web analytics

Conscience and alcodollars

Written By: - Date published: 8:02 am, April 28th, 2010 - 36 comments
Categories: capitalism - Tags: , ,

Looks like the government is rapidly backing away from recommendations to crack down on alcohol despite it causing more social costs than any other drug.

Personally I take a liberal view on drugs of all kinds including alcohol (especially single malts) but I suspect that the Nats back down has a lot more to do with not getting off-side with one of New Zealand’s most powerful industries than any libertarian argument.

Meanwhile it looks like their plan to make pseudoephedrine prescription only as part of their “war on p” may breach the bill of rights as it breaches people’s right to be presumed not guilty.

And across the country the police have busted dozens of people on a variety of charges related to pot.

So the question is, is a drug only a moral issue for the Nats when it doesn’t make one of their rich mates richer than the Queen?

But then again what would you expect from a government that appointed a booze marketeer to run our largest city?

36 comments on “Conscience and alcodollars”

  1. D14 1

    Cover the cost of treatment of alcohol associated injury in the A&E by charging the alcohol industry the cost of treatment.

  2. vto 2

    Fiddling with the rules will make zip difference. Raising the age to 20 – ha ha ha ha. It’s the older folks with the problem at least as much, if not more, actually.

    Put a maximum age on alcohol – that would make a greater difference to alcohol harm. Let’s see – no alcohol over the age of 40.

    Now that would make a difference.

  3. tc 3

    To paraphrase a recent UK drug expert out here…..govt’s continue to ignore the evidence and ban/rank based on political reasons not medical/social/cost benefit factors.

    He lost his gov’t job for stating the fact the taking ‘E’ is safer then riding a horse yet alcohol is by a few country miles the most costly drug in our society….followed by tobacco and made the point that it needs targetting above all other drugs in society.

    This is where it gets political as the booze lobby is powerful, and only gives a shit about it’s bottom line to shareholders not society.

  4. Joshua 4

    Instead of putting up the tax on alcohol, why don’t we put up the tax on alcohol companies – say 50% on all profit – and funnel that money towards social programmes aimed at overcoming addiction. People should not be able to profit off the harm they cause to others.

    • Matt 4.1

      It would be good, but it wouldn’t effect consumption – a 10% rise in price would lead to at least a 10% reduction in consumption and a similar reduction in overall harm.

    • Jum 4.2

      Yay. Run for office Joshua. Your first policy just made the NAct government redundant, forever.

  5. marco 5

    Totally agree with you on this. I like a drink, like most people, but if I go over the top and end up in A and E then I should pay for it in some way. It seems increasing the tax or making the alcohol companies pay for the social cost of alcohol is the easiest way of doing this. This could also be adjusted each year so if the social cost goes down then so does the cost of alcohol.

    • Lanthanide 5.1

      If the social cost going down eventuates in the price of alochol going down, you’ll just have a rubberband effect where the social cost goes up again.

      • Marco 5.1.1

        Possibly, however it could also signal a change of attitude towards alcohol. That is in effect what is needed in NZ.

        • Matt 5.1.1.1

          When prices go down consumption goes up. Its not an attitude change that is needed, it is a change in the way we make alcohol available for sale that is needed.

  6. Olwyn 6

    The alcohol question always revolves around a regulate or not-regulate dichotomy, without questioning why we have a binge drinking culture in the first place. Even the “it’s not the drinking, it’s how we’re drinking” ads take the form of a stern telling off, while most of the beer ads actually advocate binge drinking. People in other countries can drink slowly all evening and have a good time simultaneously, why not us? Perhaps it is a perversion of our practical attitude – why waste time eating and dancing and socialising when you can cut to the chase and knock back several beers in quick succession?

    • Bill 6.1

      My, my. You trying to cut to the heart of the matter there Olwyn?

      Don’t know that that’s allowed, is it?

      Anyhow, here’s a wee pause for thought that may or may not be complete b/s.

      But when I look at the drunken desperation exhibited by younger people on a Fri/Sat night, I’m pretty sure that it is on a whole other level to the out of it mess I used to aim to attain at that age. There’s a desperation and a ragged edge that I’m sure was absent in previous decades…but maybe I was just too out of it to notice at the time?

      Moving on. When did teenagers ever eat and dance and sensibly incorporate drinking into their socialising? The eating has always come at the end of the night as the ultimate or penultimate act depending on the urge to up-chuck…oh, and a few other factors.

      Remember when you were 15? There was absolutely nothing to do and so you’d just ‘hang around’? Then the step from ‘nothing to do’ with no money to ‘nothing to do’ with money comes along. And businesses step on up and look to part you from your cash. And they and we know that taking drugs when there is nothing to do is much, much better than not taking drugs when there is nothing to do. And alcohol enjoys a moral monopoly.

      Will this change? No. Because we are to be consumers. And if we were engaged in non-market activities, something that expanded our understanding of what it is to be alive, then we might slip away from the marketeers grasp. And we might not experience the listless boredom of a 15 year old hanging around the actual or virtual street corner anxious to be beguiled by the only obvious promised pathway to excitement and maturity and purpose…getting out of it.

      Wouldn’t it be nice if education and society were something broader than preparing for the job market and a life of dedication to ‘paying your way’?

    • Jum 6.2

      Absolutely. Overseas countries are so much more civilised about their drinking. If they could just get over their going to war at the drop of a Bush order, they’d be perfect. It appears that we back off war but our warlike nature comes out in our drinking habits. Some might say we have not evolved enough. I might say a curfew on all those who might harm those more vulnerable and the problem would be solved.

      captcha stone(d)

  7. bearhunternz 7

    It’s always the “booze barons” at fault isn’t it? They hold people down and force them to drink their product. I’m completely in agreement with the idea of charging people at A&E if their drinking caused their injury. I’m also for drunks paying to be detoxed by police and a law change obliging judges to impose tougher penalties on offenders who were under the influence of alcohol when the offending happened. The sooner people get the message that it isn’t okay to get pissed and damage people or property, the sooner we can get to a better drinking culture.

    As for taxing the producers, I’m not sure that’s sensible. If you do that, you can kiss goodbye to a couple of hundred wineries currently operating on the margins of survival. And even the major “alcopop” producer reported a $44 million loss last year, so it can’t be selling THAT many of them…

    • Joe Bloggs 7.1

      Agree 100% bear – Blaming the so-called “booze barons” for the reluctance of youth to drink responsibly is just mischaracterisation.

      Ironic to see such spin from the UMR-meisters when Labour had the whole of the last decade to address the social ills arising from drinking, but did sweet f.a.

      And the reference to Doug McKay is similarly trite – expect to variously see him described by the radical left as a whaler, a battery chicken potentate, a biscuit tycoon, and a mercenary magnate of casual therapeutics over the coming years – ‘cos he’s also worked in seafood poultry, biscuits and casual therapeutics as well.

    • Jum 7.2

      If these alcohol pushers are willing to spend billions on PR (look at Key) to achieve their sales then they must know their manipulations of people are paying off with liquor sales, beauty product sales, car sales, slimy Key politician PR spin. Don’t insult my intelligence by trying to convince me that these PR people aren’t influencing people’s habits. Galbraith recognised that people pre-19thC did not need admen. We don’t need them now. It interests me that the right love admen but continue to preach individualism. They know about brainwashing, which makes them cynical liars in the extreme.

  8. walter 8

    Drinking isn’t a problem, intoxication is, so why not:
    – Enforce the law that says bars aren’t allowed to serve intoxicated people.
    – Enforce the law that says you can’t be drunk in a public place.

    By the way, did you see the hospitality lobby wanker on tv last night saying ‘the problem is people drinking at home, then coming to the bars’ The audacity of the man! The only problem with people drinking at home is that his lobby isn’t making any money off them.

    • Lanthanide 8.1

      The police already spend huge resources patrolling the streets on weekend nights as it is.

      • freedom 8.1.1

        ‘The police already spend huge resources patrolling the streets on weekend nights as it is”

        They are consuming these resources because of violence and property crimes, committed by people affected by excesses of alcohol who are often struggling with stresses of economic uncertainty and more often they are just frustrated by being little more than cogs in a broken machine, lashing out for some sensation of affecting the world around them.

        bring in as many law changes as you want, the problems will not just go away. The costs will warp and shift, the people will still be left angry, forgotten and brutally aware that something is definitely wrong in our world and it has very little to do with walking into a bar after 2am

  9. freedom 9

    It is the uneducated hypocrisy of the ‘ alcohol is ok but marijuana is evil ‘ argument that irks me.

    Marijuana is illegal because of Hemp.

    It is early in the 20th Century, Hemp reserach proves it will replace petrochemical products. This scares many large corporations which had just been given the same legal rights as a real person to lobby government. These newly annointed Media and Chemical Industries, had just invested in expensive and pollution-heavy paper processing and Synthetic Fabric plants. So these companies, such as those owned by Hearst Industries, the largest media company in the world at that time, decided to act!

    Hearst Industries created a campaign that within two years had sold the public on the Reefer Madness of Marijuana. The evil crazed dope smoker was born. All proof of which was quickly fabricated and reported in his newspapers. then blindly reported elsewhere (nothing’s changed there then)

    At this time it was ILLEGAL NOT TO GROW HEMP on US farms. Hemp was subsidised by the Government to support the textile industry. Ropes, sail canvas, fabric of all varieties and of course paper were all being derived solely from Hemp. New products were being developed at an amazing rate but the Chemical companies were pushing the development of all sorts of cool new Petrochemically derived products and wanted Hemp out of the way. It was far more profitable to process controlled oil reserves than work with free citizens who might want a share of the profits. ( see modern Dairy for a working exaple of how much profit farming can produce for individuals ) Not surprisingly the laws were changed and thousands of US farms became overnight bankrupts.

    The story goes on and gets worse but you know the end result. Hypocrisy strived ahead and the medically, financially and morally bankrupt lies of the modern world put Marijuana, the oldest known socially used and all natural drug, on a list at par with opiuim and other dangerously addictive narcotics. Which it is not.

    Alcohol is a far more dangerous drug no matter how you look at the argument. It is more addictive. It is more processed and contains numerous chemically dangerous additives for the human body. It contributes to violence and all manner of other social problems. I have known smokers and drinkers for many years. In my experience not one single smoker has ever committed violence unless there was alcohol or another narcotic consumed as well.

    As far as the organised crime problem of gangs and the underworld roving schoolyards with tinnies of destruction. The first step is to be honest and look at the facts, then lift your hysteria for a moment and address the actual motives. Fear, Ignorance and our old friend, Profit.

  10. Lanthanide 10

    There are 13 states in the US that allow hemp licenses, however none have issued the licenses due to federal law against hemp growing.

    All of this could quickly change as California is looking to legalise (not just de-criminalise) possession and sale of marijuana later this year.

    captcha: unacceptable

    • freedom 10.1

      the law changes for marijuana are logically driven from a medicine based argument and thankfully gaining some traction. Sadly they will have little to no affect on the required Re-Industrialisation of Hemp that this modern world so desperately needs to replace the reliance upon Petrochemicals

      • Lanthanide 10.1.1

        Except as you pointed out one of the foundation arguments for prohibitting hemp is because of the myth that it can be smoked like marijuana, which is an illegal drug that is bad for you. If marijuana is no longer considered an illegal drug that is bad for you, it knocks down one large impediment against growing hemp.

        • freedom 10.1.1.1

          agreed, but for the century of generationally ingrained dishonesty that has given the Industrial Military money-machine a petrochemical powerbase beyond the dreams of the emporers of Rome

          but i would love to be proven wrong and see the world awoken to the gargantuan profits that Hemp could provide

  11. todd 11

    Walter.
    By the way, did you see the hospitality lobby wanker on tv last night saying ‘the problem is people drinking at home, then coming to the bars’ The audacity of the man! The only problem with people drinking at home is that his lobby isn’t making any money off them.

    A few years back my son and friends always got hammered at home (enough so that they all chucked)then got in a taxi and hit town.As he was 20 years old apart from telling him he was doing himself real harm there was little I could do.Some times they were refused entry but often as not they got in to any bar they liked.If you listen to the young ones they will tell you they wont pay the club bar prices so they but cheap booze to get hammered then hit town.
    In a small bar i own i double prices after 11pm so most cant aford the prices and just go home.(mostly older over 30ts)

  12. wyndham 12

    For years the Nats hammered the then Labour government about “Nanny State”. Fervent Nats such as Hooten and Farrar used the term incessantly.
    So that now leaves the present government with no room to move, even on a matter such as alcohol abuse which requires some real decisions.

    They’d prefer to see our youth go to hell in the proverbial handcart rather than be accused of Nanny Stateism.

    Conscience ? What conscience ?

  13. bearhunternz@gmail.com 13

    “By the way, did you see the hospitality lobby wanker on tv last night saying ‘the problem is people drinking at home, then coming to the bars’ The audacity of the man! The only problem with people drinking at home is that his lobby isn’t making any money off them.”

    Walter, the problem is precisely that younger people are sitting in someone’s house getting mangled before heading to town. If they are obviously intoxicated, they will be refused entry to the pub. This is one reason why there are a lot of drunk youngsters roaming the streets late at night. Bars account for less than 30% of the booze consumed in NZ, yet the Law Commission’s report recommendations will impact almost entirely on bars. So bars will be hit in the pockets again, while off-licences and supermarkets will continue to prosper and younger drinkers will continue to get hopelessly pissed on cheap booze in uncontrolled environments. That’ll help reduce alcohol harm all right…

    • vto 13.1

      Better to have them in bars spending their $50 on 4 litres of beer…

      thank having them at home spending their $50 on 20 litres of beer…

      The logic of this report is all arse about, you’re right.

  14. Steve 14

    Interesting that they flat out reject an increase in alcohol tax, but are quite content to push through an increase in that on tobacco (totally agree with the latter and think the former is a better control than increasing the purchase age)

  15. Herodotus 15

    Why not just use the existing law. A shop gets caught out selling to minors, loss of licence + fine. Can you imagine cnr dairy or a large supermarket that has lost its ability to sell. No 3 strikes, just 1. The police dont give me 3 stikes on speeding then I get the penalty.
    Allow 18-19 year olds to buy alcohol in the bars/clubs etc (A controlled enviroment) just not the ability for takeaways or drinking in public. Like a L for driving this could be viewed in a similar light.

  16. Jenny 16

    A whole new demographic for Broad Brother to repress.

    Thousands of law abiding young people will be turned into criminals overnight.

    I would like to argue that raising the drinking age to 20 as well as being a stupid and punitive action is a right wing attack on civil freedoms.

    Sure I can accept that there is a New Zealand wide drinking problem and particularly a youth drinking problem, and that something needs to be done. But all studies show that the most effective way to lessen this harm is to make alcohol more expensive with targeted excise taxes. This has proven particularly true for young drinkers.
    In Australia, the problematic youth market for alcopops collapsed when targeted taxes were brought in following public concern at the distressing levels of youth drinking.

    Unfortunately I have not been able to find the link, but I once read in New Scientist, of a Swedish study on problem youth drinking, that showed that by putting the prices up, which as well as making alcohol harder for young people to purchase, created a teen culture of peer pressure where those few young people who were still tempted to spend their limited amount of money on alcohol, were discouraged by the disapproval of their peer group.

    The National Act government has ignored the strong recommendation of the Law Commission Report on the pressing need to raise the price of alcohol through excise taxes, and instead zeroed in on an authoritarian approach.

    Like any other Big Brother intrusive spearhead, for instance the 1930s prohibition, or the current illegality of marijuana, prohibition will not stop young adults drinking. (indeed it could make it more daring and therefore glamorous, it could also put them at the mercy of possibly unscrupulous older people who will be still able to buy cheap booze for them)

    This punitive approach will only lead to greater criminalisation of young people, with the possibility of details of many thousands of normally law abiding citizens entering the police data base and being held there for the rest of their lives.

    Our extreme right wing, war on terror nut job, of a Police Commissioner, Broad Brother, will just love this.

    After years of young people being accustomed to being allowed to drink, this latest law change is not only a godsend to those in prominent positions who have been lobbying hard for more authoritarian police powers but could also give licence to any bullies in the front line of the force.

    So to all you young people over the age of 18 even if you are teetotal, defend your friends and next year make your vote count and throw this instinctively repressive right wing administration out of office.

  17. SPC 17

    What’s required is a definition of public drunkenness – one by a set blood alcohol level.

    This allows the arrest and fining of those drunk in a public place. If the last licensed establishment to serve the person a drink was co-fined, this would ensure host responsibility (a block on drunks entering the premises and controls at the bar on who is being served).

    All that needs to be targeted is public drunkenness – as we have in the past those who drank and then drove.

    As for treatment of problem drinkers, this funding needs to increase – and so some increase in tax is required. As for alcopops – while the market has expanded/diversified, these have always existed if in a smaller range and larger bottles. It was always easy to home-mix them anyway.

    The problem with the report line is that it would encourage drinking cheaper product at home and (if the age was effectively enforced) have teens turning up at parties hosted by 18 and 19 year olds – it is the text message generation (it would have to increase the teen pregnancy rate).

  18. eye saw 18

    with regard to the new “rules” on purchasing items from the switched on/off gardener stores where if one purchases ,say a bag of fertiliser then one has to supply photo id ,full name, date of birth,address,phone number and time of last visit to toilet and did you clean your teeth and ask your mum,details so the police can come and take these details and then begin investigations on you.

    Now is this legal?
    What legislation is it under?
    I thought the police were there to enforce laws not invent new ones.
    This has implications of a police state.

  19. You make something illegal and it creates a black market. Simple as that.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Budget 2020: Five things to know
    Budget 2020 is about rebuilding together, supporting jobs, getting business moving and the books back into the black. It’s an integral part of our COVID-19 economic response, and our plan to grow our economy and get New Zealand moving again. Here’s a quick look at the five top things you ...
    18 hours ago
  • Coalition Government approves essential upgrades on Ōhakea Air Base
    The Coalition Government has approved $206 million in essential upgrades at Ōhakea Air Base.  Defence Minister Ron Mark said the money would be spent on improving old infrastructure. He said safety issues would be addressed, as well as upgrades to taxiways, accommodation and fresh, storm and waste water systems. "This ...
    5 days ago
  • Attributable to the Rt Hon Winston Peters
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First “I am not persisting with this case just for myself, but for all people who have had their privacy breached. Privacy of information is a cornerstone of our country’s democracy. Without it our society truly faces a bleak future. We now ...
    6 days ago
  • Forestry Minister Shane Jones moves to protect sawmills
    Forestry Minister Shane Jones has introduced a Bill to Parliament that he says will "force more transparency, integrity and respect" for the domestic wood-processing sector through the registration of log traders and practice standards. The Forests (Regulation of Log Traders and Forestry Advisers) Amendment Bill had its first reading in ...
    1 week ago
  • Green MP joins international call to cancel developing countries’ debt
    Green MP Golriz Ghahraman is joining over 300 lawmakers from around the world in calling on the big banks and the IMF to forgive the debt of developing countries, in the wake of the COVID crisis. ...
    1 week ago
  • Forestry Minister Shane Jones swipes back at billion trees critics
    Forestry Minister Shane Jones says concerns that carbon foresters are planting pine trees that will never be harvested are the result of "misinformation". "The billion tree strategy is an excellent idea, unfortunately from time to time it's tainted by misinformation spread by the National Party or their grandees, hiding in scattered ...
    1 week ago
  • Budget boost for refugee families a win for compassion
    The Green Party welcomes funding in the budget to reunite more refugees with their families, ensuring they have the best chance at a new life in Aotearoa New Zealand. ...
    1 week ago
  • How Budget 2020 is supporting jobs
    This year’s Budget is about rebuilding New Zealand together in the face of COVID-19. Jobs are central to how we’re going to do that.There’s a lot of targeted investment for employment in this year’s Budget, with announcements on creating new jobs, training people for the jobs we have, and supporting ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters says China didn’t want NZ to go into lockdown
    Speaking to Stuff's Coronavirus NZ podcast, Foreign Minister Winston Peters revealed China tried to dissuade New Zealand from going into lockdown. “Without speaking out of turn, they wanted a discussion as to why we were doing it, because they thought it was an overreaction,” Mr Peters told Stuff’s Coronavirus NZ podcast. He also ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Changes made to Overseas Investment Act to protect New Zealand assets
    The Coalition Government is making changes to the Overseas Investment Act to ensure New Zealand assets don't fall into the hands of foreign ownership in the economic aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Associate Minister of Finance David Parker announced the Act will be amended to bring forward a national interest ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters: Trans-Tasman bubble to help tourism industry make swift recovery
    A quick start to a trans-Tasman bubble could see the tourism industry make a swift recovery, according to Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters. "I believe tourism will turn around dramatically faster than people think," Mr Peters told reporters after Thursday's Budget. "Why? Because I think the Tasman bubble is [going ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rt. Hon Winston Peters: Budget Speech
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First   Please check against delivery https://vimeo.com/418303651 Budget 2020: Jobs, Business and Balance   Introduction Acknowledgements to all Cabinet colleagues, and party ministers Tracey Martin, Shane Jones and Ron Mark, Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau and to caucus colleagues. Thank you for your support, your ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Jacinda Ardern’s 2020 Budget Speech
    Read Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's Budget 2020 Speech. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Budget 2020: Next steps to end family and sexual violence
    The 2020 Budget includes significant support to stabilise New Zealand’s family violence services, whose work has been shown to be so essential throughout the COVID-19 lockdown. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Investment in housing gives more people access to the home they deserve
    The Green Party says huge new investment in public and transitional housing will get thousands more families into the warm, safe homes they deserve.  ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Budget 2020: Huge investment in green nature based jobs jump starts sustainable COVID recovery
    The Green Party says the $1.1 billion environmental investment in this year’s budget to create thousands of green jobs will help jump start a sustainable recovery from the COVID crisis. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Grant Robertson’s 2020 Budget Speech
    Read Minister of Finance Grant Robertson's Budget 2020 Speech. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters tells struggling migrant workers ‘you should probably go home’
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters said today the Coalition Government told foreigners at the start of the Covid-19 crisis that if their circumstances had changed dramatically, they should go home. "And 50,000 did," Mr Peters said. Official advice to Cabinet revealed there is potentially 380,000 foreigners and migrant workers in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First welcomes today’s Alert Level 2 announcement
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand First welcomes the decision today to go to Alert Level 2 from midnight Wednesday, says Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters. Alert Level 2 will mean a return to work for the vast majority of New Zealand’s businesses. A return ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nurses to be protected after amendment to First Responders Bill
    Nurses now look set to get more protection from violence at work, under a proposed new law. This after NZ First MP Darroch Ball's "Protection for First Responders Bill", which introduces a six-month minimum sentence for assaults on first responders, will now also cover emergency department healthcare workers. The ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nurses to get more protection, added to ‘First Responders’ legislation
    Darroch Ball MP, New Zealand First Law and Order Spokesperson An amendment to the ‘Protection of First Responders Bill’ is being tabled which will see emergency department healthcare workers included in the legislation. “During this COVID-19 crisis we have seen reports of violence and specifically increased incidents of spitting towards ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Shane Jones: Northland port could be economic haven
    Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones is breathing new life into the proposal to move Auckland's port to Whangārei to help in the economic recovery post Covid-19 pandemic. If New Zealand First was returned in the September general election, Minister Jones said a priority would be development of an "economic haven" at Northport, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF grant for Ventnor memorial
    The plan to build a memorial to the SS Ventnor, and those who were lost when it sank off the Hokianga coast in 1902, has been granted $100,000 from the Provincial Growth Fund. Originally planned for a site near Rāwene cemetery, the memorial will now be built at the new Manea ...
    3 weeks ago
  • 75th anniversary of V.E Day
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader Leader of New Zealand First, Rt Hon Winston Peters said: “Today is the 75th anniversary of VE Day – marking the end of World War II in Europe." Millions died in the six years of war, and families were torn apart. 75 years ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Getting the job done
    From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, our Government has committed to providing calm, clear, and consistent communication, including regular press conference updates from the Prime Minister. While New Zealand is at Alert Level 3, we're making sure that New Zealanders are kept informed and up-to-date with all the latest ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters responds to Simon Bridges’ ‘my sweetheart’ comment
    New Zealand First leader Winston Peters spoke to The Country's Jamie Mackay. A day earlier, National Party leader Simon Bridges was on the radio show and referred to the Deputy Prime Minister as, "my sweetheart Winston". Mr Peters swiftly dismissed the question of whether Bridges had changed his mind about ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Time to pay essential heroes a decent wage, says Green Party
    The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed just how much we rely on our essential workers. The Green Party are proposing a package that ensures they are paid a dignified wage so they do not live in poverty. ...
    3 weeks 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
    23 hours 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    6 days ago
  • Digital connectivity boost for urban marae
    A programme to connect marae around the country to the internet has received $1.4 million to expand to include urban marae in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister Kris Faafoi and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. The funding for the Marae Connectivity Programme ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt increases assistance to drought-stricken Hawke’s Bay farmers
    The Government will provide $500,000 to the Hawke’s Bay Mayoral Drought Relief Fund to help farmers facing one of the worst droughts in living memory, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Yesterday afternoon I received a letter from Hawke's Bay's five local Government leaders asking me to contribute to the Fund. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Investment in New Zealand’s history
    Budget 2020 provides a major investment in New Zealand’s documentary heritage sector, with a commitment to leasing a new Archives Wellington facility and an increase in funding for Archives and National Library work. “Last year I released plans for a new Archives Wellington building – a purpose-built facility physically connected ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Driving prompt payments to small businesses
    Government Ministers are asking significant private enterprises to adopt prompt payment practices in line with the state sector, as a way to improve cashflow for small businesses. The Ministers of Finance, Small Business, Commerce and Consumer Affairs have written to more than 40 significant enterprises and banking industry representatives to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Rotorua tourist icon to be safeguarded
    Maori Arts and Crafts will continue to underpin the heart of the tourism sector says Minister for Maori Development Nanaia Mahuta.  “That’s why we are making a core investment of $7.6 million to Te Puia New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute, over two years, as part of the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • $14.7m for jobs training and education
    The Government is funding more pathways to jobs through training and education programmes in regional New Zealand to support the provinces’ recovery from the economic impacts of COVID-19, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Employment Minister Willie Jackson have announced. “New Zealand’s economic recovery will be largely driven by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Is it time to further recognise those who serve in our military?
     Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced the launch of a national conversation that aims to find out whether New Zealanders think there should be a formal agreement between service people, the Government, and the people of New Zealand. “This year marks the 75th anniversary of the end of World ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Paving the way for a fully qualified early learning workforce
    The Government’s drive to improve the quality of early childhood education (ECE) is taking another step forward with the reintroduction of a higher funding rate for services that employ fully qualified and registered teachers, Education Minister Chris Hipkins has announced. “Research shows that high-quality ECE can improve young people’s learning ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Sport Recovery Package announced
    The Sport and Recreation sector will receive a multi-million dollar boost as part of the COVID-19 response funded at Budget 2020.  Grant Robertson says the Sport and Recreation Sector contributes about $5 billion a year to New Zealand’s GDP and employs more than 53,000 people. “Sport plays a significant role ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Major boost in support for caregivers and children
    A major increase in funding and availability of support will improve the incomes and reduce the pressure on 14,000 caregivers looking after more than 22,000 children. Children’s Minister Tracey Martin says that caregivers – all those looking after someone else’s children both in and outside the state care system – ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Great Walks recovery on track for summer
    Vital conservation and visitor infrastructure destroyed by a severe flood event in Fiordland earlier this year is being rebuilt through a $13.7 million Budget 2020 investment, announced Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage.   “This investment will mean iconic Great Walks such as the Routeburn track and the full length of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Māori – Government partnership gives whānau a new housing deal
    The Government is investing  $40 million in a partnership with Māori to get more whānau into warm, dry and secure accommodation, Associate Minister for Housing (Māori Housing) Hon Nanaia Mahuta says.. “We are partnering with Māori and iwi to respond to the growing housing crisis in the wake of COVID-19. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders Safe In The Water
    Keeping New Zealanders safe in the water Our lifeguards and coastguards who keep New Zealanders safe in the water have been given a funding boost thanks to the 2020 Budget, Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector Poto Williams has announced. The water safety sector will receive $63 million over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Legal framework for COVID-19 Alert Level referred to select committee
    The COVID-19 Public Health Response Act 2020, which set a sound legal framework ahead of the move to Alert level 2, has been referred to a parliamentary select committee for review.  Attorney-General David Parker said the review of the operation of the COVID-19 specific law would be reported back to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand condemns shocking attacks on hospital and funeral in Afghanistan
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand condemns the targeting of civilians in two terrorist attacks in Afghanistan earlier this week. “The terrorist attacks on a hospital in Kabul and a funeral in Nangarhar province are deeply shocking. The attacks were deliberate and heinous acts of extreme violence targeting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government to close tobacco tax loophole
    The Government will close a loophole that allowed some people to import cigarettes and loose leaf tobacco for manufacturing cigarettes and ‘roll your owns’ for sale on the black market without excise tax being paid, says Minister of Customs Jenny Salesa. The legislation, which doesn’t affect duty free allowances for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • $62 million package to support families through the Family Court
    The Coalition Government has made a significant $62 million investment from the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund to start the reform of the Family Court and enable it to respond effectively to the increased backlog caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Today Justice Minister Andrew Little introduced the Family Court (Supporting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Tailored help supports new type of job seeker – report
    The Government’s expanded services to support people into jobs will help an emerging cohort of New Zealanders impacted by COVID-19. The impacted group are relatively younger, have a proportionately low benefit history and have comparatively higher incomes than most who seek support, as captured in a report published today from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • A modern approach to night classes
    New funding to boost Government-funded Adult and Community Education (ACE) will give more than 11,000 New Zealanders more opportunities to learn, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “This includes a modern approach to rebuilding night classes, which were slashed in the middle of our last economic crisis in 2010,” Chris Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Christchurch Call makes significant progress
    Significant progress has been delivered in the year since the Christchurch Call to Action brought governments and tech companies together in Paris with a single goal to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardent says. On its first anniversary, Ardern and French President Emmanuel Macron as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Christchurch Call: One year Anniversary
    Joint statement: the Right Honourable Jacinda Ardern Prime Minister of New Zealand and His Excellency Emmanuel Macron President of the French Republic. One year since we launched, in Paris, the Christchurch Call to Action, New Zealand and France stand proud of the progress we have made toward our goal to eliminate terrorist ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Budget 2020: Jobs and opportunities for the primary sector
    $19.3 million to help attract and train recently unemployed New Zealanders and grow the primary sector workforce by 10,000 people. $128 million for wilding pine and wallaby control, providing hundreds of jobs. $45.3m over four years to help horticulture seize opportunities for future growth. $14.9 million to reduce food waste ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New registration system for forestry advisers and log traders
    A new log registration scheme and practice standards will bring us one step closer to achieving ‘value over volume’ in our forestry sector, Forestry Minister Shane Jones says. New legislation introduced as part of Budget 2020 will require forestry advisers, log traders and exporters to register and work to nationally ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Finance Minister’s Budget 2020 s Budget Speech
    Mr Speaker, I move that the Appropriation (2020/21 Estimates) Bill be now read a second time. From its very beginning this Coalition Government has committed to putting the wellbeing of current and future generations of New Zealanders at the heart of everything we do. There is no time in New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Finance Minister’s Budget 2020 Budget Speech
    Mr Speaker, I move that the Appropriation (2020/21 Estimates) Bill be now read a second time. From its very beginning this Coalition Government has committed to putting the wellbeing of current and future generations of New Zealanders at the heart of everything we do. There is no time in New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago