web analytics

CANA: Bathurst hits its own “perfect storm”

Written By: - Date published: 3:35 pm, February 17th, 2014 - 22 comments
Categories: Mining - Tags: , , , ,

Coal Action Network Aotearoa has this characteristic story of the problems with the cost structure of opportunistic mining in NZ.  The current world price of the coal found on the Denniston Plateau has sunk considerably below Bathurst Resources’ stated break-even price and shows no signs of rising.  What is the bet that NZ is going to wind up with another unwanted hole in the ground as a shell company gets folded up? Post used with permission.

Coking coal prices since 2010.

Coking coal prices since 2010. Source: macrobusiness.com.au

When Bathurst resources started sniffing around New Zealand for something to make money from, the price of coking coal (or metallurgical coal = metcoal) was looking pretty good.

It was back in 2007/8 and the commodities world was doing high fives as the demand for steel – and coking coal – soared.  Prices soared.  Bathurst moved into New Zealand, set up with L&M’s Buller Coal, and started the process of trying to get consent to mine the beautiful and ecologically precious Denniston Plateau.

By the time Geoff Butcher, Bathurst’s economic guru, gave evidence in May 2011 to the West Coast Regional Council consent hearing, prices had soared again, to around $300 a tonne, largely due to floods in Queensland mines causing a drop in global supply. But what was Butcher’s evidence? Did he base his economic analysis on a coal price of $300 or $240? Did he venture a coal price at which the mine would break even?

More than a year later, in the Environment Court, Mr Butcher had revised his evidence down by about $30 a tonne, but was told by the judge that he had to come to an agreement with the Forest & Bird economist from NZIER, Peter Clough.

That statement, a “caucusing agreement,” signed by both experts in court, said:

 ”The project breaks even at a price of US$165, and the company is unlikely to proceed if it is only expecting to break even, so a minimum expected price for the project to proceed is perhaps $190.

“The company current view of the medium term price is $240 but PC suggests in his evidence a more likely price in the range of $165-$200.”

 As The Press’s Michael Berry reported from the Environment Court:

“If the price falls to US$160 a tonne – a 30 per cent drop on the assumption – the project’s net present value would be not much above zero and the shareholders would get nothing, his analysis says.”

 Just last week, BMA (BHP Billiton’s alliance with Mitsubishi), completed a contract with European and Indian companies for $131-$135 a tonne, a trend that experts say is expected to continue throughout 2014 due to a global oversupply of coking coal. BHP had, the week before, shed another 230 workers from its Queensland Saraji mine. Other mines are also shedding jobs.  The sector’s in trouble.

BMA did well to secure its price, given the average spot price for coking coal today is US$127, around 23% less than what Bathurst needs to break even.  And none of this is helped by the extremely strong NZ dollar that every day will push up an export price.

No wonder the company is now starting to hint that it might just delay its planned ramp-up to 1Mt of coal a year. Why would you dig up that much coal and sell it at a loss?

What has also not helped Bathurst is the low price for thermal coal, meaning they are not a very cashed-up company as their other mines built to finance Denniston are not bringing in as much money as they’d hoped. This  was the message from Forsythe Barr after BRL’s quarterly report last week:

 ”Coal production was insufficient to ensure Bathurst was cash positive and operating cash flows were a disappointing $7.3 million as a result,”

 What happens to a coal company when the prices crash?

Maybe we should look at Solid Energy’s experience. While there were quite complicated reasons cited for Solid’s demise, the reason most often quoted by both the company and the Government was the “perfect storm” of – get this:  plummeting coal prices and a strong New Zealand dollar.

Sound familiar?

Bathurst needs cash.  Last year Hamish Bohannan told investors that he was confident steel giant Stemcor would be good for the $50m in cash it had promised Bathurst.  But Stemcor is still negotiating its way out of a $1.2bn debt, something it promised to sort out last October.

Who will finance the Denniston mine?  Bathurst still hasn’t paid off its $5m loan from Westpac.

Part of the purchase arrangement, to avoid paying too much up-front, was a requirement to pay NZD$40m to L&M when they have extracted 25,000 tonnes and a further $40m when they have extracted $100m. Only then do they get to keep any profits.

Solid Energy’s “perfect storm” happened at a time when you could sell a tonne of coal for $165. Bathurst couldn’t get anything like that today. How’s it going to pay L&M with that type of income?  Can it even afford to pay its workers?

Today’s low price of coal is all about oversupply.  But there’s also a declining demand in steel, and experts tell us that’s not going to change any time soon.

 There are some perfect solutions to Bathurst’s looming “perfect storm.”

First, Bathurst should stop right now, before they even start.

They promise 225 jobs, but that’s already out the window if they don’t “ramp up” to the one million tonnes that would produce that magic figure.  Shareholders will get nothing.  New Zealand will get nothing in terms of royalties as the company would be operating at a loss.

If the continuing oversupply of the coking coal market continues, as it’s supposed to for at least this year, and the global demand for steel continues to drop as it’s also expected to, we could well be looking at a destroyed Denniston Plateau, few – if any – jobs, and possibly more redundancies on the West Coast.

The other lesson here must be for Westpac, which has lent Bathurst $5m – more than half of its current cash reserves – which Bathurst may never be able to pay back.  Westpac may be the first NZ company to demonstrate that financing fossil fuels is a loser.

When you consider the damage this loan can do to Westpac’s reputation as the “most sustainable bank” with a big new lending programme to “Clean Tech,” what on earth is in it for them?

Perhaps it’s better to quote someone else to finish up:  Peter Huck in Friday’s NZ Herald, nails our view of Westpac’s loan to Bathurst, in light of its so-called sustainability claims:

“However, critics see this as “sustainability lite”, rearranging the deckchairs as climate change worsens. Had Westpac – indeed, most companies and governments – factored in the daunting cost of adapting to rising seas, water shortages, damage to infrastructure, disruption of supply chains in the global economy and myriad other challenges posed by climate change?”

This table below sets out the recent history of coking coal prices

Date  Coking coal price (USD) per tonne Event
2007/08 $98
2008/9 Coking coal prices treble to $300 + Global excitement around demand for steel and need for coking coal. Rockets in price predicted.Bathurst joins L&M in joint venture Buller Coal and applies for consent and concessions to mine Escarpment.
2010 $200 Bathurst buys out L&M’s share of Buller Coal, sets up in NZ.
May 2011 $330 Bathurst evidence to WCRC (Geoff Butcher) based coal price on $275/tonne.
Nov 2012 $170 Environment Court document:  Caucusing statement agreed between Geoff Butcher and Forest & Bird expert NZIER’s Peter Clough, November 2012: “The project breaks even at a price of US$165, and the company is unlikely to proceed if it is only expecting to break even, so a minimum expected price for the project to proceed is perhaps $190. The company current view of the medium term price is $240 but PC suggests in his evidence a more likely price in the range of $165-$200.” Michael Berry, The Press, reports from Environment Court:“If the price falls to US$160 a tonne – a 30 per cent drop on the assumption – the project’s net present value would be not much above zero and the shareholders would get nothing, his analysis says.”
Feb 2014 QLD Coal contracts:$127 “Analysts at Macquarie this month dropped their 2014 coking coal forecasts by 8 per cent to $US147 a tonne and for next year by 13 per cent to $US156.” – The Australian
Feb 2014 BHP Mitsubishi Alliance contracts settled at $135 Bathurst hints that it might not ramp up to 1Mt a year (quarterly report) (NZ Resources).Iron Ore, Coking coal outlook looks bleak (Mining.com)

22 comments on “CANA: Bathurst hits its own “perfect storm””

  1. Richard Down South 1

    One wonders if Westpac was pushed into lending by the Govt…

    • tricledrown 1.1

      Westpac runs the National party look at westpacs econmic solutions posted on their website in red
      The only difference word for word verbatim is that The National parties site is printed in blue.

  2. Molly 2

    Not relevant to the post, but of interest in any discussion about BHP in NZ.

    Pacific Steel in Otahuhu has been purchased from Fletchers by BHP – sale announced to staff today. And several parts will be shut down. I expect there will be more details released via the media soon.

    • Rich 2.1

      A bit relevant, the Otahuhu mill is a recycling facility and I think these are usually electrically driven (and thus don’t use coal directly). Not sure whether this will continue at Glenbrook, but given a supply of scrap, recycling is usually a cheaper source of construction steel.

      • Jenny 2.1.1

        This is relevant in that in that the Otahuhu mill is a recycling facility.

        The Glenbrook Steel mill used to have a huge recycling facility employing an electric arc furnace to smelt scrap steel, which was brought in by rail. The recycling unit at Glenbrook was much bigger than the Otuhuhu plant taking the vast bulk of New Zealand’s scrap steel waste. Built at huge expense by the taxpayers under “Thing Big”. The arc Glenbrook arc furnace and all its auxillary plant was a huge operation, employing dozens of workers, the mountain of scrap pile ran the length of three football fields. For many years the arc furnace ran in tandem with the titanomagnetite iron sand process. Under privatisation, to maximise profits this wonder of engineering was cut up for the price of all its electric cabling.

        The Glenbrook management realised that they could employ less workers and make more money producing steel from the freely available titanomagnetite iron sand resource, than from recycling scrap steel. This is only possible because the super cheap price coal which is burned in the kilns and multihearths at Glenbrook does not internalise the cost to the environment.

        Not only that, but the coal being burned at Glenbrook is currently being subsidised by the taxpayers.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2

        All steel mills in NZ are electrically driven but they still use coking coal. It’s the combining of carbon and iron that makes steel. The source of the carbon is the coking coal.

        • Jenny 2.1.2.1

          Recycled steel already has carbon in it.

          And, it is infinitely recyclable

          All that is missing is the will to do so.

          What happened to the vast amounts of steel scrap that used to go to Glenbrook?

          • Jenny 2.1.2.1.1

            “Steel can theoretically be recycled indefinitely, with the remelting and alloying process ensuring its quality. That requires energy, but much less than to make new steel, and it needs no new source of carbon so is generally produced in electric arc furnaces. The current global rate of steel recycling is 30%, helping keep carbon emissions from pushing ever higher. Obviously there are limits to what can be collected for reuse but it should be possible to raise it to 80%, and would be if there was a sufficient price on carbon. Failure to price environmental damage leads to massive waste because collecting material for reuse is “just not worth it”.”

            Jeanette Fitzsimmons CANA April 24, 2013

        • Jenny 2.1.2.2

          “It’s the combining of carbon and iron that makes steel. The source of the carbon is the coking coal.”

          Draco T Bastard

          “Can We Make Steel Without Coal?”

          Jeanette Fitzsimmons investigates:

          “Coal Action Network Aotearoa (CANA) is committed to opposing all new coal mines in order to meet that target. However, 60% of Solid Energy’s coal production in NZ is for steel making, mainly for export, and the company says that “there is no way of making new steel without coal”.

          If this is true, principled climate campaigners must either stop opposing new coking coal mines on climate change grounds, (Happy Valley, Denniston Escarpment, Mt William, Pike River) or propose a world with no new steel. (There are of course strong biodiversity reasons for opposing some of these mines but it is a different argument.)”

          “Fortunately Solid Energy’s claim is not true.”*

          Jeanette Fitzsimmons

          “Carbonscape, a NZ firm which has developed new very efficient technologies using microwaves to process wood waste into charcoal, calculate that with their process it would take 1.6BT biomass globally to replace all the coal currently used in iron and steel making. That is around 3% of the 50 B tpy of world annual biomass productivity.”

          Jeanette Fitzsimmons

          *my emphasis J.

  3. Bill 3

    But there’s also a declining demand in steel, and experts tell us that’s not going to change any time soon.

    So, if steel is used in infrastructure and construction… and if China’s demand for steel is dropping away (slowed growth in demand) while demand in Europe and India has been flat or dropping… then doesn’t that indicate that the world is on the verge of another popped bubble?

    There is no convincing argument for mining coal, gas, oil anyway, while there are compelling arguments for leaving the whole lot where it is. I’m guessing a bursting bubble might just give a nice kick in the head to those already unconvincing pro-coal/oil/gas arguments.

    Not to say I celebrate an impending ‘pop!’ because, well…we all know who is made to pay and how.

    Difference this time is that the domino falls in China and lands right on top of Australia, which in turn puts NZ deep in the shit. Bet your glad there’s a ‘Deposit Guarantee Scheme’ in place that allows banks to recoup any investment losses from your savings – if you have any.

    • adam 3.1

      The bubble burst in 2007, this is just the lag time. It’s a case of the economic blind leading the stupid off a cliff and we all get to watch.

      This is what happens when you base an economic system on wishful thinking, and a belief in ethereal processes.

      And why is coal so cheap, it’s carbon based product and in limited supply. 200-300 years at current consumption, with falling rates of quality every 20 years or so, from about now. This is madness, the lunatics are running the world and they don’t give a shit for my grandkids, grandkids.

  4. Ad 4

    I had no idea about the “caucusing agreement” and its effective threshold for an economic coal mine.
    Well researched article, appreciated.

  5. Jenny 5

    Last November a TV3 interactive debate, billed under the title: “Does New Zealand Need More Mining”

    http://www.3news.co.nz/The-Vote-Meet-the-teams/tabid/1789/articleID/322108/Default.aspx

    This debate was actually not about mining per se but about deep sea oil drilling and coal mining.

    It was very noticeable that the supporters of coal mining actively avoided any mention of climate change.

    Green Party Leader Russel Norman:

    “The International Energy Agency has said that if we want to avoid out of control climate change, more than 2 degrees, most of the existing oil and coal reserves have to stay in the ground. So it is grossly irresponsible to go and find more and start digging them up and releasing that carbon, because that means we’re giving our kids an out of control climate.”

    “The New Zealand government subsidises this business by about $50million dollars a year, for an industry that is going to discover reserves that all of the agencies are telling us we can’t afford to burn, if we take science seriously.” minutes

    Russel Norman went on to clearly state that Green Party Policy is; “NO NEW COAL MINES”

  6. The numbers they were working off were bullshit from day one and bathurst are typical exploiters – looking at the made-up positive numbers and disregarding any negative scenarios until whoops, reality hits them. Pack it up bathurst and slink off before denniston takes you all down is my advice.

  7. Jenny 7

    New Zealand used to once have a huge asbestos mining and manufacturing operation.

    The current problems being suffered by the New Zealand Coal industry reminds me of the dying days of the asbestos industry.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/9732526/Miners-feel-cool-coal-price

    The only difference is that the asbestos industry would not have been bailed out by government, as has happened here with the coal industry.

  8. Tracey 8

    Thanks for this thread.

    I am sorry to see that the issue focused threads are poorly attended these days, while the personality politics ones are well commented (including me and I apologise tot hose bothering to focus on issues).

    On the other hand it shows that political strategies that focus on personalities not issues get noticed.

    • Jenny 8.1

      “I am sorry to see that the issue focused threads are poorly attended these days….”

      Tracey

      It is all to do with leadership. Or more precisely, lack of leadership.

      Witness the huge furore created by Shane Jones over Countdown Supermarket supplier arrangements.

      The truth is that Labour support the strip mining of the Denniston Plateau for coal.

      That is why Denniston and all the corrupt dealings and it and the danger it poses is a non-issue.

      CANA is an NGO with little ability to influence events other than mounting protests and occupations.

      Labour have been silent over the issue of coal mining the Denniston Plateau, and the Greens whose official policy is “No New Coal Mines” have to be careful not offend Labour or ruin any chances of a coalition arrangement.

      I think Tracey that if Moana McKey or Phil Twyford came out against Bathurst Resources even half as strong as Shane Jones has come out against Countdown, a post on the issue would be one of the hottest debated and commented on ever.

      Instead what we get by mutual agreement is this;

      The Snake Swallows the Elephant in the Room and then Flogs the dead horse of Climate Change Politics, Elections 2011

      This is the ugly face of climate change politics in this country.

      • Jenny 8.1.1

        ;”…issue focused threads are poorly attended these days, while the personality politics ones are well commented (including me and I apologise tot hose bothering to focus on issues).”

        On the other hand it shows that political strategies that focus on personalities not issues get noticed.

        Tracey

        Russell Brown calls it the politics of absence. Brown says “cultivated political absence… shapes the almost unprecedented popularity of John Key”. John Key’s political success is because of this successful strategy of “de-politicising” himself. Key’s politics-free radio chat show was the perfect example.

        The media have largely just played along with the politics of absence. The election is analysed as a poll-driven horse race. Or a rugby game “of two halves” with “kicking for touch”. Who looked confident? Who had the best sound bites? Who mispronounced his/her New Zild the least or most. Restructure or “reeshrukcha”?

        The media have trivialised and objectified political debate. I give this example. The most discussed electoral contest in 2011 appears to be Auckland Central which the Herald calls “the battle of the babes” as the candidates, Jacinda Ardern and Nikki Kaye, are both relatively young women, whose Herald columns are called “Broadsides”. Do I need to say more?

        After the snake has swallowed the elephant in the room, the snake becomes the dead horse that needs some more flogging.

        Simon Johnson November 16, 2011

        Labour’s reluctance to talk about the Solid Energy Bail Out or climate change in general is an example of this politics of absence that Simon Johnson talks about.

        That this post came from an NGO and not the Greens is another example.

        And is another reason that this “issues” based post gets any attention.

  9. Jenny 9

    Australian Government study finds that the Great Barrier Reef has lost half of its coral cover over the last 27 years.

    http://www.aims.gov.au/latest-news/-/asset_publisher/MlU7/content/2-october-2012-the-great-barrier-reef-has-lost-half-of-its-coral-in-the-last-27-years.

    The study found that almost half of the damage was caused by storms. Storms of course are a natural occurrence from which the coral reefs slowly recover from, but the increasing frequency of storms has seen the reefs not getting the time to recover.

    The other big killer was the Crown of Thorns Starfish, blooms of which have been linked water quality.

    The Great Barrier Reef has lost half its coral cover in the last 27 years. The loss was due to storm damage (48%), crown of thorns starfish (42%), and bleaching (10%) according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences today by researchers from the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) in Townsville and the University of Wollongong.

    “The study shows the Reef has lost more than half its coral cover in 27 years. If the trend continued coral cover could halve again by 2022. Interestingly, the pattern of decline varies among regions. In the northern Great Barrier Reef coral cover has remained relatively stable, whereas in the southern regions we see the most dramatic loss of coral, particularly over the last decade when storms have devastated many reefs. “
    Dr Peter Doherty Research Fellow at AIMS

    The study clearly shows that three factors are overwhelmingly responsible for this loss of coral cover. Intense tropical cyclones have caused massive damage, primarily to reefs in the central and southern parts of the Reef, while population explosions of the coral-consuming Crown-of-thorns starfish have affected coral populations along the length of the Reef. Two severe coral bleaching events have also had major detrimental impacts in northern and central parts of the GBR.

    “Our data show that the reefs can regain their coral cover after such disturbances, but recovery takes 10-20 years. At present, the intervals between the disturbances are generally too short for full recovery and that’s causing the long-term losses,”
    Dr Hugh Sweatman

    Media contacts:

    Steve Clarke, AIMS Communication Manager, 07 4753 4264; 0419 668 497; s.clarke@aims.gov.au
    Niall Byrne, Science in Public, 0417 131 977, niall@scienceinpublic.com.au

    • Jenny 9.1

      So what does the above comment about the Great Barrier Reef have to do with this post about Denniston?

      One of the big villains in the piece is Westpac

      From the above post:

      The other lesson here must be for Westpac, which has lent Bathurst $5m – more than half of its current cash reserves – which Bathurst may never be able to pay back. Westpac may be the first NZ company to demonstrate that financing fossil fuels is a loser.

      When you consider the damage this loan can do to Westpac’s reputation as the “most sustainable bank” with a big new lending programme to “Clean Tech,” what on earth is in it for them?

      Perhaps it’s better to quote someone else to finish up: Peter Huck in Friday’s NZ Herald, nails our view of Westpac’s loan to Bathurst, in light of its so-called sustainability claims:

      “However, critics see this as “sustainability lite”, rearranging the deckchairs as climate change worsens. Had Westpac – indeed, most companies and governments – factored in the daunting cost of adapting to rising seas, water shortages, damage to infrastructure, disruption of supply chains in the global economy and myriad other challenges posed by climate change?”

      A battle is brewing between environmentalists and investors over the imminent destruction of the Great Barrier Reef from coal mining activities and climate change. Westpac as well as funding Denniston has been flat out funding investment in coal mining on the Eastern Coast of Australian threatening the reef.

      Over Our Dead Bodies:

      http://overourdeadbodies.net/

      The largest coal mining complex in the world is very close to being developed in the Galilee Basin, in Queensland, Australia. It is the biggest threat to the Great Barrier Reef and a key project leading us to runaway climate change.

      Wespac involvement:

      “Since 2008, Westpac has loaned well over $1 billion to coal and gas export ports along Australia’s East Coast, many of them inside the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.”

      http://www.marketforces.org.au/earth-to-westpac-divest/

      Last month Westpac was named the world’s most sustainable company!!! on top of Sustainable Business of the Year award they won in 2011.

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/world/9642320/Westpac-named-worlds-most-sustainable-firm

      How can Westpac with their involvement in one of the biggest single climate crimes of the 21st Century be considered the world’s most sustainable company?

  10. Jenny 10

    “Make the Switch from Westpac!”

    Coal Action Network Aotearoa

    CANA

    It’s 2014 and we’re launching a new phase to the Westpac Dump Coal campaign with 350.org where all of you Westpac customers get to switch to a bank that doesn’t invest in fossil fuels, and tell Westpac you’re doing this.

    Join other Westpac customers to make the switch April 7-12 2014

    SIGN UP TO MAKE THE SWITCH

    Our Step by Step Guide, HERE

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Government-funded security system in dairies foils robbery
    A dairy owner in St Kilda, Dunedin was delighted to hear that an attempted robbery of his establishment was foiled by a government-funded security system. Sean Lee was delighted at how well the anti-theft smoke system worked. When a knife-wielding man entered the store, the shop assistant immediately pressed a ...
    16 hours ago
  • Customs nabs more than 3 tonnes of drugs bound for New Zealand in 2019
    Customs says it stopped more than three tonnes of illegal drugs coming into New Zealand last year. This includes 1,180kg of methamphetamine, 329kg of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine precursors, which could have been converted into 246kg of methamphetamine, 739kg and 6469 pills of MDMA or Ecstasy and 60kg of cocaine. Offshore, ...
    16 hours ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund pays for temporary water supply in Northland
    Hon. Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development Up to $2 million will be allocated from the Provincial Growth Fund to set up temporary water supplies in Kaikohe and Kaitaia where drought is biting hard, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. Drought conditions in Northland have led to ...
    17 hours ago
  • Christchurch trial new defense against fleeing drivers
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Law and Order New Zealand First welcomes the deployment of an Eagle Police helicopter in Christchurch in what is a step towards fulfilling its long-standing goal to increase the use of police helicopters for the front line, particularly in addressing the scourge of fleeing drivers. Christchurch leads ...
    2 days ago
  • Week That Was: A Government of progress
    It may have been the first sitting week of 2020, but our Government is already in full-swing - managing a strong economy, investing in infrastructure, and working to break the cycle of homelessness. Read below for all that, and more... ...
    5 days ago
  • Winston Peters calls Opposition “lemon suckers” during debate on gang numbers
    In a heated debate in Parliament, National's Deputy Leader Paula Bennett claimed that “nearly 1600 patched gang members have been added” since the Coalition Government took power. To illustrate her point, she altered a chart used by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to show her government’s progress in housing to instead ...
    5 days ago
  • Speech by the Rt Hon Winston Peters at Parliament’s Opening 2020 ‘We all Need Insurance’
    Speech by the Rt Hon Winston Peters at Parliament’s Opening 2020 "We all need insurance" This year New Zealanders are going to have a clear choice to make That choice is between: Optimism versus pessimism; More progress versus back to the future; Investment versus divestment; Unity versus division. New Zealand ...
    7 days ago
  • 8 ways the Big New Zealand Upgrade will change New Zealand
    The Government has announced the biggest investment in New Zealand’s infrastructure in a generation with the New Zealand Upgrade Programme. ...
    1 week ago
  • Shane Jones slams Auckland Airport’s board over runway closures
    Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones has slammed the Board of Auckland Airport following the airport's runway closing twice within two weeks due to maintenance. Around 2,000 passengers were affected by last week’s runway closures, according to 1NEWS. Another maintenance closure on January 24 saw two international flights and three domestic flights ...
    1 week ago
  • Public media business case a practical step
    Jenny Marcroft, Spokesperson for Broadcasting New Zealand First supports the commissioning of a business case to assess the viability of a new public media entity. “A strong media environment is critical for a healthy democracy. New Zealand First is a strong supporter of a diverse, independent media,” New Zealand First broadcasting spokesperson ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Waitangi
    This week, the focus was on Waitangi - a great opportunity to reflect on who we are, and who we want to be as a nation. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • West Coast tech firms and iwi get Provincial Growth Fund cash boost
    Pounamou and technology industries in the West Coast region are set to receive more than $2 million in Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) funding. This was announced by the Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau during Waitangi Day commemorations in Hokitika. He said $800,000 would be given to Development West ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Unemployment down, wage growth up proof of strong labour market
    Clayton Mitchell MP, New Zealand First spokesperson for Labour and Industrial Relations Unemployment and wage growth numbers released by Stats NZ today demonstrate a labour market in good shape with unemployment falling to 4.0%, the underutilisation rate falling to an 11 year low, and wage growth at a 10-year high ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First welcomes official opening of Te Rau Aroha Museum
    Hon. Ron Mark, New Zealand First Spokesperson for Defence New Zealand First Spokesperson for Defence Ron Mark, welcomes the official opening of Te Rau Aroha, a new museum at Waitangi Treaty Grounds as part of our Coalition Agreement. “It is a great honour to be part of an effective Government ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech: Opening of Waitangi Museum Te Rau Aroha
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister Good morning, Let us start with important acknowledgements. First, this special day, in remembrance of the 28th Maori Battalion, is also to honour all those men and women who have risked their lives in the service of our country. Second, special guest Robert ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters: “New Zealand will look to build on relationship with the UK”
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand will look to build on its relationship with the United Kingdom and recommit to the European Union, after the country officially left the continental union recently. The Minister said New Zealand already cooperates closely with Britain on defence and security issues and has ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Government drives low-emissions transport momentum
    Up to 110 new EV chargers nationwide in cities and regions 50 electric vehicles for ride-sharing The Government is helping deliver more infrastructure and options for low emissions transport through new projects, Energy and Resources Minister Dr Megan Woods says. Tauranga, Nelson, Levin, New Plymouth and Oamaru are just some ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    39 mins ago
  • Kiwis better off under Coalition Government
    New Zealanders are increasingly better off under this Government as wages rise and families have more disposable income, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. Stats NZ reported today that average household disposable incomes after housing costs rose 4.9% in 2019. This was the highest rise in four years and came as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Another step towards restoring rights for screen production workers
    All New Zealanders need to have their voices heard at work to ensure we have an inclusive and productive economy. Today we introduce a Bill to do this for workers in the New Zealand screen industry, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. “The Screen Industry Workers Bill will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Enhanced Taskforce Green for Southland and South Otago
    The Government has announced further help for the Southland and Otago regions to speed up recovery efforts from the floods.  “I’ve approved Enhanced Taskforce Green (ETFG), making $500,000 available to help with the clean-up in Fiordland, Southland, and the Clutha district in Otago,” Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni said.  ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Employers and Industry take the lead to connect students to vocational education
    Following the announcement that more than 340 schools will be funded to run events promoting vocational education, the Government has announced it will fund a further 257 events to be run by employers and industry. “These industry-run events will allow more than 30,000 students to connect with more than 2,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Rental reforms a step closer with the introduction of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill
    Today the Government is making progress on a fairer and more secure rental market for renters and landlords with the introduction of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill in Parliament.  “This Bill includes a series of reforms to improve the wellbeing of the 609,700 households that live in rented homes, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Biosecurity Minister announces world first eradication of pea weevil
    A Government programme to wipe out pea weevil has achieved a world first, with Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor today announcing the successful eradication of the noxious pest from Wairarapa. This means the nearly four-year ban on pea plants and pea straw was lifted today. Commercial and home gardeners can again grow ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Temporary Accommodation Service activated for Southland flooding
    Southland residents hit by flooding caused by heavy rainfall can now access help finding temporary accommodation with the Government activating the Temporary Accommodation Service, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare announced today. “The Temporary Accommodation Service (TAS) has been activated by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to help ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Bridges: Over-hyped and under-delivered
    “Is that it?” That’s Finance Minister Grant Robertson’s response to Simon Bridges’ much-hyped economic speech today. “Simon Bridges just gave the most over-hyped and under-delivered speech that I can remember during my time in politics,” Grant Robertson said. “It’s not surprising. Simon Bridges literally said on the radio this morning ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Police to trial eye in the sky in Christchurch
    A trial deployment of the Police Eagle helicopter in Christchurch will test whether the aircraft would make a significant difference to crime prevention and community safety. “The Bell 429 helicopter will be based in Christchurch for five weeks, from 17 February to 20 March,” said Police Minister Stuart Nash. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Momentum of trade talks continues with visits to promote Pacific and Middle East links
    The Government has kept up the pace of its work to promote New Zealand’s trade interests and diversify our export markets, with visits to Fiji and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker. Building momentum to bring the PACER Plus trade and development agreement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Coalition Govt’s investment in Customs nets record drugs haul: 3 tonnes stopped at borders in 2019
    The Coalition Government’s investment in a strong border and disrupting transnational organised crime produced record results for stopping drugs in 2019, says Minister of Customs Jenny Salesa. The illegal drugs were seized at the New Zealand border by Customs, and overseas by Customs’ international border partners before the drugs could ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Separated scenic cycleway starts
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today kicked off construction of a separated cycleway alongside Tamaki Drive. A two-way separated cycleway will be built along the northern side of Tamaki Drive, between the Quay Street Cycleway extension and Ngapipi Road. There will be a separate walking path alongside. Phil Twyford said giving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Earthquake-Prone Building loan scheme: eligibility criteria announced
    Owner-occupiers of unit and apartments living in earthquake-prone buildings will have certainty about the financial support they’ll be eligible for with the release of criteria for an upcoming assistance scheme, Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa says. The Residential Earthquake-Prone Building Financial Assistance Scheme will help unit owners facing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Travel restrictions to remain in place as coronavirus precaution
    Temporary restrictions on travel from China will remain in place as a precautionary measure to protect against the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. The restrictions which prevent foreign nationals travelling from, or transiting through, mainland China from entering New Zealand have been extended for a further 8 days. This position ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Over $1 million to help Tairāwhiti youth into employment
    Employment Minister Willie Jackson announced today that Tairāwhiti rangatahi will benefit from an investment made by the Government’s He Poutama Rangatahi (HPR) scheme. The funding will go to the Tautua Village, Kauneke programme and the Matapuna Supported Employment Programme which will fund 120 rangatahi over two years. “Both programmes work ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • School attendance has to improve
    All parents and caregivers need to ensure that their children go to school unless they are sick, Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin said today. “The school attendance results for 2019 show, across the board, a drop in the number of students going to school regularly,” the Minister says. “Apart from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Crown and Moriori sign a Deed of Settlement
    A Deed of Settlement agreeing redress for historical Treaty claims has been signed by the Crown and Moriori at Kōpinga Marae on Rēkohu (Chatham Islands) today, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little has announced. Moriori have a tradition of peace that extends back over 600 years. This settlement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Waikato Expressway driving towards completion
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today with Māori King Tuheitia Pōtatau Te Wherowhero VII officially opened the country’s newest road, the $384 million Huntly section of the Waikato Expressway. The 15km four-lane highway with side and central safety barriers takes State Highway 1 east of Huntly town, across lowlands and streams ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • 3400 New Zealanders treated in first year of new hepatitis C treatment
    The rapid uptake of life-saving new hepatitis C medicine Maviret since it was funded by PHARMAC a year ago means the elimination of the deadly disease from this country is a realistic goal, Health Minister David Clark says. Hepatitis C is a blood-borne virus which attacks the liver, proving fatal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Kaupapa Māori approach for homelessness
      Kaupapa Māori will underpin the Government’s new plan to deal with homelessness announced by the Prime Minister in Auckland this morning. “Māori are massively overrepresented among people experiencing homelessness, so, to achieve different outcomes for Māori, we have to do things very differently,” says the Minister of Māori Development ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government steps up action to prevent homelessness
    1000 new transitional housing places delivered by end of year to reduce demand for emergency motel accommodation. Introduce 25% of income payment, after 7 days, for those in emergency motel accommodation to bring in line with other forms of accommodation support. Over $70m extra to programmes that prevents those at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Important step for new financial conduct regime
    Clear requirements for ensuring customers are treated fairly by banks, insurers and other financial service providers are included in new financial conduct legislation that passed its first reading today. “The recent reviews, by the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) and Reserve Bank of New Zealand, into the conduct of banks and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Applications invited for $7 million Regional Culture and Heritage Fund
    Applications are now open for the fifth round of the Regional Culture and Heritage Fund Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Grant Robertson announced today.   “I am delighted to open this year’s fund which has some $7 million available to support performing arts venues, galleries, museums and whare ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Law Commission appointment celebrates Māori and women
    The Minister of Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta today congratulated Associate Professor Amokura Kawharu on her appointment as the next President of the Law Commission.  “Amokura Kawharu will be a standout in her new role, leading in an innovative and forward looking approach to the law reform process. She will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Associate Professor Amokura Kawharu Appointed Law Commission President
    Auckland University legal academic Amokura Kawharu has been appointed as the next President of the Law Commission, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today.    Associate Professor Kawharu will take up her new appointment on 11 May 2020.   “I would like to congratulate Associate Professor Kawharu on her appointment,” Andrew ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Minister of Employment launches Youth Ready Employer Programme
    A programme for employers to help them engage effectively with younger employees was launched today by Minister of Employment, Willie Jackson. The Youth Ready Employer Programme contains a range of on-line templates that employers can easily access to help with employing and retaining young people in their businesses. The programme ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Budget 2020 date announced
    Budget 2020 will be delivered on Thursday 14 May, Finance Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “This year’s Budget will continue the Coalition Government’s focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while also preparing the economy for the future. “Those challenges and opportunities cannot be resolved in one budget, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Prime Minister’s tribute to former Prime Minister Mike Moore
    I move, That this House place on record its appreciation and thanks for the devoted and distinguished service to New Zealand by the late Rt Hon Michael Kenneth Moore, member of the Order of New Zealand, a member of Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, an Honorary Member of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Agriculture Minister declares adverse event in Northland
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has today classified the drought conditions in Northland as an adverse event for the primary sector, unlocking $80,000 in Government support. “This is recognition that the extreme and prolonged nature of this dry spell is taking its toll on our farmers and growers and additional support ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police disrupt methamphetamine trade
    The Minister of Police says an operation to smash a trans national drug smuggling ring today will make a significant impact on the methamphetamine trade fuelling harm in our communities. Police have announced 10 arrests and the seizure of up to five million dollars’ worth of illicit drugs after an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Crown accounts in good shape to counter global challenges
    The Government’s books are in a strong position to withstand global headwinds, with the accounts in surplus and expenses close to forecast, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown accounts for the six months to December. The operating balance before gains and losses (OBEGAL) was above ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Racing Safety Development Fund open for applications
    Race courses can improve safety with this year’s second round of funding from the Racing Safety Development Fund. Minister for Racing Winston Peters has announced the second funding round of 2019/20 is open with $347,875 available for distribution. “The racing industry is integral to the economic and social fabric of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to fund Aids research
    The Government is committing $300,000 to fund research to update behavioural information to make sure HIV and STI prevention services are targeted appropriately in New Zealand. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Finance Minister Grant Robertson made the announcement at today’s Big Gay Out in Auckland. “There is much talk about ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Work to begin on a possible new public media entity
    The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media has announced work will begin on a business case to assess the viability of forming a new public media entity.   “The Government must ensure New Zealanders have a strong independent public media service for decades to come, which means ensuring public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government support for communities impacted by flooding
      Minister of Civil Defence Hon Peeni Henare announced today that the Government will contribute $100,000 to the Southland regional Mayoral Relief Fund, to support communities impacted by the recent flooding in Southland.  Mr Henare says this week’s flooding has caused significant disruption to communities in the lower South Island.  ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New grants for seismic strengthening of heritage buildings
    Heritage buildings throughout New Zealand will benefit from the $1.1 million in Heritage EQUIP funding grants announced today. “These grants for seismic strengthening projects help private building owners get the advice they need to start building work or to get the work completed,” Grant Robertson says. “Timaru’s Grosvenor Hotel has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Next level results for game development industry
    A new survey has found New Zealand’s game development sector has grown beyond expectations and is on track to becoming a billion dollar industry in 2025, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford says. “New Zealand’s interactive media sector grew by 42 per cent in last financial year to $203.4 million, according ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • More than 70 marae online through PGF
    Te Tii, the lower marae at Waitangi, is among more than 70 marae now connected to broadband internet thanks to the Provincial Growth Fund’s marae connectivity scheme, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones said today. In February 2019, the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) allocated $21 million to connect rural towns ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF supports West Coast connectivity
    The West Coast has had a funding injection of over $1.2 million from the Provincial Growth Fund, Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced at Waitangi Day commemorations in Hokitika today.  The PGF projects announced are:  $800,000 to Development West Coast for a Grey District Regional Digital Hub ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago