web analytics

Costly government

Written By: - Date published: 3:00 pm, June 14th, 2015 - 43 comments
Categories: child welfare, health, housing, national, poverty - Tags: , , ,

I wrote yesterday about our heartless, penny-pinching government, which emphasises Getting To Surplus at all costs even if that means kids dying in cold state houses.

This is the true irony of National governments. Their entire platform is one of “fiscal responsibility” and “good economic management” yet time and time again they spend money the way I did when I was a teenager: false economies and short-term wish fulfilment which meant at the end of the week I was calling home collect and begging for rides which cost our household a lot more than if I’d just made sure I had enough money for the bus.

Fifteen-year-old-me was pretty stellar at externalising the losses, but I don’t think anyone, especially my parents or me, would relish the idea of her running the country.

National are, on the surface, all about cracking down on unnecessary spending and bureaucratic bloat, delivering value for money, getting proper returns on investment.

And yet, they don’t save us money.

A 2013 report of the National Health Committee on respiratory diseases puts the cost of lower respiratory tract infections like pneumonia at:

The average length of stay was about 3.5 days and the average price per hospitalised individual was $4,700.

According to the coroner’s report, Emma-Lita Bourne was admitted to hospital on 6 August and died on 8 August. Three days; and probably higher than average costs given the complications she suffered.

Making sure her family could afford to heat their home and throw some carpet on the floor wouldn’t have cost $5,000 – and could not only have saved her life in 2014 but prevented any number of future illnesses for her and her siblings.

A 2014 report from UNICEF states:

Every year, taxpayers face a bill of $6-8 billion for additional health needs, remedial education and reduced productivity that result from 260,000 children living in poverty. This cost is largely due to the fact that children most likely to be in poverty are very young, when the most important physical, mental and social development is occurring. Furthermore, a large group of children live in poverty for a long time – 7 years – and about ten per cent of Kiwi Kids live in severe poverty.

Six to eight billion. What was the estimated cost of Hone Harawira’s Feed the Kids bill again? $100 million. Estimated cost of Sue Moroney’s extension to paid parental leave? $276 million over three years. Drops in a bucket.

The Greens-initiated housing insulation policy had, as of May 2012, cost $347 million and returned estimated benefits – in reduced healthcare costs – of $1.68 billion. That’s some good fiscal management right there.

And as the fabulous Dr Liz Craig put it a couple of years ago:

… a housing warrant of fitness could improve the condition of rental properties, and although it could increase rents, at the moment all taxpayers are covering the costs of substandard housing through the health system and it’s a conversation the country needs to have.

Emphasis mine.

It’s almost like the radical notion that prevention is better than cure stacks up – ethically and financially. Maybe not on a single year’s balance sheet; but when we’re talking about caring for people from cradle to grave, a single year’s balance sheet is irrelevant.

So if National were truly interested in efficiencies and return on investment – instead of just using those buzzwords to sell their latest erosion of the public service – every state house would be warm and dry. Every kid would get breakfast and lunch. Every parent could give their kids the best start in life with mum or dad at home for those crucial early months.

Sometimes people on the left object to putting things in monetary terms – when the Public Service Association put the cost of domestic violence to business in numbers ($368 million a year) there was criticism: surely we’re motivated to stop domestic violence because it’s a bad thing which should never happen to anyone!

They’re right. They’re also wrong. This is a heartless government. They don’t do things “just because” it’s the right thing to do. Their focus is always on the money: they balance the books, they do the practical stuff, not the wasteful airy-fairy lefty stuff.

So we must, and can, argue this on both fronts. Of course every Kiwi kid should get breakfast and lunch because food is a fundamental part of being healthy and happy. But it’s also not just feelgood. It saves a huge amount of money in the long run, in education, in healthcare, in law enforcement.

It doesn’t mean we accept the frame that everything is about money. We just show very clearly how doing the right thing morally also means doing the right thing financially. The National Party isn’t selling our soul to save dollars; it’s selling our soul and costing us money at the same time.

That can’t be anyone’s definition of “good government.”

43 comments on “Costly government”

  1. Karen 1

    Excellent post Stephanie.

    • mickysavage 1.2

      Agreed. Of course the other feature of National Governments is that they are totally focussed on the short term and so making wise long term decisions is totally beyond them.

      • Capn Insano 1.2.1

        Indeed they are and it shows in their performance to date [or should I say a lack of performance].

      • Gosman 1.2.2

        Labour had 9 years in power. This should have been plenty time to introduce long term policies that would start to come to fruit about now. What were these policies and how do we see the benefit of them?

  2. NZJester 2

    The National Government has never been about saving money as it claims, it has always been about moving money into the pockets of the richest National sponsors. Privatisation costs the average people of NZ more but moves more money into the pockets of their rich National sponsors who repay the favor by giving a small amount of that back to the National Party in so called anonymous donations through donation hiding schemes like their dinner meeting fundraisers.
    More than two thirds of the National supporters are paying more for everything, not realizing that most Labour and Green policies would actually save them money and increase their business profits in the long run. They have been hoodwinked by the richest supporters of the party who are the ones raking in all the cash at everyone elses expense.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      More than two thirds of the National supporters are paying more for everything, not realizing that most Labour and Green policies would actually save them money and increase their business profits in the long run. They have been hoodwinked by the richest supporters of the party who are the ones raking in all the cash at everyone elses expense.

      QFT

      The only way to get rich is to steal from everyone else.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2

      repay the favor by giving a small amount of that back

      According to National Party insider Simon “Blabbermouth” Lusk, MPs trade favours in office for lucrative business deals once they leave Parliament.

      That’s how they avoid prison.

    • Anne 2.3

      They’ve been hoodwinked cos they fancy themselves as being ‘one of them’.

    • RedLogix 2.4

      In practical terms this is why I’ve advocated Labour expanding it’s electoral branding to target small business and the rural sector.

      While National sits on plenty of safe rural seat – a close look at more than one or two suggest they are not all that safe really.

      I’d argue that a Labour leader who knew how to connect with these often hard-working and intensely pragmantic people could get them to swing vote for a Party that showed how it was going to deliver a better business environment for them.

      These people have way more in common with the traditional Labour voter than they do with the big finance and crony capitalism end of town.

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    Lack of money

    A key element in the failure to address these problems is money. Ask our politicians to effectively address climate change: no money. Investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy: no money. Nature and environment: no money. But also: better and cheaper education: no money. Employment programs: no money. In other words, there is, at least at this time, no money for those things that are important to the quality of life for present and future generations, such as good public services, a clean environment and the responsible use of natural resources.

    Lack of money really isn’t the problem, tilting society so that all the money ends up in the hands of the 1% is.

    Somebody be nice and embed this image:
    http://positivemoney.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Screenshot-2015-06-13-15.27.31-650×300.png

  4. Atiawa 4

    Surely the disturbing aspect of the post besides the glaringly obvious, is to enable a message as simple as Stephanie’s, to be understood, supported and then acted upon by our communities. Opposition political parties are presented with a socially responsible and fiscally practical argument which they,and indeed us all, must take advantage of within our communities if we hope to bring about change,
    Great post deserving of a wider readership.

      • RedLogix 4.1.1

        Good series Steph – great to see an author trying to develop a theme. That takes a lot more effort and thought than a one off post banged off in reaction to the outrage-de-jour.

        • Any suggestions on how to develop it further greatly appreciated!

          • George Hendry 4.1.1.1.1

            Kia ora Stephanie 🙂

            Thanks for your energy and focus in addressing this issue and providing the platform for ongoing discussion.

            In the many months I have been reading these threads, sincere, caring comments (not astroturfing or trolling) seemed to fit one of the following two categories :

            1

            ‘ The government are so Stupid. How can they not see by now that they are harming people, democracy and the country?’

            2

            ‘ They are not stupid, but they sure are heartless. They and their cronies just want to get really rich, and if this makes the poor suffer then that is the fault of the poor.’

            Rarely ever do I see a comment that feels like

            3

            ‘They are no way stupid. Nor are they merely heartless, as in letting others suffer as if by accident. Their destructive behaviour is deliberate and planned. They are gathering force and weapons, and they will kill us if we let them. They are coming for us, a few at a time. Their intent is so criminal as to be beyond the scope of our existing framework of legal redress.’

            The term ‘sociopathic’, while I believe it conveys the internal attitude of this government, does not include the series of actions that indicate such an attitude. I could list the actions I mean, and demonstrate for each one why I consider it sociopathic rather than stupid or merely heartless. But does this thread want to go there yet? 🙂 🙂 🙂

            • Stephanie Rodgers 4.1.1.1.1.1

              I’m not a fan of the term “sociopathic” because I think it’s unnecessary and unhelpful to use medical mental illness terms to refer to deliberately cruel behaviour.

              • George Hendry

                Thanks for this reply.

                I’m not attached to any particular term and was unaware that ‘sociopathic’ is specifically a psychiatric category. Perhaps it shouldn’t be used here, but then again perhaps it applies nonetheless.

                Does deliberately cruel behaviour in fact arise from a particular category of mental illness? Or in other words, is its absence one of the descriptors of good mental health?

                In ‘People of the Lie’ author and psychiatrist Scott Peck suggested that evil, as in evil behaviour, could well be made a psychiatric subcategory, briefly described as the wish to harm, realisation of the social unacceptability of such wish, and a resulting advanced skill in lying about one’s actions and intentions. Peck held that due to the effectiveness of their lying, both to others and to themselves, such people would rarely be ‘obviously’ mentally ill or diagnosed as such, would have advanced social skills, manage their lives well and come across as ‘pillars of the community.’

                A useful skillset for continuing to be reelected while betraying the naive.

                • Gosman

                  Do you honestly believe an entire strata of mainstream political thought is actually full of people who secretly want to harm others?

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Yes:

                    The study’s findings were disturbing, bearing out the large amount of anecdotal evidence the researchers had long been gathering. The research showed that approximately 3% of those assessed in this management development program study scored in the psychopath range – well above the incidence of 1% in the general population. By comparison, the incidence of psychopathy in prison populations is estimated at around 15%.

          • RedLogix 4.1.1.1.2

            Well perhaps the underlying theme is that this govt is a failure, even by it’s own standards.

            Setting aside the obvious magical thinking like “Vote for a Brighter Future” – think of the branding values the Tories typically appropriate for themselves. Because it’s often the very things your opponent imagines is his/her strength which is also their hidden weakness.

  5. tc 5

    The cost on households of flogging off power generators is another extra burden mandatorily built in as everyone needs power

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      Privatisation increases costs but, then, that’s what it’s designed to do as monopolies (usually built by the community) are shifted over to the private sector to make huge profits from. And we don’t get any greater investment as the privatisation of our telecommunications prove as we’re now having to pay large sums via government to get fibre to the home which should have been a natural progression within the natural maintenance and replacement of old cables.

  6. Ad 6

    Sounds like you were quite some teenager!

    In the latest Listener there is a line from the Retirement Commissioner stating this this will be the last generation to be able to provide inheritances to their children.

    Her reasoning is that people are already living so long that they are, in her phrase, “eating their houses”. People will essentially prevent their children from inheriting, because the elderly home owner will downsize or reverse-mortgage their equity to survive until there is equity no more.

    I recommend you read the article, because there is a good source for a further instalment from you on how ensuring house ownership to this generation vastly decreases taxpayer subsidies in the future as the population ages.

    Further, that the plummeting decline in home ownership makes this a reality within the horizon of at least Generation X.

  7. linda 7

    national will steal everything they can while the music is still playing once it stops they run for the hills while blaming everyone else i would say when the music stop we make sure the duck stops with the nats and make them pay a heavy price for the theft and looting

  8. upnorth 8

    What I absolutely dislike about this post is not once have you talked about personal responsibility.

    Stop blaming governments – past or present

    This is a naive cut and paste article using selective parts of the report – have you read the PSA report by the way?

    • ropata 8.1

      How can a kid fresh out of school take “personal responsibility” for an out of control housing market, for insecurity of tenants, for unnecessary diseases of poverty in a wealthy nation like NZ?

      New Zealanders of good conscience need to take collective responsibility and kick out the big business crony party, and vote for parties that care about people.

    • Atiawa 8.2

      Fuck off. The post is about governments responsibility.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 8.3

      What I absolutely dislike about your comment is how little personal responsibility you exhibit. The responsibility to educate yourself before running your mouth on subjects you have no understanding of, for example.

      • mac1 8.3.1

        How often have we heard this…”But, but, but, I’m entitled to my opinion,” which actually means “I don’t have to apply logic or facts to my beliefs, because they are my beliefs and they reflect my view of the world, and since I’m comfortable with that view and your views are too challenging and uncomfortable, I’m not changing or even listening ……….and any way votes are about feelings and not about policy and reasoning. and my lot are in power, so there.”

    • “not once have you talked about personal responsibility”

      You know, there’s a really funny reason for that – it’s because I find the rightwing meme of bashing people who cannot find jobs, whose government does not support them sufficiently so they can feed their kids and heat their homes despite rough economic times, and whose children have died kinda heartless and gross.

      I’m a leftwinger. I believe in collective responsibility and broad government support, not crushing the spirit out of one group of people so your mates can keep making huge profits.

      • Atiawa 8.4.1

        + 100

      • upnorth 8.4.2

        where is your policy – not demand more money – I said past and present (not right or left)

        Why do we have to wait 2 years for labours policy on anything – are you better to give a policy – not just spend other people money

        I seriously think you should stop cut and pasting articles and think about policy.

        Lets be fair here – policy please not emotion. I totally dislike people dying when can be avoidable

        • There have been numerous policies offered in the form of members bills from opposition parties that would have done a lot to address this problem. (from Feed the Kids bills to the home insulation initiative (which was scaled back by the govt) and more)

          I’m not sure where your comment about “not just spending other people’s money” comes in. Government spending is OUR money, it’s not “your” money that the government doesn’t have a right to that they somehow steal, there’s an implicit social contract in a democracy that this is how taxes work.

          Keep in mind as well, as Stephanie has lined out earlier, this isn’t just “spending money”, this is actually an investment. When you improve your infrastructure or have targetted spending programs to reduce certain negative outcomes, it will often save you money in the long run, either due to things like decreased health costs and benefit payouts, or simply due to increased tax take from people being more successful. There is a reason why the Spirit Level had such a reception- because when the people doing worst off in a society are doing reasonably well, everyone does better. (even National’s mates, although they don’t realise it because they’re too obsessed with their share of the economy rather than their actual earnings)

        • One Anonymous Bloke 8.4.2.2

          where is your policy – not demand more money – I said past and present (not right or left)

          Why do we have to wait 2 years for Labours policy on anything

          Why are you asking questions of the Labour Party at The Standard?

          The Labour Party website has an extensive policy section, which you haven’t even bothered to look for. Instead, you tr*ll this forum expecting everyone else to run around for you.

          Where’s your personal responsibility? Are you going to thank me and read the policies, then? Like fuck you are, tr*ll.

    • RedLogix 8.5

      Why have we not talked about “personal responsibility”?

      Because it’s just that … personal. These families have just lost children and I think implying that it’s all due to their own lack of responsibility, is a gross lack of decency and has no place in a public forum. I want to respect their right to privacy and to grieve without making prying, sneering judgement.

      But at the same time, as Stephanie states above, I also believe that the government has a collective public health responsibility in this matter – yet they have openly and explicitly abdicated it. And that IS political and that IS what we can talk about.

      Loudly.

  9. Reddelusion 9

    socialist babysitting crocodile tears

    It now appears that not only are there 260,000 staving children on school days but our state house tenants are dying like flies due to political neglect! Why on earth are people coming New Zealand in record numbers? It’s hell on earth here We have spies reading and listening to our every communication. We are over run by rich pricks buying our houses. We have complete strangers from other countries working their buts off taking jobs off our poor unemployed brothers and sisters. It just goes on and on.

    How can I live in a country that is so inhuman you can ring WINZ to receive a free $300 heater and a $100 grant to pay for the power to run it., plus have a tradesman at your place in 10 days at no cost , my god the injustice

    The isocialist paradise of Cuba Venezuela North Korea, or any where else Syria Greece Iraq get more appealing every day

    [Stephanie: Your bingo-board troll lines are really boring, and if you do it again on this thread the readers of The Standard will get a well-deserved holiday from you. If we wanted to read rightwing mockery of the left’s tendency to actually care about people other than themselves we’d subscribe to an anonymizing service and read WhaleOil.]

  10. Lloyd 10

    Investment in children’s health and education will logically result in a richer country in the long run.
    The unfortunate thing for a five year old today is that they won’t be able to be a money-generating unit for several elections, so why should our sell-it-off-quick-to-our-mates government bother in any investment in children?

  11. Stuart Munro 11

    Good work Stephanie.

    Bill can’t run disaster capitalism and simultaneously claim to be a prudent manager. And a equity based analysis of this government would show they are constantly doing things that private companies eschew because of fraud liability.

    It’s important to lift the lid on the omnishambles because the media toadies won’t, and the opposition parties need to prepare policies to fight the fires and pump the enough water out to avoid a catastrophic failure.

    I wouldn’t hire Bill to keep books for ISIS, much less New Zealand. Reckon his wife balances his chequebook for him.

  12. Policy Parrot 12

    The word “myopia” immediately springs to mind.

    “… a viewpoint that fails to consider anything outside a very narrow and limited range.”

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • New Zealand joins global search for COVID-19 vaccine
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon Megan Woods, Minister of Research, Science and Innovation Hon Dr David Clark, Minister of Health Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods,  and Health Minister David Clark today announced a COVID-19 vaccine strategy, ...
    4 hours ago
  • 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 ...
    1 day 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 ...
    7 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

  • 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
    1 hour 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 hours 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
    1 day 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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