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

  • Report shows progress on Homelessness Action Plan
    The Government has welcomed the release of the second progress report on the Homelessness Action Plan, showing that good progress is being made on every one of the immediate actions in the Plan. “Homelessness will not be solved overnight, but I am pleased to see that this plan is continuing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Arts and cultural festivals get funding boost
    One of New Zealand’s oldest cultural festivals and a brand new youth festival are amongst four events to win grants to help them grow, attract new audiences, and boost local economies.  Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash has announced new support from an incubator fund launched last year to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Govt to rev up reductions in transport emissions
    The Government is calling for feedback on a range of potential policies to eliminate emissions in the transport sector. Transport Minister Michael Wood today released Hīkina te Kohupara – Kia mauri ora ai te iwi - Transport Emissions: Pathways to Net Zero by 2050, a Ministry of Transport report outlining ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government recognises David McPhail’s contribution to New Zealand comedy and television
    Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni today pays tribute to David Alexander McPhail (11 April 1945 – 14 May 2021) – New Zealand comedian, actor, producer and writer. David McPhail ONZM QSM had a comedy career that spanned four decades, across both television and theatre.  “David’s contribution to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Support for drought-stressed regions fills a need
    An innovative iwi-led plan to help maintain water supply to a far North community battered by drought is set to get underway with support from the Government, Acting Minister for Emergency Management Kris Faafoi says.  “The impacts of climate change are not something that just our grandchildren will have to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • KiwiSaver default provider scheme improvements slash fees, boosts savings
    Hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders will be significantly better off in retirement following changes to the default KiwiSaver scheme, Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister David Clark said today. The new default provider arrangements, which will take effect once the terms of the current providers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Industry leadership for our training system becomes reality
    Six new Workforce Development Councils formally established today will ensure people graduate with the right skills at the right time to address skill shortages, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. Every industry in New Zealand will be covered by one of the following Workforce Development Councils: •           Hanga-Aro-Rau – Manufacturing, Engineering ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Rotorua Emergency Housing update
    The Government has announced a suite of changes to emergency housing provision in Rotorua:  Government to directly contract motels for emergency accommodation Wrap around social support services for those in emergency accommodation to be provided Grouping of cohorts like families and tamariki in particular motels separate from other groups One-stop ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Further COVID-19 vaccine and economic support for the Pacific
    New Zealand will be providing protection against COVID-19 to at least 1.2 million people in the Pacific over the coming year $120 million in Official Development Assistance has been reprioritised to support Pacific economies in 2021 Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta and Associate Health and Foreign Affairs Minister Aupito William ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Statement on the escalation of violence in Israel, the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Gaza
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today expressed Aotearoa New Zealand’s grave concern at the escalation of violence in Israel, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and Gaza. “The growing death toll and the large numbers of casualties, including children, from Israeli airstrikes and Gazan rockets is unacceptable,” Nanaia Mahuta said “Senior officials met ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Trade Minister to travel to UK and EU to progress free trade agreements
    Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor announced today he will travel to the United Kingdom and European Union next month to progress New Zealand’s respective free trade agreement negotiations. The decision to travel to Europe follows the agreement reached last week between Minister O’Connor and UK Secretary of State for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Pre-Budget speech to Business New Zealand
    Kia ora koutou katoa It’s great to be here today, at our now-regular event in anything-but-regular times. I last spoke to some of you in mid-March. That was an opportunity to reflect on an extraordinary 12 months, but also to reflect on how the future was shaping up. In what ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Te Hurihanganui growing with Nelson community celebration
    Nelson is the latest community to join the Te Hurihanganui kaupapa to drive change and address racism and bias in education, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Speaking at today’s community celebration, Kelvin Davis acknowledged the eight iwi in Te Tau Ihu for supporting and leading Te Hurihanganui in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Te Hurihanganui Nelson Community Celebration 
    Te Hurihanganui Nelson Community Celebration  Victory Community Centre, Nelson   “Racism exists – we feel little and bad”. Those were the unprompted words of one student during an interview for a report produced by the Children’s Commissioner in 2018. They were also the words I used when I announced the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Child wellbeing reports highlight need for ongoing action
    The Government has released the first Annual Report for the Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy and the second Child Poverty Related Indicators (CPRI) Report, both of which highlight improvements in the lives of children as a result of actions of the Government, while setting out the need for ongoing action.  ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Formal consultation starts on proposals for Hawera schools
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced a formal consultation for the future of schooling in Hawera. "Recent engagement shows there is a lot of support for change. The preferred options are for primary schools to be extended to year 7 and 8, or for a year 7-13 high school to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • He Whenua Taurikura: New Zealand’s Hui on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism
    The Government is progressing another recommendation of the Royal Commission of Inquiry report into the terrorist attack on Christchurch masjidain by convening New Zealand’s first national hui on countering terrorism and violent extremism. He Whenua Taurikura, meaning ‘a land or country at peace’, will meet in Christchurch on 15 and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Hundreds of new electric cars for state sector
    Total of 422 new electric vehicles and charging infrastructure across the state sector $5.1 million for the Department of Conservation to buy 148 electric vehicles and install charging infrastructure $1.1 million to help Kāinga Ora buy 40 electric vehicles and install charging infrastructure 11,600 tonnes of carbon emissions saved over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Apartments give new life to former Trade Training hostel
    A building that once shaped the Māori trade training industry will now revitalise the local community of Ōtautahi and provide much needed housing for whānau Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson announced today. The old Māori Trade Training hostel, Te Koti Te Rato, at Rehua Marae in Christchurch has been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Opening of Te Kōti o Te Rato at Rehua Marae, Ōtautahi
    *Check with delivery* It is a great pleasure to be here with you all today. I acknowledge Ngāi Tūāhuriri and the trustees of Te Whatu Manawa Māoritanga o Rehua Trust Board. The opening of six new apartments on these grounds signifies more than an increase in much-needed housing for Ōtautahi. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Major step to pay parity for early learning teachers
    Certificated teachers on the lowest pay in early education and care services will take another leap towards pay parity with their equivalents in kindergartens, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said in a pre-Budget announcement today. “Pay parity for education and care teachers is a manifesto commitment for Labour and is reflected ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand Wind Energy Conference
    Tēnā koutou katoa Tēnā koutou i runga i te kaupapa o te Rā No reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tatou katoa  Thank you Grenville for the introduction and thanks to the organisers, the New Zealand Wind Energy Association, for inviting me to speak this morning. I’m delighted that you ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to New Zealand Drug Foundation 2021 Parliamentary Drug Policy Symposium
    Speech to Through the Maze: On the road to health New Zealand Drug Foundation 2021 Parliamentary Drug Policy Symposium Mōrena koutou katoa, Tēnei te mihi ki a koutou, Kua tae mai nei me ngā kete matauranga hauora, E whai hononga ai tatau katoa, Ka nui te mihi! Thank you for the opportunity ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt to deliver lower card fees to business
    Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister David Clark has today announced the Government’s next steps to reduce merchant service fees, that banks charge businesses when customers use a credit or debit card to pay, which is estimated to save New Zealand businesses approximately $74 million each year. “Pre COVID, EFTPOS has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government support boosts Arts and Culture sector
    Government support for the cultural sector to help it recover from the impact of COVID-19 has resulted in more cultural sector jobs predicted through to 2026, and the sector performing better than forecast. The latest forecast by economic consultancy ‘Infometrics’ reflects the impact of Government investment in keeping people in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt takes further action against gang crime
    The Government will make it illegal for high risk people to own firearms by introducing Firearms Prohibition Orders (FPOs) that will strengthen action already taken to combat the influence of gangs and organised crime to help keep New Zealanders and their families safe, Police Minister Poto Williams and Justice Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Thousands of MIQ spaces allocated to secure economic recovery
    Five hundred spaces per fortnight will be allocated in managed isolation facilities over the next 10 months, many for skilled and critical workers to support our economic recovery, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor say. “The Trans-Tasman bubble has freed up more rooms, allowing us to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand Sign Language Week a chance to recognise national taonga
    This week (10 – 16 May 2021) is New Zealand Sign Language Week (NZSL), a nationwide celebration of NZSL as an official language of New Zealand. “We’re recognised as a world leader for our commitment to maintaining and furthering the use of our sign language,” says Minister for Disability Issues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Economic resilience provides more options in Budget 2021
    Securing the recovery and investing in the wellbeing of New Zealanders is the focus of Budget 2021, Grant Robertson told his audience at a pre-budget speech in Auckland this morning. "The economy has proven resilient in response to COVID-19, due to people having confidence in the Government’s health response to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Pre-Budget speech to BNZ-Deloitte Auckland Breakfast Event
    Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today, and to share with you some of the Government’s thinking leading into this year’s budget. This will be my fourth time delivering the annual Budget for the Government, though the events of the past year have thrown out that calculation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Rotuman Language week affirms language as the key to Pacific wellbeing
    The first Pacific Language Week this year  makes it clear that  language is the key to the wellbeing for all Pacific people said Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio. “This round of language  weeks begin with Rotuman. As I have always  said language is one of the pillars of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Budget delivers improved cervical and breast cancer screening
    Budget 2021 funds a more effective cervical screening test to help reduce cervical cancer rates A new breast screening system that can proactively identify and enrol eligible women to reach 271,000 more people who aren’t currently in the programme. Budget 2021 delivers a better cervical screening test and a major ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ-France to co-chair Christchurch Call Leaders’ Summit
    New Zealand and France will jointly convene the Christchurch Call Community for a leaders’ summit, to take stock of progress and develop a new shared priority work plan. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and President Emmanuel Macron will co-chair the leaders’ meeting on the 2nd anniversary of the Call, on 14 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New South Wales travel pause to be lifted tomorrow
    COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says the current travel pause with New South Wales will lift tomorrow – subject to no further significant developments in NSW. “New Zealand health officials met today to conduct a further assessment of the public health risk from the recently identified COVID-19 community cases in Sydney. It has been determined that the risk to public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • March 15 Collective Impact Board appointed
    The voices of those affected by the March 15 mosque attacks will be heard more effectively with the establishment of a new collective impact board, Associate Minister for Social Development and Employment Priyanca Radhakrishnan announced today. Seven members of the Christchurch Muslim community have been appointed to the newly established Board, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More young Kiwis supported with mental health and addiction services
    Nearly quarter of a million more young New Zealanders will have access to mental health and addiction support in their communities as the Government’s youth mental health programme gathers pace. New contracts to expand youth-specific services across the Northland, Waitematā and Auckland District Health Board areas have been confirmed, providing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New hospital facilities mean fewer trips to Auckland for Northlanders
    Northlanders will no longer automatically have to go to Auckland for lifesaving heart procedures like angiograms, angioplasty and the insertion of pacemakers, thanks to new operating theatres and a cardiac catheter laboratory opened at Whangārei Hospital by Health Minister Andrew Little today. The two projects – along with a new ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Fair Pay Agreements to improve pay and conditions for essential workers
    The Government is delivering on its pre-election commitment to implement Fair Pay Agreements which will improve wages and conditions, as well as help support our economic recovery, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood announced today. Fair Pay Agreements will set minimum standards for all employees and employers in an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Establishment of the new Māori Health Authority takes first big step
    Sir Mason Durie will lead a Steering Group to provide advice to the Transition Unit on governance arrangements and initial appointments to an interim board to oversee the establishment of the Māori Health Authority. This Group will ensure that Māori shape a vital element of our future health system, Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Cycle trails move up a gear in Central
    Work on new and upgraded cycle trails in Queenstown, Arrowtown and Central Otago is moving up a gear as two significant projects pass further milestones today. Tourism Minister Stuart Nash has announced new funding for the Queenstown Trails Project, and will also formally open the Lake Dunstan Trail at Bannockburn ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago