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Brownlee concerned about safety? Yeah right.

Written By: - Date published: 11:30 am, June 22nd, 2010 - 13 comments
Categories: Mining - Tags: , , ,

The New York Times has a excellent article on the failure of the last line of defense on the sunken Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico. But at least the US has some rules about safety requirements – we don’t. It appears that we have Brownlee and the now notorious Ministry for Economic Development* looking at our regulatory framework for guarding our environment.

On 5 May, the New Zealand Herald quoted Brownlee saying:

“New Zealand has very high environmental standards and particularly, safety requirements. Just what happened in the Gulf at the moment seems somewhat unclear and I think the whole of the oil producing world will be wanting to find out exactly what went wrong to make sure that if it was something that can be mitigated against, that’s what happens.”

From the NYT:-

Its very name — the blind shear ram — suggested its blunt purpose. When all else failed, if the crew of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig lost control of a well, if a dreaded blowout came, the blind shear ram’s two tough blades were poised to slice through the drill pipe, seal the well and save the day. Everything else could go wrong, just so long as ‘the pinchers’ went right. All it took was one mighty stroke.

On the night of April 20, minutes after an enormous blowout ripped through the Deepwater Horizon, the rig’s desperate crew pinned all hope on this last line of defense.

But the line did not hold.

An examination by The New York Times highlights the chasm between the oil industry’s assertions about the reliability of its blowout preventers and a more complex reality. It reveals that the federal agency charged with regulating offshore drilling, the Minerals Management Service, repeatedly declined to act on advice from its own experts on how it could minimize the risk of a blind shear ram failure.

This article is well worth reading bearing in mind the vast tracts of deep sea that this government is attempting to open up for off-shore oil exploration with tax incentives and what looks like an incredibly  lax regulatory framework. The failures in the Gulf were partially technical – especially with single points of failure on safety devices.

But the main problem with the Deepwater Horizon and other rigs appears to have been exacerbated by a lax enforcement of a regulatory framework about the safety mechanisms that were designed to prevent this type of ecological disaster. Quite simply, even if everything had worked correctly, there was a significant chance that the mechanisms would have been incapable of cutting and sealing the pipe.

In 1990, a blind shear ram could not snuff out a major blowout on a rig off Texas. It cut the pipe, but investigators found that the sealing mechanism was damaged. And in 1997, a blind shear ram was unable to slice through a thick joint connecting two sections of drill pipe during a blowout of a deep oil and gas well off the Louisiana coast. Even now, despite advances in technology, it is virtually impossible for a blind shear ram to slice through these joints. In an emergency, there is no time for a driller to make sure the ram’s blades are clear of these joints, which can make up almost 10 percent of the drill pipe’s length.

It will be worth reading this article to compare it with whatever measures Gerry Brownlee comes up with in his ‘review’ of safety measures for off-shore drilling here. As the coasts of Louisiana through to Texas are now showing, a single failure can cause immense amounts of damage to both the ecology and the economics of vast areas.

Brownlee is known for his dubious, lackadaisical and distinctly non-rigorous approach to economic and risk assessments towards mining and prospecting. This has been displayed in his recent promotion of on-shore mining using mining industry puff figures and virtually no intelligence. So any assurances he comes up with should be looked through closely in view of the data coming from the disaster in the US. After all assurances from the mining industries have a certain degree of self-interest, and with a compliant and pretty lazy minister in charge, you’d have to ask if the depth of investigation is going to be any more than a industry whitewash – eventually destroying coastlines, tourism, and fishing industries.

How lax is our regulatory environment for offshore rig failures? It is simply pathetic. As David Beatson pointed out at Pundit recently.

Maritime New Zealand is currently the core regulator of off-shore petroleum installations. Last week, MNZ environmental analyst Alison Lane said regulations in New Zealand require offshore rig operators to prove they have adequate emergency procedures in place during annual audits, but the rules do not specify what systems are necessary.

Maritime New Zealand has just $12 million worth of oil spill recovery equipment and dispersing chemicals scattered in 20 locations around the country, and three 8.2 metre transportable oil recovery vessels hardly enough to cope with crude oil spewing out of a single malfunctioning deep water wellhead at a rate of up to 3 million litres a day.

As we can now see on a daily basis, deep water drilling is a risky business. New Zealand needs to do more than chant ‘drill, baby, drill’ and count on Brownlee’s Luck.

Of course, since Brownlee is the mining industries friend, one would kind of expect that any ‘review’ of the safety of oil rigs would be a bit of a farce. Just as it was in the US and even that the oil companies appear to have found onerous.

The NYT commented:-

Yet as the industry moves into deeper waters, it is pressing to reduce government-mandated testing of blowout preventers. BP and other oil companies helped finance a study early this year arguing that blowout preventer pressure tests conducted every 14 days should be stretched out to every 35 days. The industry estimated the change could save $193 million a year in lost productivity.

The study found that blowout preventers almost always passed the required government tests — there were only 62 failures out of nearly 90,000 tests conducted over several years — but it also raised questions about the effectiveness of these tests.

‘It is not possible,’ the study pointed out, ‘to completely simulate’ the actual conditions of deepwater wells.

Yeah right – this is from the country that damn near invented off-shore drilling and has probably the most experience of any country in how to manage it – unlike NZ.

New Zealand hardly seems to be in a good condition to have a blowout. The government earned slightly less than one billion NZ dollars from oil and gas revenues last year. BP has (with a bit of urging from Obama) just put aside a preliminary $30 billion US dollars to clean up the oil spill and compensate affected industries.

Perhaps Brownlee spend less time in chasing prospectors and should concentrate on getting the regulatory and inspection regimes up to scratch. The time to do this is before hunting for easy dollars. The cleanup left behind from a single point of failure could be a lot more expensive than we can afford.

But Brownlee is more known for his  bullheaded stupidity than his attention to detail. This is shown in how he is conducting the ‘review’, in a process that seems designed to come up with the optimistic conclusions he ins interested in. With Brownlee and the MED conducting this review of safety, I suspect that the least risky option is to leave the oil in the ground and wait until we get someone competent to conduct the review of drilling and pumping safety.

* Looking at the material from the MED over the last year has become an interesting exercise.  It has been showing strong signs of ministerial abuse with inadequate and sloppy material in several areas (including mining). In fact it is showing the characteristic signs of an organization being run by Management by Tantrum techniques. It is one of the more stupid managerial techniques favored by those more interested in being seen to be working than actually doing the work.

Apparently this style is characteristic of Brownlees. He either completely ignoring specific policies or being all over it and wants everything to be complete immediately. Since that means he isn’t involved in the policy formation, it means he is always ill-prepared, so instead of blaming his own lack of attention – he blames others inside the organization. And I guess no one has told Brownlee the inevitable consequences of this type of abuse on an organization. People start telling you what you want to hear. Everything deteriorates until there is a colossal crash.

13 comments on “Brownlee concerned about safety? Yeah right.”

  1. Pascal's bookie 1

    I’m sure Gerry will give the co’s the freedom to use Best Practice

  2. precious 2

    Brownlee is ignorant not only of safety, but more critically the looming oil crunch.

    Petrobas has the offshore license to drill near the East Coast. Mr Gabrielli, the CEO of Petrobras, gave a presentation in December 2009 in which he shows world oil capacity, including biofuels, peaking in 2010 due to oil capacity additions from new projects being unable to offset world oil decline rates. ( http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6169 ) He joins other oil CEO’s, Lloyds of London, the US military and a host of other experts pointing to an imminent oil crisis.

    Gabrielli states in his presentation that the world needs oil volumes the equivalent of one Saudi Arabia every two years to offset future world oil decline rates.

    Even if the safety and regulatory issues can be sorted (unlikely) and oil is actually found (even more unlikely) no oil will be flowing from the East Coast for 10 years. We will still pay the world price for any local oil found anyway so we do not escape the severe economic impacts of a world oil crunch.

    As much higher oil prices and fuel shortages loom, Brownlee and his ilk prepare us for this crisis by building more roads! “Bull headed stupidity” is too mild

  3. joe90 3

    Related but I don’t remember whether or not I’ve posted this.

    The REAL REASON behind the BP spill.

    • RedLogix 3.1

      The question of the ‘acoustic switch’ in essence a device to remotely trigger the BOP blind shear rams in the event both the rig control and the local deadman control had failed, would probably not have made any difference in this case. It seems that the BOP blind shears were triggered, but for so far unknown reasons one side of the pair failed to move.

      There is a very long list of failures associated with this disaster; the acoustic switch is not at the top of it.

  4. Brownlee is a complete waste of space as a politician, incompetent, brainless and lazy.
    He has been a leach of the public purse as a MP.

  5. Doug 5

    Once again industry overstates its competence. Lauded best practice is found inadequate again (I still have yet to see it), and the subsequent litigation is just a cost of doing business.

    They must daily thank the lucky stars for the short attention spans of the media and the public and our ability to adapt to declining enviornmental quality while accepting that it is just normal to live in every increasing filth. What Jared Diamond call creeping normalacy.

  6. tsmithfield 6

    Paradoxically, now is probably the safest time ever to start a deep water drilling project. A bit like going on holiday to Bali not long after the bombings. Drillers would be hyper-vigilant at the moment and would take absolutely every precaution to ensure that nothing goes wrong. The thought of going bankrupt as a result of incompetence is a strong incentive to be careful.

    • Pascal's bookie 6.1

      BP’s been bankrupted has it?

      The execs have had their last few years bonus’s clawed back have they?

      We got the legislative shit in place to ensure they would be bankrupted?

  7. RedLogix 7

    Yes that’s sort of true ts, but hypervigilance costs money… lots of it. And that changes the economics of deep sea drilling substantially. Think also insurance premimums or in the case of self-insuring as most big companies do, the change in risk profile the market prices into the business.

    And of course you’ve tangentially hit on the critical consequence of Mocando; that politically no-one can afford for another one to happen.

  8. Jenny 8

    LPRENT:

    I suspect that the least risky option is to leave the oil in the ground

    I agree, Yet in comments by Labour Party supporters on this site and even in a post by MartyG (though he admitted that Labour wouldn’t do it themselves) urged the Greens to oppose the S&F bill even though it gives local tangata whenua, (iwi), the power to give the order, literally, “to leave the oil in the ground.”

    In another post on the same issue Marty went on tosay that Maori will pervert the power of a veto over exploitation of the marine environment into a money making racket.

    MartyG:

    The veto power and mineral rights will be used to extract rents from businesses.

    What do you think?

    • lprent 8.1

      I don’t trust iwi organizations all that much either. They have come a long way from the early debacles in terms of the iwi management (some of the earlier decisions that some made about investments were rather astonishing). Fewer of them have failed (effectively gone bankrupt) than I was predicting in the early 80’s whilst supporting the initial tentative Waitangi tribunal process. But I still don’t trust their decision making processes any more than I do for other corporations. They operate in the interests of their stakeholders, the same as every other corporate.

      I’m afraid that I support having the state control of assets and processes that support us all. Surely you’ve seen some of my comments on the sensitivity of coastal processes? Look them up. I did an earth sciences degree and I’m acutely aware of how easy it is to cause large and widespread damage from ill-considered decisions. I haven’t noticed that Maori organizations were any less susceptible to making crappy decisions myself. If the state controls it, then at least the perpetrators of abuses of the environment were directly voted by us and are accountable to us.

      But that is me. You’d have to ask each Labour supporter (and I’m not sure that Marty is one) what their position is. It is not a doctrinaire party and tolerates a very wide range of opinions. Mine is well to the ‘right’ of the party norms on many things, well to the ‘left’ on others, and well to the ‘green’ on others.

      BTW: If you look closely at my post, I wasn’t opposing extracting oil and gas from offshore. I was opposing extracting it unsafely – which is what I think that Brownlee and NACT are heading towards.

  9. Jenny 9

    US government gets rolled by the oil companies over deep sea oil drilling moratorium.

    Well at least they don’t have to any native title to overcome, as they have in Canada and possibly soon New Zealand.

    Well maybe not if MartyG can convince the Greens to vote against it.

    Good luck with that buddy.

    US offshore drilling ban gets overturned

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    7 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
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    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
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    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
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    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
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  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
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  • An equitable way to support business
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
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    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
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    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
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    PunditBy Brian Easton
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  • What about renters?
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
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    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
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  • Transparency and the pandemic
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
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    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
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    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    2 weeks ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago

  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
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    12 hours ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
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    2 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
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    3 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
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    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago