web analytics

Choices, choices: pointless boot camps

Written By: - Date published: 7:25 am, April 17th, 2012 - 65 comments
Categories: benefits, jobs - Tags: ,

The government has splurged $20m putting 3,300 unemployed people through 6 week-long military ‘boot camps (the $6K per head cost is the same as 6 months on on dole). Result: up to 3 years later, only 19% have jobs. Compares to the typical stint of unemployment of 12 weeks. Looks a lot like the Nats are pouring money into a programme that makes unemployment worse.

OK. A person taking a boot camp course is likely to be a harder case than your typical unemployed person. For one, they’ve got to be reasonably confident they’re not going to be getting a job in the next 6 weeks before they would bother committing themselves. But they can’t be too hard case – wouldn’t get past the Army’s security and fitness requirements. And, even allowing for this, the numbers are extraordinarily bad. Only 19% of participants have jobs up to 3 years after doing the course and only 34% are in training. In the country as a whole, over 90% of people are no longer unemployed after a year.

Underlying premise of these boot camps seems to be that unemployed people are just too lazy to work. Good dose of army discipline will knock it out of them. Why else would you think that putting people in an army context for 6 weeks would help them get a job? This notion disproven by a number of facts 1) back when there were jobs, people took them. Were just 17,000 people on the dole (now 55,000) and the median duration of unemployment was 6 weeks (now 12). Ether people suddenly got more lazy in the last 4 years or it’s a lack of jobs that’s the problem 2) people taking the course have generally held jobs before 3) this is a voluntary 6-week course. Anyone lacking the ability to make a commitment isn’t going to be there. So, the roots of this is just more,unjustified rightie prejudice against unemployed people.

This is the same government, incidentally, that cut $2 million from the Tertiary Education Allowance, which was giving solo mums actual skills to help them into work.

And, no, we definitely can’t afford to extend paid parental leave.

With important things like useless boot camps to pay for, there simply isn’t the money.

[PS. I love MSD’s defence of the programme “While those numbers aren’t great, officials say the programme has wider aims. The Ministry of Social Development says that the programme’s success should also be measured in how it gives trainees more confidence, so when they leave they’re less likely to accept being unemployed and more likely to try and find work.” Except … the numbers tell a rather different story, eh?]

65 comments on “Choices, choices: pointless boot camps”

  1. lprent 1

    Completely pointless. Recalling my time in the army, I can’t think of anything in basic that would be useful for job hunting.

    • SomeonePleaseThinkOfTheCatapults 1.1

      Well, you could potentially be fitter and more resilient, making you more likely to outlast the other 500+ applicants to the local supermarket’s minimum wage job whilst waiting for the job application form.

      Or, as JK’s personal bodyguard squad is the only segment of the economy seeing a “positive growth trend”, there could be an opening there.

      SPTotC.

      • Pete 1.1.1

        If fitness is the goal, wouldn’t free gym memberships be a better and less expensive option? Have their personal trainers liase with their case managers.

      • David H 1.1.2

        And well on the way to be a robot with the “Yes sirs” and “No sirs” and 3 bags full. A lot of brainwashing can be done in 6 weeks. lol

      • Fortran 1.1.3

        Any potential employer would look favourably on someone who has done bootcamp with a good report card, which is given.
        Same as somebody who has done Outward Bound – well done.

        • mike e 1.1.3.1

          footrot nothing more than catering to the ignorance of the rednecks!
          International research has shown that these redneck appeasement policies are worse than doing nothing which is nationals regular policy!

    • vidiot 1.2

      Discipline ?
      Self Belief ?
      Fitness ?
      Reliability ?

      • lprent 1.2.1

        In 6 weeks? Pull the other one…

        When I was in there a volunteer territorial would lose a pretty good chunk of their basic training with a week or two between it and the tech training. I know I did.

        After the tech training (at 3 months) it took months before I dropped back to my usual slothful state.

      • Colonial Viper 1.2.2

        Discipline ?
        Self Belief ?
        Fitness ?
        Reliability ?

        Yeah but you gotta learn those characteristics in civvy street. Preferably taught by parents to their children.

  2. And in further news Youth Transition Services is being “overhauled”, that is gutted.  In particular the south’s Work’n It Out programme is facing closure.  The programme is considered to be top notch and responsible for very low youth unemployment rates.

    The services are being targeted at only youth at risk and it appears will no longer be available for 15 year olds. 

    What does this Government have against young people? 

    • It only likes the ones who vote for it, and they’re usually protected by the fact that they’re also rich or otherwise privileged people.

    • Ron 2.2

      Youth Transition Services are being replaced actually.
      A new Youth services contract that targets 16&17 year olds NEET (not in education, training or enmployment) and the young people on DPB or ITB.

      What is interesting in the light of the MSD defence of the boot camps is that the new contract is almost draconian in the outcomes it expects to young people enrolled in it.

      They must achieve NCEA level 2, attend parenting and budgeting courses, and the service must ensure they stay off benefits. the contract payment for the contract depend on these outcomes being achieved. No mention of “…be measured in how it gives trainees more confidence, so when they leave they’re less likely to accept being unemployed and more likely to try and find work…”

      It would be interesting if those outcome requirements applied to the boot camps. There certainly wouldn’t be $20 mill paid out that’s for sure.

  3. tsmithfield 3

    I guess what we don’t know is how many of the group would be in work or training now without the intervention. For all we know, the results might actually be quite good compared to leaving them to their own devices.

    It is probably quite beneficially to have at-risk youth in an environment where they are given some discipline and focus, and basic academic and psychological needs can be assessed and initial steps taken to remedy these. So, if the course contains these elements, then it is a good thing.

    What I am not sure about is what happens after the course. The problem is, that once youth return to their previous environment with all the old cues, peer groups etc, then the potential for them to backslide back into their previous lifestyle is high. There needs to be an ongoing relationship with the youth, including mentoring and family support if the intervention is to produce significant results. It is relatively easy to produce dramatic change within a controlled environment, but much harder to maintain and improve the outcomes once youth are back in their previous environment.

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 3.1

      “It is probably quite beneficial…” No it isn’t!!! Did you even read the article? Why can’t you people get it into your thick skulls that saying things doesn’t make them real??? For. Fucks. Sake.

    • TS I have a certain amount of experience in the area.

      Kids tend to do reasonably well on the course.  It is when they go back home afterwards that things fall apart.  They go back to the same neighborhoods, have the same mates, start drinking again, do drugs, have no chance of jobs because of the economy …

      If you want to do something about juvenile crime you have to address the causes.  Dressing them up in uniforms and teaching them how to march for six months does not do this. 

      • lprent 3.2.1

        Dressing them up in uniforms and teaching them how to march for six months does not do this.

        It isn’t six months (which might have an effect on behaviour). It is 6 weeks which is too short to do much behavioural change. They won’t even fully detox during that period and fitness gained in that short a period will quickly fade because they haven’t gotten the behaviours that will sustain it.

        With regular troops after basic, the army would normally have them mostly in their hands through technical training and then for several years. Territorials are usually self-motivated.

        Quite simply this is the result of some armchair warriors wet dream and is a complete waste of money.

        • mickysavage 3.2.1.1

          Oops right you are.  I was thinking of the camp in Rolleston for your offenders which is for a longer period.

        • jack 3.2.1.2

          No its not. My son went through it and I saw big changes with him. Bootcamp pushed him past his comfortable limits and even he was surprised what he could do when he put his mind into it.. He got a job when he got out and is now at Victoria University doing very well. He always was smart but lazy prior to his entering boot camp At his graudation at book camp there was a lot of optimism in the air. Mickey Savage is right, if there is a problem, then it is when they go back home. Definately worth its money.

          • Matthew Whitehead 3.2.1.2.1

            1) One kid is anecdotal evidence and not proof the whole program is useful.
            2) Was this the government’s six-week program or a longer one? Was it voluntary? If it was longer and voluntary, that likely explains why it worked.

      • tsmithfield 3.2.2

        I agree. And that is what I said, wasn’t it?

        Here is what I said:

        The problem is, that once youth return to their previous environment with all the old cues, peer groups etc, then the potential for them to backslide back into their previous lifestyle is high. There needs to be an ongoing relationship with the youth, including mentoring and family support if the intervention is to produce significant results. It is relatively easy to produce dramatic change within a controlled environment, but much harder to maintain and improve the outcomes once youth are back in their previous environment.

        Here is what you said:

        Kids tend to do reasonably well on the course. It is when they go back home afterwards that things fall apart. They go back to the same neighborhoods, have the same mates, start drinking again, do drugs, have no chance of jobs because of the economy …

        From the article above, 19% have jobs after 3 years, and 34% are in training. So, over half the participants are doing something useful with their lives. Given the low base many of these youth are coming from, this result may not be too bad. So, even given the limitations of these courses, and the room for improvement we have both identified, the results may be better than if the participants hadn’t gone through the course.

        • lprent 3.2.2.1

          From the article above, 19% have jobs after 3 years, and 34% are in training. So, over half the participants are doing something useful with their lives.

          At a significant cost. But to test that hypothesis you’d want to have run some double blind trials using alternate uses for the resources. For instance:-

          1. As many would have gotten jobs without going on to the boot camps (statistically highly probable)
          2. As many would have gotten training without going on to the boot camps (probable bearing in mind that is where the WINZ staff try to push kids without jobs)
          3. That you’d get better results for the money by simply subsidising more apprenticeships
          4. Providing remedial teaching facilities in high youth unemployment areas
          5. Providing assistance to move closer to jobs
          6. etc

          My bet is that you’d find that almost any other use of the resources was more efficient than frigging boot camps.

          But as another example of ideological stupidity, this entire programme was funded without any kind of study to test how effective it was. That was despite this whole exercise being proposed as trial.

          That was probably because the proponents really didn’t want to find find out how stupid they actually are. So they didn’t want to test their faith with some experimental evidence.

          • tsmithfield 3.2.2.1.1

            I agree that a study along these lines is the only way to get to the correct numbers.

            I would point out that youth unemployment is much higher than the general rate. for a variety of reasons. So, a comparison against general rates of unemployment is not appropriate.

            Also, those being targeted by the program are likely in a bracket where the rates of unemployment and lack of involvement in education may be much higher again than the general rate for youth.

            Therefore, if the program results in over half doing something useful with their lives, this may be very good compared to what they would otherwise have been doing.

            • McFlock 3.2.2.1.1.1

              TS: providing daily proof that even if you can’t polish a turd, you can roll it in glitter…
                   
              Hmmm.
                 
              So now the question is: why did the government spend $20million on a programme without an assessment framework to measure its effectiveness?
                   
              Were they incompetent, or did they have a pretty good idea of the effectiveness of bootcamps overseas?
                  
                   
               

              • Kotahi Tane Huna

                TS “logic”:

                “If TSmithfield can be made into 100,000 meat pies and used to feed an army, this may be very good compared to what he would otherwise have been doing.”

            • Matthew Whitehead 3.2.2.1.1.2

              Again, even if it is better compared to baseline, it needs to be good compared to other potential uses of the same amount of money, not compared to the baseline. It’s not being argued that it might help some kids out a bit, but it’s certainly never been established that it’s worth its funding, or well-implemented.

        • Ron 3.2.2.2

          If you look at the outcomes and payments for the new Youth Services contracts – those numbners wouldn’t pay for the morning tea.

    • just saying 3.3

      Throwing yet more money at a failed scheme?
      Why not just provide adequate assessment and help for those in need of it without the money-wasting boot camp.
      Ps if you wish to argue that bootcamps are benefical for needy youth in the face of these appalling statistics, you need to provide a link. As I understand it, the bulk of the evidence is in the other direction, as was pointed out when the programme was first proposed.

    • Zetetic 3.4

      We can never know what would have happened with those individuals. But we can clearly see their stats are worse than most unemployed.

      Tens of millions are being spent on this. You should want positive evidence it works, not a theoretical possiblity it does no harm.

    • ianmac 3.5

      It is relatively easy to produce dramatic change within a controlled environment, but much harder to maintain and improve the outcomes once youth are back in their previous environment.

      Very true and that was the reason that residential schools for youth in trouble (like Kohitere in Levin),
      were closed down. Huge money had been spent, beautiful facilities, well staffed, high hopes but as soon as the boys returned hope they carried on where they had left off.
      It is the reason why boot camps are a waste of money.

  4. Kotahi Tane Huna 4

    Does anyone else feel like a stuck record? Yet another example of right wing fact-free prejudice and bullshit, producing worse results for everyone. Once again we have to point out that reality is in the opposite direction to government policy.

    The defence for this crap will be along the usual lines: witless parrots chanting “you just love spending other people’s money, nyah nyah nyah!”

    Stupid stupid stupid!

  5. Uturn 5

    “…it gives trainees more confidence, so when they leave they’re less likely to accept being unemployed and more likely to try and find work…”

    The most useful advantage to have when looking for a job in the city, is to be still in one.

    The most useful advantage to have when looking for a job in urban areas is find an employer who has work that needs to be done.

    Neither situation will guarantee you get paid for your labours.

    After that, it’s all used against a candidate and you can be fairly sure you’re either being employed for your looks, attitude, to randomly fill a gap, or to let someone else feel magnanimous. All of which are useful, if you immediately need money to live, but ultimately too unstable to eliminate the possibility of descent into poverty.

    Boots camps are a conedscending twisted sneering joke on the participants, much like the other tricks we play on the powerless within our social and economic system; telling them all kinds of idiotically simplified recipes to instant wealth.

    I realise this is not a hopeful picture for some person early and new in their “unemployed” stint, but there is more. I’ve mentioned before that there is no such thing as “unemployment” because it is a reduction of human life to financial unit from a capitalist viewpoint. It is really just a term for people not being paid. Imagine there was no government, no organised economy, what would we all be doing? Sleeping ourselves to death? Of course not. There is life and there is getting paid – one is a natural state, the other is an arbitrarily applied system.

    So far from kidding ourselves that a boot camp “gives confidence”, what it really does is attempt to indoctrinate people into the narrow militaristic thinking of the capitalist: Get mo’ money. Proceed in directly straight line. Everything do must equal money. Goal only reason to live. Ignore all peripheral events. Once money come, stop think. Repeat.

    If you want your own life, stay “unemployed” at least until you can see the difference between our system and your natural life. The things you will have to do and the stages of perspective you must travel will win you something better than conditional, powerless, market defined “confidence”.

    • Vicky32 5.1

      The most useful advantage to have when looking for a job in the city, is to be still in one.
      ……
      After that, it’s all used against a candidate and you can be fairly sure you’re either being employed for your looks, attitude, to randomly fill a gap, or to let someone else feel magnanimous.

      All very true in my experience! I feel like saying to the sexy pleasing young things who are my ‘invisible competitors’ to use the phrase an HR man taught me, “Youth’s a thing that will not endure”…
      (Written a week after my latest experience of an admin interview where I was told in a voice of faux concern, that the interviewer was concerned that I might be “too old” to manage”). In my experience, youth are ar great advantage, not a disadvantage!

  6. Hilary 6

    I know of a young person who went on one of these courses and was led to believe it would lead to a job at the end. Was very disappointed when job opportunities at the end were as elusive as ever. What’s more he had to go on a stand down for several weeks following the course to get the dole again.

    • Lanthanide 6.1

      Can easily imagine this. They go on this scheme and get told by middle-aged women about all the skills and opportunities they’ll have at the end of it.

      Come the end, the jobs don’t eventuate and the women go on to say the same bullshit to the next group. They probably know it’s bullshit, but they get paid for it so what do they care?

    • North 6.2

      Why in God’s name are they putting people in boot camps the real value of which is seriously and convincingly contested on efficacy and financial grounds ? When the outcomes disappoint they’ll blame someone else, probably the poor buggers who’ve not answered lifetimes of disadvantage in 6 weeks for God’s Sake. Anyone except Key and his minister.

      Tell you one thing……..I’d be bloody pissed off in the WINZ office the day after I finished being told – “NO…..standown for so many weeks. !

      Oh the blossom of their wisdom and the weed of their care !

  7. Frida 7

    Really interesting too, when MSD is still defending a number of negligence abuse claims in the High Court as a result of the last attempt at boot camps in the early 90’s. You’d think they’d have learnt their lesson the first time!

  8. prism 8

    I think this is relevant from Radionz. The South Island getting into work program is being cut back though it is successful and can be seen to be effective. This behaviour from a right wing government is another indication that they don’t really care about the NZ people as a whole, they just want to seem to do something about our problems. They aren’t interested in factual information and proven tested programs when deciding where to place funding, they want to proceed on their own prejudices hence ‘boot camps’.

    Boot camps are a Ron Franks, army approach, not a completely bad idea as outward bound type programs can help find personal strengths. But not directly applicable for finding jobs.

    Radionz this a.m.

    Southern mayors are lobbying to save a programme described as a blueprint for youth employment schemes.
    The Work’n It Out programme may have to shed most of its clients or even close as part of a Government overhaul of youth services.
    The scheme covers the bottom half of the South Island, and contacts every school leaver in Otago and Southland.
    Ministry of Social Development tender documents show funding for youth transition services is being narrowed from July to cover only 16- and 17-year-olds, and only those deemed at risk.

  9. Johnm 9

    Sounds like: Well if we can’t find real jobs for the unemployed let’s make them into a commodity so that the market can at least make money and profit from them, they’ll be useful then! Similarly to the Privatisation of agencies pressurising bennies and applying sanctions to find jobs that don’t exist but making a profit from the hapless bennies the ceos of whom live in big mansions. It’s the wind back of civil rights for further enslavement to the market.

    Boot Camps and Army training train you to be an automaton not a skilled worker able to successfully relate to others in the workplace.

  10. captain hook 10

    now all the tories who haven’t got jobs will get jobs bossing around lower socio-economic persons who dont have jobs.
    neat eh?

  11. Roy 11

    The courses can give the kids all the confidence in the world, but a few weeks of unemployment and a few rejections of job applications will soon sap all that confidence away again.

  12. Making a soldier= Breaking individuals and rebuilding them the way you need them.
    I wonder how many will end up joining the army and become cannon fodder.

    • Hamburgler 12.1

      travellerev – are you completely stupid or just pretending?

      “Making a soldier= Breaking individuals and rebuilding them the way you need them.
      I wonder how many will end up joining the army and become cannon fodder.”

      The NZ Army does not ‘make a soldier’ in the way you describe – you have been watching far too many American movies mate. People are not ‘broken’ at all. The NZ Army promotes resourcefulness, self-discipline and teamwork. People’s strengths are identified and those that have it are thrust into leadership positions, recon work etc within their rank.

      Uturn…are you stark raving mad? I don’t even think Karl Marx could have written such a rant. I was however disappointed not to find a reference to the bourgeoisie, considering you all stick to such a tight script on here.

      • travellerev 12.1.1

        LOL.
        Hamburgler,
        Fuck your stupid. According to Nicky Hager’s book on the NZ Army in Afghanistan the NZ soldiers were of not much use to the US army. they prefer their soldiers angry and murderous and with no regards for international law unlike NZ soldiers it seems.

        So we have NZ soldiers training with (or rather being trained by) the US army in non lethal arms and later on in secretive exercises on the Desert plateau. What you reckon? They are going to be trained in ethical warfare (Such as it is) or the US variety.
        And Iprent, I keep forgetting you still believe the US is a noble super power who is defending the globe against bad Muslim terrorists.
        It’s a petty US soldiers don’t seem to see it the same way must be all that individual action, training and using their brains.

        • higherstandard 12.1.1.1

          No.

          ‘you’re stupid.’

        • lprent 12.1.1.2

          And Iprent, I keep forgetting you still believe the US is a noble super power who is defending the globe against bad Muslim terrorists.

          Huh? Where did you get that from?

          Personally I have a very strong tendency to want to keep well away from anything to do with US foreign policy and have done ever since the 1970’s. I also avoid having anything to do with any area that has a strong recruiting religious base (ie anywhere in the Muslim world, throughout the US, Ireland, the old Mt Roskill (been getting better recently), etc) because in my opinion that is where the nutters congregate.

          But I’d hardly describe the US or virtually any Muslim activist group as being noble. Both are extremists – rather like yourself.

      • Uturn 12.1.2

        Your clumsy outburst exposes who you are and encourages me. I especially liked the barely contained hysteria in the call to reform the ranks and give up my “stark raving madness”. Stop embarrasing yourself and accept we are engaged in social war and that, unlike you, you can’t expect people to dress in red and draw targets on their backs to make it easy.

      • Deano 12.1.3

        but … but … hamburgler, travellerev saw full metal jacket, so she knows all about the modern military

        • travellerev 12.1.3.1

          No Daeno,
          I grew up in the aftermath of the WWII ans saw first hand what it had done to people. Full metal Jacket was probably the film you wanked over as an adolescent thinking war was just great.
          Just like those poor fuckers killing themselves after a couple of tours in Afghanistan or Iraq

    • lprent 12.2

      Have to agree the Ham merchant above (even he is a bit of a fool).

      No-one in any modern army wants dumb stupid soldiers with a dumb obedience to orders – especially those other soldiers who are around them. That was a concept that hung over from the 19th century into the 20th. It was a technique designed for conscript armies who’d do war in the old stand up and fire single shot weapons. Where a soldier breaking would endanger every other person around them.

      Disappeared as the weapons became automatic and semi-automatic and the artillery got really destructive. These days all modern military emphasize individual action, training and using their brains. Consequently conscript armies are disappearing except for some of the informal forces (and they seem to specialize in conscripting children these days).

      • Colonial Viper 12.2.1

        Consequently conscript armies are disappearing except for some of the informal forces (and they seem to specialize in conscripting children these days).

        I have to say my young cousin playing Crysis 2 on the XBOX seems to have no problem for inventive, creative, highly skilled destuctive action.

  13. Kaplan 13

    When you consider the reason that the Nats did this was for the appearance of ‘tough on the unemployed’ then the program has been a success for them. Their core right support will be well pleased.

  14. irascible 14

    Perhaps WINZ can tell the public how putting an autistic (asperger’s syndrome) into a boot camp will improve his chances of gaining full time employment when his social skills, ability to communicate outside of his “speciality” have not developed enough for him to cope outside of a very limited situation?
    The boot camp was the only solution offered when he presented to look for work and assistance to find work.

    • M 14.1

      A person with Asperger’s can apply for an invalid’s benefit because of their different wiring. Boot camp is not a suitable place for unemployed youth particularly anyone who doesn’t fit a prescribed mould.

      Good luck.

  15. captain hook 15

    Employers need labour.
    not grovelling simpletons.
    what people do in their own time is nothing to do with employers unless the employer has a desperate psychological need to spy onhis/her employers which seems to be the argument some take here.
    what makes “employers” such special people?

    • prism 15.1

      Autistic people should be able to access help from outfits like Workbridge where the person is helped to get employment suited to them and then supported to ensure the best chance of success in the job.

  16. Rich 16

    Strikes me that these will have the same effect as everywhere else they’ve been tried – fit crims who can outrun the police (not hard, apparently). They could add anger management – that enables robbers to achieve the right degree of scariness without losing it.

  17. Adele 17

    These programs pre-date this government and have been in existence for a number of years. A majority of the youth that go onto these programs are Māori. Most often than not they get to enjoy the experience of being in ‘the army’ The discipline and the camaradarie they thrive in.

    However, once they leave the program – there is nothing to go back to in terms of employment, prospects, or progress. They leave hyped and ready to take on the world but eventually become dis-illusioned by reality of their circumstances. In the program they were made to feel worthwhile, in the real world they are made to feel worthless.

    • vto 17.1

      Hi Adele, I aint following you around this blogged-up place but … I can understand that and imo it is a crying shame. Your people are a strong and proud people who are smart and with countless attributes that any place in the world would regard as an absolute asset (for want of better description). I just wish we could get through the wrongs of the past and the negatives you suffer today and get on with things. Together we would blast across the globe. I have said this many times.

      That may, at first glance, not seem to sit well with my most recent comment on that other thread but the two matters are unrelated. Hopefully you can see through my google goggles too …

  18. Reality Bytes 18

    A program like this could work very well for certain people. People who have made a decision that this is a path which they can benefit from, a path that can help them grow. A path that is there decision.

    We already have such oppourtunities available for such thinking folks. It’s called seeking a role in the NZDF.

  19. captain hook 19

    its just more spenidng by national on its own out of work adherents who think they know how to make others work.

  20. Drakula 20

    Boot camps smell of fascism; there is a lot abusive language, physical violence and bullying. There will be those who benefit from such a nefarious system the survivors and the thugs who will no doubt serve the ruling elite when shit hits the fan. And shit will hit the fan.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

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

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