web analytics

Dropping the pretense: Whanau Ora privatisation

Written By: - Date published: 7:34 am, July 17th, 2013 - 43 comments
Categories: corruption, maori party, privatisation - Tags:

So, Tariana Turia is finally dropping the pretense that Whanau Ora is anything but a scheme to privatise social assistance and put it in the hands of unaccountable private groups. Not content with funding family reunions and other bollocks, Turia is now handing the funding decisions to three private groups. That’s private groups deciding who will receive public money. Oh and she doesn’t want them to be covered by the OIA.

Whanau Ora has always been a giant invitation to corruption. It’s never been about delivering anything new or different. It’s never been about helping Maori families in need. It’s always been about siphoning off a slush fund from which money disappears to highly paid ‘coordinators’ and ‘consultants’ and there’s never any accountability or any measuring of results. This latest step is just all part of the plan and will make it even harder to work out where the money is going and who is benefiting.

In my fondest dreams, I see the Maori Party failing to win any seats in 2014 and Whanau Ora being disestablished as a matter of urgency by the incoming Labour-Green government once they see the secret papers and learn the full extent of the waste and corruption Turia has fostered.

43 comments on “Dropping the pretense: Whanau Ora privatisation”

  1. framu 1

    “Oh and she doesn’t want them to be covered by the OIA.”

    ahh thats the final piece i was wondering about – news reports didnt mention that

    what i find really weird is that as much as it sucks, it seems these days if your getting funding for a maori initiative you need to be even more transparent and above board than most simply to avoid the all to predictable slurs and accusation that follow

    by going down this path it looks like tariana has just gifted a bloody huge stick to all the maori parties right wing detractors.

    disclaimer – yep, a pakeha talking about maori issues – i fully accept that people closer to the issue might see it differently

    • karol 1.1

      The NZ Herald article says this on OIA requests and Whanau Ora:

      It is believed the new structure could escape the scrutiny of the Official Information Act.

      Asked how it would be held accountable if it did, Mrs Turia said families would provide scrutiny.

      Maybe “assumed” because a private agency is not subject to the OIA?

  2. Santi 2

    A waste of funds from day one. The program deserves to be binned.
    Save us the money, please.

  3. freedom 3

    I feel sorry for the poor souls who will spend election night 2014 chained to the Government’s growing bank of shredders.

  4. Mary 4

    The Maori Party touts Whanau Ora as one of the huge gains it’s made for Maori through it’s partnership with Key and the moneymen but the reality is that it plays straight into the right’s agenda of washing its hands of responsibility for core services, less government and so on. Whanau Ora’s gone further by handing Key et al a “successful blueprint” they can use to justify more of the same across the board. This latest move is one more step in this process which won’t stop until the welfare benefit system has been fully handed over to the community sector and left to morph into state sanctioned private charity. Remember moves in the 1990s to begin adopting the “Wisconsin model”? They went about things a bit too fast back then for anything to stick properly but they certainly planted the ideas and together with the current tactic of “reform by stealth” things are moving along swimmingly. Tariana and Pita must be really proud of what they’ve achieved and of their legacy of actively supporting government policies aimed at shafting huge numbers of those they purport to represent. Well done Tariana and Pita!

    • North 4.1

      Perfectly said Mary ! Toryana Torya is nought more than a whispering old scab on her people…….on a BMW.

      • Mary 4.1.1

        The problem is reinforced by there being no coherent and consistent analysis from the Labour, Green and Mana opposition. This is fundamental stuff and it should be easy to convey in clear and simple language why it’s wrong, but have we ever seen Jacinda critiquing Key’s agenda around the provision of core social services in these terms? Labour should’ve been shouting from the rooftops how delivering comprehensive health and welfare in appropriate ways through meaningful dialogue with Maori can achieve everything the Maori Party were asking for, without the Trojan Horse of Whanau Ora. Perhaps why Labour did not do this is because they’d do precisely the same if they were government, but it’s just as likely they just don’t have the analysis. Mana’s policy of “food in schools” for deciles 1 to 3 only runs a real risk of falling into the same trap if not managed properly. Debate about the danger of less government and pushing responsibility for welfare out to the community sector was fundamental back around the time of the benefit cuts and Housing NZ market rents etc but now it’s as if the left regard it as inevitable so have given up fighting. Why can’t parties on the left get a bit smarter on things like this? It really shouldn’t be that difficult.

  5. bad12 5

    November 2014 is odds on to make your ‘fondest dream’ a reality, the Maori Party having just spent a weekend examining the entrails at it’s annual hui have come away just as delusional as beforehand,

    Whanau Ora will die a quiet death as soon as the warrant for Tariana Turia is withdrawn upon Her retirement with National having little stomach for what has essentially been a ‘slush fund’ paying out cash for dubious reasons, (the largest % of which was splurged in Turia’s electorate),

    Most Maori have now been fully awakened to the fact that they got conned by Turia and Sharples over the seabed and foreshore with the Maori Party accepting from National legislation that is arguably no better if not worse than Labour’s previous legislation,

    The Waiariki electorate is going to be one of interest in November 2014, my pick is that Mana’s Annette Sykes will topple Flavell thus consigning the Maori Party to a dusty corner on history’s shelf, the only question for Sykes being will the 3 way split in the vote allow Labour to take that seat back again…

  6. joe90 6

    George ran [cough} several PEP schemes in the eighties so he’ll know a thing or two about being a highly paid [cough]coordinator.

  7. Rosetinted 7

    Tariana is strong as someone who remains totally focussed on one goal with no side issues to be considered can be – inflexible and determined. But then having large amounts of money and power contain their own moral hazard, and Maori are just as affected by this as pakeha. Past experience has shown that large amounts of input don’t necessarily result in the amount of output expected or that meets needs. Really most of our policy spending at present shows that result.

    Tariana is right to say that bureaucracy does not help in its programs which are not wanted or satisfy a need. This is true for pakeha (National Standards and the ratshit reasoning for it, Novopay the same – in education.) And also it is observable that education is being turned into a business that can show up in GDP and make the economy look healthier. Citizens will be forced to pay for this essential life training but may have to pay it back out of pitiful low wages for a large part of their lifetime. It is being divorced from the real life need or preparation for gaining a paying job of people.

    This approach can be seen by government causing lack of opportunity to get steady jobs for Maori when PEP schemes would be far better way of spending welfare. Supported training to suit the requirements and the available jobs for Maori in their own preferred method for first-level training in their own regions, with shared courses for more advanced second level so standards are integrated. Discrete amounts for projects that move through all the stages from education to a guaranteed job. Government can act here in a responsible way and stop killing our economy by buying materials and expertise overseas!

    China and Arrow have signed an agreement to co-operate in Christchurch rebuilding, and Arrow say this will provide cost savings. This after small contractors talking on Radionz yesterday morning, expecting to be called on to assist in the rebuild and who invested to make themselves ready, yet finding that work has dried up and they face bankruptcy. Also one said that his costed hourly rate of $65 that covers work and provision of infrastructure, (materials?) is being rejected and undercut.

    Another example of lower earnings for actual workers and fabricators of physical items? Higher earnings for pen pushers, project managers, deal makers, and executives who don’t execute actual work efficiently, mainly executing in-house jobs in favour of impermanent ones implemented by contractors or machines run by computer programs? A new aristocracy operating as our new norm?

    • Rosetinted 7.1

      Another point about Whanau Ora – sorry if I haven’t spelled it right. I believe that there will be some mis-spending, some waste, and some fraud, as well as some good stuff that really is wanted and helps some people and is what they want. Trouble is how much money will get channelled away from useful projects to SUVs or such, and how costly will the successful projects appear when the total cost is divided by the successes?

      There will be a lot that we don’t know because the government is washing its hands of it. That will leave room for idle speculation, real concerned questions, malicious rumour-mongering, vituperative attacks. Maori may lose all the goodwill that the public has for them if they are considered to be just playing corrupt games with the nation. The sort of attitude that Winston Peters calls ‘the grievance industry’ will be confirmed as correct if Maori don’t succeed widely after this.

      Because government is concerned about the appearance of NZ in the eyes of the world, and it should be doing better, it would assist them if they could get rid of the harsh statistics that show us up. They would like to rid themselves of the ‘tail’ of people suffering through a lack of opportunity for everything worthwhile in life, starting from proper care, control and honourable role models from parents when they are children. As they grow up they can’t shake themselves free of the cloud of negativity and lack of respect for themselves or anything much they have picked up from their early years. This ‘tail’ of people are ‘bad’ people making bad statistics to mar government’s standing on the world’s table of measures.

      So government looks for ways to prevent statistics being gathered – what we don’t know can’t hurt them. Then they privatise social welfare, turning it into a business that will show up as GDP. Money going to Whanau Ora will not be the government’s responsibility. If Maori in each area cannot direct the directors to allocate correctly in an inexpensive manner that doesn’t soak up large costs, and control the spending on allocated projects, they will be scorned by the country, and lose support from ordinary pakeha for any further help of any kind. This ‘grant’ could well turn out to be a poisoned chalice for Maori.

  8. tracey 8

    Hasnt whanau ora always been under attack though? Much like working for families? And why would Turia truly champion something that wasn’t benefiting her people? I am suspicious that the detractors are the same folks who think unequal pay is because women aren’t good enough.

  9. joe90 9

    And why would Turia truly champion something that wasn’t benefiting her people?

    In auntie Tari’s world her people doesn’t mean what you think it does.

  10. Mary 10

    Tariana champions it because there’s nothing else she can point to to justify budding up to Key and National. They’ve known their decision to do this has severely damaged their support for a long time now but it’s only recently they’ve acknowledged it publicly. Before Whanau Ora all Tariana and Pita had was Key agreeing to fly the Maori flag from Auckland Harbour Bridge on Waitangi Day – an extremely cheap, efficient and smart move on National’s part – but there’s only so much mileage the Maori Party could get out of that so Whanau Ora was a timely and welcomed addition.

  11. red blooded 11

    I think it’s hard to argue that the current method of providing services has truly delivered for many Maori (or for other people who are trapped in a cycle of relative poverty and limited prospects). Whanau Ora has been hard to criticise (especially for pakeha) because it has arisen from the Maori Party and is presented as a taking back of power, and a return to traditions of whanau-based care. And there are some good elements (the attempt to provide more coordinated support and improve on the model of multiple agencies, each working with their own agenda and not communicating with each other). Having said that, we shouldn’t blindly assume that a scheme administered by Māori is automatically going to benefit underprivileged and disempowered Māori, and it seems that the “community knows best” argument fits a bit too neatly with the “community choice” philosophy that argues we don’t need actual teachers in our classrooms; that well-intentioned people with skills in their own fields can step in and do the job better through Charter Schools – another initiative that is presented as focusing on the needs of those on the bottom of the heap by handing over funding, power and responsibility (but not accountability, with these “schools” exempted from the NZ Curriculum, NCEA, the OIA and any meaning oversight from the Ombudsman’s Office).

    These issues need to be argued out in public, and it would be good to hear a range of Māori perspectives. At this stage, the Māori party presents itself as speaking for all Māori and the only voice I hear arguing back in public is (cringe) Winston Peters.

    • bad12 11.1

      Peters on Morning Report today spelled it out quite clearly, what Maori need isn’t 40 million dollars annually dished out to those who know how to play ‘the game’ via Whanau Ora,

      What is needed is affordable rental housing with a guarantee of tenure, well paid employment in the high unemployment areas, basic bread and butter stuff,

      Winston’s problem tho with this oft repeated mantra is that He and NZFirst have been part of Governments that have failed to deliver on such invective and listening to Him repeat the same old mantra this morning rang rather hollowly considering past administrations failures,

      There are 4 questions all answered in the negative which serve to show that far from ‘gains’ made from it’s, (Maori Party), coalition agreement with National, they Sharples, Turia, and, Flavell have simply accepted the crumbs swept from the top table in return for their support of this administration, Flavell it seems from where i sit has not caused the ‘leadership contest’ over matters of policy nor Party direction, instead giving every impression of whining for the better part of a Parliamentary term for the simple reason that His share of the crumbs so swept from National’s table have been less than His 2 fellow MP’s,

      The questions???, Did the Maori Party secure a ‘better’ legislative outcome for the sea-bed and foreshore from this National Government than the previous Labour Government legislation on this issue, NO,

      In 4 1/2 years of coalition with this National Government have ANY of the negative social and economic indicators shown a more positive result for Maori, NO,

      Has the Maori Party coalition with this National Government caused ANY affordable housing above what is already available to Maori to be built, NO,

      Has any more employment been provided anywhere in the economy for Maori under the auspices of the present coalition agreement between the Maori and National Party’s, NO,

      Anecdotal evidence is that it is young Maori who are the highest % of those who are being removed from being able to access welfare benefits while not being placed in employment,

      That 40 million bucks of Whanau Ora money would have been better spent on employment schemes in the provinces where Maori unemployment is so high….

      • Follow-the-money 11.1.1

        But Peters is about the most effective opposition we have at the moment.

        Roll on regime change in the red zone…

  12. weka 12

    I haven’t had time to read all the comments yet, but I will take issue with the post itself. Whatever criticisms there are to be made about Whanau Ora and/or Turia, posts like this (a) perpetuate myths about how Maori use state funds and (b) completely and utterly fail to acknowledge the need and right for Maori to have a different kind of control over how services are provided to their people because Pakeha services fail them. Disappointing.

    The post also is devoid of any citations, and looks like a rant against Turia that also misleads. I’m not saying there aren’t valid issues to look at, I’m saying this post fails to do so in a meaningful way.

    • Lightly 12.1

      is there any evidence that Whanau Ora has achieved more good than could have been achieved with normal funding? Any actual evidence?

      Is there evidence of widespread abuse of the money? Hell, yes. Not only the public cases, but the anecdotes from the sector are all of people with no experience trying to set up and get a slice of this slush fund with no clear idea what good they’re meant to deliver.

    • bad12 12.2

      Misleads???, hardly!!!, in my opinion my niece’s Auntie deserves every bit of ‘bad press’ that She gets,

      Sharples has earned the same for claiming some sort of ‘victory’ for Maori from having Maori focus units in a few prisons,

      Flavell should be ‘laughed’ out of the Parliament over the contents of His ‘kneecapped’ gambling harm minimization legislation,

      It is time to cease having a ‘romantic’ view of the Maori Party who at best have delivered to Maori a few crumbs swept off of the over-abundant National Government’s table…

      • weka 12.2.1

        Read my comment again. It wasn’t about Turia or the Maori Party.

        • bad12 12.2.1.1

          Turia is ‘Whanau ora’, Whanau Ora is the ‘price She demanded from National for a coalition agreement,

          A year after Turia has left the Parliament ‘Whanau Ora’ will die a quiet death never to be mentioned again,

          i am rather amused by your ‘romantic notion’ that Maori need social services delivered in a markedly different manner than anyone else,

          That ‘romantic notion’ tho does provide a position in the pecking order for a strata of Maori equipped with the necessary skills to deliver such services but as far as ‘difference’ goes it mostly means a brown face delivering such services as opposed to a white face, thus providing employment for Maori that might not have been forthcoming from the previous Euro-centric providers,

          My opinion is that ALL Government expenditure should be able to be examined by Joe Public line by line, item by item, anything else is to simply invite ‘slush funds’ to be established,

          The only Whanau Ora grant that i have so far seen that would have resulted in the provision of ongoing future financial benefit for the Whanau involved was in fact the grant the Dunedin Mongrel Mob used to set up a Marijuana distribution operation,

          Unfortunately this was illegal and the main participants might be eligible to take part in some Maori focusing via the program in their local prison…

          • weka 12.2.1.1.1

            Just so we are clear, are you saying that Maori don’t need services delivered in culturally specific ways?

            And that all of the state funded services aimed at this are failures other than offering employment to Maori provders?

            • bad12 12.2.1.1.1.1

              Yep, there is no ‘culturally specific’ anything when my nieces or nephews visit the Doctor, it’s the same medicine whether delivered from a white or brown face,

              Both my nieces are fluent Te Reo speakers and they don’t feel any specific need to receive their medical instructions in any particular language, although i do concede that the Marae clinic is their ‘choice’ of doctor which has more to do with cost and proximity than who is at the head of the delivery,

              And, just to be clear here, you ARE suggesting that Maori need services delivered in a ‘culturally specific’ way???,

              Please do tell, what services and by what specific cultural ‘ways’ are these services being delivered,

              To my knowledge, these ‘services’ are simply the same services delivered by Maori faces as opposed to Pakeha ones, and i can point out 1 Maori provider who has Pakeha doctors doing the face to face work,

              As far as failures go, well no, it ensures that Maori are employed in areas and at levels that previously few Maori could gain employment or experience,

              At a flax roots level there may be gains in that if the Doc is a bit shit there’s no need to face the daunting task of complaining to the system, you just need tell your cuz to tell his old man that the Docs a bit shit…

              • Culturally specific relates to the health service itself not the delivery imo. The person delivering is irrelevant if the service is the same. The service or lack of is the issue and Whanau Ora was an attempt to address that through a holistic approach based on a Māori worldview, but it was doomed right from the beginning because imo it didn’t have the support, funding and buy in. Some have routed the system, some have taken advantage of it and others have abused it – ho hum they do that for every system introduced. It is difficult to see it continuing in any form once Tariana has gone but personally i don’t dis Tariana for trying, even in a misguided way, to get something changed, after all the statistics speak for themselves about how the current system including Whanau ora (although it is difficult to measure) is still leaving too many Māori disadvantaged and below the standard of health and health care expected in a society like ours.

  13. King Kong 13

    Bloody Maori’s. Always trying to get their hands on our dough.

  14. Rosetinted 14

    This Whanau Ora payment differs from payments made to Maori over recent years in ways that could seriously harm our country more than previous pakeha mendaciousness has.
    So far Maori have been making the case for money and reparation, that it is in lieu of land, lost property, harm and violence and foregone income because they were prevented from using their assets. Now with Whanau Ora it is a sort of sovereignty, and one wonders what next because it isn’t something that the country as a whole is participating in, and it may be that non-Maori are to be totally excluded from every aspect.

    It is so contradictory of the government. Tuhoe could be invaded at the drop of a hat, without respect for their citizenship rights, just walked over and threatened nastily. Then gummint turns round and large amounts of money are to be poured into whose hands? To do what? Can these people be trusted to do what Maori in general want, and are all Maori to be given a chance to really think things through? I see someone suggesting that this policy suits the neo-liberal agenda of the RWNJs and this may be it in a nustshell. I think the beehive should be renamed to that!

    There is always the possibility of an elite of Maori doing well, and the difficult ones who really need the most help and money spent, being left. Perhaps that’s why the social welfare is changing. The Maori leaders will have some real stick to use, and some can be very harsh on other Maori. It could be quite hard for some who the leaders don’t have much sympathy for. Though some need to learn some self-discipline, which isn’t easy to acquire.

    I am just thinking of Israel. It is interesting how a nation can divide when one grouping is given special conditions to the extent that they feel a huge entitlement. Israel has these very fervent old-testament believers I think called Hassadic jews, The ones where the men wear a little hair twist. They are beginning to persecute other secular jews and make increasing demands and violence has ensued. They don’t have to serve in the army but they can be violent and have done so against Palestinians and other settlers. We don’t want a sort of special advantages culture growing up, or strict separatism, but proper respect and good nature and fair treatment from pakeha to Maori and vice versa.

  15. Draco T Bastard 15

    In my fondest dreams, I see the Maori Party failing to win any seats in 2014 and Whanau Ora being disestablished as a matter of urgency by the incoming Labour-Green government once they see the secret papers and learn the full extent of the waste and corruption Turia has fostered.

    One thing that’s certain, Whanau Ora will need a full inquiry by the next government and people going to jail because of it.

    • Murray Olsen 15.1

      I think a full inquiry into MSD would be more urgent. There are more than enough Maori in prison already, and nowhere near enough Tories.

  16. millsy 16

    The Maori Party (and the elite that it represents), have always been opposed to the public provision of social services. Just like the National Party.

    I seem to remember reading about how among the first people to embrace Simon Upton and Bill Birch health reforms in the 1990’s were Maori, looking to cash in on the carve up of the best health system in the world.

    • weka 16.1

      Yeah, because Maori, all of them, are greedy and just want da money. Nothing to do with the Pakeha health system failing them.

      • Draco T Bastard 16.1.1

        He didn’t say that and the best way to address Māori health is by changing and improving the present health service so that it does so and not by breaking it up. Breaking it up just results in all of us getting worse healthcare.

  17. Mariana Pineda 17

    It sounds very much like the unaccountable charter schools which the Maori Party signed up to.

    Lots of funding but no scrutiny and you can do whatever you like with public money because we will never know anyway.

    That sounds corrupt to me.

  18. Kent 18

    Offensive to the core. Is the Maori party merely the Shinn Fein of the Black Power and Mongrel Mob?

    Isn’t this the same Whanau Ora that was discovered by way of the OIA to have used its public funds to buy drugs for gangs?

    Now Tariana is trying to stop that ever happening again by way of removing OIA oversight.

    This is a farce! It defies belief that this can happen in a country that supposedly has an independent judicial oversight.

    Are our politicians all so scared of the R word that no one is going to call these crooks out for what they really are?

    It makes me sick to my stomach.

    • Molly 18.1

      It is racist of you to imply that corruption is due to the fact it is a Maori based organisation.

      To clarify, given the number of corruption and incompetence examples in the news lately, – the SkyCity casino deal, the GCSB machinations, Marryat in Chch etc – do you hear anyone referring to this as pakeha corruption? No. Just corruption and incompetence.

      Why do you need to frame the incompetence in Whanau Ora from a race based perspective?

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Creating jobs and cleaning up our rivers
    New Zealanders deserve healthy rivers and lakes that are safe to swim in - but they have been getting worse for decades. That's why, with our latest announcement, we're investing in projects that will help clean up our rivers and lakes and restore them to health, within a generation. ...
    6 hours ago
  • Jacinda Ardern: 2020 Labour Congress Speech
    Jacinda Ardern's speech to the 2020 Labour Party Congress. ...
    7 hours ago
  • Kelvin Davis: 2020 Labour Congress Speech
    Kelvin Davis' speech to the 2020 Labour Party Congress. ...
    7 hours ago
  • Week That Was: Another week of major progress
    This week we moved into the second half of 2020 - and our Government delivered another week of big changes and major progress for New Zealanders. Read below for a wrap of the key things moments from the week - from extending paid parental leave, to making major investments in ...
    2 days ago
  • Green Party opposes RMA fast-track bill that cut corners on environmental safeguards and public cons...
    The Green Party has opposed the COVID-19 Recovery Fast-track Consenting Bill which shortcuts normal consenting processes under the Resource Management Act (RMA), reduces public participation and narrows environmental considerations. ...
    3 days ago
  • Site of new freight hub revealed
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister of Regional Economic Development A regional freight hub for the lower North Island will be built just northeast of Palmerston North, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The Government is investing $40 million through the Provincial Growth Fund to designate and buy land and design ...
    3 days ago
  • Greens call for Guaranteed Minimum Income to alleviate skyrocketing debt with MSD
    Green Party Co-leader Marama Davidson is calling for the introduction of a Guaranteed Minimum Income to lift hundreds of thousands of people out of poverty and prevent more families entering into further debt with the Ministry of Social Development.  ...
    3 days ago
  • Winston Peters: Facts matter when taxpayer money is on the line
    There has been renewed focus on New Zealand First acting as a handbrake on the Government after our decision to not support Auckland light rail. We are a handbrake for bad ideas, that is true, but our track record since 2017 has seen New Zealand First constructively also serve as an ...
    3 days ago
  • Bill raising minimum residency requirement for NZ Super passes first reading
    Mark Patterson MP, New Zealand First List MP New Zealand First’s Fair Residency for Superannuation Bill passed its First Reading in Parliament today. The Bill makes a significant change to NZ Super by raising the minimum residency requirement from 10 to 20 years, after age 20. “Currently, a migrant of ...
    3 days ago
  • Harsher penalties for assaults on first responders one step closer
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Law and Order A New Zealand First member’s bill in the name of Darroch Ball introducing a six-month minimum prison sentence for assaults on first responders has passed its second reading in Parliament. The new offence of "injuring a first responder or corrections officer with ...
    4 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission delivers Coalition promise
    Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Deputy Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand First welcomes the launch of the new Criminal Cases Review Commission, gifted with the name from Waikato-Tainui - Te Kāhui Tātari Ture, announced in Hamilton today by Justice Minister Andrew Little. “New Zealand First has long believed in and ...
    4 days ago
  • Greens welcome huge new investment in sustainable projects
    The Green Party is celebrating over $800m in new funding for green projects, which will get people into jobs while solving New Zealand’s long-term challenges. ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand First demands answers from Meridian Energy
    Mark Patterson MP, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is appalled that Meridian seems to have been unnecessarily spilling water from its dams to drive up its profits."While New Zealanders have been coming together in some of our darkest hours, we don’t expect power gentailers to waste water and ...
    5 days ago
  • Getting New Zealand moving again: June 2020
    We wrapped up the first half of 2020 with a busy month, taking additional steps to support New Zealanders as we continue with our economic recovery. We rolled out targeted packages to support key industries like tourism and construction, helped create jobs in the environmental and agriculture sectors, and set ...
    5 days ago
  • Māori union leader appointed to Infrastructure Commission board
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Infrastructure Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones has welcomed the appointment of Maurice Davis and his deep infrastructure and construction experience to the board of the Infrastructure Commission. Mr Davis (Ngāti Maniapoto), is the seventh and final appointment to the board led by former Reserve Bank Governor ...
    5 days ago
  • Click-bait journalism at its worst
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand’s click bait journalism is taking a turn for the worse, with yet another example of sensationalist, wilful-misrepresentation of the facts. “New Zealand First has worked constructively with its Coalition partner on hundreds of pieces of legislation and policy, and ...
    5 days ago
  • Green Party proposes transformational Poverty Action Plan
    The Green Party is today unveiling its Poverty Action Plan, which includes a Guaranteed Minimum Income to ensure people have enough to live with dignity.     ...
    1 week ago
  • PGF accelerates Rotorua projects
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development The Rotorua Museum redevelopment and Whakarewarewa and Tokorangi Forest projects will be accelerated thanks to a $2.09 million Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) boost, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: Getting people into jobs
    This week, we rolled out the next steps of our recovery plan, with new infrastructure investment, extra support for tourism operators, and a new programme to get Kiwis into agriculture careers. The global economic consequences of COVID-19 will continue to be a challenge, but we have a detailed plan to ...
    1 week ago
  • Coalition commitment establishing Mental Health Commission delivered
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its final reading in Parliament today fulfilling a coalition agreement commitment. “This is an important step in saving the lives of New Zealanders and delivers a key coalition commitment ...
    1 week ago
  • Whakatāne gets a $2.5m ‘turbo boost’
    Whakatāne has been given a $2.5 million boost to speed up previously funded projects and create more than 450 jobs in the next decade. Of those, the equivalent of 160 full-time jobs could be delivered in the next six weeks. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters is in town to make ...
    1 week ago
  • $2.5m PGF funding to speed up economic recovery in Whakatāne
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $2.5 million to accelerate three infrastructure projects in Whakatāne, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “This package is about ...
    1 week ago
  • Shane Jones calls out those holding drought-stricken Auckland ‘to ransom’ over water
    Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones is throwing his weight behind a bid by the Auckland Council to fast-track the more than doubling of the city's water allowance from the Waikato River. And he's coming out strongly against anyone who plans on getting in the way of this campaign. "It is my ...
    1 week ago
  • Another Green win as climate change considerations inserted into the RMA
    The Green Party is thrilled to see changes to the Resource Management Act (RMA) that mean consents for large projects can be declined if they will have significant climate change implications that are inconsistent with the Zero Carbon Act and Aotearoa New Zealand’s Paris Agreement obligations.  ...
    1 week ago
  • New Navy vessel Aotearoa to arrive in New Zealand
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence The Royal New Zealand Navy’s new ship, Aotearoa, set sail for New Zealand on 10 June from the Republic of Korea, and is due to arrive in Auckland tomorrow, announced Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “Aotearoa is the Royal New Zealand Navy’s new fleet ...
    1 week ago
  • Racing Industry Bill passes third reading
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters has today welcomed the Racing Industry Bill passing its third reading, creating the legislative framework for revitalising the racing industry while limiting the need for future government intervention. “For too long our domestic racing industry has ...
    1 week ago
  • Green Party seek amendment to ensure all prisoners can vote
    The Green Party has today put forward an amendment to the Electoral (Registration of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Bill to ensure all people in prisons can vote in general elections. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party welcomes new approach to delivering light rail
    The Green Party welcomes the decision to not proceed with Public Public Investment (PPI) delivery of Auckland’s light rail project and to instead run the process through the public service. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First welcomes PGF investment in Wairarapa Water
    Hon Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in the Wairarapa New Zealand First List MP Hon Ron Mark welcomes the announcement of Provincial Growth Funding investment of $1.4 million to help secure the Wairarapa’s water supply. The funding boost will allow the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC), and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First MP Mark Patterson selected as candidate for Taieri
    New Zealand First list MP Mark Patterson has been selected to represent the party in the newly formed Taieri electorate at the upcoming election. Mr Patterson, his wife Jude and two daughters farm sheep and beef at Lawrence and Waitahuna. He previously stood in the Clutha-Southland electorate however boundary changes ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ground-breaking on NZ Post depot
    Hon Shane Jones, Associate Minister for State Owned Enterprises A new ‘super depot’ to be built for NZ Post in Wellington will create around 350 jobs during construction, Associate Minister for State Owned Enterprises Shane Jones says. Shane Jones today attended a ground-breaking and blessing ceremony for the parcel-processing depot ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Putting our economic plan into action
    Our strong economic management prior to COVID-19 - with surpluses, low debt and near-record-low unemployment - put us in a good position to weather the impact of the virus and start to rebuild our economy much earlier than many other countries. Now we're putting our plan to recover and rebuild ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fleeing drivers hit new record-high yet again
    Darroch Ball MP, New Zealand First Spokesperson for Law and Order Recently released Police fleeing driver statistics have shown yet another increase in incidents with another record-high in the latest quarter. “This new quarterly record-high is the latest in a string of record-high numbers since 2014.  The data shows incidents ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fletcher Tabuteau selected as candidate for Rotorua
    New Zealand First MP Fletcher Tabuteau is pleased to be confirmed today as the party’s candidate for the Rotorua electorate. Speaking at the Rotorua AGM for New Zealand First, Mr Tabuteau said this is an election that is incredibly important for the people of Rotorua. “The founding principles of New ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Greens call for Government office to address Rainbow issues following Human Rights Commission report
    The Human Rights Commission’s PRISM report on the issues impacting people based on their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC) provides an excellent programme of work for future governments to follow, say the Greens. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters continues push for trans-Tasman travel as military take control of operations
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters said the trans-Tasman bubble had not been jeopardised after a border botch-up resulted in New Zealand having two active cases of COVID-19. On Friday, Mr Peters told RNZ's Morning Report he had heard from Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison that borders for trans-Tasman travel would open by ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters on the Government’s Covid-19 border blunder
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters said today he was pleased the army was now running the quarantine and isolation process - up until now it has been the Ministry of Health. Peters told Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking that the army knew how to introduce and follow protocols and instil discipline. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First’s Ron Mark confirms bid for the Wairarapa seat
    Hon Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in the Wairarapa New Zealand First MP and Minister for Defence and Veteran’s Affairs Ron Mark has confirmed his bid for the Wairarapa seat.“The Coalition Government has done a lot of good work throughout the Wairarapa, but many constituents have told ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First welcomes second tranche of candidates
    New Zealand First is pleased to release the names of its next tranche of candidates for the 2020 election. We’re proud to announce these hardworking New Zealanders that have put their hand up to fight for a commonsense and resilient future.Jamie Arbuckle – Kaikoura Mark Arneil – Christchurch Central Jackie ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Joint effort under way to repatriate stranded Vanuatu nationals
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence A massive joint effort between New Zealand Government agencies, employers, and the Vanuatu Government is underway to repatriate over 1000 Vanuatu nationals stranded in New Zealand, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Extended loan scheme keeps business afloat
    Small businesses are getting greater certainty about access to finance with an extension to the interest-free cashflow loan scheme to the end of the year. The Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme has already been extended once, to 24 July. Revenue and Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says it will be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • New investment creates over 2000 jobs to clean up waterways
    A package of 23 projects across the country will clean up waterways and deliver over 2000 jobs Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Environment Minister David Parker announced today. The $162 million dollar package will see 22 water clean-up projects put forward by local councils receiving $62 million and the Kaipara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Speech to Labour Party Congress 2020
    Tena koutou katoa  Nga tangata whenua o tenei rohe o Pōneke, tena koutou Nau mai, haere mai ki te hui a tau mo te roopu reipa Ko tatou!  Ko to tatou mana!  Ko to tatou kaupapa kei te kokiri whakamua  Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena tatou katoa   Welcome. I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Building a more sustainable construction sector
    A new programme, which sets a firm course for the Building and Construction sector to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, has been announced by the Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa. “A significant amount of New Zealand’s carbon emissions come from the building and construction sector.  If we’re serious ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • PGF funds tourism boost in Northland
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing more than $7.5 million in Northland ventures to combat the economic impact of the COVID-19 virus, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) investment is going to the Northern Adventure Experience and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Four new projects announced as part of the biggest ever national school rebuild programme
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced significant funding for Auckland’s Northcote College as part of the first wave of a new nationwide school redevelopment programme to upgrade schools over the next 10 years. The $48.5 million project brings the total investment in Northcote College to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19: Support to improve student attendance and wellbeing
    The Government has opened an urgent response fund to support schools and early learning services to get children and young people back on track after the Covid-19 lockdown. “While we are seeing improvements in attendance under Alert Level 1 Ministry of Education data shows that attendance rates in our schools ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Fast-track consenting law boosts jobs and economic recovery
    The law to boost the economic recovery from the impact of COVID-19 by speeding up resource consenting on selected projects has passed its second and third readings in the House today. “Accelerating nationwide projects and activities by government, iwi and the private sector will help deliver faster economic recovery and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Whanganui Port gets PGF boost
    Five port-related projects in Whanganui will receive a $26.75 million Provincial Growth Fund investment to support local economic recovery and create new opportunities for growth, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This is a significant investment that will support the redevelopment of the Whanganui Port, a project governed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • More support for Sarjeant Gallery
    Whanganui’s Sarjeant Gallery will receive an investment of up to $12 million administered by the Provincial Growth Fund to support its redevelopment, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. The project is included in a $3 billion infrastructure pipeline announced by Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Shane Jones yesterday. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Funding for training and upskilling
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing nearly $2.5 million into three Te Ara Mahi programmes to support Manawatū-Whanganui jobseekers and employees to quickly train and upskill, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Up to 154 local people will be supported into employment within the first year by these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Statement from the Minister of Health Dr David Clark
      This morning I have formally tendered my resignation as Minister of Health, which was accepted by the Prime Minister. Serving as Minister of Health has been an absolute privilege – particularly through these extraordinary last few months. It’s no secret that Health is a challenging portfolio. I have given ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Scholarship placements for agricultural emissions scientists doubles
    Scholarships for 57 early-career agricultural emissions scientists from 20 developing countries is another example of New Zealand’s international leadership in primary sector sustainability, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. Mr O’Connor, announcing the scholarships today, says hundreds of applications were received for this fourth round of the CLIFF-GRADS programme (Climate, Food ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Funding for Foxton regeneration
    A project to help rejuvenate the Horowhenua town of Foxton will receive a Provincial Growth Fund investment of $3.86 million, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This funding for the Foxton Regeneration project will be used to make the well-known holiday town even more attractive for visitors and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Plan to improve protection of moa bones
    Moa bones and other sub-fossil remains of extinct species are set to have improved protection with proposals to prevent the trade in extinct species announced the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today. “We have lost too many of our native species, but these lost species, such as moa, remain an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Free lunches served up to thousands of school children in the South Island
    The Government’s free and healthy school lunches programme moves south for the first time creating jobs for around 30 people in Otago and Southland. “Eighteen schools with 3000 students are joining the programme – 11 have already begun serving lunches, and seven are preparing to start during Term 3. This is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Screen Sector recovery package protects jobs, boosts investment
    Thousands of Kiwi jobs and investment in New Zealand productions will be protected through a screen sector support package announced today by Associate Minister for Arts Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford and Minister for Broadcasting Kris Faafoi. The package also includes investment in broadcasting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New fund to help save local events and jobs
    The Government has established a new $10 million fund for the domestic events sector to help save jobs and protect incomes as it recovers from the impacts of COVID-19, Minister of Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. This funding from Budget 2020 follows talks with the event sector designed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Bill to improve fuel market competition
    The Government has taken another step in its commitment to making sure New Zealanders get a fairer deal at the petrol pump with the introduction of legislation to improve competition in the retail fuel market, says Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods. “The fuel market study that this Government ordered ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand joins global facility for pre-purchase of COVID-19 Vaccine
    New Zealand has joined a global initiative that aims to enable all countries to access a safe and effective Covid-19 vaccine, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. The COVAX Facility was recently launched by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. The Alliance includes the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Right to legal representation in Family Court restored today
    From today new legislation takes effect to both restore the right to legal representation at the start of a Care of Children (CoCA) dispute in the Family Court, and allow parties to those proceedings to access legal aid where eligible. During a visit to the Family Court in Auckland today, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Transitioning to a fully-qualified home-based ECE workforce
    Home-based early childhood education (ECE) subsidised by the government will transition to a fully qualified workforce by 2025 to ensure better and more consistent quality, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. “Quality early learning helps provide children with a strong foundation for their future,” Chris Hipkins said. From 1 January ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission gets to work
    The new Criminal Cases Review Commission | Te Kāhui Tātari Ture (CCRC) has started work and can now independently investigate claimed miscarriages of justice. “Even though we have appeal rights and safeguards against unsafe convictions, from time to time our justice system does get things wrong. The design of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech by the Minister of Defence to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā karangatanga maha, tēnā koutou Ki a koutou Te Āti Awa, Taranaki Whānui, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, ngā mana whenua o te rohe nei, tēnā koutou Ko Te Whare Wānanga o Aotearoa ki ngā take o te Ao (NZIIA), Ko te Rōpū Tohu Tono ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Six months with baby and $20 more a week for new parents
    The Government’s increase to paid parental leave kicks in today with another 4 weeks taking New Zealand up to a full 6 months (26 weeks, up from 22 weeks) leave for new parents, and the maximum weekly payment will increase by $20pw, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Infrastructure investment to create jobs, kick-start COVID rebuild
    A new package of infrastructure investments will help kick-start the post-COVID rebuild by creating more than 20,000 jobs and unlocking more than $5 billion of projects up and down New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones today outlined how the $3 billion infrastructure fund in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Statement on passage of national security law for Hong Kong
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today expressed the New Zealand Government’s deep disappointment at the passage by China’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee of a national security law for Hong Kong. “New Zealand has consistently emphasised its serious concern about the imposition of this legislation on Hong Kong without inclusive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • July 1 marks progress for workers, families
    More jobs and more family time with newborns are the centrepiece of a suite of Government initiatives coming into effect today. July 1 is a milestone day for the Government as a host of key policies take effect, demonstrating the critical areas where progress has been made. “The Coalition Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Auckland water consent referred to Board of Inquiry
    Environment Minister David Parker has today “called in” Auckland’s application to the Waikato Regional Council to take an extra 200 million litres of water a day from the lower reaches of the Waikato River for Auckland drinking water and other municipal uses.  The call-in means the application has been referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand to host virtual APEC in 2021
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker announced today that New Zealand’s hosting of APEC in 2021 will go ahead using virtual digital platforms. Mr Peters said the global disruption caused by COVID-19, including resultant border restrictions, had been the major factor in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Matakana Link Road construction kicks off and drives jobs
    The start of construction on a new link road between Matakana Road and State Highway 1 will create jobs and support the significant population growth expected in the Warkworth area, Transport Minister Phil Twyford and Mayor Phil Goff announced today. Transport Minister Phil Twyford said construction of the Matakana Link ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • PPE supplies secured as COVID-19 response focuses on border
    The Government is prioritising its latest investment in PPE for frontline health workers, including staff at managed isolation and quarantine facilities, Health Minister David Clark says. “With no community transmission of COVID-19 our response now has a firm focus on keeping our border safe and secure. “We must ensure that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • PGF funding for Parihaka settlement
    The Parihaka Papakāinga Trust in Taranaki will receive up to $14 million for a new visitor centre and other improvements at the historic settlement that will boost the local economy and provide much-needed jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Protections for workers in triangular employment
    Protections for workers who are employees of one employer but working under the direction of another business or organisation have come into force, closing a gap in legislation that  made the personal grievance process inaccessible for some workers, says Workplace Relations Minister Iain Lees-Galloway. “This Government is working hard to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government strengthens managed isolation system
    A range of improvements are already underway to address issues identified in the rapid review of the Managed Isolation and Quarantine system released today, Housing Minister Megan Woods said. The review was commissioned just over a week ago to identify and understand current and emerging risks to ensure the end-to-end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Whakatāne to go predator free with Government backing Ngāti Awa led efforts
    The important brown kiwi habitat around Whakatāne will receive added protection through an Iwi-led predator free project announced by Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage and Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau. “The Government is investing nearly $5 million into Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa’s environmental projects with $2.5 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Growing Goodwood: Expanding wood waste recycling plant in Bay of Plenty, Waikato
    An extra 4,000 tonnes of offcuts and scraps of untreated wood per year will soon be able to be recycled into useful products such as horticultural and garden mulch, playground safety surfacing and animal bedding as a result of a $660,000 investment from the Waste Minimisation Fund, Associate Environment Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Scott Watson’s convictions to be referred to Court of Appeal
    The Governor-General has referred Scott Watson’s convictions for murder back to the Court of Appeal, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. Mr Watson was convicted in 1999 of the murders of Ben Smart and Olivia Hope. His appeal to the Court of Appeal in 2000 was unsuccessful, as was his ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Protecting Kiwis with stronger financial supervision
    A new five-year funding agreement for the Reserve Bank will mean it can boost its work to protect New Zealanders’ finances, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand has a strong and stable financial system. Financial stability is an area that we are not prepared to cut corners for, particularly ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Forgotten funds and missing money
    A law change has been introduced to make it easier for forgotten funds in institutional accounts to be returned more easily to their rightful owners. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash has introduced an amendment to the Unclaimed Money Act 1971. It will update the rules controlling forgotten sums of money held ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago