance to, the system we bow to to get a free trade agreement which will never happen!The system which has ruined America. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article25124.htm

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    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    4 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    4 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    4 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    5 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    5 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    6 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    6 days ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    7 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    7 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    1 week ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago

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