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Can a national park be a person?

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, September 6th, 2016 - 17 comments
Categories: Conservation, Environment, Maori Issues - Tags: , , ,

Te Urewera national park has been granted legal personhood, meaning nobody owns it. The park has the same rights and powers as a citizen. The ruling could set a new precedent for land rights and conservation around the world.

The Māori Law Review article on Te Urewera Act 2014,

A new dawn for conservation management in Aotearoa New Zealand has arrived with the enactment of Te Urewera Act 2014.  Te Urewera, named a national park in 1954 and most recently managed as Crown land by the Department of Conservation became Te Urewera on 27 July 2014: “a legal entity” with “all the rights, powers, duties, and liabilities of a legal person” (section 11(1)).  Te Urewera Act is undoubtedly legally revolutionary here in Aotearoa New Zealand and on a world scale.

Why Rights? (from the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund),

Environmental degradation is advancing around the world. The United Nations has warned that we are heading toward “major planetary catastrophe.”  There is a growing recognition that we must fundamentally change the relationship between humankind and nature.

Making this fundamental shift means recognizing our dependence on nature and respecting our need to live in harmony with the natural world.  This means securing the highest legal protection on nature and sustainability. It means placing the highest societal value on ecosystems and a healthy planet.  Recognizing rights of both humankind and nature to health and well-being helps achieve those legal protections and societal values.

Universal Declaration of Rights of Mother Earth:

Preamble

We, the peoples and nations of Earth:

considering that we are all part of Mother Earth, an indivisible, living community of interrelated and interdependent beings with a common destiny;

gratefully acknowledging that Mother Earth is the source of life, nourishment and learning and provides everything we need to live well;

recognizing that the capitalist system and all forms of depredation, exploitation, abuse and contamination have caused great destruction, degradation and disruption of Mother Earth, putting life as we know it today at risk through phenomena such as climate change;

convinced that in an interdependent living community it is not possible to recognize the rights of only human beings without causing an imbalance within Mother Earth;

affirming that to guarantee human rights it is necessary to recognize and defend the rights of Mother Earth and all beings in her and that there are existing cultures, practices and laws that do so;

conscious of the urgency of taking decisive, collective action to transform structures and systems that cause climate change and other threats to Mother Earth;

proclaim this Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth, and call on the General Assembly of the United Nation to adopt it, as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations of the world, and to the end that every individual and institution takes responsibility for promoting through teaching, education, and consciousness raising, respect for the rights recognized in this Declaration and ensure through prompt and progressive measures and mechanisms, national and international, their universal and effective recognition and observance among all peoples and States in the world.

World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, Cochabamba, Bolivia, April 22, 2010 (full text)

Moana Jackson on the Bolivian constitution,

In Bolivia you cannot make a decision that infringes on the rights of Mother Earth. If we have a constitution based on the rights of Papatūānuku then we will have no need to protest Statoil, because by its very nature it is infringing the mana of Papatūānuku.

17 comments on “Can a national park be a person?”

  1. Ad 1

    Don’t ask for what you wish for too soon, lest you fall into a whole bunch of unintended consequences.

    Things other than humans have been proposed to have the same rights as humans for millennia. In fact the will to impute even greater power than humans is at the core of our common spiritual impulses and goes back into the earliest moments.

    Projecting our own powerlessness to nature as abasement before sublime power hasn’t worked, obviously.

    The unintended consequences get pretty apparent when you start peaking around the corner. Who would have thought that assigning personhood to corporations would have gone so bad?

    In U.S. Santa Clara V Southern Pacific Railroad, the US Supreme Court set the precedent that corporations are persons under the 14th amendment.

    In the 1978 case Marshall v Barlow, incorporated businesses were grated the same protection human citizens have from Police searches.

    In Citizens United v Federal Election Commission, the court struck down a ban on corporations spending money on behalf of candidates in political campaigns.

    A dumpload of hindsight and unintended consequences. So before we go off with UN declarations, have a go at peeking around the corner of what this would mean in reality.

    • Bill 1.1

      Bad comparison Ad.

      A corporation is a human business construct that, acting in accordance with economic rules, is geared towards hegemony… that we gifted infinite lifespan to.

      That’s entirely different to an eco-system or an area of wilderness/nature or whatever that has no economic incentives and no agency within the business sphere.

      Given that we’ve (western capitalism) viewed nature as some kind of mechanistic object to be used and abused in the interests of profit generation, I’m viewing the assigned ‘person-hood’ as nothing but hugely positive.

      You can’t currently use and abuse other people at a whim to make money for yourself – eg, just chop off that child’s hair to sell to a wig manufacturer or gouge that person’s gold fillings for personal gain. But we can currently do almost anything we want to nature given that we’ve placed the making of money above anything else. (Hell, as far as AGW goes, we’re currently placing profit way above the future viability of our own eco-sphere)

      This legislation addresses to some extent the imbalanced and insane way we view the world and worth and wealth. It might mean that profit can’t be argued as being more important than the integrity of the source the profit is to be derived from – ie, suggesting that the child’s locks ought to be taken in the name of profit (and anyway, they’ll grow back).

      That’s essentially been the way business has argued in favour of exploitation. Now, I guess, the goal posts have shifted. So exploitation of a natural resource becomes couched in terms not at all different to those surrounding that child’s head of hair.

      • Ad 1.1.1

        Nature is also a human construct. So it’s entirely relevant.
        Law is also a human construct. So it’s entirely relevant.
        How personhood is defined is a human construct. So it’s entirely relevant.
        And we take more and more of our legal guidance from the US Supreme Court rather than the British.

        I don’t see announcing an imagined global juridical order with no framework other than defining it as an absence is useful. Terra nullius is pretty similar as a concept, and that didn’t work out too well a few hundred years ago in our nearest neighbour.

        • weka 1.1.1.1

          Myself, I’m not convinced that personhood is the best way to go, but it may be the pragmatic thing to do, because it frames things in ways that the Western mind set can cope with. Getting Westerners to see themseves as part of nature again is a big problem, and this framing may be the most expedient, which is important given the whole climate change thing.

          “Nature is also a human construct”

          And that’s a great example. The hubris in that comment is stunning enough, but it’s the power and control issues behind it that are probably more concerning. Let’s just say that most human cultures historically haven’t considered nature to be something humans invented, so you’re positing a particularly abstract and unusual concept there. A self-serving one too, given the context.

          • Ad 1.1.1.1.1

            Personhood is also a human construct.
            There’s no way around the ‘self-serving’ hubris of your own humanity.
            Lots to argue about in your last paragraph.

            Given our dominance of the earth, it would be better to have the old RMA apply to every country across the earth. That’s as likely to happen as anything you’re proposing, but still more useful.

        • Bill 1.1.1.2

          Sure Ad. All ideas and concepts that we can possibly have are ‘human constructs’.

          That banality aside, what I said in relation to your comment was that a corporation is a human business construct. And that the fact it’s a business model leads to all types of priorities, assumptions and dynamics that are tied to the idea of something as a business.

          Terra nullius was a green light for people, or a specified group of people, to do as they damned well pleased. Assigning legal personhood to nature stops similar bullshit in its tracks.

        • Murray Simmonds 1.1.1.3

          “Nature is also a human construct. So it’s entirely relevant.”

          Yeah???

          So that means – like – “Nature” wasn’t already here on earth long before the human being evolved???

          Interesting point of view – – Nothing exists outside of the human head?

          No doubt the philosophers have a term for this kind of reasoning, but I, for one, don’t buy into it.

          • Bill 1.1.1.3.1

            I blame those French Stalinists and their rush for relevance compelling them to come up with a pile of ‘post’ type flim-flams – eg, post modernism, deconstructionism or whatever they call it and other….stuff.

            I’d buy the notion that the thing we ascribe the name to was there before us and will persist (common sense) and that the term ‘nature’ with all its subjectivity is what Ad was really referring to.

            Then again. Maybe he’s from Akaroa 😉

    • weka 1.2

      “Who would have thought that assigning personhood to corporations would have gone so bad?”

      Um, anyone with half a brain.

      As Bill says, the comparison between Nature Rights and corporations having personhood is not useful or valid because they’re such different things.

      You appear at best to be saying that giving personhood to anything that isn’t human might be a problem, and that there might be unintended consequences. I’m pretty sure those are the arguments used for human rights too (giving women the vote was going to cause all sorts of problems). How about you be a bit more specific.

      The point of the post is to get people thinking about what Nature Rights might be, why they might be a good idea, how we might do that etc, not to just go oooh, scarey thing over there.

      “Things other than humans have been proposed to have the same rights as humans for millennia.”

      Leaving aside the problem with the word ‘same’ there, yes, many human societies historically have had a different relationship with nature. Native peoples tend to see themselves as part of nature, that all of nature has inherent value, and that the relationship is one of reciprocity and respect. It’s not about wanting to impute greater powers than humans, it’s about understanding how things work. Power relations 101, it’s about time we thought about that in terms of nature, thanks for bringing that up.

      • DoublePlusGood 1.2.1

        “Who would have thought that assigning personhood to corporations would have gone so bad?”
        W.S. Gilbert, for one, in the light opera Utopia Limited. The absurdity of that idea is thoroughly lampooned.

      • Ad 1.2.2

        “Anyone with half a brain”. And still you didn’t get the analogy. Nevermind.

        To me what you are proposing is a globalisation of a kind of law. The world appears to be running away from such globalisation of juridical order as quickly as it can. Law for me is all about the force behind it – otherwise it’s just words. Maybe states and kingdoms won’t solve our relationship with the earth, any more than corporations, but neither will blithely assigning the earth personhood.

        The best chance our version of humanity had of such a redefinition of our relationship with the earth was immediately after World War II during the formation of the United Nations. Instead of of a rights framework based upon common need, rights were generally framed in terms of constraints upon the physical person. That rights framework remains inescapable, and it simply doesn’t work.

        The second best chance was during the negotiations over the Antarctica Treaty that came into force in 1961. Previously lots of countries including New Zealand had claims over it. But we all agreed to give those up – and now it exists in some none-state state. That’s a set of treaties that didn’t require anything so nebulous as an alteration in global personhood.

        The next part of a problem is the instrumental force needed to defend and sustain this new concept over land. Most absences don’t last in this world. without hard force to sustain them. Might be fine for the Uruweras, but not many other places.

        I think this legal idea from the Uruweras is only ever going to be applicable to tiny states who are largely immaterial to the functioning of the world, and who have large tracts of non-degraded land, and who also have forceful groups of people who can step out of the machine of the world.

        Otherwise, there are faster and more effective means of holding us to common account with a massive area of wilderness. They are called National Parks.

        • Bill 1.2.2.1

          If this was adopted elsewhere….no more need for people to camp out in a national park in the US to identify and catalogue an endangered species in order to build some case against a profit seeking enterprise.

          The onus would shift to those seeking the profit to justify their project on the same grounds as would apply to a natural person. And that’s a fucking powerful legal position from the perspective of any nature under threat from profit seeking businesses.

          Go a step further and consider general government inaction on AGW. Assigning personhood to nature is a big bloody stick to beat them with in the courts…I guess charges of negligence (of this legal person – nature) could be drawn up without too much difficulty. Maybe some variant of assault and battery as well? Perhaps even a murder charge or two…

  2. Bill 2

    Excellent and long over-due!

  3. McFlock 3

    I tend to agree with Ad.

    This is a rather pointless legal fiction that simply provides fodder for lawyers who will be paid by people with rich pockets. Nature or a park have even less agency than a “corporation”. I mean legal or social agency, not to be conflated with any metaphysical analogies or beliefs.

    Basically, how will actions be taken to protect this “person’s” rights? What about rights to exchange its assets for benefit? Will lawyers claiming to act in the interest of this “person” end up arguing that this park has a right to divest itself of some old-growth native timber? Will it be “represented” in trust by some board of tory notables who charitably offer their time to make such decisions for this “person”? Will this “person” be required to file a theft report if someone nicks wood or minerals from it, or grazes cattle illegally?

    If the weather turns and a tramper dies, will this “person” be charged for workplace safety violations? Can it be sued? If this person becomes bankrupt, will it be a victim of its own choices? Is this legal fiction a sneaky path to de facto privatisation, or is it a shield behind which the government can avoid its obligations? Will it become these things?

    I’m all for environmental preservation being a central platform for policy and commercial controls, and I love our national parks and reserves, but this is just paperwork. Nobody knows what the final objective might be.

    • Bill 3.1

      What about rights to exchange its assets for benefit?

      It does this. We call it the life cycle.

      Will lawyers claiming to act in the interest of this “person” end up arguing that this park has a right to divest itself of some old-growth native timber?

      Again. Forested areas already do this through the process of decay.

      Will it be “represented” in trust by some board of tory notables who charitably offer their time to make such decisions for this “person”?

      Well, as alluded to above, unless they can successfully argue that nature is a frustrated capitalist entity, then who the fuck cares?

      Will this “person” be required to file a theft report if someone nicks wood or minerals from it, or grazes cattle illegally?

      As with natural people, it’s the authorities who pursue crimes committed by one against another (whether reported by the victim or another)

      If the weather turns and a tramper dies, will this “person” be charged for workplace safety violations?

      Ain’t a workplace.

      Can it be sued? If this person becomes bankrupt, will it be a victim of its own choices?

      it has no financial assets or monetary worth. That answer those ones sufficiently?

      Is this legal fiction a sneaky path to de facto privatisation, or is it a shield behind which the government can avoid its obligations? Will it become these things?

      It’s intended to prevent ownership, no? I think it probably does that better than those who agreed to this reckon. Not privatisation. Not a shield for government to hide behind – more a stick for government to be whacked with.

      • mikes 3.1.1

        “Not a shield for government to hide behind – more a stick for government to be whacked with.”

        Except government creates statutes so what will matter is any statutes created specifically regarding these new legal entities.

      • McFlock 3.1.2

        What about rights to exchange its assets for benefit?

        It does this. We call it the life cycle.

        Your comment is exactly the sort of conflation that I was talking about. Some rich prick hires lawyers to persuade the court that the “person” really would be cool with losing a bunch of ugly old trees in exchange for cash paid to a random greenwashing trust, we’d call it “legal”.

        Doc workers maintain huts. Sightseeing helicopter pilots are paid. So parks are a workplace. Parks have lots of assets and monetary worth – they just need to be logged/mined/stripped/hunted/fished or built on. So they can be sued, and privatised that way.

        How does it prevent ownership? All it does is create an entity that can be sued, removes the government as an active preserver of this “person’s” rights, the cops already fail to prosecute crimes against real people (let alone imaginary “people”), and so on.

        To whack the government with a stick requires two things: a stick that has no agency, and a real person to hold it. If you call the stick a person, it’ll just lie on the ground and rot.

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    5 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
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    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    5 days ago
  • Saving lives
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    5 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
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    6 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
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    6 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
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    6 days ago
  • The police and public trust
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
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  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
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    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
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    6 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
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    7 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
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    1 week ago
  • Rāhui day 3
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  • A test of civil society.
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    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    1 week ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    1 week ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
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    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
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    1 week ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
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    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago

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