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Doing nothin’: The gap with Australia

Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, November 4th, 2010 - 23 comments
Categories: Economy - Tags: ,

September Quarter unemployment numbers are out today. It will be an indictment on National if there is not a good sized drop. So how is this government doing on its flagship policy of closing the gap with Australia by 2025? No Right Turn has been trying to find out what work they’re doing to achieve that goal. Answer: Nothing.

Back in August, Labour spent a lot of time trying to get a straight answer from Gerry Brownlee about the milestones and targets the government had set to show it was on the path to closing the gap by 2025. Finally Brownlee gave this answer:

  • to remove the millstones from around the neck of the New Zealand economy placed on it by the previous Labour Government; [“millstones” like zero net crown debt, structural surpluses and record low unemployment – I/S]
  • to assist the Government’s programme to undertake comprehensive economic reform of the New Zealand economy; and
  • to rebalance the economy towards export-led growth.

It is my view that if we are successful in achieving these targets, we will achieve the Government’s milestone of achieving income parity with Australia by 2025.

I/S at No Right Turn points out the obvious: those aren’t targets or milestones, they’re vague statements of National’s economic policy. I/S didn’t think that answer was good enough from a senior minister of the Crown describing his government’s core policy. Like the terrier he is, he keep digging. He OIA-ed the documents that laid out the supposed targets and milestones Brownlee had refered to.

Eventually, the government handed over a Cabinet paper. I/S explains:

It makes no mention of Brownlee’s “targets”, or indeed of any interim targets or milestones at all. Instead, its full of the usual bureacratese, recommending that Ministers take “a targeted and structured approach” to economic growth and inviting them to consider actions in their portfolios which could be the subject of further papers. A lot of wheel-spinning, but no formal targets or milestones.

Attached to that Cabinet Paper was a powerpoint presentation to the Cabinet Strategy Committee, Achieving New Zealand’s Economic Potential: Exploiting International Opportunities by Harnessing our Strengths (15 September 2009). It likewise does not contain any targets or milestones. But it does contain lots of information on the sorts of things which should be targets. For example, it notes that NZ’s GDP per-capita growth rate must be 1.5% higher than Australia’s on average over the next 15 years if we are to close the gap. The Government has already admitted that it does not expect to meet that target for the next five years. Real exports/capita needs to grow 2.2% faster than their historic average of 3.1%. There’s no sign of that happening. Exports need to grow to $150 billion. But even the government’s “stretch” targets show them coming to only $116 billion or $137 billion if we discover oil (which seems to be their plan, BTW: “discover oil”). And that is why the government will not publish proper benchmarks: because by any assessment, their grand project would be judged a failure, an impossible dream.

Yesterday, I/S reported he had been contacted by a government source who said:

I can confirm that during the period you are referring to – roughly speaking, the winter and fall of 2009 – there was no discussion of or advice given on targets for closing the income gap with Australia. The 15 Sept Cabinet paper, which details the growth paths of GDP and exports needed to achieve the Government’s goals, is the closest thing that exists. In short, Minister Brownlee did not ask for advice on specific targets or milestones.

If it’s not clear by now, let me put it plainly: the Government has done no work at all on achieving its stated target of catching Australia within 15 years. They are lying to Parliament and to us when they claim to have any targets or milestones for getting there.

But what if it did have a target that would actually get us there? What if it was to grow the economy 1.5% per capita per year faster than Australia? How are they doing?


Not so good. 4% behind target after a year and a half, and going to get worse as we experience the second dip in the recession. Expect a whole lot more spin and no results. They can’t admit there’s a problem with achieving their own policy, let alone do anything about it.

23 comments on “Doing nothin’: The gap with Australia”

  1. Jim Nald 1

    Warning: Next time Key opens his gap*, think about his credibility gap.

    *The reference here is to the gap above his chin and below his nose, although another interpretation possible.

  2. Hamish Gray 2

    So unemployment fell from 6.9% to 6.4%. Does this mean the Nats are doing something right?

    • Marty G 2.1

      There’s something wrong with the seasonally-adjusted unemployment series (that’s the one you see in the headlines). It has jumped around like mad the last year: 7.1%, 6.0%, 6.9%, 6.4%. There have been significant revisions of past numbers each quarter. All of which is causing economists to view the numbers with some suspicion.

      But the consensus, which matches with the trend series, is that unemployment peaked earlier this year and is edging down at about 0.1-0.2% per quarter. Hardly breakneck speed considering it rose 2.5% in National’s first year. We’ll be waiting four years just to undo that damage at this rate.

      Put it another way: the number of unemployed doubled in less than two years, with about 80,000 more Kiwis out of work. Over the past six months, the number of extra unemployed is down about 10,000.

      It’s not exactly time for dancing in the streets.

      • Hamish Gray 2.1.1

        No one said it was time for dancing in the streets, but you yourself said “It will be an indictment on National if there is not a good sized drop.” Sure enough ,it was a sizable drop and as expected, no matter what the figure was, you couldn’t concede that things were improving.

        New Zealand went into recession at the end of 2007. National took over at the end of 2008. Given employment trends lag economic performance (including in recovery), how can you blame rising unemployment in the first year of a first term government on that government? The “damage done” was already set in stone. From there it was a question of how bad it would get and compared to the the US, Europe and the UK, New Zealand came out ok (or more accurately, less worse-off).

        whenever employment figures worsen, the Government gets blamed. So, given the numbers have apparently improved, will you be giving credit to the Government?

        • lprent 2.1.1.1

          Personally I won’t be. The improvement if there is one apart from statistical blipping has happened despite the governments efforts to avoid doing anything.

          The criticism of the government here hasn’t been about having rising unemployment, it has largely been about the government doing nothing to constrain it apart from ineffective measures like the cycleway, the fire at will act, and tax changes – none of which have had any significant effect on the economy or the unemployment symptom.

          If they’d acted more like the aussie labour government then nz wouldn’t be pottering along in the economic doldrums

          • Hamish Gray 2.1.1.1.1

            Acted more like the Australians? You mean, dig up every mineral they can find and flick it off to the Chinese? I thought National tried that and was rebuked by… Robyn Malcolm.

            And doing “nothing” is an interesting take on things. Arguably, choosing to do “nothing” is a strategy in itself, enabling the market to correct itself and protecting public finances. I suppose that’s really the debate then, but to frame it in such a way that it makes it look like the government was standing around picking its nose while the world went to hell is sort of unfair, in my opinion.

            • prism 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Scornful reply HG Australians do more than mine though it is a major part of their economy.

            • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1.1.2

              choosing to do “nothing” is a strategy in itself, enabling the market to correct itself

              So, who still believes in the invisible hand of market self correction?

              Nah, after US$4T of capital destruction in the last 2 years, I didn’t think so.

              And which has been the only economic superpower with year on year growth over the last ten years? China. And China definitely does not believe in the invisible hand of market self correction.

            • lprent 2.1.1.1.1.3

              Or in NZ’s case, convert all farmland into dairy producing regardless of how suitable it is for the purpose? Your point is? Quite frankly both countries exploit their resources in an unsustainable extractive mining process. We just mine soil and water rather than minerals, but there is little difference once the resources have been depleted. Moreover neither extractive process actually employ that many people either directly or indirectly.

              However I was referring the people intensive industries. This is where NACT have done nothing significant to support our IP industries either in the present or in the future, and have instead actually harmed them by pissing around with the research and development incentives and idling around on infrastructure development. This is the exact opposite of the approach taken by the aussies. The effects are pretty obvious when you look at the relative states of those sectors between the two countries.

              Getting industries off the ground like that requires a great deal of effective support from the government in the infrastructure, laws, and skill development, because the free market operates on too short a time scale. Governments have an incentive to operate strategically for the whole economy, companies and the ‘market’ don’t.

              So yeah, this do-nothing government is bloody useless and it is fair to call them on it…

  3. SHG 3

    to rebalance the economy towards export-led growth

    Of course, because that’s where NZ has such an obvious advantage over Australia.

    • Well it could at least hold its own if they came up with a policy that drove capital toward new ventures (particularly), the private equity market and, to a lesser extent, the sharemarket instead of policies which serve to price a home out of the reach of most young NZers.

      There’s a wealth of phenomenal ideas out there that could be developed into exports. Not that any one – or 100 – would come close to matching the kind of amounts for which Australia can sell it’s minerals. But NZ, being smaller in every sense (population, land mass, economy…), doesn’t need that much money.

      Australians do a little better (particularly in encouraging R&D) but fall well short in terms of rebalancing investment flows to favour business and not property development. But they don’t have to.

    • KJT 3.2

      No country has done well in non-commodity exports that has not had a somewhat protected and functioning internal economy. Businesses need to learn baby steps before expanding.

      This means the country needs to have a sufficiently advanced and PAID internal economy to buy the products of local business. The reason why many people, including myself, will no longer invest in a business in NZ is that too few here are paid enough to buy our products. The RBA, lack of capital and higher interest rates than overseas competitors preclude going to exporting only.

      The “free trade” advocates tend to fudge over how protectionist the UK and USA were during their periods of greatest prosperity.

      It is a problem many in States such as Saudi Arabia are well aware of. What to do when the oil bonanza runs out? What are we going to do when the dairy bubble bursts?
      Nauru was a prime example of what not to do.

      • Colonial Viper 3.2.1

        Spot on KJT.

        We’re in a low pay, high cost living environment.

        China will be interesting to look at; their next 5 year plan is likely to emphasise a rebalancing of their economy away from export led activity to internal consumer led activity.

  4. Vicky32 4

    What I heard this morning is that unemployment is down – by a fraction of 1% – but that within that, female unemployment is way up… (male unemployment has dropped – hence the overall drop.) I don’t think said drop will actually be noticeable by any of us!

  5. Carleen Harawira 5

    NZ will never close the wage gap with Australia: over here they are ripping resources out of the ground as fast as the giant tractors will go.
    It is the mining sector keeping the Lucky Country going: retail sales and housing data is about equal with NZ

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Agreed. Australia will keep going strong-ish as long as China has the billions to wire over for its rocks, oil and gas.

  6. Herodotus 6

    [“millstones” like zero net crown debt, Marty you are beciomming obsessed with this non achievement of Lab. Why because the likes of NZSF, ACC EQC are not able to be touched for general purposes. They are tagged so to include them in netting off figures is to somewhat misleading. What legacy was established by the golden years? Nothing that is able to be built upon. GPD was grown due to excessive borrowing by the country as a whole, and we are beginning to suffer from this now(ref many posts and comments on the subject neo lib/consumerism/ponzi scheme) . A building boom (Not to mention that many of these houses are rotting), high immigration that gives short term distortion to GDP figures as these new Kiwis become established, and a commodity boom in particular dairy and oil.
    If NZ grows at the rate required the Res Bank just srews us with OCR hikes, negating any growth. Our only chance is to sell of minerals, giving us “free” growth, which will not happen.
    Just like when Japan plays the AB’s there is always hope of victory, and it is something for the Jap rugby team to aspire. NZ = Aust is nice to aspire and to have some actual policies to direct us in the right direction. But if we are real to ourselves this will not happen in the short or med term. We are the little bro.
    p.s. Nat policy of catching up with Aussie = Labs knowledge economy. please to the ears Rhetoric.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Although I should say that Labour’s knowledge economy has a $4.9B export basis and 24,000 high waged jobs as today’s starting point.

      Now, wondering what would it take to double that into a $9.8B export giant employing 48,000 NZ’ers?

      I think it could be done, and I think it could be done within 10 years.

      • Herodotus 6.1.1

        CV are you referring to the education of foreign students?
        From the 2000 (? unsure of the date)summit that was not what was being pushed. NZ was to be at the cutting edge in technologies. There were few policies or funding initiatives that followed up from this policy. Like many govt policies here is an idea now lets hope someone grabs it and runs with it. When we do have successes there are some out there to destroy what gains we make e.g. Rakon.

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1

          Hi Herod.

          No, not referring to monies received from trying to teach foreign students basic English at our universities.

          Am referring to our multibillion dollar high tech industry as examined in the TIN100 report, and referred to by the NZ Herald

          http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10673489

          Background on the report here

          http://www.tinetwork.co.nz/TIN100+Report/TIN100+2010+Report.html

          NZ should grow this industry over the next one or two decades, tens of thousands of new high wage jobs are within this country’s grasp.

          • Herodotus 6.1.1.1.1

            Then as technology is sooo important why are we pushing out the like of Accountants & Lawyers? (Those mass produced degrees with only a very large lecture room, and tutorial room required + large ratio of students:lecture)
            NZ needs dooers
            I found Stephen Carden NZ Unleashed very thought provoking, and brought into his message to move NZ forward.
            http://idealog.co.nz/magazine/11/the-man-from-m-c-k-i-n-s-e-y

            • Greg 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Re Carden book, from that review and excerpt: meh. Creativity matters to economies the way mutation matters to evolution. Yes, it’s the underlying driver, but most of the action happens elsewhere.

              Rick Boven puts it well in the latest issue of Management magazine. There are three stages to making money from highly-differentiated products: invention, commercialization, and internationalization.

              We do quite well at the first two, but we suck at the last, and that’s where the payoff is. Let me say that again. The big money is in growing sales from $20M a year to $200M+ a year, not in growing them from nothing to $2M a year. Internationalization, not invention.

              So the same “meh” applies to TIN100. Look at the size of them.

              It’s quite telling that the same issue of Management magazine reports that our best “large” ($50M+) exporter is Pumpkin Patch. A clothing maker.

              The issues facing NZ are scale, distance/location, and connection. (Google “economic geography.”)

              Our big city needs to be much bigger and more densely populated. Our companies need to be much, much bigger, and to appear, from overseas, to be bigger and closer than they really are. We need better connections into our markets — and at the same time, we need to fight the attraction for our companies of relocating near their biggest customer. We need better connections among researchers and between research and commercialization — we need policy that fosters cooperation, not competition.

              Yes, we need diversification, but it has to be narrowly targeted and the plan must be well executed. We’re too small to try to do everything and let the market sort it out. That kind of approach only works in large economies; what’s right in America isn’t necessarily correct here.

  7. No Right Turn has been trying to find out what work they’re doing to achieve that goal.

    Actually, I’ve just been trying to show that Brownlee lied to Parliament. The actual information I’ve uncovered on National’s economic plans (most of which doesn’t seem to have been implemented a year after it was discussed) is just a bonus.

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    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    1 week ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
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    1 week ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    1 week ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    1 week ago
  • 1000 of these now
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    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    1 week ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
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    1 week ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
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    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Justice for Bomber
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Vaccination, compulsion, and paternalism for the lower orders
    The National Party has come out in support of encouraging greater vaccination uptake. But it sure isn’t the way I’d do it. National’s suggested docking the benefits of those on benefit whose kids aren’t keeping up with their vaccinations. Some in National have suggested extending that to payments under Working ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • Global Protests Rage On: But Slogans Are Not Plans.
    Feeding The Flames: It is simply not enough to demand an end to “corruption”, or “inequality”, or the overbearing influence of the authorities in Beijing. These are just “lowest common denominator” demands: the sort of slogans that pull people onto the streets. They are not a plan.WHERE’S THE PLAN? Across ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 11,000 employed under Labour
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Boycott this democratic fraud
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has called for submissions on Andrew Little's tyrannical Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill. Normally I encourage participation in the democratic process. I am not doing so in this case. Instead, I encourage all of you to boycott this submissions process, and to post ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Why Mars is cold despite an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz If tiny concentrations of carbon dioxide can hold enough heat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Ban private jets
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Untold Suffering
    That's what we face if we don't stop climate change, according to a warning from 11,000 scientists:The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists. “We declare clearly and unequivocally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The left and violent misogyny
    by Phil Duncan Here’s just a few of the kind of threats issued day in and day out against gender-critical women – feminists, marxists, etc – overwhelmingly by MEN (albeit men identifying as women). “Kill all Terfs”. “Shoot a Terf today”. “All terfs deserve to be shot in the head”. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and the iPhone
    This is the third of the synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016). The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Unlike the humble cup of coffee and t-shirt that we looked at in ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The freshwater mussel housing crisis: eviction by invasive weeds?
    Tom Moore Traditionally a food source and cutting tool, freshwater mussels/kākahi are now widely valued as water filters that help clean our waterbodies and maintain ecosystem health throughout Aotearoa. The improvement they provide in water quality can make it easier for other animals to live in streams and rivers, as ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Back it up Luxon: endorsing the destructive past is not actually the way forward
    And to think he gave all the potential goodwill away with that moronic, cult-like statement (repeated ad nauseam by many National hardliners) that Key is quite simply “the greatest PM we ever had”… Installation complete: this was nothing ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Good riddance
    National MP and former Conservation Minister Maggie Barry will not seek re-election next year. Good riddance. Because in case anyone has forgotten, barry is a bullying thug who terrorised both public servants and fellow MPs. She is one of the people who makes Parliament a toxic workplace, and our country ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: D-Day
    The Zero Carbon Bill is back in the House today for its second reading. While this isn't the final stage, its still effectively D-Day for the bill. Because today, at around 5pm, is when we're going to find out if it has a majority, whether National will support it or ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    5 hours ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    4 days ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    5 days ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    1 week ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    1 week ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Closer cooperation with Korean horse racing industry
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters met with Korea Racing Authority Chairperson Nak Soon Kim in Seoul today to discuss closer cooperation between the New Zealand and Korean horse racing industries. As part of the visit to the Seoul Racecourse, Mr Peters witnessed ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Otago to lead digital creativity
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10 million to establish Otago as the centre of New Zealand’s creative digital industry over the next ten years, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “The initiative will bring us closer to the vision of ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Young Otago students encouraged to take on forestry careers
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF)’s skills and employment programme will help young Otago people into long-term forestry careers, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Ara Mahi will invest $63,000 in the 2020 school year to support eight 17 and 18 ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF backing Dunedin’s waterfront ambitions
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will support local plans to revitalise and stimulate economic development opportunities in Otago, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The four Regional Economic Development Ministers have approved an in-principle investment of $19.9 million towards the region’s ...
    3 weeks ago
  • M. Bovis eradication progress welcomed
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is pleased to have received the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) report on the Coalition Government’s Mycoplasma bovis eradication efforts, which shows significant progress in the fight against the disease. New Zealand First Spokesperson for Primary Industries, Mark Patterson, says the report’s findings ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF boosts Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sector
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development Hon David Parker, Minister for Trade and Export Growth The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing to support economic growth opportunities for Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sectors, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Trade and Export Minister David Parker announced today. Almost $20 million ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Minister Peters discusses Pacific challenges and denuclearisation in Seoul
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters and his South Korean counterpart, Kang Kyung-wha, discussed in Seoul today opportunities to work more closely in the Pacific and the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Mr Peters and Minister Kang confirmed New Zealand and the ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF supports high speed broadband for marae at Parihaka Pa
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development  Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Minister for Māori Development The three marae in the historic Parihaka Pa complex in Taranaki have been upgraded to high speed broadband with the support of the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Connecting the ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Speech to the Child Poverty Action Group 2019 Summit
      Fa’atalofa atu, malo e lelei, Kia ora koutou katoa Thank you to the Child Poverty Action Group for asking me to be here today to provide an update on some of the things that have been happening across my the social development portfolio.  Can I firstly acknowledge the vast ...
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    1 hour ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Annual Conference
    ***Please check against delivery*** Good morning everyone. It is a pleasure to be with you this morning to open this year’s New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Conference and AGM. Firstly, thank you Dr Alan Jackson, NZTR Chair for your introduction. And let us acknowledge also: The NZTR Board; Dean McKenzie, Chair ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
    The Government has delivered on its promise to the over one million New Zealanders who now rent to make it fairer and more secure, Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Kris Faafoi has announced today. Both renters and landlords will benefit from the suite of practical changes to the Residential ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Two decades of marine protection celebrated at Te Tapuwae o Rongokako in Tairawhiti
    A marine conservation milestone - the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve - is being celebrated today at a community event in Tairāwhiti/East Coast attended by the Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “The creation of this marine reserve in November 1999 was a game ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
         The Government is asking the food industry to step up work to tackle obesity including reducing sugar, fat and salt in their products, better information for consumers, and tighter restrictions on advertising to children. Health Minister David Clark and Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor have responded to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
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    4 days ago
  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
    A Bill to improve the court system’s response to sexual violence has passed its first reading in Parliament today. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill will reduce the trauma sexual violence complainants experience in court, while maintaining defendants’ fundamental rights and making sure the trial process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
    Streamlined payment practices are a step closer for Kiwi businesses with the formal launch of New Zealand’s e-Invoicing framework. Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says the government has now established the structure to enable automated and direct data exchange between the accounting systems of buyers and sellers. “The move to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
    Another 51 quarantine officers and four new biosecurity detector dog teams will help protect New Zealand from invasive pests and diseases this summer, says Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “The Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen New Zealand’s biosecurity system and support our valuable primary sector “New Zealand’s flora, fauna ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ space economy worth $1.69 billion
    A new report has found New Zealand’s space sector contributed $1.69 billion to the economy in the last financial year and employs 12,000 people, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. The report by Deloitte was commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and shows New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Chair for Royal Commission into Abuse
    Judge Coral Shaw has been appointed as the new Chair of the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. "Judge Shaw, who is currently one of the inquiry commissioners, is extremely well qualified for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Better mental health facilities for Palmerston North
    The Government has confirmed its third major mental health facility upgrade since the Budget, this time at Palmerston North Hospital. The Prime Minister and Health Minister today visited MidCentral DHB to announce that $30 million has been allocated to upgrade its acute mental health facility. It follows earlier announcements in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Bowel Screening hits halfway point
    The roll out of the National Bowel Screening Programme has reached the halfway mark, with 10 out of 20 District Health Boards now part of the programme. MidCentral DHB, which covers Palmerston North, Manawatu and surrounding districts, this week became the latest to DHB to offer free bowel screening to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • More vaccines for meningococcal disease
    The Government welcomes PHARMAC’s decision to fund a vaccine to protect young people from meningococcal disease from 1 December this year. “Meningococcal disease is a serious threat which people at higher risk should be protected from,” says Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter. “The combined pharmaceutical budget was increased by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Fisheries innovation projects supported
    Groups involved with innovative fisheries research projects are encouraged to apply for government support in the latest funding round from the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures programme. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash says the SFF Futures funding is designed to be flexible enough to support small or large projects across a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government fixes culturally arranged marriage visa issue
    The Government has fixed an issue affecting how Immigration New Zealand has processed visa applications for culturally arranged marriages, which will now see a consistent process applied which ensures people with legitimate arranged marriages can visit New Zealand while also preventing any rorting of the system. Earlier this year Immigration ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Extension for Royal Commission into Mosque attacks
    The Royal Commission into the Attacks on Christchurch Mosques will report back on 30 April 2020 to give it more time to hear submissions and consider information, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The Royal Commission was originally scheduled to report back to Government by 10 December 2019. “There has ...
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    5 days ago
  • Terrorism and Trade on agenda as Foreign Minister visits the United States
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington DC today to attend a ministerial meeting focused on defeating ISIS, and to continue pursuing New Zealand’s trade opportunities. Mr Peters will participate in a meeting of Foreign and Defence Ministers from key countries contributing to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Hoiho get extra support alongside 168 community conservation groups backing nature
    The recently crowned Bird of the Year, the hoiho/yellow eyed penguin, is getting a much needed helping hand alongside more than 168 other community conservation projects announced Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage today. 168 community conservation projects throughout New Zealand are benefiting from $8 million in government grants, including $500,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New safety measures for modified pistols
    Controls on assault rifles and semi-automatic firearms are to be broadened to include some types of pistols, under changes to a bill currently making its way through Parliament. Police Minister Stuart Nash has tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to the Arms Legislation Bill, which is currently before a Select Committee ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit Singapore and Thailand
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark will travel to Singapore today to conduct a counterpart visit and to co-chair the third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting with his counterpart, Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen. “Singapore is one of our most important defence partners in the region, and our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Future secured for Salisbury School
    Nelson’s Salisbury School is to be rebuilt, creating a modern and suitable learning environment for students at the residential special school, Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The school for girls aged 8-15, in Richmond, was earmarked for closure by National until the process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Resource management reform options released
    The panel undertaking a comprehensive review of the Resource Management Act has identified the main issues to be addressed and options for reform and is calling for feedback to inform its final report.  In July the Government announced the comprehensive review of the resource management system, including the RMA - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission established
    An important safety valve has been added to New Zealand’s criminal justice system with the third reading of the Criminal Cases Review Commission Bill today. The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) will investigate claimed miscarriages of justice. “We’ve seen how our justice system can very occasionally get things spectacularly wrong, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Racing Industry destined to be on-track
    Racing Minister Winston Peters welcomes the tabling of the Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) 2019 Annual Report in Parliament today. He says the 2019 Annual Report marks the point when New Zealand’s racing industry’s decline was arrested and a turnaround started. RITA’s 2019 Annual Report recorded an industry net profit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand firefighter support to Queensland
    The New Zealand Government is today sending 21 firefighters to help fight the ongoing catastrophic Australian bushfires. “The fires in Australia are in some of the toughest, most challenging conditions ever,” says Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin.  “As of yesterday morning, there were 100 active bushfire-related incidents across Queensland and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Supporting all schools to succeed
      More frontline support for schools through a new education agency, as part of a redesigned Ministry of Education More support for principals and school boards including through a new centre of leadership and local leadership advisor roles New independent disputes panels for parents and students Management of school property ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Reform to support better outcomes for Māori learners and whānau
    The Government’s reform of the Tomorrow’s Schools system is a watershed moment in education and an opportunity to create meaningful change for ākonga Māori and their whānau, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis said today. “Last year through Kōrero Mātauranga | Education Conversation, Māori teachers, parents, ākonga, whānau, hapū and iwi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Infrastructure pipeline growing
    Infrastructure Minister is welcoming the first of many updated project pipelines from the newly established New Zealand Infrastructure Commission today. The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga, has released an expanded pipeline of major capital projects – another crucial step towards delivering better infrastructure outcomes. “The first iteration of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tighter firearms law to further improve safety
    Tougher gun laws designed to improve public safety through firearms prohibition orders are proposed in a new document released for public input. Police Minister Stuart Nash says firearms prohibition orders (FPOs) would give new powers to Police to ensure high-risk individuals come nowhere near firearms. “We have already prohibited the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New TVNZ chair & directors confirmed
    Andy Coupe has been confirmed as TVNZ’s new Board Chair. “Mr Coupe has strong commercial and capital markets experience and TVNZ has benefited from his technical knowledge of business and finance, as well as his extensive governance experience,” the Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Kris Faafoi said.  Andy ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Hutt Road cycle path officially opened
    Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter today officially opened a separated pathway, following the completion of the Kaiwharawhara Stream bridge, which will improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians along Hutt Road.  The $6.8m Hutt Road project provides a separated path for cycling and pedestrians, the replacement of informal parking ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Announcement of new Ambassador to Russia
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of career diplomat Si’alei van Toor as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Russia. “I’m pleased to appoint Ms van Toor to this position. She brings a wealth of experience to the role having previously served as Senior Trade Adviser to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update
    The Treasury’s 2019 Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) will be released on Wednesday December 11, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Coalition Government will publish the 2020 Budget Policy Statement at the same time, outlining the priorities for Budget 2020. Further details on arrangements for the release will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Giving a Boost to Kiwi small businesses
    A new initiative to better support small businesses through hands-on mentoring and advice has been launched by the Minister for Small Business. The first event in the Kiwi Business Boost series of regional workshops and online tools has been launched in Wairoa by Stuart Nash. “The Business Boost initiative combines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Nearly three quarters of Rolleston connected to UFB
    The latest Quarterly Connectivity Report shows that more and more New Zealanders are moving to Ultra-fast Broadband (UFB), with Rolleston having the highest uptake at 74 per cent, as at the end of September. “This means that nearly three quarters of Rolleston’s households and businesses have moved to ultra-fast services. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago