web analytics

‘Donations’ or bribes

Written By: - Date published: 9:58 pm, November 19th, 2019 - 95 comments
Categories: corruption, democracy under attack, Dirty Politics, politicans, Politics, Simon Bridges, winston peters - Tags:

It has been ironic looking at the basic hysteria that our media are having about the NZ First foundation and its loans to the NZ First party. I suspect that it is likely to be legal – but that is because our legal structure has been setup for bribing politicians.

After all we still currently have a outstanding Serious Fraud Office investigation into an allegation about the current parliamentary leader of the National party. He is accused of ordering the splitting up a 100k donation into a series of 14k and a 2k donation to deliberately conceal a large bribe / donation from businessman Zhang Yikun. 

Jami-Lee Ross political donations complaint referred to Serious Fraud Office

Basically as far as I can see, it is really hard to see the difference between the mechanism of concealment of the ‘loans’ of the NZ First Foundation and that of the leader of the National party allegedly ordering a split of a ‘donation’ to avoid transparency. The only real difference is that one appears to be unlawful and other does not – but may be unprovable beyond reasonable doubt.

Perhaps some outraged legal wizards can explain to me how they are different? Because I can’t see any frigging difference. Both attempt to conceal the identity of large donors from the public.

The problem is that our laws on donations to politicians and political parties is inherently flawed for the convenience of our makers of legislation. 

Perhaps we should just cut the gordian knot and just outlaw large donations concealed in any way. Anyone who makes a largish political donation to a political party must do it transparent – or face prison.  Any political party who accepts a donation outside of the legal bounds must be dis-established, their assets seized and their current officers get mandatory prison time without parole.

In other words, treat them like we do for the appointed judges of the legal profession and the senior police.

If only so we don’t have to go through the media frenzy that ultimately and inevitably results in the investigations finding that the ‘donations’ were lawful under our current corrupt legislation. So that means that the legislation needs to be changed, and for the interests of our democracy – retrospectively.

Just to make it more interesting – let start with a presumption of guilt. The accused have to prove the innocence. At the very least it’d make for a more interesting drama than our current repetitive media storyline.

Of course this may lower the quality of our prisoners. But hey – that is a price that I am willing to deal with.

95 comments on “‘Donations’ or bribes”

  1. Incognito 1

    Under the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act 2009, the Commissioner of Police has the power of civil forfeiture without the need for a criminal conviction and without any restrictions on what property or asset can be restrained. I can so no reason why not a similar approach can be taken with political parties and politicians, possibly through IRD.

  2. peterlepaysan 2

    Who benefits from secrecy?

    All donors ( and their $amounts) should be publicly available.

    • Wairua 2.1

      Mr. Schrader, has the fire gone out in today’s film industry?

      Well, I don’t think the fire went out, really, what happened is that we have had an evolutionary shift in the nature of motion pictures. Everything that we learned in the first 100 years of movies no longer applies. We used to know what a movie was, we knew how you projected it, we knew how you saw it, we knew how long it was, we knew how to monetize it, we knew how to distribute it — we don’t know how to do any of these things anymore, they’ve all changed.

      https://the-talks.com/interview/paul-schrader/

    • Phil 2.2

      Hell must have frozen over, because I'm nodding in agreement and fully supporting a comment from Pete 🙂

      I would also go so far as banning any political donation that is not directly from a named and identified individual. Trusts are too easy a mechanism to hide the true source of funding and they have no place in the political process. 

  3. Sacha 3

    Some related argy-bargy today in #nzqt. Wonder why Nat members of the Justice electoral committee would be holding up an official report involving electoral donations?

    https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/hansard-debates/rhr/document/HansS_20191119_051450000/5-question-no-5-justice

    Hon ANDREW LITTLE: I think most members of the House, and many members of the public, are concerned enough about issues in our donations regime, which is why the Justice Committee, in conducting its inquiry into the last general election, considered that issue specifically. It's just disappointing that members opposite blocked that committee from reporting their report

    Hon ANDREW LITTLE: … I'm awaiting the Justice Committee's report of their inquiry into the last general election. It's taking a long time, but I eagerly await that report.

    Hon Dr Nick Smith: Was he involved in any discussions or actions with Labour members of the Justice Committee in their decision on 1 October to block the Electoral Commission and justice officials reporting on the unusually high level of anonymous donations to New Zealand First?

    Hon Dr Nick Smith: Does he agree with the Prime Minister’s statement that political donations need to comply with the spirit, as well as the intent, of our electoral laws?

    Hon ANDREW LITTLE: Yes, and that’s why I remain concerned about those who as Ministers have travelled overseas to solicit overseas support for their political purposes.

     

    • lprent 3.1

      The national members are probably trying to figure out how many fourteens go into one hundred and have forgotten how to get a remainder.

      Or they are trying to figure out a way to make that lawful even under our useless existing electoral law.

      There is a reason why politicians have the same kinds of trust ratings as used car salesmen or bloggers. All I can say is that there were only a few of the arsehole bloggers and they’re mostly bankrupt now. I helped on that.

    • KJT 3.2

      Wasn't it two Indians to one Chinese?

  4. Stuart Munro. 4

    It's a great idea.

    And it might begin to clean up the suppurating cesspool of corruption that is the Gnats. It is desirable to have a rightwing opposition even to an enlightened government. Due to corruption the Gnats are presently incapable of fulfilling that function.

    Which is not to say that members of other parties have not flirted with corruption far, far too often.

    • AB 4.1

      "It is desirable to have a rightwing opposition even to an enlightened government."

      Agreed – I think the Labour Party would be a very useful moderating force in that role.smiley

      • KJT 4.1.1

        Burn. But true.

      • Stuart Munro. 4.1.2

        If we characterize Rogergnomics as an unseemly scramble to the right in pursuit of corporate largesse, there is no reason to suppose Labour could not scramble equally quickly to the left once that gravy train became untenable.

        • Gosman 4.1.2.1

          Ahh… so your real motivation for doing this is ideological not because you think it will mean there is a fairer system overall.

          • Sacha 4.1.2.1.1

            Believing power should not follow the largest chequebook can be strongly motivated by a sense of fairness. Believing that those with the gold should rule seems harder to paint that way, though I respect there are other reasons people hold to it.

  5. Blazer 5

    You have got to bear in mind the likes of Earl Hagaman(deceased)who would donate 100k to the Natz with no expectations,merely because 'he liked them'!

    • lprent 5.1

      Yes? so what? and whoever they were?

      I am sure that he could find some other place to offload money to. Plunket perhaps?

      Are you suggesting that we should maintain a corrupt donations/bribe system for the convenience of the dead?

      How about considering the living for a change? What I see is the living wealthy manipulating the legislative branch to screw the poor. Let's fix that..

      Besides if I was a suspicious person, I could speculate on favours past. Or a donation to benefit his kids..

      • Blazer 5.1.1

        The fact that he is now dead is quite irrelevant.

        'So what' is about the optimum extent of your comprehension,but a handy, but useless retort…all the same.

      • Gosman 5.1.2

        Where is the evidence that any of these donations are leading to outcomes that you suggest?

        • KJT 5.1.2.1

          What is your evidence, it didn't? There are some very strange coincidences if it was not for favors received.

          If it “looks like a duck…….

          • Gosman 5.1.2.1.1

            Coincidences such as ?

            • Dukeofurl 5.1.2.1.1.1

              Does the name Murray McCully ring a bell?

              Does the $7.5 mill of aid money to the island, that after Scenic won the bid, went to upgrading the 'resort'  ring another  bell.

              Where are the recent big donations ,  not feel so generous anymore?

               

  6. ianmac 6

    Simon was "Kimmed" this morning. Kim Hill asked innocent questions of Bridges about his belief that the Electoral Commission was  "toothless" and how was the Police investigation into his splitting of donations to hide donations from rich people. Poor old Simon stumbled and pleaded that because he had no legal practising certificate, the allegations were really the press allegations, not his. 

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/audio/player?audio_id=2018723025

  7. Gosman 7

    "Perhaps we should just cut the gordian knot and just outlaw large donations concealed in any way. Anyone who makes a largish political donation to a political party must do it transparent – or face prison.  Any political party who accepts a donation outside of the legal bounds must be dis-established, their assets seized and their current officers get mandatory prison time without parole."

    There is no way that would get past Parliament without massive amount of objections. Trying to do so without broad cross party support will be incredibly divisive.

    Do you remember the Electoral Finance Act? That will be a Child's birthday party in comparison to the Shi# storm that attempting to push through legislation like that would lead to.

    • KJT 7.1

      Labor tried to get big money out of politics in Clarks time. Remember the screams of "democracy under attack" from National, when the ability of the rich to buy the Government they wanted, was threatened.

      It is a pity we need to force politicians to act ethically with rules. It brings up questions about their suitability.

      It shouldn’t be too much to ask, that they act honestly while in Parliament. Even if we cannot stop the retirement “Directorships” in firms MP’s have enriched when in Government.

      • Gosman 7.1.1

        I know, how about you look to set up a board of "concerned citizens" that can vet the politicians and political parties? In that way you can be assured of getting the politics that meets YOUR standards.

    • AB 7.2

      I remember the Brooks Brothers Riot in response to the Electoral Finance Act. You don't make an omelette without stopping the weasels eating all the eggs in the first place.

      • Gosman 7.2.1

        Did you also remember the Labour party losing the very next election and then changes being made to the EFA?

        • AB 7.2.1.1

          I do.  Labour's attempted reform to electoral finance was technocratic tinkering and too easily vilified as self-serving. Doomed to failure in the face of a well-organised and well-funded opposition with supporting voices all through the media establishment. No contest.  That' no reason for surrendering though.

          • Gosman 7.2.1.1.1

            Let me get this straight. You admit that the last efforts to reform the way political parties are financed was mere tinkering and it eventually lead in part to the defeat of the government who pushed it but you still think it is worth spending precious political capital to go even FURTHER. Is that your position?

            • AB 7.2.1.1.1.1

              Nope. The conditions under which it was last attempted were not propitious. Nor were the proposals themselves structured in a way that would garner widespread support – they were over-complicated and therefore easily lied about. Conditions and tactics can change. We never give up.

              • Gosman

                Why were the last changes overly complicate? Ask yourself that question. There is likely a very good reason for it.

    • Stuart Munro. 7.3

      There is no way that would get past Parliament without massive amount of objections.

      You know, they might be unwontedly quiet. They know voters will punish corruption if its adherents are dumb enough to self-identify.

      • Gosman 7.3.1

        Yeah they would if you can convince them that it is a massive problem and restricting people donating to politics will stop this. Good luck in winning that PR battle.

        • Stuart Munro. 7.3.1.1

          Let the issue in the news, and even the toxic scumbags of National will be reluctant to defend their sleazy practices – at least in public.

          • Gosman 7.3.1.1.1

            What does let the issue in the news mean? It was in the news in the past. Do you remember the Owen Glenn funding for NZ First issue back in 2007/2008? It received plenty of coverage.

            • Stuart Munro. 7.3.1.1.1.1

              Rubbish. A narrow look at an isolated instance – not a broad coverage, though even so it nearly ended NZF. A better example would be the review of MP expenses that cost Jones his marriage and much of his credibility. All MP expenses were looked at, and they have become a little more circumspect as a result.

              • Gosman

                Except that involved MP's spending taxpayers money not members of the public gifting their own money to Political parties. There is quite a difference. The voluntary nature of donations make it less easy to try and shame people.

                • Stuart Munro.

                  You're being loose with your definitions there:

                  It isn't taxpayers' money, it is citizens' money.

                  And of course the foreign nationals and corporates who have been propping up the sleazy Right in NZ are not properly described as the public, but as malicious, probably criminal, aliens.

                   

                  • Gosman

                     Probably criminal, aliens?!? Better check under your bed for some of those criminal aliens…. 

                    • Stuart Munro.

                      Alien is a legal term, as surely even you are aware.

                      Aliens have no business interfering in a democracy – nor do corporations. One person one vote, not one dollar one vote.

                    • Gosman

                      I knew what you meant. My comment still stands.

          • Incognito 7.3.1.1.2

            This is a PR battle and you’ll notice that defending is losing. So, they will deny any wrongdoing and pretend everything is allowed and within the Law. This is the yardstick of the Right and they’ll stick to it because they have an invested interest in this and because they had a big hand in writing the Law as it stands. Morality and ethics, transparency, and accountability are not enshrined in (the) Law. Just rights and breaches of those rights, IMHO.

            • Gosman 7.3.1.1.2.1

              If it isn't allowed then you are free to take a private prosecution if the Police won't.

              • Stuart Munro.

                Unlike the recipients of improperly obtained corporate largesse, I am scarcely in a position to indulge in vanity lawsuits. There are however remedies more traditional within democracies that may suffice.

                • Gosman

                  Except people like me will oppose you on those and given the results of the past attempts in this area it will likely not get the outcome you expect. Feel free to go ahead though. Left wing regulation over reach always provides fodder for right wingers. 

                  • Stuart Munro.

                    What makes you suppose my solution is regulation?

                    Constant shaming of corrupt MPs is reasonably effective – even if they, like you, are sociopathic enough to ignore it, their voters aren't.

                    No fodder for you here sunshine – try working for a living.

              • Incognito

                You know, this line is starting to grate on me because it doesn’t address anything I said in my comment. In fact, you use it repeatedly to deflect and shut down the discussion. Similarly, you keep wishing ‘good luck’ to those who are not happy with the current situation and are trying to come up with suggestions for improvements. I’m concluding that your comments contribute very little and in fact waste our time. In other words, you’re trolling. I’m going to put on my Moderator hat soon because my patience is running out rapidly. Consider this a warning.

                • Gosman

                  You are seemingly trying to reopen the debate that ran over a decade ago around the EFA. I am merely pointing out that it wasn't very successful for the left. I am also not sure what the actual problem you are worried about here. I keep asking what policies exactly have been implemented as a result of this 'undue' influence from anonymous 'big' money donors.Can you advise me of some?

        • AB 7.3.1.2

          "restricting people donating to politics"

          Interesting framing. How about instead: "protecting the principle behind one person one vote – namely that each citizen has  equal influence over the outcome of elections"?

    • Do you remember the Electoral Finance Act? That will be a Child's birthday party in comparison to the Shi# storm that attempting to push through legislation like that would lead to.

      Yep.  And if we want a useful indicator of which parties are benefiting from bribery donations, we just have to look at which parties generated the EFA shitstorm.

  8. Dukeofurl 8

    The US system  is quite low personal limits on donations , something around US$2500 per candidate.

    Even if you gave $10 for a T shirt or  'Yard sign'  your name , address and employer is required and will be made public.

    The employer part is too make sure that, say the owner of a Chinese  restaurant  doesnt have a big  number of his employees also donate  amounts to the same candidate  ( This is what happened to NSW Labour party recently).

    US is also to make transparent  business owners and their senior employees who donate to a congressman or senator who   has oversight on their business.

    In spite of all that , the US  has many loopholes , such as PACs who  advertise in support or opposition to particular candidates.

    AS well the major parties have  Congress and Senate campaign committees who fund raise big $$$ and contribute money to  vulnerable  election races ,  but only if you largely follow party line in Votes.  The donors are hidden behind the Campaign committee name.

    Its complicated , but I hope I have the details right.

  9. michelle 9

    Why don't we just  get rid of all donations as national have already shown they can rort the system by using a Chinese NZ owned company to donate funds so we either change the rules or get rid of the problem. This might create a more level playing field.   

    • Gosman 9.1

      And waiting for the call for State funding of political parties in 3…2…1…

      • Dukeofurl 9.1.1

        They are funded now , millions every year, plus at election time too. They are a bit like schools  what ever is provided  is never enough
        US has it !

        • Sacha 9.1.1.1

          Like 'integrated' schools, they trouser the funding without changing their character much in exchange.

          • Gosman 9.1.1.1.1

            Would you like them to change their character as a result of receiving State funding?

            • Sacha 9.1.1.1.1.1

              Politicians – you bet!

              • Gosman

                I bet you would too. Typical totalitarian leftist.

                • Sacha

                  Surely there is an equivalent notion of 'social contract' in your world.

                  • Gosman

                    I generally prefer to let the democratic process weed out those that do not meet my definition of 'good character'. I don't think it is a clever idea to try and decide for others (with a few exceptions).

                    • Sacha

                      If that approach worked, politicians would be better regarded than used car dealers. Yet here we are.

                    • Wensleydale

                      Given your fervent support of National, your definition of 'good character' probably needs taking out to the back paddock and shooting.

            • Dukeofurl 9.1.1.1.1.2

              "The latest annual report of the Parliamentary Service – just published – shows that the most recent “Party and Member Support” budgets for the parties totalled $122 million.

              Individual parliamentary budgets were as follows:

              National, $65.1m;  (more than labour because Ministers funded separately)

              Labour, $43.7m;

              New Zealand First, $6.2m;

              and the Greens, $5.8m.

              Amongst other things, these budgets pay for about 402 parliamentary staff working for the parties and their MPs. 

              $122 mill state funding for parties  for one year.

  10. Sacha 10

    Concise backstory by RNZ's Jane Patterson: https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/403667/nz-first-s-political-donations-a-creeping-feeling-of-deja-vu

    Swirling rumours of dodgy dealings over political donations, Winston Peters full of bluster and denial, and potentially a drawn-out series of combative but ultimately meaningless exchanges with the parliamentary press gallery.

    • weka 10.1

      "It's hard to avoid the conclusion he could have avoided much of this had he admitted early to a mistake with the donation, and just amended the pecuniary interest register accordingly."

      As hard as political culture is, I think people are way more forgiving when people front up and be honest and admit mistakes. But only if they do it from the start.

      Fingers crossed that Ardern and Labour have some decent strategy here and don't go down the Clark route.

      • Sacha 10.1.1

        Indeed. Wish there was evidence we could trust their brains trust.

        • Dukeofurl 10.1.1.1

          Admit  a mistake ? Like Bridges didnt

          More like push the electorate officials under a bus

          "In the process of preparing both the local candidate and party returns, as required by the Electoral Act, two donations were incorrectly attributed to Mr Bridges' candidate return by the local Tauranga Electorate Committee,'' a National Party spokesman said."

          https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/368688/simon-bridges-amended-electoral-donation-return-insider-claims

          Love the  byline on this story and the mysterious person who knew so much about Bridges and donations

          'A National Party insider has told RNZ News that Simon Bridges amended his personal electoral donation return to remove two donations totalling $24,000. – Jo Moir Political Reporter

          Later events showed exactly who the 'insider' was , who is now definitely on the outside and the less than savoury  methods he used.

    • ianmac 10.2

      Since quoting Patterson why not include

      But as with internal political scandals, National will have to step carefully as its nose is not completely clean.

      For years it used blind trusts to transfer donations to the party itself, a practice that ceased with a law change. Even now there is still an active Serious Fraud Investigation into the National Party relating to the disclosure of donations.

      • Sacha 10.2.1

        Since quoting Patterson why not include

        Because others can always pick out parts like you’ve just shown. I'm not keen on pasting big chunks of an article someone can easily go and read – as regulars can attest. 🙂

  11. Sacha 11

    One thing I had not thought of before – if donations are made totally transparent, will more of them tend to go to both current major parties (bob each way), thus locking in less funding for smaller ones?

    • weka 11.1

      why would that happen?

      • Sacha 11.1.1

        If you are say a company or wealthy person trying to hide your political leanings to avoid blowback, it would be more efficient to donate to only the most likely major parties in each bloc.

  12. Sacha 12

    Not good for our democracy, either way:

    https://thespinoff.co.nz/politics/20-11-2019/one-possibility-is-nz-first-has-broken-electoral-law-the-other-possibility-is-worse

    If what has been reported is both true and not a breach of the rules for political donations, then New Zealand’s reputation for being squeaky clean looks like a joke, writes electoral law expert Andrew Geddis.

    Everyone else, from the Act Party to the Greens, has had at least the occasional donor wanting to give them a big enough sum for their name and address become public.

    And knowing their name and address, we then can see if that donor gets anything for its generosity. Which is how things should be in a properly transparent, clean political process.

     

  13. observer 13

    Everyone is missing the real story here, which is that Simon Bridges genuinely believes that Jacinda Ardern has invented time travel. Wow! She's an impressive PM but even that might be beyond her talents.

    Bridges has attacked Ardern today for "hanging out with Steven Colbert" when she should be dealing with the NZF donations story that broke … er, two days ago.

    Simon, let me explain this very slowly. Past tense. Present tense. She was meeting Colbert in Auckland, a month ago. She isn't now. He's been back in New York for weeks. Just because it's on your screen now, that doesn't mean it's actually happening now. (Your mind must explode when they show Simpsons reruns).

    Television, eh? What sorcery!

  14. Sacha 14

    This really does sound like funding campaign expenses without declaring them, and it may have already been a bridge too far for some: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/117529946/what-nz-first-slush-fund-was-spent-on-campaign-hq-staff-overtime-and-a-shredder

    In October 2019, Lester Gray resigned from his position as NZ First Party president after refusing to sign off on its financial statements. Gray said in a letter to the NZ First board that he had not been shown documentation he requested and therefore could not sign off the returns. 

    "I refuse to sign off the 2019 financial reports with the information I have been provided," he wrote to the  board. "As president, the limited exposure I have had to party donations and expenditure leaves me in a vulnerable position.

    "This type of operation does not align with my moral and business practice values, and I am therefore not able to support the party any longer."

     

    • Sacha 14.1

      The apparent laundering reminds me of those comments from Bridges to Ross about keeping the $100k donation away from the main Nat campaign funding pool so it could be spent on ads without the party bosses interfering.

      And echoes of 1980s Roger Douglas pocketing millions of grateful corporate dollars directly to bankroll campaigning on his own terms without those pesky accountable Lab party officials getting in the way.

      • Dukeofurl 14.1.1

        The reason why you wont hear too much in the media about the murky side of  Bridges and that donation is this:

        "Bridges' valve burst Wednesday evening when he phoned around political editors to warn them he had been defamed and his reputation damaged."

        In effect he was saying  repeat this and you have defamed me …hint financial consequences

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • New Zealand joins global search for COVID-19 vaccine
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon Megan Woods, Minister of Research, Science and Innovation Hon Dr David Clark, Minister of Health Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods,  and Health Minister David Clark today announced a COVID-19 vaccine strategy, ...
    3 hours ago
  • Budget 2020: Five things to know
    Budget 2020 is about rebuilding together, supporting jobs, getting business moving and the books back into the black. It’s an integral part of our COVID-19 economic response, and our plan to grow our economy and get New Zealand moving again. Here’s a quick look at the five top things you ...
    24 hours ago
  • Coalition Government approves essential upgrades on Ōhakea Air Base
    The Coalition Government has approved $206 million in essential upgrades at Ōhakea Air Base.  Defence Minister Ron Mark said the money would be spent on improving old infrastructure. He said safety issues would be addressed, as well as upgrades to taxiways, accommodation and fresh, storm and waste water systems. "This ...
    5 days ago
  • Attributable to the Rt Hon Winston Peters
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First “I am not persisting with this case just for myself, but for all people who have had their privacy breached. Privacy of information is a cornerstone of our country’s democracy. Without it our society truly faces a bleak future. We now ...
    7 days ago
  • Forestry Minister Shane Jones moves to protect sawmills
    Forestry Minister Shane Jones has introduced a Bill to Parliament that he says will "force more transparency, integrity and respect" for the domestic wood-processing sector through the registration of log traders and practice standards. The Forests (Regulation of Log Traders and Forestry Advisers) Amendment Bill had its first reading in ...
    1 week ago
  • Green MP joins international call to cancel developing countries’ debt
    Green MP Golriz Ghahraman is joining over 300 lawmakers from around the world in calling on the big banks and the IMF to forgive the debt of developing countries, in the wake of the COVID crisis. ...
    1 week ago
  • Forestry Minister Shane Jones swipes back at billion trees critics
    Forestry Minister Shane Jones says concerns that carbon foresters are planting pine trees that will never be harvested are the result of "misinformation". "The billion tree strategy is an excellent idea, unfortunately from time to time it's tainted by misinformation spread by the National Party or their grandees, hiding in scattered ...
    1 week ago
  • Budget boost for refugee families a win for compassion
    The Green Party welcomes funding in the budget to reunite more refugees with their families, ensuring they have the best chance at a new life in Aotearoa New Zealand. ...
    1 week ago
  • How Budget 2020 is supporting jobs
    This year’s Budget is about rebuilding New Zealand together in the face of COVID-19. Jobs are central to how we’re going to do that.There’s a lot of targeted investment for employment in this year’s Budget, with announcements on creating new jobs, training people for the jobs we have, and supporting ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters says China didn’t want NZ to go into lockdown
    Speaking to Stuff's Coronavirus NZ podcast, Foreign Minister Winston Peters revealed China tried to dissuade New Zealand from going into lockdown. “Without speaking out of turn, they wanted a discussion as to why we were doing it, because they thought it was an overreaction,” Mr Peters told Stuff’s Coronavirus NZ podcast. He also ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Changes made to Overseas Investment Act to protect New Zealand assets
    The Coalition Government is making changes to the Overseas Investment Act to ensure New Zealand assets don't fall into the hands of foreign ownership in the economic aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Associate Minister of Finance David Parker announced the Act will be amended to bring forward a national interest ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters: Trans-Tasman bubble to help tourism industry make swift recovery
    A quick start to a trans-Tasman bubble could see the tourism industry make a swift recovery, according to Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters. "I believe tourism will turn around dramatically faster than people think," Mr Peters told reporters after Thursday's Budget. "Why? Because I think the Tasman bubble is [going ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rt. Hon Winston Peters: Budget Speech
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First   Please check against delivery https://vimeo.com/418303651 Budget 2020: Jobs, Business and Balance   Introduction Acknowledgements to all Cabinet colleagues, and party ministers Tracey Martin, Shane Jones and Ron Mark, Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau and to caucus colleagues. Thank you for your support, your ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Jacinda Ardern’s 2020 Budget Speech
    Read Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's Budget 2020 Speech. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Budget 2020: Next steps to end family and sexual violence
    The 2020 Budget includes significant support to stabilise New Zealand’s family violence services, whose work has been shown to be so essential throughout the COVID-19 lockdown. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Investment in housing gives more people access to the home they deserve
    The Green Party says huge new investment in public and transitional housing will get thousands more families into the warm, safe homes they deserve.  ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Budget 2020: Huge investment in green nature based jobs jump starts sustainable COVID recovery
    The Green Party says the $1.1 billion environmental investment in this year’s budget to create thousands of green jobs will help jump start a sustainable recovery from the COVID crisis. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Grant Robertson’s 2020 Budget Speech
    Read Minister of Finance Grant Robertson's Budget 2020 Speech. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters tells struggling migrant workers ‘you should probably go home’
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters said today the Coalition Government told foreigners at the start of the Covid-19 crisis that if their circumstances had changed dramatically, they should go home. "And 50,000 did," Mr Peters said. Official advice to Cabinet revealed there is potentially 380,000 foreigners and migrant workers in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First welcomes today’s Alert Level 2 announcement
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand First welcomes the decision today to go to Alert Level 2 from midnight Wednesday, says Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters. Alert Level 2 will mean a return to work for the vast majority of New Zealand’s businesses. A return ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nurses to be protected after amendment to First Responders Bill
    Nurses now look set to get more protection from violence at work, under a proposed new law. This after NZ First MP Darroch Ball's "Protection for First Responders Bill", which introduces a six-month minimum sentence for assaults on first responders, will now also cover emergency department healthcare workers. The ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nurses to get more protection, added to ‘First Responders’ legislation
    Darroch Ball MP, New Zealand First Law and Order Spokesperson An amendment to the ‘Protection of First Responders Bill’ is being tabled which will see emergency department healthcare workers included in the legislation. “During this COVID-19 crisis we have seen reports of violence and specifically increased incidents of spitting towards ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Shane Jones: Northland port could be economic haven
    Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones is breathing new life into the proposal to move Auckland's port to Whangārei to help in the economic recovery post Covid-19 pandemic. If New Zealand First was returned in the September general election, Minister Jones said a priority would be development of an "economic haven" at Northport, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF grant for Ventnor memorial
    The plan to build a memorial to the SS Ventnor, and those who were lost when it sank off the Hokianga coast in 1902, has been granted $100,000 from the Provincial Growth Fund. Originally planned for a site near Rāwene cemetery, the memorial will now be built at the new Manea ...
    3 weeks ago
  • 75th anniversary of V.E Day
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader Leader of New Zealand First, Rt Hon Winston Peters said: “Today is the 75th anniversary of VE Day – marking the end of World War II in Europe." Millions died in the six years of war, and families were torn apart. 75 years ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Getting the job done
    From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, our Government has committed to providing calm, clear, and consistent communication, including regular press conference updates from the Prime Minister. While New Zealand is at Alert Level 3, we're making sure that New Zealanders are kept informed and up-to-date with all the latest ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters responds to Simon Bridges’ ‘my sweetheart’ comment
    New Zealand First leader Winston Peters spoke to The Country's Jamie Mackay. A day earlier, National Party leader Simon Bridges was on the radio show and referred to the Deputy Prime Minister as, "my sweetheart Winston". Mr Peters swiftly dismissed the question of whether Bridges had changed his mind about ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Mycoplasma bovis eradication reaches two year milestone in good shape
    New Zealand’s world-first plan to eradicate the cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis is on track the latest technical data shows, says Agriculture and Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two years ago the Government, DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb New Zealand and industry partners made a bold decision to go hard and commit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • New payment to support Kiwis through COVID
    Further support for New Zealanders affected by 1-in-100 year global economic shock 12-week payment will support people searching for new work or retraining Work programme on employment insurance to support workers and businesses The Government today announced a new temporary payment to support New Zealanders who lose their jobs due ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • PGF reset helps regional economies
    The Provincial Growth Fund will play a vital role in New Zealand’s post-COVID-19 recovery by creating jobs in shorter timeframes through at least $600 million being refocused on projects with more immediate economic benefits, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The funding is comprised of repurposed Provincial Growth ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government exempts some home improvements from costly consents
    Government exempts some home improvements from costly consents Homeowners, builders and DIYers will soon have an easier time making basic home improvements as the Government scraps the need for consents for low-risk building work such as sleep-outs, sheds and carports – allowing the construction sector to fire back up quicker ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Concern at introduction of national security legislation for Hong Kong
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says the New Zealand Government has reacted with concern at the introduction of legislation in China’s National People’s Congress relating to national security in Hong Kong.  “We have a strong interest in seeing confidence maintained in the ‘one country, two systems’ principle under which Hong ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Samoa Language Week theme is perfect for the post-COVID-19 journey
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, says the theme for the 2020 Samoa Language Week is a perfect fit for helping our Pacific communities cope with the unfolding COVID-19 crisis, and to prepare now for the journey ahead as New Zealand focuses on recovery plans and rebuilding New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Adult kakī/black stilt numbers soar
    A nearly 40-year programme to protect one of New Zealand’s most critically endangered birds is paying off, with a record number of adult kakī/black stilt recently recorded living in the wild, the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. “Thanks to the team effort involved in the Department of Conservation’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Waikato-Tainui settlement story launched on 25th anniversary of Treaty signing
    The story of the Waikato-Tainui Treaty process and its enduring impact on the community is being told with a five-part web story launched today on the 25th anniversary of settlement, announced Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “I am grateful to Waikato-Tainui for allowing us to help capture ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Taita College to benefit from $32 million school redevelopment
    Taita College in the Hutt Valley will be redeveloped to upgrade its ageing classrooms and leaky roofs, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. “The work is long overdue and will make a lasting difference to the school for generations to come,” Chris Hipkins said. “Too many of our schools are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Redeployment for workers in hard-hit regions
    The Government is allocating $36.72 million to projects in regions hard hit economically by COVID-19 to keep people working, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Projects in Hawke’s Bay, Northland, Rotorua and Queenstown will be funded from the Government’s $100 million worker ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • $35m to build financial resilience for New Zealanders
    A $35m boost to financial capability service providers funded by MSD will help New Zealanders manage their money better both day to day and through periods of financial difficulty, announced Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “It’s always been our position to increase support to key groups experiencing or at risk ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New District Court Judge appointed
    Dunedin barrister Melinda Broek has been appointed as a District Court Judge with Family Court jurisdiction to be based in Rotorua, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. Ms Broek has iwi affiliations to Ngai Tai. She commenced her employment in 1996 with Scholefield Cockroft Lloyd in Invercargill specialising in family and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • $206 million investment in upgrades at Ohakea Air Force Base
    The Coalition Government has approved a business case for $206 million in upgrades to critical infrastructure at Royal New Zealand Air Force Base Ohakea, with the first phase starting later this year, Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. The investment will be made in three phases over five years, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Review of CAA organisational culture released
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today released the Ministry of Transport’s review of the organisational culture at the Civil Aviation Authority. Phil Twyford says all employees are entitled to a safe work environment. “I commissioned this independent review due to the concerns I had about the culture within the CAA, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Board appointed at Stats NZ
    Ensuring that Stats NZ’s direction and strategy best supports government policy decisions will be a key focus for a new Governance Advisory Board announced today by the Minister for Statistics, James Shaw. The new Governance Advisory Board will provide strategic advice to Stats NZ to ensure it is meeting New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Principal Environment Judge
    Environment Judge David Kirkpatrick of Auckland has been appointed as the Principal Environment Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  Judge Kirkpatrick was appointed an Environment Judge in February 2014. From December 2013 to July 2016 he was Chair of the Auckland Unitary Plan Independent Hearings Panel. Prior to appointment he ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Digital connectivity boost for urban marae
    A programme to connect marae around the country to the internet has received $1.4 million to expand to include urban marae in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister Kris Faafoi and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. The funding for the Marae Connectivity Programme ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt increases assistance to drought-stricken Hawke’s Bay farmers
    The Government will provide $500,000 to the Hawke’s Bay Mayoral Drought Relief Fund to help farmers facing one of the worst droughts in living memory, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Yesterday afternoon I received a letter from Hawke's Bay's five local Government leaders asking me to contribute to the Fund. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Investment in New Zealand’s history
    Budget 2020 provides a major investment in New Zealand’s documentary heritage sector, with a commitment to leasing a new Archives Wellington facility and an increase in funding for Archives and National Library work. “Last year I released plans for a new Archives Wellington building – a purpose-built facility physically connected ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Driving prompt payments to small businesses
    Government Ministers are asking significant private enterprises to adopt prompt payment practices in line with the state sector, as a way to improve cashflow for small businesses. The Ministers of Finance, Small Business, Commerce and Consumer Affairs have written to more than 40 significant enterprises and banking industry representatives to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Rotorua tourist icon to be safeguarded
    Maori Arts and Crafts will continue to underpin the heart of the tourism sector says Minister for Maori Development Nanaia Mahuta.  “That’s why we are making a core investment of $7.6 million to Te Puia New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute, over two years, as part of the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $14.7m for jobs training and education
    The Government is funding more pathways to jobs through training and education programmes in regional New Zealand to support the provinces’ recovery from the economic impacts of COVID-19, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Employment Minister Willie Jackson have announced. “New Zealand’s economic recovery will be largely driven by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Is it time to further recognise those who serve in our military?
     Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced the launch of a national conversation that aims to find out whether New Zealanders think there should be a formal agreement between service people, the Government, and the people of New Zealand. “This year marks the 75th anniversary of the end of World ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Paving the way for a fully qualified early learning workforce
    The Government’s drive to improve the quality of early childhood education (ECE) is taking another step forward with the reintroduction of a higher funding rate for services that employ fully qualified and registered teachers, Education Minister Chris Hipkins has announced. “Research shows that high-quality ECE can improve young people’s learning ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Sport Recovery Package announced
    The Sport and Recreation sector will receive a multi-million dollar boost as part of the COVID-19 response funded at Budget 2020.  Grant Robertson says the Sport and Recreation Sector contributes about $5 billion a year to New Zealand’s GDP and employs more than 53,000 people. “Sport plays a significant role ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Major boost in support for caregivers and children
    A major increase in funding and availability of support will improve the incomes and reduce the pressure on 14,000 caregivers looking after more than 22,000 children. Children’s Minister Tracey Martin says that caregivers – all those looking after someone else’s children both in and outside the state care system – ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Great Walks recovery on track for summer
    Vital conservation and visitor infrastructure destroyed by a severe flood event in Fiordland earlier this year is being rebuilt through a $13.7 million Budget 2020 investment, announced Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage.   “This investment will mean iconic Great Walks such as the Routeburn track and the full length of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Māori – Government partnership gives whānau a new housing deal
    The Government is investing  $40 million in a partnership with Māori to get more whānau into warm, dry and secure accommodation, Associate Minister for Housing (Māori Housing) Hon Nanaia Mahuta says.. “We are partnering with Māori and iwi to respond to the growing housing crisis in the wake of COVID-19. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders Safe In The Water
    Keeping New Zealanders safe in the water Our lifeguards and coastguards who keep New Zealanders safe in the water have been given a funding boost thanks to the 2020 Budget, Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector Poto Williams has announced. The water safety sector will receive $63 million over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Legal framework for COVID-19 Alert Level referred to select committee
    The COVID-19 Public Health Response Act 2020, which set a sound legal framework ahead of the move to Alert level 2, has been referred to a parliamentary select committee for review.  Attorney-General David Parker said the review of the operation of the COVID-19 specific law would be reported back to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand condemns shocking attacks on hospital and funeral in Afghanistan
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand condemns the targeting of civilians in two terrorist attacks in Afghanistan earlier this week. “The terrorist attacks on a hospital in Kabul and a funeral in Nangarhar province are deeply shocking. The attacks were deliberate and heinous acts of extreme violence targeting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government to close tobacco tax loophole
    The Government will close a loophole that allowed some people to import cigarettes and loose leaf tobacco for manufacturing cigarettes and ‘roll your owns’ for sale on the black market without excise tax being paid, says Minister of Customs Jenny Salesa. The legislation, which doesn’t affect duty free allowances for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • $62 million package to support families through the Family Court
    The Coalition Government has made a significant $62 million investment from the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund to start the reform of the Family Court and enable it to respond effectively to the increased backlog caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Today Justice Minister Andrew Little introduced the Family Court (Supporting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Tailored help supports new type of job seeker – report
    The Government’s expanded services to support people into jobs will help an emerging cohort of New Zealanders impacted by COVID-19. The impacted group are relatively younger, have a proportionately low benefit history and have comparatively higher incomes than most who seek support, as captured in a report published today from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • A modern approach to night classes
    New funding to boost Government-funded Adult and Community Education (ACE) will give more than 11,000 New Zealanders more opportunities to learn, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “This includes a modern approach to rebuilding night classes, which were slashed in the middle of our last economic crisis in 2010,” Chris Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Christchurch Call makes significant progress
    Significant progress has been delivered in the year since the Christchurch Call to Action brought governments and tech companies together in Paris with a single goal to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardent says. On its first anniversary, Ardern and French President Emmanuel Macron as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Christchurch Call: One year Anniversary
    Joint statement: the Right Honourable Jacinda Ardern Prime Minister of New Zealand and His Excellency Emmanuel Macron President of the French Republic. One year since we launched, in Paris, the Christchurch Call to Action, New Zealand and France stand proud of the progress we have made toward our goal to eliminate terrorist ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Budget 2020: Jobs and opportunities for the primary sector
    $19.3 million to help attract and train recently unemployed New Zealanders and grow the primary sector workforce by 10,000 people. $128 million for wilding pine and wallaby control, providing hundreds of jobs. $45.3m over four years to help horticulture seize opportunities for future growth. $14.9 million to reduce food waste ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New registration system for forestry advisers and log traders
    A new log registration scheme and practice standards will bring us one step closer to achieving ‘value over volume’ in our forestry sector, Forestry Minister Shane Jones says. New legislation introduced as part of Budget 2020 will require forestry advisers, log traders and exporters to register and work to nationally ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Finance Minister’s Budget 2020 s Budget Speech
    Mr Speaker, I move that the Appropriation (2020/21 Estimates) Bill be now read a second time. From its very beginning this Coalition Government has committed to putting the wellbeing of current and future generations of New Zealanders at the heart of everything we do. There is no time in New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago