web analytics

Disarming New Zealand

Written By: - Date published: 12:26 pm, December 7th, 2019 - 39 comments
Categories: crime, gender, police, violence against women - Tags: , , , ,

I didn’t closely follow the details of the recent debate about the arming of NZ police (specifically the trials of having permanent armed patrols), because the progressive position seems a no brainer: civil society requires the least amount of force needed by those in position of power, and the voices of marginalised groups most likely to be shot should be heeded. If police are increasingly at personal risk then put resources and political will into solving the problems that underlie increasing community violence.

I did however start thinking about the ‘creep’ of the normalisation of armed police in NZ and whether we have gone so far now that it will be hard to stop. Apparently armed police on the streets has been happening for a while in some places, notably in Christchurch (pre the Mosque murders). Arming decisions were being made by local Commanders on an as needed basis, and there appeared to be little oversight or keeping of records of what was being done.

This week three issues in the media prompted me to think more deeply.

The first was the 30th anniversary of the Montreal mass shooting, where a man entered a university, told the men to leave the room and shot the women. At the time it was almost impossible for reporting to present this as a gendered, anti-feminist crime, but there has been plenty of analysis since of both the misogynistic agenda of the shooter (the women were engineering students) and the sexism that prevented reporting of this.

The second issue was an opinion piece by a senior Massey University lecturer published by Stuff this morning, that started with this,

This country has been lucky that we haven’t had to deal with an angry, unstable father shooting up a courtroom because of the Family Court’s reckless treatment of fathers in child custody disputes.

The unarmed security guards at the entrances of most courts aren’t enough to deter a father who can’t see his kids and has nothing to lose because of harmful decisions by the Family Court.

Of course, I am not advocating that action, and if you are thinking about it or have thought about it – stop – and get some help.

He then goes on to make a case about the mistreatment of men seeking custody of their children by the Family Court. Unfortunately his argument is based on a single example where the man is seen wholly without responsibility for the situation, and instead of talking about the complex range of issues involved in Family Court disputes, his piece comes across with the subtext of ‘if you want to murder the people making decisions about the well-being of your kid, get some help, but really you’re justified in your feelings’. It’s hard to see this as not an endorsement of the man-alone, oblivious to the needs of others, macho character that so many New Zealand men are socialised into (and which needless to say underpins much of the problem that men face in Family Court)

This is an astounding thing for Stuff to publish in a country that had its first modern era political mass murder a mere ten months ago. But thirty years on from the Montreal shooting we’re obviously still not that good at understanding gendered terrorism. 

The third news item was about the gun owners who placarded outside a primary school that the Prime Minister was opening in protest at gun control laws coming in after the Christchurch Mosque shootings. Their legitimate concerns about the data breach from the gun buyback website were conflated with their objection to the partial gun ban legislation.

I have no idea if they understood the symbolism of their protest or were oblivious to it, but either way it’s mindblowing that a political pro-gun lobby group acted in a way that linked guns of the kind used to murder Muslims in NZ by a white supremacists with a primary school, given the now routine shooting of children in schools in the US where such weapons are allowed.

Some threads here. Guns don’t shoot people, men do. If you don’t know the relationship between white supremacy and male supremacy, now would be a good time to go look that up. You can also look at the relationship between domestic violence and lone shooters.

The police have long pushed for the right to arm themselves, which is not hard to understand, but society is meant to have control of that and I’m not sure we do now. Even the parliamentary left tends to authoritarianism when presented with increasing violence.

The other connection I am making is we now have a political right hellbent on Trumpian politics and actively fomenting social discord that creates the kind of conditions for escalating violence towards Māori, Muslims, women, but also at and by the police. We are incredibly fortunate to have Jacinda Ardern as PM and the ways she is pushing back against some of this social engineering including internationally, but there are still serious problems seeping through the culture.

I don’t think the left’s traditional strategy of pushing for ethical positions in politics and society with the hope that more people will adopt progressive positions is now sufficient. I’m no longer convinced that we will inevitably win. In all these cases we have increasingly marginalised men, often now being encouraged, who are finding political sanction for their sense of confusion or simmering outrage.

I’m not arguing here that they are right. I’m saying that making this a war between progressives and the emerging alt right and alt left is dangerous. We need to keep up our strong activism around values and how society organises, but we also need to build bridges with the parts of society increasingly marginalised. Yes, even gun owners. I’m not talking about the likes of the Christchurch mass murderer, or the white supremacists that cheered him on, or the dedicated MRAs. I’m talking about the people they are recruiting as we speak.

This is a both/and position that is predicated on civil society being at heart about the relationships between people and the kinds of community we engender as a result.

39 comments on “Disarming New Zealand ”

  1. Grey Area 1

    Thoughtful piece Weka, well done.

    The first time we were told the arming of our police was a police operational matter, I thought: WTF! When did we give them that amount of power?

    Never, I think but now it just gets repeated unchallenged as a given. The police will decide when and how often they carry lethal force.

    The same police who are overseen (especially in the use of that lethal force) by the Independent Police Wet Bus Ticket Authority.

    How often the policing arm of the state is armed should be a decision of the state not a state agency (or at the very least a joint decision). In the same way armed forces are supposed to be accountable to elected politicians.

    Sometimes I look up in this country I was born and have lived my life in with a puzzled look in my face because I don't recognize it.

    • weka 1.1

      I was shocked when I found out that armed police were on the streets regularly in Chch, and that it was a decision made locally and no-one seems to have tracked how much it was happening. I think I only found that out earlier this year (a month or so before the Mosque shootings).

      • Pingau 1.1.1

        This was probably mostly in response to the shoot out on Eveleyn Cousins Avenue in late February in which there was another person thought to be involved. There were a couple of other incidents also around this time in Christchurch involving guns &/or violence – there was definately a change with seeing armed police about after the shoot out on Eveleyn Couzins Ave. Possibly the police treat this kind of incident as a training event for the interim but at the time, if I remember correctly, the Police said there was an increase in gun/weapons violence (in Christchurch).

  2. Ad 2

    While gang numbers continue to rise in NZ I'm quite happy for the Police to arm up.

    Hearing gangs bleat at Select Committee about their right to open carry was pathetic.

    • weka 2.1

      I'm sure you would be happy Ad, given (I assume) you're not on a cohort likely to be shot.

      Armed gangs and police, both in macho mode, what could possibly go wrong?

      Nek minit you're in a traffic jam with cops and robbers shooting each other and bystanders.

      • Ad 2.1.1

        Arm yourself with some facts about the issue, and inhale before you make sweeping assumptions about me Weka.

        The NZPolice do reports every year in which they evaluate every time they had to use force beyond an empty hand. It's called a Tactical Options Report.

        In 2018, of more than 3.6 million formally reported interactions between Police and public, staff reported 4,398 events where tactical options were used.

        There was a 3% decrease in the number of times Police had to use a "tactical option" from the previous year.

        Yup, a 3% decrease.

        When faced with a violent situation, Police only used their taser 24% of the time, and of that 24%, 80% of those times it wasn't actually used. Just the threat is enough.

        The Police fired a gun seven times out of that 3.6 million interactions.

        https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1911/S00109/police-tactical-options-research-report-for-2018-released.htm

        And as a result the New Zealand public overwhelmingly trust our Police.

        • weka 2.1.1.1

          not sure what your point is there Ad. Are you saying that those figures somehow demonstrated that arming the police won't increase shootings?

          "And as a result the New Zealand public overwhelmingly trust our Police."

          Again, that's a certain section of society. There are other sectors that don't have a good experience of the police and don't trust them.

          Where's the sweeping assumption about you? If you belong to a group more likely to be targeted by police or more likely to be shot, then why not just say so?

          • Ad 2.1.1.1.1

            You started your article as you said with no engagement with the detail about the Police arming debate. Alarmists such as yourself should seek out facts on how weapons are used by Police, and why, and how they are reviewed.

            Presumably you are aware that there will be a full review of the use of the mobile armed units in 6 months' time.

            The "certain section of society" is from the "Police citizens satisfaction survey", which has been going for a while and you can track it over years. Of course, if you are a crim you aren't gong to ever be satisfied with the Police. It's to be expected.

            With so few people shot by Police every year either as a raw numeral or as a percentage of interactions with the Police, few can draw inferences about whether they are likely to face a Police officer with a gun. So nor should you.

            The people who might run into a Police officer having to restrain them with a gun are the criminals who carry them and use them against lawful citizens. Which is why you get this kind of horse-shit from the "Mongrel Mob Kingdom" at Select Committee.

            https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12289324

            most crime has been trending down in New Zealand for a while – except violent crime and drug crime and violent crime caused by drugs. It's gangs who cause both of that in New Zealand. We won't ever wipe them out, but we should rip their weapons off them.

    • McFlock 2.2

      Well, here's the sort of policing I think everyone wants to avoid: police officers in a shoot-out in traffic, the hostage and a bystander are killed, while police used occupied vehicles of citizens as shields.

      You routinely give someone a tool, then the use of that tool becomes routine.

      • weka 2.2.1

        this is some next level shit. Even allowing for not being able to see everything or know all the factors, there's some serious fucked up there.

        NZ should be fiercely protecting having an unarmed police, not letting it slide towards crazy.

        • weka 2.2.1.1

          Apparently UPS vans are all trackable so it's not like they even needed to be chasing it.

      • Ad 2.2.2

        One person killed out of 3.6 million interactions with the Police and the public, and one out of 4,398 incidents in which a Police officer had to reach for any kind of tactical weapon.

        You can work out the percentages and the likelihood for yourself, but for 2018 it goes 1/3,600,000 and 1/4,398.

        Can anyone guess how many times gang members pull weapons on the New Zealand public last year? The citizens of Kaitaia, Wakatane, New Plymouth and Whanganui will be able to tell yo. We are well overdue giving Police the faster ability to bring a stick to a gunfight.

        Every single gun should be ripped out of every single gang members' hands. By force from the Police if necessary. That's how to make New Zealand safer from guns.

        • weka 2.2.2.1

          upping the ante.

          Or, we could address the social issues underlying gang violence.

          "One person killed out of 3.6 million interactions with the Police and the public, and one out of 4,398 incidents in which a Police officer had to reach for any kind of tactical weapon."

          That's a really weird use of stats.

          • Ad 2.2.2.1.1

            Weka, focus, and stop confusing the issues. Your article is about weapons being see by Police and how that's apparently a bad thing.

            The statistics are indicating the proportional use of tactical options by the Police. They are not the gun nuts you think they are.

            The Police are not going to eradicate gangs. They will seek to decrease their harm.

            Eradicating gangs is a great idea, and those who want to should give it a go. In the meantime, we deserve to be protected from them by the Police.

            • weka 2.2.2.1.1.1

              "Your article is about weapons being see by Police and how that's apparently a bad thing."

              No, it's not.

              I don't think eradicating gangs should be the goal and protecting the public from them doesn't require that. I don't think police are gun nuts. I think it is you who has misunderstood what I wrote and what I believe.

              • Ad

                You used one speculative opinion from an academic who provided no facts, just lazy mouthing-off masquerading as anxiety.

                Then you used a link to your own opinion about a US gun instance.

                Then something about a massacre in Montreal.

                You will be better understood if you use facts about New Zealand

                Then link it to actual policy, about New Zealand

                That's where you will generate understanding.

                • adam

                  Sheesh Ad – you'd be glad you're an author, with that level of mansplaining going on.

                  Saying you want to violently deal with the people you threw out of society – is a bit much. You reminded me of all the other technocrates I know, basically shit scared 24/7.

                  I'd recommend reading Bertrand Russell's "The Conquest of Happiness" I'll leave you with one of my favorite quotes.

                  "A little work directed to a good end is better than a great deal of work directed to a bad end, though the apostles of the strenuous life seem to think otherwise."

        • McFlock 2.2.2.2

          Firstly, my link was where we don't want the police to end up. If you think police being so fixated on having a gunfight that they use civilians as human shields is acceptable, I'm not sure there's any point of common reference upon which to build a discussion.

          Secondly, the position that only a few police contacts out of millions result in an death sort of misses the point: only a few is still a few too many. Because some of those deaths, even in NZ, are innocent people, and some of those deaths could have been prevented by better, and more patient, police.

          One of the things I liked about the AOS of old was that they waited people out: their focus was on everyone's safety, including the offender (most of whom are just having a really bad day, rather than being movie-style sociopaths).

  3. Henry Filth 3

    Out of idle curiosity, what effect will permanently-armed price have on the prevalence of crime.

    Will there be fewer burglaries, for example?

    Or fewer armed criminals?

    Presumably theres some analytical work been done on the benefits of armed police.

    Hasn't there?

  4. barry 4

    There is no doubt that in jurisdictions where police are routinely armed there are more shootings by police and more shootings of police.

    There are a number of reasons, and you can always argue that causality goes the other way. But it seem to be true that police behaviour is influenced by their being armed. They approach situations differently. Where an unarmed cop may call for back up and a negotiator, a cop carrying a weapon is more likely to confront an offender.

    It is also true that the presence of a weapon (whether held by police or an offender) makes the situation escalate a lot more rapidly. Everybody is a lot more tense.

    A cop carrying a gun has fewer options than an unarmed cop. If the cop points his/her gun and says "freeze" or whatever NZ cops are taught to say and the offender doesn't comply and advances on the cop then there is no option but to shoot. They cannot run away, or attempt other means to defuse the situation.

    There is also doubt about the training of the average cop. The AOS has special training not only in handling weapons, but also in negotiation and when to back off. Most cops are not expecting to get into the situation and are likely to panic.

    I don't understand why police would want to be armed. Most of them are devastated when they do have to shoot someone and carrying a gun makes it much more likely.

    • miravox 4.1

      “There is no doubt that in jurisdictions where police are routinely armed there are more shootings by police and more shootings of police”

      It seems obvious, but it’s not necessarily true in western democracies. EU countries like France, Netherlands and Austria etc. are routinely armed don't have higher rates of killings by police officers than NZ. Nor does routinely-armed Australia: NZ 2017 rate was 4.2/million; Australia's was 1.7.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_killings_by_law_enforcement_officers_by_country

      It seems like it's the culture and (as you mention) probably the training is crucial in making sure armed police use tactics to defuse a situation before reaching for a gun.
      https://interactives.stuff.co.nz/2017/11/under-fire/

      My feeling is that NZ police have an aggressive policing culture and would more readily use their weapons so I’m not keen either on having armed police units regularly patrolling in NZ.

  5. alwyn 5

    I find it difficult to see the connection between the demonstration by gun owners and the rather terrifying prospect of having Police routinely carrying, and using, firearms.

    From what I can see in the news the protest at the school was peaceful, on the other side of the road from the school and there were no weapons present. They went there because it was a place where the PM would be present and in a public place. It appeared to be simply a protest and no violence was threatened to anyone and no-one was inconvenienced.

    It certainly appeared to be a quite different affair to the quite violent attacks on politicians, including James Shaw, John Key, Pita Sharples, Don Brash and Stephen Joyce in recent years or the attacks on various electorate offices of MPs from a number of parties that have occurred. These included shots fired at Hone Harawira's office and firebombing of the offices of John Key, Nick Smith and Anne Tolley.

    I would be very loath to see simple demonstrations like the one of the gun-owners treated as anything other than a simple demonstration that should be every New Zealander's right. It might embarrass the Prime Minister and the Minister of Police but so what?

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12212635

    • weka 5.1

      the connection is the cultural shift going on. I don't think it's a coincidence that NZ is looking at arming its police at the same time we are having gun lobbyists outside a primary school. If you want some cause and effect link, I guess the Chch shootings have led to the govt being more amenable to armed police as well as the gun lobby being pissed off about the new gun laws.

      I don't give a fuck about the gun lobby embarrassing the PM. I care that they think it appropriate to stage that protest outside a school. Would love to know how the discussion around that decision happened. There were plenty of other places they could have protested instead.

      This isn't about the gun lobby being violent, it's about how the gun lobby participates in the cultural shifts happening and what responsibilities they have. However if you want to run a line that gun owners are all law abiding citizens and therefore aren't a problem you might want to consider where the Chch shooter was getting his target practice.

      • alwyn 5.1.1

        Apparently it was at a private gun club.

        https://www.news.com.au/world/inside-new-zealand-mosque-gunmans-secret-haven/news-story/5d1db62e291dee456e06d10a31faead

        At least one person who had seen him there made a complaint to the Dunedin Police before the Mosque attack and the Police said they were not concerned.

        However I certainly do not think that his actions can really be considered to be typical of the vast majority of recreational shooters in New Zealand.

        You are being quite unreasonable in suggesting that I am claiming that gun owners are all law abiding. There really are black swans you know. However there is an approach that says that all gun owners are rogues because some are. It is equally erroneous although it seems to be a belief that a few people hold.

        I was strongly in favour of getting rid of military style automatics but the Government and the Police don't seem to be stopping there.

        • weka 5.1.1.1

          you're missing the point. I'm not talking legality. I'm talking culture. Obviously there was at least one gun club who tolerated gun violence culture. I don't think this will be so in every gun club in NZ but I'd be surprised if it was the only one.

          Bear in mind that many gun owners in NZ are buying their guns from a seller with a dodgy past and a disdain for attempts to create safety in NZ and a disregard for the trauma of what happened in Chch.

          Gun lobby people are operating in this context. The political choices they make eg protesting outside of a school, are on them and they can be rightly criticised for that.

          I'm not singling out gun owners here. I'm pointing to gun owners, the police, the right and the left. We all have responsibilities in what happens next.

      • Ad 5.1.2

        The gun lobby is losing.

        You must have noticed the operational and legislative changes already underway.

        • weka 5.1.2.1

          they're losing that legislative battle. I'm concerned about what they do next and how they choose to be part of societal change.

          • Ad 5.1.2.1.1

            They are losing both a legislative battle and an operational one: the buyback is massive, and the handover of weapons will continue for a long time. It's very much the same as after the Port Arthur massacre in terms of policy and public response.

            Check out the massacres before Port Arthur. It's bracing.

            Check out the number of gun massacres in the 23 years after that very similar regulatory response. Most people shot at one time after that: 7. All in one family.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_massacres_in_Australia

  6. wayne 6

    Weka,

    Can you seriously suggest that Simon Bridges et al (being in your view formenting Trumpian politics) are "creating the conditions for escalating violence against Maori, Muslims, women…"?

    In general terms crime is actually decreasing in New Zealand and has been for many years.

    I think this sort of article is not helpful in a serious discussion about crime in New Zealand. Crime in New Zealand is not due to Trumpian politics, the causes are much deeper. And lie in social dislocation, which over the last 50 years has led to an inexorable rise in gang crime. But nevertheless crimes rates have actually dropped over the last 20 year. Possibly now crimes are more concentrated into certain types of crime.

    • Incognito 6.1

      Trumpian politics also lies in social dislocation IMO and is on the increase.

    • weka 6.2

      I'm not talking about crime here Wayne, I'm talking about the shift in society around guns and gun violence in the context of modern polarisation of society. Data sets appeal to some, but I'm thinking that while I as a Pākehā living in rural NZ didn't see the Mosque shootings coming, Muslims did. They were talking about the increasing problems with Islamophobia in NZ for a long time and weren't being listened to. We know that the government services tasked with preventing such crimes weren't paying attention either. From the left the view is angry and grim given all the years the state spent spying on activists because of concern for economics.

      I'm glad we are in agreement about social dislocation but I assume we don't agree on the causes. I'd place neoliberalism squarely at the centre of that. The confluence of neoliberalism with rising fascism is what scares me now and that's what I'm naming when I talk about trumpian politics and culture.

      As for the right's responsibility in this, I'm still somewhat surprised at old school conservatives not being willing to push back against the excesses of neoliberal culture. Even worse, that there is either active or passive endorsement of Trumpian politics. Tell me this, are you watching what is happening with the alt-right in NZ? How about the alt-left? Do you understand the connections between MRA culture and those? Then with white supremacy? What do you think about the radicalisations happening?

      How about the evolution of the dirty politics crew to take advantage of the NZers who are feeling emboldened by the rise of Trump?

      Maybe this all sounds far fetched to you but I would ask you to consider that might be because of your relative position in society. I guess you could then look at the parachuting of Luxon into the National Party and whether having a fundamentalist on the rise is an intentional power play or happy coincidence.

      You're objection to the post seems predicated on the idea that there is no trumpian play by the right. I'm sure we can argue over that over time, because I'll keep naming it as I see it happening.

      • Wayne 6.2.1

        Weka,

        Modern style gangs have been in existence for over 50 years. Neoliberalism (as the left would have it) can hardly be the principal cause. You will be aware of Muldoon working with the gangs in the 1970's. The gangs had thousands of members by then and were involved in very serious crime. I know because I did some legal aid cases (along with about 20 lawyers) for gang members charged with offences arising from a huge riot in Panmure around 1980.

        I presume the Left pins the New Zealand origins of neoliberalism to the reforms of 1984 onward, now 35 years ago. In fact Muldoon tried to stop neoliberalism prior to that. In my view he was wrong to do so, but that is really another argument.

        By the early 1980's there were many thousands of gang members, I imagine a similar proportion of the population as now.

        The causes of gangs is much more tied to the social upheavals of the 1960's, including the extremely rapid urbanisation of Maori. That process hugely damaged traditional iwi structures. While there were still lots on manual jobs in the 1960's through to the 1980's, there was also a deep social dislocation that occurred at that time.

        I spent 4 months in the early 1970's working at the Carters sawmill in Maramarua. There were quite a few gang members (mostly on the fringes of the gangs) employed at the site. The social disruption that is talked about so much these days had well and truly emerged 45 years ago.

        • weka 6.2.1.1

          When I talked about neoliberalism and social dislocation I wasn't referring to gangs so much as the impact on society generally of things like increasing the gap between the well off and the poor (in the context of the time frame you mentioned of the last 40 years). But sure, gangs predate that and have their origins in colonisation, and Māori say the solution is in addressing that. I believe them. I think that arming police does nothing to resolve that and in fact makes the problem worse.

          The point about Trumpian politics in NZ isn't that it suddenly created problems that lead to crime. It's a relatively recent phenomena that is taking advantage of the social dislocations you and I are referring to and doubling down on it. Trump is a gift to the authoritarian right because it hands them a tool that creates a kind of loop of disenfranchisement and agitation that supports the empowerment of that kind of politics. It's not traditional right and as I said, I find it odd that old school conservatives either don't see what is happening or endorse it. The right will look back on the past decade in the same way that the left looks back on the 80s.

  7. greywarshark 7

    Edit
    There is a creep in the carrying of guns by police. They have been given tazers to use as well. There is an aim to prevent crime rather than just respond to reports of it and requests for help.

    It seems that there is a more pervasive police presence and desire by the state to punish as the way to treat people with anti-social behaviour; not enough rehabilitation and much recidivism through not providing enough reinstatement work post-prison.

    Police are driven I think to achieve to targets and it would be better if the state actually lessened this approach. It would be better if improvements were looked for through appropriate welfare assistance, having meaningful jobs on projects such as Task Force Green to keep people working with adequate pay. Restore educative support and training. Closing the boozers earlier and alcohol bans then at dairies and supermarkets would help too. The drug and gun culture that has grown is in parallel with the lack of reliable work and pay to keep the young men occupied in useful work that pays, instead they take up crime as their job. Break the cycle and there won’t be need for needing guns so often.

  8. McFlock 8

    I’m no longer convinced that we will inevitably win.

    One thing that cheered me up a little bit when the fascists seemed to be really winning in 2016/17 was the thing that there is no "win" state. All we can do is swing the pendulum a little bit. But even if we brought about an absolutely blissful society (communist, democratic socialist, social democratic, whatever), it is still a purely transitory state before the wheel of history rolls on. It's not like a ref blows a whistle, calls time, and the nazis/capitalists have won.

    But things have improved on thirty years ago. Yes, there's a big swing back (especially in the US), but the left are mobilising, too.

    • weka 8.1

      this does seem to be what happens in Western democracies at least. I suppose within that I had seen the development of progressive social values as something that would be more enduring eg we've seen conservatives in NZ become more socially liberal. Not that I think that's a guarantee, it's obvious that gains made by women for instance are not that stable. But I had been assuming that while we might swing back and forth between economic political positions, the gains made in progressive values would be be, well, progressive within that.

      That back and forth thing is another reason why I believe that building relationships across difference is so important. I'm also tending to think that identity politics has reached a zenith and that if we don't focus on relationship building we risk losing it all. This is an issue of strategy more than values.

      How do you see the left mobilising?

      • McFlock 8.1.1

        antifa more active.

        The 2018 wave.

        Even #metoo.

        The Democrat candidates' dialogue being largely Bernie 2015/16.

        The UK is more sharply divided, with the left having less middle ground positions.

        Serious proposals like cgt/ftt/robinhoodtax entering the discussion. Maybe not implemented yet, but they're getting to the table.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Prime Ministers’ meeting reaffirms close trans-Tasman relationship
    Prime Minister Chris Hipkins and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese today held their first bilateral meeting in Canberra. It was Chris Hipkins’ first overseas visit since he took office, reflecting the close relationship between New Zealand and Australia. “New Zealand has no closer partner than Australia. I was pleased to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Immediate humanitarian support to Türkiye and Syria following earthquakes
    New Zealand will immediately provide humanitarian support to those affected by the earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today. “Aotearoa New Zealand is deeply saddened by the loss of life and devastation caused by these earthquakes. Our thoughts are with the families and loved ones affected,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Pākinga Pā site to be gifted back to local hapū
    An historic Northland pā site with links to Ngāpuhi chief Hongi Hika is to be handed back to iwi, after collaboration by government, private landowners and local hapū. “It is fitting that the ceremony for the return of the Pākinga Pā site is during Waitangi weekend,” said Regional Development Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • New initiatives to unlock Māori science and research resources
    The Government is investing in a suite of initiatives to unlock Māori and Pacific resources, talent and knowledge across the science and research sector, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. Two new funds – He tipu ka hua and He aka ka toro – set to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Advancing our relationship in India
    Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta departs for India tomorrow as she continues to reconnect Aotearoa New Zealand to the world.  The visit will begin in New Delhi where the Foreign Minister will meet with the Vice President Hon Jagdeep Dhankar and her Indian Government counterparts, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government Northland housing investment to spark transformational change
    Over $10 million infrastructure funding to unlock housing in Whangārei The purchase of a 3.279 hectare site in Kerikeri to enable 56 new homes Northland becomes eligible for $100 million scheme for affordable rentals Multiple Northland communities will benefit from multiple Government housing investments, delivering thousands of new homes for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government investment safeguards Waitangi Treaty Grounds
    The Government is supporting one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s most significant historic sites, the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, as it continues to recover from the impacts of COVID-19. “The Waitangi Treaty Grounds are a taonga that we should protect and look after. This additional support will mean people can continue to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Battle of Ohaeawai remembered
    A memorial event at a key battle site in the New Zealand land wars is an important event to mark the progress in relations between Māori and the Crown as we head towards Waitangi Day, Minister for Te Arawhiti Kelvin Davis said. The Battle of Ohaeawai in June 1845 saw ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More Police deployed to the frontline
    More Police officers are being deployed to the frontline with the graduation of 54 new constables from the Royal New Zealand Police College today. The graduation ceremony for Recruit Wing 362 at Te Rauparaha Arena in Porirua was the first official event for Stuart Nash since his reappointment as Police ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Further support for upper North Island regions hit by significant weather
    The Government is unlocking an additional $700,000 in support for regions that have been badly hit by the recent flooding and storm damage in the upper North Island. “We’re supporting the response and recovery of Auckland, Waikato, Coromandel, Northland, and Bay of Plenty regions, through activating Enhanced Taskforce Green to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • The Princess Royal to visit New Zealand
    Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has welcomed the announcement that Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, Princess Anne, will visit New Zealand this month. “Princess Anne is travelling to Aotearoa at the request of the NZ Army’s Royal New Zealand Corps of Signals, of which she is Colonel in Chief, to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government and horticulture sector target $12b in exports by 2035
    A new Government and industry strategy launched today has its sights on growing the value of New Zealand’s horticultural production to $12 billion by 2035, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said. “Our food and fibre exports are vital to New Zealand’s economic security. We’re focussed on long-term strategies that build on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Cost of living support extended for families and businesses
    25 cents per litre petrol excise duty cut extended to 30 June 2023 – reducing an average 60 litre tank of petrol by $17.25 Road User Charge discount will be re-introduced and continue through until 30 June Half price public transport fares extended to the end of June 2023 saving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • More Kiwis in work as rising wages match inflation
    The strong economy has attracted more people into the workforce, with a record number of New Zealanders in paid work and wages rising to help with cost of living pressures. “The Government’s economic plan is delivering on more better-paid jobs, growing wages and creating more opportunities for more New Zealanders,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government boosts fund for Auckland flooding
    The Government is providing a further $1 million to the Mayoral Relief Fund to help communities in Auckland following flooding, Minister for Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty announced today. “Cabinet today agreed that, given the severity of the event, a further $1 million contribution be made. Cabinet wishes to be proactive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Cabinet focused on bread and butter issues
    The new Cabinet will be focused on core bread and butter issues like the cost of living, education, health, housing and keeping communities and businesses safe, Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has announced. “We need a greater focus on what’s in front of New Zealanders right now. The new Cabinet line ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister to meet with PM Albanese
    Prime Minister Chris Hipkins will travel to Canberra next week for an in person meeting with Australian Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese. “The trans-Tasman relationship is New Zealand’s closest and most important, and it was crucial to me that my first overseas trip as Prime Minister was to Australia,” Chris Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government makes first payment to Auckland Flooding fund
    The Government is providing establishment funding of $100,000 to the Mayoral Relief Fund to help communities in Auckland following flooding, Minister for Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty announced. “We moved quickly to make available this funding to support Aucklanders while the full extent of the damage is being assessed,” Kieran McAnulty ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government steps up to assist Auckland during flooding
    As the Mayor of Auckland has announced a state of emergency, the Government, through NEMA, is able to step up support for those affected by flooding in Auckland. “I’d urge people to follow the advice of authorities and check Auckland Emergency Management for the latest information. As always, the Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Poroporoaki: Titewhai Te Huia Hinewhare Harawira
    Ka papā te whatitiri, Hikohiko ana te uira, wāhi rua mai ana rā runga mai o Huruiki maunga Kua hinga te māreikura o te Nota, a Titewhai Harawira Nā reira, e te kahurangi, takoto, e moe Ka mōwai koa a Whakapara, kua uhia te Tai Tokerau e te kapua pōuri ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Enhanced Task Force Green Approved following Cyclone Hale
    Carmel Sepuloni, Minister for Social Development and Employment, has activated Enhanced Taskforce Green (ETFG) in response to flooding and damaged caused by Cyclone Hale in the Tairāwhiti region. Up to $500,000 will be made available to employ job seekers to support the clean-up. We are still investigating whether other parts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • General Election to be held on 14 October 2023
    The 2023 General Election will be held on Saturday 14 October 2023, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. “Announcing the election date early in the year provides New Zealanders with certainty and has become the practice of this Government and the previous one, and I believe is best practice,” Jacinda ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces resignation
    Jacinda Ardern has announced she will step down as Prime Minister and Leader of the Labour Party. Her resignation will take effect on the appointment of a new Prime Minister. A caucus vote to elect a new Party Leader will occur in 3 days’ time on Sunday the 22nd of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago