web analytics

Christchurch four years on

Written By: - Date published: 12:41 pm, February 22nd, 2015 - 42 comments
Categories: disaster - Tags: ,

It will soon be four years to the minute since the most destructive and deadly Canterbury / Christchurch earthquake. Condolences to the friends and families of the dead. Greetings to all who lived through it and remember.

As far as I know none of The Standard authors live in Christchurch, so instead you get me. I grew up there. We (my family) were there visiting my parents when the first 7.1 quake hit on the morning of Sept 4th 2010. I was not there for the February quake, but my wife and I arrived the next morning with a trailer full of water, roofing and building supplies. We spent the following week at my parents trying to clean up and make the damaged house secure, caring for my mother (who was injured and trapped under fallen furniture), living through the aftershocks, sleeping in the car, and crapping in a hole in the back garden. When we got back to Dunedin the world seemed utterly surreal.

Over the last four years we’ve been vicariously living through my parents’ struggles with insurance and EQC. I could write a very long, very angry post about that – the insanity and inefficiency the process. And yet, within it, a few wonderful individuals who are really trying to help (our thanks to them). My parents are nearing the end of this process, other relatives in Christchurch have yet to begin their repairs. The quakes have changed our lives forever.

There has been plenty written on the madness of the Christchurch rebuild. I follow the blog Rebuilding Christchurch, see for example The best and worst of the Rebuild in 2014:

In the last year, there have been a number of projects which have been celebrated as the “best thing to happen since the quakes”. The cricket oval and the Isaac Theatre Royal are two examples that spring to mind. These are good things, no doubt. But they also speak volumes about who the rebuild is serving. Cricket and opera are two of the most rich, white people pursuits on the face of the planet. Everyone living in Christchurch has had a rough time in the last few years, including the rich white people. If they feel like it’s time to put the rebuild behind them, to enjoy the cricket and the ballet, that’s great. But there’s a danger in forgetting that as the north and west of the city move into a post-rebuild phase, some parts of the city have barely been touched. If you go out to New Brighton, you’d be forgiven for thinking the quakes were 4 weeks ago, not 4 years ago. As we approach the anniversary, prepare for the government to tell us that we’re moving on, that the hard work has been done. Prepare for many, many people to agree with them. But also spare a thought for the people who rarely have a voice, the mute underclass of National’s burgeoning have-nots.

There are many other blogs and resources. Apparently the documentary When a City Falls is on Maori TV tonight at 8.30 (ht trp in comments).

Final word to someone who really was there – ex Press reporter Olivia Carville. The most moving thing I have read on the Christchurch quakes, it brought tears to my eyes. No extracts, go read the whole thing: Christchurch: My first quake anniversary away from home.

42 comments on “Christchurch four years on”

  1. Visited my mates in Aranui/Shirley/New Brighton in January. Got lost because whole suburbs are missing (Avonside,Burwood) and roads cut off. It’s taken 4 years but finally Pages Road is getting fixed up (the main road to New Brighton).

    I’m glad about the Hagley cricket oval “good news”, but sad about the people left out of National’s glorious plans and left behind by CERA and insurance companies.

    • millsy 1.1

      …not to mention those who have been priced out of rental acommodation in Christchurch.

    • greywarshark 1.2

      I can remember there was some contention in Oz about housing around the 70’s and a spoof spokeswoman was named to be the butt of frustrated criticism by the name of Gloria Somes.

  2. cronezone 2

    It is always so easy to pick when a commentator doesn’t come from ChCh. I live there, I am living through this and we are making steady progress. Many of those still not sorted are the carpers and moaners that are demaanding their old broken down shacks are replaced with million dollar mansions. Our biggest handbrake is Lianne Dalziel. Everything must first go out to her consultant mates in Wellington before any decision is made. Everything has been put on hold since she got the Mayoralty.

    • r0b 2.1

      I am living through this and we are making steady progress.

      So happy for you.

    • Colonial Rawshark 2.2

      I notice that cronezone:

      1) Starts with comment that Christchurch is making “steady progress.”
      2) But follows with the comment – since Dalziel “everything has been put on hold.”
      3) Sidelines everyone else with “Many of those still not sorted are the carpers and moaners”

      In other words, no idea, no empathy and gives the National Government a big pass mark.

    • greywarshark 2.3

      oh cronezone
      That is very good satire. It’s just the sort of thing that some daft bugger talking down the real problems driving many people round the bend would write. That know it all, smug self satisfied tone is well done and so is the curling lip at those who persist on breaking through the safety tape around the bones of contention which are marked move along nothing to see here. If they don’t keep agitating, by the time they are granted an audience with somone who has some authority to expedite it will be their bones there.

      A group of six old women (I’m not being ageist, it is a factual description – for the benefit of Super-sensitive Woman) interviewed in March 2014 agreed that it seemed that EQC were ‘waiting for us to die’. They were all over 80 years and were waiting for something to be done for them hoping it would be soon as they had been assessed three years earlier, and then got advised that their homes would need to be reassessed again.

      It’s that sort of thing and delays that happened because contractors isolated and worked on one aspect of their duties in a block, instead of attempting to have a stream of finalised claims going through, that have stirred and shaken the residents long after the earthquake.


      You’ve got to accentuate the positive (by Johnny Mercer)
      Eliminate the negative
      And latch on to the affirmative
      Don’t mess with Mister In-Between (ie get through to EQC)

      And those bones of contention –

      edited

    • Paul 2.4

      Which part of Christchurch do you live in?
      Do you own rental properties?

      You don’t appear to have a lot of empathy for those whose houses were destroyed or badly damaged or have been waiting for the insurance companies to pay up.

    • Unicus 2.5

      I spent significant time in Christchurch after the quake – I also experienced it . Many letters were published in “The Press” an ugly theme soon developed emanating from writers from affluent western suburbs where damage to property was virtually non-existent . directed at the destroyed communities of their fellow citizens in eastern Christchurch . That correspondence vividly illustrated the repugnant recesses of the tory psyche – prejudice fear bigotry and classicism – the very instincts the National Party relies apron to remain in office

      That theme followed the same sickening drone evident in your post – That somehow the destroyed communities in eastern Christchurch got what they deserved . At the time I believed it was simply people reacting out of distress but it soon became clear that it was a pattern of prejudice widely held among residents west of the city . It was shameful at the time but four years on to express such a view is despicable .

      In the earthquake the people of eastern Christchurch not only lost their homes they lost their world . Work places schools clubs churches friends neighbors everything which provided their sense of belonging was destroyed . To then be the target of vitriol and insult from the self satisfied petty-bourgeoisie of Fendalton was devastating .

      In an almost instant response lightly damaged property west of the city was repaired first .Homes re- painted pools re-tiled and driveways re sealed mostly within two years . There is no doubt CERA – stacked as it is with National Party insiders – prioritised its response to National Party voters .

      When the story of Christchurch is finally told this governments cynical and cruel response to the needs of medium income people after the quake will be recognized as it should be – one of the darkest stains on our country’s history

      • ropata 2.5.1

        +1 very well said

        • greywarshark 2.5.1.1

          I noted that they seemed to be tackling the easier and often unimportant things first in Chch west, and that the hard job of the East proceeded more slowly because there were more complex problems and greater numbers overall. They needed 90$ of the funding and action but may have averaged out at 60% say.

  3. This song captures the positive vibe of people living through the rebuild. A nice counterpoint to the grim memories.
    Christchurch City (My Hometown)

  4. Rob 4

    Crone zone you are not the only person living in Christchurch
    I would say the recovery will take all of 25 or more years
    The forecasts of recovery have been so overrated
    That reality is slowly dawning
    However of $45B that may be spent our govt will collect at least $15B from that
    Think on it.

    • Paul 4.1

      Looks like crone zone was a hit and run commentator.

      • Puddleglum 4.1.1

        I found cronezone’s comment quite bizarre. It doesn’t relate to anything I’ve observed.

        Whiners who want shacks replaced with mansions? This is a very odd claim.

        And the outburst against the current Council is not remotely an objective assessment so far as I can tell.

  5. Thanks for the post Anthony.

    There are so many stories of drawn out hardship that will never be known beyond friends and family. There have been winners – many people I know, for example, have bought up very cheap TC3 houses (which are on the worst land classification) and rented them out at the current ‘market rate’. Those I know who are doing that are young to middle aged, middle class people with the wherewithal to take advantage of the opportunity.

    Others have rented out their existing rentals (e.g., very modest family homes in very ‘modest’ suburbs) to the rebuild workers on a room by room basis for higher rates than they would be able to get from any family. Tradies have done very well but all of those I’ve spoken to have mentioned the epidemic of cowboys doing shoddy work here.

    My sister finally received the EQC decision for her house just before Christmas. She was lucky to have a well known local businessman acting for her in the last year or so. EQC finally said her claim was ‘over cap’ which now means she starts the negotiations from scratch with her insurer. I don’t know how long that will take.

    The central city plan has been fraught with problems. Delays, changing goalposts, disappointing levels of investor interest have dogged it. Much of the centre remains utterly featureless – empty sections and the ubiquitous Wilson’s rough and ready car parks. I have no idea how much longer it will take to see anything approaching a contiguous central city emerging. Maybe a further 5-10 years?

    Roads remain sites of constant upheaval and many are extremely rough even after being dug up numerous times. They haven’t been ‘smoothed’ presumably because more underground work still needs doing.

    It is often said that humans are very adaptive. They are but what is usually not added to that observation is that adaptation to adverse events carries a physical and psychological cost. (There’s no such thing as a ‘free lunch’ even with the much vaunted capacity for ‘resilience’ and adaptability.) Levels of stress and mental ill health since the quakes are now higher than prequake levels.

    I’m not sure what picture of the ‘recovery’ is being presented to other New Zealanders but this has been a hard place to live in the last four years even for someone like me whose 100 year old little workers cottage just shook itself in February 2011 then stopped shaking without seeming to have been damaged. (It’s wooden, sits close to the ground and probably just has paint cans filled with concrete for piles – I can’t see under it .)

    That has meant I’ve had no EQC or insurers to deal with.

    • CERA had way too much power and precious heritage sites (and even boring old buildings) that were part of the fabric of the lovely old city were torn down with indecent haste, essentially looted by demo companies with dollar signs in their eyes. There are so many heart breaking stories of precious things that could have been retrieved with minimal risk. People lost their livelihoods and life’s work with no recourse to even rescue a few dregs. I hope there is an inquiry into CERA’s orgy of destruction that was worse than the original quakes.

      • Once was Tim 5.1.1

        +1
        But you might recall that was always Gerry’s intention (i.e. to completely level and start again)
        I’m not sure why in some instances, damaged structures could not have been taken down to a safe height, and then rebuilt (or not) using at least some of the structure in the rebuilds. (Rome has some attractive ruins – history is retained).
        We all know ChCH will never be the same but it’s no longer a place I can feel is home.

        I’m also still unclear as to why simple land swaps could not have been done . That is council/government land for land deemed unsuitable/unsafe to rebuild with insurance simply picking up the tab for rebuild/relocation of structure.
        All that shit about the inadequate compensation could have been avoided in many cases. Can anyone explain why not to me? (serious question – maybe I’m being naive but it just strikes me that after the Queensland floods, an entire town was relocated without all the insurance buggerisations that have gone on in ChCh)

        • Once was Tim 5.1.1.1

          ….. oh yes, then the missed opportunities – such as incorporating rail closer to the city. There are already corridors out north, south and west that could be made greater use of for the future. I understand some have recognised the potential somewhat belatedly (north to Rangiora, etc.) but it took a while. They should be thinking about City to airport (perhaps a loop); City to Lytteton; City to Rolleston (and beyond); etc.

          • ropata:rorschach 5.1.1.1.1

            After WW2 the Germans rebuilt many important buildings in Dresden back to their original splendour. But Christchurch wasn’t firebombed by a relentless war machine, it was ripped apart from within and King Gerry couldn’t be bothered trying to put it together again.

            • greywarshark 5.1.1.1.1.1

              King Gerry couldn’t be bothered trying to put it together again. Sounds like, looks like Humpty Dumpty.

        • Brendon Harre 5.1.1.2

          Re; “I’m also still unclear as to why simple land swaps could not have been done . That is council/government land for land deemed unsuitable/unsafe to rebuild with insurance simply picking up the tab for rebuild/relocation of structure.
          All that shit about the inadequate compensation could have been avoided in many cases. Can anyone explain why not to me?”

          There is no reason not to do this, the creation of a new urban area is 90% done by local or central government actions. I think the reason Brownlee and co didn’t do this is it would have exposed the neoliberal BS that free markets are the solution and governments are the problem. Also house and rents would not have gone up some much for all those NatZ voters.

        • Unicus 5.1.1.3

          First tenet of disaster capitalism – the big easy money is made cleaning up the mess . In New Orleans demo contractors were paid per sq cube of rubble – or anything else they and their bosses could get their grimy hands on – no room for salvage there .

          Given that Key didn’t have a clue how to deal with this situation its a fairly safe bet the Americans were immediately asked to “advise” on how to manage it . From the first day of military occupation till the last load of dust the Christchurch “clean up ” replicates New Orleans to the letter – including its unprecedented levels of corruption .

      • greywarshark 5.1.2

        @ ropata rorschach
        I feel for people who have lost irreplaceable things that could have been recovered. Houses abandoned because they had insurance payouts, where goods had to be left yet were not going to be used or wanted by anyone. A safety first approach that resulted in immobility being the order of the day, so no-one took charge and was given responsibility to co-ordinate recovery of wanted goods where possible.

        It has been an eye opener watching how corporate-think operates when people lose their autonomy and are just pawns in the maw of a machine that ignores them and looks over their heads to distant plans and opportunities.

    • r0b 5.2

      Cheers Puddleglum. Glad to hear about your place, and best of luck to your sister.

      adaptation to adverse events carries a physical and psychological cost

      Yes, perfectly put. That cost will never be known or acknowledged.

  6. Here’s an article by one “John McCrone” that asserts that CERA and the CCDU should have just forced the Christchurch council to comply with directives from the Beehive. I am guessing he doesn’t pay rates???
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/business/the-rebuild/9805314/Christchurch-rebuild-A-city-stalled

    Some people don’t believe in democracy.

    • Paul 6.1

      Maybe the same ‘crone zone.’

    • I think Mc crone is a good journalist.

      He has done numerous features in the Mainland section of the Weekend Press over the past few years. He always presents a thoughtful analysis that goes beyond the usual reporting on an issue.

      I first came across his writing when I was in the UK in 1997. I read a popular science book by him that laid out the, then, new approach to the mind as a social, neurologically embedded process. He used the work of people like Rom Harre of Oxford University (from Auckland originally and, I think, relative of Laila and Nikki Harre).

      What impressed me was that he seemed to really understand the approach and ‘get’ the inherent sociality of the mind that it assumes.

      I remembered his name from that book and then was surprised to find him writing feature articles in my local newspaper. (And, yes, it’s the same person.)

      While I have no idea what his politics are I’d be very surprised if he was an unreconstructed neoliberal.

  7. Venezia 7

    Have just watched “When a city falls” again on Maori TV. Gerard Smythe who made it, points out that people from the wealthier suburbs who were able to leave the city soon after the 22 February quake did so in large numbers. Those in the hardest hit lower income eastern suburbs did not have that choice and have had to ride it out as best they can. My own observations four years down the track are similar to the points made in this article. There is still significant stress for those who may be called resilient, but have had few choices in the rebuild/repair/ recovery process. If you can afford to engage lawyers to advance your claims, you get the outcome you want. The poorer majority have to wait and hope. The government focus has been on helping the business community to get the CBD back on its feet and the developers of the new housing suburbs to fasttrack their interests. The residential rebuild/repair is far from satisfactory for many, and there will be books written about the antics of the EQC and insurance companies blocking and delaying and denying residents their rightful compensation which they did after all pay for over many years through their insurance. Vested interests have had a field day on the backs of ordinary citizens of Christchurch.

    • Do a search for “disaster capitalism in Christchurch“; there are tons of results.

      Books have already been written; see “The Christchurch Fiasco” by Sarah Miles.

      The slow and confused recovery phase led me to examine the insurance industry, locally and globally. This has revealed a clear pattern of corporate greed at the expense of citizens and has shown that the profit-driven model of private insurance can, and very often does, fail those who have paid-up policies based on “good faith” responses that are their due. This is not a book about idealistic sociological concepts, but a revelation of actual Government administrative failure and financial risk-taking, in concert with corporate malfeasance.

      The opportunistic behaviour of the insurance companies together with the lack of transparency and integrity within these corporations, is compounded by the failure of corporate watch-dogs, such as government, the legal system and regulators, all of whom have failed to protect the public interest after the recent events. In the background, behind closed doors, are the strategic alliances and the networked relationships between Government, corporates, professionals and other major stakeholders with the object of profit.

      Endorsed by Garry Moore, Lianne Dalziel, and other luminaries.

    • Some stories on Christchurch Voices

      Rev. Mike Coleman on Sarah Miles’ hard-hitting book

      Garry Moore on CERA

      Adrian Cowie on cheapo repairs and skinflint insurers

  8. Some excellent blog posts from the quake anniversary:
    http://publicaddress.net/speaker/stuck-inside-the-great-disruption/
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/opinion/blogs/chez-cecile/11221639/This-ghost-town-could-be-great

    James Dann is most eloquent in “No City to Love“:

    None of the positive connotations we associate with a metropolis – vibrancy, change, bustle, convenience, choice, innovation – can be found here at the moment. While in the time after the quakes, cities such as Melbourne were frequently mentioned as to what Christchurch could be; those sort of calls aren’t heard any more. Sadly, future Christchurch is more likely to look like a Turbo Timaru or a Hefty Hamilton – a rural service town on steroids. It’s not what the people asked for in Share an Idea, but it’s what we’re getting. While the central city is bogged down with grand government visions (and their nonsensical attempt to prop-up property prices), the suburbs haven’t looked backwards.

    A couple of months after the big quake, there was a daft “Love Christchurch” advertising campaign. Four years on and sadly, there is no city to love. Christchurch is a collection of a mega malls and their feeder suburbs, with a better-than-average rugby team. There is no better symbol for the neglect the government has paid to the central city than their treatment of the Cathedral and the Town Hall – buildings of religious and civic togetherness respectively, which the authorities would happily see wiped off the street maps of any future city. I’d love to see a vibrant, bustling, liveable central city – but after 4 years, it has become clear that that won’t be happening in this city under this government.

  9. Paul 9

    The Herald says we should plug the gap in Insurance…after 4 years
    Better still nationalise the insurance industry
    And deal to the media in this country.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11406133

  10. Dorothy 10

    to @cronezone
    Disingenuous comment.
    Why did you say I live there ? instead of I live here in Christchurch,
    was it a slip up ? I think you are a troll.

  11. exStatic 11

    As a Christchurch resident I have something to say on this……
    “Insurance is a bloody good industry – until there’s a claim!”

  12. Brendon Harre 12

    As someone who fortunately missed the earthquakes but has lived inside the 4 Aves and is currently living in North Canterbury and commutes to work in a Christchurch hospital I would say the mistake that Brownlee, Key, CERA and co made is they have no clear concept of where the public sphere ends and private sphere starts.

    The paucity of neoliberal theory has given them no conceptual idea of how to plan a mixed economy of public and private enterprise. So when the earthquakes destroyed the Christchurch ‘market’ they didn’t know what to do. This resulted in some instinctive authoritarian National party DNA reasserting itself, something that would not be out of place in the 1950s or Muldoon’s period.

    National needed someone like Bertaud (former head planner for the World Bank who did a speaking tour of NZ last year) giving clear advice on the importance of planning without mission creep.

    The government should have concentrated on getting the publicly provided networks up and running -the roads, the public transport systems and the underground horizontal infrastructure -the three waters -sewerage, fresh and storm. Plus repairing or replacing damaged government buildings, maybe assisting in getting a few key historic/cultural buildings repaired like the Cathedral.

    They should have left everything else to the owners and the marketplace. They should have taken their regulatory role between the insurance companies and claimants more seriously. CERA should have been an agency that instead of adding another hurdle between the private sphere getting on with it, should have simplified the regulatory requirements between CCC and the CBD developers.

    All this BS about anchor projects being needed to give confidence and attract business/people back has been proven WRONG.

    Where are the anchor projects in fast growing Addington and Victoria St? These areas are booming because they are outside of CERA’s control and despite lacking government provided convention centres, stadiums… not because of them.

    New Zealand needs to realise that on both sides of our political spectrum we are dominated by conservative authoritarian politicians who instinctively want to take control. What we actually need is humble politicians who know their place, at the end of the day, after they have put in place institutions and rules they need to realise when to hand power over to us -the people.

  13. greywarshark 13

    @ Brendan Harre
    Yep. This bit resonates with me
    New Zealand needs to realise that on both sides of our political spectrum we are dominated by conservative authoritarian politicians who instinctively want to take control. What we actually need is humble politicians who know their place, at the end of the day, after they have put in place institutions and rules they need to realise when to hand power over to us – the people.

  14. greywarshark 14

    Politicians job is to fund things they might like to do. Rekindle is an example of what some of the people can do using their skills when they get fired up with an idea and not greatly tied to external philanthropy.
    http://www.rekindle.org.nz/
    Originally started in Christchurch to use the lovely rimu etc. being piled on rubbish tips, they are still strongly there but have also branched out with an Auckland initiative as well. This is a pop-up shop in a shipping container in auckland near the waterfront on Te Wero Island.

    Initially focused on diverting timber from waste within residential demolition in postearthquake Christchurch, Rekindle’s work has now expanded beyond timber to a much wider scope of undervalued materials, including construction and industrial waste. Rekindle sees design as the tool that unlocks the qualities of resources which are so often ignored when viewed as waste. Rekindle also works to create a market for these products. As a social enterprise the majority of profits are dedicated to furthering development of this work….

    The time has come where the first range of limited edition products we’ve been lovingly making here in Christchurch has sadly come to and end. We’ve found over the last while the supply of material has changed as demolition practices have changed. Working with waste as our supply means we have to be ready to change tack and respond to what is available or needs to be addressed, and so it is time to look at new waste streams, and that means new materials and designs….we’ll be waiting for the new collection of products to appear from the Christchurch workshop, and we’re very excited about that.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Wetlands and waterways gain from 1BT funding
    The Government will invest $10 million from the One Billion Trees Fund for large-scale planting to provide jobs in communities and improve the environment, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Forestry Minister Shane Jones have announced. New, more flexible funding criteria for applications will help up to 10 catchment groups plant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • New fund for women now open
    Organisations that support women are invited to apply to a new $1,000,000 fund as part of the Government’s COVID-19 response. “We know women, and organisations that support women, have been affected by COVID-19. This new money will ensure funding for groups that support women and women’s rights,” said Minister for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Govt supports King Country farmers to lift freshwater quality
    Healthier waterways are front and centre in a new project involving more than 300 King Country sheep, beef and dairy farmers. The Government is investing $844,000 in King Country River Care, a group that helps farmers to lift freshwater quality and farming practice, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. “Yesterday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Support for arts and music sector recovery
    A jobseekers programme for the creative sector and four new funds have been set up by the Government to help our arts and music industry recover from the blow of COVID-19. Thousands of jobs will be supported through today’s $175 million package in a crucial economic boost to support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Legislative changes to support the wellbeing of veterans and their families
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has welcomed the First Reading of a Bill that will make legislative changes to further improve the veterans’ support system.  The Veterans’ Support Amendment Bill No 2, which will amend the Veterans’ Support Act 2014, passed First Reading today. The bill addresses a number of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Christ Church Cathedral – Order in Council
    Views sought on Order in Council to help fast track the reinstatement of the Christ Church Cathedral  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Hon Poto Williams, will be seeking public written comment, following Cabinet approving the drafting of an Order in Council aimed at fast-tracking the reinstatement of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealanders’ human rights better protected in new Bill
    The law setting out New Zealanders’ basic civil and human rights is today one step towards being strengthened following the first reading of a Bill that requires Parliament to take action if a court says a statute undermines those rights. At present, a senior court can issue a ‘declaration of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Deep concern at Hong Kong national security legislation
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today reiterated the deep concern of the New Zealand Government following confirmation by China’s National People’s Congress of national security legislation relating to Hong Kong. “New Zealand shares the international community’s significant and long-standing stake in Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability,” Mr Peters said. “New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government invests in New Zealand’s cultural recovery
    Thousands of artists and creatives at hundreds of cultural and heritage organisations have been given much-needed support to recover from the impact of COVID-19, Prime Minister and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Jacinda Ardern announced today. “The cultural sector was amongst the worst hit by the global pandemic,” Jacinda ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Better protection for New Zealand assets during COVID-19 crisis
    Key New Zealand assets will be better protected from being sold to overseas owners in a way contrary to the national interest, with the passage of the Overseas Investment (Urgent Measures) Bill. The Bill, which passed its third reading in Parliament today, also cuts unnecessary red tape to help attract ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Cleaning up our rivers and lakes
    Setting higher health standards at swimming spots Requiring urban waterways to be cleaned up and new protections for urban streams Putting controls on higher-risk farm practices such as winter grazing and feed lots Setting stricter controls on nitrogen pollution and new bottom lines on other measures of waterway health Ensuring ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Record year for diversity on Govt boards
    The Government is on the verge of reaching its target of state sector boards and committees made up of at least 50 percent women, says Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter and Minister for Ethnic Communities Jenny Salesa. For the first time, the Government stocktake measures the number of Māori, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New appointments to the Commerce Commission
    The Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister and Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister, Kris Faafoi, has today announced the appointment of Tristan Gilbertson as the new Telecommunications Commissioner and member of the Commerce Commission. “Mr Gilbertson has considerable experience in the telecommunications industry and a strong reputation amongst his peers,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Historic pay equity settlement imminent for teacher aides
    The Ministry of Education and NZEI Te Riu Roa have agreed to settle the pay equity claim for teacher aides, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This will see more than 22,000 teacher aides, mostly women, being valued and paid fairly for the work they do. “Teacher aides are frontline ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt delivers security for construction subcontractors
    Subcontractors will have greater certainty, more cashflow support and job security with new changes to retention payments under the Construction Contracts Act says Minister for Building and Construction, Jenny Salesa. A recent review of the retentions money regime showed that most of the building and construction sector is complying with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand and Singapore reaffirm ties
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong have marked the first anniversary of the New Zealand-Singapore Enhanced Partnership with a virtual Leaders’ Meeting today. The Enhanced Partnership, signed on 17 May 2019, provides the framework for cooperation across the four main areas of trade, defence and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • JOINT STATEMENT BY THE PRIME MINISTERS OF NEW ZEALAND AND THE REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE ON THE FIRST AN...
    On 17 May 2019, New Zealand and Singapore established an Enhanced Partnership to elevate our relations. The Enhanced Partnership – based on the four pillars of trade and economics, security and defence, science, technology and innovation, and people-to-people links – has seen the long-standing relationship between our countries strengthen over the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government investment supports the acquisition of new Interislander ferries
    State-Owned Enterprises Minister Winston Peters has welcomed KiwiRail’s announcement that it is seeking a preferred shipyard to build two new rail-enabled ferries for the Cook Strait crossing. “This Government is committed to restoring rail to its rightful place in New Zealand. Bigger, better ships, with new technology are yet another ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Better protection for seabirds
    Better protection for seabirds is being put in place with a new National Plan of Action to reduce fishing-related captures, Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage announced today.   The National Plan of Action for Seabirds 2020 outlines our commitment to reduce fishing-related captures and associated seabird ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Milestone in cash flow support to SMEs
    Almost $1 billion in interest-free loans for small businesses More than 55,000 businesses have applied; 95% approved Average loan approx. $17,300 90% of applications from firms with ten or fewer staff A wide cross-section of businesses have applied, the most common are the construction industry, accommodation providers, professional firms, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government protects kids as smoking in cars ban becomes law
    Thousands of children will have healthier lungs after the Government’s ban on smoking in cars with kids becomes law, says Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa. This comes after the third reading of Smoke-free Environments (Prohibiting Smoking in Motor Vehicles Carrying Children) Amendment Bill earlier today. “This law makes it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Parliament returns to a safe normal
    The special Epidemic Response Committee (ERC) has successfully concluded its role, Leader of the House Chris Hipkins said today. The committee was set up on 25 March by the agreement of Parliament to scrutinise the Government and its actions while keeping people safe during levels 4 and 3 of lockdown. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Foreign Minister makes four diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced four diplomatic appointments: New Zealand’s Ambassador to Belgium, High Commissioners to Nauru and Niue, and Ambassador for Counter-Terrorism. “As the world seeks to manage and then recover from COVID-19, our diplomatic and trade networks are more important than ever,” Mr Peters said. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Bill to counter violent extremism online
    New Zealanders will be better protected from online harm through a Bill introduced to Parliament today, says Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin. “The internet brings many benefits to society but can also be used as a weapon to spread harmful and illegal content and that is what this legislation targets,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Mycoplasma bovis eradication reaches two year milestone in good shape
    New Zealand’s world-first plan to eradicate the cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis is on track the latest technical data shows, says Agriculture and Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two years ago the Government, DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb New Zealand and industry partners made a bold decision to go hard and commit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New payment to support Kiwis through COVID
    Further support for New Zealanders affected by 1-in-100 year global economic shock 12-week payment will support people searching for new work or retraining Work programme on employment insurance to support workers and businesses The Government today announced a new temporary payment to support New Zealanders who lose their jobs due ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • PGF reset helps regional economies
    The Provincial Growth Fund will play a vital role in New Zealand’s post-COVID-19 recovery by creating jobs in shorter timeframes through at least $600 million being refocused on projects with more immediate economic benefits, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The funding is comprised of repurposed Provincial Growth ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government exempts some home improvements from costly consents
    Government exempts some home improvements from costly consents Homeowners, builders and DIYers will soon have an easier time making basic home improvements as the Government scraps the need for consents for low-risk building work such as sleep-outs, sheds and carports – allowing the construction sector to fire back up quicker ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Concern at introduction of national security legislation for Hong Kong
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says the New Zealand Government has reacted with concern at the introduction of legislation in China’s National People’s Congress relating to national security in Hong Kong.  “We have a strong interest in seeing confidence maintained in the ‘one country, two systems’ principle under which Hong ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Samoa Language Week theme is perfect for the post-COVID-19 journey
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, says the theme for the 2020 Samoa Language Week is a perfect fit for helping our Pacific communities cope with the unfolding COVID-19 crisis, and to prepare now for the journey ahead as New Zealand focuses on recovery plans and rebuilding New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Adult kakī/black stilt numbers soar
    A nearly 40-year programme to protect one of New Zealand’s most critically endangered birds is paying off, with a record number of adult kakī/black stilt recently recorded living in the wild, the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. “Thanks to the team effort involved in the Department of Conservation’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Waikato-Tainui settlement story launched on 25th anniversary of Treaty signing
    The story of the Waikato-Tainui Treaty process and its enduring impact on the community is being told with a five-part web story launched today on the 25th anniversary of settlement, announced Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “I am grateful to Waikato-Tainui for allowing us to help capture ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Taita College to benefit from $32 million school redevelopment
    Taita College in the Hutt Valley will be redeveloped to upgrade its ageing classrooms and leaky roofs, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. “The work is long overdue and will make a lasting difference to the school for generations to come,” Chris Hipkins said. “Too many of our schools are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Redeployment for workers in hard-hit regions
    The Government is allocating $36.72 million to projects in regions hard hit economically by COVID-19 to keep people working, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Projects in Hawke’s Bay, Northland, Rotorua and Queenstown will be funded from the Government’s $100 million worker ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $35m to build financial resilience for New Zealanders
    A $35m boost to financial capability service providers funded by MSD will help New Zealanders manage their money better both day to day and through periods of financial difficulty, announced Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “It’s always been our position to increase support to key groups experiencing or at risk ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New District Court Judge appointed
    Dunedin barrister Melinda Broek has been appointed as a District Court Judge with Family Court jurisdiction to be based in Rotorua, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. Ms Broek has iwi affiliations to Ngai Tai. She commenced her employment in 1996 with Scholefield Cockroft Lloyd in Invercargill specialising in family and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $206 million investment in upgrades at Ohakea Air Force Base
    The Coalition Government has approved a business case for $206 million in upgrades to critical infrastructure at Royal New Zealand Air Force Base Ohakea, with the first phase starting later this year, Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. The investment will be made in three phases over five years, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Review of CAA organisational culture released
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today released the Ministry of Transport’s review of the organisational culture at the Civil Aviation Authority. Phil Twyford says all employees are entitled to a safe work environment. “I commissioned this independent review due to the concerns I had about the culture within the CAA, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Board appointed at Stats NZ
    Ensuring that Stats NZ’s direction and strategy best supports government policy decisions will be a key focus for a new Governance Advisory Board announced today by the Minister for Statistics, James Shaw. The new Governance Advisory Board will provide strategic advice to Stats NZ to ensure it is meeting New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Principal Environment Judge
    Environment Judge David Kirkpatrick of Auckland has been appointed as the Principal Environment Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  Judge Kirkpatrick was appointed an Environment Judge in February 2014. From December 2013 to July 2016 he was Chair of the Auckland Unitary Plan Independent Hearings Panel. Prior to appointment he ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago