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Don’t stress, our banks will be ok – RBNZ

Written By: - Date published: 4:34 pm, March 16th, 2016 - 36 comments
Categories: Economy - Tags: , ,

Foreclose on banks not people

Guest Post: by Simon Louisson

The news for cow cockies and the wider dairy industry just gets grimmer and grimmer, but relax everyone, the banks will be fine, according to the Reserve Bank of New Zealand today.

On a day when prices fell another 2.9 percent in Global Dairy Trade auction and Fonterra announced it was shutting a cheese factory in Kaikoura with the loss of 30 jobs, the central bank released its “stress test” of the five main rural lending banks and found they will survive a severe industry downturn intact ,albeit with some losses.

The RB conducted the test, which involved “long and heavy” discussions with Westpac, ANZ, BNZ, ASB and Rabobank, because of its concern over their exposure to dairy and the severe impact of the dairy price downturn on the industry’s huge debt to those banks.

Dairy farmers owe banks around $40 billion (and rising every day), with over 80 percent of farms expected to run at a loss at this season’s forecast farmgate payout of $3.90/kg of milksolids. Over half of farms are already in their second season of losses and needing higher working capital from the banks, according to the head of the RB’s Macro Financial Department, Bernard Hodgetts.

“That’s when financial stress really builds up,” he said.

He did not comment on potential emotional and mental stresses.

He told a news briefing on the release of the report, that the current dairy payout price meant farms were under the bank’s “severe” Scenario 2 where over 44 percent of farms were likely to default on debt payments and farm values were likely to plunge a whopping 40 percent.

Even under the more optimistic Scenario 1, of a price recovery, farm values were likely to slump 25 percent with defaults at around 11 percent.

Under Scenario 2, bank’s bad debt exposure will be around $8.5 billion possibly as high as $12 billion. Multiple foreclosures are a certainty.

Of course the banks won’t take all the “impaired loans” as losses because they have secured the debt against the land and cows. But that’s how much the farmers in default will likely lose.

Still, the banks will take a substantial hit so that by the 2019/20 year, a quarter of the dairy industry’s by then $45 billion-plus of loans, will have to written off.

Before you start crying, all four major Australian-owned banks continued record runs of profitability in 2015, with a combined haul of $4.59 billion, topped by ANZ at $1.77 billion.

Hodgetts said there was no doubt the dairy industry was highly leveraged and because it comprised around 10 percent of the banks’ total lending of $350 billion, posed a “structural” threat to the financial system.

He said the banks’ losses via the dairy industry would be “largely absorbed through profits”.
What he didn’t say, is that those losses will cut banks’ tax bills so it will be we taxpayers who will take the final hit. Bank losses will only be a fraction of farm owners’ losses, he said.

Because of the likely precipitous fall in farm prices under Scenario 2, banks will be unable to immediately sell all default farms after foreclosures and “the process of writing off could be protracted, potentially over a long time”.

While some analysts believe the dairy industry and the government have continually been overly optimistic about a recovery of dairy prices, Hodgetts said the RB modelling had been intentionally severe.
The bank believes the breakeven price for our farmers is around $5.30/kg of milksolids and because New Zealand is an efficient producer, that will be the international price point.

“You have to look pretty hard to see prices in any industry below breakeven for over five years,” he said.

Hodgetts said the bank’s stress test was narrowly focussed and it had not tested for multiple simultaneous shocks such as a steep fall in house or commercial property prices with the dairy drop. That wider stress test was last done in late 2014 and he could not say when it will next be done.

Nor had the bank measured the flow-on effects such as yesterday’s report by MYOB showing that one in five of all small businesses are hurting from the effects of the downturn in dairy farming.

Earlier this month, Fonterra demanded 90-day credit terms from its 20,000 suppliers prompting questions about its own working capital and or cashflow.

However, the giant co-op denied problems, despite analysts saying its own gearing (debt to equity ratio) was far too high at around 50 percent. Fonterra says it is on-track to cut it to 45 percent.

It has signalled it will soon offer another $350 million in interest-free loans to troubled farmers to supplement the $430 million scheme announced in September.

That will probably be announced next week at its half- year result meeting which promises to be an lively but unhappy occasion.

(Simon Louisson formerly worked for The Wall Street Journal, NZPA, Reuters and was most recently a political and media adviser to the Green Party)

36 comments on “Don’t stress, our banks will be ok – RBNZ”

  1. McFlock 1

    oh thank goodness, I’m so relieved. At least the bankers will be alright.

  2. Saarbo 2

    The Fonterra payout this year is $3.90 plus Dividend (sh/b .40 to 50 cents…to be announced 23 March) plus 50 cent loan from Fonterra….total payout this year will be close to $5. A lot of farmers in the Waikato that I know reckon they will break even…mainly the small family owned/run farms. The larger farms in the south island may be a different story.

    But yeah, things are looking pretty bad, and I think many on The Standard predicted this downturn( extending 5 years) 18 months ago.

    I reckon most farmers who operate their own farms have plenty of scope to reduce costs to take farm working expenses under $3.50, even under $3. A little too much panic happening now, perhaps their wasn’t enough 18 months ago though.

    Thats my view.

    • Saarbo 2.1

      And I forgot, farmers get another 50 cents a kgms approx for cattle sales…so just under $5.50 per kgms this year of potential cash in flow.
      For some reason…no media will report this.

  3. Ad 3

    Our Reserve Bank has the economic leadership of New Zealand.

    We deserve better government.

  4. Macro 4

    The complicity of both Banks and the National Government in fostering this ridiculous gamble on building our Milk Powder Republic needs to be fully understood and the blame sheeted where it lies. Farmers have also been greedy and happily frolicked down the garden path led on by Banks with easy lending criteria and a government happy to turn a blind eye to all the polluting externialities, subsidizing irrigation, allowing fonterra to mine for coal, and even usurping the democratically elected ECAN and replacing it with government cronies.
    Our farmers claim they farm in an unsubsidized economy – bullshit

  5. weka 5

    Toby Manhire ‏@toby_etc 2 hrs2 hours ago

    Does the Overseas Investment Act exempt Australian banks taking ownership of NZ farms via foreclosure from going through the OIO?

    Andy Milne ‏@AndyBMilne 2h2 hours ago

    @toby_etc banks exercising rights as mortgagee does not require transfer of ownership, therefore no OIO involvement required.

    Dovil ‏@Dovil 2h2 hours ago

    @AndyBMilne @toby_etc I assume bank then sells it and it would come into force if overseas buyer? Even though in overseas hands already?

    Andy Milne ‏@AndyBMilne 1h1 hour ago

    @Dovil I believe so. Most banks couldn’t be bothered with this tho, so may accept a lower bid from a kiwi buyer to avoid hassle @toby_etc

    • Chooky 5.1

      that is the issue of the day!…farms into blind trusts and off- shore buyers..no restrictions?

      NZ for SALE

  6. alwyn 6

    “What he didn’t say, is that those losses will cut banks’ tax bills so it will be we taxpayers who will take the final hit.”
    My goodness, what a fascinating view of the world you have.

    If that is the logic you follow I suppose your next statement will be along the lines of.

    “We don’t care how old you are. Nobody is allowed to retire because that would mean a drop in your income. Then you bastards wouldn’t be paying as much tax as you should. Miserable lazy swine! Back to the millstone.”

    • mickysavage 6.1

      Weird Alwyn. Simon’s comment makes perfect sense. Yours does not.

      • alwyn 6.1.1

        Sorry you have trouble understanding it.
        Perhaps you should consider how there is any difference between the logic in each case. You may not like it but I think they are just the same. Exaggerated of course but not different in principle.

        • Outdoor 6.1.1.1

          The difference in logic? Simon writes that the taxpayers end up worse off due to problems caused by low dairy prices & reduced bank profits, the taxpayer did not force the increased dairy industry debt, did not cause the slump in international prices but ends up in a poorer position.
          You suggest we outlaw retirement as that would reduce our tax paid. This requires a government to pass laws, ignores the reality that while old people retire young people enter the workforce & those in productive jobs get an income increase & pay more tax. If you are so stupid that you can’t see the difference between the situations then your education has been limited.

      • Nic the NZer 6.1.2

        Labour did push that view at the last election , its called a policy of raising the retirement age (to supposedly cut the pension bill).

    • Nic the NZer 6.2

      Well put Alwyn. You can have your credibility back now in fact, though it was due already from showing the situation changed around your comments.

      If NZ gets away with the main fall out being a reduction in bank profits and an expansion in the govt deficit then we should be very pleased to have gotten off so lightly. Though these crisis have a manner of spiraling beyond what is forecast by stress tests. I still strongly suggest that the govt should re-implement a deposit guarantee for all bank deposits however. This would reduce the threat of any bank runs and in the worst case we should expect the govt is already backing up all our banks anyway. The guarantee is itself no burden on the RB anyway.

      • alwyn 6.2.1

        “showing the situation changed around your comments”.
        Does this refer to the fact that Forex accounts were covered in Australia from 2008 to 2011, even if they aren’t now?

  7. Jones 7

    This is why the banks are not passing on the OCR cut. They need to bank ahead of what they can see are losses to the value of the farmland.

    That is also why the scenario of cash rich foreign entities buying the land from the banks is a very real one. The banks will be seeking to minimize their losses by simply selling to the highest bidder.

  8. vto 8

    why on earth have you called them “our” banks simon?

    they are nothing of the sort

    they are foreign banks

  9. Peter Wilson 9

    Some dairy farms are profitable at $3.90, having working expenses of $3.50. What annoys me is that DairyNZ analysis consistently ignores this.

    https://keithwoodford.wordpress.com/2016/03/09/controlling-dairy-farm-cost-of-production/#more-1409

  10. b waghorn 10

    They are very good farmers those banks, their livestock looks after itself mostly,the tax payer takes care of all the health care, and if they manage them properly they can get 40 to 60 years production out of them.

  11. NZJester 11

    I see the cost cutting has started with the laying off of staff at a lot of Dairy farms.
    I bet the staff that are left will be expected to take up the slack with no extra pay.

  12. venezia 12

    ” Our farmers claim they farm in an unsubsidized economy ”
    Subsidies in farming have been the case for a long time. This includes: water (free use of), pollution effects of fresh water (who cleans it up? Who pays the price?) Irrigation – direct government funding….
    So where do they get the idea they are not subsidised?

  13. esoteric pineapples 13

    So basically New Zealand has its own version of the sub prime crisis of 2008

  14. Smilin 14

    Its not like they couldn’t see it commin, the govt and the banks,and Fonterra, but because now in NZ we have so much of our economy dependent on what the banks and financial institutions do, that the fact that you can actually stay alive on a farm if its broke is meaningless but you wouldn’t live long in a bank if it went broke, nothun to eat
    Get real everyone this power given to the world of money is a load bullshit
    The money does not create value, it controls value which is a huge difference to what something is actually worth.
    Hillside workshops could have been a saving asset for this country but that fucking banker who runs this country thinks he knows better.
    And now it’s happening to the biggest business in the country
    But we are all screwed to the value of new by greed and desire and power control of money and those who own it
    Thats right money is owned its not a means of exchange, that’s an old wives/ husbands tale that was never was real
    Why should someone get 5 million bonus for the year when their work has failed to maintain itself leaving billions of dollars in debt
    So the finance industry just like everyone else wants to be richer but when someone steals from the bank you get a govt sanctioned war
    If someone says that’s what the banks are doing to us ,stealing,and you are considered a terrorist or subversive
    Its like this you couldn’t build a car for what you pay for it so the corporate model does work but there is obviously a big difference between a car manufacturer and a bank you can get your money’s worth out of a car, a bank na never
    All a bank needs to do is convince people to buy into what is that they are, pretty easy when they control the government and the power to wipe out whole nations and people in power who try to question their honesty
    Yep banks and their reps have far too much power in this country hence we are not really a democracy but some weird version of a totalitarian state run by a banker
    Forget him being PM he’s here to let us know game over for socialism in this country or that’s what he would have us believe, that’s his ego trip and a bloody expensive one for the rest of us it would seem.

  15. Kieren Trass 15

    Allan Hubbards SCF used to fill the gap for lending to overstretched farmers and he also lent $30M of his own funds (equity in a trust) to farmers (in some cases to farmers seriously considering suicide as an option to get out of their difficult financial position, there are real cases of lives being saved by Allan’s generousity) and Allan got accused of ‘dodgy lending practices’ yet Fonterra can lend $780Million interest free to farmers in much deeper financial difficulties and yet no-one is accusing Fonterra of dodgy lending.
    Remember it was only 5 years ago that Bill English placed SCF in receivership and promptly ‘bailed investors out for $1Billion of your money’ citing the potential negative impact on the rural economy and the overall stability of NZs economy if the government didn’t cough up the $1Billion? Fast forward to today where the banks may face losses of $8Billion and the same Bill English says their will be no bailout, the banks and NZs economy is robust enough to cope with that…
    “A few billion of losses for the banks is not a threat to financial stability. The regime that’s in place now means the banks are stronger than they’ve ever been,” he said. The ‘regime’ Bill is referring to is the OBR policy which guarantees bank losses will be borne by the banks customers deposits…

    Read more: http://www.newshub.co.nz/politics/govt-rules-out-struggling-farmer-bail-out-2016031311#ixzz44K8i4JJ2

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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    1 week ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    1 week ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    1 week ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Vaccination, compulsion, and paternalism for the lower orders
    The National Party has come out in support of encouraging greater vaccination uptake. But it sure isn’t the way I’d do it. National’s suggested docking the benefits of those on benefit whose kids aren’t keeping up with their vaccinations. Some in National have suggested extending that to payments under Working ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • Global Protests Rage On: But Slogans Are Not Plans.
    Feeding The Flames: It is simply not enough to demand an end to “corruption”, or “inequality”, or the overbearing influence of the authorities in Beijing. These are just “lowest common denominator” demands: the sort of slogans that pull people onto the streets. They are not a plan.WHERE’S THE PLAN? Across ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Cowboy clampers will be stymied
    Clayton Mitchell, Spokesperson for Consumer Affairs The ‘wheel clamping’ Bill that will cap clamper fees to $100 passed its third reading in Parliament today. New Zealand First welcomes The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill to combat predatory wheel clamping behaviour in what is currently a largely unregulated business. Cowboy clampers are: gouging ...
    10 hours ago
  • Mental Health Commission back on track
    Jenny Marcroft, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its first reading in Parliament. “Today’s progress takes serious action on the mental health and addiction crisis the country is facing,” says New Zealand First Health Spokesperson Jenny Marcroft. “The re-establishment ...
    10 hours ago
  • New Zealand’s key assets are not for sale: national interest test delivered
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries Today the Government announced the delivery of the promise to protect New Zealand interests by applying a new National Interest Test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. This further strengthening of the Overseas Investment Act will ...
    1 day ago
  • National interest test added to protect New Zealanders’ interests
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high-risk assets to overseas buyers. Under current Overseas Investment Act (OIA) rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and ...
    1 day ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
    Rt Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years. Declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission. Our ...
    1 day ago
  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    2 days ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    2 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    6 days ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    3 weeks ago

  • APEC 2021 Bill passes first reading
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation 2021 (APEC 2021) Bill in Parliament today. The temporary bill supports New Zealand’s security preparations for hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in 2021. “APEC is the leading economic and trade forum ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Making progress for our kids
    The Government is making progress on improving the wellbeing of the one million New Zealanders under the age of 18,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on World Children’s Day. The Government has today recommitted to the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history – the United Nation’s Convention on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Māori women in business contribute to our economy, whānau and communities
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter has released a new report celebrating the contribution of Māori women in business across Aotearoa New Zealand. “Māori women are leaders in our communities, they employ many people and support our economy and our communities,” Julie Anne Genter said. The report, Ngā wāhine kaipakihi: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Two schools on the way for Omokoroa
    Four parcels of land have been bought in Omokoroa, in the Western Bay of Plenty District, for an education facility that will accommodate both a primary and secondary school on a campus-like facility, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Two parcels were acquired from private land owners and two were ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Families Package helps over 1 million New Zealanders in first year
    1 million New Zealanders warmed by the Winter Energy Payment 36,000 families bank the Best Start Payment in first year 6,000 more families received the Family Tax Credit, 220,600 in total   They receive an increase too – from an average of $117 to $157 a week for Inland Revenue clients, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Clamp down on wheel clamping passes third reading
    New rules to clamp down on overzealous wheel clamping and extortionate fees charged in order to release a vehicle have passed their final stage in Parliament today. The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill has now passed its third reading. “These changes mean $100 will be the maximum wheel clamping ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill passes first hurdle
    An independent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission is a step closer after it unanimously passed its first vote in Parliament today.  The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill lays the groundwork for establishing the Commission as a fully independent crown entity – delivering on a key recommendation of He Ara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Boosting border security with electronic travel authority – now over 500,000 issued
    We’ve improved border security with the NZeTA, New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority, which helps us to screen travellers for border and immigration risks off-shore before they travel to New Zealand. It was launched in August and became mandatory on 1 October 2019. More than 500,000 NZeTAs have been issued since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Plan of action to protect seabirds
    A proposed national plan of action to reduce the number of seabirds caught in fisheries is being circulated for public feedback. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage say New Zealand is a global centre of seabird diversity with about 145 species in our waters. It has more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • National interest test added to overseas investment rules
    The Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. Associate Finance Minister David Parker said under current Overseas Investment Act rules, assets such as ports and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
    The Government is building special housing to accommodate one of Aotearoa’s greatest taonga- our kaumātua, says the Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Speaking at a National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference in Rotorua today, the Minister reinforced the importance kaumātua play in maintaining and passing on mātauranga Māori, knowledge, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Forestry helps prisoners into jobs
    Eleven men from a pilot forestry training programme for prisoners in Northland now have full time jobs or job offers upon release, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis and Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. The ‘release to work’ programme was a collaboration between Te Uru Rākau and the Department of Corrections, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Reform of public service a step closer
    Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins today introduced into Parliament a Bill that will make it easier for the public service to tackle the biggest challenges facing Governments. The Bill represents the most significant change in the public service in 30 years. The State Sector Act 1988 will be repealed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Donations scheme to relieve pressure on families
    The families of more than 416,000 students will be better off next year as their schools have signed up to the Government’s donations scheme, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. The scheme will see almost $62.5 million in additional Government funding go to schools nationwide next year. “I’m really pleased ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Further support for Samoan measles outbreak
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced further support as the Government of Samoa responds to a serious measles outbreak. “New Zealand will deploy a further 18 vaccination nurses, bringing the total to 30 working in Samoa over the next four weeks,” Mr Peters said. “A New Zealand Medical Assistance ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the Child Poverty Action Group 2019 Summit
      Fa’atalofa atu, malo e lelei, Kia ora koutou katoa Thank you to the Child Poverty Action Group for asking me to be here today to provide an update on some of the things that have been happening across my the social development portfolio.  Can I firstly acknowledge the vast ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Annual Conference
    ***Please check against delivery*** Good morning everyone. It is a pleasure to be with you this morning to open this year’s New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Conference and AGM. Firstly, thank you Dr Alan Jackson, NZTR Chair for your introduction. And let us acknowledge also: The NZTR Board; Dean McKenzie, Chair ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
    The Government has delivered on its promise to the over one million New Zealanders who now rent to make it fairer and more secure, Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Kris Faafoi has announced today. Both renters and landlords will benefit from the suite of practical changes to the Residential ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Two decades of marine protection celebrated at Te Tapuwae o Rongokako in Tairawhiti
    A marine conservation milestone - the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve - is being celebrated today at a community event in Tairāwhiti/East Coast attended by the Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “The creation of this marine reserve in November 1999 was a game ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
         The Government is asking the food industry to step up work to tackle obesity including reducing sugar, fat and salt in their products, better information for consumers, and tighter restrictions on advertising to children. Health Minister David Clark and Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor have responded to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
    Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting 14 November 2019 Joint Statement 1. Defence Ministers Ron Mark and Dr Ng Eng Hen today conducted their third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Singapore. 2. Building on the Enhanced Partnership signed between both countries in May this year, this annual meeting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
    A Bill to improve the court system’s response to sexual violence has passed its first reading in Parliament today. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill will reduce the trauma sexual violence complainants experience in court, while maintaining defendants’ fundamental rights and making sure the trial process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
    Streamlined payment practices are a step closer for Kiwi businesses with the formal launch of New Zealand’s e-Invoicing framework. Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says the government has now established the structure to enable automated and direct data exchange between the accounting systems of buyers and sellers. “The move to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
    Another 51 quarantine officers and four new biosecurity detector dog teams will help protect New Zealand from invasive pests and diseases this summer, says Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “The Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen New Zealand’s biosecurity system and support our valuable primary sector “New Zealand’s flora, fauna ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ space economy worth $1.69 billion
    A new report has found New Zealand’s space sector contributed $1.69 billion to the economy in the last financial year and employs 12,000 people, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. The report by Deloitte was commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and shows New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Chair for Royal Commission into Abuse
    Judge Coral Shaw has been appointed as the new Chair of the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. "Judge Shaw, who is currently one of the inquiry commissioners, is extremely well qualified for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Better mental health facilities for Palmerston North
    The Government has confirmed its third major mental health facility upgrade since the Budget, this time at Palmerston North Hospital. The Prime Minister and Health Minister today visited MidCentral DHB to announce that $30 million has been allocated to upgrade its acute mental health facility. It follows earlier announcements in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Bowel Screening hits halfway point
    The roll out of the National Bowel Screening Programme has reached the halfway mark, with 10 out of 20 District Health Boards now part of the programme. MidCentral DHB, which covers Palmerston North, Manawatu and surrounding districts, this week became the latest to DHB to offer free bowel screening to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More vaccines for meningococcal disease
    The Government welcomes PHARMAC’s decision to fund a vaccine to protect young people from meningococcal disease from 1 December this year. “Meningococcal disease is a serious threat which people at higher risk should be protected from,” says Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter. “The combined pharmaceutical budget was increased by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Fisheries innovation projects supported
    Groups involved with innovative fisheries research projects are encouraged to apply for government support in the latest funding round from the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures programme. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash says the SFF Futures funding is designed to be flexible enough to support small or large projects across a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government fixes culturally arranged marriage visa issue
    The Government has fixed an issue affecting how Immigration New Zealand has processed visa applications for culturally arranged marriages, which will now see a consistent process applied which ensures people with legitimate arranged marriages can visit New Zealand while also preventing any rorting of the system. Earlier this year Immigration ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Extension for Royal Commission into Mosque attacks
    The Royal Commission into the Attacks on Christchurch Mosques will report back on 30 April 2020 to give it more time to hear submissions and consider information, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The Royal Commission was originally scheduled to report back to Government by 10 December 2019. “There has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Terrorism and Trade on agenda as Foreign Minister visits the United States
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington DC today to attend a ministerial meeting focused on defeating ISIS, and to continue pursuing New Zealand’s trade opportunities. Mr Peters will participate in a meeting of Foreign and Defence Ministers from key countries contributing to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Hoiho get extra support alongside 168 community conservation groups backing nature
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