web analytics

Don’t kill the Cullen Fund

Written By: - Date published: 9:45 am, February 24th, 2009 - 42 comments
Categories: economy, welfare - Tags:

Michael Littlewood has made a career of advocating superannuation privatisation and is part of an international organisation called Pension Reforms dedicated to the privatisation of superannuation. Yesterday, he was given a platform in the Herald and on the news (one or three, can’t remember), to argue the New Zealand Superannuation Fund (known as the Cullen Fund) should be abolished or put on hold during the recession. That advice is economically illiterate and shows no understanding of the nature of long-term investments. It is more of the short-term, dumb thinking that got the world economy into this trouble in the first place. It says (and I know I hit this point a lot) something about our media that this guy got to spout his ideological rubbish in the Herald and on the news without his credentials, his agenda, or the quality of his advice being questioned or even mentioned.

Let me put this simply: if you are in it  for the long-term and you believe that the world economy will eventually rebound, now is a good time to be investing in assets because their future growth will be faster than their long-term average  growth.

I’ve tried to show why this is graphically. The wavy red line is the value of an asset, maybe a share or a bond or a house. The blue line is the long-term average value of that asset, basically the boom/bust cycle flattened out. The green zone represents a boom, the orange zone a bust.

long-term-investmentNow, if you’re a short-term thinking money-man, you want to be buying when the red line is climbing the most rapidly and selling before it starts falling. But if you’re a long-term investor, when is the best time to be buying this asset? During a bust, because the value is below the long-term average value, you are going to get a greater average growth rate than the average for the asset and much greater than if you were buying during a boom – check out the angle of the two thick purple lines compared to each other and the average.

Let’s take a real-world example. When you put your money in your Kiwisaver account what is actually happening is you are buying shares in your Kiwisaver providers’ Kiwisaver fund. In the last year, the value of those funds, and so the value of those shares has fallen. If you put in $100 today, it will buy you more shares in the fund that $100 did last year. You may have lost money on your Kiwisaver in the last year but, unless you are retiring soon, it doesn’t matter, what matters is the long-term return. Your long-term return on a $100 invested today, when the value of the Kiwisaver shares is below their long-term average is going to be higher than on $100 you use to buy shares in the Kiwisaver fund when they are above their long-term average value.

If you a investing for your retirement, or you are a government retirement fund designed to not even begin paying out money for ten years and then keep going for the next half century, or you are a sovereign wealth fund, or you are any kind of investor looking for a long-term gain who doesn’t have to worry about short-term loss (and you don’t believe we are at the start of a permanent period of economic decline), now is the time to be buying, while people are willing to sell you stuff for less than it is worth in the time-frame that matters to you. Sure, for now, we are borrowing, at low sovereign rates, the money we are putting into the fund but the long-term return on that investment will be much greater. To his credit, John Key makes much the same point.

My concern is that the hard right in National/ACT with the same privatisation agenda as Littlewood will see an opportunity to exploit economic illiteracy in the political media to kill the Cullen Fund, and cripple the future of superannuation in New Zealand.

42 comments on “Don’t kill the Cullen Fund”

  1. Pat 1

    Dollar Cost Averaging is the term you are looking for, SP.

    Despite the principle behind Dollar Cost Averaging, I wonder if holding off the contribution this year might be a good idea when all indications are that world markets are going to fall further.

  2. gets pretty tricky if you’re trying to play intra-cycle games with a long-term fund. and there’s the political element too – once you’ve stopped for one year, will you really restart the next?

  3. Billy 3

    Will you personally be borrowing to speculate in the share market, Steve?

  4. BLiP 4

    Goober John Key and his big business mates have always had their eye on the Cullen Fund . They have taken their lesson’s from the Robert Maxwell School of Business and have been slavering over the fund since its inception.

    The fund belongs to all New Zealanders equally, not the National Party and its big business masters. If they are not prepared to borrow to fund it, then they should just leave it alone and not plunder it.

    hahahahaha – captcha = suited con !!

  5. Jasper 5

    Billy – If we borrowed to speculate in the SM, at least the interest on borrowed loans is tax deductible.

    Furthermore, if we borrowed 2b this year, who’s to say that in 3 years time when the SM turns around, that $2b borrowed won’t be worth double, or even triple. History has shown that when SM hits a (new) low point, the resulting bounceback typically takes it above the previous high point over a 3 – 5 year period.

    In this case, the Cullen Fund is a perfect example of long term thinking, and this year and the next are the years where funds should definitely be borrowed to invest. The long term prognosis is good. Not to mention that if Nactional go ahead with using 40% of the Cullen Fund in NZ, then the resulting profits end up coming back into the Cullen Fund via dividends and what have you. Why have Sky TV, but no shares in Sky TV… you’re effectively getting repaid what you pay Sky through dividends.

  6. djp 6

    Steve you are assuming we are at the bottom of the valley… we could be teetering at the edge of a cliff for all you know.

    As others have hinted at, why should the taxpayer be forced to pay for others to gamble on the stockmarket?

  7. ieuan 7

    Steve, your post misses the point of most of the objections to the government putting money into the Cullen fund. As the government will be running deficits for the foreseeable future then the government will have to borrow the money it feeds into the fund.

    So the question that has to be answered is ‘Does it make sense for the government to borrow money to put into a retirement fund’?

    As Billy has already asked ‘Steve is that something that you would do yourself’?

    Personally I feel that the government should not borrow to feed the fund, they should temporarily freeze contributions but as soon as the economy picks up they should start paying back into the fund.

    Also, looking at your graph, have you factored in the cost of borrowing the money? If the government is paying 5% for the money but only achieving 3% growth how does the graph look then?

  8. higherstandard 8

    For those that are arguing the point with SP it’s worth contemplating where we would be now if Rob hadn’t scuppered Norm Kirk’s super fund plan.

    Covered here very well.

  9. Matthew Pilott 9

    I’m investing in a super scheme because the units are very cheap and if I can get them at 2/3 the cost of a year ago, and small growth will have a fairly solid impact on the overall portfolio.

    That’s what I was thinking about when I heard this guy talk about not investing – surely any decent advisor will be telling you to look out for bargains at the moment (but be wary, of course, of the shakier investments).

    To sort-of answer Billy’s question, and address ieuan, I have debts that are servicable, and could be cleared faster if I stopped those super contributions. So in effect I’m borrowing to invest on the sharemarket. Hopefully works out well in five or ten years.

    If you think you’ll get a better return on the money you’re borrowing then do so to invest by all means. Just as long as you’re borrowing for something very worthwhile (like avoiding future pain from retiring baby-boomers…)

  10. Matthew Pilott 10

    HS, cheers for the link. Check out the NZ/Aus comparison:

    New Zealand would have led the world in terms of savings. Based on the $240 billion projection each worker would have $111,200 of superannuation assets compared with $6300 at present and A$74,400 ($86,821) in Australia.

    That’s outrageous. I think the Cullen fund needs every cent it can get.

    Incidentally the pro-Kiwisaver article has a ‘disclosure of interest’ at teh end about the author, but the one in questionin this thread does not.

  11. vto 11

    All these people who think they are experts at money and markets and business (Littlewood, Pierson, Oram, Morgan, etc)…

    I have always said that the only ones worth listening to seriously on these subjects are those who have made some money themselves. Otherwise quite frankly they don’t know squat about the harsh reality.

    Has Littlewood made lotsa money on the markets etc?
    Has Pierson made lotsa money on the markets etc?
    Has Oram made lotsa money on the markets etc?
    Has Morgan made lotsa money on the markets etc?

    It is usually only a small number who are worth listening to.

  12. Matthew Pilott 12

    vto – what if they are successful at analysing the markets and passing on their analysis?

    Do you only even listen to a sports commentator if they were world #1 at that sport? You might find that they’re actually rubbish compared to people who are good at commentating – I think the analogy fits well here.

  13. Felix 13

    it’s worth contemplating where we would be now if Rob hadn’t scuppered Norm Kirk’s super fund plan.

    And isn’t Muldoon Key’s hero?

  14. higherstandard 14

    Felix bit of a long bow, try here

    What’s more telling was his views on HC and MC prior to the electioneering starting last year where he said that MC’s greatest contribution, which would be remembered long after he was gone, was getting the Cullen fund and super saving up and running in NZ.

  15. ieuan 15

    From the Gaynor article: ‘The 1975 scheme would have taken 16 years to reach the first $50 billion, five years to reach the next $50 billion and then six years and two years to reach $150 billion and $200 billion respectively.’

    Gaynor’s growth predictions read like the prospective for a get rich quick scheme, if it takes only 2 years to add another $50 billion how many years before there is so much money in the fund that no one in New Zealand has to actually work anymore?

    Something doesn’t add up, can’t put my finger on it…………that’s right, there is no such thing as infinite growth, that is why we are in the mess we are currently in.

  16. vto 16

    MP, there is some comparison of course, and analytical types probably do have a role. I just always find that so many ‘analysts’ overstate their position. Human nature I suppose. But seriously, its like getting advice on how to make money from your accountant or lawyer – how many of them have made a ton of dosh?

    I guess my point is that people’s expertise is often highly specific and its important to understand where that expertise is overstepped, when evaluating the worth of the commentary.

  17. Quoth the Raven 17

    vto – I ought to have asked Madoff or Stanford for advice last year then.

  18. vto 18

    QtR you egg. They clearly have not made money have they. They have stolen it – quite a difference from what I said ya?

  19. higherstandard 19


    An interesting analysis which I haven’t got the link for …… with an initial purchase of 10k shares – if any broker had made the correct bets on shares for a period of 50 years – only buying shares that were to go up and only selling shares that were to go down (poorly worded but you get my drift) they would amass more money than is currently in circulation on the planet.

  20. Quoth the Raven 20

    vto – I was being facetious, but I think the point stands that making a lot of money does not mean you have greater knowledge to impart. We’ve seen the masters of the universe the big swinging dicks fall flat on their faces in recent times I wouldn’t go running to them for advice.

  21. Chess Player 21

    Ok, QTR, so who then would you reckon could advise us on making money?

    Please enlighten us all.

  22. ieuan 22

    Come on Chess Player, it’s obvious – Steve Pierson

  23. Pat 23

    HS – one of the best returns I have read about was in Sam Walton’s biography. When Walmart listed on the US stock exchange in 1970 each share cost US$16.50.

    If you bought 100 shares in 1970, by 1990 they were worth US$3M. There had been nine 2-for-1 splits in that 20 year period.

    As company shares were a common part of staff remuneration, many long-serving Walmart staff retired as millionaries, simply by not selling their shares.

  24. vto 24

    QtR, sure, a point of sorts. But again, if you consider the ‘masters’ in detail you will find that the vast majority are still loaded to the hilt. It is only some that have crashed and burned.

    And I do in fact consider that those who have made a load of money do have a greater knowledge to impart – on money and market and business matters. By way of example, you could consider Oram vs Morgan. I dont know what Oram has made but my guess is probably not much. And in my opinion that comes across in his opinion. Compared to Morgan

    Aren’t opinions great …

  25. Matthew Pilott 25

    Gaynor’s growth predictions read like the prospective for a get rich quick scheme, if it takes only 2 years to add another $50 billion how many years before there is so much money in the fund that no one in New Zealand has to actually work anymore?

    Three years after we’ve nationalised everything, made a classless society and disbanded the armed forces for a People’s Militia.

    In Soviet New Zealand, money works for you!

  26. RedLogix 26

    Gaynor’s growth predictions read like the prospective for a get rich quick scheme,

    Australia’s Super scheme has over a trillion dollars in it; Norway invested huge amounts of it’s oil wealth, and so on. Gaynor stated that his estimates were deliberately conservative, but however you want to add the numbers up, New Zealand would have been hugely better off than the many billions in debt than it is now. Hell we might even still own one of our major banks.

    Rob’s decision to scupper that pioneering scheme has cost this country very, very dearly. It was a mistake we have all been paying for all our lives, and if Key repeats it, so will our children and grandchildren.

  27. Ed 27

    I think you have confused two different people both called Michael Littlewood. Only one of them thinks he is an expert on superannuation, and I would be horrified if that one was teaching law.

    Regarding contributions to the scheme, I thought it was anticipated that higher contributions would be made in a situation of surpluses than when the government was running a deficit – and that if the government wants to it can forgo contributions altogether. See Clause 44 of the New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income Act 2001 No 84 (as at 10 September 2008). If lower contributions are made the government does need to explain to the country what it is doing and the implications – that may not be palatable to the current government.

    The ‘superannuation’ Michael Littlewood has always been totally against any incentives for long terms savings – indeed for any savings at all – and since the removal of the (limited) tax deductions for superannuation contributions we have seen New Zealand savings drop consistently. I believe that the impact of small incentives has always produced a volume of savings that provides much larger benefits to the country than the cost of the incentives – Australia is a country that went directly contrary to the extreme right views of Michael Littlewood and has had a much better domestic source of capital than New Zealand – it shows our high percentage of overseas owned companies operating here.

    Given that National have committed to maintaining National Superannuation on its current basis it is important that we be sure that those commitments can be met as the number receiving them increases over the next 15 years or so. That might not be as newsworthy as Michael Littlewood’s extreme solutions, but it is important to many New Zealanders who now have little opportunity to save more for retirement.

  28. pk 28

    It’s interesting that no-one is actually talking numbers and harking back
    to Steve’s comment that it’s all about long term results

    The government borrows – this costs whatever the current Treasury rates are at the time – checking a couple of sites it’s about 6.5 % at the moment (and that’s a fairly typical rate) – it’s like the mortgage, pay it off and it’s a guaranteed return – so we can have a guaranteed return of 6.5% by paying off debt.

    The Cullen fund needs to beat this return – in order to make up for taking some risk it needs to beat it by a couple of percent – so it needs to return almost 10% – that’s a big return – Warren Buffet – arguably the world’s best investor has done about 13% compound p.a. (from memory, I’m too lazy to check the figures).

    So, the Cullen fund in good times is a bad idea!! As we always have debt, returns in booms generally return to the average (as per Steve’s graph) and frankly, getting such great returns on a long term basis is the exception, especially with such large amounts of money.

    Strangely though, for once it may be a good idea at this point in time as investing at the bottom of the market provides the best returns as Steve points out but ….

    – are we at the bottom of the market? No-one can predict the bottom
    – will we have a return of 10% or more?

    Though I think the Cullen fund was more of a political stunt than a decent investment approach I do think we “could’ lock in our losses if we close it off now. So, I’m not in favour of closing it off as a contrarian investment approach is very successful overall. But one can only take such a long term approach if one does not need the money now and that’s a big question do we need it now?

    My other concern about cashing in the savings and spending them right now is that this recession may have further to go keep the powder dry and something in reserve.

    FYI I’ve managed to invest, good job, frugal and all that, and up until the recent debacle was hitting about 15% p.a. returns easier with small amounts of money down to about 11% at the moment. I’ve even borrowed to invest and succeeded but it’s a very high risk strategy and only do it on <10% of my investments.

    Jasper loans being tax deductable is completely a red herring for the government as we then give up the tax revenue also doubling one’s money??? Extremely unlikely.

  29. Quoth the Raven 29

    Chess Player – Not Wall Street Analysts anyway. See here for why.

    vto – Has Morgan or Oram advised you on shares to buy lately have you made a bundle to snort cocaine off a model’s backside. I didn’t know Oram was an investment adviser now. Anyone here have their investments managed by Gareth Morgan’s company? Have you been making loads of cash the last few months? or are you holding out over the longterm? Point of this post.

  30. vidiot 30

    So I see both the Greens & ACT now both want to suspend payments to the Cullen fund. Never though I would ever seem those two agreeing on something.

  31. Pat 31

    Oh so confusing!

    Labour say keep making the contributions.
    Greens say stop them.
    United say keep them.
    ACT say stop them.
    National say they haven’t decided yet.
    Maori Party say they didn’t know the fund existed until yesterday, so they are gonna check out if they can put in a claim.

  32. Jasper 32

    Pk – I was responding to Billys point about “personally borrowing to invest in the sharemarket”

    Not saying that the government would claim tax back on interest – but we can if we borrow personally to invest in the sharemarket, as long as there is a taxable income stream, which there is through dividends and CGT on shares.

    Still, it’s complete idiocy to stop contributing. Regardless of how much further there is to fall, at best it’s probably another 10%, worst, 30%. Either way over a 15 year period, being the timeframe for the fund, returns will far outstrip any borrowings + interest on borrowings.

    • PK 32.1

      Jasper – on the borrowing side – sorry read it differently as you said “if WE borrowed”

      Disagree on the returns outstripping borrowings though – because if it did then everybody would be doing it – it’s incredibly risky and exceedingly unlikely to happen over a 15 year period. Shares return on average 2% over inflation in the long term – rates to borrow are normally > 2% more than inflation.

      But go do it and I’ll watch 🙂

  33. Rich 33

    You are of course assuming that the sharemarket will recover as has always happened in the past.

    At current prices, one would have to have invested an awfully long time ago (15-20 years) before a stock market investment beats a bank deposit.

    Right now there is a total loss of confidence in the market, which seems to have eclipsed any value in the actual companies as investments. It may be that stocks will never recover and a new model of financing business will be needed.

    Perhaps Labour need to think of what will happen if we go into the next election with the Dow at 5000 (versus 8000 or so today and 14000 at its peak).

    • Ed 33.1

      I believe that the investments of the fund should be left to the investment management team. Of far more importance than continuing contributions is not mucking about with the investments and for example using them to fund ‘think big’ favoured projects within New Zealand. I had thought that it was the response to such suggestions that initially at least led Phil Goff to ask the government that they be clear about their intentions for the Fund. Yes contributions are important, but at least some of the investmetns of the fund will be there for a long time – provided we realise that contributions not made this year need to be made up at some time int he future.

      Yes the investments of the fund were initially invested in very volatile assets – and we can all hope that the exposure to the American dollar has been reduced, and that exposure to speculative investments has also reduced. The fall in values that has occurred was of course not anticipated, but that does not invalidate the decision to invest to make our ability to meet the commitments to National Superannuation more certain. At any given time, I have a belief that long term investment will add value – certainly I would be uncomfortable with political promises to continue National Super without some assets having been set aside.

      The example given of dollar averaging tells a lot of the story – but the point of the fund is confidence in the ability (and poltical willingness) of future governments to pay National Superannuation – I am happier with the money there than being used to avoid borrowing for short term stimulus policies.

      I notice that Kiwiblog is conveniently focussing on the contributions, and not the need for clarity regarding all aspects of the Fund. It may be inconvenient of the government to have to explain what they would do to make up for a short contribution holiday – a bigger concern would be if they started using the fund for other purposes – even they would not know the long term effect of that.

  34. Roger 34

    Lack of NZ capital has been one of the reasons for our high level of overseas borrowings and indebtedness. The funds established by Kirk and later by Cullen are useful steps towards a more self-reliant economy. The Australians learned this lesson many years ago. Small economies need to have the added strength of significant domestic savings to help ride out the booms and busts of the global economy. Let’s not keep repeating the same mistake. If the government really feels compelled to temporarily suspend contributions to the Fund then so be it. But for goodness sake let’s not spend the retirement income of the next generation. Leave the Cullen Fund alone.

  35. Michael Littlewood 35

    For the record:

    1. I am not the other Michael Littlewood who is a senior lecturer in law at the University of Auckland. I am Co-director of the Retirement Policy and Research Centre at the Business School, having retired in 2008 from a career in financial services.

    2. I have not made a “career out of superannuation privatisation” though, until 1991, I did think that was a good idea. My 15 months on the first Todd Task Force convinced me that compulsory private provision was a bad idea and that tax incentives for private provision are an even worse idea. That, in each case, is because they don’t work.

    3. I think New Zealand Superannuation is one of the best Tier 1 schemes in the world but that we need to start a debate now as to whether it is the best way of delivering retirement incomes from, say, 2030 onwards. The fact that I am reasonably content to see something in excess of 6% of GDP go to pensioners from taxation scarcely makes me an “extreme right winger”.

    4. The New Zealand Superannuation Fund will not change the cost of New Zealand Superannuation by $1 but will slightly rearrange the incidence of that cost. What really matters is the future strength of the New Zealand economy. The NZSF is a relative sideshow in that regard, even if it reaches the expected $60 billion or so.

    5. If it’s a good idea to borrow $2 billion to put into the NZSF in 2009/10, why don’t we borrow $40 billion and really do a job on it? If that doesn’t sound sensible then perhaps we need to start thinking about the $2 billion for the coming year. Borrowing to invest in sharemarkets isn’t a sensible idea for savers – neither is it a great idea for governments.

    6. PensionReforms is not “an international organisation … dedicated to the privatisation of superannuation.” http://www.PensionReforms.com is in fact a web site run out of the University of Auckland and of which I am the principal editor. It is dedicated to the promotion of quality research on pension issues from around the world. If I had to sum up the lens through which PensionReforms looks at this research, it would be a generous, universal, non means-tested, Tier 1 pension, no compulsory private provision, no tax breaks for private provision and high quality information that will let citizens decide for themselves how to save further amounts for retirement. That doesn’t sound like the right wing conspiracy suggested by the author of that comment.

    7. What I really want is for New Zealand to start a research-based discussion on what both public and private provision (including KiwiSaver) might look like in 2020 and beyond. We have never had such a debate. Instead, we were rushed into both the NZSF and KiwiSaver by a government that thought it knew better what to do with my tax money than I did. I do not want to see that proposed discussion rushed; worse, I do not want to see the government make unilateral decisions. We should at least have learned that those kinds of decisions are unlikely to survive. On that, New Zealand probably has the best experience of any country.

    8. Finally, I do not call myself an “expert on superannuation”. Over the last 35 years or so, I have learned a few things and have changed my mind from time to time when new evidence convinces me I was wrong about something. I can’t stop other people from describing me as they choose.

  36. Felix 36

    5. If it’s a good idea to borrow $2 billion to put into the NZSF in 2009/10, why don’t we borrow $40 billion and really do a job on it? If that doesn’t sound sensible then perhaps we need to start thinking about the $2 billion for the coming year.

    Sorry, fucking what??

    When I borrow money I have to calculate the amount I can afford to pay to service the debt. Is this not a factor in this case for some reason?

  37. RedLogix 37


    Well done for posting here and attempting to back your ideas.

    Instead, we were rushed into both the NZSF and KiwiSaver by a government that thought it knew better what to do with my tax money than I did.

    Oops sounds like a classic right wing talking point, but I’ll take it on face value. The problem is that until very recently the savings rate in this country was appallingly low, we treated our homes like ATM machines, racked up hundreds of billions of debt, and spent about $1.13 for every $1 we earnt.

    Arguably Michael Cullen was merely trying to do the saving for us as a nation, that we had demonstrably failed to do for ourselves. Maybe he really DID know what to do with our tax money better than we do ourselves.

    That is the whole point of government when you think about it.


    Fair point, but manners…tsk tsk.

  38. Matthew Pilott 38

    7. What I really want is for New Zealand to start a research-based discussion on what both public and private provision (including KiwiSaver) might look like in 2020 and beyond. We have never had such a debate. Instead, we were rushed into both the NZSF and KiwiSaver by a government that thought it knew better what to do with my tax money than I did.

    Don’t take it so personally, Mr Littlewood, Kiwisaver wasn’t set up exclusively for you. It was actually set up for NZ as a whole, due to our awful savings culture. Seems to have turned it around nicely. The decision wasn’t made to benefit you, and individually and in the short term, it may have affected you negatively.

    That’s fairly inevitable when a government makes any decision. If it’s better for society in the long term (and let’s be clear – what has been done clearly falls into that category) then it will also probably be better for you in the long term, whether you continue to gripe about your short term loss or not.

    Redlogix – interesting we both saw the same in the same point there…

    • Michael Littlewood 38.1


      Were you aware that most (about two thirds) of New Zealanders were saving enough or more than enough for retirement (before KiwiSaver)? If you go to http://www.PensionReforms.com, then to the Search & options tab and select “New Zealand” as the country, you will find several academic studies that back me up on that.

      I would therefore like to understand what your evidence is for “our awful savings culture”. You mustn’t cite the CAD in this regard (what Michael Cullen used to do) – it says nothing about New Zealanders’ retirement saving habits, something KiwiSaver is supposed to fix. Again, there is an NZIER report listed on PensionReforms that explains this point.

      You needn’t worry about me and KiwiSaver – I joined on day 1, not because I agree with the idea but because I know I will get more out of it than I put in, thanks in part to you. I just can’t resist the temptation of ‘free’ money but I still think it’s a bad piece of public policy – a ‘solution’ looking for a problem to solve.

      You say that KiwiSaver falls clearly into the category of being better for society. The best evidence we have so far is that about 81 cents of every dollar put into KiwiSaver is in fact savings shifted from another place, not ‘new’ money (once again, there is a report on PensionReforms about that). That’s what happens when a partcular savings behaviour is incentivised. Again, there is any amount of international evidence on that point – choose “Taxation” as the topic sort on PensionReforms to see that.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Significant investment in Raukūmara Pae Maunga to prevent Raukūmara forest collapse
    An iwi-Crown approach programme to restore the Raukūmara forest on the East Coast of the North Island and boost employment opportunities for whānau, particularly rangatahi/young people, will receive $34 million funding, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage has announced. “Raukūmara Pae Maunga is a partnership with Te Whānau-ā-Apanui, Ngāti Porou, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • New partnership central to delivering more Māori housing
    Government agencies and partners are working closer together to provide more Māori Housing through the Te MAIHI o te Whare Māori – the Māori and Iwi Housing Innovation Framework for Action (MAIHI). MAIHI is a kaupapa Māori approach that drives a system change to give effect and impact on Māori ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Pacific Ministers meet to discuss regional economic priorities
    The Pacific Islands Forum Economic Ministers Meeting (FEMM) begins today and will focus on the major economic and social impacts of COVID-19 on the Pacific.  FEMM is an important congregation of Economic Ministers and senior officials from around the region, and for the first time, the annual meeting will be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Formal apology and payment to George Nepata
    Cabinet has approved a formal apology and ex gratia payment to former soldier George Nepata, announced Defence Minister Ron Mark. This payment is to recognise the New Zealand Defence Force’s failure to provide Mr Nepata with a safe system of work in April 1989 when, as a result of an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Report into Iain Lees-Galloway’s expenditure
    A report undertaken by Ministerial Services into Iain Lees-Galloway’s ministerial expenditure has found no evidence of any inappropriate transactions or spending. Ministerial Services undertook a line by line review of all his expenditure, including staff and spouse expenses for the period 1 January 2019 to 30 June 2020.  “I commissioned ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Managed isolation charges to start 11 August
    Managed isolation charges for returnees will come into force from 12.01am Tuesday 11th August, after they passed their last cabinet milestone today, Housing Minister Megan Woods said. “The new charging system balances the rights of New Zealanders to return home and helps reduce pressure on the managed isolation and quarantine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Update on New Zealand and the Cook Islands travel bubble
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Henry Puna have welcomed the completion of phase one in the establishment of a travel bubble between New Zealand and the Cook Island. Negotiations on the text of an ‘Arrangement to Facilitate Quarantine-Free Travel ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • One-stop ‘jobs and training’ shop goes live
    The Government has launched a new online, phone and onsite service to help New Zealanders connect to a range of employment support and products for workers and businesses affected by COVID-19, announced Minister of Education Chris Hipkins and Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. Connected.govt.nz is a one-stop-shop for jobseekers, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • MSD security guards to be paid Living Wage
    Security guards contracted to the Ministry of Social Development will be paid at least the Living Wage from next month supporting the Government’s commitment towards fair pay and employment conditions, announced Minister for  Social Development Carmel Sepuloni.   “MSD was  among the first government agencies to pay its employees the living ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New strategy to ensure nature thrives
    The Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today launched Te Mana o te Taiao, the Aotearoa New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy - a way forward that envisions Aotearoa New Zealand as a place where ecosystems are healthy and resilient, and people embrace the natural world. “Many of New Zealand’s plants and wildlife species ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Provider Languages Fund will support Pacific Wellbeing approach
    “Pacific languages, cultures and identity are essential to the health, wellbeing and lifetime success of our Pacific peoples and their communities in Aotearoa. The strength and resilience of Pacific Aotearoa is not only vital to their own prosperity but integral to the prosperity of all New Zealanders, and is particularly ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • COVID-19: More funding for schools and boost to construction sector
    ·       $38 million to help schools cover unexpected costs related to COVID-19 ·       $69 million upgrade for online learning ·       $107 million contingency funding to support school construction suppliers facing additional costs due to the lockdown. The Government is releasing $214 million from the COVID-19 response and recovery fund to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Stay safe on the tracks – Rail Safety Week
    Despite the Government installing safety upgrades around the country, people should still take care around rail crossings, said Transport Minister Phil Twyford launching Rail Safety Week. Phil Twyford said installing safety infrastructure is crucial, but we are encouraging people to be more careful around trains too. “We’re making good progress ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government backs Manawatū social housing project
    The Government is providing a cash injection to help Palmerston North City Council complete a programme to provide 78 social housing units for vulnerable tenants. The $4.7 million to build 28 units in the Papaioea Place redevelopment comes from the $3 billion set aside for infrastructure in the Government’s COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Major funding boost for Predator Free Banks Peninsula
    A pest free Banks Peninsula/Te Pātaka o Rākaihautū is one step closer with a $5.11 million boost to accelerate this project and create jobs, announced Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage in Canterbury today. “This is a game changer for this ambitious project to restore the native wildlife and plants on Ōtautahi/Christchurch’s doorstep ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Major investment for indoor sports in Hawke’s Bay
    A Government grant of $6.4 million will expand the Pettigrew Arena in Taradale with new indoor courts of national standard. “The project is likely to take 18 months with approximately 300 people employed through the process,” Grant Robertson said. “The expansion will increase the indoor court space up to 11 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New infrastructure for Far North tourist town
    The Far North tourist destination of Mangonui is to receive Government funding to improve waterfront infrastructure, open up access to the harbour and improve water quality, Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones has announced. A total of $6.5 million from the $3 billion set aside in the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government remains committed to Women’s Cricket World Cup
    The Government has re-affirmed its commitment to supporting the hosting of the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup, which the ICC has delayed from 2021 to 2022. “This is obviously a disappointing decision for cricket players and fans around the world and for the White Ferns and their supporters here at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Green light for Te Awa River Ride in $220m nationwide cycleways investment
    Cyclists and walkers will now have a safer way to get around Taupō, Tūrangi, and between Hamilton and Cambridge, with funding for shared paths and Te Awa River Ride, Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter announced today. “The Te Awa River Ride is the latest part of massive growth ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Six major ‘shovel-ready’ cycleways funded in Christchurch
    Six major cycle routes will be completed in Christchurch thanks to funding from the Government’s investment in shovel-ready infrastructure as part of the COVID-19 recovery Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter announced today. $125 million will be invested to kick-start construction and fund the completion of the following cycleway ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Police facilities for Whanganui
    Plans are underway for a brand new state-of-the-art hub for Whanganui’s justice and social agencies, following confirmation the ageing Whanganui Central Police Station is to be replaced. Police Minister Stuart Nash has announced $25 million in new infrastructure spending to improve facilities for the wider community, and for staff who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Relativity adjustment for Waikato-Tainui and Ngāi Tahu
    An adjustment payment has been made to Waikato-Tainui and Ngāi Tahu under the relativity mechanisms in their 1995 and 1997 Treaty of Waitangi settlements, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little announced today. The latest payments to Waikato-Tainui and Ngāi Tahu are $2,700,000 and $2,600,000 respectively to ensure the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Auckland rail upgrades pick up steam
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Transport Minister Phil Twyford today kicked off the start of the Auckland NZ Upgrade Programme rail projects which will support over 400 jobs and help unlock our biggest city. Both ministers marked the start of enabling works on the third main rail line project ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • PGF support for Wairoa creates jobs
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) investment of $3.78 million in Wairoa will create much needed economic stimulus and jobs, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. PGF projects announced today include: $200,000 loan to Nuhaka Kiwifruit Holdings Ltd (operated by Pine Valley Orchard Ltd) to increase the productivity ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Public and Māori housing to trial renewable energy technology
    Tenants in public and Māori housing may be benefiting from their own affordable renewable energy in future – a fund to trial renewable energy technology for public and Māori housing has today been announced by Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods and Associate Minister for Housing (Māori Housing) Nanaia Mahuta. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • $2.7m for Hokianga infrastructure
    Hokianga will receive $2.7 million to redevelop four of its wharves and upgrade its water supply, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. Far North District Council will receive $1.8 million from the Provincial Growth Fund for the work on the wharves. “The work will include the construction of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New fund to support housing and construction sector
    A $350 million Residential Development Response Fund is being established to support the residential construction sector and to minimise the economic impact from COVID-19, the Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods has announced. “The Residential Development Response Fund will help to progress stalled or at-risk developments that support our broader housing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government investment to boost Auckland’s community recycling network
    As part of a broader plan to divert waste from landfill, the Government today announced $10.67 million for new infrastructure as part of the Resource Recovery Network across the Auckland region. “This key investment in Auckland’s community recycling network is part of the Government’s Infrastructure Reference Group ‘shovel ready’ projects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Te Papa transformation starts at Cameron Road
    The Government is investing $45 million in the first stage of an ambitious urban development project for Tauranga that will employ up to 250 people and help the region grow, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says the funding has been allocated out of the $3 billion ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Low-emissions options for heavy transport a step closer
    Getting low-emission trucks on the road is a step closer with investment in infrastructure to support hydrogen vehicles, the Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods has announced. The Infrastructure Reference Group has provisionally approved $20 million for New Plymouth company Hiringa Energy to establish a nationwide network of hydrogen-fuelling stations. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New training centre to upskill workers
    A new trades training centre to upskill the local workforce will be built in the South Waikato town of Tokoroa through funding from the Government’s COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. The Government will contribute $10.84 million from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Subsequent children legislation to change
    The Government has agreed to repeal part of the Oranga Tamariki Act subsequent children provisions, Minister for Children Tracey Martin announced today. “There are times when children need to go into care for their safety – the safety and care of children must always be paramount,” Minister Martin said. “But ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Funding to expand mental health support for Pacific peoples
    A $1.5 million boost to grow primary mental health and addiction services for Pacific peoples in Auckland, Hamilton and Canterbury will lead to better outcomes for Pacific communities, Associate Health Minister Jenny Salesa says.  Pasifika Futures has received funding to expand services through The Fono, Aotearoa New Zealand’s largest by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Funding boost for sustainable food and fibre production
    Twenty-two projects to boost the sustainability and climate resilience of New Zealand’s food and fibres sector have been announced today by Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. The $18m funding will deliver practical knowledge to help farmers and growers use their land more sustainably, meet environmental targets, remain prosperous, and better understand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Mature Workers Toolkit launched on business.govt.nz
    Employment Minister Willie Jackson welcomes an initiative that assists employers to get mature workers into New Zealand small businesses. The disadvantages that older people face in the workplace was highlighted in the whole of Government Employment Strategy.  In order to address this, a Mature Workers Toolkit has been developed and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Trans-Tasman cooperation in a COVID-19 world
    New Zealand and Australia reaffirmed today the need for the closest possible collaboration as they tackle a global environment shaped by COVID-19, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters said. “In these challenging times, our close collaboration with Australia is more vital than ever,” said Mr Peters. Mr Peters and his Australian ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Pike recovery efforts now in unexplored territory
    The recovery and forensic examination of the loader driven by survivor Russell Smith means the underground team are now moving into an area of the Pike River Mine that has not been seen since the explosion, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little said. “The fifth and last robot ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government confirms CovidCard trial to go ahead
    The Government has confirmed a community-wide trial of CovidCard technology as it explores options for COVID-19 contact tracing. “Effective contact tracing is a vital part of the COVID-19 response,” Minister of Health Chris Hipkins said. “While manual processes remain the critical component for contact tracing, we know digital solutions can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Enhanced process for iwi aquaculture assets
    The government is proposing changes to aquaculture legislation to improve the process for allocating and transferring aquaculture assets to iwi. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash has introduced the Maori Commercial Aquaculture Claims Settlement Amendment Bill to Parliament. It proposes a limited new discretionary power for Te Ohu Kaimoana Trustee Limited (ToKM). ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Bill introduced to fix National’s Family Court reform failures
    The Minister of Justice has today introduced the Family Court (Supporting Children in Court) Legislation Bill – the next step in the ongoing programme of work to fix the failed 2014 Family Court reforms led by then Justice Minister Judith Collins.  The Bill arises from the report of the Independent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago