Canterbury’s dictators

Written By: - Date published: 11:55 am, April 23rd, 2010 - 91 comments
Categories: Conservation, democracy under attack, farming - Tags: , ,

Reprinted with permission from No Right Turn.

The government has announced its dictators for Canterbury. Besides Margaret Bazley, the list is mostly grey technocrats (including former finance minister David Caygill), though they do have a dairy farmer and a token environmentalist. Apart from Bazley, all are men. “Jobs for the boys” has a literal meaning under National.

The dictators will be paid $900 each a day, with Bazley getting $1,400. The existing councillors get about $52,000 a year, or about $200 / day. Even allowing for the fact that the number of people being paid has halved, the people of Canterbury will be paying more than twice as much for a group of representatives who were not elected by them, not accountable to them, and have no democratic mandate.

The government has also released the terms of reference [PDF] for the dictatorship. These are fairly broad and vague, with much of the detail to come in a letter later (which hopefully people will OIA), but one bit is of immediate concern:

The Commissioners will be responsible for the timely consideration of applications for amendments to water conservation orders and any applications for new water conservation orders in the Canterbury region.

So, their chief job is to gut existing WCOs and give the water away to farmers. A public asset – water – will be effectively privatised, the farmers will get money, and the people of Canterbury will get cowshit and poisoned drinking water.

The people of Canterbury should not put up with this. It’s their water, their environment, and the decisions about it should be made by representatives elected by and accountable to them – not appointed and instructed by the government in Wellington. They should demand elections – and if they are not granted, take their revenge on National at the ballot box in 2011.

Correction: Nope, no token environmentalist. Oh, one of them is involved in the “Water Rights Trust”, but they support irrigation projects rather than opposing them.

91 comments on “Canterbury’s dictators ”

  1. Clarke 1

    It will be interesting to see whether the new commissioners continue with the ECan prosecutions of Nick Smith’s brother for RMA breaches, or whether they quietly stop the actions. It will be an immediate test of the integrity of the commissioners.

  2. Jim Nald 2

    I say to the people of Canterbury: repudiate these dictators

    Reject what Central Government has most wrongly inflicted on you

    Reject, reject, reject

  3. kaplan 3

    Protesters rally for ECan

    Smith said there would be no extra cost to ratepayers of appointing commissioners, although others disagreed, saying commissioners would be paid far more than the average $52,000 a year councillors’ salary and more also than the chairman’s $142,000 package.

    Asked how the Government calculated it would cost no more and how much commissioners would be paid, Smith said he was ‘not prepared to speculate further’.

    So where can I sign up to help fight this crap? Who is taking contact details?

  4. Paul 4

    Commodore Rodney Hydemarama has fucked the people of NZ royally. Our govt is now no different from that of Fiji (and I chose my analogy carefully and deliberately).

    The removal of democratically elected peoples officials, replacing them with cronies and with no prospect of a return to democracy – how the F is this any different to Fiji.

    It proves one thing (with these continuing poll results of National), Kiwis are dumb-asses willing to take any manner of shit fed to them.

  5. Kevyn 5

    Caygill was a director of Target Pest Enterprises Ltd. Surely being part of ECan’s most expensive cock-up should disqualify him from this latest jafa raid on New Zealand’s resources.
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/AK0707/S00037.htm

  6. tsmithfield 6

    The powers of the minister are set out in the Local Government Act (2002). Note: this was Labour’s baby. They did not change any of the provisions below.

    Here is an extract:

    12 Minister’s powers if local authority fails to implement recommendations
    (1) This section applies if, by the date specified in a notice given under clause 11 (or any later date that may be subsequently determined by the Minister), any requirement specified in the notice has not been implemented by the local authority to the satisfaction of the Minister.
    (2) The Minister may—
    (a) appoint a person to assist the local authority to implement the requirement to the Minister’s satisfaction; or
    (b) appoint 1 or more persons (including any officer of the Public Service) to exercise or perform all or any of the functions, responsibilities, duties, and powers of the local authority to the extent necessary to provide that the recommendations of the report are implemented.
    (3) A person appointed under subclause (2)(b) may exercise the functions, responsibilities, duties, and powers of a local authority as if the person were the local authority.

    Since the Minister has acted under an act of parliament that was established through democratic processes (and even affirmed by Labour) then the ministers actions can’t be held to be undemocratic.

    • r0b 6.1

      Say TS – I’m looking for the bit that says the Minister may cancel local body elections if they think they might not like the result. Could you show me that bit please?

      Since the Minister has acted under an act of parliament that was established through democratic processes (and even affirmed by Labour) then the ministers actions can’t be held to be undemocratic.

      Stupidest claim ever.

      • felix 6.1.1

        Stupidest claim ever.

        So stupid in fact that the incredibly stupid Rodney Hide claimed it in the house just the other day – that’s how stupid ts is.

    • Armchair Critic 6.2

      The government did not use the LGA 2002, ts, they enacted new legislation specifically to usurp democracy in Canterbury. There were plenty of things they could have done without legislating, but they legislated anyway. I don’t think the conclusions being drawn as a result have been properly rebutted.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 6.2.1

        The better name for the legislation that was used to abolish ECan , would be ‘enabling decree’ like the version last used in the 1930s
        ARTICLE 1. In addition to the procedure for the passage of legislation outlined in the Constitution, the Reich Cabinet is also authorized to enact Laws. . . .

        ARTICLE 2. The national laws enacted by the Reich Cabinet may deviate from the Constitution provided they do not affect the position of the Reichstag and the Reichsrat. The powers of the President remain unaffected.

        ARTICLE 3. The national laws enacted by the Reich Cabinet shall be prepared by the Chancellor and published in the official gazette. They come into effect, unless otherwise specified, upon the day following their publication . . .

        ARTICLE 4. Treaties of the Reich with foreign states which concern matters of domestic legislation do not require the consent of the bodies participating in legislation. The Reich Cabinet is empowered to issue the necessary provisions for the implementing of these treaties.

        ARTICLE 5. This law comes into effect on the day of its publication. It ceases to be valid on 1 April 1937: . . .

    • toad 6.3

      FAIL, TS! The Government did not invoke the powers you quote, because the conditions necessary to invoke them didn’t exist. There was no such notice ever issued to ECan.

      Instead the Government rammed all stages of the legislation to impose the Commissioners on Canterbury and take away its local democracy through Parliament under urgency with no opportunity for submissions, no Select Committee hearings, and without even prior consultation with Opposition parties. The Bill was even introduced under urgency, so no-one outside Government had the chance to scrutinise or even read it before the debate began.

      @Paul: “Commodore Hydemarama.” Yep, you’re onto it.

    • Swampy 6.4

      There is a process to be followed in Parliament that is considered democratic, that involves consultation including select committees. For the majority of legislative process this is followed.

      In this case it appears Smith has come to a cabinet meeting 29th March, made his decision, introduced the legislation and passed it under urgency the following day. This is a ridiculous stampeding of a predetermined outcome without any consultation.

      There is no reason why National could not have consulted widely with other parties, at the minimum, across the whole political spectrum – unless parts of the measure were likely to be unpopular in other quarters – such as parts of this legislation undoubtedly are.

      It may appear in National’s camp that they have got what they wanted – yet the public may believe otherwise and choose to punish them for their political ineptitude at the next election as the truth is that Smith has shown himself to be a far from competent political operator over this matter. Who would be dumb enough to choose a former National Deputy Prime Minister and dairy company director and the former CEO of the Prime Minister’s department for Jenny Shipley to conduct an “impartial” review and then propose Shipley as a commissioner. The revelation of meetings going back six months has done further damage. I suspect Smith got beaten round the ears when it came to choosing the commissioners and has been put on a leash since.

  7. Ianmac 7

    2009 Water lobby group and Minister hunts around for a way to increase the access to water.
    An ex Min Creech in spiter of a conflict of interest is appointed to explore.
    Minister Smith decides to remove the E can Council then Creech completes Report.
    Minister invites the Mayors to complain by letter. Mayors do so without consulting with Councillors.
    Bill presented and passed. Ecan demolished.
    Now the way is clear to expand the taking of water without the right of appeal from anyone.
    No wonder unscrupulous Ministers earn their money.
    (By the way Caygill was the bloke who lead the anti-ACC move to privatise ACC in spite of the stated fact that he had no evidence that Acc would become a better service. So he is one who just ignores science and like a religious nut just relies on faith.)

  8. tsmithfield 8

    Think about it Toad. Was the processes you have just described within the rules and process available within our democratically elected parliament. Or did the government go outside the parliamentary rules and burst into ECAN with machine guns and the like?

    • Ari 8.1

      You don’t need to use deadly force to execute an unconstitutional takeover, TS.

    • Armchair Critic 8.2

      A legally created removal of democracy is okay, but when it is done illegally it is not okay? Fuck me – I thought the removal of democracy was wrong irrespective of how it was done.

      • Swampy 8.2.1

        Any legislation passed by Parliament is by definition, legal. It complied with all Parliamentary processes. It is a legal action.

        • Armchair Critic 8.2.1.1

          Evidently Bill English’s housing allowance shenanigans were legal, too.

    • toad 8.3

      Always shifting your ground, aren’t you TS. Fail on the first argument, on whioch you were demostrably wrong, so put up another to justify your predetermined conclusion.

      Of course what the Government did with ECan was stricly legal, as Parliament is sovereign. But was it proper and democratic? No!

    • Galeandra 8.4

      oh don’t be so tsupid

  9. Zaphod Beeblebrox 9

    Didn’t the latest Bond movie have a bad guy who wanted to steal water from the peasants and direct it towards his own money making ways? Didn’t know you could do it legally though.

  10. tsmithfield 10

    If its so undemocratic and illegal, then why aren’t the police making some arrests of politicians?

    • Armchair Critic 10.1

      Does anyone have a spare brick wall, I need something to bang my head against.
      TS – it wasn’t illegal. But it was wrong. Like a fair bit of other stuff the government has done since being elected. I find it difficult to express the full depth of my revulsion for the government’s actions in Canterbury without Godwining this thread.

    • r0b 10.2

      Trying to put it in terms that TS might understand.

      TS, the government could quite legally amend and / or pass laws cancelling all further general elections and appointing themselves government-for-life. Would you be here arguing that it was fine because it was legal? How about if, say, the next Labour government did it?

      Do you get it now?

    • Draco T Bastard 10.3

      Ah, the RWNJ still doesn’t understand the difference between “legal” and “moral”. It was legal TS, as the government has absolute sovereignty, it just wasn’t, in any way, shape or form, moral. This doesn’t surprise those of us who’ve have done the reading because, as research has shown, RWNJs are inevitably lacking a conscience and any moral compass.

  11. tsmithfield 11

    r0b “TS, the government could quite legally amend and / or pass laws cancelling all further general elections and appointing themselves government-for-life. Would you be here arguing that it was fine because it was legal? How about if, say, the next Labour government did it?”

    Don’t be so dramatic, r0b. This sort of change would be very difficult to push through. It would fall under this catagory.

    “Certain key elements of the electoral system can be amended only if the people in a referendum approve, or three-quarters of the Members of Parliament agree.”

    Here is the link.

    http://www.cabinetmanual.cabinetoffice.govt.nz/introduction

    • Draco T Bastard 11.1

      Remember the law that said Auckland had to have a referendum before any local government changes were enacted? You know the one that the present set of RWNJ dictators repealed under urgency.

      • Swampy 11.1.1

        No need was there. There was consultation before at the Royal Commission, and consultation during through the select committee.

    • Pascal's bookie 11.2

      Gee smitty. Dontcha know?

      Entrenched laws in NZ need 3/4 of Parliament to change them. But, a simple majority can repeal the entrenchment.

      The only thing stopping them doing it is the idea that doing such undemocratic things would outrage even the govt’s supporters.

      • gingercrush 11.2.1

        Perhaps Labour should have listened to Geoffrey Palmer back when he was pushing for a written and entrenched constitution that would place more limits on government.

        • Pascal's bookie 11.2.1.1

          Shit g, I wouldn’t mind having a written constitution.

          But this passive aggressive blaming labour for National’s sins is a bit beneath you isn’t it?

    • Armchair Critic 11.3

      The three year election cycle is required by section 17 of the Constitution Act, which can only be repealed by a 75% majority in parliament accoring to section 268 of the Electoral Act.
      But section 268 of the Electoral Act can be repealed by a simple majority in parliament, removing the requirement for a 75% majority to repeal section 17 of the Constitution Act and allowing its repeal with a simple majority.
      A little bit tricky, but not too tricky.

  12. Draco T Bastard 12

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/3603344/Papers-disclose-concern-over-ECan-water-rules

    The Government wanted to dilute water-conservation orders and boost irrigation in Canterbury months before the Creech investigation recommended sacking Environment Canterbury (ECan) councillors, newly released documents show.

    Legislation that will see the 14 councillors replaced by Government-appointed commissioners on May 1 also gives the commissioners extra powers to make decisions on water-conservation orders (WCOs).

    Papers released under the Official Information Act show that Agriculture Minister David Carter and Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) officials were considering how to take more water from Canterbury rivers six months ago.

    Forest & Bird, which made the official information request, said Government claims it acted on water in response to the Wyatt Creech-led report into ECan were “obviously not true”.

    Even more evidence that the Creech report into ECan was a setup.

    • Swampy 12.1

      Can’t tell which way that commission will swing.

    • Swampy 12.2

      Hopefully it is turning into a political embarassment for Smith:
      – revelations that his brother is being prosecuted by Ecan
      – cabinet papers released as noted above
      – choice of Doug Martin and Wyatt Creech on the review both with strong ties to Shipley cabinet
      – apparently approached Shipley to be a commissioner
      – conflict of interest revealed for David Carter
      – Ministry officials recommended against the legislative move

      If Smith turns up to Cabinet March 29th to get it approved and the legislation comes to Parliament the very next day, how likely is it that all of the National MPs had a chance to read the legislation in advance, let alone a say on it?

  13. tsmithfield 13

    Draco “It was legal TS, as the government has absolute sovereignty, ”

    Not absolute, Draco. Have a look at my reply to r0b above. I think if you have a look at the cabinet manual, what they did was perfectly constitutional as well.

    Draco: “it just wasn’t, in any way, shape or form, moral”

    Are you a moral relativist, Draco? If so, I don’t think you can have an argument on the basis of morality.

    • Pascal's bookie 13.1

      You haven’t answered r0b’s point though. If you are arguing that legal=ok, then repealing the entrenchment law and rewriting our constitutional architecture in any way whatsoever should be fine with you.

    • Draco T Bastard 13.2

      No, I’m not. Don’t know why you’d think I was. The only ones who’ve I’ve seen that go toward moral relativism are the RWNJs. this is shown in actions like Blinglish’s housing rort – it was legal, barely, but there was no way it was moral. Legality != morality and in the places where immoral actions are legal then the law needs to be changed to make them illegal.

      BTW, the constitution isn’t perfect and we probably need to look at that which is one of the major reasons I dislike written constitutions – the ability to change them is almost non-existent.

      And can you please learn to use the reply button.

  14. tsmithfield 14

    Of course I don’t agree with over-riding the constitution in this sort of way. However, I don’t think the moral argument is very adequate either. As I pointed out to Draco, morality can depend on your perspective.

    Look at the guys who got off over the spy base sabotage. They thought they were doing the right moral thing in breaking the law. Other people would probably disagree and think it is morally wrong to destroy others property under any circumstances.

    Applying this to the current situation, the minister might think it was morally the right thing to do to fast-track the process to dissolve a local body that appeared to him to be dangerously dysfunctional. The minister might also believe he is acting in the best interests of all by ensuring that aspects of dysfunction are properly sorted out before a new council can be voted in.

    So saying that what he did wasn’t moral depends on your perspective on the issue.

    • Pascal's bookie 14.1

      What do you think? Local population divided such that democratic body can’t achieve something, so get rid of the democracy part and stack the deck so that your mates get what they want. Fair play?

      The ‘problem’ they have run up against is democracy. So they got rid of it. Justify it all you want, lot’s of dictators have in the past so you’ve got company.

      • Swampy 14.1.1

        No, how about
        The local body is dysfunctional and has not done the job they are supposed to, protecting the environment.

        It’s a proven fact that Ecan has presided over increased environmental degradation. Have a read from this insider on their failings in process:
        http://rwmjohnson.blogspot.com/2010/03/environment-canterbury-and-creech.html

        This is fundamentally due to the flawed Regional Council model which Labour has had 9 years to address, yet they changed nothing at all, in spite of the fact that Ecan is not the only regional council to mismanage their environmental role.

        It is just too stupid to expect that a political body such as a regional council which is subject to local parochialism and vested interests is going to able to manage such important functions effectively without political interference which is what has happened here.

        • Pascal's bookie 14.1.1.1

          That’s pretty much what I said swampy.

          oh noes. Competing vested interests and parochialism leading to political paralysis!

          Sometimes that happens in democracy. A lot. People don’t actually agree with each other and where there isn’t a clearish majority or compromise position available, you can get gridlock.

          I happen to think that abandoning democracy at that point doesn’t actually help. It certainly doesn’t make the disagreements go away. All that’s happened is that the large number of people who think the dictated decision is wrong, get quite properly pissed off because they have had their rights taken away. Eventually, they will get a crack of the whip. How hard they crack it depends on how pissed off they are.

          • Swampy 14.1.1.1.1

            If our city council was as paralysed as Ecan something would have been done about it a long time ago.

    • Swampy 14.2

      It was dysfunctional. IN fact it still is, as the whole Regional Council model is fatally flawed given the responsibilities they are granted.

      Suppose that National hands some of the RCs functions to territorial authorities so that they have democratic control. Will that be a good thing? It could be. For example regional transport, is just two cities, Christchurch and Timaru, that both TAs can handle easily. It’s not Auckland or Wellington where trains go across TAs.

    • Draco T Bastard 14.3

      Ah, so it’s you who are a moral relativist.

  15. tsmithfield 15

    What you are saying depends on our interpretation of the specific facts of the situation.

    What we can say is, as you, r0b, Draco and myself appear to agree, is that what the minister did was legal. That seems to be emphatically agreed.

    Whether or not it was moral depends on individual perspectives and the degree to which we have a full grasp of the facts. So its a lot more wishy washy.

    PB “The ‘problem’ they have run up against is democracy. So they got rid of it. Justify it all you want, lot’s of dictators have in the past so you’ve got company.”

    The fact is they have acted under the broader democratic mandate they have through established processes. There was no attempt to rewrite the constitution or any such thing. If people think what they did was such a bad thing they can vote them out at the next election.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 15.1

      So you agree then, that the sacking of Ecan and the cancelling of elections was an attack on democracy, at least.

      • tsmithfield 15.1.1

        No I don’t. A much higher percentage of Canterbury people voted in the general election than ever voted in the local body elections. Therefore, there is a lot more democratic mandate for the government than there is for ECAN.

        Thus, the majority are democratically having the government they elected acting on their behalf. As I said, if people don’t like that, then they still have the power to vote the government out next time.

    • r0b 15.2

      Grow a spine TS. First you argue that it’s legal so its moral. Then you argue that it’s morally gray so it’s legal. Now you’re back full circle arguing that it’s legal so its moral again. The only constant in your position is that National are doing it so it must be OK.

      It’s an overthrow of local democracy in Canterbury. There is no precedent for and no excuse for cancelling local body elections. It’s an arrogant abuse of power by any standard. Why not just stand up and say so instead of frantically dancing on the head of the pin looking for a place to stand that doesn’t stab you in the arse?

      • tsmithfield 15.2.1

        Not correct r0b.

        I have argued that moral perspectives on this issue are irrelevant due to the wide divergence of these depending on perspectives, competing interests etc. Therefore, the only relevant question was whether the ministers decision was legal. We all agree it was legal. Whether it was a good idea or not is another matter.

        The democratic implications are another question. I have argued that the government has acted democratically on the basis of its wider mandate that is stronger on the basis of democratic participation than the democratic mandate for ECAN.

        • Pascal's bookie 15.2.1.1

          “I have argued that the government has acted democratically on the basis of its wider mandate that is stronger on the basis of democratic participation than the democratic mandate for ECAN.”

          But that doesn’t fly. And even if it did, it would prove too much. The fact that a bunch of cantabs chose not to vote in local body elections doesn’t tell us anything about their wishes, and it most certainly doesn’t deprive them of the right to a say if they disagree with what the nats have in store from them. Failure to vote in the past doesn’t justify taking away the right to a future vote.

          The Nats have explicitly deprived them of the right to disagree by denying them the opportunity to vote for a new council. Smith was quite upfront about why they did that. He feared that cantabs might vote against the plan. To claim that this is evidence of a deeper democracy is garblgarnding farcisism.

          Whatever broader mandate the nats can claim, it’s hard to justify this. If the community of Canterbury cannot be trusted in the Nats eyes, then what other communities does your argument justify disenfranchising?

          I see no reason that your argument could only apply to geographic communities. Why not bankers? Or unionists? Or Jews? If the NZ population don’t approve of these groups being denied their vote, then they can vote against the govt that disenfranchises them. I think that this is would be clearly undemocratic and wrong.

          You can retreat into solipsistic style relativism of course and say that it would only be wrong to me, but democracy is in large part about pluralism. Pluralism absorbs relativism in a sense. All views should be respected by the superstructure, and the superstructure should not be used to eliminate the rights of those who disagree. These things are the glue if you like, that hold it together, And it’s not a very strong glue, but it’s the best one we’ve fund, which is why we need to pay attention to it I think.

          • Swampy 15.2.1.1.1

            There isn’t long enough before the local government elections to make anything happen, no point in having them.

        • r0b 15.2.1.2

          Therefore, the only relevant question was whether the ministers decision was legal.

          TS, that is not only stupid, it is dangerously stupid. In NZ ministers can make whatever they want legal. That is why there have to be other “relevant questions”. As usual you’re going to go round and round in circles until everyone gets bored and gives up on you. Bye!

          • tsmithfield 15.2.1.2.1

            Sorry you feel that way.

            I think you are both missing the bigger question.

            The reason that ministers can act in this way is because the system allows them to. If you don’t like that, then you need to focus on getting the system changed, rather than focus on political parties that use those rules to their best advantage. Have Labour been banging on about getting the system changed? I doubt it, because they probably don’t want to restrict themselves when they get into power.

            • Draco T Bastard 15.2.1.2.1.1

              No, we got the question. In it’s basic form it was “Dictatorship or democracy” and your gunning for dictatorship.

      • Swampy 15.2.2

        There has in fact been a precedence, in 1941 the national elections for central government were delayed for 2 years.

  16. Descendant Of Smith 16

    Actually they can do more than that – they can protest, they can voice their opinion,.they can boycott, they can debate, they can put in 100’s of applications for water use and tie up the committee with loads of red tape, they can reveal things to the public they the public may not know, they can petition, they can walk into the MP’s office day after day after day complaining peacefully, they can write letters – there are heaps more democratic things they can do without waiting for the next election.

    I’m appalled to find one of the board members was previously involved in failed privatisation of function that cost the amount of money it did. They should immediately be removed – there is a clear conflict of interest based on their past involvement let alone a credibility issue cause they achieved sweet FA. Talk about rising to the level of your incompetence.

  17. vto 17

    I am going to make an application to amend the Rakaia WCO, such amendments to result in even greater strength to the existing WCO.

    I am sure they are expecting applications to weaken WCO’s. Lets surprise them with applications to strengthen.

  18. Swampy 18

    The Water Rights Trust is calling for sustainable irrigation, and that is to a much higher standard than Ecan has managed so far. They asked for Ecan to be replaced by a commission on the grounds that Ecan had failed to manage farming practices, including irrigation, to a sustainable standard. Read it all on their website.

    Examples of Ecan’s failure
    – Rivers drying up
    – Lake Ellesmere and Forsyth poisoned from run-off
    – Dunsandel’s well supply contaminated

    Biggest example: Still no water plan after 20 years.

    The monitoring and enforcement need to be taken away from Regional Councils and given to MFE because some regional councils aren’t doing any.

    • Armchair Critic 18.1

      “Biggest example: Still no water plan after 20 years.”
      One of the subtleties of the RMA is that no regional council is legally required to have a regional plan. The number of plans and policy statements that are required by legislation is actually quite small. Always struck me as a bit of a curiousity.
      I’ve always wondered why neither National (who introduced the RMA) or Labour included this in amendments to the RMA over the last twenty or so years, especially given National seem to have missed the opportunity in their revamp last year (AFAIK – I’m still getting to grips with the latest changes).

      • Swampy 18.1.1

        The MFE has written a lot of policy papers on water. Labour in its last term 2005-8 seems to have been getting around to the idea we need something at a national level, unfortunately the wheels of central government still turn very slowly.

        There needs to be a much bigger debate over the sustainability of intensive dairy farming, particularly on alluvial plains. I find it ironic after the massive campaign for big industries to clean up their emissions (air and water) in recent decades everyone is so slow to act when the land and water are being polluted by dairying.

  19. Ianmac 19

    Swampy? “Examples of Ecan’s failure
    – Rivers drying up
    – Lake Ellesmere and Forsyth poisoned from run-off
    – Dunsandel’s well supply contaminated”

    These are Ecan’s failure???? Looks very like Farming/irrigation failure to me – unless you are saying they should have been tougher! Which of course the incoming group will be!????

    • Swampy 19.1

      Ecan’s job is to monitor the environment and enforce. They don’t have much of a clue in that they have allowed all these things, when they had the power to stop them. For example they have given out water consents for 35 years, who can predict the impacts that far ahead. It is entirely within Ecan’s responsibility to have been able to prevent these impacts.

      Ecan even is opposing the Hurunui WCO on the ground they know best and can manage the allocation of water “sustainably” to farmers in the region. The Water Rights Trust called for a moratorium on new consents, consistently opposed by Ecan. I think that’s pretty obvious, the farmer lobby in the regional council pushes that, however we are supposed to believe that regional councils are doing a great job when nearly all of them are presiding over increased environmental degradation.

  20. SPC 20

    Apparently we seem to approve of strong leaders – so imposing solutions in Auckland and Canterbury, gutting the public service in Wellington and increasing the income gap between the few and the many is making us fawn over this government.

    This is why we have GST on food and hardly any government elsewhere in thwe world would get away with it.

  21. Ah the sweet small of cowshit rebellion in the air.

  22. Jenny 22

    “….. and the people of Canterbury will get cowshit and poisoned drinking water.”

    And the already endangered Wrybill will get extinction.

    http://www.wrybill-tours.com/wrybill.htm

  23. vto 23

    Rodney Hide must be up for a nobel prize or some such surely. After all he holds himself out as knowing better than 1,000,000 people in Auckland and 500,000 people in Canterbury.

    The man has made a joke of himself. One of his core philosophies has always run along the lines that the market / the people know best and cen be relied on to make the right decisions for themselves. Hence health vouchers, education vouchers, and the like. He has always been one for letting the people decide because they have the most at stake in their lives.

    And conversely be very afraid of decisions coming from any form of government, he says.

    He says that. He has said it always.

    So now he says and does the complete opposite. Now he is in power. Take decisions away from the market / the people and get government to make them, because the people cannot be trusted.

    Hide you are a hypocrite. Spoiled by the baubles of power.

    Out the back door you go dick… can’t wait.

    • Ianmac 23.1

      “And conversely be very afraid of decisions coming from any form of government, he says.”
      Good point VTO. He can’t Hide from Hypocrisy.
      Actually it would form a good question for Question Time. “Does the Minister stand by his comments when he said …..?”

    • Swampy 23.2

      Act’s philosophy changes a lot, at the moment Hide is libertarian.

  24. Kaplan 24

    I propose the people of Canterbury go ahead and hold the next election regardless. They’d be mock elections of course but it’d still generate a lot of media interest. You just needs some advertising and a website for online voting. Sure online voting has issues but we are talking mock elections and it’d be cheaper.

    We need a fund, let’s call it ‘Attack on democracy’ I’m sure there are some people around that would donate money to that…

    Day after the ‘election’ we can send whoever wins in to take back the offices.

    Anti-Spam = ‘Naughty’
    Yep… Civil disobedience is supposed to be.

  25. jcuknz 25

    It boils down to the fact that ECAN has been discussing it for nineteen years and was hopelessly log jambed. Something had to be done and it was done, in a legal manner. Come next local elections the people of Canterbury will have their chance once the mess is sorted out. Maybe not the ‘next’ elections which are ‘this year’ but the one after to give the commissioners a fair go. It is a problem which should have been sorted a decade ago. The last government sat on their hands and ignored the problem, credit to the current government for doing something positive.

    • RedLogix 25.1

      It boils down to the fact that ECAN has been discussing it for nineteen years and was hopelessly log jambed.

      Actually no. It was a long and protracted process, but in fact a plan had been agreed and was due for the first stages of implementation in August this year. The problem arose when the farmers didn’t like the plan…that was when the shit hit the fan and Wyatt Creech was called in to do his whack job.

      The ‘hopelessly log jammed’ line is just flat out lie that you’ve been fed.

      • vto 25.1.1

        Thats it Red, ‘the farmers didn’t like the plan’.

        Just like the “regulatory impediments to water storage”, which means “farmers haven’t got their own way”.

        So they bulldoze through, and fuck anyone standing in their way.

        Also just like Central Plains Water being made a Requiring Authority allowing them to take anybody’s property that they need. And even that wasn’t enough to get the farmers want they want.

        Alan Hubbard and cohorts have one hell of a lot to answer for.

        What menwomen will do in their lust for MONEY

      • Swampy 25.1.2

        Facts are, Ecan was supposed to have had this plan ready seven years ago. There were supposed to be small delays. They turned into big ones. The whole process of producing this plan and implementing it has been characterised by extraordinary (ridiculous even) delays. Meanwhile the water consents were given out for 35 years without metering, they should have been 5-10 years. Ecan does not have much of a clue.

        • vto 25.1.2.1

          swampy, ecan was nearly there.

          Everybody sees what this vile ecan sacking rort for what it is. Farmers and dairy industry push for more loot.

          Farmers and dairy industry have proven themselves extremely poor at looking after the environment. There should be a moratorium until the dairy industry has cleaned up the piles of shit and the polluted waterways before any further expansion.

          • Swampy 25.1.2.1.1

            Ecan let them, hence Ecan is part of the problem. They are supposed to protect the environment. In truth there is too much political power from the farmer lobby in Ecan to ensure that they are capable of doing a proper job. This is probably also the case at other regional councils where the farming sector has a majority of the votes. People have asked Ecan for a water consents moratorium and have been turned down. Ecan opposed the WCO on the Hurunui. Etc.

            It’s hard to see which way the commission will go. I think that central government needs to get involved defining the standards and enforcing them in a consistent way, reducing the regional component of environmental protection.

  26. Ianmac 26

    Well Swampy: “Meanwhile the water consents were given out for 35 years without metering, they should have been 5-10 years. ” or no years actually. Still I suppose that this is a good reason to sack an elected body and appoint those who will speed through grants for water without appeal. You are right Swampy. Compelling.
    Now if we find another elected body who is failing in some respect you will arrange for that body to be sacked won’t you? Nact were so elected and on several fronts they have made mistakes so……..

    • Swampy 26.1

      If you can see into the future and predict the outcome of the commission’s decisions in advance then go ahead.

      I prefer to deal with the known facts. I’m waiting for Labour or the Greens or even this blog to investigate the political leanings of its members, the lack of response so far suggests that what has been stated publically so far is about all that there really is.

      There is a General Election in 2011 of course. You can make your choice then.

  27. vto 27

    The new ecan commissars have the power to implement a regional water plan under this new legislation. Under that legislation there is no power to appeal it to the courts.

    That is draconian.

    You know what will happen – when Bainimarama, I mean Key, lets us have elections again there is a high chance that the people will vote in those who will simply and straight away amend that regional water plan to that which the people want.

    Great governance Key.

    Most everyone spoken to about this entire matter down here is, to use the most common word used, ‘angry’. Even those of ‘right’ persuasion. Even those of even temperament.

    Only 6 months until Bob Parker gets the boot … 18 months for Key. (lordy knows what he is replaced with though)

    • Swampy 27.1

      Which way would the Regional Water Plan be altered?

      As things stand, without any substantial change to the way Ecan does business, back to their inept compromised way of doing things.

      • vto 27.1.1

        Altered to that which the people of the region want swampy.

        • Swampy 27.1.1.1

          Which is?

          Subject to whoeever wins the elections.

          Since there is a 50:50 split roughly (city:rural), that means the status quo. A compromise position that has seen a massive increase in water use and in pollution and negative environmental effects.

          I think I’d rather see the MFE coming up with the standards and enforcing them. there’s no reason why there can’t be national water quality and pollution control standards.

          You see, as far as I can tell, in this thread everyone who is defending Ecan, their achievements and “regional democracy” is most probably on the side of conservation, yet they want to defend Ecan’s failings on the grounds that regional control must be the best way of achieving what they expect.

          The big picture is that this environmental degradation is happening around the country, and that regional councils are largely responsible for it. Environmental protection is too big an issue to be left to regional mismanagement where it is too close to political interference and parochialism.

          • vto 27.1.1.1.1

            Well partly – I’ll give you a point for that point.

          • lprent 27.1.1.1.2

            Actually and surprisingly, I think I probably agree in broad terms with swampy for a change. The MFE should probably have the broad control over the water plans. Largely what they should do is have “thou shall not” broad plans because they’re simply not currently resourced to monitor and control adequately.

            However there should be local access as well for “thou can” proposals that they have to battle through the MFE.

  28. Ianmac 28

    The Press today: http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/3618491/Officials-opposed-ECan-changes

    “The country’s top legal brains warned the Government that Cantabrians would be stripped of rights enjoyed by other Kiwis if it forced through Environment Canterbury (ECan) changes.

    Just-released Cabinet papers show the Ministry of Justice vigorously opposed legislation that sacked regional councillors, put off ECan council elections until 2013, gave commissioners extra powers over water and took away the right for communities to appeal to the Environment Court. “

    • Swampy 28.1

      Smith is a fool. He must have let Hide draw up the legislation. This has blown up into such a big issue in the papers, there have been letters every day for the last month. Rodders made such a big stuff up in Auckland that they have got National MPs in there as well to make sure he doesn’t stuff up even more. I mean there is an election barely 18 months away, and Hide doesn’t care what happens as long as he keeps his seat.

  29. Flatfish 29

    What does this (and the Auckland muddle) mean for the other Regional Councils?
    Will you bother standing for a Regional Council position in the up coming elections with this kind of horse play going on from Central Government?
    We have enough problems as it is getting competent people to stand forward for any kind of political position!

    Which Regional Council will get done to next Horizons, with Law(less) on the loose?
    Waikato with Barry Brill loose in the west?
    Northland with Wayne Brown whipping up discontent?

    And by doing this (decapitating Regional Government) we are going to over take the Aussies who really know how to manage water, carbon, farming etc

    Yeah Right!

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    6 days ago
  • It is not about age, it is about team.
    Much attention has been directed at Joe Biden’s mental lapses and physical frailty. Less attention has been spent on Donald Trump’s cognitive difficulties and physical limitations, with most focus being devoted to his insults and exaggerated claims (as if they … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • ROBERT MacCULLOCH: Fletcher Building – it is time to break up NZ’s most useless company.
    Robert MacCulloch writes –  Gosh, the CEO of Fletcher Building, Ross Taylor, says today’s announcement of a half-year loss of $120 million for the company is “disappointing” and was “heavily impacted” by the Convention Centre losses. He must be crying all the way to the bank (to quote Las ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Mortgage rates seen high for even longer
    Government and borrower hopes for early mortgage cost relief look likely to be thwarted. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Stronger-than-expected US inflation data out overnight is expected to delay the first US Federal Reserve rate cut into the second half of 2024, which in turn would hold mortgage rates ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, the first of the new Parliament. And to start the Parliament off, there's a bunch of first readings. A bunch of other bills have been postponed, so first up is Duncan Webb's District Court (Protecting Judgment Debtors on Main Benefit) Amendment Bill, followed by Katie ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Three Waters go down the legislative gurgler – but what should we make of Local Water Done Well?
    Buzz from the Beehive Local Government Minister Simeon Brown – it seems fair to suppose – was flushed with success after the repeal of Labour’s divisive and unpopular Three Waters legislation. As he explained, repealing this legislation is a necessary first step in implementing his government’s Local Water Done Well ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on five of Luxon’s Gaza absurdities
    Earlier this week, PM Christopher Luxon met with 48 public service CEOs to make sure they were on board with his plans to cut spending on public services so that National can proceed to give the revenue away to those New Zealanders least in need. This wasn’t the only absurdity ...
    7 days ago
  • Love and the Fairer Sex.
    This morning I woke early with many thoughts in my head of things said, events of the week, things that matter. I’m afraid none of them involved Seymour, Willis, or Luxon so if you’re looking for something political maybe take the day off and come back tomorrow. You won’t find ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • He stood up to Muldoon and Lange and the Fji army
    Gerald Hensley, who died aged 88 on Saturday, was the key official who presided over the tumultuous events that followed the election of the Lange Labour Government in 1984. He was also instrumental in helping a key Fijian official escape the country during one of the 1987 coups. A diplomat ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    7 days ago
  • At a glance – Has Arctic sea ice returned to normal?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    1 week ago
  • Halo dunia!
    Selamt datang di WordPress. Ini adalah pos pertama Anda. Sunting atau hapus, kemudian mulai menulis! ...
    1 week ago
  • The PM wants a turnaround
    As a treat today I have lined up a favourite in the music slot. I love Turnaround, I cannot hear it too often, and I feel in need of a treat when I make myself listen to the Prime Minister the way I did this morning.He too, has favourites that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • The PM wants a turnaround
    As a treat today I have lined up a favourite in the music slot. I love Turnaround, I cannot hear it too often, and I feel in need of a treat when I make myself listen to the Prime Minister the way I did this morning.He too, has favourites that ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • ELE LUDEMANN: Trusting locals
    Ele Ludemann writes- A government-knows-best and predilection for central control was another unfortunate feature of the 2017-2023 Labour governments. One of the worst polices as a result of that was what started as Three Waters and became several more. The National-led government is much more trusting of locals ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    1 week ago
  • Legislation to flush away Three Waters has become a certainty – but we must wait for details on th...
    Buzz from the Beehive A  three-day information drought was broken, just after Point of Order published yesterday’s Buzz from the Beehive, and two significant ministerial announcements were made. First, the Budget will be delivered on 30 May, telling us which genuine savings have been made by eliminating waste and which ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    1 week ago
  • Rise of the Lobbyists.
    An unpopular opinion, I love Auckland.Not so much the transport or the house prices - those are pretty dire. But there’s a lot to like. We’ve a vibrant, multicultural city in a beautiful location with, mostly, friendly locals. From the native bush of the Waitakeres to the Gulf islands, it’s ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The holes in National’s water reform pipes
    Young renters just have to watch on as pipes keep failing and the Government and councils point fingers at each other, because all the incentives are for ratepayers to block rates increases, water meters, water charges and the creation of new entities. File Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: The National-ACT-NZ First coalition ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago

  • Greater support for social workers
    The Coalition Government is enhancing the professionalism of the social work sector and supporting the vulnerable people who rely on them, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says.  The Social Workers Registration Legislation Amendment Bill passed its third reading in Parliament today. It amends the Social Workers Registration Legislation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Government delivers greater freedom and choice for sick New Zealanders
    The coalition government is delivering on its commitment to making principled decisions by getting rid of red tape that doesn’t make sense and allowing sick New Zealanders greater freedom and choice to purchase effective cold and flu medicines. A bill amending the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 is being introduced, and changes to the Medicines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Government begins reset of welfare system
    The Coalition Government is taking early action to curb the surge in welfare dependency that occurred under the previous government by setting out its expectations around employment and the use of benefit sanctions, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. In 2017, 60,588 sanctions were applied to beneficiaries who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • State of the Nation
    Ka nui te mihi kia koutou. Kia ora, good morning, talofa, malo e lelei, bula vinaka, da jia hao, namaste, sat sri akal, assalamu alaikum. Thank you for coming to my first State of the Nation as Prime Minister. Thank you for coming to a speech where I don’t just ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • West Coast tourism attractions officially open
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will attend the official opening of two highly anticipated tourism projects on the West Coast today – Pike29 Memorial Track, dedicated to the memory of the Pike River miners, and Pounamu Pathway. “The Pike29 Memorial Track is a way to remember and honour the men ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Independent ferry service advisory group in place
    Appointments to the Ministerial Advisory Group tasked with providing independent advice and assurance on the future of KiwiRail’s inter-island ferry service have been made, State Owned Enterprises Minister Paul Goldsmith says. “It’s important for New Zealand that KiwiRail is focused on ensuring safe, resilient, and reliable ferry services over the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Joint statement from the Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada, and New Zealand
    The Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada and New Zealand today issued the following statement on reports of Israel’s planned military operation in Rafah. We are gravely concerned by indications that Israel is planning a ground offensive into Rafah.   A military operation into Rafah would be catastrophic. About 1.5 million Palestinians ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt will deliver on expanded breast screening
    The coalition Government has made the first steps in delivering on its promise to  extend free breast screening to women aged 70-74, Health Minister Shane Reti says. “As part of the 100 day plan, the Government has now met with officials and discussed what is needed in order for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government announces woolshed roadshows in support of sheep farmers
    The Government celebrates National Lamb Day (15 February 24) and congratulates sheep farmers on the high-quality products they continue to produce. Agriculture Minister McClay hosted bipartisan celebrations of National Lamb Day with industry representatives at Parliament this week to mark the anniversary of the first frozen lamb exports that left ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech: Address to the NZ Economics Forum
    It’s great to be back at the New Zealand Economics Forum. I would like to acknowledge everyone here today for your expertise and contribution, especially the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Head of the Waikato Management School, economists, students and experts alike. A year has passed since I was last before you, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government tackling high construction costs
    The Government is focused on reducing sky-high construction costs to make it more affordable to build a home, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says.  Stats NZ data shows the cost of building a house has increased by 41 per cent since 2019, making housing even more unaffordable for Kiwi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Labour’s Three Waters legislation repealed
    The Coalition Government’s legislative plan to address longstanding issues with local water infrastructure and service delivery took an important step today, with the repeal of Labour’s divisive and unpopular Three Waters legislation, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “Repealing this legislation is a necessary first step in implementing our Local ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Cost of living support for beneficiary households
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its commitment to ease the cost-of-living by increasing main benefit rates in line with inflation and ensuring the Minimum Family Tax Credit threshold remains aligned with this change, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. The Social Security (Benefits Adjustment) and Income Tax ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government announces agriculture delegations to better support Primary sector
    The coalition Government has announced ministerial delegations to support key areas across the Primary sector to deliver for New Zealand’s food and fibre sector, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay announced today. “I will be supported in my roles as Minister of Agriculture, Trade, Forestry and Hunting and Fishing, by three Associate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Waikato MoU reinforces Govt’s commitment to increase NZ doctors
    The Government has taken an important step forward in addressing a critical shortage of New Zealand-trained doctors, with today’s signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for a third medical school, Minister of Health Dr Shane Reti has announced.  “Today’s signing by the Ministry of Health and the University of Waikato ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech – Lunar New Year 2024
    Annyeonghaseyo, greetings and welcome all. It is my pleasure as the Minister for Ethnic Communities to welcome you to the first Lunar New Year Event in Parliament. Thank you to our emcees for greeting us in the different languages that represent the many cultures that celebrate the Lunar New Year. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More funding to Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti
    Urgent work to clean-up cyclone-affected regions will continue, thanks to a $63 million boost from the Government for sediment and debris removal in Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti.                                                                                                   The funding will help local councils continue urgent work removing and disposing of sediment and debris left from Cyclone Gabrielle.   “This additional ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Budget will be delivered on 30 May
    Plans to deliver tax relief to hard-working New Zealanders, rebuild business confidence and restore the Crown’s finances to order will be unveiled on 30 May, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says. The plans will be announced in the Budget which is currently being developed by Ministers.  “The last government’s mismanagement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government advances Local Water Done Well
    The Coalition Government is continuing work to restore council ownership and control of water assets by repealing Three Waters and appointing a Technical Advisory Group to provide expert advice on the implementation of Local Water Done Well, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “The Government will pass a bill to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has today announced five new diplomatic appointments.  "Strong and effective diplomacy to protect and advance our interests in the world is needed now more than ever," Mr Peters says.  “We are delighted to appoint senior diplomats from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Committee for Auckland
    It is great to be here today at this event as Minister for Auckland and Minister ofTransport. Let me start by acknowledging each one of you and thanking the Committee forAuckland for hosting this event and inviting me to speak here today. The Committee for Auckland has been a symbol ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Getting Transport Back on Track in Auckland
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has today confirmed his high-level transport priorities for Auckland, in the lead up to releasing the draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport. “Our economic growth and productivity are underpinned by a transport network that enables people and freight to move around safely and efficiently. At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government to axe Auckland Regional Fuel Tax
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has confirmed that the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax will end on 30 June 2024. “Today, I can confirm that the Government has agreed to remove the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax in line with our coalition commitments, and legislation will be introduced to parliament to repeal the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Calls for Work to Tackle Kina Barrens
    Changes to fishing rules and a significant science programme are being undertaken to address kina barrens, says Minister for Oceans and Fisheries Shane Jones. “There has been tremendous interest from iwi, communities and recreational fishers who had raised concerns about such kina infestations being a major threat to Northland’s marine ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Government law and order crackdown begins
    The coalition Government is making good on its promise to restore law and order by removing government funding for Section 27 reports and abolishing the previous Labour Government’s prison reduction target, Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Corrections Minister Mark Mitchell say.  “In recent years, the development of Section 27 reports ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Greater focus on getting people into work
    The coalition government will refocus employment efforts and the welfare system so that supporting people who can work into jobs is the number one priority, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “Of concern in the labour market statistics released by Stats NZ today was the number of youth not ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • One year on, NZ appeals for release of Phillip Mehrtens
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has appealed to those holding New Zealand pilot Phillip Mehrtens in remote Papua, Indonesia, to release him immediately.  Phillip Mehrtens was taken hostage a year ago on 7 February in Paro, Papua, while providing vital air links and supplies to remote communities. “We strongly urge those holding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministers reaffirm Pacific connections this week
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Health Minister and Minister for Pacific Peoples Dr Shane Reti are reaffirming the importance of New Zealand’s connections to the Pacific by visiting Tonga, Cook Islands and Samoa this week.  “New Zealand enjoys strong and long-standing relationships with our Pacific partners - especially in Polynesia, where we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Rt Hon Christopher Luxon – Waitangi speech
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, rau rangatira ma. Tēnā koutou katoa. He tino mihi ki te mana whenua o tēnei rohe.  Mihi mai, mihi mai, mihi mai. Te whare e tū nei, tēnā koe.                               He-wāhi whakahirahira tēnei mō Aotearoa. Ka huri nga whakaaro, ki nga mate. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government awards primary sector scholarships to students
    Six university students studying agriculture and science have been awarded scholarships as part of the coalition Government’s efforts to boost on-the-ground support for farmers and growers. “The coalition Government is committed to improving support and operating conditions for farmers and growers,” Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says. “We’re backing a range ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister Jason Scott McHerron as a High Court Judge. Justice McHerron graduated from the University of Otago with a BA in English literature in 1994 and an LLB in 1996. From 1996 to 1999 he worked as a solicitor in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand provides further humanitarian support to Gaza and the West Bank
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that New Zealand is providing a further $5 million to respond to the extreme humanitarian need in Gaza and the West Bank.  “The impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on civilians is absolutely appalling,” Mr Peters says.  “That is why New Zealand has contributed $15 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Government consults on expanding COVID-19 Inquiry terms of reference
    The Government is delivering on its commitment to enable public input into expanding the scope of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into COVID-19 Lessons, says Internal Affairs Minister Brooke van Velden. “As committed to in both the ACT-National and NZ First-National coalition agreements, the public will be given the opportunity ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Tai Tokerau Water Boost
    A further $5 million loan has been advanced to the Tai Tokerau Water Trust for Te Waihekeora Reservoir, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says.  “Water is a precious resource, Kānoa – Regional Development and Investment Unit at the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment have done amazing work in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Fast track consenting in the fast lane
    The Government is progressing changes to resource management laws as part of its 100 Day Action Plan, with the first steps taken to establish a new fast-track consenting one-stop shop regime. “This new regime, which forms part of National’s coalition agreement with New Zealand First, will improve the speed and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • JOINT STATEMENT ON AUSTRALIA-NEW ZEALAND MINISTERIAL CONSULTATIONS (ANZMIN) 2024
    Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence the Hon Richard Marles MP and Minister for Foreign Affairs Senator the Hon Penny Wong hosted New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Winston Peters MP and Minister of Defence Hon Judith Collins KC MP on 1 February ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Minimum wage set for cautious increase
    The adult minimum wage rate will increase by 2 per cent to $23.15 an hour from 1 April 2024, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden announced today. “This Government is committed to striking the right balance between protecting the incomes of our lowest paid workers and maintaining labour ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Increased security improves ED safety over summer
    Increasing the number of security staff in emergency departments (EDs) over the busy Christmas and New Year period improved the safety of both staff and patients, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says. 200 additional security staff (93 FTEs) were provided to 32 EDs in response to concerns raised by ED ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago

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