Bill vs Greens

Written By: - Date published: 10:09 am, October 5th, 2009 - 55 comments
Categories: bill english, corruption, greens - Tags:

I love that, after studiously ignoring Bill English’s housing rort, Farrar’s now got unending questions for the Greens. Pretty desperate stuff too – ‘sure, you paid the money back of your own accord after you yourselves discovered you had over-claimed but why did it take so long? huh?! huh?!’.

Hilariously, he claims that the superannuation fund owning the houses and renting them to three MPs maximises the amount claimed because the rent would exceed the mortgage payments that could be claimed if the MPs owned the properties directly. Umm, most rents are negatively geared these days, David – mortgage payments are more than the rent.

Anyway, the MPs are only temporary tenants of that properties that will be owned in the interests of a larger group of MPs for a long period. If an MP bought a property, put it in a trust and rented it themselves from the trust at more than market rates, that would be a rort – that’s not what the Greens do.

The Greens made a simple bookkeeping mistake which they corrected when they discovered it.

Bill English, in contrast, claimed an allowance he wasn’t entitled to. Bill’s not in trouble because of perception. He’s in trouble for unrepentantly and intentionally ripping us off by lying about where his primary place of residence is so he could get money that wasn’t for him.

It would be nice if we could try to apply the same standards here. The tests, I think, should be:

  • was money taken against the intent of the rules?
  • was the money taken intentionally? Did the person purposely change their set-up to exploit a loophole?
  • does the person believe they acted wrongly? did they try to correct it themselves or only under pressure?

Basically, did they do wrong, did they mean to do wrong, do they admit they did wrong, and did they try to fix it? It’s quite clear that English fails on all these points and the Greens do not.

55 comments on “Bill vs Greens”

  1. Gee this communal ownership of assets with the intent that the movement will gain a long term advantage … sounds … like … SOCIALISM!

    No wonder Farrar is so upset.

    I agree there is absolutely no story here. Not that this will stop the right wing beating it up as much as they can.

    • Tigger 1.1

      It’s a nice distraction for the right but it has no legs. I mean, come on! No one even claimed any extra cleaning money for cleaning their family home. That’s the true genius of what English did – it’s so blatant as to look like farce. The Greens mistake comes nowhere near that. Try again Mr Farrar.

      That said, maybe John Key speeding so he could wash under his arms might throw the press off the Dipton scent…

  2. Craig Glen Eden 2

    It got Espiner all excited, poor little right wing lap dog that he is.

  3. Tim Ellis 3

    I love that, after studiously ignoring Bill English’s housing rort, Farrar’s now got unending questions for the Greens

    Do you actually fact check before you write these posts Marty? Mr Farrar has written many posts on MPs expenses, with no less than half a dozen directly dealing with Mr English’s situation. So your premise falls flat pretty quickly.

    • snoozer 3.1

      the guy wrotes half a dozen posts about boobs a day. six in three months about housing allowances – most of which are bland defences of English and certainly don’t employ the kind of probing technique he is against the Greens – is ignoring the issue.

  4. HitchensFan 4

    “the guy wrotes half a dozen posts about boobs a day”

    LOL – yeah what IS that about? I’ve noticed that too. So creepy….

  5. Tom 5

    I think you miss the real issue here. The Greens’ super trust, as I understand it, was set up for the express purpose of maximising the taxpayer accommodation subsidy into the scheme. Someone needs to go back over the rent arrangements since the scheme was established to determine whether the same rort, sorry honest mistake, has happened in the past and if so, will that money be ‘paid back’ too? How far does their sanctimonious transparency extend?

    • Maynard J 5.1

      If it was set up to maximise money then they would charge well above market rates for as long as they could get away with it. Instead they charge below market value. I am sure that is ‘the real issue’ in your mind, but then you could just as well have ‘real friends’ that are equally imaginary to everyone else. You should at least to make an attempt at justifying why this is ‘the real issue’

      • Tim Ellis 5.1.1

        Nice spin Maynard J. If they owned the properties in their own names, they would only be able to claim an allowance for the interest cost on the mortgage, not the rental equivalent. The interest cost on the mortgage is about half the rental equivalent. The structure was specifically established so that the Greens could maximise their entitlements.

        • Maynard J 5.1.1.1

          If only your aunt had balls, Tim, she would be your uncle. They do not own them in their own names, they do not in fact own them at all.

    • snoozer 5.2

      Tom. How does the fund maximise the amount they can get? As Marty says, if they wanted to maximise how much they could get, they would buy in their own names, not rent from the fund.

      Tom, I would support the Greens opening the Fund’s books. Will you supoprt English opening up his trust details?

      oh and “as I understand it”, you mean ‘as Farrar told me’, eh?

      • Tom 5.2.1

        As Tim points out, the super fund allows the Green MPs to ‘rent’ the property from themselves, effectively. What needs to be made clear is that if they were paying $1000 a week for a $600 a week house, how long has the over-market ‘rental rort been going on? What about their other properties? Will they release the market rent assessments for each property and the actual rent paid, going back to the establishment of the fund?

        • felix 5.2.1.1

          I certainly hope they do.

          Then you can demand that Bill English release his records too, eh?

        • lprent 5.2.1.2

          At this point I’d be interested in seeing that for all MP’s going back for a while… I want to know how long Bill has been ripping off the taxpayers.

        • snoozer 5.2.1.3

          Tom. I’m fine with that. Are you fine with English opening up his trust?

          Remember, no double standards

          • Gordon Shumway 5.2.1.3.1

            Greens structured their affairs to maximise the personal financial gain of Green MPs. No matter how you spin it, it’s essentially what you’ve all been going after English for.

            Just like English looks greedy and mean-spirited for the double-Dipton structure, so too do the Greens for the superannuation structure and charge-twice “mistake”.

            My view is that neither the Greens nor English are “corrupt”, but the rules clearly need to be re-written because MPs (of all stripes) have proved that when faced with a choice between personal and public interest, they cannot be trusted to make the right call.

            • Tim Ellis 5.2.1.3.1.1

              To be fair to the Greens Mr Shumway, it appears that Mr Goff was doing likewise with his Wellington apartment.

              • lprent

                Not exactly.
                Phil’s family was in Auckland.
                Catherine Delahunty’s family doesn’t live in Wellington.
                nor does Jeanettes.

                Meanwhile Bill English is sucking off the taxpayer teat for his family to live in Wellington. Doesn’t look to me to be the same thing.

                But then we know that you have problem with little details like that (auditor sounds more like bullshit each time you write such stupid comments)

                • Tim Ellis

                  It is known LP that a very senior Labour Minister had a child living with them in Wellington LP. What’s your point?

                  • lprent

                    TE: There are these usual little issues with details. Were they living there or crashing there? Were they paying part of the rent?

                    I had my partners mother in a spare bed over the weekend. Rocky and numerous young relatives have been known to crash on my couch…. details, details make the story. Not just some random bullshit.

                    If you just want to insinuate, then do so. However expect that I and others will keep calling you on the crap that you sprout.

                    And TE: Notice that you now have a person with a actual name calling you a bullshit artist. I’ve heard your stories and at this point after reading some of your bull for a while, I simply don’t believe it. Hell, I’m not even convinced that is your real name.

                    • Tim Ellis

                      Yes LP I expected at some point you would turn feral when you couldn’t mount rational arguments and it is consistent with your MO to attack the person rather than the issue. Any pretence you had of running a place with more integrity or less abuse than Mr Farrar’s site flew out the window I’m afraid.

                    • Maynard J []

                      You state a lot of things as fact that reality dictates otherwise. You say you are using your name when it is unverifiable, your other lies and distortions make the statement that it is your name very unlikely, and this means nothing anyway, yet you rail against others’ personal choice for anonymity, and then have the gall to say that Labour party activists post anonymously here. Where do you get off making judgements as to other people’s allegiances and ideals?

                      You can be entirely uncivil while using nice words, but it also appears you can be so blind as to believe no one else can see through it. I would pity you but I know it is feigned.

                    • lprent []

                      Probably only to you… What I’m asking you to explain is reasonable. I’d have to assume that because you’re unwilling to deal with the issues I’m raising on your comments that you are simply incapable or unwilling to discuss them.

                      There really aren’t that many “Tim Ellis” or variation of it in the country. You’ve been making a big thing about people ‘hiding’ behind pseudonyms. But I really can’t see any evidence that “Tim Ellis” exists. If you want to run that line, then surely you’d be prepared to prove it? Or get someone known to vouch for you?

                      After-all, you’re the one making a big thing out of it….

                    • cracked []

                      I googled Tim some time ago as I thought he must be either a psych student engaging in research on blog behaviour, a lefty troll posing as a righty troll or just a piss take. But thought that he might be this chap –

                      http://www.resiliencei.com/About-Us.aspx

                      only he/she knows who he/she is though…. and do you really care, anything you read or post on blogs should be taken with a grain of salt and a bit of a laugh anyway, I doubt most peoples blog persona has much to do with what they’re like over a cuppa face to face.

                    • lprent []

                      That was really my point. Apart from lawyers seeking a quick buck in fees, who cares about pseudonyms or real names. It is totally meaningless because what you look at is the value of peoples opinions. That usually becomes clear when they are challenged. TE has a problem with that process.

                    • felix []

                      cracked,

                      He’s said before that that isn’t him. Who knows though, it’s not like he’s a reliable source of information. I wouldn’t put identity theft past him.

                      But really who cares who he is? Does it make any difference to the crap he writes?

                • Tim Ellis

                  If you are referring to me, LP then you have scraped a new level of hypocrisy. I thought your hysterical ruling that allowed others to openly abuse me a couple of weeks ago was bad enough, but for you to own and run a website that runs anonymous postings by labour party activists while you say you don’t know the identity of these people, yet at the same time you pass judgement on the motives of a real person who uses their real name in comments, says to me you have hit the low tide mark.

                  • felix

                    Alice, your definition of “abuse” is a bit self-serving for anyone to take you seriously in this regard. Which is why no-one does.

                    If you don’t like being called a liar, don’t tell lies.

                    Simple enough isn’t it?

            • lprent 5.2.1.3.1.2

              I suspect that you are just acting like a fool. But I’ll ask anyway. How exactly did the greens structure their affairs to accommodate families in wellington at the taxpayers expense?

              From what I can see of the greens superannuation plan, it is just a landlord charging market rents. The only thing different is that someone forgot to divide by two. I don’t see spouses or kids being put up rent and mortgage free at my taxpaying expense.

            • Tim Ellis 5.2.1.3.1.3

              Nice to see you taking the low moral ground with the families issue LP. Mr English, if he is an out of town MP (and we will know soon from the AG whether this is the case) is entitled to a Ministerial house. You know, the same kind of Ministerial house that Mr Anderton had and Mr Goff had. You can bet that the cost of Mr Anderton’s house (Vogel House) and Mr Goff’s ministerial house were significantly more than Mr English received for his house.

            • Swampy 5.2.1.3.1.4

              Don’t forget to throw in all the electorate offices around the country, owned by parties or MPs, that are rented by Parliamentary Services.,

          • Gordon Shumway 5.2.1.3.2

            I suspect you are acting the fool lprent, so we are even.

            The Superannuation scheme structuring allows year-on-year for the maximum amount to be claimed as “rent”, rather than a decreasing amount claimed to pay mortgage interest. <———– That's ignoring the issue of "forgot to divide by two".

            Whatever way you dice it, it's structuring that just happens to increase the expenses that could be claimed by each MP.

            I will say again, just like Bill English, the arrangement is probably legal but certainly small-minded and greedy,

            • Maynard J 5.2.1.3.2.1

              Oh, so you think they should be forced to buy a house, and that MPs are not allowed to rent. So, representative democracy, as long as the representatives are rich. Nice one.

            • lprent 5.2.1.3.2.2

              You are a fool. What do you think that the superannuation fund is for? Purchasing houses? No I’d go further and call you simple….

              Yep, it is called a market rate. As an owner of rented property myself (and simplifying down to your level) you view the mortgage payment as being part of the ‘cost’, the ‘rent’ you get from tenants as being revenue. The difference between the rent and costs is called ‘profit’.

              The amount you can charge for a property is called the ‘market rate’. It is at this price point that you can find someone willing to rent the property. Based on similar properties this is usually reasonably well known.

              The intent of all of this is so that the fund can use the ‘profit’ to pay the beneficences of the superannuation fund or to increase its value for when it does pay it. To be a sustainable fund, it will charge market rates to make money.

        • gitmo 5.2.1.4

          Tom, suckling on the public teat is entrenched amongst parliamentarians – it knows no political boundaries.

          “Ms Turei said the Greens’ setup was not a “rort”. But the system should be reviewed, including whether MPs should be able to personally benefit from an allowance, as they had for decades.

          “When I first got into Parliament MPs from other parties told me that is the first thing I should do buy a flat in Wellington because the [mortgage] interest would be paid.”

          http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/2930184/Greens-pay-back-double-dip-rent-error

          This is bound to be just the tip of the iceberg – their sense of entitlement is appalling – remember Douglas’s commentary on spending up large to the taxpayer to go up to the UK to see his grandchildren – all perfectly legal of course but also undeniably gorging at the public teat. Then you could go on to look at the number of past parliamentarians and cronies who are put on the boards of publicly owned/run entities…… it just goes on and on and on.

          • Swampy 5.2.1.4.1

            As far as I can see the issue is pretty much split between
            – People who think that MPs are all gorging at the trough, and should get a lot less

            – People who think MPs are entitled to those things due to the nature of the job they are doing.

            When it gets down to the level of Parliament, it gets pretty silly to see the Greens pretending they are principled when clearly their aim is to do the same things as every other party and MP in Parliament.

            When the expenses claims were first released back earlier this year, National and Labour kept quiet because each knows full well that each has about the same exposure to allegations they are milking the system. It’s mainly been the Greens trying to curry political favour who have started making so much noise.

            Some fools in Labour and the Progressives now started hassling English with the H-word despite their own H-ness on this matter. It is a political game with high stakes.

            The Greens certainly have not been open about their arrangements so they are beginning to look like prize Hs which is about what I would have expected.

            [lprent: Much much better today Swampy. There were actually some points in there rather than just the simple spinning of lines you wrote yesterday. Consequently I didn’t feel the urge to reciprocally graffiti your comments. ]

            • felix 5.2.1.4.1.1

              So you see no difference between:

              a) claiming an allowance you are entitled to,

              and

              b) lying about your circumstances to claim an allowance you are not entitled to.

              I suggest that the problem is not the allowance, but the lying.

  6. burt 6

    You guys just don’t get it do you. If National can say “others were doing it too” and also say “look the Green’s got it wrong so the rules must be confusing” then… what choice will they have but to validate what English did?

    DPF is just doing the same work for National that was done here at the standard for Labour in 2006.

  7. Tom Semmens 7

    “…It got Espiner all excited…”

    I was watching the charming Pixar movie “Up” with my nephew the other day, and the dogs in it remnded me of something I couldn’t quite put a finger on. Now it has come to me. They reminded me of the press gallery.

  8. Herodotus 8

    Minor point, by undercharging rents, is there not some tax issue?
    As if a coy undercharges rent to an employee is there not an FBT issue as there is an interrelated parties here and the ability to deduct full expenses associated to the property?
    Main point I want to make is that all these discussions are leading us away from what I think is the real issue. The appropiateness of such payments and the rules that are associated. I take from inferance that the rules are Ok as all parties concerned are operting within them. So if that is the case as long as an individual complies with them that is ok. Before I get targeted I am basing an assumption that Bills trust is not doggy as that is another issue that could be solved by a timeline and supporting docs !!

    • DavidW 8.1

      Or as one of the Standard’s commenters so helpfully pointed out the other day (sorry, can’t remember who) there is an obligation on the Trustees to maximise the income from the Trust’s investments. How does renting to yourself “at below market value” achieve that?

      • DavidW 8.1.1

        Also have to say that as far as I know there is no obligation on Parliamentary Services to pay “market rents” so what is relevant is how does the charged rent relate to the maximum claimable amount? I suspect the magic figure is $24,000 pa which (surprise, surprise) is remarkably close to $461 per week which (surprise surprise) is just below the claimed “market rent” of $500 per week. WOW

  9. Tim Ellis 9

    I haven’t made a “big thing” about people “hiding” behind pseudonyms LP. I’ve made a big thing about people with pseudonyms making personal attacks against real people who use their real names that have the effect of excluding those people. Those are policies of your blog that apparently you’re quite happy to be hypocritical in the least in enforcing. Right now it’s also clear that any moral high ground you might have had over the “sewer” is gone and your gutter attacks against me are just as cowardly.

    • lprent 9.1

      Don’t be stupid.

      A. I haven’t claimed any high ground. What I’m interested in is having a useful site rather than one one full of
      crap. That is why I drive trolls out. It is also why I stomp on people trying to set the rules for others.
      The only rules on this site are the ones the moderators and I care to enforce.

      B. If people have an issue with ‘personal’ attacks in posts, then my e-mail is clearly available on the About.
      Talk to me about it. In the last 2 years there has been precisely one person who has had an issue,
      and that was with a comment referring to them rather than a post.

      C. You frequently make insinuations based around psuedonym’s. Frankly it is just bullshit. There is no real
      benefit as far as other people are concerned about real names vs psuedonyms. It is what you write
      that carries value. You frequently say things of value. You also spin a lot of bullshit. People judge you on
      that. Exactly the same applies to posts.

      D. I realize you’re out of town today. But you should really think about what you say rather than relying
      on pontification.

      E. Always remember what the primary cause of self-martyrdom is on this site (read the Policy).

      Anyway, I’ve wasted enough time on this already. Back to bug hunting

  10. mike 10

    “The Greens made a simple bookkeeping mistake which they corrected when they discovered it”

    I bet you believe in the tooth fairy too Marty if you swallow that crap from the greens.
    If it was a simple bookkeeping mistake they would have advised PS and put buried a press release somewhere.

  11. Swampy 11

    Sorry, you’re wrong about the mortgage payments. MPs can only claim the interest part of a mortgage payment, which is only a part of the payment.

    [I could tell you of several investment properties where the rent doesn’t cover an interest-only mortgage. marty]

  12. Swampy 12

    Hmm, lemme see

    “that would be a rort that’s not what the Greens do.”

    Says who? Phillida Bunkle did what English is accused of.

    “Bill English, in contrast, claimed an allowance he wasn’t entitled to. Bill’s not in trouble because of perception. He’s in trouble for unrepentantly and intentionally ripping us off by lying about where his primary place of residence is so he could get money that wasn’t for him.”

    Says who?

    This is all just opinion. Where is the corroboration? Selective quoting and opinionating is not really going to help your case. English’s arrangements were approved with the full knowledge of all the Speakers of Parliament at the time. That doesn’t help your case much.

    • felix 12.1

      This has been gone over so many times it could only be you who still doesn’t get it.

      The Speaker takes an MP at their word. There is no checking up on what the MP says – if Bill says he lives in Dipton, the Speaker doesn’t go through his phone bills to verify it – he just accepts the MP’s word.

      So what you’re pointing out is that Bill English has probably lied to several different speakers over the years.

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    After a brief dalliance with 'hard Revoke' it looks like the Lib Dems are changing ground on on Brexit, with leader Jo Swinson reverting to calling for a second referendum on Johnson's deal.The party has tabled an amendment to the Queen’s speech requesting that any deal brought back from Brussels ...
    5 days ago
  • An odious bill
    The government has decided that someone has done Something Bad. But despite their belief, there seems to be no evidence that they have actually broken the law. So the government's solution is to pass a retrospective law allowing them to be punished anyway, on a lower standard of proof. If ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • National is now the party of climate arson
    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    5 days ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    6 days ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
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    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    6 days ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    6 days ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    6 days ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    6 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Local bodies
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    1 week ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
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    1 week ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Is this study legit? 5 questions to ask when reading news stories of medical research
    Hassan Vally, La Trobe University Who doesn’t want to know if drinking that second or third cup of coffee a day will improve your memory, or if sleeping too much increases your risk of a heart attack? We’re invested in staying healthy and many of us are interested in reading ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    1 week ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
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    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Pacific Peoples Minister to attend Our Ocean Conference in Norway
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, heads to Oslo today to represent New Zealand at the sixth Our Ocean Conference, which is being hosted by the Norwegian Government from the 23-24 October. “The Our Ocean Conference mobilises real action on issues like marine plastic pollution and the impacts of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Government announces 27 percent increase in Trades Academy places
    Two secondary-school initiatives are being expanded as part of the Government’s plan to see more young New Zealanders take up a trade to help close the skills gap.   This includes the largest single increase in Trades Academy places in recent years. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
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    1 week ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
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    1 week ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago