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Bill English unaware that GST is a tax shock!

Written By: - Date published: 11:25 am, June 26th, 2016 - 69 comments
Categories: bill english, gst, tax - Tags: , , , , ,

There’s no lie like an old lie:

A table from Finance Minister Bill English’s office shows 663,000 households – or 40 per cent – receive more in tax credits and other benefits than they pay in tax. Thousands more are neutral contributors, or are close to it.

An old lie oft repeated: 40% of households paying no net tax.

Maybe I’m too cynical to call this a politically convenient lie. Perhaps Bill English is genuinely unaware that GST is a tax that everyone pays. But now that we’ve cleared that up, hey Bill, how do the calculations look when you factor GST in?

69 comments on “Bill English unaware that GST is a tax shock!”

  1. Pasupial 1

    It’s not just GST being omitted either, does this putative taxfree percentage include; ACC, fuel taxes, import tariffs (plus any other skimmings that go into governtment slush funds). And these supposed “benefits”, do they include; NAct MPs salaries, limosines & helicopters; private prisons & hospital food; and irrigation schemes for cow farmers?

    If so, that is akin to; calling a slave’s whipping, a perk of the job.

    • Lanthanide 1.1

      Don’t forget alcohol and cigarette excise taxes, which surely all these lowlife beneficiaries are spending all their ill-gotten gains on.

      • Greg 1.1.1

        Think when TPPA kicks in with no tariffs, custom duties=+GST, etc,

        Bill will have to swap all these to Sales Tax, or introduce a differentiated GST, probably using a sugar tax to piggy back the new GST tax system on for it.
        Just as to soften up the peasantry for more silver to extort.

        Government cant afford to lose tax revenue because its linked to there debt payments 10 year cycle.

        Bill understand tax, most farmers pay little, except to councils,
        they get their GST refunded.

    • Bearded Git 1.2

      Some of those people will own houses/property and pay local body rates too, which is a tax.

      • Greg 1.2.1

        National really believe in there own bullshit propaganda, thats the irony,
        and why they can say pretty much anything now with a straight face.
        And the media print it as fact.

        Any Farms as registered GST businesses get all costs back.

        • Molly 1.2.1.1

          Bill English knows very well how much PAYE tax farmers pay:

          Inland Revenue Department figures provided to Labour MP Stuart Nash show the average tax paid by dairy farmers in the 2008/09 year was NZ$1,508, despite the average Fonterra payout being over NZ$500,000, the Dominion Post reported.

          Finance Minister Bill English this morning moved to defend farmers who were operating within the rules, saying that year was particularly bad in terms of a low Fonterra payout, but signalled changes will be made in tomorrow’s budget to “specifically tighten the taxation of farmers further,” although he would not go into more detail.

          May 2011 – interest.co.nz

    • Ralf Crown 1.3

      Add all user pay, and the heavily loaded electricity bill, water bill, rates, etc.

  2. KJT 2

    Bill English is perfectly aware of what net taxes comprise.

    Welfare to Sky city, banks and Dairy farms and the effect on the tax take from those on low incomes of GST, hidden taxes and charges do not fit the narrative, so they are simply ignored.

    Only 1 in 6 people read past the headlines. http://www.getspokal.com/if-you-only-read-one-post-about-headlines-read-this-one/

    National’s PR team are perfectly well aware of this.

    Hence all the headlines with “John Key says”.

    • Pasupial 2.1

      KJT

      I see what you did there. Clever, but the 2006 copyblogger site that your link in turn links to as reference, only says:

      Here are some interesting statistics.

      On average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest.

      Interesting isn’t the same as accurate.

      This Slate article is hopefully both (I got to the end, but only because I skipped most of the middle except the graphs):

      http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/technology/2013/06/how_people_read_online_why_you_won_t_finish_this_article.html

      • KJT 2.1.1

        Except I got the 1 in 6 from several references including some journal ones as well.
        As always I do not rely on just one source.

        • Pasupial 2.1.1.1

          I thought you were demonstrating your point that only a small proportion read past the headlines by; typing “1 in 6”, but linking to an article that says 1 in 5 (if you read past the headline).

          Either proportion is suspect to me because; they are only reported to one significant figure, and make no mention of who the study group is.

  3. Ross 3

    Bill English and David Farrar are honest and sincere on this issue. Yeah nah.

    http://pundit.co.nz/content/tax-burdens-some-facts-for-a-change

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      Ah, Blinglish and National lying again.

    • miravox 3.2

      Very informative, and that’s only on the income tax arithmetic. Ta for the link.

      This group earns 30% of the income, has 50% or more of the wealth, and pays 43% of the net tax. Is that an outrage?

      Now for the real top income/wealth earners, adding in the GST component and including other user-based taxes…

  4. Ross 4

    Susan Edmunds doesn’t even understand basic stats. 1 in 4 equals 25%, not 40%. Moreover, she doesn’t give readers the courtesy of viewing English’s table, so it can’t be checked for accuracy.

    More than one in four households are contributing nothing to New Zealand’s tax take.

    A table from Finance Minister Bill English’s office shows 663,000 households – or 40 per cent – receive more in tax credits and other benefits than they pay in tax.

  5. stunned mullet 5

    English is a career trougher and a mendacious git.

    i would direct anyone interested to the first graph in the attached link…

    http://www.ird.govt.nz/aboutir/external-stats/revenue-refunds/revenue-collected/

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1

      I, Simon William English, being chosen and admitted of the Executive Council of New Zealand, swear that I will to the best of my judgement, at all times, when thereto required, freely give my counsel and advice to the Governor-General for the time being, for the good management of the affairs of New Zealand. That I will not directly nor indirectly reveal such matters as shall be debated in Council and committed to my secrecy, but that I will in all things be a true and faithful Councillor. So help me God.

      Has Section 110 of the Crimes Act ever been invoked? It should be. Sweep the lying dogshit out of the House.

  6. AmaKiwi 6

    So why isn’t Grant Robertson calling him a liar?

    Wake up, Grant. You’re supposed to be Labour’s finance spokesperson.

    • Ross 6.1

      To be fair, the article was published only this morning. 🙂

    • One Anonymous Bloke 6.2

      Why didn’t the journalist check the liar’s assertions? Is she a little bit shit at being a journalist much?

      “Senior Cabinet Minister gets caught lying again”.

    • infused 6.3

      Grant’s still going through his Economics 101 books.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 6.3.1

        …and when he’s finished them, he’ll know more about economics than Double Dipton.

  7. Keith 7

    Is he finally acknowledging that our housing investors who are some of the most financially comfortable are not only paying no tax as they bludge off the taxpayer claiming tax deductions on their property investments, but they are also being paid to line their own pockets at our expense?

    Or will he tilt it at Nationals favourite strawmen the unemployed or solo parent beneficiary?

    And anyway Key has us set up nicely as a tax haven so isn’t this to be applauded?

  8. It’s quite deliberate. If this wasn’t about mendacious propaganda, they’d trouble themselves to put the word “income” ahead of the word “tax” because to do otherwise is misleading.

    I get why Bill English issues mendacious propaganda, but don’t have any explanation for why professional journalists just publish it without correcting him.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      I get why Bill English issues mendacious propaganda, but don’t have any explanation for why professional journalists just publish it without correcting him.

      Because the ‘professional’ journalists haven’t got a friggen as to what they’re talking about. Can’t pull someone up on their lies when you’re an ignoramus.

  9. seeker 9

    What about the emissions tax which landed on every unit of electricity I used on July 1, 2010 I think. I am still paying it as far as I know, and I believe farmers and industries/businesses not so much.

  10. NZJester 10

    They have always tried to deny G.S.T. is a tax.
    There was that time when they moved the tax burden more onto the poor by lowering P.A.Y.E. but then upping G.S.T. to pay for it effectively hitting the poor harder than the rich. At the time they tried to claim then G.S.T. was not a tax even though its full name is Goods and Services Tax. Unless you were in the higher wage brackets like most National supporters you lost out big time in the tax swap.
    That is what actually helped start us more quickly down the road to an increase in the working poor as the extra money from the reduction in P.A.Y.E. was very small compared to the increase in the amount of G.S.T. added to most people’s basic weekly needs like housing, food, and transport.
    The copper line tax to pay for the ultra-fast broadband that is being charged to us using ADSL still is also a bit of a ripoff as we are subsidising others to have faster broadband than us. It is sort of the poor paying for the rich again too.

  11. Greg 11

    Lets look at this another way.

    Bill and Key, claim workers and household incomes are rising on their economic performance,
    They have made this claim repeating in Parliament.

    Is this statement an admission that 40% of workers and household incomes are not rising?

    Its a serious breach of Parliamentary rules for MPs to lie in Parliament.

  12. Graeme 12

    And in the other rag today, this can of worms / chalice of electoral suicide,
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11663459

    Looks like there’s going to be an all out assault next week. Having a crack at Working for Families and pensioners

    • Draco T Bastard 12.1

      Our superannuation scheme is a brilliant example of a UBI in practice.

      • Graeme 12.1.1

        Yeah, and quite a substantial one too. The political challenge is how it’s modified to become universal, without absolutely shafting some sectors, like young families and the elderly. Once it’s entrenched and society adjusts we could be in a very good place, but getting there does my head in. I’m not far away from it myself, and the way it changes my thinking around what we could do in our business makes me very interested in a UBI from an entrepreneurial and creative perspective.

        WFF and NZ Super are political minefields for any government who tries to cut them back, and will affect a lot of mobile voters. I really can’t see the current lot having the balls to go there.

        Another distraction?

    • b waghorn 12.2

      That’s why we should take on the Maori parties policy of people being able to retire any were from 60 to 70 , the earlier you retire the less your pension is , and if you work to 70 you get more.

      • Gabby 12.2.1

        Sort of a punishment for those bastard manual workers, then.

        • b waghorn 12.2.1.1

          I’m a bastard manual worker and if my body is buggered by 60 (which is looking likely) I’d rather have the option of getting the pension than having to go pump gas on the night shift .
          I’m planning on working till I’m dead if I can but plans and what happens can be two entirely different things.

    • Greg 12.3

      People getting Super and working pay 30% tax on extra earnings.

      With high youth unemployment why make people work until they are dead,
      then wonder why their is a skill shortage.

      Immigration isnt a economic factor when immigrant arrive in NZ with qualifications employers wont recognize.

      Good for employers paying minimum wage ad lower.

  13. mosa 13

    I tell you what Bill English is very aware of and thats the fact that corporates DONT pay their fair share of tax in this country.
    He would rather steal it from hard working and destitute kiwis than enforce the hugely wealthy too pay their contribution to our society.
    He prefers to cut back on a kiwisaver kickstart to incentivise people too save for retirement and not increase the employer contribution too make it just that bit more equitable like the Aussie super scheme does for Australians.
    Or review the tax paid on kiwisaver contributions and do the right thing and eliminate it.
    And the unfairness of paying GST on our rate payments to local councils.
    Or reduce the huge amount of tax paid on the fuel we put in our cars.
    But Bill English is a lot of things but being progressive and fair and equitable is not among them.
    Protecting donors and influential friends by keeping the status quo the National party and their friends love so much is all you can ever expect if you vote for these people.
    And they consider themselves New Zealanders !!!!

    • Greg 13.1

      You can bet most employers are signing up the 167k working visa holders in the county. IRD should have a figure on rejected Kiwisaver applications. You can bet the employers keep the 300$ sign up grant

  14. Jack Ramaka 14

    The majority of NZers are being booted down the garden path, however they don’t actually realize.

  15. b waghorn 15

    I’ve been reliable informed by a national voter that poor people can avoid gst by growing veges and getting stuff from opshops , so national s disciples will swallow englishs’ lines hook line and sinker.

  16. Smilin 16

    The right always contend they represent the people by addressing every political situation as if they have worked it all out before they go into political double speak to explain it ,but in fact very rarely do and they don’t have any real justification to do what they do but go ahead with their department of coercion and lobbying plus the media and CT working flat out shutting down any rights the masses have to question the validity of the govts position or decisions
    Like this govt should have been gone by lunch time last election but it just shows how corrupted the voters thinking is in believing any of the shit this govt does is ultimately good for this country in say 30 yrs
    apart from dealing with what any govt would have had to fix in the last 8 yrs the majority of their governance has been to keep the working masses from being able to seen their way to what used to be possible to earn in housing education and a sense of nationality which applied to all

  17. infused 17

    I’ve been harping on for a tax-free threshold on here for years.

    Working for families is wasteful. Someone needs to cost out scrapping these benefits vs lowering tax and creating a tax-free threshold (think up to 8-10k).

    This is better for everyone.

    • Pat 17.1

      do the numbers…WFF costa around 2.8 billion per annum and is targeted by income to those likely in need (and is temporary in nature)..whereas an across the board tax free threshold of 10k would cost approx 3.8 billion in lost revenue and is provided whether needed or not (and is permanent)

      we could increase taxation in other areas to make up the one billion plus shortfall (likely in the immediate next band) in revenue or we could reduce public service provision.

      better for everyone?

      • Molly 17.1.1

        “is targeted by income to those likely in need (and is temporary in nature)”

        Not really. It is a blunt instrument that was created in order to assuage those “worthies” who were feeling the pinch, that something was being done.

        Read the articles about this couple who own a business mortgage free that gives them a low enough personal income to get WFF.

        “Orchid growers Joe and Annemieke Sonneveld have received $20,000 from Working for Families in some years because, with six children, they qualified for partial subsidies as long as they earned less than $172,425.

        Even with their eldest, 17-year-old Suzanne, now at Manukau Institute of Technology, they still received partial subsidies on income up to $148,991 before the Budget.

        The Budget decisions to claw back the tax credits at a faster rate of 25c in each $1 above $35,000 a year will cut their family support drastically, but Mr Sonneveld is not worried.

        “I’m happy with the higher incomes being targeted for less family support,” he said. “That’s a good move – people who can afford less Government help will feel it, and I’m quite happy … Lower incomes will still have access to it.”

        How many people do you think this applies to? I can think of a few among my personal acquaintances, who are successful business owners (with many of the offsets including vehicles, some utilities and mortgage payments reductions) who also qualify for a community services card etc. I’m guessing farmers, on their low personal income, also have a benefit for their children going to tertiary study.

        Also nowhere in those articles, including the fawning editorial – did it mention that WFF has to be applied for. So, despite their personal views and values being given a public platform, their actions do not match.

        The way WFF is set up allows for these anomalies, where families in need are not necessarily those who qualify.

        • Pat 17.1.1.1

          whats your point?

          Selecting a single case study that may or may not be real and then presenting woolly figures like” have received $20,000 from Working for Families in some years because, with six children, they qualified for partial subsidies as long as they earned less than $172,425.” means what?…because to receive 20 k in any one year their income would have to be less than 70K and all six children would have to qualify.

          How many people do i think it applies to?….greatly less than you infer given that only 6.1% of NZ families have 4 or more children and WFF is not claimable for children receiving student allowance regardless of age.

          Is it manipulated by the self employed, undoubtably but that is a compliance issue and would suggest if income is being manipulated for WFF purposes is also being manipulated for tax purposes….the solution is the same, stronger enforcement.

          And Oh dear “it has to be applied for” (once, after unsolicited notification you qualify)……thats terrible.

          • Molly 17.1.1.1.1

            My point was that WFF is a blunt instrument, and does not reach all those who are in need of tax rebates because of the design for qualification and delivery.

            I don’t understand what your point is – from what I can gather it is a purely WFF costs the government this, and the tax-free threshold would cost us that.
            A very silo approach which ignores the other costs bourne by the government and families who are struggling but do not qualify for WFF. One of the reasons I would support a UBI.

            (BTW, I’m in the home education community so I know the people in the story from there. Lovely family, but indicative of the mindset that only looks at wider issues from a personal perspective. And… woolly figures? That $20,000 was a direct quote from the person interviewed and shown as such).

            • Pat 17.1.1.1.1.1

              “My point was that WFF is a blunt instrument, and does not reach all those who are in need of tax rebates because of the design for qualification and delivery.”

              It may be blunt but is considerably sharper than a tax exempt threshold of 8-10k

              “…….One of the reasons I would support a UBI.”
              Say what? where in the previous exchange has UBI been raised?

              “And… woolly figures? That $20,000 was a direct quote from the person interviewed and shown as such).”

              It was indeed a direct quote….and very woolly given that they cannot receive 20k in WFF UNLESS their income is less than 70k…NOT 172k

              I am at a loss to understand what your preferred form of redistribution of tax is and to what purpose?

              • Molly

                “I am at a loss to understand what your preferred form of redistribution of tax is and to what purpose?”

                Stop apologies for schemes such as “working for families” until they work for ALL families, especially the most vulnerable.

                Working for Families is a misnomer – it more accurately should be – “Working for Some Families – of whom some are vulnerable, some are not.”

                Not to mention, creating a longer breathing space for low wages to cause havoc amongst the working population.

                “I am at a loss to understand what your preferred form of redistribution of tax is and to what purpose?”

                That’s probably because I didn’t propose one. I just put forward some criticism of the WFF scheme, and you respond by asking me for a comprehensive tax reform?

                • Pat

                  “Stop apologies for schemes such as “working for families” until they work for ALL families, especially the most vulnerable.”

                  so you think WFF is inequitable, OK lets scrap it….what would you like to replace it with? or don’t we replace it?

                  • Molly

                    “so you think WFF is inequitable, OK lets scrap it….what would you like to replace it with? or don’t we replace it?”

                    If this dialogue is going to continue – the question is: do you think it is inequitable? If you don’t you will continue to jump on any comment I make.

                    An immediate fix would be to make this available to all families with children – whether working or not.

                    A long-term fix, would be to support workers to raise wages and incomes, instead of subsidising businesses to keep wages low and sort out the cost of housing our people.

                    • Pat

                      “If this dialogue is going to continue – the question is: do you think it is inequitable? If you don’t you will continue to jump on any comment I make.”

                      Assume you are referring to the IWTC portion of the WFF package, or do you object to only those with children receiving it? If the former then , yes it is inequitable but with justifiable reason. There are significant costs associated with paid employment that are not incurred if not in paid employment and there is also an incentive factor.

                      “A long-term fix, would be to support workers to raise wages and incomes, instead of subsidising businesses to keep wages low and sort out the cost of housing our people.”

                      There is no improvement in living standards to be gained by raising wages if there is a commenserate increase in costs, particularly if those costs are not discretionary.
                      The housing affordability issue is driven by quite different factors in the current circumstances and giving private landlords a greater proportion of revenue, irrespective of its source will not improve that situation.

                    • Molly

                      ” If the former then , yes it is inequitable but with justifiable reason. There are significant costs associated with paid employment that are not incurred if not in paid employment and there is also an incentive factor.”

                      OK. Your use of “justifiable reason” and “incentive factor” gives me an indication of why we are disagreeing on this issue, when I usually agree with your comments on other posts.

                      From a purely personal perspective, when we have people living in poverty, we should look towards picking them up – without dividing them into “justified” and “non-justified” groups. Otherwise we are ignoring a whole demographic of NZers.

                      As for the “incentive” factor – incentive for whom?

                      ” There is no improvement in living standards to be gained by raising wages if there is a commensurate increase in costs, particularly if those costs are not discretionary.”

                      Agree. Which is why I raised the issue of increasing housing costs. But you are right there are multiple factors alongside this that are important to resolve. But once again, it seems you are asking me for a full tax and policy package, as a response to criticism of WFF. The point is, no other significant policy exists to meet those who fail to meet the WFF criteria. We ignore them, and hide behind the WFF flagship of “helping families”.

                      Successive governments have failed to create policy that ensures every NZ has access to safe, adequately paid employment, and safe, affordable housing.

                      (As for cost? The $20 billion towards the MoD can be slashed to bring this to the table, as well as removing the tax rebates that National brought to the higher earners when they took office. Policy in multiple areas that would address the rising cost of living, inequality and climate change would be better than continually chasing rises in GDP).

                      It is not the cost that is stopping any progress, it is honest appraisal and political will.

                    • Pat

                      “But once again, it seems you are asking me for a full tax and policy package, as a response to criticism of WFF. The point is, no other significant policy exists to meet those who fail to meet the WFF criteria. We ignore them, and hide behind the WFF flagship of “helping families”.”

                      Not at all….my original discussion began with an assertion by Infused where he expressed a preference for a tax free threshold of 8-10K over WFF…….I argued WFF was a better use of funds, not that it was perfect or even necessarily desirable….you entered at this point and broadened the discussion to areas outside WFF and thereby created a “full tax and policy package” requirement for yourself.

                    • Molly

                      “.my original discussion began with an assertion by Infused where he expressed a preference for a tax free threshold of 8-10K over WFF…….I argued WFF was a better use of funds, not that it was perfect or even necessarily desirable….you entered at this point “
                      So we disagree on the “better use of funds”. I have no problem with that.

                    • Pat

                      you believe a tax exemption on the first 8-10k costing approx 3.8 billion is a better use of funds than the current WFF program at a cost of 2.8 billion….so in effect a tax break of around 15 – 20 dollars a week for everyone is better than what WFF provides…AND it removes a billion p.a. from other services?……right.

                    • Molly

                      “you believe a tax exemption on the first 8-10k costing approx 3.8 billion is a better use of funds than the current WFF program at a cost of 2.8 billion….so in effect a tax break of around 15 – 20 dollars a week for everyone is better than what WFF provides…AND it removes a billion p.a. from other services?”……right.

                      I don’t play the false dichotomy game. If an extra billion is needed to fund a tax-free threshold or more for a UBI, then it can come from a variety of other sources.

                      Money given to the poorest of us, is spent immediately and locally and circulates around the community, more than $2 billion annually in tax breaks – which is more likely to be spent overseas or out of the NZ economy.

                      My criticism of WFF remains – it does not help those who are most in need of it. And you haven’t addressed that point – or even acknowledged it.

                      Where do they go in terms of societal or government help to deal with rising costs of living, and the negative effects of that constant stress?

                      This lack of acknowledgement by political parties (sans Mana) for the most vulnerable NZers, will continue if commentators like you use WFF as an example of hardship relief – especially accompanied by a – “what else can you expect?”

                    • Pat

                      forget about the UBI for now, considering it isnt likely anytime soon and if it is its level of support will likely be a great disappointment to its proponents and also given it isn’t part of the original discussion…..who (and how) do you think will be better off with a tax free threshold of 8-10K in place of the current WFF regime? A case example?

    • simonm 17.2

      I agree. I was working in Australia last year and the 2015 tax-free threshold for all working adults, regardless of their marital status or family situation, was $18,200. That means no-one pays any tax on any of their income below $18,200. Therefore working people in Australia receive substantially more net income than their New Zealand counterparts.

      I don’t doubt that Working for Families was implemented with the best intentions to to help families on low incomes survive in an NZ’s increasingly expensive society. In reality however, the programme has ended up being a costly taxpayer funded subsidy that allows NZ employers to get away with paying low wages to their workers.

      • Pat 17.2.1

        Australians in fact get both…no tax on the first 18k AND a WFF type payment called Family Tax Benefit.

        https://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/services/centrelink/family-tax-benefit

        “In reality however, the programme has ended up being a costly taxpayer funded subsidy that allows NZ employers to get away with paying low wages to their workers.”

        Although I am inclined to agree that it is a form a wage subsidy it obviously hasn’t held Australian wages down to the same extent so think it reasonable to seek the cause of low wages elsewhere…and as noted earlier if choosing between the either a tax free threshold and WFF then given the examples cited the WFF is considerably cheaper.

  18. fisiani 18

    A whole post about Bill English’s failure to use the word INCOME. How deep is the barrel that is being scraped?

    • Stuart Munro 18.1

      Really we’re trying to help Bill understand that his comprehensive economic failures can be improved upon. Today’s word is ‘income’, and for non-troughers and tax income minimisers it is an important term that even nepotistically appointed dusfunctional finance ministers should know.

    • left for dead 18.2

      Don’t worry fisi, you’re there, at the bottom admittedly, smelly but there, none the lest.

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    When it comes to emerging infectious diseases and outbreaks, so much can happen in a week. In the case of the coronavirus outbreak in China, I’ve gone from not being too alarmed, to thinking “oh, crap!”. But that still doesn’t mean we should all panic. As I’m writing this on ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 days ago
  • National cries wolf over Coronavirus
    Opposition MP Michael WoodhouseLast week, the current National Party leader, Simon Bridges, claimed that the Minister of Health wasn’t leading on ‘significant issues that matter to New Zealanders within his Health portfolio’ when commenting about the Government’s response to the Coronavirus outbreak.This silly comment was made despite David Clark working ...
    2 days ago
  • Fluoridation and sex steroid hormones – or the mouse that roared
    All the recent research anti-fluoride campaigners promote as “evidence” of harm from community water fluoridation amount to cherry-picking a very few statistically significant results from a large number of non-significant results. The whole exercise is a bit like the “Mouse that Roared.” Credit: The Mouse that Roared – TMTR Intro ...
    2 days ago
  • Leave Neve alone
    Neve Te Aroha Gayford at RatanaI’m sure I’m not the only one to notice that the Ratana birthday celebrations this year were a well-attended event that went off without much of a hitch. This is in stark contrast to previous years, where some form of controversy has usually taken centre ...
    3 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #4
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 19, 2020 through Sat, Jan 25, 2020 Editor's Pick The companies that have contributed most to climate change Thought-provoking readings on those most responsible for the pollution. Sometimes, ...
    3 days ago
  • The swimming pool paradox
    It’s another warm day, but the breeze isn’t helping much, so off I go to the inviting outdoor swimming pool (banner picture) at the other end of campus. It’s an unheated pool (well, there’s no artificial heat source), which means one thing: It’s going to feel cold when I get ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    5 days ago
  • 100 seconds to midnight
    The Doomsday Clock is a tracker created by he Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists for how close we are to global destruction. Created in 1947, it got worse as the Cold War started, then improved as it cooled down, then got worse again as Ronald Reagan tried to confront the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A multitude of drops: Social tipping points in climate action
    If you’re here, you probably know that the climate crisis is upon us, that it’s getting steadily worse, and that attempts to address it haven’t worked yet. People are still driving and even advertising SUVs with impunity, and oil companies are exploring like crazy, even in New Zealand. Politically, socially, ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    5 days ago
  • The Thoughtful Mr Parker.
    Stunningly Wrong-Headed: So blinded are the “left-wing” believers in free markets and free trade (like Trade Minister, David Parker) that even when they are staring directly at the wreckage of the lives and communities which these “unconscionable freedoms” (to borrow Marx’s telling phrase) have left in their wake, they cannot ...
    5 days ago
  • What’s the problem with all science being “done” in English?
    I’ve been listening to a wonderful podcast this morning which left me thinking. The podcast was a 30-min well-spent break, in the company of Daniel Midgley and Michael Gordin.  You might know Daniel Midgley from the Talk the Talk linguistics podcast. Michael Gordin is the author of “Scientific Babel”, which ...
    SciBlogsBy Andreea Calude
    5 days ago
  • Snakeflu?! An intriguing source suggested for new Chinese coronavirus
    The whole world is on edge over a coronavirus outbreak that started in early December in Wuhan City, China. The virus is thought to have first infected people working at a seafood and live animal market. So what could the original source have been? There’s no official word yet, but ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • Simon’s Philippine jaunt: #LittleBoysPlayingToughguys
    Not too far back, Simon Bridges the Leader of the Opposition and National Party, went on an excursion to China. This was arranged not by MFAT (NZ’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade), but by their MP Jian Yang – a man who also just happened to “forget to mention” ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    6 days ago
  • Will Turia ever forgive Labour?
    Dame Tariana Turia with former PM John KeyWhat is it about Tariana Turia’s grudge against the Labour Party? Not content with attacking the Government over Whānau Ora funding, which was increased by $80 million in 2019, she has now made it personal by saying that Jacinda Ardern is out of her ...
    6 days ago
  • What are the recent fluoride-IQ studies really saying about community water fluoridation?
    Scaremongering graphic currently being promoted by Declan Waugh who is well known for misrepresenting the fluoride science This graphic is typical of current anti-fluoride propaganda. It is scare-mongering, in that it is aimed at undermining community ...
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #3, 2020
    Biography of a policy metric Bård Lahn performs a sweeping literature review to present the history of our notion of a "global carbon budget" and how this number has come  to encapsulate a massive amount of scientific research into a useful, easily grasped tool in our policy skill set.  A ...
    6 days ago
  • Oxfam Report: Time to Care – Unpaid and underpaid care work and the global inequality crisis
    January 2020 Economic inequality is out of control. In 2019, the world’s billionaires, only 2,153 people, had more wealth than 4.6 billion people. This great divide is based on a flawed and sexist economic system that values the wealth of the privileged few, mostly men, more than the billions of ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    7 days ago
  • How to avoid being a cunt to hospo workers’
    Working hospo is hard mahi for many reasons, from long hours and gruelling high-volume weekends to customers who treat us as their servants. There are always lovely and polite customers who treat hospo workers with respect and kindness but, throughout my 15-years in the biz, I’ve collected a number of ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    7 days ago
  • 2019-nCoV (the new coronavirus): Should we be concerned, and will there be a vaccine?
    Probably yes to both but don’t panic yet. There is a plan. What is this virus? 2019 novel coronavirus, aka 2019-nCoV, belongs to a family of viruses called coronavirus. These are very common viruses that infect a wide range of animals including humans and can cause mild to severe disease, ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • The Chinese coronavirus outbreak: what are the options for vaccines and treatments?
    By now you’ve probably heard of the coronavirus outbreak that started in Wuhan City, China. The number of cases is rising, up to about 300 with six deaths. Cases have been reported in several more Chinese cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, as well as in Japan, Thailand, and South Korea. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Educating New Zealand’s future workforce
    Judy Kavanagh Do you remember your first day at school? The education I received was for a very different world than the world of today. Along with huge social shifts there have been big changes in the New Zealand economy and the work people do. There are occupations unheard of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • A casual attitude towards transparency
    Back in December, when the government was introducing new secrecy legislation on an almost daily basis, I posted about the Infrastructure Funding and Financing Bill. The Bill establishes a new class of public entity, "special purpose vehicles", which collect and spend public money and enjoy statutory powers. Despite this, they ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Against a carbon bailout
    If we are to avoid making the planet uninhabitable, we need to cut carbon emisisons fast. Which basicly means putting the fossil fuel industry - coal, gas, and oil - out of business. But this means that the banks and other lenders who have bankrolled the industry's environmental destruction will ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Still a criminal industry
    More evidence that the fishing industry suffers from pervasive criminality, with Forest & Bird highlighting some odd numbers in the annual statistics:The Annual Review Report For Highly Migratory Species Fisheries 2018/19 (Pg 4, Table 4) showed only 4% of commercial long lining trips for tuna and swordfish reported non-fish bycatch ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Controversy? Or Manufactroversy?
    A few days ago, New Zealand’s Minister of Education announced the wider release of a resource on climate change, which was initially trialled at a Christchurch school during 2018. According to the Minister, children will learn about “the role science plays in understanding climate change, aids understanding of both the response ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 week ago
  • The emerging coronavirus outbreak in China
    By now you’ve probably heard of the new virus causing an outbreak of severe pneumonia in China. The question on most people’s minds is, how worried should we be, especially as hundreds of millions of people will soon be travelling across China and beyond to visit family for the Lunar ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • How did climate change get so controversial?
    An excerpt from the book Cranky Uncle vs. Climate Change, released Feb 25. Our human brain is poorly equipped to deal with a threat like climate change. Over millions of years, we’ve evolved to avoid life-threatening dangers like predators jumping out of bushes. We’ve survived by quickly detecting and avoiding immediate, short-term ...
    1 week ago
  • Farmers are ruining Canterbury’s rivers
    Its summer, so people naturally want to go for a swim. But in South Canterbury, you can't, because the rivers are full of toxic goo:As of Monday, the Waihi River at Wilson Street footbridge, Geraldine, the Waihao River at Bradshaws Bridge, and three spots on the Opihi River - at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Sack Shane Jones
    Late last year, NZ First was caught trying to enrich itself from public office, with a dodgy forestry company linked to a number of NZ First figures sticking its hand out repeatedly for government money. Regional Economic Development Minister shane Jones' "explanations" were patently unconvincing, and his recusal from deciding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BIG idea physics
    This morning I’ve been having a quick look through some documentation from The Ministry of Education on proposed changes to NCEA Level 1 Science. For those not familiar with the NZ secondary education system, a typical student would complete NCEA level 1 at the end of year 11.  In this ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • Revolution in New Zealand? Not Even Close!
    No Fires Thanks, We're Kiwis: For the moment, in those close-to-home places where revolutions are born, there may be tetchiness and resentment, frustration and complaint, but nowhere is anybody uttering the cry that will bring a New Zealand revolution into being: “We have found the way to make tomorrow better ...
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #3
    Story of the Week... Editorial of the Week... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... Graphic of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... 'It's heart-wrenching': 80% of Blue Mountains and 50% of ...
    1 week ago
  • Britain exits the European Union and takes a sharp right turn
    by John Smith  Britain’s exit from the imperialist bloc known as the European Union (EU) is now irreversible. The crushing electoral defeat of the Labour Party has dismayed many workers and youth who had placed their hopes in Jeremy Corbyn, its left-wing leader. This article assesses these historic events, neither of which ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #3
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 12, 2020 through Sat, Jan 18, 2020 Editor's Pick The Past and the Future of the Earth’s Oldest Trees Bristlecone pines have survived various catastrophes over the millennia, and they ...
    1 week ago
  • How climate change influenced Australia’s unprecedented fires
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections, and has been adapted into a new myth rebuttal on climate-wildfire connections with the short URL sks.to/wildfires Australia’s frightening bushfires, which kicked off an early fire season in September 2019, have already had cataclysmic effects, and the continent is still just in the early ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Gender Identity Ideology – A Partial Bibliography of Online Coverage
    This great resource has been contributed to Redline by Janie Doebuck. Janie made some notes on the bibliography: 1) It is by no means exhaustive. There are tons more gender critical posts, essays, articles, podcasts, youtube videos, etc. online. 2) There are links in the bibliography that are behind paywalls. There ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • About those biased Oscar Nominations
    There’s been a lot written about the 2020 Oscar Nominations and their apparent lack of diversity. It’s true, there are in fact no women nominated for the Best Director and very few nominees of colour across the board. But is this a result of a biased process or a symptom ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How New Zealand media reports chronic pain
    Hemakumar Devan Around three million New Zealanders access news media (both paper and online) every week. Yes, you heard that right! So, the potential for news media to shape public health beliefs is common sense. As chronic pain affects one in five New Zealanders, we wanted to find out how ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Still Waiting For American Democracy.
    Unfinished Republic: Though the United States' crimes against democracy are legion, most Americans are blissfully unaware of them. The brutal realities of American life: the officially sanctioned violence; the refusal to hold racists accountable for their actions; the seemingly endless tragedy of African-American suffering; of which White America is the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • In Outrage Over Its Bunk Science, Goop Finds Fuel for Growth
    Michael Schulson For years, experts have said that Goop, the wellness and lifestyle brand founded by the actor and entrepreneur Gwyneth Paltrow, markets pseudoscience and overblown cures. And for years, despite the criticism, Goop has just kept growing. Now the company, which was valued at $250 million in 2018, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Tobacco Excise Taxes and the Smokefree 2025 Goal: Some Ways Forward
    Janet Hoek, Richard Edwards, George Thomson, Andrew Waa, Nick Wilson Debate over tobacco tax increases has intensified as research indicates potentially conflicting policy directions. On the one hand, excise tax increases continue to stimulate quit attempts among smokers yet, on the other hand, they may lead to financial hardship for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #2, 2020
    Conflation and how to fix it VIa AMS,  Raul Lejano looks at what in a layperson's thinking would be called conflation— confusion and blending of entirely different topics— when people think about climate change. Ideology and the Narrative of Skepticism  (open access) starts with some arguably frightening false connections between the science and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Cranky Uncle’ smart phone game will show you how to disarm climate deniers
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bud Ward (Image: Courtesy of John Cook) When it comes to climate change, it seems every family has its own version of the proverbial Cranky Uncle. An uncle, cousin, grandparent, in-law, neighbor, whatever. Just think back to the recent holiday season’s large ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Science in the ’20s – part 1
      Outrageous, immoral or downright dangerous. That’s a description of the lifestyle of women “flappers” in the 1920s. Could it apply to science (and scientists) in the 2020s? Actually, you could look back at the past decade and see those, or similar terms, used about some science and scientists. Sometimes ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 weeks ago
  • Postscript: Citizenship Granted.
    I am pleased to say that I have been granted NZ citizenship. I need to do the ceremony for things to be official, but the application was a success. I now join my son as a dual NZ-US citizen. To be fair, very little will change other than the fact ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Music: Morales is coming
    It will be no secret to longtime readers that I, Russell Brown, love the disco.   So I'm pretty excited by the fact that one of the greats of the game is returning this summer – and also pleased to say I have tickets to give away.Legendary mixer and DJ ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The WHO Vaccine Safety Summit – from someone who was actually there
    The conspiracy I saw a new conspiracy theory flying around the other day. According to the conspiracy (that seems to originate from Del Bigtree), the World Health Organization have been ‘caught on camera’ questioning the safety of vaccines. Gosh this sounds as though someone was a mole at a ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • The timely death of the British Labour Party
    Below is an article submitted to Redline by Alec Abbott  At its inception, the British Labour Party was a vehicle for the propagation of racist and imperialist views within the working-class. Such views are still widespread in the party, as they are in Europe’s Social-Democratic parties, though, in the case of ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Mystery China pneumonia outbreak likely caused by new human coronavirus
    Connor Bamford, Queen’s University Belfast Since December 2019, there has been a cluster of 59 cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, eastern China. The pneumonia is associated with a previously unidentified coronavirus related to the deadly SARS virus. Seven of those cases are thought to be serious, and one person – ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Yes, koalas are cute – but should we bring them to NZ? Errm, no
    It’s been hard to miss the extreme fires raging across Australia and the tragic plight of the animals – human and otherwise – affected by the fires’ insatiable spread. I know I’ve been captivated and concerned by the tales of how Australia’s famous wildlife has been coping. Koalas approaching cyclists ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s negative campaigning
    Anybody who looked into the Dirty Politics saga knows all too well that honesty is often in short supply within the National Party. You would think that after the exposure the John Key government received over their untruthful attack politics, the National Party would learn from its "mistakes" and leave ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ending the government’s charade over water
    For the past decade, the government has been responding to the obvious Treaty issues raised by water allocation with the mantra that "no-one owns water". But last year, the Waitangi Tribunal ruled that actually, Māori owned it, and that those rights had never been extinguished. They recommended that iwi bring ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Northern Ireland joins the civilised world
    Same-sex marriage has finally become legal in Northern Ireland. But not through any decision of the Northern Irish Executive or Assembly, which has only just reformed after a three year walkout by the DUP; instead, Westminster made that decision for them. I've talked before about the constitutional impropriety of this, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • I had an intense conversation at work today.
    Claire Cohen-Norris volunteers with Citizens Climate Lobby as a chapter founder and leader in rural New York. Her climate advocacy sprung from her drive to provide a secure, joyful and fulfilling life for her two wonderful children. It has become a life’s mission, shared with her like-minded husband and partner. Claire ...
    2 weeks ago
  • French transport workers take on Macron over pension reform
    by John Edmundson Starting on December 5th, 2019 workers in the Parisian rail network commenced an open-ended strike in opposition to French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposed changes to their pension scheme. Rail workers in the Metro Underground have, for decades, had retirement conditions that compensate them for the low wages, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • What a difference the decimal point makes
    I’m back at work following a nearly three-week break over Christmas. We were fortunate to be offered a house to stay in for a week over Christmas, which enabled us to have a holiday in Dunedin and see the extended family reasonably cheaply. But the house came with a catch:  ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Who’s Going To Stop Him?
    Blank And Pitiless: Having ordered the assassination of the Iranian General, Qasem Soleimani, President Donald Trump promised to reduce the cultural monuments of Iran’s 3,000 year-old civilisation to rubble if a revenge attack was mounted. A breach of international law? Certainly. A war crime? Indisputably. Who’s going to stop him? Nobody.WHAT ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A worker’s story
    This interview is from Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement (AWSM) and is the first of an ongoing series of interviews they plan to do with workers from various sectors who are having their well being and livelihoods damaged. They begin with an educator in Southland. Due to the attitude and actions ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #2
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 5, 2020 through Sat, Jan 11, 2020 Editor's Pick Debunked Australian Bushfire Conspiracy Theories Were Pushed by Alex Jones, Murdoch Media   As unusually intense and widespread bushfires have ...
    2 weeks ago
  • J.K. Rowling, the Seattle Library, and the Issue That Must Not Be Named
    This article was submitted to Redline by Seattle-based activist Lucinda Stoan J.K. Rowling recognizes repression when she sees it.  That’s why the author of the wildly popular Harry Potter books recently tweeted in defense of Maya Forstater. Forstater lost her job for stating that sex is real and immutable. A judge ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 weeks ago
  • Rules of Empire: Laws simply do not apply and “National Security” excuses all else.
    Empires rise and fall, and the American Empire is absolutely no different. But while an Empire, in order to further the footprint, it seems to pay to do one primary thing above all else: project that everything – everything – is “simply for the good of the world” at large, ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    3 weeks ago
  • Indian lessons for NZ workers – the January 8 general strike
                    by Phil Duncan On Wednesday (January 8) another massive general strike took place in India.  Some 250 million industrial workers, white-collar workers, agricultural labourers struck against the government’s economic policies and attacks on the Muslim population through new proposed citizenship rules. This ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The action that counts
    Over on Newsroom, Professor Jacqueline Beggs writes about the action she is taking on climate change. Its the usual list: reduce meat, don't fly, consume less. I'm doing some of this myself, and none of it hurts - but the way our economic system is constructed means the impact of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 weeks ago
  • Fossil fuel political giving outdistances renewables 13 to one
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Karin Kirk Corporations, special interest groups, and individuals inject billions of dollars into the American political system every year. Much of the financial support in politics is concealed from public view, as some rules – and loopholes – allow “dark money” and ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Animal response to a bushfire is astounding. These are the tricks they use to survive
    Dale Nimmo, Charles Sturt University Have you ever wondered how our native wildlife manage to stay alive when an inferno is ripping through their homes, and afterwards when there is little to eat and nowhere to hide? The answer is adaptation and old-fashioned ingenuity. Australia’s bushfire season is far from ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 weeks ago

  • FAQ – Everything you need to know about the Big New Zealand Upgrade
    Today, our Government announced the biggest infrastructure investment in a generation. We’re investing $12 billion to upgrade and build rail, roads, schools and hospitals across the country – modernising our infrastructure, preparing for climate change and helping to future-proof our economy. Find out everything you need to know about the ...
    3 hours ago
  • Week That Was: 2020
    We are back for 2020! From changes to Family Funded Care, to a record high number of Kiwis in construction in the trades - we're already back making progress on those long-term challenges. Read all about it and more ...
    5 days ago
  • Winston Peters: “Ihumātao deal still a long way off”
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters told Mike Hosking that a settlement deal regarding Ihumātao in Auckland is still a long way off. The Maori King's flag was lowered at the site near Auckland Airport yesterday, sparking suggestions an announcement of a deal could be made by Waitangi Day. Pania Newton, ...
    6 days ago
  • Winston Peters accuses Gerry Brownlee of ‘politicising’ Holocaust memorial
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters is accusing Gerry Brownlee of "politicising" a Holocaust memorial event after the National MP questioned the lack of Kiwi representation there. The Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Centre in Jerusalem, Israel, is holding the World Holocaust Forum on January 23 to mark 75 years since ...
    6 days ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund to help Waipukurau Pā sites attract thousands of tourists
    The Ngā Ara Tipuna - Waipukurau Pā Site Interpretation project is receiving $2.798 million from the Provincial Growth Fund. It is is expected to boost the town's employment and tourism, creating sixteen new jobs once completed and attract up to 15,000 visitors a year. Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development ...
    1 week ago
  • “Common sense will prevail, not extremism” Winston Peters backs Shane Jones’ pro-meat stance
    New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is backing his MPs who have spoken out against a new climate change teaching resource that advises students to eat less meat to save the planet. The new teaching resource, announced by Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Climate Change Minister James Shaw, tells students ...
    1 week ago
  • Violent assault on paramedic highlights need for law change
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Justice Today’s horrific violent assault of an on-duty female paramedic which rendered her unconscious is truly unsettling. “Our thoughts are with the paramedic, her loved ones and the St John’s team at Warkworth Station,” says New Zealand First Justice Spokesperson Darroch Ball. “Harsher penalties for perpetrators ...
    1 week ago
  • Acting PM Winston Peters confirms NZDF troops in Iraq not hit by Iranian attacks
    Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters called for calm and diplomacy following Iranian missile strikes on bases housing United States troops in Iraq, but confirmed New Zealand's base in the country was not hit. The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) was earlier today investigating claims New Zealand's base in Iraq had ...
    1 week ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Delivering a stable water supply to Wairarapa
    Hon. Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in Wairarapa The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $7.11 million to create a sustainable water supply for the Wairarapa. The PGF will provide a $7 million investment to Wairarapa Water Limited to progress the Wairarapa Water Storage Scheme towards procurement, consenting, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing consents hit highest level since 1974
    Housing consents have hit a 45-year high, as Statistics NZ data shows a total of 37,010 residential consents were issued in the year to November --- the first time they have breached the 37,000 mark since the mid-1970s. Statistics NZ said the trend had been rising since late 2011, when ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Darroch Ball MP: “Violence against first responders is a problem on the rise”
    New Zealand First MP Darroch Ball says that a paramedic being kicked unconscious last night in an attempted burglary in Warkworth, north of Auckland, is a symptom of a larger problem. "Incidents like this are becoming more and more frequent...and it’s getting worse," Mr Ball said. The MP is pushing for ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Statement on evacuation of New Zealanders from Wuhan
    “I spoke with Prime Minister Morrison again this afternoon and we have confirmed that we will work together on a joint ANZAC assisted departure of Australians and New Zealanders from Wuhan,” Jacinda Ardern said. “Specific details of the evacuation plan, including the medical protocols that will be applied to returning ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 mins ago
  • The New Zealand Upgrade Programme
    Rail, roads, schools and hospitals will be built and upgraded across the country under the new $12 billion New Zealand Upgrade Programme announced by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. The programme: Includes investments in roads, rail, hospitals and schools to future-proof the economy Will give a $10 billion boost to New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • School infrastructure upgrades ramping up
    The New Zealand Upgrade Programme is already underway, with schools busy getting building work started over the Christmas break. The Coalition Government announced just before the end of last year $400 million in new funding for most state schools to invest locally in building companies and tradies to fix leaking ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Flicking the switch on a clean powered public service
    Our Government’s programme to upgrade infrastructure and modernise the economy will help more communities to be part of the solution to climate change through a clean-powered public service. Minister for Climate Change James Shaw today announced the first group of projects from the New Zealand Upgrade Programme’s clean powered public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Government of Infrastructure delivers for New Zealanders
    Infrastructure and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says today’s capital investment announcements show the Coalition Government is the Government of Infrastructure. $7 billion in projects have been announced today as part of the Government’s $12 billion New Zealand Upgrade Programme, which will see capital spending at its highest rate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Boost for child, maternity and mental health
    $300 million dollar capital investment in health, divided among four focus areas: Child and maternal health - $83 million Mental health and addiction - $96 million Regional and rural service projects – $26 million Upgrading and fixing aging hospital facilities - $75 million Contingency of $20 million The New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Transport infrastructure upgrades to get NZ moving and prepared for the future
    $6.8 billion for transport infrastructure in out six main growth areas - Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Wellington, Canterbury and Queenstown. $1.1 billion for rail. $2.2 billion for new roads in Auckland. The Government’s programme of new investments in roads and rail will help future proof the economy, get our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Growing and modernising the NZ economy
    A new programme to build and upgrade roads, rail, schools and hospitals will prepare the New Zealand economy for the future, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. “The $12 billion New Zealand Upgrade Programme uses our capacity to boost growth by making targeted investments around the country, supporting businesses and local ...
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    4 hours ago
  • Future proofing New Zealand’s rail
    Minister for State Owned Enterprises Winston Peters says the funding of four major rail projects under the New Zealand Upgrade Programme is yet another step in the right direction for New Zealand’s long-term rail infrastructure. “This Government has a bold vision for rail. We said we would address the appalling ...
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    5 hours ago
  • Delivering infrastructure for a modern NZ
    Roads, rail, schools and hospitals will be built and upgraded across the country under the $12 billion New Zealand Upgrade Programme announced today, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to invest in New Zealand – modernising our infrastructure, preparing for climate change and ...
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    5 hours ago
  • $1.55m support for Hawke’s Bay three waters services review
    The Government is pleased to announce a $1.55 million funding contribution to assist Hawke’s Bay investigate voluntary changes to the region’s three waters service delivery arrangements. “Over the last 18 months, the five Hawke’s Bay councils have been collaborating to identify opportunities for greater coordination in three waters service delivery across ...
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    5 hours ago
  • Minister welcomes report of nation’s household plastic rubbish, recycling practices
    A new report on New Zealand’s plastic rubbish and recycling practices is being welcomed by the Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage.  “The report by WasteMINZ provides a valuable insight into what’s ending up in household rubbish and recycling bins around the country. It highlights the value of much ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Government considers retirement income policy review recommendations
    The Government is now considering the recommendations of the Retirement Commissioner’s review into New Zealand’s retirement income policies. “The review raises a number of important issues in relation to New Zealanders’ wellbeing and financial independence in retirement, particularly for vulnerable people,” the Minister for Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Kris Faafoi, ...
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    10 hours ago
  • PM announces election date as September 19
    The 2020 General Election will be held on Saturday 19 September, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. “I will be asking New Zealanders to continue to support my leadership and the current direction of the Government, which is grounded in stability, a strong economy and progress on the long term ...
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    1 day ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund supports Waikato youth into constructionProvincial Growth Fund supports Waika...
    Two projects focussed on supporting Waikato youth into the construction industry have been given combined funding of just over $1 million from the Te Ara Mahi allocation of the Provincial Growth Fund, Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today.  The two Te Ara Mahi PGF projects announced are: ...
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    1 day ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund supports Waikato youth into construction
    Two projects focussed on supporting Waikato youth into the construction industry have been given combined funding of just over $1 million from the Te Ara Mahi allocation of the Provincial Growth Fund, Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today.  The two Te Ara Mahi PGF projects announced are: ...
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    1 day ago
  • New Zealand to support Pacific Public Sector Hub
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced New Zealand’s support for a Pacific-led hub that will strengthen public services across the region. “Strengthening public services is a core focus of New Zealand’s Pacific Reset, as efforts to improve democratic governance in the Pacific contributes to a strong, stable and more ...
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    1 day ago
  • Minister pays tribute to journalist, author and broadcaster, Gordon McLauchlan
    The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, has paid tribute to well-known New Zealand author, journalist and broadcaster, Gordon McLauchlan, following Mr McLauchlan’s death today. “Gordon held a statesman-like place in New Zealand’s media, which was fittingly acknowledged in last year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours, when he was ...
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    2 days ago
  • Minister wishes best of luck to those heading back to school
    As Kiwi kids and teachers return to classrooms over the coming weeks, the families of around 428,000 students will feel a bit less of a financial pinch than in previous years, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The Government’s decision to increase funding for schools that don’t ask parents for ...
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    2 days ago
  • Health staff to meet flights from China as precautionary measure
    Public health staff will begin meeting flights from China from tomorrow, to actively look for signs of the novel coronavirus and provide advice, information and reassurance to passengers. Health Minister Dr David Clark says the additional measures are being taken following the arrival of the disease in Australia, via flights ...
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    3 days ago
  • National Yearling Sales 2020
    National Yearling Sales at Karaka   26 January 2020    [CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY] Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here on opening day of the 2020 National Yearling Sales Series. Let us all acknowledge Sir Peter Vela and the Vela family for their outstanding contribution to the New ...
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    3 days ago
  • Government and construction industry to build big, lift productivity with Transformation Plan
    Delivering the workforce and productivity gains required to build the houses, schools, roads, rail and hospitals New Zealand needs will become easier with the Government-industry Construction Sector Transformation Plan launched today, Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa says. “The action plan launched today delivers on the Government’s Construction Sector ...
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    3 days ago
  • Log trains to begin on Wairoa-Napier line
    Log trains are about to start running between Wairoa and Napier following Provincial Growth Fund investment to reopen the rail line, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The Government invested $6.2 million to reopen the mothballed rail line which was closed after significant storm damage in 2012. “With PGF ...
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    4 days ago
  • Minister of Defence concludes successful visit with his US counterpart
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark met with United States Secretary of Defense Mark Esper today. “This was an excellent opportunity to meet with one of our closest security partners,” Ron Mark said. “The main focus of the meeting was to discuss challenges that New Zealand and the United States share ...
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    4 days ago
  • New Zealand acknowledges ICJ decision on Myanmar
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today acknowledged the ruling of the International Court of Justice in relation to the Rohingya people in Myanmar. The ruling ordered the Government of Myanmar to take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of acts of genocide in relation to members of the ...
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    5 days ago
  • NZ’s trade aims advanced at Davos meetings
    A proposal to cut “trade and production-distorting subsidies” in the agricultural sector by 2030 has set out important measures to ensure a fair agricultural trading system.  Speaking after attending meetings of trade ministers in Davos, Switzerland, Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker welcomed the joint proposal from the ...
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    5 days ago
  • Great news for New Zealanders with cystic fibrosis
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says he is delighted that PHARMAC has struck a provisional deal to fund Kalydeco – a medicine which is set to improve the quality of life for about 30 New Zealand children and adults with cystic fibrosis. “While rare, cystic fibrosis is an awful inherited ...
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    5 days ago
  • New Zealand least corrupt country in the world
    New Zealand has regained its position as the least corrupt country in the world for the second time under this Coalition Government, says Justice Minister Andrew Little. “New Zealanders can be proud that our reputation as one of the least corrupt countries in the world has been restored,” says Andrew ...
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    6 days ago
  • Boost for Rēkohu/Wharekauri/Chatham Islands Community Conservation
    Community conservation in Rēkohu/Wharekauri/the Chatham Islands is receiving a boost, with grants to support local projects announced today by Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “Rēkohu/Wharekauri/ the Chatham Islands are home to 20 per cent of New Zealand’s threatened bird species and 11 per cent of New Zealand’s threatened plant species. ...
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    6 days ago
  • Rātana Pā goes high-tech with UFB
    Iwi, hapu and visitors to Rātana Pā near Whanganui now have access to ultra-fast broadband following its connection, completed in time for annual Rātana celebrations, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The connection and associated hardware were funded from the Provincial Growth Fund’s $21 million Marae Digital Connectivity programme, ...
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    6 days ago
  • Govt’s strong financial management acknowledged
    The Government’s strong financial management and plan to future proof the economy with new infrastructure investment has gained further recognition from an international ratings agency. Credit rating agency Fitch has upgraded one of its main metrics assessing the Government’s books, lifting its foreign currency AA rating outlook to ‘positive’ from ...
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    6 days ago
  • Boost in Whānau Ora funding to keep changing lives
    Whānau throughout New Zealand are set to benefit from an extra three million dollars that will go directly to Whānau Ora Commissioning Agencies, the Minister for Whānau Ora Peeni Henare announced today.  Including previous funding boosts, the Agencies will now receive $87 million this year between them.  In Budget 2019 ...
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    6 days ago
  • More people getting into work
    The December quarter benefit numbers released today show the Government’s plan to get people off the benefit and into work is starting to pay off,” Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni said.   “Nearly 19,000 people cancelled their benefit and went into work in the last few months of the year – ...
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    6 days ago
  • Wairoa gets up to $6.1m to rebuild heart of CBD
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing up to $6.1 million to revitalise business and tourism opportunities in Wairoa, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The PGF is funding: Up to $4.8 million for the Wairoa Integrated Business and Tourism Facility Up to $960,000 for the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Major Events support for creative and cultural events
    Creative and cultural events that highlight New Zealand’s diverse culture and build national pride are set to get a funding boost through the Major Events Fund, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. The new Creative and Cultural Events Incubator, which is funded through the Major Events Fund, will open ...
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    1 week ago
  • Classroom internet in hundreds of schools to get a boost
    The Government has begun a massive IT upgrade to provide more seamless internet access to 200 schools around the country. Te Mana Tūhono – Technology in Schools work programme will launch with a pilot of 10 smaller state schools early this year. IT equipment that gives students access to the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Construction workforce, apprenticeships hit record highs
    Working with industry and committing to rebuild New Zealand’s infrastructure has produced a record high number of Kiwis working in the construction industry and learning trades, says Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa. New figures available today from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Tertiary Education ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ concludes digital economy trade talks with Singapore and Chile
    A new trade agreement concluded today helps New Zealand exporters and consumers take advantage of opportunities from digital trade.    Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker together with Chile’s Vice Minister of Trade Rodrigo Yañez and Singapore’s Minister of Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing, have announced conclusion of ...
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    1 week ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund to fund Waipukurau cultural development and tourism
    The Ngā Ara Tipuna -  Waipukurau Pā Site Interpretation project will receive $2.798 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to create an authentic cultural tourism experience, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today “The project will inform visitors about the history of six pā sites in Waipukurau with a combination ...
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    1 week ago
  • 21 new judges boost diversity, improve access to justice
    Twenty-one new District Court judges have been appointed in a move that will improve access to justice and boost diversity on the bench. The new judges include replacements for retirements and 10 new positions. Attorney-General David Parker today announced the 14 judges who can immediately be named, with the remainder ...
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    1 week ago