Budget commentary

Written By: - Date published: 12:23 pm, May 31st, 2019 - 65 comments
Categories: accountability, class, jacinda ardern, labour, national, Propaganda, quality of life, same old national, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags: ,

Clearly this week’s commentary on the budget can be divided on a partisan basis.

There was the frankly bizarre.  Like this effort from Maserati driver Mike Hosking.

His last few budget headlines have been:

  • Govt’s wellbeing budget a looming disaster
  • Grant Robertson’s Budget is full of massive fiscal risks
  • What’s in today’s Budget – plenty of waffle and not so much wellbeing
  • The BS ‘wellbeing Budget’ – this Government’s blown it already

No one should be surprised that dishing out large amounts of cash on welfare reform, upgrading rail and mental health support did not attract his support.  In fact the day that Mike is pleased about something the Government does is the day that us lefties should critically review our support.

Radio New Zealand has covered the budget and the events leading up to it extensively but it has this frustrating habit on spending as much time on opposition gocha lines and interviewing people to see what personal benefit they received as on the content of the budget itself.

Some complained.  But there were others who captured the essence perfectly.

Like this effort.

https://twitter.com/madhmstr/status/1133964457778876416

And this column by Bernard Hickey neatly summarised the social media turmoil that erupted this week and compared it to what was acutally important.

He compared what was happening on social media with what was happening in real life.  From the real life he said this:

Year 13 students Lu Faaui, Uili Tumanuvao, Sela Tukia, Francis Nimo and Efi Gaono … talked about what they wanted from the Budget. They had been forced to move out of state houses in Glen Innes (Tamaki Regeneration Company) to South Auckland and their parents were working multiple jobs to pay for private rentals.

They were paying $40 a week to travel across Auckland each day to Tamaki College.

“Just like Sela said, it’s forced us to move out of GI (Glen Innes) and yeah my family just decides to cope with it. It’s made my Dad work even more hours. My mum gets two jobs, my sister gets two jobs. I mean, money is money you know,” said Lu.

His conclusion about their desires was neatly captured in this sentence:

All those teenagers wanted was affordable and convenient housing and transport so they could easily go to school and their parents didn’t have to work so hard.

He then said that this is what the Government should have told those young people and their families:

Here’s what I would have said to those Tamaki College kids.

The Wellbeing Budget included lots more spending on primary mental health care, rail network maintenance and a welcome indexation of benefits to wages, rather than prices. It started to focus on things like child poverty numbers, carbon emissions and suicide rates, but did little to solve their problems with housing and transport in Auckland.

I’d tell them there was very little new spending on housing. KiwiBuild was barely mentioned. The new rail lines in Auckland are still just an aspiration. I’d tell them the Government could borrow enough to start re-engineering their city to be more affordable, liveable and carbon neutral, but wasn’t doing that because Jacinda Ardern and Grant Robertson made a promise two years ago not to borrow more than 20 percent of national income.

I’d say that’s a bit like their parents earning a joint income of $100,000 a year and having debt of $20,000. And that the bank wanted to lend them the extra $20,000 they needed to build a new home and have affordable and carbon-neutral transport. That would lift their net debt to income ratio to 40 percent. And that the interest cost would be 1.7 percent per year, which would mean the extra interest costs for their parents earning $100,000 a year to afford that house and rail system would be $340 a year.

But that politicians generally and the public were so worried about that extra $20,000 in debt and what the financial markets might say that they weren’t fixing Auckland’s housing and transport crisis. Sorry about that.

And his conclusion about the effect on social media on political discourse was this:

The best example of how this increased metabolic rate of politics has warped the public debate is to point to what has happened in America and Europe, where increasingly polarised politicians shout at each other from their own bubbles of supporters and nothing changes. Meanwhile, other forces keep screwing the scrum of democracy to further their own interests.

The end result is a disengaged public, policy paralysis, a lot of noise and not much light.

I understand how it happened and I’ve been living in it now for a decade. A political firmament driven by social media, sound bites, cheap shots and one-day-wonder stories is not going to solve the problems of South Auckland or Tamaki.

Everyone should take a chill pill, stop jumping to conclusions for a quick political hit and instead think beyond the beltway to the real world and long term concerns of citizens.

Jacinda Ardern clearly realises this.  And currently she is without match in New Zealand politics.  Long may it continue.

65 comments on “Budget commentary ”

  1. Kat 1

    Like the sounds of dregs going down the plug hole so are the cries from National and their poodles in the media.

    The widespread support for this budget will be evident in voter support. Simple really.

    Three terms at least for Jacinda Ardern. Hopefully Winston stays around as well to see the rail revival.

    • Bewildered 1.1

      Not as bad a the whining left in getting their butts royally kicked in Au That was more like when you drop a teaspoon down your sink waste disposal or scratching your fingers across a black board

    • infused 1.2

      there's not, actually. you're only listening in your bubble. there is dissatisfaction from all sides about this budget.

      I think this govt is going to have a massive issue with the economy next year and all this additional spending.

      The world economy is about to hit the breaks I believe.

  2. Bewildered 2

    I think whale Oil contributor got it right

    “The talk all through the budget presentation was about ‘wellbeing’ but really this is a typical socialist budget. It ignores taxpayers and provides extra support to those who do nothing. There is nothing unusual and nothing special about it.

    Notably, there is no wellbeing for teachers or midwives, and no wellbeing for superannuitants either… not even free health funding for seniors, which is a promise that Winston made at the last election too.

    All in all, there is little or nothing in the ‘wellbeing’ budget for most New Zealanders.

    So the Wellbeing Budget is just another slogan. Like ‘9 years of neglect’ or “Let’s Do This’.”

    • Muttonbird 2.1

      There is some wellbeing for teachers: 9.3% over three years. It's just that teachers have decided not to take it at this point.

    • mickysavage 2.2

      So addressing need is a bad thing? There are plenty of wealthy superannuants around. There is a significant spend on mental health and on rail and benefit reform. The effects will trickle around and help us all.

      • bewildered 2.2.1

        1b on rail is a drop in the ocean and simply throwing good money after bad into this never ending sink hole;

        Couple of new shiny jets, capital and infrastructures maintenance yawn

        mental health fair enough, benefit reform ( sell that to hard working, struggling kiwis)

        end of day nothing for productive sector, sugar coat budget with meaningless slogans ( cindy expertise) however it is more of the save and will not do one jot for nz long term position and prosperity More then likely simply stagnate economy or We go backwards with increasing debt as forecasted growth is not manifested

        • Kat 2.2.1.1

          Why don't you push off to Oz then, sure you would be more happy there. The majority of us are happy here. Oh, and while you are in Oz watch out out for all the ‘anti sink hole’ trains they have operating.

          • bewildered 2.2.1.1.1

            You just bath in your feelze good environment until reality hits you between the eyes their Katz

        • infused 2.2.1.2

          spot on.

      • Grumpy 2.2.2

        My God…..Mickey Savage on "trickle down" economics! I need a lie down.

        Hickey's article shows his increasingly leftie disconnect. I doubt the average struggler in South Auckland cares anything about "Carbon Neutral" transport. They are just trying to get on with their lives and, for their, trouble, are just about to be slammed with an increase in fuel tax!

        • Kat 2.2.2.1

          Look again…"trickle around"………that has a more socially beneficial construct.

      • higherstandard 2.2.3

        "The effects will trickle around and help us all."

        Ye Gods Greg quoting Roger Douglas…isn't that one of the horseman of the apocalypse.

      • Grafton Gully 2.2.4

        The spend on mental health might increase the prevalence of mental illness in NZ as people who now suffer in silence are revealed and those who pretend to suffer take advantage. There has been disagreement about the definition of mental health https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26038353

        • Sacha 2.2.4.1

          "those who pretend to suffer take advantage"

          Yep, those counselling sessions are primo on the black market.

    • Grumpy 2.3

      To be fair, Labour are struggling to remain relevant to their traditional working class supporters while promoting the various high income voter concerns around Climate Change. The cost of the latter will soon lead to the loss of support from the former – as we have seen in the US and Australia.

    • Sacha 2.4

      "no wellbeing for superannuitants "

      Our universal pension programme should help – and is heading for over half of welfare spending in coming years, without the slightest sniff of reduced eligibility. Don't worry, younger people will cover it.

    • Pat 2.5

      Lol…doncha love it when those supporters of the previous administration suddenly discover their consciences and begin advocating for improved pay and conditions for the very groups they delighted in screwing down during their tenure

    • Hamish Stevenson 2.6

      Of course it is a typical socialist budget. You point this out as if it is a bad thing. Its a great thing. You really are bewildered.

    • Lucy 2.7

      "It ignores taxpayers and provides extra support to those who do nothing. " Having been a high paying tax payer, a job seeker, and a person with a chronic disease I know which I prefer to be. Which is why I always made sure that I paid my full complement of tax because I felt that the rest of NZ would be doing the same if I ever needed support. How wrong I was! When Sir John, Sir Bill, most farmers and top business people can pay less tax than a beneficiary then we have a broken system. Not just that, when we have the top tier feeling like they shouldn't have to pay as "anyone can pull themselves out of poverty, I did" then you have a society that is unsustainable.

  3. adam 3

    Important question mickeysavage, and yes the partisan crap has got worse. I wrote somthing yesterday being critical of all polies,

    https://thestandard.org.nz/the-treasury-website-hack-that-wasnt/#comment-1622746

    and what happens, some hack comes back with "As if Labour would have if they had been in opposition." missing the point entirely. Big ups to I FEEL LOVE for their reaction.

    Yesterday was also littered with commentarors not handling any criticism from the left about the budget either. The response from those commentators was filthy and pathetic at times, at others just rude and juvenile. Truly partisan hack displays.

    My personal opinion on the budget is it is stupid to talk about change, when you cling desperately to an economic ideology which does not work. As I said before the election, NZLP's commitment to hard right economics, has only one out come – hard right wing outcomes.

    Was the budget better than 9 years of the last shit government, without a doubt. But national set the bar so low, and this economic model is so restricting, I and many others are finding it hard why people love this budget. It is so underwhelming, and anyone with half a brain would have seen that it was coming.

    My final though is why are so many of the partisan hacks from both sides bothering? You are basically arguing over the crumbs from the table, pointless. Either work together, or work for system change – both will make our society better.

    • Rosemary McDonald 3.1

      Well said.

    • bewildered 3.2

      “9 years of shit”

      in substance how is this wellbeing budget much different than national 2014 budget ( random selection ) beyond the slogans One could argues the 2014 budget has greater well-being to middle nz and kiwi families than its 2019 cousin
      NZ herald May 2014

      1.A $372 million surplus in the coming year – the first since 2008 – and forecast to reach $3.5 billion in 2018.

      Bill English has delivered an election year Budget which includes a bigger than forecast surplus, free doctors' visits for 400,000 more children, big cuts to ACC levies and dangles the prospect of tax cuts in front of voters. Finance Minister Mr English said the Government's much vaunted return to surplus would be $372 million, still slender but well ahead of the wafer thin $86 million forecast six months ago thanks to a rosier economic outlook.

      2.Treasury forecasting economic growth to average 2.8 per cent over the next four years, peaking at 4 per cent next year.

      3. Free doctors visits' and prescriptions extended from children under six to those under 13.

      4. Paid parental leave extended from 14 to 18 weeks – and eligibility to be expanded to cover seasonal workers and those who have recently changed jobs.

      5. Parental tax credit raised from $150 a week to $220 – and the payment period extended from first eight weeks of baby's life to ten weeks.

      6. ACC on track for more cuts in levies,

      7. Interest-free loan of $375 million for New Zealand Transport Agency to accelerate Auckland transport projects.

      8. 5 cent duty on cheques abolished.

      9. Import duties on plasterboard, reinforcing steel and nails suspended to cut the cost of building a new home by an estimated $3500.

      10. A further $198 million injection into Kiwirail to make its freight operations commercially viable, taking the cost of bailing out the state company to more than $1 billion.

      • adam 3.2.1

        Really, the freeze on police wages, the cuts to boarder security (fruit-fly ringing any bells for you?) the cuts to health and the overall not keeping abreast of inflation budget of 2014 – yeah I remember it.

        I also remember saying it was crumbs from the table then, which gets back to the main point of mickysavage's great post – partisan crap means we are getting nowhere. But if that your stitch go for it.

  4. veutoviper 4

    mickysavage, I agree that Bernard Hickey's Newsroom article which you linked to in your post was very much on the point. However, did you listen to Morning Report this morning and in particular the segment on the Budget with the panel comprising Bernard Hickey, Morgan Godfery, Fran O'Sullivan and Sue Bradford?

    As discussed in the thread @ 2 on today's Open Mike, I agree with Sanctuary, Macro and others (including Wayne) that it would be nice to get a few fresher people on such panels (and that RNZ National is a bit 'meh' at present); but did you actually hear the ratings each member of that panel gave the Budget? Morgan gave it 6 out of 10, Fran then gave it 7 but Bernard then gave it only 5, with Sue agreeing with that rating.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2018697577/budget-2019-where-s-the-money-going-panel-discussion

    I was a little disappointed in those ratings and understand why many people are disappointed that more 'instant' fixes were not included in this round. I also have some disappointments in some areas I would have liked to see more action – eg more support in the areas of disabilities etc.

    OTOH, I also understand the restraints on, and risks of, charging ahead with change at a breakneck rate. (Think Kiwibuild … but I degress.)

    If you did not listen to Nine To Noon on RNZ National this morning, I really recommend the first two interviews which were also on the Budget, the first being with two profs from the Victoria University Institute on Governance and Policy Studies which set the scene for an indepth half hour interview with Grant Robertson himself.

    I commented in more detail on these two interviews @ 9 on today's Open Mike with links to the two interviews.

    https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-31-05-2019/#comment-1623246

    I highly recommend these two interviews as they both gave good insight into the restraints etc on charging forward with full throttle 'transformation', but more importantly, the thinking and changes in approach that took place in drawing up this Budget as a first step towards longer term transformation.

    I also recommend noting the very valid comment made by Macro at 9.1 which I intend replying to shortly. As Macro points out these are first steps only to move away from using GDP as the prime metric for measuring a country's wellbeing etc.

    • Rosemary McDonald 4.1

      I also have some disappointments in some areas I would have liked to see more action – eg more support in the areas of disabilities etc.

      People with disabilities(non ACC), including those with chronic mental health issues have been doing it very, very hard for the past twenty years.

      There are government agencies charged with providing support for these people… be it via Health, HNZ or MSD, yet all of them have been corrupted by successive governments that have been quite content to allow these bureaucracies to ration supports and terrorize eligible citizens.

      Successive governments have allowed these bureaucracies to indulge themselves in endless policy work resulting in yet another 'Strategy' or 'Action Plan'… which sound really really good but in actuality make it even harder to get the support needed. And of course the budget gets even tighter and the rationing increases because the funding is being consumed by the bureaucracy.

      Successive governments have allowed these Ministries to contract out much or all of their work to the private/"charity" sector and have thereby created an insatiable monster that sees those in need of services as potential income rather than human beings eligible and /or entitled to reliable, high quality supports.

      The successful legal challenge to this iniquitous system brought by family carers of non ACC disabled with high/very high and complex care needs resulted in one of the worst responses in New Zealand's legislative history. The current government promised to repeal that legislation…but I believe now that was just another lie.

      Why? Because repealing that piece of legislation and allowing the disabled person to pay whoever they choose to provide the vital supports they have been assessed by the NASCs as needing would have been an easy piece of work, would have increased 'wellbeing' for this particular group enormously and very probably been surprisingly cost effective as using Individualised Funding would be cheaper than the hourly rate charged by the private/"charity" sector. So why not do this? It'd be a great headline, garner much needed goodwill…??

      Because this government is exactly the same as it's predecessors….they simply don't understand the long term effects insecurity has on a person with health and disability needs. When you literally can not rely on the supports or treatments you might have today being available and/or funded tomorrow…life becomes almost untenable. It is a precarious edge- of- the -cliff existence, which if mental illness is not already a feature it will not be far off.

      It will not be this Government that decides to end the iniquitous inequality between those fortunate enough to be under ACC and those 'incurables' under MOH.

      But I'll bet they'll celebrate the EOLC Bill when passes.

      (It is great to see you back veutoviper.)

      • Sacha 4.1.1

        It occurred to me yesterday that this govt are likely to be treading water until Heather Simpson's big health review suggests changes to disability support arrangements.

        Why they can't communicate that is beyond me. Muppets.

        • McFlock 4.1.1.1

          It'd get a bit like "mother of dragons". Seven bloody years of everyone saying "dragon" in hushed tones before we finally saw why everyone thought dragons were the dog's bollocks.

          • Sacha 4.1.1.1.1

            They'd probably wheel out a tuatara and hope we would buy that instead.

    • patricia bremner 4.2

      Dear Veutoviper, welcome back, and thank you for your insightful comments and attachments. I was so pleased to see your contributions.

  5. SPC 6

    The interesting thing is really the allocation of new spending in the years ahead. Because that will determine what the government can afford to do next year and the following term as well.

    For example teachers, their deal is one for 4 years 2017-April 2021. Will government negotiate that on time, or will it delay to put it beyond the 2022-23 year to defer this cost it to new spending allocation beyond that time? A really smart union would negotiate on that point now. Even agree to the government pay offer, on the condition the next pay deal gets negotiated now and comes in asap after 1 April 2021? And have the talks include a wide range of related issues (that could be funded in the 2020 budget or second term budgets).

    • Herodotus 6.1

      SPC to add to your point

      The collective agreement that is being "Discussed" is to replace the previous agreement that covered the period June 2016 – June 2018. So for the last year, primary teachers have not had an increase and the "discussions" have excluded any retro application of new rates. So the

      https://www.nzei.org.nz/AgreementDoc/PTCA.pdf

      "That adds up to about a 9.3 percent increase over three years for primary teachers, " or to frame this differently 9.3% over 4 years given last year was NIL !!

      https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2019/05/fact-checking-the-teachers-pay-deal-is-it-as-good-as-the-government-says.html

      • SPC 6.1.1

        Those pay increases in 2016 and 2017 were really small.

        If I was representing the union I would mention what the April 2021-2022 (the last increase in the round from April 2021) pay offer was as an increase on the 2015-16 figure.

        What does one call the comment from the National spokesperson, their national standards workload their pathetic pay offer in 2016-17. Insincere as?

        • Herodotus 6.1.1.1

          This was posted on Wednesday, and I am impressed in the way this teacher presented their case



  6. Jackel 7

    Yes, the usual hyperbole, hysteria, half truths and good old fashioned vitriol from those on the right. You do have to wonder what if anything is going on in their heads. It will take the psychologists a while to cure them of this tory disorder.

  7. Cinny 8
    • A new frontline service for mental health with a $455m programme providing access for 325,000 people by 2023/24
    • Suicide prevention services get a $40m boost
    • Specialist services as part of a $320m package to address family and sexual violence.

    But hey… maybe some people like to think more about ME and less about WE.

    And who are the grown ups?

    What about that little child who is living surrounded by violence. Are their circumstances their fault. Who will help them? That child doesn't want a ghost chips tax cut.

    Young people are so unhappy they are killing themselves in droves. But hey I guess that don't pay any taxes so who cares about them?

    Personally I'm finding some of the media narrative surrounding the release of this budget freakin obscenely selfish and bordering on macabre.

    I must say that twitter commentary on simons twitter is beyond hilarious, 5 star entertainment plus, it's beautiful to read. Well done NZ.

    https://twitter.com/simonjbridges/status/1133949110027837440

    • Peter 8.1

      I tried to turn over to the next page of that Bridges message to see the stats of how many new jobs were created over 9 years in Whanganui, Northland and the East Coast. All in the spirit of wanting every NZer to get ahead and the best way out of poverty being getting a job.

    • greywarshark 8.2

      That's a great old standard from Simple Simon. Isn't he just begging for a pie in the face? Have to be a cream pie, done in piped shaving cream for style, smoothness and hygiene, anything else probably would be condemned by Health and Safety.

      Another:

      Mary had a little lamb.

    • Wensleydale 8.3

      People at Farmers and KFC are really feeling the love from their employers. I'm sure they're over the moon with how effortless it is to "get ahead" given they all have jobs. You can be in full-time employment and still be in poverty. It's not grinding Third World level poverty where you spend your days beating your undies on a rock to get them clean, or drinking from a well full of bat guano and body parts, but it's not what you'd call "living the dream". Simon would likely know more about the plight of the working poor if he weren't so busy projectile-vomiting pompous drivel onto the national airwaves.

  8. Stuart Munro. 9

    Well I don't see much for me in this budget, but never the less I feel it's a good show. If one like this had been produced under Clark she might've lasted a little longer.

    Many things have deteriorated since then, so there is still plenty left to do. But they have demonstrated an ability to recognize priorities and make changes, which the writhing mass of bumbling corruption that is the Gnats can scarcely imagine.

    Shades of the old Ashleigh Brilliant line: By accepting you as you are I do not altogether abandon hope of you improving.

    • greywarshark 9.1

      That's good Stuart – "the writhing mass of bumbling corruption that is the Gnats…"

      +100 on everything you said.

  9. Mary-Ann de Kort 10

    Hi Mickey

    Thanks for this and many insightful articles . Just one thing though. Can we please have positive things at the start of the articles as many only read part and it would change the discourse of what they read.

    About the budget. I've chosen to think is it as the first budget I've seen for a long time which will change our future. There is so much to be fixed but the Nats left so little. By enabling our kids through better education, addressing mental health, building real to get our country moving, spending on r&d and start up business, planting trees and regional development we are looking to a future for all NZers. Yes, the here and now is important but I firmly believe that the above are only a few of the policies which will lead to better incomes and thriving local communities and economies.

  10. Observer Tokoroa 11

    The Obliging Simon

    Following the Prime Minister and supposedly Speaking to the "WellBeing Budget", Mr Bridges surprised me. He is returning to his childhood.

    He Promised that as soon as he got into Power next Election, he would put Oil on the Table.

    Now not many people eat or drink oil . Fewer and fewer people are wanting that great Carcinogen – Diesel. It is Lethal. As is Petroleum.

    But Simon is stuck in his boy hood, and will not move towards Electric Energy. Electric Energy is faster. It is Cheaper by far. It is safer. But Simon hates it. Why? Because when he talks he screeches and forgets his words. He also forgets that the world is rapidly turning away from Lethal Oil – to heavenly Sun!

    National is way way behind the rest of the World. In every aspect of Life! It does not even believe in building safe, gunge free, Clean Hospitals. Sir John key told him not to build proper Hospitals. So did Billy English.

    Simon also is not going to remove Pollution. Neither is his friend Donald Trump. The whole of National and possibly Kathryn Ryan, see no point in removing Pollution. They like Filth. Because it is Toxin and belongs to our precious Farmers.

    Simon and probably Kathtyn, although I have no certainty on this, are going to go through the Nation establishing which women have what DNA so they can keep an index of their sexual intercourses. National want more money from laid women. I kid you not ! In order to reduce the Cost of Beneficiaries. They will hunt down the men during the cricket season in Australia.

    Amy and Mrs Bennett are full of Admiration for National. In particular they admire Mr Bridges. Hardly anybody else does.

    • Jenny - How to Get there? 11.1

      …..Simon also is not going to remove Pollution. Neither is his friend Donald Trump. The whole of National and possibly Kathryn Ryan, see no point in removing Pollution. They like Filth. Because it is Toxin and belongs to our precious Farmers.

      Observer Tokoroa

      And this is the Party that James Shaw has wasted so much time and political capital trying to get consensus with on the Zero Carbon Act?

      Probably why the Zero Carbon Act contains zero action on climate change.

      • solkta 11.1.1

        And this is the Party that James Shaw has wasted so much time trying to get consensus with on the Zero Carbon Act?

        Ummm, no not really. It was Winston First who was the big stumbling block. Big cause ummm, there vote was needed to pass anything. You really are dim.

  11. Jenny - How to Get there? 12

    The Warbeing Budget

    While health and education are being starved of funds there is no shortage of money for warfare.

    https://www.facebook.com/notes/peace-movement-aotearoa/wellbeing-budget-shocking-rise-in-military-spending/2230103127037044/

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    TL;DR: I’m casting around for new ideas and ways of thinking about Aotearoa’s political economy to find a few solutions to our cascading and self-reinforcing housing, poverty and climate crises.Associate Professor runs an online masters degree in the economics of sustainability at Torrens University in Australia and is organising ...
    The KakaBy Steven Hail
    1 day ago
  • Reported back

    The Finance and Expenditure Committee has reported back on National's Local Government (Water Services Preliminary Arrangements) Bill. The bill sets up water for privatisation, and was introduced under urgency, then rammed through select committee with no time even for local councils to make a proper submission. Naturally, national's select committee ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Vandrad the Viking, Christopher Coombes, and Literary Archaeology

    Some years ago, I bought a book at Dunedin’s Regent Booksale for $1.50. As one does. Vandrad the Viking (1898), by J. Storer Clouston, is an obscure book these days – I cannot find a proper online review – but soon it was sitting on my shelf, gathering dust alongside ...
    1 day ago
  • Gordon Campbell On The Biden Withdrawal

    History is not on the side of the centre-left, when Democratic presidents fall behind in the polls and choose not to run for re-election. On both previous occasions in the past 75 years (Harry Truman in 1952, Lyndon Johnson in 1968) the Democrats proceeded to then lose the White House ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 day ago
  • Joe Biden's withdrawal puts the spotlight back on Kamala and the USA's complicated relatio...

    This is a free articleCoverageThis morning, US President Joe Biden announced his withdrawal from the Presidential race. And that is genuinely newsworthy. Thanks for your service, President Biden, and all the best to you and yours.However, the media in New Zealand, particularly the 1News nightly bulletin, has been breathlessly covering ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 day ago
  • Why we have to challenge our national fiscal assumptions

    A homeless person’s camp beside a blocked-off slipped damage walkway in Freeman’s Bay: we are chasing our tail on our worsening and inter-related housing, poverty and climate crises. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 day ago
  • Existential Crisis and Damaged Brains

    What has happened to it all?Crazy, some'd sayWhere is the life that I recognise?(Gone away)But I won't cry for yesterdayThere's an ordinary worldSomehow I have to findAnd as I try to make my wayTo the ordinary worldYesterday morning began as many others - what to write about today? I began ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 day ago
  • A speed limit is not a target, and yet…

    This is a guest post from longtime supporter Mr Plod, whose previous contributions include a proposal that Hamilton become New Zealand’s capital city, and that we should switch which side of the road we drive on. A recent Newsroom article, “Back to school for the Govt’s new speed limit policy“, ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    2 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Monday, July 22

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 7:00 am on Monday, July 22 are:Today’s Must Read: Father and son live in a tent, and have done for four years, in a million ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Monday, July 22

    TL;DR: As of 7:00 am on Monday, July 22, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:US President Joe Biden announced via X this morning he would not stand for a second term.Multinational professional services firm ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #29

    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, July 14, 2024 thru Sat, July 20, 2024. Story of the week As reflected by preponderance of coverage, our Story of the Week is Project 2025. Until now traveling ...
    2 days ago
  • I'd like to share what I did this weekend

    This weekend, a friend pointed out someone who said they’d like to read my posts, but didn’t want to pay. And my first reaction was sympathy.I’ve already told folks that if they can’t comfortably subscribe, and would like to read, I’d be happy to offer free subscriptions. I don’t want ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    2 days ago
  • For the children – Why mere sentiment can be a misleading force in our lives, and lead to unex...

    National: The Party of ‘Law and Order’ IntroductionThis weekend, the Government formally kicked off one of their flagship policy programs: a military style boot camp that New Zealand has experimented with over the past 50 years. Cartoon credit: Guy BodyIt’s very popular with the National Party’s Law and Order image, ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    2 days ago
  • A friend in uncertain times

    Day one of the solo leg of my long journey home begins with my favourite sound: footfalls in an empty street. 5.00 am and it’s already light and already too warm, almost.If I can make the train that leaves Budapest later this hour I could be in Belgrade by nightfall; ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    3 days ago
  • The Chaotic World of Male Diet Influencers

    Hi,We’ll get to the horrific world of male diet influencers (AKA Beefy Boys) shortly, but first you will be glad to know that since I sent out the Webworm explaining why the assassination attempt on Donald Trump was not a false flag operation, I’ve heard from a load of people ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    3 days ago
  • It's Starting To Look A Lot Like… Y2K

    Do you remember Y2K, the threat that hung over humanity in the closing days of the twentieth century? Horror scenarios of planes falling from the sky, electronic payments failing and ATMs refusing to dispense cash. As for your VCR following instructions and recording your favourite show - forget about it.All ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday Soliloquy for the week to July 20

    Climate Change Minister Simon Watts being questioned by The Kākā’s Bernard Hickey.TL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the week to July 20 were:1. A strategy that fails Zero Carbon Act & Paris targetsThe National-ACT-NZ First Coalition Government finally unveiled ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Pharmac Director, Climate Change Commissioner, Health NZ Directors – The latest to quit this m...

    Summary:As New Zealand loses at least 12 leaders in the public service space of health, climate, and pharmaceuticals, this month alone, directly in response to the Government’s policies and budget choices, what lies ahead may be darker than it appears. Tui examines some of those departures and draws a long ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • Flooding Housing Policy

    The Minister of Housing’s ambition is to reduce markedly the ratio of house prices to household incomes. If his strategy works it would transform the housing market, dramatically changing the prospects of housing as an investment.Leaving aside the Minister’s metaphor of ‘flooding the market’ I do not see how the ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted (Again!)

    As previously noted, my historical fantasy piece, set in the fifth-century Mediterranean, was accepted for a Pirate Horror anthology, only for the anthology to later fall through. But in a good bit of news, it turned out that the story could indeed be re-marketed as sword and sorcery. As of ...
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Friday, July 19

    An employee of tobacco company Philip Morris International demonstrates a heated tobacco device. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Friday, July 19 are:At a time when the Coalition Government is cutting spending on health, infrastructure, education, housing ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Friday, July 19

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 8:30 am on Friday, July 19 are:Scoop: NZ First Minister Casey Costello orders 50% cut to excise tax on heated tobacco products. The minister has ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 19-July-2024

    Kia ora, it’s time for another Friday roundup, in which we pull together some of the links and stories that caught our eye this week. Feel free to add more in the comments! Our header image this week shows a foggy day in Auckland town, captured by Patrick Reynolds. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    4 days ago
  • Weekly Climate Wrap: A market-led plan for failure

    TL;DR : Here’s the top six items climate news for Aotearoa this week, as selected by Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer. A discussion recorded yesterday is in the video above and the audio of that sent onto the podcast feed.The Government released its draft Emissions Reduction ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Tobacco First

    Save some money, get rich and old, bring it back to Tobacco Road.Bring that dynamite and a crane, blow it up, start all over again.Roll up. Roll up. Or tailor made, if you prefer...Whether you’re selling ciggies, digging for gold, catching dolphins in your nets, or encouraging folks to flutter ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Trump’s Adopted Son.

    Waiting In The Wings: For truly, if Trump is America’s un-assassinated Caesar, then J.D. Vance is America’s Octavian, the Republic’s youthful undertaker – and its first Emperor.DONALD TRUMP’S SELECTION of James D. Vance as his running-mate bodes ill for the American republic. A fervent supporter of Viktor Orban, the “illiberal” prime ...
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Friday, July 19

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Friday, July 19, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:The PSA announced the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) had ruled in the PSA’s favour in its case against the Ministry ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to July 19

    TL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers last night features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s release of its first Emissions Reduction Plan;University of Otago Foreign Relations Professor and special guest Dr Karin von ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #29 2024

    Open access notables Improving global temperature datasets to better account for non-uniform warming, Calvert, Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society: To better account for spatial non-uniform trends in warming, a new GITD [global instrumental temperature dataset] was created that used maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) to combine the land surface ...
    5 days ago
  • We're back again! Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live

    Photo by Gabriel Crismariu on UnsplashWe’re back again after our mid-winter break. We’re still with the ‘new’ day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Gut Reactions.

    Trump Writes His Own Story: Would the “mainstream” media even try to reflect the horrified reaction of the MAGA crowd to the pop-pop-pop of the would-be assassin’s rifle, and Trump going down? Could it even grasp the sheer elation of the rally-goers seeing their champion rise up and punch the air, still alive, ...
    5 days ago
  • Dodging Bullets.

    Fight! Fight! Fight! Had the assassin’s bullet found its mark and killed Donald Trump, America’s descent into widespread and murderous violence – possibly spiralling-down into civil war – would have been immediate and quite possibly irreparable. The American Republic, upon whose survival liberty and democracy continue to depend, is certainly not ...
    5 days ago
  • 'Corruption First' Strikes Again

    There comes a point in all our lives when we must stop to say, “Enough is enough. We know what’s happening. We are not as stupid or as ignorant as you believe us to be. And making policies that kill or harm our people is not acceptable, Ministers.”Plausible deniability has ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:The inside stories of KiwiRail’s iRex debacle, Westport’s perma-delayed flood scheme and Christchurch’s post-quake sewer rebuild, which assumed no population growth, show just how deeply sceptical senior officials in Treasury, the Ministry of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • What's that Jack Black?

    Ah-rah, deeSoo-guh-goo-gee-goo-geeGoo-guh fli-goo gee-gooGuh fli-goo, ga-goo-buh-deeOoh, guh-goo-beeOoh-guh-guh-bee-guh-guh-beeFli-goo gee-gooA-fliguh woo-wa mama Lucifer!I’m about ready to move on, how about you?Not from the shooting, that’s bad and we definitely shouldn’t have that. But the rehabilitation of Donald J Trump? The deification of Saint Donald? As the Great Unifier?Gimme a bucket.https://yellowscene.com/2024/04/07/trump-as-jesus/Just to re-iterate, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • June 2024: Earth’s 13th-consecutive warmest month on record

    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Jeff Masters and Bob Henson June 2024 was Earth’s warmest June since global record-keeping began in 1850 and was the planet’s 13th consecutive warmest month on record, NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, or NCEI, reported July 12. As opposed to being focused in ...
    5 days ago
  • Connecting the dots and filling the gaps in our bike network

    This is a guest post by Shaun Baker on the importance of filling the gaps in our cycling networks. It originally appeared on his blog Multimodal Adventures, and is re-posted here with kind permission. In our towns and cities in Aotearoa New Zealand, there are areas in our cycling networks ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    6 days ago
  • Webworm Down Under Photos!

    Hi,I wanted to share a few thoughts and photos from the Webworm popup and Tickled screening we held in Auckland, New Zealand last weekend.In short — it was a blast. I mean, I had a blast and I hope any of you that came also had a blast.An old friend ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:30 am on Thursday, July 18 are:News: Christchurch's sewer systems block further housing developments RNZ’s Niva ChittockAnalysis: Interislander: Treasury, MoT officials' mistrust of KiwiRail led ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Thursday, July 18, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Verbatim: Climate Change Minister Simon Watts held a news conference in Auckland to release the Government’s Emissions Reduction Plan, including ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The politics of managed retreat

    Climate change deniers are now challenging the Government over a key climate change adaptation policy. That begs the question of whether New Zealand First will then support Government moves to implement processes to deal with a managed retreat for properties in danger of flooding because of sea level rise and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • Some changes are coming

    Warm welcome again to those who are here. The Mountain Tui substack was officially started on the 2nd of July. I wrote about what led me here on this post. Since then, it’s been a learning to navigate the platform, get to meet those in the community, and basically be ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • About fucking time

    The US Supreme Court has been rogue for years, with openly corrupt judges making the law up as they go to suit themselves, their billionaire buyers, and the Republican Party. But now, in the wake of them granting a licence for tyranny, President Biden is actually going to try and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: False accounting and wishful thinking

    National released their draft 2026-2030 Emissions Reduction Plan today. The plan is required under the Zero Carbon Act, and must set out policies and strategies to meet the relevant emissions budget. Having cancelled all Labour's actually effective climate change policies and crashed the carbon price, National was always going to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Enemies Of Sunshine And Space.

    Our Houses? The Urban Density debate is a horrible combination of intergenerational avarice and envy, fuelled by the grim certainty that none of the generations coming up after them will ever have it as good as the Boomers. To say that this situation rankles among those born after 1965 is to ...
    6 days ago
  • Still the 5 Eyes Achilles Heel?

    The National Cyber Security Centre (NZSC), a unit in the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) dedicated to cyber-security, has released a Review of its response to the 2021 email hacking of NZ members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC, … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Britain's Devastating Electoral Slip.

    Slip-Sliding Away: Labour may now enjoy a dominant position in Britain’s political landscape, but only by virtue of not being swallowed by it.THE BRITISH LABOUR PARTY’S “landslide victory” is nothing of the sort. As most people understand the term, a landslide election victory is one in which the incumbent government, or ...
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why right wingers think all governments (including their own) are incompetent

    Since open denial of climate change is no longer a viable political option, denial now comes in disguise. The release this week of the coalition government’s ‘draft emissions reductions plan” shows that the Luxon government is refusing to see the need to cut emissions at source. Instead, it proposes to ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy this morning are:Chris Penk is set to roll back building standards for insulation that had only just been put in place, and which had been estimated to save 40% from power costs, after builders ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Open Letter to Pharmac

    All this talk of getting oldIt's getting me down, my loveLike a cat in a bag, waiting to drownThis time I'm coming downAnd I hope you're thinking of meAs you lay down on your sideNow the drugs don't workThey just make you worse but I know I'll see your face ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • A blanket of misinformation

    Two old sayings have been on my mind lately. The first is: “The pen is mightier than the sword”, describing the power of language and communication to help or to harm. The other, which captures the speed with which falsehoods can become ingrained and hard to undo, is: “A lie can ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    7 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 7:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 are:Scoop: Government considers rolling back home insulation standards RNZ’s Eloise GibsonNews: Government plans tree-planting frenzy as report shows NZ no longer ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 , the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day were:Simon Watts released the Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP), which included proposed changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • “Shhhh” – National's 3 Waters is loaded with higher costs and lays a path to ...

    This is a long, possibly technical, but very, very important read. I encourage you to take the time and spread your awareness.IntroductionIn 2022, then Labour Party Prime Minister Jacinda Adern expended significant political capital to protect New Zealand’s water assets from privatisation. She lost that battle, and Labour and the ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    7 days ago
  • Plugging a video channel: Dr Gilbz

    Dr. Ella Gilbert is a climate scientist and presenter with a PhD in Antarctic climate change, working at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). Her background is in atmospheric sciences and she's especially interested in the physical mechanisms of climate change, clouds, and almost anything polar. She is passionate about communicating climate ...
    1 week ago
  • Some “scrutiny” again

    Back in 2022, in its Open Government Partnership National Action Plan, the government promised to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation. Since then they've run a secret "consultation" on how to do that, with their preferred outcome being that agencies will consult the Ministry of Justice ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Crashing New Zealand's health system is not the way to prosperity, Prime Minister

    Another day, and yet another piece of bad news for New Zealand’s health system. Reports have come out that General Practitioners (GP) may have to close doors, or increase patient fees to survive. The so-called ‘capitation’ funding review, which supports GP practices to survive, is under way, and primary care ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Closer Than You Think: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.

    Redefining Our Terms: “When an angry majority is demanding change, defending the status-quo is an extremist position.”“WHAT’S THIS?”, asked Laurie, eyeing suspiciously the two glasses of red wine deposited in front of him.“A nice drop of red. I thought you’d be keen to celebrate the French Far-Right’s victory with the ...
    1 week ago
  • Come on Darleen.

    Good morning all, time for a return to things domestic. After elections in the UK and France, Luxon gatecrashing Nato, and the attempted shooting of Trump, it’s probably about time we re-focus on local politics.Unless of course you’re Christopher Luxon and you’re so exhausted from all your schmoozing in Washington ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • How the Northwest was lost and may be won

    This is a guest post by Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which we encourage you to check out. It is shared by kind permission. The Northwest has always been Auckland’s public transport Cinderella, rarely invited to the public funding ball. How did ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Tuesday July 16

    Luxon has told a Financial Times’ correspondent he would openly call out China’s spying in future and does not fear economic retaliation from Aotearoa’s largest trading partner.File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Tuesday, ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 16

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 16 are:PM Christopher Luxon has given a very hawkish interview to the Financial Times-$$$ correspondent in Washington, Demetri Sevastopulu, saying ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Tuesday, July 16

    Photo by Ryunosuke Kikuno on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 6:00 am are:BNZ released its Performance of Services Index for June, finding that services sector is at its lowest level of activity ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The second crisis; assumption was the mother

    Late on the night of July 16, 1984, while four National Cabinet Ministers were meeting in the Beehive office of Deputy Prime Minister Jim McLay, plotting the ultimate downfall of outgoing Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon, another crisis was building up in another part of the capital. The United States ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Can we air condition our way out of extreme heat?

    This is a re-post from The Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler Air conditioning was initially a symbol of comfort and wealth, enjoyed by the wealthy in theaters and upscale homes. Over time, as technology advanced and costs decreased, air conditioning became more accessible to the general public. With global warming, though, ...
    1 week ago
  • Review: The Zimiamvian Trilogy, by E.R. Eddison (1935-1958)

    I have reviewed some fairly obscure stuff on this blog. Nineteenth century New Zealand speculative fiction. Forgotten Tolkien adaptations. George MacDonald and William Morris. Last month I took a look at The Worm Ouroboros (1922), by E.R. Eddison, which while not strictly obscure, is also not overly inviting to many ...
    1 week ago

  • Charity lotteries to be permitted to operate online

    Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden says lotteries for charitable purposes, such as those run by the Heart Foundation, Coastguard NZ, and local hospices, will soon be allowed to operate online permanently. “Under current laws, these fundraising lotteries are only allowed to operate online until October 2024, after which ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Accelerating Northland Expressway

    The Coalition Government is accelerating work on the new four-lane expressway between Auckland and Whangārei as part of its Roads of National Significance programme, with an accelerated delivery model to deliver this project faster and more efficiently, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “For too long, the lack of resilient transport connections ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Sir Don to travel to Viet Nam as special envoy

    Sir Don McKinnon will travel to Viet Nam this week as a Special Envoy of the Government, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced.    “It is important that the Government give due recognition to the significant contributions that General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong made to New Zealand-Viet Nam relations,” Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Grant Illingworth KC appointed as transitional Commissioner to Royal Commission

    Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden says newly appointed Commissioner, Grant Illingworth KC, will help deliver the report for the first phase of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into COVID-19 Lessons, due on 28 November 2024.  “I am pleased to announce that Mr Illingworth will commence his appointment as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • NZ to advance relationships with ASEAN partners

    Foreign Minister Winston Peters travels to Laos this week to participate in a series of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-led Ministerial meetings in Vientiane.    “ASEAN plays an important role in supporting a peaceful, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific,” Mr Peters says.   “This will be our third visit to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Backing mental health services on the West Coast

    Construction of a new mental health facility at Te Nikau Grey Hospital in Greymouth is today one step closer, Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey says. “This $27 million facility shows this Government is delivering on its promise to boost mental health care and improve front line services,” Mr Doocey says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • NZ support for sustainable Pacific fisheries

    New Zealand is committing nearly $50 million to a package supporting sustainable Pacific fisheries development over the next four years, Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This support consisting of a range of initiatives demonstrates New Zealand’s commitment to assisting our Pacific partners ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Students’ needs at centre of new charter school adjustments

    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says proposed changes to the Education and Training Amendment Bill will ensure charter schools have more flexibility to negotiate employment agreements and are equipped with the right teaching resources. “Cabinet has agreed to progress an amendment which means unions will not be able to initiate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Commissioner replaces Health NZ Board

    In response to serious concerns around oversight, overspend and a significant deterioration in financial outlook, the Board of Health New Zealand will be replaced with a Commissioner, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti announced today.  “The previous government’s botched health reforms have created significant financial challenges at Health NZ that, without ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Minister to speak at Australian Space Forum

    Minister for Space and Science, Innovation and Technology Judith Collins will travel to Adelaide tomorrow for space and science engagements, including speaking at the Australian Space Forum.  While there she will also have meetings and visits with a focus on space, biotechnology and innovation.  “New Zealand has a thriving space ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Climate Change Minister to attend climate action meeting in China

    Climate Change Minister Simon Watts will travel to China on Saturday to attend the Ministerial on Climate Action meeting held in Wuhan.  “Attending the Ministerial on Climate Action is an opportunity to advocate for New Zealand climate priorities and engage with our key partners on climate action,” Mr Watts says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Oceans and Fisheries Minister to Solomons

    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is travelling to the Solomon Islands tomorrow for meetings with his counterparts from around the Pacific supporting collective management of the region’s fisheries. The 23rd Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Committee and the 5th Regional Fisheries Ministers’ Meeting in Honiara from 23 to 26 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government launches Military Style Academy Pilot

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