web analytics

Can a Labour led Government win the tax debate?

Written By: - Date published: 10:58 am, November 28th, 2017 - 48 comments
Categories: Economy, election 2017, grant robertson, labour, national, Politics, tax - Tags:

Form a committee, form a committee. That’s the standard answer we now have to any tax issue arising in New Zealand, because that is what this government has stated.

Tax cuts are good. That’s the standard answer we get from National. It’s a resoundingly simple message which in part nearly won them the 2017 election, and remains exceedingly powerful in any election.

We now know that it is hard for this Labour leadership to have the courage of its convictions on tax, because a newly-minted leader with all the momentum in the world simply could not face holding onto her position about implementing Capital Gains taxes in the first term, nor a tax on water, despite making regular and clear statements to do so days earlier.

National continues to win the arguments about tax: they own the field.

They are going through the same arguments in the United States, with a massive tax cut package going through government at the moment.

There’s an instinct that tax cuts must lead to economic growth, because they personally feel so good in their direct benefits. Or at least, the idea of them makes us want to feel good about them. The smell of the coffee is better than drinking it.

But National talks a better game than the left on tax.

In 2017 they framed their tax package around helping the family.

“We are investing $2 billion in our Family Incomes Package, and are especially focused on helping low income families with children and steep housing costs get ahead.

Here are the top 4 takeaways of the Package:

1) Increasing the $14,000 income tax threshold to $22,000, and the $48,000 tax threshold to $52,000.

Anyone earning more than $22,000 will receive a tax reduction of $11 a week, or $572 annually. Anyone making over $52,000 will receive a tax reduction of $20 per week, or $1040 annually.

We are putting more money back into the pocket of hard working Kiwis.

2) Removing the Independent Earner Tax Credit of up to $10 a week.

Anyone who used to claim this credit will still receive the funds. It instead is going to through the increase in tax threshold above.

We are making it easier for lower income families to receive tax reductions back.

3) Lifting the Family Tax Credit rates for young children to those of children aged 16 to 18.

Lower income families could expect their tax credit per child to increase anywhere between, $9 to $27 per week, or $468 to $1404 annually, depending on the age of their child.

Roughly 310,000 families will benefit from this change.

4) Increases Accommodation Supplement rates for a two person household to be $25 and $75 a week, while the maximum rates for larger households will increase between $40 and $80 a week.

Lower income families will be receiving more funding for their housing.

Students who are receiving the allowance could receive additional funds up to $20, per week, as well.

In case anyone missed it, the narrative is family, family, family. Families on lower incomes. If they didn’t get so squemish about the word ‘family’ it could have been written as Labour Party policy.

Can anyone detect a similar narrative from the Labour-led government? I can’t, other than the small-c conservative timidity of Minister Robertson, who fronted for killing the tax policies during the election.

Labour’s wind-back of its tax change implementation need not be a fatal blow to their leadership in tax. But it will be if there is no alternative narrative pretty soon. Strangely, the announcement of the terms and Chair of the independent tax working did not say exactly why this working group was needed. What Minister Robertson provided instead was three context-free abstract nouns: “The main goal here is to create a better, balanced and fairer tax system.”

None of those three words mean anything in politics or indeed to the average New Zealander, when it comes to their interests or their family.

He could give some subtext about why a strong and sophisticated country needs a strong state, which runs on tax.

He could give some idea of what fairness really means in deeply practical and concrete terms, like extra packs of Weetbix, or pints of milk, or loaves of bread, or eggs, on the table per week.

He could even stretch himself to talk about redistributing from the very rich to eradicate poverty, mapping it to the Prime Ministers’ own goals against child poverty.

Or even, even, something like tilting the entire economy towards more productive assets that sustain greater wealth and superior jobs, through tax instruments.

But he didn’t.

At the moment, National can look to the election and show that Labour are weak on tax, that the National-aligned farmer lobby beat them easily, and they are fully ready to orchestrate the real estate lobby against them to beat the landlord-focussed taxes too. National have the narrative, they have the resources, and they have the track record to win on the tax issue.

So what can we do to help this Labour-led government to fight back on tax? The first answer is to show that taxes mean we can have nice things. Things that are so nice and so attractive that we want to have our money pulled out of our bank accounts even before it gets there. You can write your own list.

We remain a major attraction to the world. People adore us. They want to be here, visit here, and settle here. When we leave for a while, most of us come back. We need a tax system that sustains how good we really are as a country. When tax goes down we put that at risk. I would start with that collective “we”, in the sentence “we can have nice things”.

That takes the whole conversation away from scarcity, cost tradeoffs, limit pies of schools versus prisons, and the other arguments that the left always loses.

We need to win the argument on tax, well before the tax working group gets underway.

48 comments on “Can a Labour led Government win the tax debate?”

  1. Otto Mann 1

    The faster a capital gains tax is implemented, the better. It should be a SPECULATORS TAX, and rated at 33% at minimum.

    Houses are a social necessity, not a commodity to be traded while families live in cars!

    • Roy 1.1

      Perfect. Re-frame the CGT as a Landlord Tax or something, then NAT’s wailing will appear as hollow as it is.

      • Bob 1.1.1

        So it doesn’t apply to businesses? So rich business owners get richer while hard working Kiwi’s who have bought a rental property as their retirement nest egg get hit while business owner continue to get richer?

  2. One Two 2

    Does lying equate to ‘winning’?

    Discussing taxes without explaining ‘WHY’, is perverse…

    Money, debt (unrepayable debt) , the ‘need’ for taxes etc..

    Would be a discussion worth ‘winning’

    Anything else is deceitful!

    Will the establishment allow such a discussion…

    Continuing deceit, it is then…

    • Ad 2.1

      The left is now the establishment.
      And so therefore is The Standard.

      So let’s get it started.

      • cleangreen 2.1.1

        Yes “Lets do this”

        Tax the rich and corporations now before they block us from levelling the tax burden.

        • Roy 2.1.1.1

          Cinders started the message of ‘we all contribute’ in regard to agri-taxes. Continue it on with all richies. How hard is a slogan?

          • Ad 2.1.1.1.1

            Slogans only work in Opposition.

            In government you have to deliver actual stuff.

            • Roy 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Wasn’t the point about coming up with a slick, easily digestible one-liner? As you say, they Gov is doing the actual work, but they need some help with communication, especially to the unsympathetic.

  3. Psych nurse 3

    The answer is to include a well known Gnat on the committee, if they obstruct and leak you have them for obstructing,if not they then become compliant. A sheep in wolves clothing.

  4. Roy 5

    We’ve got to bite the bullet and separate ourselves from the obscenely-rich. Tax them. Make them pay. Give tax cuts to “us” if need be, but the bulk of where the money should come from is those over 100-or-so-K. And steeply after a half-or-so mill. Drastically after a mill, let alone a bill. I know we’re the left, so we are all about ‘inclusivity’, but come on – if there’s one group we can stand apart from it’s the non-sharing, non-contributing super-greedy.

    That’s the message.

    Corbyn’s rather soft version of “for the many not the few” seemed to resonate. Shaking the “aspirational” ‘we-can-all-be-billionaires’ rubbish is surely a winner?

    (Draco might have something more to contribute here, s/he seemed to proport similar tax philosophy…?)

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 5.1

      100% agree.

      Invariably the tax debate is derailed by the poorer 80% being spooked about paying even slightly more tax on their own modest assets or income.

      Shortcut all that by making it clear that the ONLY people who will pay more tax are the wealthiest 10-20%. Everyone else will be better off (even the top 10% will be better off, by living in a better society of course).

      As you say, make it VERY steep as you go above the top 10% of wealth and income. They can afford it, and that is where so much of the wealth is.

    • It’s not just about going after the super wealthy it’s also about convincing the aspirational middle class (many of whom will have voted for National at the election) that a progressive tax system is the key not only to a robust economy but also to a level of security for their loved ones (grandparents, parents, children and friends) that their own personal success cannot provide.
      Most of the people I work with are very well paid, have private health insurance and send their children to private schools and it becomes very easy for them to consider taxation and public services as a drain on their “hard earned” wealth.
      It is important to remind NZ’s middle class of economic history (why did the boomers do so well?) and also what the future looks like when taxation is incrementally reduced over time.
      Why is Grant Robertson so reticent to make the case, convincingly, for broader and higher taxation? I suspect he may not believe it is a good idea economically or socially and this in a way points to the broken soul of the Labour Party. I do not believe it has yet healed itself or attempted to resolve the contradiction of the destruction it unleashed on NZ’s poor and working class during it’s time in government in the 1980’s. I also fear that when it comes to economics and taxation Jacinda has neither the skill or courage to take a lead on these issues at this time – she will defer to others.
      This inability to confront NZ’s middle class with their own ignorant’s and selfishness may be the sharp and painful rock upon which this new and optimistic government impales itself.

  5. Tanz 6

    It’s a bit of a blast from the past having Michael Cullen heading the tax working group.
    So much for ‘generational change’. It seems that this new Labour govt is really just the old Labour govt from 2008, finally having ‘won’ a fourth term. Heard a Nat MP in the House today alluding that Clark is there in the background also. How very surprising…

    • solkta 6.1

      Well if you heard a Nat alluding to it it must be true.

    • Tricledrown 6.2

      Tanz so why did National make use of Michael Cullen .
      Was it because of his qualifications experience and achievements.
      Tanz your only qualification is being a poorly informed troll.

  6. NewsFlash 7

    For starters, Tax cuts don’t win elections, as we’ve just seen and Howard in Aus offered them up to gain another term in 2004 and failed, Turnbull just offered Tax cuts a week ago, and it’s likely he will be voted out in the next election, most of the Tax changes made by National were to secure another term, as far as the family tax benefits go, the previous Labour govt provided very well, but Key called it communism by stealth and now they’ve been reintroduced.

    Can the country afford Tax cuts? Isn’t that what the working party is going to decide, along with who should receive them, lets not forget Key raised GST without notice, incurring most of the cost onto those who could not afford it, claiming that everyone would be better off, but they weren’t, average workers ended up paying more unless they purchased everything in cash. The predicted revenue from the GST fell well short and hence the ballooning Govt debt.

    I’m OK with being patient on this topic, wait for the outcome of a working party, the Govt has promised a lot for the first 100 days, and keeping those promises is important to them, ROME was not built in a day, and hurrying along only creates errors, they have promised not to introduce any changes until the next election, plenty of time to get it right.

    National will keep harping on about anything and everything, it would not make any difference to level of complaining from them, best thing is that they’re not in Govt now and it will take a little time for that to sink in for most of them, particularly after 9 yrs of total control, the tax reforms they introduced only benefitted the top tax payers, the $20 a week Bill promised barely pays for the increases in the CPI, and only deepens the cuts to social services.

    My view is that a Tax free threshold should be introduced, the first $15k should be tax free, if you earn less than $15k, then you pay no Tax at all, and then progressive tax for balance, the Tax that needs to be considered is the GST, NZ’s version is the most regressive of any country in the western world, very few countries add GST to food or health or education, reduce GST to 10% and adjust the progressive rates to compensate, CGT should have been introduced at least three yrs ago, but the political ideology of the free market has failed most Kiwis wanting to own their own home, an absolute necessity in life is a roof over your head, house prices are far too high and would be almost impossible to bring back to affordability, the best anyone can hope for now is stabilisation of house prices after the horse has bolted.

    The media appear to think that National are still in power and can’t help themselves but to repeat their lies as they have done for so long, the media are also struggling to adjust to the fact there is a new Govt, DEMOCRATICALY elected, whether they like it or not, it took Key some time to train most of the media to NOT hold him to account, it will take some time to get out of their old habits and accept the fact that the majority of Kiwi’s had had enough and elected a Govt that more closely represents their needs and beliefs, it’s only early days so far, and as the polls indicate (not the media) they’re doing OK.

    • Koff 7.1

      Best comment and suggestions I’ve seen yet on tax.

    • Tanz 7.2

      ‘selected ‘ rather than elected, one could also say! MMP chose (or Winston did) not the popular vote.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 7.2.1

        The important thing is to explain that to everyone you meet. That will ensure you win even harder in 2020.

        • Tanz 7.2.1.1

          2020 or less OAB, three years or less, the way its going so far.
          National will be a shoe-in next time, NZ First are gone already and as for the Greens…already in the news again for all the wrong reasons! It’s all good fun to watch, but oh so bad for the aspirational good of the country, the fantastic job that the fantastical Nats did, and they won the popular vote, so the maj. agrees.
          When you are paying petrol and other tax increases soon, don’t forget to thank your beloved govt!!
          The Coalition of the Losers, Ardern did not win anything, she sold her soul to Peters. Must be true, Labour can’t govern without WP!

          • Tanz 7.2.1.1.1

            Also, reading the daily newspapers every day, there are many letters of complaint about the new govt, Winston Peters, MMP, the Manus Island refugees etc. You might like the outcome, but the electorate at large doesn’t like its democratic election result being nicked. All those people in the electorate areas have no representation at all! laugh a minute…

            • mickysavage 7.2.1.1.1.1

              They are all National operatives. Most people are sitting back and giving the Government time to actually show itself.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 7.2.1.1.1.2

              That’s the way Tanz. Pile it on. Make sure everyone knows what winners you are.

      • Muttonbird 7.2.2

        National chose the outcome of the election when they, with the help of a compliant public service, did a dirty politics hit job on Winston Peters.

        Own it.

  7. One Anonymous Bloke 8

    Labour won the 1999 election on a promise to raise taxes.

    Sometimes “can’t” is just shorthand for “don’t want to”.

    • Enough is Enough 8.1

      I agree with what you are saying but the reality is Labour won the 1999 election against a Jenny Shipley train wreck of a government propped up by NZ First and Alliance rejects. The most winnable election in history

      They missed the opportunity of a generation to campaign and act on things that would have resulted in real reform.

  8. Sparky 9

    Why not start by properly taxing corporations, making them pay their fair share? Then focus on ensuring they keep a good portion of their money in NZ rather than shipping it off shore. Then withdraw from the CP-TPP talks as it has NAFTA style potential to gouge more money out of long suffering tax payers pockets. Of course this should happen but my guess is it wont. Until it does Labour will in my opinion look to lefties like me as a somewhat more approachable, watered down version of the Nats, a friend to big business but no friend to the ordinary Kiwi.

    • Bob 9.1

      “Why not start by properly taxing corporations, making them pay their fair share?”
      Exactly, stop focusing on perceived punishment of individuals (increased PAYE) and start closing loopholes around corporate tax.
      If Landlords aren’t allowed to depreciate their assets to offset taxes any more why are corporates able too? This would make a much bigger difference to the overall tax income than raising the tax rate on earners over $150k and would actually resonate with the voting public

    • savenz 9.2

      +1, Sparky and Bob

      Also I’m for a Robin Hood tax. Micro taxes at point of sale on every electronic money going in and out of country and for every purchase from a car to a house to wages to Skycity gamblers, to money flows in company accounts. Everything taxed an amount so tiny most people will not notice (but big corporations then pay their share, Peter Thiel pay’s when he buys his farm in NZ), etc etc. Then use those taxes to lower other things like GST and PAYE for people who actually work and live and pay taxes in this country.

  9. timeforacupoftea 10

    Prime Minister Adern was so positive until she back tracked on water and housing speculators tax, that was a shame.

    She really needs to own her nickname Taxcinda (I AM TAXCINDA) and that is what we are going to be doing changing all taxes.
    Raising taxes on the well paid wages of $150,000 and over.
    Even go on to tax a joint partners whatever the modern terminology is of say $180,000.

    We will also be lowering TAX on the first $20,000 to a big fat zero so our students and Supernatants can live a little more decently.
    Naturally we will be topping up incomes for families with children until the children leave school.

    Tax rates on the above $80,000 earners will rise a little to compensate for the nil TAX on the first $20,000, but they will not pay $1 more than they are paying now.
    The $150,000 earners and over get the same treatment but will get TAXED heaps from then on.

    • Antoine 10.1

      > She really needs to own her nickname Taxcinda (I AM TAXCINDA)

      This is one of the worst ideas I’ve heard.

      Also, have you done the math to calculate how much taxes on personal income over $150K would have to go up, in order to provide a $20K tax free bracket for everyone?

      A.

      • Dv 10.1.1

        Have you done the math?

        • Antoine 10.1.1.1

          Roughly, in my head, and it is alot

          A.

          • Dv 10.1.1.1.1

            Ok down load the number. From you head

            • Antoine 10.1.1.1.1.1

              Sure. Roughly speaking the cost will be $2K per taxpayer. Suppose 1% of taxpayers earn $150K+, then each of them has to pay an extra $200K in taxes. Suppose their mean income is $200K, then their marginal tax rate is 400%.

              A,

              • UncookedSelachimorpha

                Why we need a wealth tax, not just income.

                Strangely the super wealthy get super wealthy without much IRD-declared income.

              • McFlock

                Maths isn’t my strong point, but I think your head might have gotten it wrong.

                looking at the 2017 taxpayer distribution, writing off $2k in tax for every taxpayer on over $20k, and writing off all tax paid by taxpayers on under $20k, that seems to add up to $6bil.
                Currently we get $8Bil off those on 150k or more.

                Oh, and we’d only need an extra $56k off each big earner on average, not $200k.

                That seems to be the counting, anyway, but feel free to pointo ut if I’ve missed an order of magnitude or two lol

                • Antoine

                  My head thought only 1% of taxpayers were on 150K+, but in fact it is 3% (according to your link). I guess I am out of date. Hence the gap between my $200K tax needed and your $56K.

                  But the $8B is kinda irrelevant because that refers to their entire income tax across all tax brackets. timeforacupoftea wants to recoup the lost revenue from the top tax bracket only. So the marginal tax rate in this tax bracket still needs to be in excess of 100%.

                  (I realise some people here would be quite happy with a 100% tax rate on income over $150K)

                  A.

                  • McFlock

                    If I understand the scales correctly (same link as above), the tax on $150k is $40.4k.

                    The average tax paid by people on incomes over $150k is $76.6k, meaning the average tax on income over $150k is $36.2k.

                    That means that the average person with taxable income over $150k is earning $208kp.a. ($150k plus $36k*3 because it’s a 33% tax rate).

                    So based on last years budget figures, the marginal tax rate on incomes over $150k needed to fund a tax break for everyone’s first $20k is the current take (36k@33%) plus the $56k for the low income bracket. Out of $108k. 92/108*100= a marginal tax rate of 85%.

                    Now it’s a marginal high tax rate compared to these days, but it’s not unheard of and it’s certainly logically feasible, rather than your “in excess of 100%” scaremongering.

                    edit: I think that part of where your numbers are off is that 9% of taxpayers don’t actually pay any tax.

                    • Antoine

                      Hi

                      > So based on last years budget figures, the marginal tax rate on incomes over $150k needed to fund a tax break for everyone’s first $20k is the current take (36k@33%) plus the $56k for the low income bracket. Out of $108k. 92/108*100= a marginal tax rate of 85%.

                      $108k is wrong. It should be $58k – the average high earner taxable income of $208k, minus the bracket start of $150k. Then 92/58 = a marginal tax rate of 158%. Not feasible.

                      > your “in excess of 100%” scaremongering.

                      Feel free to chuck an apology my way for this.

                      > edit: I think that part of where your numbers are off is that 9% of taxpayers don’t actually pay any tax.

                      Yes, clearly, and some are only partway through the $20K bracket.

                      A.

                      PS Let’s also remember that if the marginal tax rate increases, then the amount of taxable income in this bracket will decrease. In the limit, with a marginal tax rate of 100%, the taxable income and tax in the bracket would be near nil.

                    • dv

                      AND from the same table
                      there are 108,000 over 150k
                      And they pay 8282 million in tax with works out to approx $77,000 tax each.

                      Which means their ave income would be in the order of 250k each.

                      I am sure that a tax scale could be worked to allow a 20k tax free.

                    • McFlock

                      $108k is wrong. It should be $58k – the average high earner taxable income of $208k, minus the bracket start of $150k. Then 92/58 = a marginal tax rate of 158%. Not feasible.

                      No, because they pay $76k in tax, total. $40k of that is for the income they earn under 150k, so 36k is what they currently pay on their income above 150k.

                      As dv points out, I fumbled the “$208kp.a. ($150k plus $36k*3” bit. It’s 150k + 108k =$258k.

                      The marginal tax rate looks right, though.

                      PS Let’s also remember that if the marginal tax rate increases, then the amount of taxable income in this bracket will decrease. In the limit, with a marginal tax rate of 100%, the taxable income and tax in the bracket would be near nil.

                      Again, your “100% marginal tax rate” is off. And if rich folk want to stop earning money, it frees up opportunities for everyone else to compete. The rich don’t exist in a vacuum.

                    • Antoine []

                      The key points here are:
                      (A) if you want to increase income tax revenue substantually, you gotta start going up well before 150k, and
                      (B) If you advance the top personal income tax rate substantially above the trust and corporate tax rates, you’re not gonna take much money.

                      Anyone actually involved in tax policy knows these things, however.
                      A.

                    • McFlock

                      A) that depends on how substantially you want to raise revenue, and whether there are other policy objectives involved (such as lowering tax for lower brackets).

                      B) that depends on both the trust and corporate tax environments, as well as other regulatory controls. As the recent change in trust law that decimated the tax dodge overseas-owned trusts industry demonstrates.

                      The main point is that now we’re debating the actual merits of
                      timeforacupoftea’s policy suggestion (which I’m sure has a lot of flexibility aroud the specific threshholds and so on), whereas before you were simply saying it was mathematically impossible.

  10. Antoine 11

    > So what can we do to help this Labour-led government to fight back on tax? The first answer is to show that taxes mean we can have nice things

    OK, but to do this you first have to deal to the idea that you can fund ‘nice things’ from borrowing without increasing tax.

    A.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Foreign Minister announces two diplomatic appointments
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced two diplomatic appointments: New Zealand’s High Commissioner to India and Consul-General to Hong Kong. “As New Zealand recovers from COVID-19, our diplomatic and trade networks are more important than ever. That is ...
    1 day ago
  • Week That Was: Recover and rebuild
    We started the week by announcing free apprenticeships to support Kiwis into work and to help get New Zealand moving again - and we ended the week by extending the wage subsidy to 40,000 more businesses, helping to protect businesses and workers alike.  ...
    1 day ago
  • How Budget 2020 is backing businesses
    We’re confident in the ability of Kiwi businesses to succeed in the face of COVID-19, and our Government is committed to doing our bit to enable that success. Kiwi businesses have always been innovative and resilient, and the COVID-19 pandemic has proven this yet again. Many businesses are finding new, creative ...
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand First confirms its first tranche of candidates
    New Zealand First is pleased to release the names of its first tranche of candidates for the 2020 election. The includes all sitting New Zealand First Members of Parliament except Clayton Mitchell MP who earlier today announced he will not be seeking re-election. In alphabetical order they are: MP ...
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand First MP Clayton Mitchell not seeking re-election
    Clayton Mitchell MP, New Zealand First List MP based in Tauranga New Zealand First MP Clayton Mitchell has decided not to seek re-election in this year’s General Election.  “After serious consideration and discussion with my family, I have decided to pursue other passions in my life and spend a lot ...
    1 day ago
  • Five new Lockheed Martin Super Hercules aircraft to replace ageing fleet
    Defence Minister Ron Mark has announced that new Lockheed Martin Super Hercules aircraft would replace the outdated and costly 1960s Hercules fleet. The $1.521b project will include a flight simulator for staff training and other supporting infrastructure. "This fleet will ensure the Defence Force can continue to support New Zealand's ...
    1 day ago
  • Greens urge police to rule out armed police patrols following George Floyd’s death
    The Green Party is urging the New Zealand Police to rule out the use of Armed Response Teams, following their recent trial in communities around Aotearoa. ...
    2 days ago
  • NZ First fought for changes to “poorly-targeted” rent dispute policy
    New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has described Labour's original COVID-19 commercial rent dispute proposal as "poorly targeted". Justice Minister Andrew Little has announced a temporary law change to force commercial landlords and renters to consider COVID-19 in disputes over rent issues, almost two months after the Government first floated the idea.  But ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand First ensures commercial rent dispute clause fairly applied
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand First acknowledges that some small businesses have been struggling to meet fixed costs due to the loss of revenue by COVID-19. We also know some businesses are at greater risk of insolvency when they cannot come to a reasonable ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand First disappointed that Section 70 spouses won’t get relief
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand First is disappointed that the removal of the spousal deductions has had to be delayed by the Ministry fo Social Development, due to COVID19 workload pressures. “New Zealand First has always stood for fairness when it comes to superannuation ...
    4 days ago
  • Winston Peters receives petition demanding more protection for nurses
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First On the steps of Parliament today the Leader of New Zealand First, Rt Hon Winston Peters received a petition from registered nurse Anna Maria Coervers, requesting an amendment to the Protection for First Responders Bill which will ensure the legislation also include registered ...
    4 days ago
  • Week That Was: Getting our economy moving
    It's been a busy seven days as we start to rebuild New Zealand together. From delivering extra support for small businesses, to investing in our artists and arts organisations, to cutting red tape on home DIY projects, we're rolling out our plan to get the economy and New Zealand moving ...
    4 days ago
  • Winston Peters: If protests condoned ‘why are we not at level 1?’
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters says alert level 2 restrictions have to be discussed during today's Cabinet meeting. Thousands gathered across the country, including at Parliament, yesterday for Black Lives Matter marches where social distancing and mass gathering rules were flouted. Mr Peters said the breaching of Alert Level 2 rules at ...
    5 days ago
  • Northland rail work to help create regional jobs
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of State Owned Enterprises KiwiRail’s Northland rail upgrade steps up another gear today and will help Northland recover from the impacts of COVID-19, State Owned Enterprises Minister Winston Peters says. The Government is investing $204.5 million through the Provincial Growth Fund to ...
    5 days ago
  • Green Party statement on the death of George Floyd
    “Today and every day we stand in solidarity with George Floyd’s family, friends and community who feel pain and fear about his untimely death at the hands of Minneapolis police”, said Green Party Co-leader and Māori Development spokesperson Marama Davidson. ...
    5 days ago
  • Lake Brunner’s Mount Te Kinga to go Predator Free
    Fletcher Tabuteau, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Hon Eugenie Sage, Minister of Conservation The West Coast forests of Mount Te Kinga at Kotuku Whakaoho/Lake Brunner are the latest predator free project to receive Government funding, announced Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage and Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher ...
    1 week ago
  • Green Party welcomes crucial financial support for creatives
    The Green Party says new government support for creatives and artists is a vital lifeline for a sector struggling to survive the COVID crisis. ...
    1 week ago
  • Strongest ever water reforms mean swimmable rivers within a generation
    The Green Party says major freshwater reforms announced today provide the strongest ever protections of our waterways, to help ensure the next generation can swim in the rivers of Aotearoa. ...
    1 week ago
  • Greens work to secure inquiry into Wild West student accommodation sector
    The Green Party has begun the process for a Select Committee inquiry into student accommodation, which has been exposed during COVID-19 as an under-regulated sector that straddles students with unfair debt. ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand joins global search for COVID-19 vaccine
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon Megan Woods, Minister of Research, Science and Innovation Hon Dr David Clark, Minister of Health Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods,  and Health Minister David Clark today announced a COVID-19 vaccine strategy, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Budget 2020: Five things to know
    Budget 2020 is about rebuilding together, supporting jobs, getting business moving and the books back into the black. It’s an integral part of our COVID-19 economic response, and our plan to grow our economy and get New Zealand moving again. Here’s a quick look at the five top things you ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party unveils its candidate list for the 2020 election
    The Green Party is pleased to reveal its candidate list for the upcoming election. With a mix of familiar faces and fresh new talent, this exceptional group of candidates are ready to lead the Greens back into Government. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Coalition Government approves essential upgrades on Ōhakea Air Base
    The Coalition Government has approved $206 million in essential upgrades at Ōhakea Air Base.  Defence Minister Ron Mark said the money would be spent on improving old infrastructure. He said safety issues would be addressed, as well as upgrades to taxiways, accommodation and fresh, storm and waste water systems. "This ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Attributable to the Rt Hon Winston Peters
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First “I am not persisting with this case just for myself, but for all people who have had their privacy breached. Privacy of information is a cornerstone of our country’s democracy. Without it our society truly faces a bleak future. We now ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Major boost in support for caregivers and children
    Hon Tracey Martin, Minister for Children A major increase in funding and availability of support will improve the incomes and reduce the pressure on 14,000 caregivers looking after more than 22,000 children. Children’s Minister Tracey Martin says that caregivers – all those looking after someone else’s children both in and ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Forestry Minister Shane Jones moves to protect sawmills
    Forestry Minister Shane Jones has introduced a Bill to Parliament that he says will "force more transparency, integrity and respect" for the domestic wood-processing sector through the registration of log traders and practice standards. The Forests (Regulation of Log Traders and Forestry Advisers) Amendment Bill had its first reading in ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Great Walks bookings open next week
    This summer presents a great opportunity for New Zealanders to get out into nature with bookings on Great Walks for 2020/21 set to open next week, says Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage.  Bookings for the Great Walks will open between 9 and 11 June, excluding Milford and Routeburn tracks which ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Ministerial Diary April 2020
    ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Govt extends support schemes for businesses
    Extra 40,000 businesses to be eligible for wage subsidy extension Small business cashflow support application period extended The Government is today announcing further support for businesses that continue to be affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic, as the broader economy becomes one of the most open in the world following ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Five new Super Hercules to join Air Force fleet
    The Coalition Government has confirmed five Lockheed Martin C-130J-30 Super Hercules transport aircraft will be purchased to replace the existing fleet, Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today.  “Last year, Cabinet selected these aircraft as the preferred option to replace the current Hercules fleet. Procurement of the Super Hercules has been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Wairarapa Moana seeks international recognition as vital wetland
    The Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage is celebrating World Environment Day with an announcement of a major step towards Wairarapa Moana being recognised as an internationally significant wetland. “Wairarapa Moana is an ecosystem of 10,000 hectares of wetland and open water that provides a home for indigenous fish, birds and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New public housing sets standard for future
    New public housing that will save tenants money in energy bills, and provide warmer, healthier and more comfortable homes, is setting the standard for the Government’s future public housing programme, Housing Minister Megan Woods said. Dr Woods opened the new Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities complex, which has a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • First Police wing to complete training post lockdown
    A new-look Police graduation ceremony to take account of COVID19 health rules has marked the completion of training for 57 new constables. Police Minister Stuart Nash attended this afternoon's ceremony, where officers of Recruit Wing 337 were formally sworn in at the Royal New Zealand Police College without the normal support of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government makes further inroads on predatory lenders
    Mobile traders and truck shops must adhere to responsible lending requirements Interest rate cap on high-cost loans Lenders prohibited from offering further credit to an applicant who has taken two high-cost loans in the past 90 days The Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Kris Faafoi, has signalled an end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New survey shows wage subsidy a “lifeline” for businesses, saved jobs
    94% of firms say wage subsidy had positive impact on cashflow 62% of firms say support helped to manage non-wage costs like rent A survey of business that have received the Government’s wage subsidy show it has played a significant role in saving jobs, and freed up cash flow to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Tax changes support economic recovery
    New legislation introduced to Parliament today will support growth and assist businesses on the road to economic recovery, said Revenue Minister Stuart Nash. “The Taxation (Annual Rates for 2020-21, Feasibility Expenditure, and Remedial Matters) Bill proposes that businesses can get tax deductions for ‘feasibility expenditure’ on new investments,” said Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • $4.6 million financial relief for professional sports
    Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson has welcomed the first release of funds from the $265 million Sport Recovery Package announced as part of Budget 2020. Sport NZ has announced that $4.6 million in funding will go to the Wellington Phoenix, NZ Warriors, Super Rugby teams and the ANZ Premiership ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Critical support for strategic tourism assets
    An iconic New Zealand tourism attraction and the country’s 31 Regional Tourism Organisations are the first recipients of support from the $400 million Tourism Sector Recovery Plan, to help position the sector for recovery from COVID-19, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. The plan includes a Strategic Tourism Assets Protection ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Supporting Kiwi businesses to resolve commercial rent disputes
    The Government will legislate to ensure businesses that suffered as a result of the COVID-19 response will get help to resolve disputes over commercial rent issues, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. A temporary amendment to the Property Law Act will insert a clause in commercial leases requiring a fair ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prompt payments to SMEs even more urgent
    The Minister for Small Business says new data from Xero highlights the urgency of prompt payment practices to small and medium enterprises as we move into economic recovery. Last month Government ministers wrote to significant private enterprises and the banking industry to request they join efforts by government agencies to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Free period products in schools to combat poverty
    Young people in Waikato will be the first to have free access to period products in schools in another step to support children and young people in poverty,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.  During term 3, the Ministry of Education will begin providing free period products to schools following the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Response to charges in New Plymouth
    The Minister of Police Stuart Nash has issued the following statement in response to charges filed against three Police officers this morning in the New Plymouth District Court. “Any incident involving a loss of life in Police custody is taken very seriously. The charges today reflect the gravity of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt boosts innovation, R&D for economic rebuild
    $196 million for Crown Research Institutes $150 million for R&D loan scheme $33 million for Māori research and development opportunities $12 million for the Nationally Significant Collections and Databases $10 million to help maintain in-house capability at Callaghan Innovation New Zealand’s entrepreneurs, innovators and crown researchers will benefit from a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Temporary changes to NCEA and University Entrance this year
    Further temporary changes to NCEA and University Entrance (UE) will support senior secondary school students whose teaching and learning have been disrupted by COVID-19. “The wellbeing of students and teachers is a priority. As we are all aware, COVID-19 has created massive disruption to the school system, and the Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Extended terms for the directors of the Racing Industry Transition Agency
    Minister for Racing Winston Peters today announced that the terms for the directors of the Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) have been extended to 30 June 2021. Due to the COVID-19 crisis the transition period has been extended to ensure that the Racing Industry Bill can complete its progress through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Healthy Homes Standards statement of compliance deadline extended
    The deadline for landlords to include detailed information in their tenancy agreements about how their property meets the Healthy Homes Standards, so tenants can see the home they are renting is compliant, has been extended from 1 July 2020 to 1 December 2020.  The Healthy Homes Standards became law on 1 July 2019. The Standards are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission board appointments announced
    Justice Minister Andrew Little today announced details of further appointments to the Criminal Cases Review Commission. “I am pleased to announce Paula Rose QSO OStJ as Deputy Chief Commissioner for a term of five years commencing on 15 June 2020,” said Andrew Little. “I am also pleased to announce the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Release of initial list of supported training to aid COVID-19 recovery
    The Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund (TTAF) will pay costs of learners of all ages to undertake vocational education and training The fund will target support for areas of study and training that will give learners better employment prospects as New Zealand recovers from COVID-19 Apprentices working in all industries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Emission trading reforms another step to meeting climate targets
    The Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will finally start to cut New Zealand’s greenhouse gas pollution as it was originally intended to, because of changes announced today by the Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw. The changes include a limit on the total emissions allowed within the ETS, rules to ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Queen’s Birthday Honours highlights Pacific leadership capability in Aotearoa
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says the Queen’s Birthday 2020 Honours List provides an abundance of examples that Pacific people’s leadership capability is unquestionable in Aotearoa. “The work and the individuals we acknowledge this year highlights the kind of visionary examples and dedicated community leadership that we need ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt backing horticulture to succeed
    The Government is backing a new $27 million project aimed at boosting sustainable horticulture production and New Zealand’s COVID-19 recovery efforts, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our economy. During and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Applications open for forestry scholarships
    Applications have opened for 2021 Ngā Karahipi Uru Rākau – Forestry Scholarships, which will support more Māori and women to pursue careers in forestry science, says Forestry Minister Shane Jones. “I’m delighted Te Uru Rākau is offering Ngā Karahipi Uru Rākau – Forestry Scholarships for the third year running. These ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Excellent service to nature recognised
    The Queen’s Birthday 2020 Honours List once again highlights the dedication by many to looking after our native plants and wildlife, including incredible work to restore the populations of critically endangered birds says Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. Anne Richardson of Hororata has been made an Officer of the New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Wetlands and waterways gain from 1BT funding
    The Government will invest $10 million from the One Billion Trees Fund for large-scale planting to provide jobs in communities and improve the environment, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Forestry Minister Shane Jones have announced. New, more flexible funding criteria for applications will help up to 10 catchment groups plant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New fund for women now open
    Organisations that support women are invited to apply to a new $1,000,000 fund as part of the Government’s COVID-19 response. “We know women, and organisations that support women, have been affected by COVID-19. This new money will ensure funding for groups that support women and women’s rights,” said Minister for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Govt supports King Country farmers to lift freshwater quality
    Healthier waterways are front and centre in a new project involving more than 300 King Country sheep, beef and dairy farmers. The Government is investing $844,000 in King Country River Care, a group that helps farmers to lift freshwater quality and farming practice, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. “Yesterday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Libraries to help with jobs and community recovery
    A major funding package for libraries will allow them to play a far greater role in supporting their communities and people seeking jobs as part of the economic recovery from COVID-19. “Budget 2020 contains over $60 million of funding to protect library services and to protect jobs,” says Internal Affairs ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Support for arts and music sector recovery
    A jobseekers programme for the creative sector and four new funds have been set up by the Government to help our arts and music industry recover from the blow of COVID-19. Thousands of jobs will be supported through today’s $175 million package in a crucial economic boost to support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Legislative changes to support the wellbeing of veterans and their families
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has welcomed the First Reading of a Bill that will make legislative changes to further improve the veterans’ support system.  The Veterans’ Support Amendment Bill No 2, which will amend the Veterans’ Support Act 2014, passed First Reading today. The bill addresses a number of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Christ Church Cathedral – Order in Council
    Views sought on Order in Council to help fast track the reinstatement of the Christ Church Cathedral  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Hon Poto Williams, will be seeking public written comment, following Cabinet approving the drafting of an Order in Council aimed at fast-tracking the reinstatement of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealanders’ human rights better protected in new Bill
    The law setting out New Zealanders’ basic civil and human rights is today one step towards being strengthened following the first reading of a Bill that requires Parliament to take action if a court says a statute undermines those rights. At present, a senior court can issue a ‘declaration of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deep concern at Hong Kong national security legislation
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today reiterated the deep concern of the New Zealand Government following confirmation by China’s National People’s Congress of national security legislation relating to Hong Kong. “New Zealand shares the international community’s significant and long-standing stake in Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability,” Mr Peters said. “New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government invests in New Zealand’s cultural recovery
    Thousands of artists and creatives at hundreds of cultural and heritage organisations have been given much-needed support to recover from the impact of COVID-19, Prime Minister and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Jacinda Ardern announced today. “The cultural sector was amongst the worst hit by the global pandemic,” Jacinda ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Better protection for New Zealand assets during COVID-19 crisis
    Key New Zealand assets will be better protected from being sold to overseas owners in a way contrary to the national interest, with the passage of the Overseas Investment (Urgent Measures) Bill. The Bill, which passed its third reading in Parliament today, also cuts unnecessary red tape to help attract ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Cleaning up our rivers and lakes
    Setting higher health standards at swimming spots Requiring urban waterways to be cleaned up and new protections for urban streams Putting controls on higher-risk farm practices such as winter grazing and feed lots Setting stricter controls on nitrogen pollution and new bottom lines on other measures of waterway health Ensuring ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Record year for diversity on Govt boards
    The Government is on the verge of reaching its target of state sector boards and committees made up of at least 50 percent women, says Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter and Minister for Ethnic Communities Jenny Salesa. For the first time, the Government stocktake measures the number of Māori, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago