Crime falls again

Written By: - Date published: 11:13 am, October 1st, 2008 - 26 comments
Categories: crime - Tags:

Crime fell 1% in the last year from 1025 recorded crimes per 10,000 people to 1014. This is part of a pattern that has continued since National was booted from power and living conditions for the poor started to improve. The only big increase after 2000 you see in this graph (05-06) is a result of a change in reporting practice, not the actual level of crime.

Now, I know our right-wing viewers will be up in arms about this. They will point to the fact that recorded domestic violence offences are up as proof that we’re going to hell in a hand basket. But remember, the measure is not ‘crimes’ but ‘recorded crimes’ – crimes have to be discovered (not all crimes are), reported, and recorded to get in the stats. So, reporting levels matter a lot. The evidence the Police have is that it is higher reporting, due to campaigns like ‘it’s not OK’, and better Police practice is behind the increase in the number of reported domestic violent crime. As I have noted previously, homicides are violent crimes that end in death and have a near 100% reporting rate – homicides are down, it would be strange to assume there is more violence but less of it is resulting in death. So, the sensible conclusion is that violent crime is not necessarily occurring more, it is being reported more.

The other point is that it makes sense that crime would be falling. When unemployment is low, people who might otherwise commit crimes have a constructive way to occupy their time and make a living. High unemployment leads to poverty and alienation – a recipe for crime.

[incidentally, as one might expect, all the publicity around tagging seems to be flowing through into higher reporting. Related offences – theft and burglary – continue to fall, and have halved since 1997]

[for Akdnut – murders in Auckland. Note, the number is small 5-21 a year (average 12), so there’s a lot of random variation]

26 comments on “Crime falls again ”

  1. Also worth noting that the resolution rate is up. 10,000 more crimes were resolved this year – thse 1000 extra cops coming into play.

  2. Ben R 2

    Possibly also due to increased sentences introduced by Labour? Having serious offenders incarcerated for longer periods will obviously reduce crime.

  3. Bill 3

    From watching the media you’d think NZ was on the verge of descending into violent chaos. Just last night TVNZ ran top on a dairy robbery/fight with the camera lapping up a kid dripping in blood, then used it to lead to a rehash the dairy owner murder of a month or two back.

    It’s bloody tiresome.

    So crime is dropping, yet prison populations are the second highest in the world per capita (I think) and the media, nightly, ghoulishly fixates on personal trauma.

    Fuck the crime rate…the underlying issue, which is far more important, is one of a media and a state peddling fear to the population on a consistent basis.

    A frightened population is an easily controlled population.

    When you throw in all the B/S ‘safety’ rules amounting to a message that ‘the state’ will keep you safe (on pain of fines)…no tree climbing,round-a-bouts or see-saws… helmets, pads, goggles and gloves as standard attire, with guidelines and rules for anything and everything including, before too long, water wings for fish inside NZ territorial waters…and you have a two pronged dynamic converging at the same point: that point being one that encourages fear.

    Don’t go out (you’ll be stabbed…ie we are our own enemies) and don’t ‘do anything’ (recreationally or practically) without the legislatively backed safety precautions or your life will be in danger (you are a mortal danger to yourself…so we will fine you if you don’t ‘play safe’…for your own good, of course)

    There is something very disquieting about promulgating fear. It’s not going to lead anywhere good, and yet it just keeps on being promoted and reinforced with no comment, analysis or evident resistance.

    Like I say. Disquieting.

  4. But… but.. but I heard from a mate of a mate a guy in Christchurch who was robbed by a maori guy… or he might have been an islander… So you must be wrong!

  5. Bill 5

    Ah, Christchurch! Just recently got some global award for being a safe city. Yet it gives me the heeby-jeebies. Anyway. Your mate’s, mate’s mate should have tooled up…with all required safety gear/precautions included and then wrapped himself up in cotton wool and gone to bed.

    I’d say he should be fined for being irresponsible.

  6. sean 6

    These figures are still bad – it means everyone in New Zealand has more than a 1 in 10 chance of having a crime committed against them this year.

    And you guys think that is good?

  7. Ben R 7

    “So crime is dropping, yet prison populations are the second highest in the world per capita (I think) and the media, nightly, ghoulishly fixates on personal trauma.”

    As I said above, I suspect the increasing prison population is part of the reason why the crime rate is declining (in addition to relatively low unemployment, increasing police numbers).

    “the underlying issue, which is far more important, is one of a media and a state peddling fear to the population on a consistent basis.”

    Presumably they wouldn’t be able to if people stopped getting killed?

    “When you throw in all the B/S ?safety? rules”

    What, like expecting people to wear seatbelts, or lifejackets? Surely you agree we need some safety rules?

  8. Bill 8

    sean.

    A sheep broke through my fence yesterday and ate some veggies. No big deal. Rounded her up and fixed the fence.

    If it had been a person, and I’d reported it we would have had criminal damage to property, trespass and theft.

    Crime-shmime.

  9. Quoth the Raven 9

    Bill – Are you from Auckland? Because Auckland has higher crime than Christchurch. I don’t ever feel unsafe here. I haven’t been a victim of crime in over a decade.

  10. Bill 10

    Ben R

    Throwing people in jail is, for the most part, stupid and counter productive. Yes, there is a very small minority of people for who jail could arguably be the only solution we have. This is not an argument I’m going to pursue though since positions are deeply entrenched on the issue. You have my view and I know yours. Well leave it there.

    The media seems to gleefully report on ‘every’ instance of violence. Every night there is a death or an act of violence being forced on your experience/perception. It’s way out of kilter with the actual instances you have of these things in your real life. It’s a pernicious drip feed of fear and insecurity which has an effect on you in spite of your real life/ first hand experiences.

    And there is room for legislated safety. But NZ has has become unhealthily obsessed. It’s way, way over the top and, I believe, detrimental. But I said that in my previous comment.

  11. sean. I think it’s better.

  12. rave 12

    Crime falls? Well there you go, it must have been pushed.

    I think the family violence problem is symptomatic of the violence done to the family by the money traders. There is nothing like having your roof ripped off to bring out the violence.

    Its good that family violence is being outed and reported, but when are the real perpetrators going to be outed and reported?

    Oh I forgot, its happening as we see the financiers begging for their lives.

  13. Bill 13

    Quoth the Raven.

    “I don’t ever feel unsafe here. I haven’t been a victim of crime in over a decade.”

    That’s my point. We are not under siege…our real life experience tells us so. But the media would have us believe that something random and nasty is just around the next corner. And it ‘works’ to an ever increasing degree.

    When we are told that bad shit is rampant often enough then it follows that increasing numbers of people begin to become hesitant… in many little ways…maybe they begin to question whether to take the shortcut down the alley as opposed to going the long way (for a moment they think the worst); or find that they think about crossing the road to avoid a group of kids/teens; or up their pace a little because of those loud voices…and so it goes.

    Eventually, the initial reaction to a stranger or a group of strangers is more defensive and less open. Kind of like the old US films where an alien lands and the first reaction is to call in the tanks and point guns at their heads until they prove themselves ‘safe’, rather than just wandering up and saying hello.

  14. Ben R 14

    “Throwing people in jail is, for the most part, stupid and counter productive. Yes, there is a very small minority of people for who jail could arguably be the only solution we have.”

    It may be stupid, but it seems to reduce crime rates.

    It’s not as though people get thrown in jail lightly. The offending has to be serious and generally the people who receive custodial sentences are not first time offenders. They tend to have long histories & have previously served community service.

  15. Akdnut 15

    Well I live in Auckland and I agree that the number of deaths has increased (but surely more people – as in population growth = more crime) and that violent crime up here on an average is reported moreso than it was 10-15 years ago. But I think that I would prefer to live here than in Christchurch because just looking at the amount of deaths and that severity of commited crimes that are shown on the news, per capita Auckland has to be safer plus its a lot warmer

  16. Akdnut. The number of homicides in Auckland is not up. Look at the stats. OK, I know you won’t so I’ve made you the graph, see the post again.

  17. Bill 17

    Akdnut
    “…amount of deaths and that severity of commited crimes that are shown ON THE NEWS…”

    Which bears, at best, a very questionable semblance to reality. The gauge has to be your actual experience and not your virtual experience as constructed by the news media amongst others. Otherwise your perception will be wrong because the news et al love to exaggerate the sensational and would have you believe there’s a thug on every corner, a stabber in every street and a shooter in every doorway.

    Ben R.

    “It may be stupid, but it seems to reduce crime rates”

    So would limb amputation, summary execution and deportation.

    “They tend to have long histories & have previously served community service”

    And were they offered any skill/ trade training? Rehabilitation? Any doors opened that may have led to a meaningful and sustainable change in lifestyle/habits or perceptions? Aided in developing a sense of self empowerment? I doubt it. Nothing much beyond ‘That was bad. Do you recognise good from bad now? Good. Good-bye and good luck.’ would be my guess.

  18. Matthew Pilott 18

    Sean, there is no ‘good level of crime.

    Your 1 in 10 stat is wrong though. One ‘crime’ is usually a good dozen or so offences.

    Jack a car, speed around a bit and get snapped: one person’s car stolen.

    Auto theft.
    Speeding.
    Dangerous driving.
    Posession of drug utensils.
    Posession of a class ‘c’ druns.
    Failing to stop.
    Resisting arrest.
    Breaching Bail conditions.
    And so on.

    Probably more like 1 in 50. And no, it’s not “good” Sean, just not the unprecedented disaster some would have you believe.

  19. Ben R 19

    “And were they offered any skill/ trade training? Rehabilitation? Any doors opened that may have led to a meaningful and sustainable change in lifestyle/habits or perceptions?”

    Where it was obviously a major factor I remember people being referred for drug & alchohol treatment.

    Skill or trade training that is something that probably should be looked at rather than just community work. There was a story a month or so ago about Hawkins Construction offering work to about 12 young offenders in Northcote with reasonably good results.

    In relation to youth offenders it will also be interesting to see how the Te Hurihanga programme works out.

  20. Bill 20

    Ben R

    D&A in jail works exactly like this if you are on the methadone programme. If you have a sentence long enough (and it’s not very long) you are bumped off your ‘done…stepped down and off very fast by halving the dose every day. No counselling, no support, no secondary drugs to assist with the withdrawal. Just cold turkey. Hardly ‘treatment’.

    I’d guess, although I don’t know, that alcohol and other drug addiction ‘treatments’ are the same.

    In other words, an absolutely pointless and cruel add on to a custodial sentence if you are an addict that does not lead to long term controlled use or abstinence.

  21. Akdnut 21

    thanx steve appreciate that, and that was the point i was trying to make that its as safe here now as ever it was. Between 76-79 there were 174 homicides requiring autotopsies at 12.428571….. per year http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1585887 for a population of around 927775 http://www.bigcities.govt.nz/pdf2001/population.pdf Coupled with the stats in your graph it just proves that the hype is all bs and over exagerated by media focusing in on this crap especially in Auckland. Although it really does feel as tho there have been more murders. (Just me I guess)

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    1 week ago
  • Josh Drummond's Columns
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    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday soliloquy and weekend Pick ‘n’ Mix for June 8/9
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    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
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  • The no-vision thing
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    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
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  • When Journalists are Disingenuous
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    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Me, elsewhere: Just say you’ll do the thing
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    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 week ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted
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  • Ministerial conflicts of interest
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The 2024 Budget Forecasts Are Gloomy Prognosis About The Next Three Years.
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    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • A government that can't see twenty feet ahead
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    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • A post I hope is incorrect
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Māori Cannot Re-Write New Zealand’s Constitution By Stealth.
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    1 week ago
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    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on cutting the sick leave of vulnerable workers
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    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Move: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
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    1 week ago
  • In Search Of Unity.
    Kotahitanga: New Zealand’s future belongs to those who do not fear a nation carved out of unity and solidarity, and are willing to trust the carvers. Some New Zealanders will be required to step up, and others, perhaps for the first time in their lives, will be expected to step ...
    1 week ago
  • Weekly Roundup 7-June-2024
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    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 week ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 7
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    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Did we boil the oceans by cutting pollution?
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    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #23 2024
    Open access notables Abrupt reduction in shipping emission as an inadvertent geoengineering termination shock produces substantial radiative warming, Yuan et al., Communications Earth & Environment: Human activities affect the Earth’s climate through modifying the composition of the atmosphere, which then creates radiative forcing that drives climate change. The warming effect ...
    1 week ago
  • Fragments
    The best observation I’ve read this week about the deep, profound harm Trump is doingTrump has hurled threats and smears at witnesses, jurors and the judge (including his family)... [he] has tried to intimidate witnesses and delegitimize the New York courts as corrupt. In continuing to incite his mob (that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • March for Nature
    Do do do do do do do doDo do do do do doDi di di di di di di di di di diNature enter me…In 2018 the Labour lead government banned new oil and gas exploration in Aotearoa. A change welcomed by those who care deeply for our environment and ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 6
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    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • A Better Broadway: Act 2
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    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • National breaks another health promise
    National has broken another manifesto health promise, apparently to save only $550,000. It will now train an additional 25 med students next year rather than the 50 it promised. This comes on top of the delays caused by National’s coalition partners in pushing ahead with the Waikato Medical School and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago

  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
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    2 days ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
    New Zealand and Philippines are continuing to elevate our relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “The leaders of New Zealand and Philippines agreed in April 2024 to lift our relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership by 2026,” Mr Peters says. “Our visit to Manila this week has been an excellent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Paid Parental Leave increase to help families
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Defence increases UN Command commitment
    The number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is increasing, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.  NZDF will deploy up to 41 additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend 'Summit on Peace in Ukraine' in Switzerland
    New Zealand will be represented at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine by Minister Mark Mitchell in Switzerland later this week.    “New Zealand strongly supports Ukraine’s efforts to build a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Minister Mitchell is a senior Cabinet Minister and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Big step forward for M.bovis programme
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Build To Rent opening welcomed by Housing Minister
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Housing Minister Chris Bishop formally opened a new Build to Rent development in Mt Wellington this morning. “The Prime Minister and I were honoured to cut the ribbon of Resido, New Zealand’s largest Build to Rent development to date.  “Build to Rent housing, like the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Agriculture to come out of the ETS
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Luxon Tokyo-bound for political and business visit
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will travel to Japan from 16-20 June, his first visit as Prime Minister.   “Japan is incredibly important to New Zealand's prosperity. It is the world’s fourth largest economy, and our fourth largest export destination.  “As you know, growing the economy is my number one priority. A strong economy means ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Bayly travels to Singapore for scam prevention meetings
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    6 days ago
  • More help for homeowners impacted by severe weather
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    7 days ago
  • Government to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    Removing the ban on petroleum exploration beyond onshore Taranaki is part of a suite of proposed amendments to the Crown Minerals Act to deal with the energy security challenges posed by rapidly declining natural gas reserves, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “Natural gas is critical to keeping our lights on ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand and Malaysia to intensify connections
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    1 week ago
  • Ending contracted emergency housing motels in Rotorua
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    1 week ago
  • First Home Grant closure exemptions
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    1 week ago
  • Faster consenting for flood protection projects in Hawke's Bay
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    1 week ago
  • Judge Craig Coxhead and Nathan Milner newest Māori Land Court appointments
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    1 week ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade
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    1 week ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade and cooperation
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago

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