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Cuts that could kill

Written By: - Date published: 7:55 am, April 26th, 2013 - 47 comments
Categories: accountability, Conservation, disaster - Tags: , , , , ,

Time after time after time we have seen variations on the same theme – without competent regulation things go wrong. It doesn’t matter whether the lack of regulation comes about as a result of specific policy decisions or of lack of resources to do a job properly, the end result is the same, an increased probability of disaster.

Take the global financial crisis caused by the consequences of the deregulation of the financial sector (explained here by Elizabeth Warren). Take the leaky homes crisis brought to us by a National government’s deregulation of the building industry. Take our failed and extortionate electricity “market”, brought to us by a National government’s deregulation of the electricity industry. Take the under-resourcing that leads to a lack of effective oversight and gave us (in various contexts) disasters at Cave Creek, the Pike River Mine, and the CTV building in Christchurch.

And still the lesson isn’t learned – this time it will be fine, right? The Nats are cutting DOC to the bone:

DoC staff worried cuts may lead to another disaster

A leaked document from the Department of Conservation shows staff are worried restructuring and job losses could lead to another disaster like Cave Creek.

Thirteen teenagers and one DoC staff member were killed when a DoC viewing platform at Cave Creek near Punakaiki on the West Coast collapsed in 1995.

The department says it has received more than 1000 submissions from staff about its plan to restructure, cut 140 jobs and merge its 11 conservancies into six to meet an $8.7 million savings target.

A report obtained by Radio New Zealand sent from DoC’s head office to staff says in those submissions a large number of staff raised concerns about the proposals.

It says the biggest worry is there will not be clear accountability under the new model that could lead to another Cave Creek.
However, the report says a huge amount has changed since that disaster and lessons about accountability will not be lost.

DOC staff have given their warning. (The outgoing DOC Director General – hmmmm – will be behind the reassuring official position of the report, but he isn’t going to be there to see it through is he.) Labour and the Greens have given their warnings. All of which will go unheeded by the Nats. And one day these cuts could kill.

47 comments on “Cuts that could kill”

  1. Ad 1

    At this level of funding it’s tempting to ask why not outsource the entire Department to Fish and Game, Maori, tramping clubs and Forest and Bird. DoC is just becoming a clearing-house for service contracts.

    Outsourcing is corrosive, both in sustaining service levels and in democratic accountability. Some local governments understand this (like Auckland and Queenstown Lakes), and are rapidly pulling things in-house. I think there’s a general principle there about aggregating all services inwards, into fully accountable Departments. Old School.

    I am always stunned by the professionalism of DoC staff at any of the major huts; they are true ambassadors for public service generally. Plus they always look so ridiculously fit and healthy, and some like Aspiring Hut get to helicopter in to work, and then live there for months.

    • The really ridiculous thing is that the cuts to DOC are directly related to Key’s increase in tourism funding of $158m. He wants to attract more and more people to witness our natural beauty but will be spending less and less on preserving it. Typical merchant banker behavior.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1

        And cutting the policies that help preserve it as well so that a few people can make more nothing money.

      • Murray Olsen 1.1.2

        I noticed what Key said about his high end tourists. He means business conferences, to fill the convention centres. These will be the same people who think strip mining, fracking, and offshore drilling are great ideas. Their idea of natural beauty probably doesn’t go much further than a naked hooker. It’s ridiculous, but consistent.

  2. Richard 2

    So now we know why Al Morrison was so enthusiastic about gutting DOC – he was to be rewarded with a big fat promotion. Talk about selling your soul.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      Tory Govts are good employers like this, if you do the dirty jobs they ask, you get properly recognised for your time, energy and effort.

      • Mary 2.1.1

        Watching him squirm trying to answer some of the questions around the cuts a few weeks back was interesting. Listening to some of the commentators after that, though, anyone would think he pulled it off. But I thought he came across as not believing what he was saying, contradicted himself a number of times, and got angry at interviewers who questioned what he was saying. This often happens, of course, when someone’s trying to defend the indefensible, as was clearly the case here. What was especially interesting, though, was Morrison’s aggression. He’s always been an angry little bugger, even as far back as when he was at the Evening Post. At least then he could say he was doing his job – often directing that anger at government, but even back then I always thought there was something not quite right about him, which for me has been borne out in his poacher-turned-gamekeeper behaviour. The shit he was talking when defending the decimation of DoC really was quite staggering. Now we can look forward to same sort of shit coming out of what’s supposed to be one of the prime pillars of independence within the public service. Heaven help us.

        • just saying 2.1.1.1

          Yes Al’s spin in the media was quite breathtaking: slashing funding to DOC and firing large numbers of its workforce was actually a good thing because it “allowed” vounteers and the private sector to take up their place in protecting our flora and fauna. DOC bringing fewer and fewer challenges on behalf of the environment at the environment court was good because they could be more focussed on the few challeneges they did take, etc…..

          That man will go far……

    • Jono 2.2

      My partner read his email to DOC staff to me last night. Talk about a rat leaving a sinking ship. He could have stayed on to bury the corpse (excuse the mixed metaphors). You are right about the executioners being rewarded handsomely though. Make the right moves on a review panel even as a lowly ranger and you will end up being on all the subsequent panels and keep getting promotions.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.3

      Yep, on Planet Key when you help the rich get richer by screwing over everybody else you certainly get well rewarded.

    • weka 2.4

      Al Morrison is one of NZ’s premier traitors.

  3. Paul 3

    Now I know that the Labour Party does not read blogs, so maybe if the Green Party read this, they have the narrative that will win the election for the left.

    There are enough people affected by the deregulation of our country, who once they see the narrative and can join the dots between all the disasters afflicting our country, will stop listening to the ‘nanny state’ spin of the right and indeed welcome a caring and sharing society…even if it means more rules and more tax.

    Deregulation does not work in people’s interests.
    I’m sure there’s a PR person who can turn this issue into a catchy phrase. Here’s my idea….

    Domestic electricity customers can see what happens when deregulation occurs
    Can you?

    The people of Christchurch can see what happens when deregulation occurs
    Can you?

    The miners of the west coast can see what happens when deregulation occurs
    Can you?

    The owners of leaky homes can see what happens when deregulation occurs
    Can you?

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      Deregulation is an awful word to try and base a campaign on (5 syllables and a tongue twister to boot)

      Much simpler:

      Free market failure.

      • Mary 3.1.1

        “Free market failure” to me allows the right to cash in on the “North Korean economics” rubbish. Nobody wants to oppose “freedom”. I think we need to describe what makes electricity and other essential services different. At the moment Joyce, Key et al are getting mileage out of the “what’s next”? question, which the Left needs to halt by making clear why it’s important that essential services should not be put out to private, often overseas interests to make unconscionable profits. The message needs to be what makes essential services different, otherwise the Joyce/Key PR machine will continue to control of the battle of ideas. This has always been a weakness in the Left – never really disciplined enough to ensure clear and unbroken lines of communication.

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1

          In fact, I want to see National continue their lines about North Korea, Soviet Union, Zimbabwe, etc. The more the better.

          Nobody wants to oppose “freedom”.

          The line here is “Freedom but only for the Rich”.

          However that is starting to engage in overt class warfare and Labour has no interest in that.

          • Mary 3.1.1.1.1

            “Freedom but only for the Rich”

            Yes, that’s very good. Highlights the hypocrisy.

            Don’t know about the North Korea, Labour commies stuff. I think it can be too alluring even for the poor.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.2

          I think we need to describe what makes electricity and other essential services different.

          /agreed

          Have to phrase it that us having ownership of these essential services with democratic control of them maintains our freedom while selling them makes us serfs to the new owners.

        • Bill 3.1.1.3

          My wee (clunky) contribution on producing catch phrases…..

          “Our choice: essential theft versus essential services.”

          ” Electricity for us versus foreign holidays for them.”

          “Jobs for a life versus our life for a job.”

          “Our democracy versus their tyranny.”

          “Dry homes for us versus dripping in profits for them.”

          • ghostrider888 3.1.1.3.1

            Dry homes…

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.3.2

            “Jobs for a life versus our life for a job.”
            Seen the latest BNZ advertising on the billboards? It’s got two options on it:

            Choose Kiwisaver
            Choose to work til you die

            Really gives me the desire to get active in graffiti and add:

            Choose a better socio-economic system

            These psychopaths in the banks really do want to remove the possibility of retirement for the majority of people.

      • red rattler 3.1.2

        My pick is the word that stumblebum stumbled over “super-profits”.

    • Antonina 3.2

      I think Grant Robertson is having difficulty seeing this – see his assurance that there is no thought of further intervention to assist the people of NZ.

      • Bill 3.2.1

        I think Grant Robertson is having difficulty seeing this –

        I think Robertson sees it clearly enough. But then, I also think Robertson is essentially a neo-lib alongside the likes of Goff, King, Mallard et al. Them’s wants to be in control of what is and do not want to challenge or change the status quo in any meaningful way.

      • Elizabeth Bourchier 3.2.2

        Darling, Grant only sees one thing.
        Every morsel of his body is about becoming PM.
        There is no manoeuvre he will not undertake to get to that end.

        His “boss” Shearer is overseas so he is trying out the Labour Leader role.
        He over-reaches, let us say kindly.

        The concept of being or not being neo-liberal does not come into it. He will say whatever works for him with the Press Gallery.
        He doesn’t even dress to the left!

        • farmboy 3.2.2.1

          new zealand is along way off electing a gay p.m if you think they would then you dont know new zealanders very well to much time at those fancy cafe’s in auckland me thinks

          • Murray Olsen 3.2.2.1.1

            Get back behind the shearing shed and remember it’s only gay if you use lube. Life was so much simpler before them fancy cafes, when men were men, gays were for bashing, and sheep were for shagging. Now try to get off that socialist irrigation. Just say no. Stand on your own feet, all four of them.

  4. Peter 4

    I’m still waiting to see the promise from Labour to restore the Department of Conservation to full strength.

    And yeah, these cuts may cause another failure of systems that led to Cave Creek, but they are far more likely to cause other deaths – that of native species, and unlike humans, these are at far more risk of extinction.

    • Paul 4.1

      Sounds a bit North Korean to me.

    • NZ Femme 4.2

      @ Peter

      Was curious about that myself, so had a look at Labour’s revised policy platform, currently in draft form:

      “…Conservation Estate – Labour led the world in 1987 by establishing the Department of Conservation (DOC) as an agency dedicated to the protection of our natural environment, as well as to providing opportunities for Kiwis to enjoy the great outdoors. Labour upholds the values and aspirations that support conservation and biodiversity protection. The focus on endangered species will be maintained. Accompanying this is the need for first-class biosecurity systems to keep pests and diseases out of New Zealand and protect our country from environmental and economic damage.

      The advocacy responsibility of both the Minister and the Department will be restored, with the Minister of Conservation having the decision making role restored in matters affecting the Conservation Estate.

      Restrictions on commercial activity on the Conservation estate, and in particular mining, will be clarified with stronger protection of areas with important conservation values. Labour will strengthen protection for wild rivers.

      Labour will work in partnership with supporters of that conservation work but will ensure that conservation work is not dependent on commercial patronage…”

      https://www.labour.org.nz/sites/labour.org.nz/files/Revised%20Policy%20Platform%20Version%20-%2026%20%203%2013.pdf

      • Peter 4.2.1

        He he, well done.

        If I am to paraphrase this with National’s current policy, I get the following:

        The focus on endangered species will be maintained. Accompanying this is the need for first-class biosecurity systems to keep pests and diseases out of New Zealand and protect our country from environmental and economic damage.
        – so, no increase for endangered species, maybe an improvement for biosecurity at the border

        The advocacy responsibility of both the Minister and the Department will be restored, with the Minister of Conservation having the decision making role restored in matters affecting the Conservation Estate.
        – This is poorly worded, the advocacy responsibilities of DOC under the Conservation Act have never been removed, they’ve just had their budgets slashed. So, you can’t restore a function that still exists. Labour need to increase funding. They could however fix it up on mining, returning access right granting privileges solely to the Minister.

        Restrictions on commercial activity on the Conservation estate, and in particular mining, will be clarified with stronger protection of areas with important conservation values. Labour will strengthen protection for wild rivers.
        -Believe it or not, this is actually National’s justification for the Crown Minerals Act changes – stronger protection for high value areas, no protection for the rest. The wild rivers stuff is excellent, however, no further protection is needed, people just need resourcing to get Water Conservation Orders on wild rivers.

        Labour will work in partnership with supporters of that conservation work but will ensure that conservation work is not dependent on commercial patronage…”
        – A hint, maybe, of a small funding increase.

        So, sadly, nothing earth shattering.

        • NZ Femme 4.2.1.1

          Awesome parsing! Helpful for someone like me who’s going, “ok, sounds good, but what does it actually mean?”

          I think it’s an important discussion to be had, right now, while still in draft form, especially with input to be had by LP members at upcoming conferences. (am not a member BTW)

          Cheers

          • Richard 4.2.1.1.1

            It is significant that Labour states the advocacy role will be restored. I see it not so much a matter of taking away funding for advocacy, but the fact that National has gagged Doc staff in advocating for conservation. I don’t think it requires big bucks for DOC area offices to identify what needs protecting. The dollars are needed further down the track when an action has been agreed on.
            But first you have to allow Doc staff to voice their opinions. National have used the fear of review and redundancy to gag staff.

            • NZ Femme 4.2.1.1.1.1

              And with 140 less voices to gag, the remaining demoralized workforce will have to yell that much harder for fewer financial resources to advocate with, if they can summon the will.

              When I lived in Northland in the 90’s, the DOC workers in my circle were some of the most passionate, knowledgeable and staunch advocates for the environment I’d met. I still have fond memories of being taken to a kokako breeding program at Waipoa Forest, and hand feeding a chick with a kokako hand puppet with a syringe attached. Magical stuff.

              You’re right I think, the current 11 conservancy’s are likely well aware of what their area’s need in terms of protection. Reducing those conservancy areas to 6, and with 140 jobs to disappear under National, I’m not sure that it will be as easy to identify and implement those protections in the future.

          • Peter 4.2.1.1.2

            I work in conservation advocacy, and yeah, for every DOC regional staff member that gets cut, my daily job gets tougher.

            • ghostrider888 4.2.1.1.2.1

              funding unlikely to increase. (thanks for the breakdown Peter) the lay of the land was in the initial defense made of the restructuring.

  5. weka 5

    “Take the under-resourcing that leads to a lack of effective oversight and gave us (in various contexts) disasters at Cave Creek, the Pike River Mine, and the CTV building in Christchurch.”

    I’m not sure Cave Creek is a simple as that. It was more the convergence of kiwi DIY, #8 wire ingenuity, and the push for the tourism dollar (and IMO marks the beginning of the end of self-sufficient NZ, and is a key point in the ceding of DOC to corporate imperatives). Remember, this was a new viewing platform, constructed as part of the shift within DOC from conservation to tourism revenue. It wasn’t necessary for DOC’s core responsibilities, why was it being built in the first place?

    We’ve come a long way down a very bad path since then, and while I agree that the current staff cuts to DOC are bad, there are worse things going on in that Dept, to do with the culture and what DOC’s roles are. As usual, the sleepy hobbits are not too bothered.

    • Peter 5.1

      Not really actually. I know of many DIY structures in the backcountry that have held up far longer than Cave Creek, and some are still there, hidden away…

      What caused the fatalities at Cave Creek was a combination of cutbacks and neoliberal-style management structures that resulted in a lack of communication between the builders of the thing (the foundations and the structure were built by separate contractors, in true Taylorist style), and then never connected. The platform itself was damned solid, and was still reasonably intact even on the bottom of the gorge – it just wasn’t connected to its foundations by anything more than a few nails.

      Naturally, the response after Cave Creek (and this risk-aversion is still very much alive and well within DOC today) focused more on structures that could be deemed unsafe, rather than on the nutty outsourcing culture that led to the event causing, and the New Zealand backcountry lost a lot of facilities.

      • weka 5.1.1

        “Not really actually. I know of many DIY structures in the backcountry that have held up far longer than Cave Creek, and some are still there, hidden away…”

        Me too. Which is part of my point. Prior to that time, people either had the knowledge and skill or they didn’t try and make something so far beyond their level of expertise.

        “The platform itself was damned solid, and was still reasonably intact even on the bottom of the gorge – it just wasn’t connected to its foundations by anything more than a few nails.”

        That was my understanding as well. So why were people trying to install something so far beyond their knowledge and skill?

        Why was DOC trying to built such a technically difficult structure in the first place?

        • Peter 5.1.1.1

          I think the issue here was that due to the quasi-competitive system they had in place for the contracts, that one contractor was not allowed to talk to the other about where the two projects met – at the foundations!

          Instead, this communication was to take place through DOC, which due to staff cuts, never happened.

  6. DH 6

    Well I don’t know much about DOCs operations but I’ve had a peek at their 2012 annual report

    Wages bill $131,676,000

    1101 full time frontline staff
    538 full time back office staff
    211 temporary staff (full time equivalents)

    Total FTE staff 1850

    Average wage $71,176 (plus a few extra perks not counted here)

    Nice for some. I’ve often heard that the typical coal-face DOC worker gets paid bugger all and if so some are creaming it there.

    Cutting 140 jobs would be $11.12 million in total wage costs saved if they cut right across the board proportionately up to senior managers. They say the savings target is $8.7 million which includes more than just wages so it looks like they’re going to arsehole the lower-paid staff who do all the work and keep the fatcats on their gravy train.

    • NZ Femme 6.1

      “…Cutting 140 jobs would be $11.12 million in total wage costs saved if they cut right across the board proportionately up to senior managers. They say the savings target is $8.7 million which includes more than just wages so it looks like they’re going to arsehole the lower-paid staff who do all the work and keep the fatcats on their gravy train…”

      By reducing the conservancy areas from 11 to 6, there must be a few fatcat gravy trainers going though.

      I’m concerned about the loss of intimate working knowledge of each current local conservancy disappearing with the job losses. Particularly with the merging of conservancy areas.

    • ghostrider888 6.2

      won’t be replacing many back office staff with volunteers and community groups (maybe some corporate partners though).

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    14 hours ago
  • Better protection against late payments
    New legislation is being proposed which aims to reduce the stress and financial hardship caused by late payments to small businesses. The Minister for Small Business Stuart Nash is considering stricter rules around payment practices between businesses. “Late payments from large organisations to smaller suppliers can be crippling for these ...
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    17 hours ago
  • Police partnership programme with Fiji launched
    A new partnership programme between the New Zealand Police and Fiji Police will focus on combatting transnational organised crime and enhancing investigative skills, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on the first day of her visit to Fiji. The programme will see: ·       New Zealand Institute of Environmental Science and Research ...
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    1 day ago
  • Joint statement from Prime Minister Ardern and Prime Minister Bainimarama
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama met today in Suva, and renewed their commitment to continue to strengthen Fiji-New Zealand relations on a foundation of shared values and equal partnership. The Prime Ministers acknowledged the kinship between Fijians and New Zealanders, one that has endured over ...
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    1 day ago
  • $19.9 million from PGF for Kawerau
    A $19.9 million investment from the Provincial Growth Fund will help develop essential infrastructure for an industrial hub in the Bay of Plenty town of Kawerau, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “The funding will go to three projects to further develop the Putauaki Trust Industrial Hub, an industrial ...
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    2 days ago
  • PGF funds Mahia roading package
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing $8.3 million on a roading package for Mahia that will lead to greater and wider economic benefits for the region and beyond, Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced at an event in Mahia today. The $8.3 million announced consists of: $7 ...
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    2 days ago
  • 18,400 children lifted out of poverty
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed new reporting showing the Coalition Government is on track to meet its child poverty targets, with 18,400 children lifted out of poverty as a result of the Families Package.   Stats NZ has released the first set of comprehensive child poverty statistics since the Government ...
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    2 days ago
  • 20,000 more Kiwi kids on bikes
    Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter today announced that Bikes in Schools facilities have been rolled out to 20,000 more kiwi kids under this Government. She made the announcement at the opening of a new bike track at Henderson North School in Auckland. “Bikes in Schools facilities give kids ...
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    2 days ago
  • Benefit settings rise in line with wages as of 1 April
    Benefit settings rise in line with wages as of 1 April   Main benefits will increase by over 3 percent, instead of 1.66 percent, on 1 April with the Government’s decision to annually adjust benefit rates to increases in the average wage. The Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni, said ...
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    2 days ago
  • Foreign and Trade Ministers to lead business delegation to India
    Strengthening New Zealand’s political and business ties with India will be the focus of Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters’ and Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker’s visit to India this week. The Ministers are co-leading a high level business delegation to India to support increased people and economic engagement ...
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    3 days ago
  • Minister champions more Pacific in STEM – Toloa Awards
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio continues to champion for greater Pacific participation in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) careers with the announcement of the Toloa Awards, with 8 recipients of the Toloa Community Fund and 13 Toloa Tertiary Scholarships. “The Toloa Programme encourages more Pacific peoples ...
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    3 days ago
  • Submission period for whitebait consultation extended
    Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage has extended the date for people to have their say on proposed changes to improve management of whitebait across New Zealand.   Submissions were due to close on 2 March 2020 but will now remain open until 9am on Monday 16 March 2020.   “I have ...
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    4 days ago
  • New international protection for frequent fliers
    The endangered toroa/Antipodean albatross has new international protection for its 100,000km annual migration, thanks to collaborative efforts led by New Zealand, Australia and Chile.   Today, 130 countries agreed to strictly protect Antipodean albatross at the Conference of Parties on the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild ...
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    4 days ago
  • Government to regulate vaping
      No sales to under-18-year-olds No advertising and sponsorship of vaping products and e-cigarettes No vaping or smokeless tobacco in smokefree areas Regulates vaping product safety comprehensively, - including devices, flavours and ingredients Ensure vaping products are available for those who want to quit smoking   Vaping regulation that balances ...
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    4 days ago
  • Justice Minister represents New Zealand at Berlin nuclear disarmament summit
    Justice Minister Andrew Little will travel to Berlin tomorrow to represent New Zealand at a high-level summit on nuclear disarmament. This year, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) celebrates 50 years since it entered into force. “New Zealand’s proud record and leadership on nuclear disarmament is unwavering, so it’s important we are present ...
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    4 days ago
  • Prime Minister to visit Fiji and Australia
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will visit two of New Zealand’s most important Pacific partners, Fiji and Australia, next week. The visit to Fiji will be the first by a New Zealand Prime Minister in four years and comes during the 50th anniversary of Fijian independence and diplomatic relations between our ...
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    5 days ago
  • Next steps in Criminal Cases Review Commission announced
    Justice Minister Andrew Little and New Zealand First MP Darroch Ball, have today announced the appointment of the Chief Commissioner of the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), the location, and the membership of the Establishment Advisory Group. Colin Carruthers QC has been appointed Chief Commissioner of the CCRC for an ...
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    6 days ago
  • Horticultural Ahuwhenua Trophy finalists announced
    Māori Development Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta and Agriculture Minister Hon Damien O’Connor co-announced the first horticultural finalists for the Ahuwhenua Trophy celebrating excellence in the Māori agricultural sector.  The three finalists are Ngai Tukairangi Trust from Mt Maunganui, Otama Marere Trust from Tauranga, and Hineora Orchard Te Kaha 15B Ahuwhenua ...
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    6 days ago
  • New support for students with dyslexia
    A new kete of resources to strengthen support for students with dyslexia will provide extra tools for the new Learning Support Coordinators (LSCs) as they start in schools, Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The Minister launched the kete in Wellington this morning, at the first of three induction ...
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    6 days ago
  • Rental reforms progress to select committee stage
    The Government continues to make progress on a fairer and more secure rental market for renters and landlords with the First Reading of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill and its referral to the Social Services and Community Select Committee.  “Now is the opportunity for landlords, tenants and others who want ...
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    6 days ago
  • Papua New Guinea Prime Minister to visit New Zealand
    Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister Hon James Marape will visit New Zealand from 21-25 February, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. “New Zealand and Papua New Guinea have a warm and friendly relationship. I look forward to welcoming Prime Minister Marape here and strengthening the relationship between our two countries,” ...
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    6 days ago
  • Free school lunches served up to thousands
    Thousands of children have begun receiving a free lunch on every day of the school week, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. The Government’s free and healthy school lunch programme is under way for 7,000 students at 31 schools in Hawke’s Bay / Tairāwhiti and Bay of Plenty / Waiariki, extending ...
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    6 days ago
  • Social Wellbeing Agency replaces Social Investment Agency with new approach
    The Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni today announced a new approach that continues to broaden the Government’s social sector focus from a narrow, investment approach to one centred on people and wellbeing. Minister Sepuloni said redefining the previous approach to social investment by combining science, data and lived experience ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government to strengthen protections for whistleblowers
    The Government is strengthening the Protected Disclosures Act to provide better protection for whistle blowers, Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins said today. “The Protected Disclosures Act is meant to encourage people to speak up about serious wrongdoing in the workplace and protect them from losing their jobs or being ...
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    6 days ago
  • PM speech at Parliamentary Chinese New Year celebration 2020
    Nǐn hǎo (Hello in Mandarin). Xīn Nián Kuài Lè (Happy New Year in Mandarin) Néi Hóu (Hello in Cantonese). Sun Nin Fai Lok (Happy New Year in Cantonese) Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Thank you for your invitation to attend this celebration today. I would like to acknowledge ...
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    7 days ago
  • IPANZ Annual Address
    Kia ora. Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa. Nau mai haere mai ki te Whare Pāremata. E ngā mana whenua ki tēnei rohe Taranaki Whānui, Te Upoko o Te Ika, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Ngāti Raukawa – kei te mihi, kei te mihi, kei te mihi. E ngā mana, e ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 2020 IPANZ Annual Address
    Kia ora. Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa. Nau mai haere mai ki te Whare Pāremata. E ngā mana whenua ki tēnei rohe Taranaki Whānui, Te Upoko o Te Ika, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Ngāti Raukawa – kei te mihi, kei te mihi, kei te mihi. E ngā mana, e ngā ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tougher penalties for gun crime a step closer
    Tougher penalties for gun crime are a step closer with the passage of firearms reform legislation through another stage in Parliament. The Arms Legislation Bill has tonight passed its Second Reading. “The changes have one objective - to prevent firearms falling into the wrong hands,” said Police Minister Stuart Nash. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Arms Legislation Bill: Second Reading
    Introduction Mr Speaker We all know why we are here today. It has been a long journey. The journey did not actually begin on 15 March 2019. It began on 30 June 1997. Almost 23 years ago, Justice Sir Thomas Thorp told us what was wrong with our firearms legislation. ...
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    1 week ago
  • New era for vocational education
    The Government’s work to put trades and vocational education back on the agenda took another major step forward today with the passing of the Education (Vocational Education and Training Reform) Amendment Bill, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “This is a watershed day for trades and vocational education. These law changes formalise ...
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    1 week ago
  • Bill to Amend the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Act
    Speeding up the return of Christchurch regeneration activities to local leadership is behind the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Amendment Bill introduced to Parliament today by Minister Megan Woods. “As we approach nine years since the February 2011 earthquake in Canterbury, and with the transition to local leadership well underway, the time ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Milford Track to partly reopen after storm damage
    Hundreds of New Zealanders and international visitors will be able to get back out into nature with the Milford Track partially reopening next week, after extensive assessments and repairs, the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. The popular Great Walk has been closed since 3 February after an extreme ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government drives low-emissions transport momentum
    Up to 110 new EV chargers nationwide in cities and regions 50 electric vehicles for ride-sharing The Government is helping deliver more infrastructure and options for low emissions transport through new projects, Energy and Resources Minister Dr Megan Woods says. Tauranga, Nelson, Levin, New Plymouth and Oamaru are just some ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Kiwis better off under Coalition Government
    New Zealanders are increasingly better off under this Government as wages rise and families have more disposable income, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. Stats NZ reported today that average household disposable incomes after housing costs rose 4.9% in 2019. This was the highest rise in four years and came as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Another step towards restoring rights for screen production workers
    All New Zealanders need to have their voices heard at work to ensure we have an inclusive and productive economy. Today we introduce a Bill to do this for workers in the New Zealand screen industry, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. “The Screen Industry Workers Bill will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Enhanced Taskforce Green for Southland and South Otago
    The Government has announced further help for the Southland and Otago regions to speed up recovery efforts from the floods.  “I’ve approved Enhanced Taskforce Green (ETFG), making $500,000 available to help with the clean-up in Fiordland, Southland, and the Clutha district in Otago,” Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni said.  ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Employers and Industry take the lead to connect students to vocational education
    Following the announcement that more than 340 schools will be funded to run events promoting vocational education, the Government has announced it will fund a further 257 events to be run by employers and industry. “These industry-run events will allow more than 30,000 students to connect with more than 2,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago