Bridging the Big Ditch

Written By: - Date published: 10:04 am, August 20th, 2009 - 22 comments
Categories: australian politics, uncategorized - Tags:

Mr Key is off in Australia this week promoting further measures to bind the two countries into a single economic market, and slash red tape on trade, investment and business, and to shape the two economies into a force that can team up to position themselves for the world after the global economic crisis.. Well at least that is the rhetoric. So far the only detail we have on the table is a nice, but ultimately cosmetic offer, to put trans-Tasman travel on a domestic basis.

There is of course a real merit and benefit for both nations to continue down the path of closer integration. The total NZ economy would the equivalent of adding a component just a little larger than State of Victoria to the Australian Federation, and there are many opportunities for the two economies to gain synergies from each other. We are different, but that would bring strength to the relationship if we build on them constructively.

It’s also often forgotten that the Australian Constitution still has an inactivated provision to include NZ in the Federation, and ultimately that is the goal we should be aiming for. If we are going to snuggle up even more intimately with the Aussies, we should be armwrestling a ring and a trip down the aisle out of them. We’ve been a defacto couple since CER, but in many ways that’s left NZ on the back foot, with Australian business and investment gaining far more from access to NZ than the other way around.

Yet previously Key appeared to reject the critical element of any true partnership, the need to properly and openly share our finances.

Mr Key said New Zealand needed to retain its fiscal independence in case of an economic catastrophe, such as an outbreak of foot and mouth disease.

Only then could there be an enormous correction in currency to try to offset “economic carnage”, he said.

“As an example, you’ve seen in Ireland at the moment the challenges that they’re having where they’re part of the European Union, the currency’s the Euro and they really can’t get the currency depreciation that they need to kick-start their economy.”

Herald

A very ironic argument, given that NZ has been hurting its exporters with an overvalued dollar all this year, and Mr Key’s govt has been umoved to do anything about it. But worse still it sends a message to the Australians that we still aren’t really serious about the relationship, that we want to play the field with them, but we don’t trust them enough to make a real commitment.

Mr Key said he wanted to achieve a seamless business environment in which a company in Melbourne could do business in Auckland as easily as it could in Sydney. Herald

Note how Key has framed this in terms of an Australian company coming over here to do business, and not the other way around. Effectively he’s spruiking off NZ as a good place for big Aussie companies to come and do business. While there some examples of Kiwi business doing well over the Tasman, the overall record is a very poor one. And won’t get better until the Australians are prepared to give us some respect. I recall years ago my father returning from a business trip to Melbourne and declaring, with some real feeling, over dinner, “Those bloody Aussies treat us Kiwis like we treat the Cook Islanders!”.

This must be our next step up in the world. Its time we mustered the confidence in our own identity as a people, as a nation, to step up to full political unity with the Australian Federation. Until then our big brash Aussie cuzzies will cheerfully shag us on the side, but never take us seriously.

22 comments on “Bridging the Big Ditch ”

  1. Mikaere Curtis 1

    This must be our next step up in the world. Its time we mustered the confidence in our own identity as a people, as a nation, to step up to full political unity with the Australian Federation.
    I’ll give that a big sidestep, thanks.

    The last thing we need is to have an Australian Federal Government dictating how we should run out own country. I understand the benefits of closer economic integration, and can see an argument for a join ANZAC currency (but not adopting their one).

    But seriously, do you really think we compatible politically ? How do you see Te Tiriti being treated under this arrangement ? What of bi-culturalism ? The Aussies are hardly known for a nuanced, complex understanding of the plight of their own indigenous population, and this would put at risk *decades* for peaceful development of a raft of initiatives to bring Maori out of colonisation-driven poverty. We’re not there by a long shot, but you can hardly argue that the Australian government has any value to add, can you ?

    Talk to anyone who works for a large Australian-owned/dominated company. Except for Vodafone (where for years NZ Vodafone has helped sort them out), the story goes pretty much like this in far too many cases:

    1. The Aussies think NZ and AU are exactly the same
    2. Aussie company does much more turnover than the Kiwis, so obviously they are doing it better
    3. Aussies start calling the shots and because the markets are different, the Kiwi company starts losing market share
    4. Conclusion, Kiwis aren’t any good at this, lets start selling/asset stripping or similar.

    I’ve even seen it happen when the Kiwis are doing significantly *better* than the Aussies.

    And you want to import this paradigm across our entire economic and political system ? Luckily, our politicians can see the dangers, even if you can’t – chance of happening = zero.

    • Lanthanide 1.1

      This appears to be what has happened to Fujitsu IT. They bought out Infinity Solutions and put it under control of Fujitsu Australia. Fujitsu Australia imposed their accounting and customer tracking systems on top of Infinity, and my partner who was a mid-level manager at the time went from doing 1 week a month of administration to 3 weeks, with no actual improvement in productivity whatsoever, just jumping through administrative paper hoops. Simply because the kinds of customers Oz dealt with were contracts in tens of millions of dollars, and they expect Fujitsu NZ to use the same systems, when dealing with contracts smaller than 10k, or often time & materials work on an as-needed basis.

    • RedLogix 1.2

      And you want to import this paradigm across our entire economic and political system ?

      Which was precisely my point. The paradigm you deplore is ALREADY here and not likely to go away anytime soon. Far from seeing any ‘dangers’, John Key is talking about ‘stripping away red tape and barriers’ to make it even easier for the big Aussie companies to come here and continue exactly what you are rightly identifying as an issue.

      Yet NZ is larger than the State of Victoria. In the long run there is no reason why NZ should not be an equal partner, standing on equal terms, in a larger Australian Federation. The only other way path would be to turn inwards, cut ties with Australia and isolate ourselves… and I don’t see that happening either.

      Or we can do nothing, carry on resentfully whining about the way the Aussies treat us, and wonder why we keep on getting screwed.

      • Mikaere Curtis 1.2.1

        Uh-huh. So, if the problem is the Aussies screwing us, the solution is to become Australian so they can not only screw our businesses, but they can do it to our political system, our education system, our health system…

        Your idea of equality is to become a state under the federation. My idea of equality is to be a country at the UN just like Australia. Are you sure you’re not a troll ?

        @Lanthanide: Bang on, and it’s near impossible to do anything about because HQ in Sydney or Melbourne don’t want to hear what our problems are.

        • RedLogix 1.2.1.1

          Bang on, and it’s near impossible to do anything about because HQ in Sydney or Melbourne don’t want to hear what our problems are.

          Ok so you’ve picked the ‘whine about it’ option. What’s going to change if we just keep on with the status quo?

  2. Bill 2

    Integration from above. Never a good idea.

    I didn’t think that would need saying on a leftish blog.

    Remember internationalism and how it sits in opposition to globalisation?

  3. grumpy 3

    Buggered if I know where you learnt your economics. Those self interest parties who complain that the $NZ if overvalued are simply wrong. All year it has been undervalued!

    A low dollar only suits those exporters who cannot compete without the help of a low dollar and low real wages. The only way living standards in NZ will improve is when our exporters trade in such a way that their businesses are viable at high exchange rates so that real wages become wothwhile.

    • George D 3.1

      Indeed. Those selling in; AUD, USD, JPY and EUR all manage to export properly, despite having very strong currencies.

      Only if we’re trying to be Vietnam do we need a weak currency.

      • RedLogix 3.1.1

        My point had less to do with whether the NZD is over or undervalued, but that with a floating currency it is the market, not the govt, that really determines it’s value.

        Arguing that NZ needs to have and independent currency in order to manipulate it for local purposes is a pretty weak argument. If we follow that line then logically Southland could have it’s own local dollar to suit it’s own purposes too. It begs the question as to what basis do we issue independent currencies?

        On the other hand I can point to a global trend towards currency unions, and to idea that at some point in the future a truly globalised earth might well use just one common currency of fixed value. At that point all the arguments about over or undervalued currencies, all the parasitical trading and speculation in currencies, all the devious, damaging manipulations fall away and become irrelevant.

  4. Turn off the TV 4

    Full integration would mean that the Reserve Bank would be unable to set the interest rate (or whatever other levers on the economy become available in the future) at a level that suits us; the interest rate would be set at a level which suits the Australian economy.

    If our economies are at different stages of the cycle, it would cause all sorts of problems for us.

    We already have this problem to a small extent, within NZ. What is an appropriate rate for Southland may be totally different to Auckland. Extending that to include Australia would make the problem much worse.

    And that’s just interest rates. I’m sure we can come up with many other parts of life which would be dictated by what suits Australia. The price of carbon, the release of GE organisms, use of coal for electricity, involvement in foreign wars (Iraq?), the use of their undemocratic FPP electoral system, and god knows what else.

    • RedLogix 4.1

      Full integration might be a long term goal, but there are plenty of intermediate steps (some of which we have arguably already taken) along the way. There is no reason to think that we could not negotiate a path to retain the degree of self-determination we are comfortable with. The Australian States do maintain their own State Legislatures and their own particular character even after more than 200 years of integration.

      Assuming that NZ would suddenly become totally subsumed and vanish overnight into some amorphous Aussie maw is a strawman argument.

  5. RascallyRabbit 5

    How naive can you be?!

    “Mr Key said he wanted to achieve a seamless business environment in which a company in Melbourne could do business in Auckland as easily as it could in Sydney”

    This is called gamesmanship it would hardly be beneficial to announce in Melbourne that they want an Auckland company to do business as easily in Sydney as they can in Christchurch…that would go down well to Melbourne business audience.

    Advocating the introduction of the Australian dollar because it won’t be anything else despite what people may think about a potential “ANZAC” currency – would also be counter-productive, not only would we have a higher-value currency that we would have no control over but the 80% of New Zealand trade that isn’t done in Australian dollars would be even more expensive! Wow that will be a real kick-start for struggling exporters….

    As for a full political union and becoming a state of Australia, you do a sincere diservice to the 160+ years of New Zealand history including the two occasions where invitations to join the Australian federation were declined for many of the same reasons that Mikaere Curtis. Im sure all New Zealand nation builders past and present would love that idea….

    I honestly can’t believe this sort of thing would be advocated on the standard or by any left leaning individual, if this had happened 25 years ago, you would end up with a less comprehensive ETS, we would also have been involved in the Iraq War, have never had the chance to have the nuclear-free policy gone by lunchtime, had the decision to send SAS troops to Afghanistan taken out of our hands long ago and had a Prime-Minister that was affectionately described as practically Texan…all the while maligning minority groups even more than we do here and passionately celebrating a day where 11 ships full of convicts weighed anchor at Port Jackson.

    I say get a good strong Single Economic Market but New Zealand should retain as much sovreignty as it possibly can for as long as it can and as for Aussie business doing better here than we do over there – simple solution for us, don’t get bitter get better!

    • RedLogix 5.1

      I honestly can’t believe this sort of thing would be advocated on the standard or by any left leaning individual,

      And I honestly don’t see this as a left/right wing issue. What I do see is that we are already pretty much a Single Econmic Market as you advocate, but one in which most of the advantages accrue to the Australians, while at the same time we have little or no opportunity to exert any political leverage or accountability in the other direction.

      Nor do I think it useful to simply assume that New Zealand as an identity would vanish. Tasmania, the smallest and least influential member of the Federation, retains it’s own character quite different to the rest of Australia. (Having lived and worked there back in the 90’s I was pleasantly surprised just how similar it felt to living here in NZ… quite different to say Queensland or NT.)

  6. felix 6

    Nah, when he says things like “a company in Melbourne could do business in Auckland” he really means an Auckland company doing business in Melbourne.

    Same as when talks about wages.

  7. George D 7

    Australians at every level of society barely notice New Zealand. It very rarely gets in the news for any reason, apart from when something stupid/funny happens in NZ. When they do think of New Zealand, it is as as a country of snowy mountains and sheep.

    New Zealand might be having difficulty, but it has little to gain from a union with Australia.

    • RedLogix 7.1

      Australians at every level of society barely notice New Zealand.

      Aucklanders barely notice Southland. Good reason for Southland to cede from NZ? (OK so more than a few folk living south of the Bombay Hills would fervently agree, but that doesn’t make it a good idea.)

      On the other hand NZ as a member of the Aus Federation would be the second largest State. Likely to be ignored? Is Victoria, currently the second largest State ‘barely noticed’? I don’t think so.

      There are pros and cons to political union with the Aussies, but I’m not hearing anything much more than echoes of NZ’s cultural cringe.

      • RascallyRabbit 7.1.1

        Why is New Zealand the second largest state in this new federation?

        NSW, VIC and QLD all have more people (7m, 5.3m and 4.41m respecitvely) vs. NZ 4.3m

        The well documented “wage gap” also means that all these states have economies far larger than NZ’s while the next state in the queue: WA with a population about 2m less than NZ still has an economy roughly 70% the size of NZ’s.

        New Zealand’s “voice” in this new federation would lie probably on a par or even less than WA’s current voice given that we are both isolated; but as WA accounts for a good percentage of the Aussie resources boom and holds many of the barganing chips in the Sino-Australian relationship they would probably (just) shout us down….

        No matter what way its spun I don’t think joining the Australian federation is a good idea for New Zealand.

        Although I see this afternoon that an ANZAC style expiditionary force is being investigated to be set up – so maybe we are only a few more steps away…

        • RedLogix 7.1.1.1

          Yes you’re right. We are almost exactly neck and neck with QLD, in both population and GDP terms. I was going from memory on out of date information. But it’s not a big gap up to VIC.

          And it scarcely changes my point does it? NZ would not be a ‘barely noticeable’ addition, in population, economic or political terms to the Australian Federation.

  8. Olwyn 8

    There seems to me to be problems either way: with close economic ties and being a separate country from Australia, we do not have senate representation to support our interests as states do, on the other hand, NZers and Aussies have quite different views on where their national interests lie, so that NZ might not settle very comfortably into being a state of Australia. People frequently bring up differences with regard to race issues, completely overlooking the fact that something like a fifth of Maori live in Australia, while you rarely see an Aborigine face on this side of the ditch. In Aus the unions are stronger and more confident that they are here, and there is more of a broad equality among citizens, though I doubt Dr Brash will take this into account in his attempts to find ways for us to catch up with them economically.

  9. lprent 9

    It is an interesting train of thought. Our economies are intertwined to a degree that would have seemed impossible when CER was put into place in the early 80s.

    I need to have a think on it

  10. Zaphod Beeblebrox 10

    NZ would finally have half decent cricket team representing them and the the All Wallabies might be able to find a decent lineout jumper.

  11. ChrisW 11

    It would certainly help close the wage gap with Australia. The Aussie minimum wage is AUD 14.31 / hour or NZD 17.45 – that would be a 40% wage rise for those on the NZ minimum wage of NZD 12.50 / hour.

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  • Juggernaut
    Politics were going on all around us yesterday, and we barely noticed, rolling along canal paths, eating baguettes. It wasn’t until my mate got to the headlines last night that we learned there had been a dismayingly strong far right result in the EU elections and Macron had called a ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Numbers Game.
    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    6 days ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 10
    TL;DR: The six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty in the past day to 8:36 pm on Monday, June 10 were:20,000 protested against the Fast-track approval bill on Saturday in Auckland, but PM Christopher Luxon says ‘sorry, but not sorry’ about the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • In Defence of Kāinga Ora
    Given the headlines around the recent findings of the ‘independent’ review of Kāinga Ora by Bill English, you might assume this post will be about social housing, Kāinga Ora’s most prominent role. While that is indeed something that requires defending, I want to talk about the other core purpose of ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    7 days ago
  • Baby You're A Rich Man
    “How does it feel to beOne of the beautiful peopleNow that you know who you areWhat do you want to beAnd have you traveled very far?Far as the eye can see”Yesterday the ACT party faithful were regaled with craven boasts, sneers, and demands for even more at their annual rally.That ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Stopping a future Labour government from shutting down gas exploration
    A defiant Resources Minister Shane Jones has responded to Saturday’s environmental protests by ending Labour’s offshore oil exploration ban and calling for long-term contracts with any successful explorers. The purpose would be to prevent a future Labour Government from reversing any licence the explorers might hold. Jones sees a precedent ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    7 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #23
    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 2, 2024 thru Sat, June 8, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is Yale Climate Connection's Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths, by ...
    1 week ago
  • Fission by the river
    This is where we ate our lunch last Wednesday. Never mind your châteaux and castles and whatnot, we like to enjoy a baguette in the shadow of a nuclear power plant; a station that puts out more than twice as much as Manapouri using nothing more than tiny atoms to bring ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Fact Brief – Is the ocean acidifying?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is the ocean acidifying? Acidification of oceans ...
    1 week ago
  • 20,000+ on Queen St.
    The largest protest I ever went on was in the mid 90s. There were 10,000 people there that day, and I’ve never forgotten it. An enormous mass of people, chanting together. Stretching block after block, bringing traffic to a halt.But I can’t say that’s the biggest protest I’ve ever been ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Josh Drummond's Columns
    Hi there,I wanted to put all of Josh Drummond’s Webworm pieces all in one place. I love that he writes for Webworm — and all of these are a good read!David.Why Are So Many “Christians” Hellbent on Being Horrible?Why do so many objectively hideous people declare themselves “Christian”?Meeting the Master ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday soliloquy and weekend Pick ‘n’ Mix for June 8/9
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: On reflection, the six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty this week were:The Government-driven freeze in building new classrooms, local roads and water networks in order to save cash for tax cuts is frustrating communities facing massive population ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The no-vision thing
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • When Journalists are Disingenuous
    Hi,One of the things I like the most about Webworm is to be able to break down the media and journalism a little, and go behind the scenes.This is one of those times.Yesterday an email arrived in my inbox from journalist Jonathan Milne, who is managing editor at Newsroom.I don’t ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Me, elsewhere: Just say you’ll do the thing
    Wrote something over at 1/200 on a familiar theme of mine: The way we frame the economy as a separate, sacred force which must be sacrificed to, the way we talk about criminals as invaders who must be repelled, the constant othering of people on the benefit, people not in ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 week ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted
    A nice bit of news today: my 4600-word historical fantasy-horror piece, A Voyage Among the Vandals, has been accepted by Phobica Books (https://www.phobicabooks.co.uk/books) for their upcoming Pirate Horror anthology, Shivering Timbers. This one is set in the Mediterranean, during the mid-fifth century AD. Notable for having one of history’s designated ...
    1 week ago
  • Ministerial conflicts of interest
    Since the National government came to power, it has been surrounded by allegations of conflicts of interest. Firstly, there's the fast-track law, which concentrates power in the hands of three Ministers, some of whom have received donations from companies whose projects they will be deciding on. Secondly, there's the close ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The 2024 Budget Forecasts Are Gloomy Prognosis About The Next Three Years.
    There was no less razzamatazz about the 2024 Budget than about earlier ones. Once again the underlying economic analysis got lost. It deserves more attention.Just to remind you, the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update (BEFU), is the Treasury’s independent assessment and so can be analysed by other competent economists (although ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • A government that can't see twenty feet ahead
    There are two failings that consistently characterise a National government. One is a lack of imagination, the other is their willingness to look after their mates, no matter what harm it might do to everyone else.This is how we come to have thousands of enormous trucks carving up our roads. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • A post I hope is incorrect
    In May, we learned that National MP David MacLeod had "forgotten" to declare $178,000 in electoral donations. Filing a donation return which is false in any material particular is a crime, and the Electoral Commission has now referred MacLeod to police, since they're the only people who are allowed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Māori Cannot Re-Write New Zealand’s Constitution By Stealth.
    The Kotahitanga Parliament 1897: A Māori Parliament – at least in the guise of a large and representative body dedicated to describing the shape of New Zealand’s future from a Māori perspective – would be a very good idea.THE DEMAND for a “Māori Parliament” needs to be carefully unpicked. Some Pakeha, ...
    1 week ago
  • Cowpats and Colonials.
    Dumbtown, is how my friend Gerard refers to people like ZB listeners - he’s not wrong.Normally on a Friday I start by looking at Mike Hosking’s moronic reckons of the week which he vomits down the throats of his audience like helpless baby birds in a nest, grateful for the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on cutting the sick leave of vulnerable workers
    Should sick leave be part and parcel of the working conditions from Day One on the job, just like every other health and safety provision? Or should access to sick leave be something that only gradually accumulates, depending on how long a worker has been on the payroll? If enacted ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Move: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
    So long as we live in a democracy, economic policy can never be anything other than social-democratic.“HEH!”, snorted Laurie, as he waved his debit card over the EFTPOS machine. “Same price as last week. I guess budgets aren’t what they used to be.”“I wouldn’t know,” replied the young barman, wearily, ...
    1 week ago
  • In Search Of Unity.
    Kotahitanga: New Zealand’s future belongs to those who do not fear a nation carved out of unity and solidarity, and are willing to trust the carvers. Some New Zealanders will be required to step up, and others, perhaps for the first time in their lives, will be expected to step ...
    1 week ago
  • Weekly Roundup 7-June-2024
    Welcome to another Friday roundup! Here are some recent links and stories that caught our eye, perfectly timed for your watercooler discussions and weekend reading. As always feel free to share more in the comments. Our header image this week is by Patrick Reynolds, and shows Te Komititanga from above. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 week ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 7
    As Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, ACT’s Brooke van Velden is fronting proposed changes to sick pay regulations and The Holiday Act. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Did we boil the oceans by cutting pollution?
    Lowering aerosol emissions from shipping has altered clouds, with potentially drastic effects. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: Here’s the top six news items of note in climate news for Aotearoa-NZ this week, and a discussion above between Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer:New evidence is increasingly pointing at efforts ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #23 2024
    Open access notables Abrupt reduction in shipping emission as an inadvertent geoengineering termination shock produces substantial radiative warming, Yuan et al., Communications Earth & Environment: Human activities affect the Earth’s climate through modifying the composition of the atmosphere, which then creates radiative forcing that drives climate change. The warming effect ...
    1 week ago
  • Fragments
    The best observation I’ve read this week about the deep, profound harm Trump is doingTrump has hurled threats and smears at witnesses, jurors and the judge (including his family)... [he] has tried to intimidate witnesses and delegitimize the New York courts as corrupt. In continuing to incite his mob (that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • March for Nature
    Do do do do do do do doDo do do do do doDi di di di di di di di di di diNature enter me…In 2018 the Labour lead government banned new oil and gas exploration in Aotearoa. A change welcomed by those who care deeply for our environment and ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 6
    The Transport Minister is trying to push through urgent legislation that would allow him to change emissions standards for car imports without approval from Parliament, after only consulting car importers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Just as two major reports showed fossil fuel burning was warming the planet to dangerous levels and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago

  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
    New Zealand and Philippines are continuing to elevate our relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “The leaders of New Zealand and Philippines agreed in April 2024 to lift our relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership by 2026,” Mr Peters says. “Our visit to Manila this week has been an excellent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Paid Parental Leave increase to help families
    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Brooke van Velden says paid parental leave increase from 1 July will put more money in the pockets of Kiwi parents and give them extra support as they take precious time off to bond with their newborns. The increase takes effect from 1 July 2024 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Defence increases UN Command commitment
    The number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is increasing, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.  NZDF will deploy up to 41 additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend 'Summit on Peace in Ukraine' in Switzerland
    New Zealand will be represented at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine by Minister Mark Mitchell in Switzerland later this week.    “New Zealand strongly supports Ukraine’s efforts to build a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Minister Mitchell is a senior Cabinet Minister and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Big step forward for M.bovis programme
    Farmers’ hard work is paying off in the fight against Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) with the move to a national pest management plan marking strong progress in the eradication effort, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The plan, approved by the Coalition Government, was proposed by the programme partners DairyNZ, Beef ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Build To Rent opening welcomed by Housing Minister
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Housing Minister Chris Bishop formally opened a new Build to Rent development in Mt Wellington this morning. “The Prime Minister and I were honoured to cut the ribbon of Resido, New Zealand’s largest Build to Rent development to date.  “Build to Rent housing, like the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Agriculture to come out of the ETS
    The Government will deliver on its election commitment to take agriculture out of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) and will establish a new Pastoral Sector Group to constructively tackle biogenic methane, Coalition Government Agriculture and Climate Change Ministers say. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand farmers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Luxon Tokyo-bound for political and business visit
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will travel to Japan from 16-20 June, his first visit as Prime Minister.   “Japan is incredibly important to New Zealand's prosperity. It is the world’s fourth largest economy, and our fourth largest export destination.  “As you know, growing the economy is my number one priority. A strong economy means ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Bayly travels to Singapore for scam prevention meetings
    Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Andrew Bayly, travels to Singapore today to attend scam and fraud prevention meetings. “Scams are a growing international problem, and we are not immune in New Zealand. Organised criminal networks operate across borders, and we need to work with our Asia-Pacific partners to tackle ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More help for homeowners impacted by severe weather
    People who were displaced by severe weather events in 2022 and 2023 will be supported by the extension of Temporary Accommodation Assistance through to 30 June 2025. Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says the coalition Government is continuing to help to those who were forced out of their ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    Removing the ban on petroleum exploration beyond onshore Taranaki is part of a suite of proposed amendments to the Crown Minerals Act to deal with the energy security challenges posed by rapidly declining natural gas reserves, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “Natural gas is critical to keeping our lights on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand and Malaysia to intensify connections
    New Zealand and Malaysia intend to intensify their long-standing, deep connections, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “Malaysia is one of New Zealand’s oldest friends in South-East Asia – and both countries intend to get more out of the relationship," Mr Peters says.   "Our connections already run deep and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ending contracted emergency housing motels in Rotorua
    The end of Contracted Emergency Housing (CEH) motels in Rotorua is nearing another milestone as the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announces it will not renew consents for six of the original 13 motels, Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka says. The government is committed to stop using CEH ...
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    1 week ago
  • First Home Grant closure exemptions
    The Government is providing a narrow exemption from the discontinuation of the First Home Grant for first home buyers who may face unfair situations as a result, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. “The First Home Grant scheme was closed with immediate effect on 22 May 2024, with savings being reprioritised ...
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    1 week ago
  • Faster consenting for flood protection projects in Hawke's Bay
    Work to increase flood resilience in Hawke’s Bay can start sooner, thanks to a new fast consenting process, Minister for Emergency Management and Recovery Mark Mitchell and Environment Minister Penny Simmonds say.  “Faster consenting means work to build stop banks, spillways and other infrastructure can get underway sooner, increasing flood ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Judge Craig Coxhead and Nathan Milner newest Māori Land Court appointments
    Tangata tū tangata ora, tangata noho tangata mate. Minister for Māori Development Tama Potaka today announced acting Deputy Chief Judge Craig Coxhead as the new Deputy Chief Judge, and Nathan Milner as Judge of the Māori Land Court. "I want to congratulate Judge Coxhead and Mr Milner on their appointments ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade
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    1 week ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade and cooperation
    Trade Minister Todd McClay and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts, today signed three Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) agreements that will boost investment, grow New Zealand’s digital and green economies and increase trade between New Zealand and the 14 IPEF partners. IPEF’s partners represent 40 per cent of global GDP ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago

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