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Bill English thinks he was pro Springbok tour

Written By: - Date published: 8:51 am, January 20th, 2017 - 102 comments
Categories: bill english, john key, national, same old national - Tags: ,

Previous Prime Minister John Key could not recall what his views on the Springbok tour were, despite him being aged 19 at the time and despite it being the most dramatic local upheaval that had occurred in decades.

My strong sense that his pronounced view had been calculated within an inch of its life is strong.

New PM Bill English has a somewhat similar view but without the intense PR polishing that Key’s position had.

He thinks that he was probably for the tour.  The sense of calculation is high, the sense of honesty is very low.  It was such an intense divisive time I thought that all 19 year olds would have remembered clearly what they thought.

From Newshub:

The 1981 Springbok Tour provoked sporting and political civil war in New Zealand.

Families and friendships were divided and the country became a two nation state – those that were for the tour versus those against.

Now, Prime Minister Bill English admits he was “probably for it”.

“I was keen to see the tour happen – thought sport shouldn’t be mixed with politics.”

He seems to think that the tour increased his understanding of Maori issues.

“It helped persuade me particularly as a politician to be committed and spend time on the Maori related issues in New Zealand and I’m pretty satisfied about where that’s got to,” Mr English says.

Maybe that is an acknowledgment that he now believes the tour was wrong.

His comments suggest a vacuous superficial approach to the important issues that New Zealand has faced.  They are also pretty meh.  Disinterest rather than upset is my first response.

One thing is clear.  English is no John Key.  He is less polished and less calculated in his responses.

102 comments on “Bill English thinks he was pro Springbok tour ”

  1. James 1

    “One thing is clear. English is no John Key. He is less polished and less calculated in his responses.”

    It does not matter that he is not a John Key. It only matters that he is not an Andrew Little.

    That’s the choice voters will have.

    English would lose against Ket – but I’m fairly confident he will win against Little.

    • Carolyn_nth 1.1

      Although the election vote isn’t between the party leaders, but between the parties. Enough of the personality politics – Key was made too much of as the face of the party.

      Maybe with English as leader, voters will look more closely at policies, and actions, and how the rhetoric relates to the realities.

      Seems to me with his statements on the 1981 tour, English is stating similar views to many Kiwi conservatives – especially those into sports.

  2. Morrissey 2

    English was a well known member of the notoriously right wing Southland Society, which in 1981 was a rowdy (and usually drunken) pro-tour element on the Otago campus.

    It’s a measure of his character that the most he is prepared to admit is that he “thinks” he was pro-Tour.

    • + 1 yep – I distinctly remember abusing those pro-tour louts, (and they pretty well all looked like a young billy), when we marched against the tour in dunners.

      • Corokia 2.1.1

        I’m pretty sure I remember Michael Laws being one of the pro tour crowd at Otago Uni. The atmosphere on campus was tense and the pro rugby boys (and it was basically all male) were intimidating.

        • marty mars 2.1.1.1

          yep I lived under the saddle and wore my anti tour badge with pride at the rugby club. Very tense times and ended my playing and enjoyment of rugby days. Yet marching in dunners and welly filled me with such energy and determination. We believed, we took a stand and we didn’t buckle under extreme police and state provocation. We knew we weren’t alone and we knew we were on the side of justice. Those lessons can be learned by the younger today, those lessons and actions are needed today imho.

        • Morrissey 2.1.1.2

          the pro rugby boys

          You mean pro-apartheid rugby boys. Most of the anti-tour protestors were rugby fans, just not pro-apartheid rugby fans.

          • corokia 2.1.1.2.1

            Pro-tour then. They would never accept being called pro-apartheid, even though the pro-tour stance was supportive of an apartheid state.

            I knew a few anti-tour protestors who were pro-rugby, but to assume that “most” were rugby fans is a bit of a stretch. Seems like the typical Kiwi assumption that we all ‘love our rugby’ . Well I never have and I’m sick of such generalisations.

            Facing up to riot police while trying to march on Carisbrook was a scary experience for a 19 year old girl , but it was the right thing to do. Like marty, I think it gave me life long strength and determination to get out there and stand up for things I think matter.

            • Morrissey 2.1.1.2.1.1

              Fair comment, corokia. But whatever their actual proportion in the community, I dare say there was as high a proportion of rugby fans amongst the protestors as there was among the pro-tour mob.

    • Red Hand 2.2

      “thinking” he was pro-Tour might be personal reticence.

      “His personal reticence could have something to do with the unwelcome media attention he received last year when gay website GayNZ.com alleged in an article that one of his teenaged sons had posted abusive statements with homophobic overtones on Bebo. Bill reportedly called the allegations a “disgusting and sick attack” on his son. It was an issue which affected the whole family, many of whom share Bill’s desire for privacy, despite his public life.”

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10517639

  3. Cinny 3

    There are some moments in NZ history that you don’t forget. The ’81 Springbok tour is one of those moments, i was nine.

    Is this all the news that newshub could find to generate on the outgoing PM? By crikey there has been a huge absence of any national mps doing any actual work this year.

    All I’ve been seeing in the media is a massive amount of work being done by the opposition parties, but nada from the out going government. Just this lame as story via News Hub attempting to make the soon to be ex PM appear relevant. What a load of click bait crap from NewsHub.

  4. Enough is Enough 4

    “Maybe that is an acknowledgment that he now believes the tour was wrong”

    I think that is the sentiment of many pro tour people. It is possible to change one view in time. I know many people who didn’t think sport and politics should not mix, but with the benefit of hindsight agree that the tour should not have happened.

    I don’t think it is a sensible strategy to condemn everyone who supported a sporting tour 36 years ago, if in that intervening period they have changed their world view.

    • red-blooded 4.1

      I think that’s a fair call Enough is Enough, however I’d expect English (or anyone else) to front up and say, “I was pro-tour, but I realise now that I was wrong.” That would be an honest, honourable answer.

  5. whateva next? 5

    sport shouldn’t be mixed with politics? would you bring back the roman sport of gladiatorial games then? It would be cheaper than the All Blacks

    • Carolyn_nth 5.1

      John Key did a lot of mixing of politics and sport – using it for his own PR and to boost his popularity. Interesting that Bling sidesteps that approach in more recent times, and focuses on his learning about “Maori related issues.”

    • mickysavage 5.2

      Rugby was a cornerstone of the Apartheid system. Not selecting players because they were black and only allowing Maori to tour South Africa as “honorary whites” were examples of how awful the system was.

      If politics should be kept out of Court then Muldoon should have not signed the Gleneagles agreement. His subsequent breach of this trashed New Zealand’s international reputation.

      • Paul Campbell 5.2.1

        The “honorary white” thing was only at the end, earlier they simply banned Maori’s from touring at all and the NZRFU accepted that as valid – to me that says a lot

        Of course the NZRFU’s timing was always bad, they toured during the Sharpville massacre, and during the Soweto uprising … many people forget that in 1976 African nations boycotted the Olympics not because South Africa was there, but because New Zealand was, and the All Blacks had just toured SA

  6. Nick 6

    English is a classic politician, tell lies when it suits him, tell the truth when it suits him, and obfuscate when he doesn’t know whether to speak the truth or lie.

  7. Bill 7

    So he was a right prick of a kid who grew up to become a middle aged right wing prick. But along the way he might have learned something about Maori issues…maybe. And he’s got a little insight into what a prick of a kid he used to be…maybe.

    But stepping back for a moment.

    If anyone who fucks up is roundly condemned and dismissed because “wrong thoughts”, then there’s no avenue for them to move down. And the condemnation leaves everything entrenched and us all a bit fucked. And that same culture also acts as a barrier and prevents people from acknowledging any fuck ups they may make.

    Example from a discussion I was having the other day. Some years back, a friend put a learning module for kids together that sought to explain or demonstrate blood flow by suggesting that when skin is pinched it turns white. After the module went out, someone pointed out the inherent (and unintended) racism. But my friends boss sought to defend her by arguing that she (my friend) was a good person, a conscientious person, and so therefore could not possibly do anything racist. And so my friend (who was young at the time) while quietly acknowledging she’d fucked up, found that by acknowledging her unintentional racism, she was forced to doubt her own ‘goodness’, because good people (apparently) aren’t capable of being racist. Only bad people are racist.

    Hope I’ve explained that clearly enough to make the point.

  8. Brutus Iscariot 8

    Still flogging this horse?

    You’re like the old US cold warriors still harping on about the commies 35 years later.

    Time to move on. There’s only a tiny rump of NZ’ers who are interested now.

    • shorts 8.1

      its a wonderful character test – the answer given shows character or lack thereof – not by if they were pro or anti but in their ability to actually answer, given how badly the previous Prime Minister handled questions on his personal views about the tour…. it is now a “thing”

      deal with it

      • Puckish Rogue 8.1.1

        Its not a “thing”, the only people that care about the answer is the tragics for who the tour protests were the high points of their lives

        Most others couldn’t care less

        • McFlock 8.1.1.1

          lol

          I think you’ve just taken a character test closely associated with the one shorts described.

          • Puckish Rogue 8.1.1.1.1

            As I was around 7-8 years at the time it sort of passed over my head

            • McFlock 8.1.1.1.1.1

              About the same here, but I still care about whether the people who were old enough to give a damn, did.

              And I also care about whether our current leadership has the integrity to give a straight answer about their attitudes to those events, with the benefit of hindsight.

              • Puckish Rogue

                The question has become so politically loaded that any answer given will be criticized no matter whats said so I don’t blame English for his answer

                • If “any answer given” will be criticised, including that given by English, why wouldn’t he simply go with the truth, unspun?
                  ‘Coz, Tory?

                • McFlock

                  So why do tory pms seem to choose the response that receives criticism on the basis that they’re political cowards, rather than pandering to the majority or, even more shocking, simply telling the truth and showing integrity?

      • AB 8.1.2

        +1 Shorts.
        Taking the test myself and trying to be honest.
        I was anti-tour. But in hindsight I wish I had had the courage to be more active about it.

    • Yep – goes to character. Bill knows he was on the wrong side of history, so there’s a question of whether he has the integrity to own it publicly. The answer apparently is “No, he doesn’t.” Key’s blanket refusal to answer suggests even less integrity than Bill, but more cunning.

      It may have happened over 35 years ago, but for those who were around at the time it’s an excellent character test. Unfortunately for Key and English, they were both around at the time.

    • mickysavage 8.3

      It is the current response and the level of spin applied that is relevant.

      People’s views can change. How they present this says a lot about them.

      • Brutus Iscariot 8.3.1

        Of course he’s going to spin it.

        He knows it’s a “gotcha” question, why else would it be asked?

        • McFlock 8.3.1.1

          How is it a “gotcha” question?

          If he answers it honestly, and if he’s honestly not a jerk, it’s fine.

    • Tricledrown 8.4

      Thanks etu Brutus you have betrayed all your rwnj’s who harp on about Venezuela etc.
      Bill English is not that dumb and has cleared the Deck’s
      Rugby is a religion in this country and people have long memories .
      Labour Green’s have to make hay while the Sun shines.
      This issue is not going to change 1 voters intentions.
      Well said.

  9. Puckish Rogue 9

    How many people really care about that now?

    • DoublePlusGood 9.1

      People who care about integrity in one’s actions. It’s not about whether he supported the tour or not, it’s about whether he discusses his views honestly and with integrity. Those are supposed to be vital attributes in politicians (even if National have well proven otherwise)

  10. Paul 10

    I hour 20 minutes.
    The length of time it takes the trolls to get their lines for the day from their puppet master.
    Note the remarkable similarity between bi and pr’s messages (@8 and @9)

  11. …the trolls … get their lines for the day from their puppet master.

    Well, either that or there’s a fairly obvious response to this post from a right-wing perspective, and more than one right-winger made that response. But yeah, that “puppet master” thing seems a lot more likely…

  12. Tricledrown 12

    Its the economy stupid.
    The 1981 Tour lost Labour that election
    We are barking up the wrong tree.
    The Economy is ticking along smoothly.
    Labour has to focus on issues that will win votes.

    • Paul Campbell 12.1

      Labour gained seats in the ’81 election, National ended up with a majority of 1 (in a FPP election), remember it was Marilyn Waring crossing the floor over nuclear warships later that term that nominally brought them down.

    • red-blooded 12.2

      Tricledrown – “Labour” didn’t ask the question, and “Labour” aren’t discussing it. It was asked by a reporter and is being discussed by a group of people who think it’s worth discussing. Apparently, that includes you.

      I agree that this isn’t going to change people’s votes, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not worthy of discussion. The pro/anti-Tour issue definitely helps to give a sense of a person’s values if they were old enough to form their own views at that time, and so does the way that person has developed since then and “owns” this issue. As I said, above, I could respect someone who said they had been pro-Tour at the time but now realised they were wrong. Fudging the issue doesn’t impress me, though.

  13. Gabby 13

    I doubt if he gave much of a shit beyond appearing to fit in, which would be tricky in Dunedin in 1981.

    • Paul Campbell 13.1

      There were marches down the main street of Dunedin twice a week during the ’81 tour, people were arrested in the game at Carisbrook (who knew there was a law against more than one people blowing a whistle at a rugby game), the Carisbrook rugby posts were cut down, the airport was shut down, TV was shutdown during the Auckland test in the bottom half of the South Island.

      If he didn’t fit in it was because he was pro-apartheid

  14. Brutus Iscariot 14

    You should ask his opinion on the 1951 Waterfront Strike, and then dissect his answer to make a thread about it here.

    • Puckish Rogue 14.1

      To be fair the question worked out so well in the last debate between Clark and Key…

    • Wonderpup 14.2

      I shook the hand of a watersider on a picket line this very morning. To think that time simply evaporates issues around worker’s and human rights is inane. Its powerful to be in a left progressive heritage that stretches back to include generations of struggle.

  15. swordfish 15

    As a teenage geezer, I marched against the 81 Tour (and I know Mickey, 1Prent and a few other Standardistas did as well), but … and I hate to say it … I can’t help agreeing with our close and much-cherished Tory chums on this thread – we’re getting into flogging a dead horse territory here.

    Many New Zealanders were pro-Tour in 81 … particularly Nats, particularly rural folk and particularly Southlanders … so hardly a revelation.

    Indeed, too much attention on the matter could become counter-productive for the Left. Most voters really couldn’t give a shit what English thought 36 years ago and they might well view any current Opposition focus on the issue as both dangerously out-of-touch in election year and just possibly bordering on a little vindictive.

    After three successive Election defeats, it’s absolutely vital Labour and Greens escape the activist echo-chamber and immerse themselves in as deep a possible understanding of the issues most important to swing (and perhaps, non-) voters. I may be going out on an outrageous limb, here, but I’d suggest the rights and wrongs of the 1981 Springbok Tour ain’t one of them. Even if expanded into issues surrounding English’s current honesty and character – still Won’t resonate.

    Although I kept schtum at the time, I have to say I also thought the posts over recent years critical of Key’s rendition of his Tour views were pretty pointless too. Slight whiff of desperation and a kind of esoteric self-indulgence on the part of activists.

    Then again, if it’s just confined to a one-off post on The Standard purely to help motivate us ageing anti-Tour marchers at the start of a long election campaign – no probs and forget everything I just said (assuming you hadn’t already 🙂 ).

    • Puckish Rogue 15.1

      Careful swordfish that kind of treasonous talk can get you in trouble, next thing you know it’ll be..

    • Pat 15.2

      stop talking sense

    • Ad 15.3

      It’s such a baby-wee-warm-bath logic to be able to forget Takaparawha Day 501, and while we’re at it Waitangi Day and ANZAC Day and Labour Day and all that ewww stuff involving actual political contest and work – after all we haven’t had a good Maori versus the troops fight for a while what’s the point of complaining, or indeed a decent hundreds-dead overseas war for a while either so why ever bother naming and shaming politicians who took us to war, and hell what are unions for or marches in the street for anyway, right?

      Who the fuck needs memory or historical accountability anyway?

      Why don’t we just rid ourselves of all that hopey-changey stuff that the left has got its head kicked in for over two centuries like collective action against injustice and discrimination, and consign ourselves to fighting the election to things we don’t really need a memory or conscience for, like: consumer confidence, inflation, savings, and unemployment?

      Relax, and just let the whole of the past go. Let’s just leave all that silly stuff about the past for historians and people who give a damn about what actually formed this country in the first place.

      • swordfish 15.3.1

        As always … you excitedly grab hold of the wrong end of the stick (or should that be baton ?).

        It’s Election Year … and I’m talking tactics (with the average swing-voter in mind) … not the moral rights and wrongs of the 1981 Springbok Tour. I know it’s tempting but try putting aside your virtue signalling just for a moment. Like I said, … at the tender age of 17, … I marched against the Tour, put my body on the line against a pretty vicious Red / Blue Squad (and indeed wider Police Force) and I’m proud of it.

        ” … or indeed a decent hundreds-dead overseas war for a while either so why ever bother naming and shaming politicians who took us to war”

        Blimey ! This from someone who appears to be closely associated with the local Clintonista Cold War Warrior brigade – an unusually gutless little band of Establishment shills practically frothing at the mouth for the outbreak of WWIII (chicken-hawks that they are).

        Much of the rest of your comment was bordering on incoherent.

        • Pat 15.3.1.1

          or is he playing devils advocate…hard to tell with Ad.

          • Morrissey 15.3.1.1.1

            “I was playing devil’s advocate” is invariably the response—he would call it a riposte—of Jim Mora on the rare occasion one of his guests challenges one of his complacent right wing statements.

        • mickysavage 15.3.1.2

          I didn’t spend much time on the post.

          It is not a campaign weapon as such. It is an analysis of how National politicians respond to questions of what they did at a younger age.

          English’s attempt was not too bad. Key’s response used to really annoy. I guess that I am somewhat sensitive because I was born just after Key and just before English and I damn well know what my attitude to the tour was.

          • Carolyn_nth 15.3.1.2.1

            I think for a lot of left wingers who were old enough in the 1980s, the 1981 tour and protests were a significant moment in NZ history (a rupture and challenge to the establishment). Maybe not so much for conservatives.

    • tc 15.4

      +100 swordfish

      How about focusing on the bs he’s dished out as a major player in the hollowing out of our economy.

      Fiscally neutral tax cuts, balanced budgets, asset sale proceeds etc

      Ffs move on people and grab the initiative

    • Hanswurst 15.5

      I agree that it lacks real relevance or impact. Additionally, I can’t really see the point of trying to hang the label of a bumbling incompetent on English, simply because he manifestly isn’t one. In terms of his answer and is being less polished than Key’s, it’s six of one and half-a-dozen of the other, as far as I’m concerned. Neither is a brilliant answer (and Key came in for limited and fruitless lambasting over it, just as is happening / will happen to English — how quickly we forget), but nor is either especially bad.

      More importantly, I think that criticising National over a lack of political slickness is a bad tactic for the left, engaging in a fight that it will not win, because the idea of progressivism is about something else. By all means, try to be as slick as possible, but trying too hard to exploit the slightest hint of unvarnished spin perfection from the Right will simply distract from the issues where their massive financial and PR assets don’t give them such a disproportionate advantage.

  16. Ant 16

    English:

    “I was an enthusiastic supporter of the Springbok tour. The NZ resistance opened my eyes to the reality of apartheid and also to the admirable conscience of my fellow Kiwis. I’ve certainly grown since then.”

    Why is that such an impossible response for a politician? Would it really cost a million votes?

    • It’s difficult for a right-wing politician to answer, which is why Brutus Iscariot calls it a “gotcha” question further up.

      Most people these days accept that it was wrong to help maintain Apartheid, which is effectively what the tour supporters were doing. So English won’t want to admit to being one of them.

      But there’s still a sizeable National-voting constituency out there who were also tour supporters and still believe they were right, not to mention a lot of South Africans who fled here following the demise of Apartheid. So English can’t say supporting the tour was wrong without alienating his support base.

      That leaves him with not a lot to say, unless he values personal integrity more than he values staying on-message.

      • Paul Campbell 16.1.1

        I think it’s only a “gotcha” question if you’re trying to do that mealy-mouthed thing of trying to appease the morally wrong people who still think that supporting apartheid was the right thing to do

      • Brutus Iscariot 16.1.2

        Yes, it’s the “when did you stop beating your wife” question of NZ politics.

        • Paul Campbell 16.1.2.1

          Only for National trying to appease their right wing racist voters (not all their voters, but a significant minority they depend on to get elected) – Helen was openly proud to have been anti-tour

        • Psycho Milt 16.1.2.2

          Meh. At one time, left-wing politicians would have had trouble answering an enquiry as to whether they’d viewed Stalin favourably, because a truthful answer wouldn’t have reflected well on them. Being on the wrong side of history is a bugger.

      • Robert Guyton 16.1.3

        “That leaves him with not a lot to say, unless he values personal integrity more than he values staying on-message.”

        Qft

  17. BM 17

    Yes Apartheid was bad I think everyone gets that.

    Nothing has changed though, South Africa is still a racist shit hole the only difference is that it’s the blacks holding the whip and the whites getting persecuted.

    There’s absolutely no future for white people in South Africa, the government has made that very clear, given the opportunity all white South Africans would be gone in a heartbeat if they could.

  18. Sabine 18

    God the double dipper form Dipton is fucking bore.

    He can’t remember what he supported in 1981 and he may have or have not changed his mind about what he can’t really remember from 1981 and please fucking vote for me.

    Yeah, fucking right Tui.

    • james 18.1

      “God the double dipper form Dipton is fucking bore.”

      But then again so is “Angry ‘I wear contacts now’ Andy”.

      Good thing is English has proven a safe set of hands (most people polled say that the economy is going in the right direction).

      Given the choice of the borings ones – I pick an English win.

      • Robert Guyton 18.2.1

        Pucky – you are to be congratulated for having ceased the continual droning you used to do, big noting Key and National, handing them the victory you were certain they’d already won, etc. At least now you’ve a modicum of good manners here. Sad though, that James has taken up your bilious blue baton and is parroting <ad nauseam the very same message that you wore out so boringly.James is the new Pucky. Ho and hum. How very, very dull.

      • alwyn 18.2.2

        That is just a rogue poll. The truth is nothing like that.
        People (Labour Party insiders) have told me in confidence that the Labour Party internal polling has Labour at 37%, the Greens at 19% and National down to 29%. They know because Andy has told them.
        Mind you he did read the results without his glasses on. Everything looks better if it is totally blurred.
        Andrew is going to release the numbers on Monday.

  19. Tamati Tautuhi 19

    Amazing the Double Dipper and JK can’t really remember whether they supported the Springbok Tour or not, and these guys are running the country?

  20. Key’s would be impossible for most people to read, being written in Parseltongue, ‘n’all.

    • BM 20.1

      Parseltongue?, I hadn’t realised snakes had gotten around to putting their language to paper.

      On a Harry Potter theme, maybe English is one of Keys Horcruxes through which he’ll live on?

  21. English is a muggle.

  22. Peter Dunne is Dobby.

  23. Judith Collins, Aragog.

  24. So, who is J.K.Rowling?

    • alwyn 24.1

      “So, who is J.K.Rowling”
      Wasn’t he the one who succeeded Norman Kirk as leader of the Labour Party?
      The one described as “a shiver looking for a spine to run up” by Muldoon, who then beat the hell out of him 3 times in a row?
      Or was that perhaps another Rowling?

  25. Seems you know very little about Bill Rowling, alwyn, or at least you seem to hold to the shallowist description of him. If you were to be described as a J.K.Rowling character, would you be a cashier at Gringotts?

    • alwyn 25.1

      “you know very little about Bill Rowling”.
      Really? I presume you are talking about Wallace Rowling, or don’t you know his real name?
      I just listed enough about him for even a semi-literate person to recognise who I meant.
      Is there anything I said that was wrong? He was described that way, and he did lose 3 times against Piggy didn’t he? I could go on at enormous length about his career if you like but, given you don’t even appear to know his real name it would be rather a waste of effort.
      Actually I tend to favour the view that both Rowling and Muldoon were in the wrong parties. Rowling would have been far better suited to National and Muldoon was a typical Labour Party bully-boy of the time.

      As far as the fantasy characters of the Potter books I haven’t any idea. I have never read any of them. They are children’s books aren’t they any therefore I am long past bothering with them. That is not to say you shouldn’t stay with them. If you enjoy them keep reading them.

  26. Rob 27

    I was pro tour , I was 8.

  27. English 28

    It does not matter that he is not a John Key. It only matters that he is not an Andrew Little.

  28. DS 29

    The problem with Key isn’t that he was pro-Tour. Half the country was pro-Tour in 1981. Had Key just said “I was pro-Tour, I was wrong, let’s move on,” no-one would bother with it (no-one gave Jim Bolger a hard time during the All Blacks/Springbok matches in 1996, despite Bolger actually being in the Muldoon cabinet fifteen years earlier). The problem with Key was that he chose to *lie* about his stance.

    There is no issue with English here. Yes, he was pro-Tour, but as I said before, so was half the country. He’s prepared to admit it. Let’s move on.

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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Government welcomes Climate Change Commission advice on agricultural pricing system
    The Government has welcomed advice from the Climate Change Commission assessing readiness in the agricultural sector for an emissions pricing system.     This is the second piece of advice from the Climate Change Commission on agricultural emissions pricing, following its report in May on potential assistance to farmers and growers participating ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • National bowel screening campaign a lifesaver
    Associate Ministers of Health Peeni Henare and Aupito William Sio have today launched a national multimedia campaign encouraging people to take part in the Government’s lifesaving bowel screening programme. “Our Government is committed to ensuring that every New Zealander gets the best possible healthcare no matter where they live or ...
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    11 hours ago
  • Alastair Carruthers appointed as Chair of the New Zealand Film Commission
    Alastair Carruthers has been appointed as Chair of the New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC) with his term starting 1 October 2022, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “Alastair brings significant leadership experience, a wealth of film and screen sector knowledge, and a necessary understanding of the ...
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    12 hours ago
  • Aotearoa NZ responds to COVID-19 in Niue
    Aotearoa New Zealand is sending a medical team and supplies to Niue to help it respond to new cases of COVID-19, following the opening of its border to quarantine-free travel last week. Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare have announced a Medical Assistance Team will head to ...
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    1 day ago
  • Govt boosts digital skills for over 30,000 small businesses
    More than 30,000 small businesses have participated in Government-funded digital training, which supports businesses to take advantage of digital tools and new opportunities through e-commerce, Minister for Small Business Stuart Nash announced today. “Over the last two years, many business owners had no option but to move to digital platforms ...
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    1 day ago
  • Crown accounts reflect Government’s balanced fiscal management
    The latest Crown Accounts show a solid result, despite challenging international conditions – reflecting the Government’s careful management of the books. For the eleven months to the end of May 2022 the Operating Balance before Gains and Losses (OBEGAL) deficit was $7.7 billion, $5.5 billion below that forecast in May’s ...
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    1 day ago
  • Government action to tackle delays in Family Court
    New legislation aimed at tackling delays in the family justice system, will help improve the wellbeing of thousands of children caught up in Family Court disputes every year, Justice Minister Kiri Allan says. The Family Court (Family Court Associate) Legislation Bill will see a number of Family Court Associates employed ...
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    1 day ago
  • Minister to meet all rural and provincial councils
    New Associate Minister of Local Government Kieran McAnulty is today beginning a series of visits to all of the 55 rural and provincial councils across the motu. “Local government plays a crucial role in our democratic system, ensuring people have a voice in the leadership of their community,” Kieran McAnulty ...
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    1 day ago
  • Imports of Russian gold banned
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta and Minister for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor have announced that Aotearoa New Zealand will ban the import of Russian gold. “Today’s decision further signals Aotearoa New Zealand’s condemnation of Russia’s flagrant violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty,” Nanaia Mahuta said. “It underscores our intention of ensuring ...
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    2 days ago
  • New Public Health services to improve health for all Kiwis
    The rollout of the new nationwide health system continued today with the launch of the country’s first national public health system to fight disease and promote healthy lives. The Public Health Agency will lead and co-ordinate population and public health policy, strategy and regulation, while the national Public Health ...
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    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister to lead trade mission to Australia
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will lead a trade mission including over 30 New Zealand businesses to Melbourne and Sydney this week as part of the Government’s reconnection strategy to support export growth and the return of tourists post COVID-19. While in Sydney, Jacinda Ardern will also give an address to ...
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    2 days ago
  • Applications now open for new work visa holders from offshore
    Final stage of Accredited Employer Work Visa goes live today Offshore migrants can apply to work in New Zealand for an accredited employer Partners and dependents of work visa applicants can also apply for visas from today New Zealand has taken another significant step forward in our Reconnecting plan ...
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    2 days ago
  • Better and fairer access to legal assistance
    Raising eligibility thresholds will provide a helping hand to more than 90,000 New Zealanders currently denied access to legal aid, Justice Minister Kiri Allan says. “The Government is committed to driving through legislative changes to strengthen our legal aid system. “Enshrining changes in legislation and regulations is necessary to give ...
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    2 days ago
  • Diplosphere Conference 2022
    Mihi Manawa maiea te pūtanga o Matariki Manawa maiea te ariki o te rangi Manawa maiea te mātahi o te tau! Thank you for the invitation to join you today. Unfortunately I can’t be there in person but I'm pleased that this is an opportunity for young Māori and ...
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    3 days ago
  • Strengthening NZ-UK people, science and trade connections
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern met UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson in London overnight, and together took a number of steps to strengthen the already close ties between our two countries, and promote our common interests in the Indo-Pacific and beyond. “The UK is one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s oldest and closest friends and ...
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    4 days ago
  • Joint Statement – Prime Ministers Jacinda Ardern and Boris Johnson
    Building a more secure, sustainable and prosperous future together: Joint Statement – Prime Ministers Jacinda Ardern and Boris Johnson 1. New Zealand and the United Kingdom are old friends and close partners. Our relationship rests on a bedrock of history, shared values, and deep people-to-people links, extending across almost all ...
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    4 days ago
  • PM’s Chatham House
    Director Sir Robin Niblett, distinguished guests. What an honour it is to be back in London, and to be here at Chatham house. This visit represents much for me. The reopening of borders and resumption of travel after a difficult few years. The chance to bring life to the UK ...
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    4 days ago
  • Otago Foreign Policy School, opening address
    Manawa maiea te pūtanga o Matariki Manawa maiea te ariki o te rangi Manawa maiea te mātahi o te tau! Introduction I’m pleased to join you for my second address at the 56th Annual Otago Foreign Policy School.  The topic for this year is Space. Given that we are in ...
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    5 days ago
  • Government launches new Ministry of Disabled People
    New Ministry will officially be called Whaikaha - Ministry of Disabled People Public Service Commission have appointed Geraldine Woods as Interim Chief Executive Office for Disability Issues to be folded into the new Ministry In what is a milestone day, the Government has launched Aotearoa New Zealand’s first Whaikaha ...
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    5 days ago
  • Further Investment to support rangatahi to overcome barriers to employment
    Nine new He Poutama Rangatahi programmes have been approved funding.  These programmes will provide work-readiness, training and employment initiatives for over 820 rangatahi NEETS (not in education, employment or training), across Aotearoa New Zealand.  "He Poutama Rangatahi has proven to be a very successful initiative which supports rangatahi to overcome ...
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    5 days ago
  • Crown appointments to Ihumātao Steering Committee
    Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson today announced the appointment of Crown representatives, Dr Charlotte Severne and Mr Bernie O’Donnell, to the Steering Committee that will determine the future of the Ihumātao land.   “I’m pleased to have made the Crown appointments. Both Dr Severne and Mr O’Donnell have extensive ...
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    5 days ago
  • Health Minister Andrew Little's address to first joint meeting of the boards of Te Whatu Ora &#...
    I begin by thanking each of you for accepting appointment to these boards. You’ve each been on the Ministerial committee that established Te Whatu Ora - Health New Zealand and Te Aka Whai Ora - the Māori Health Authority and I express my appreciation for the enormous task you collectively ...
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    5 days ago
  • Hong Kong National Security Law
    Aotearoa New Zealand has reiterated its concerns over the continued erosion of rights, freedom and autonomy in Hong Kong. On the second anniversary of the introduction of the Hong Kong National Security Law, the Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta says developments in Hong Kong remain a cause for worry. “Two years ...
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    5 days ago
  • Europol Agreement will assist New Zealand law enforcement in tackling serious crime
    The Europol Agreement signed is a significant milestone for New Zealand and the European Union’s relationship, and reflects our shared principles of democracy, the rule of law, and respect for human rights, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said today. The Prime Minister attended a signature ceremony in Brussels, as part of ...
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    5 days ago
  • New era for better health in Aotearoa New Zealand
    ·       New nationwide public health system ·       20 district health boards disestablished and deficits wiped ·       82,000 health employees directly employed by Health New Zealand ·       $24 billion health budget this year – up 43% since Labour took office in 2017 – in addition to separate funding for the new ...
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    5 days ago
  • New chairs appointed to the Teaching Council and Te Kura
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins has announced appointments to the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand and the Board of Trustees of Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu (Te Kura). “Robyn Baker ONZM has been appointed as the chair of the Teaching Council. She has considerable governance experience and is a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Joint media release on the occasion of the meeting between European Commission President von der Ley...
    European Commission President von der Leyen and Prime Minister of New Zealand Ardern met in Brussels on 30 June 2022. The encounter provided an opportunity to reaffirm that the European Union and Aotearoa New Zealand are longstanding partners with shared democratic values and interests, aligned positions on key international and ...
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    6 days ago
  • New Zealand secures major free trade deal with European Union
    Export revenue to the EU to grow by up to $1.8 billion annually on full implementation. Duty-free access on 97% of New Zealand’s current exports to the EU; with over 91% being removed the day the FTA comes into force. NZ exporters set to save approx. $110 million per annum ...
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    6 days ago
  • Biggest Year for Clean Cars on Record
    57,000 EVs and Hybrid registered in first year of clean car scheme, 56% increase on previous year EVs and Non Plug-in Hybrids made up 20% of new passenger car sales in March/April 2022 The Government’s Clean Car Discount Scheme has been a success, with more than 57,000 light-electric and ...
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    6 days ago
  • Police Wing 355 includes the highest ever proportion of Wāhine Māori
    Police Minister Chris Hipkins congratulates the newest Police wing – wing 355 – which graduated today in Porirua. “These 70 new constables heading for the frontline bring the total number of new officers since Labour took office to 3,303 and is the latest mark of our commitment to the Police ...
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    6 days ago
  • New RBNZ board takes up role from 1 July
    Members with a range of governance, financial and technical skills have been appointed to the Reserve Bank Board as part of the shift to strengthen the Bank’s decision-making and accountability arrangements. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act 2021 comes into force on 1 July 2022, with the establishment of ...
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    6 days ago
  • New measures to help manage COVID-19 as country stays at Orange
    New Zealand to remain at Orange as case numbers start to creep up 50 child-size masks made available to every year 4-7 student in New Zealand 20,000-30,000 masks provided a week to all other students and school staff Extra funding to schools and early childhood services to supports better ...
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    6 days ago
  • NZ to join International Court of Justice case against Russia
    Aotearoa New Zealand will join Ukraine’s case against Russia at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which challenges Russia’s spurious attempt to justify its invasion under international law. Ukraine filed a case at the ICJ in February arguing Russia has falsely claimed genocide had occurred in Luhansk and Donetsk regions, as ...
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    6 days ago
  • New advisory group provides enduring Māori expertise for Te Aorerekura delivery
    The Government has taken another step forward in its work to eliminate family violence and sexual violence with the announcement today of a new Tangata Whenua Ministerial Advisory Group. A team of 11 experts in whānau Māori wellbeing will provide the Government independent advice on shaping family violence and sexual ...
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    7 days ago
  • Making work better for Kiwi women
    Te Mahere Whai Mahi Wāhine: Women’s Employment Action Plan was launched today by Minister for Women Jan Tinetti – with the goal of ensuring New Zealand is a great place for women to work. “This Government is committed to improving women’s working lives. The current reality is that women have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago