web analytics

Cat MacLennan: We Are Beneficiaries

Written By: - Date published: 10:45 am, May 27th, 2020 - 9 comments
Categories: benefits, Economy, Politics, social democracy, Social issues, welfare - Tags: ,

Cat MacLennan is a journalist and barrister. This post was originally written and published under the auspices of the Democracy Project. Some links were added to references in the publication in this site.

Approximately 2.8 million of Aotearoa New Zealand’s 4.9 million residents are now beneficiaries.

That figure is made up of 1.7 million workers who are wage subsidy recipients; 781,000 people receiving New Zealand Superannuation; 175,000 Kiwis on jobseeker support; and 160,000 receiving other benefits.

On top of that, documents leaked to Radio New Zealand show that the Ministry of Social Development is bracing for up to 300,000 additional benefit applications as a result of the global pandemic.

Covid-19 accordingly means that a majority of Kiwis are currently beneficiaries. Now is accordingly the perfect time for a rethink of our punitive and hostile attitudes to people who receive state support.

In recent years, this country has been characterised by some of the worst attitudes in the developed world towards beneficiaries. Victoria University Professor of Policy Studies Jonathan Boston, in his 2019 book Transforming the Welfare State: Towards a New Social Contract, notes that there has been a fall in support for egalitarian and community values in Aotearoa New Zealand since the 1980s and a hardening of views about those receiving state support.

The proportion of New Zealanders supporting government measures to reduce income differences between the rich and the poor fell from 50 per cent in 1992 to 40 per cent in 2009. In the same period, the percentage of people who thought the rich should pay a larger share of their income in tax declined from 70 to 50 per cent.

By 2009, only 45 per cent of Kiwis agreed or strongly agreed that the Government should provide a decent standard of living for the unemployed. Among advanced democracies, only the citizens of Flanders, Belgium, recorded a lower percentage.

Boston observes that this country’s tougher attitudes to those in need mirror the United Kingdom’s hardening views of those receiving state support: overall, citizens have become less sympathetic to the needs of the poor, the sick and the unemployed.

In the United Kingdom, 88 per cent of people agreed in 2001 that the Government should be primarily responsible for ensuring unemployed people had enough to live on. By 2011, that figure had fallen to 59 per cent. In 1991, 26 per cent believed that benefits were too high and hampered people standing on their own two feet. In 2011, that percentage had more than doubled to 54 per cent.

The International Labour Organisation’s World Social Security Report 2010/11 stated that Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway recorded agreement or strong agreement of between 77 and 84 per cent with the proposition that governments should provide a decent standard of living for the unemployed. Only 45 per cent of Kiwis supported that view.

Our negative views of those in hardship are manifest in many other ways. People unfortunate enough to be out of work are labelled “dole bludgers,” while mothers receiving sole parent support are depicted as slovenly, drug or alcohol-addicted, bad parents.

When the media reported that working people were living in their cars, the country accepted that there was a housing crisis. If the stories had been about beneficiaries sleeping in their vehicles, Kiwis would have dismissed this as the result of “poor choices” and people’s own faults.

One social agency has said that the pandemic means it is dealing with people who have never had to ask for help before. That organisation knows this will provoke sympathy from New Zealanders, but the subtext of that attitude is that if you repeatedly need help you are a bludger and greedy.

All of this is a very far cry from 1938, when Aotearoa New Zealand was proud to hone its international reputation as the social laboratory of the world by passing the Social Security Act to sit alongside votes for women in 1893 and pensions for the elderly in 1898.

Prime Minister Michael Joseph Savage said that a new principle was introduced by the 1938 social security legislation

“Citizens of the Dominion are insuring themselves against the economic hardships that would otherwise follow those natural misfortunes from which no one is immune.”

Those words say almost everything and perfectly encapsulate just how far our attitudes to the unfortunate have changed for the worse in the intervening 82 years.

Savage and his government recognised that misfortune is largely a matter of luck, that everyone is susceptible to risk, and that economic hardship often follows.

By contrast, neoliberalism says that poor people are the authors of their own disadvantage: they did not work hard enough; they did not save enough; they had too many children.

All of that is wrong. Luck plays an incredible role in life. People born in a poor country have far less chance of being economically secure. Those born with a chronic illness or disability will face discrimination all of their lives, will find it hard to obtain work and, statistically, will be at high risk of being paid low wages.

White people are overwhelmingly paid more than non-white people, and men are paid more than women.

Similarly, the media regularly publishes stories about people in their twenties who have accumulated property portfolios comprising multiple homes. The headline and general tenor of the articles are that “anyone can do this if they work hard enough.” It is only in the detail of the story that it is revealed that almost all of these property barons got their start by being gifted large sums of money by their parents to purchase the first home. For the overwhelming majority of New Zealanders, that is not a possibility.

In fact, there is no level playing field. Chance deals people entirely different hands when they are born, and that has a huge and enduring impact on their lives. This country recognised that in 1938 when we decided it was right to support people who suffered misfortune. We need to return to the same philosophy now.

The reason this is vital is that, until we change our attitudes to beneficiaries, no significant benefit reform will occur. New Zealand governments have fostered punitive and negative attitudes to those who require state assistance and those views are now so prevalent that no government is going to use its political capital by doing what obviously needs to be done to restore proper benefit assistance.

(Even the word “beneficiary” is regarded as a negative description: I know that some superannuitants will be indignant that I have included them in the list of beneficiaries at the start of this article. They say that they are not beneficiaries because they have paid taxes to fund their pensions.)

The current Government set up the Welfare Expert Advisory Group in May 2018 to report on how to deliver a social welfare system to ensure that people had an adequate standard of living, enjoyed dignity and could participate meaningfully in their communities. The group reported a year ago and made 42 recommendations, including the obvious proposal that benefits should be lifted to liveable levels.

However, the Government speedily made it plain that it did not intend to implement the bulk of the suggestions – aware that it would need to spend a large amount of political capital to make the changes and being unwilling to do so.

It was not by chance that Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at the start of her government’s term pinned her reputation to tackling child poverty, rather than tacking poverty as a whole. Reducing child poverty is a far more acceptable goal because it is much harder for people to blame children for their unfortunate circumstances. The labels “bludger,”  “addict” and “lazy” are rather difficult to apply to children and so there is more sympathy for their plight, and more willingness to spend money on addressing it.

The Covid-19 pandemic means that many middle-class Kiwis are having their first experiences of dealing with the Ministry of Social Development. They are about to find out how low benefit levels are and how hard it is to obtain one’s legal entitlements. For the first time, these New Zealanders will learn that this country since 1991 has deliberately set benefits at rates so low as to be unliveable, on the basis that this will incentivise people into jobs.

Already, there have been media stories about people being shocked that they are denied support, as well as suggestions that the ministry has been misapplying the law relating to the impact of redundancy payments on benefit entitlement for decades.

Misinterpretation of the law by the ministry to wrongly deny people support is nothing new. In the past, the ministry has wrongly applied the law to deny people the Domestic Purposes Benefit, the Accommodation Supplement and the Special Benefit on a large scale. However, the difference then was that those misinterpretations of the law affected people who needed long-term support and fitted the country’s images of the non-deserving beneficiary.

Despite lengthy campaigns by beneficiaries, advocates and lawyers to draw these issues to public and government attention, it took years to try and obtain remedies and changes in policy.

By contrast, I expect that the issue about redundancy and benefit entitlement will be speedily addressed and remedied by the ministry and the Government, because the middle-class people affected have the power to draw media and political attention to the matter.

Ardern in her communications about the pandemic refers to New Zealanders as being a team of five million, while the Government’s Covid-19 announcements state that “We are in this together.”

Both of those statements are right. So, let’s also accept that New Zealanders are one in the good times as well as in the bad. People do not choose to have accidents, contract serious illnesses, lose their jobs, or have their relationships break down. All of these occurrences are Savage’s “natural misfortunes from which no one is immune.”

Punishing people who suffer misfortune by deliberately setting benefits at levels so low as to be unliveable merely doubles citizens’ misery and makes it far less likely they will ever recover from their misfortunes. Condemning large numbers of Kiwis to poverty also piles additional costs on taxpayers.

People in poverty have poorer health and contract preventable illnesses, thereby requiring health care they would not otherwise need. They are also more likely to be victims and perpetrators of crime, which leads to higher spending on police, the courts and prisons. And unemployed people require benefit support and do not pay the income tax the Government would receive if they were employed.

Thus, our punitive and mean-spirited attitudes to the vulnerable not only make their lives far more miserable, they also cost us money. Let’s get back to Savage’s philosophy and extend a proper helping hand to Kiwis in need so they can overcome their bad luck as soon as possible and have a future of full participation in society.

Covid-19 has shown us that #WeAreBeneficiaries. Those New Zealanders who only need state support for a short time in their lives are incredibly lucky. Let’s stop looking down on and punishing those who are less fortunate.

A good start would be to show the Government that there is broad public support for implementation of the Welfare Expert Advisory Group’s recommendations.

Cat MacLennan is a journalist and barrister

This article can be republished under a Creative Commons CC BY-ND 4.0  license. Attributions should include a link to the Democracy Project.  

9 comments on “Cat MacLennan: We Are Beneficiaries ”

  1. bill 1

    There are some good points being made in that piece, but why's she buying into liberal myths around "chance" and "fortune"?

    Poverty is a direct consequence of capitalism, and that's either acknowledged and remedial policies advocated for or set down in light of that acknowledgement, or the time worn nonsense of individual circumstance opening into liberal 'solutions' set around private charity get oxygen.

  2. JanM 2

    As a superannuant, I am perfectly happy to be called a beneficiary. It has little to do with whether I have paid taxes or not, as the system is basically founded on the premise of 'from those who have to those who need'. In the past I also spent a couple of years on the DPB, mainly because, in the absence, back then, of any support for daycare, my salary as a kindergarten teacher was too low to afford the cost of it.

    The benefit system works pretty well for superannuants in most cases, as their basic amount is a lot higher, but there definitely needs to be an overhaul for everyone else. It's not just about the money, although that's a big issue, it's about the lack of empathetic support for people who, for one reason or other, need to avail themselves of this source of income. This, in my opinion, needs to be seamless and engaged in by government staff who have adequate knowledge and understanding of the opportunities, as well as the limitations, that people face in their lives.

    The attitude of the staff when I went to apply for my superannuation was an eye-opener – it was positive, helpful and polite, unlike much of what I have seen and experienced elsewhere in the department. It did not escape my notice that we were in a separate space from everyone else, This needs to be the standard approach. As you state, people do not choose to be in most of the situations they find themselves in, and the proper support will surely help in the struggle.

  3. ianmac 3

    Agree that all people are entitled to a fair assistance to living.

    The problem faced by Governments is to have benefits "too high" means that it can be better to live on a benefit that work for a lower wage.

    Perhaps this Government is remedying this by lifting minimum wages and or introducing a living wage. And as Cinny points out the basic benefit is supplemented by other allowances.

  4. barry 4

    But the neolibs are not being stingy. They are, in fact, showing kindness by 'encouraging' people to better themselves by looking for work.

    <sarcasm – off>

    the evidence shows that people without enough money to survive make worse decisions in general BECAUSE they are poor. If we want people to be out looking for work and improving themselves we should be giving them the wherewithal to do it.

    In the 1970s, when the baby boomers and their descendents discovered unemployment, the government had job schemes to keep them busy and provide them with a decent income. The Labour/ACT coalition in 1984 decided to save money by canning the job schemes, but left the benefits at liveable levels. It was considered that job schemes were inefficient as they didn't encourage real jobs.

    It was not until the next National government (which was ashamed that Labour had beaten them to it) that benefits were slashed to force people to take whatever shitty conditions the slave-master-inclined employers could throw at them.

  5. KJT 5

    The “Others”.

    "

    National, “dogwhistling” about “solo mums, breeding”, “lazy unemployed youth” or “generational welfare dependency” , is a recurrent staple whenever they flag in the polls, or need a distraction from dishonesty, arrogance or incompetence.

    Labour, to their discredit, largely went along with it. Welfare has been deliberately set below the cost of a minimal living, since Richardsons, “mother of all budgets”, to force people into underpaid jobs.

    The underlying memes, behind much of the “othering” in New Zealand are “useless mouths”, “deserving and undeserving poor”, “the meritocracy” (that money you are paid, reflects your value to society), “productive and unproductive people” , “welfare bludgers”.

    Few who use these self serving justifications, for their own greed and privilege, are stupid enough to use those exact words. The supporting train of thought, however, is obvious".

  6. ianmac 6

    Kat wrote on Pundit to Sue Bradford that:

    This is a specific response to those immediately negatively affected by Covid 19 and for a limited time. Based on your response you would not support sole traders or private sector business receiving the Covid 19 wage subsidy either. You are just politicising for politicising sake.

    Seems to me to have a good point.

    • bill 6.1

      Well, seeing as how Sue Bradford was writing about two tiers of benefit being applied to unemployed people, how does that equate to the wage subsidy? (It doesn't).

      Whoever 'Kat' commenting at Politico is, they're a prat.

  7. Dennis Frank 7

    Like Jan @ comment 2, I'm a superannuitant who has no problem with being called a beneficiary. Whilst I have no real disagreement with the framing used by the author in pointing out that more than half the people of Aotearoa can accurately be identified as beneficiaries, I'd like to point out the lack of political import in the essay.

    That's due to the fact that many – if not most – don't self-identify as such. Since identity politics replaced class consciousness, political alignments and developments tend to be produced by how people identify themselves. When govt bails out business folk, they don't actually start viewing themselves as beneficiaries, for instance. They continue to self-identify as business folk – even in receivership, when the business has gone.

    Similarly, they don't see Jacinda, Winston, et al as their rescuers and enactors of state socialism. Even though they have experienced a life-transforming benefit of practical state socialism. Joining them in denial are the socialists. Nobody in either group has written or spoken in the media about this excellent example of large-scale practical socialism, as far as I can tell.

    Perception by self is based on long-standing social categories and their labels, deriving from group conventions, that mask reality. It would help rehabilitate socialism as a belief system if people were able to perceive it when it actually happens to them…

  8. Fifi 8

    Over the years no matter who is in Government, it seems that it is easier to pay benefits rather than provide wrap around services to help these people move into suitable paid work or training.

    My daughter became a solo Mum after her marriage broke up. That was 15 years ago. Since then she has been on a benefit. She is quite happy to do nothing to help herself, and at no time has been required to seek work.

    One of her children has now chosen the same lifestyle.

    I would like to see her required to actively seek work, or be required to retrain or do Community work.

    WINZ has become her financier. If she needs a new fridge or washing machine, WINZ provides one, usually a brand new Fisher and Paykell model.

    Meanwhile, I see another young relative, working full time on the minimum wage, and receiving less income than my Daughter.

    is this fair? I don't think so.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Livestock exports by sea to cease
    The passing of a Bill today to end the export of livestock by sea will protect New Zealand’s reputation for world-leading animal welfare standards, Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor said. “The Animal Welfare Amendment Bill future-proofs our economic security amid increasing consumer scrutiny across the board on production practices," Damien ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Extra measures to increase census turnout in 2023
    3500 census workers on the ground, twice as many as last census More forms to be delivered – 44% compared to 3% in 2018 Prioritisation of Māori and other groups and regions with lower response rates in 2018 Major work to ensure the delivery of a successful census in 2023 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Shining the light on screen workers
    Improved working conditions for workers in the screen industry is now a reality with the Screen Industry Workers Bill passing its third reading today, announced Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood. “It’s fantastic to see the Screen Industry Workers Bill progress through Parliament. The new Act will strengthen protections ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Mental health resources for young people and schools launched
    Associate Minister of Education (School Operations) Jan Tinetti and Associate Minister of Education (Māori Education) Kelvin Davis have today launched two new resources to support wellbeing, and the teaching and learning of mental health education in schools and kura. “Students who are happy and healthy learn better. These resources ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Progress continues on future-proofing Auckland’s transport infrastructure
    Transport Minister Michael Wood has welcomed the latest progress on Auckland’s two most transformational transport projects in a generation – Auckland Light Rail and the Additional Waitematā Harbour Connections. Auckland Light Rail and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency have named preferred bidders to move each project to their next phase, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Government supports local innovation in homelessness prevention
    Ten successful applicants in round two of the Local Innovation and Partnership Fund (LIPF) Close to $6 million allocated as part of the Homelessness Action Plan (HAP) Māori, Pasefika and rangatahi a strong focus Round three opening later this year with up to $6.8 million available. Government is stepping up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • More medicines for New Zealanders, thanks to Govt’s Budget boost
    Health Minister Andrew Little is welcoming news that two more important medicines are set to be funded, thanks to the Government’s big boost to the country’s medicines budget. “Since coming into Government in 2017, the Labour Government has increased Pharmac’s funding by 43 per cent, including a $71 million boost ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government delivers ACC change to support 28,000 parents
    The Maternal Birth Injury and Other Matters Bill passes Third Reading – the first amendment to ACC legislation of its kind From 1 October 2022, new ACC cover to benefit approximately 28,000 birthing parents Additional maternal birth injuries added alongside new review provision to ensure cover remains comprehensive Greater clarity ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Further cuts for East Coast tarakihi limits to rebuild numbers faster
    Commercial catch limits for East Coast tarakihi will be reduced further to help the stock rebuild faster. “Tarakihi is a popular fish, and this has led to declining levels over time. Many adjustments have been made and the stock is recovering. I have decided on further commercial catch reductions of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Ambassador to Colombia announced
    Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of diplomat Nicci Stilwell as the next Ambassador to Colombia. “Aotearoa New Zealand’s relationship with Colombia is fast growing with strong links across education, climate change and indigenous co-operation,” Nanaia Mahuta said.  “Trade is a key part of our relationship with Colombia, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • 3000 more RSE workers to ease workforce pressures
    The Government continues to respond to global workforce shortages by announcing the largest increase in over a decade to the Recognised Seasonal Employer Scheme (RSE), providing 3000 additional places, Immigration Minister Michael Wood and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor have announced. The new RSE cap will allow access to 19,000 workers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Sanctions on more of the Russian political elite
    Further sanctions are being imposed on members of President Putin’s inner circle and other representatives of the Russian political elite, as part of the Governments ongoing response to the war in Ukraine, says Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta. “Ukraine has been clear that the most important action we can take to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Principal Youth Court Judge appointed
    Judge Ida Malosi, District Court Judge of Wellington, has been appointed as the new Principal Youth Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. Born and raised in Southland, Judge Malosi graduated from Victoria University of Wellington and spent her legal career in South Auckland.  She was a founding partner of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Visitor arrivals highest since pandemic began
    Overseas visitor arrivals exceeded 100,000 in July, for the first time since the borders closed in March 2020 Strong ski season lifts arrivals to Queenstown to at least 90% of the same period in 2019 Australia holiday recovery has continued to trend upwards New Zealand’s tourism recovery is on its ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Language provides hope for Tuvalu
    Climate change continues to present a major risk for the island nation of Tuvalu, which means sustaining te gana Tuvalu, both on home soil and in New Zealand Aotearoa, has never been more important, Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio said. The Tuvalu Auckland Community Trust and wider Tuvalu ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Minister Sio to attend Asian Development Bank meeting in Manila
    Associate Foreign Affairs Minister Aupito William Sio travels to the Philippines this weekend to represent Aotearoa New Zealand at the 55th Annual Meeting of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Board of Governors in Manila. “The ADB Annual Meeting provides an opportunity to engage with other ADB member countries, including those ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • United Nations General Assembly National Statement
    E ngā Mana, e ngā Reo, Rau Rangatira mā kua huihui mai nei i tēnei Whare Nui o te Ao Ngā mihi maioha ki a koutou katoa, mai i tōku Whenua o Aotearoa Tuia ki runga, Tuia ki raro, ka Rongo to pō ka rongo te ao Nō reira, tēnā ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New strategy unifies all-of-Government approach to help Pacific languages thrive
    A united approach across all-of-Government underpins the new Pacific Language Strategy, announced by the Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio at Parliament today. “The cornerstone of our Pacific cultures, identities and place in Aotearoa, New Zealand are our Pacific languages. They are at the heart of our wellbeing,” Aupito ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Upgrades for sporting facilities ahead of FIFA Women’s World Cup
    Communities across the country will benefit from newly upgraded sporting facilities as a result of New Zealand co-hosting the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023. The Government is investing around $19 million to support upgrades at 30 of the 32 potential sporting facilities earmarked for the tournament, including pitch, lighting and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Partnership supports climate action in Latin America and Caribbean
    Aotearoa New Zealand is extending the reach of its support for climate action to a new agriculture initiative with partners in Latin America and the Caribbean. Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced a NZ$10 million contribution to build resilience, enhance food security and address the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Landmark agreement for Māori fisheries celebrates 30th year
    The 30th anniversary of the Fisheries Deed of Settlement is a time to celebrate a truly historic partnership that has helped transform communities, says Parliamentary Under-Secretary to the Minister for Oceans and Fisheries Rino Tirikatene. “The agreement between the Crown and Māori righted past wrongs, delivered on the Crown’s treaty ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government backs initiatives to cut environmental impact of plastic waste
    The Government has today announced funding for projects that will cut plastic waste and reduce its impact on the environment. “Today I am announcing the first four investments to be made from the $50 million Plastics Innovation Fund, which was set last year and implemented a 2020 election promise,” Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Call for expressions of interest in appointment to the High Court Bench
    Attorney-General David Parker today called for nominations and expressions of interest in appointment to the High Court Bench.  This is a process conducted at least every three years and ensures the Attorney-General has up to date information from which to make High Court appointments.  “It is important that when appointments ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Depositor compensation scheme protects Kiwis’ money
    New Zealanders will have up to $100,000 of their deposits in any eligible institution guaranteed in the event that institution fails, under legislation introduced in Parliament today. The Deposit Takers Bill is the third piece of legislation in a comprehensive review of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New fund to help more Pacific aiga into their own homes
    The Government has launched a new housing fund that will help more Pacific aiga achieve the dream of home ownership. “The Pacific Building Affordable Homes Fund will help organisations, private developers, Māori/iwi, and NGOs build affordable housing for Pacific families and establish better pathways to home ownership within Pacific communities. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • More than 100,000 new Kiwis as halfway point reached
    Over 100,000 new Kiwis can now call New Zealand ‘home’ after the 2021 Resident Visa reached the halfway point of approvals, Minister of Immigration Michael Wood announced today. “This is another important milestone, highlighting the positive impact our responsive and streamlined immigration system is having by providing comfort to migrant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Maniapoto Claims Settlement Bill passes third reading – He mea pāhi te Maniapoto Claims Settl...
    Nā te Minita mō ngā Take Tiriti o Waitangi, nā Andrew Little,  te iwi o Maniapoto i rāhiri i tēnei rā ki te mātakitaki i te pānuitanga tuatoru o te Maniapoto Claims Settlement Bill - te pikinga whakamutunga o tā rātou whakataunga Tiriti o Waitangi o mua. "Me mihi ka ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • 50,000 more kids to benefit from equity-based programmes next year
    Another 47,000 students will be able to access additional support through the school donations scheme, and a further 3,000 kids will be able to get free and healthy school lunches as a result of the Equity Index.  That’s on top of nearly 90% of schools that will also see a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Healthy Active Learning now in 40 percent of schools across New Zealand
    A total of 800 schools and kura nationwide are now benefitting from a physical activity and nutrition initiative aimed at improving the wellbeing of children and young people. Healthy Active Learning was funded for the first time in the inaugural Wellbeing Budget and was launched in 2020. It gets regional ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Speech at 10th meeting of the Friends of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty
    Kia Ora. It is a pleasure to join you here today at this 10th meeting of the Friends of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty. This gathering provides an important opportunity to reiterate our unwavering commitment to achieving a world without nuclear weapons, for which the entry into force of this ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Speech for Earthshot Prize Innovation Summit 2022
    Kia ora koutou katoa Thank you for the invitation to join you. It’s a real pleasure to be here, and to be in such fine company.  I want to begin today by acknowledging His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales and Sir David Attenborough in creating what is becoming akin ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New accreditation builds capacity for Emergency Management Volunteers
    Emergency Management Minister Kieran McAnulty has recognised the first team to complete a newly launched National Accreditation Process for New Zealand Response Team (NZ-RT) volunteers. “NZ-RT volunteers play a crucial role in our emergency response system, supporting response and recovery efforts on the ground. This new accreditation makes sure our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt strengthens trans-Tasman emergency management cooperation
    Aotearoa New Zealand continues to strengthen global emergency management capability with a new agreement between New Zealand and Australia, says Minister for Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty. “The Government is committed to improving our global and national emergency management system, and the Memorandum of Cooperation signed is another positive step towards ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Christchurch Call Initiative on Algorithmic Outcomes
    Today New Zealand, the USA, Twitter, and Microsoft, announced investment in a technology innovation initiative under the banner of the Christchurch Call.  This initiative will support the creation of new technology to understand the impacts of algorithms on people’s online experiences.  Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms play a growing role in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • JOINT PR: Trans-Tasman Cooperation on disaster management
    Hon Kieran McAnulty, New Zealand Minister for Emergency Management Senator The Hon Murray Watt, Federal Minister for Emergency Management Strengthening Trans-Tasman cooperation on disaster management issues was a key area of focus when Australia and New Zealand’s disaster management ministers met this week on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More transparency, less red-tape for modernised charities sector
    The Charities Amendment Bill has been introduced today which will modernise the charities sector by increasing transparency, improving access to justice services and reducing the red-tape that smaller charities face, Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector Priyanca Radhakrishnan said. “These changes will make a meaningful difference to over 28,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific visas reopened to help boost workforce
    Work continues on delivering on a responsive and streamlined immigration system to help relieve workforce shortages, with the reopening of longstanding visa categories, Immigration Minister Michael Wood has announced.  From 3 October 2022, registrations for the Samoan Quota will reopen, and from 5 October registrations for the Pacific Access Category ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Queen Elizabeth II Memorial Day Bill passes into law
    The Bill establishing Queen Elizabeth II Memorial Day has passed its third reading. “As Queen of Aotearoa New Zealand, Her Majesty was loved for her grace, calmness, dedication, and public service. Her affection for New Zealand and its people was clear, and it was a fondness that was shared,” Michael ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New investor migrant visa opens
    The new Active Investor Plus visa category created to attract high-value investors, has officially opened marking a key milestone in the Government’s Immigration Rebalance strategy, Economic Development Minister Stuart Nash and Immigration Minister Michael Wood have announced. “The new Active Investor Plus visa replaces the previous investor visa categories, which ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New wharekura continues commitment to Māori education
    A new Year 1-13 designated character wharekura will be established in Feilding, Associate Minister of Education Kelvin Davis announced today. To be known as Te Kura o Kauwhata, the wharekura will cater for the expected growth in Feilding for years to come. “The Government has a goal of strengthening Māori ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago