English puts super back on the line

Written By: - Date published: 1:41 pm, March 4th, 2017 - 93 comments
Categories: bill english, superannuation - Tags: , , ,

In what was apparently a pretty dire interview on The Nation this morning, Bill English dropped one bombshell:

Bill English won’t make same superannuation promise as John Key

Talking to Three’s The Nation, Prime Minister Bill English said people need to know what’s happening before the election, hinting there could be tweaks made.

I’m surprised, and I’m going to say good on English for committing to getting his policy out there before the election.

But with Mr Key’s departure, the fiscally conservative new Prime Minister says it’s a chance to “reset” expectations, with an aging population and more people working into their late 60s.

“I haven’t made the same undertaking as John, so we have the opportunity for a bit of a reset there.” But whether that means a change to the age of eligibility or its annual indexing to wages, he won’t say. “You’ll just have to wait and see. We would not anticipate any drastic changes.”

So we have a complete reversal from 2014. This time round it is Labour promising to leave super unchanged, and National proposing changes. For the record I believe that changes should be made to reduce the cost of super (as long as any rise in the age of eligibility has exceptions for manual workers or others whose health forces early retirement). Given our population structure we need to make savings in the cost of super in cases where the elderly are able to take care of themselves, and use the savings to reduce poverty and create opportunities for the young.

In short, I think English is right on this. For a change. Sure would have helped if he hadn’t stupidly gutted the Cullen fund though.

93 comments on “English puts super back on the line”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    Sure would have helped if he hadn’t stupidly gutted the Cullen fund though.

    In what way?

    It’s not money that’s going to keep all of us out of poverty but productivity and our productivity isn’t increasing enough because we’re not diversifying enough. We’re still far too dependent upon farming especially in a warming world where we’re going to have to regenerate most of our farmland back into native bush.

    The biggest problem that we have, IMO, is that we keep focussing upon money rather than the reality that surrounds us.

    • Sacha 1.1

      “In what way?”

      He has renounced a way to make the future cost more pre-paid, and without offering any others.

      • Glenn 1.1.1

        Agree.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2

        You can’t pre-pay the cost. No matter what, all that will be available is what will be physically available through the work done at the time.

        And that comes back to productivity and the fact that productivity isn’t rising fast enough to have everyone retire at 65.

        People try to put it in terms of money but that just hides the physical reality and thus prevents understanding.

  2. Antoine 2

    Seems promising

    A.

  3. English said he would let voters know what National views on Super before the election, but regardless of what he says, and what Labour might say, if NZ First call the shots in forming the next Government then any changes to the entitlement age or indexing of payments are likely to be one of the first and most emphatic things off the negotiating table.

  4. Carolyn_nth 4

    On the Nation discussion about English’s comment about super, they talked about the possibility of changing the 10 year rule for immigrants to 25 years. they also talked about how NZ First would influence a 4th term Nat-led government, by vetoing any change to age of elligibility.

    The last I looked, the NZ First policy was that the amount of eligibility for super was related to the amount of time a person has lived in NZ. This then stops the situation where Kiwis who have lived overseas – in the UK and Aussie mainly – have their income from overseas pensions gets deducted from their NZ super entitlement. Thus WINZ forces people to apply for overseas pensions, of which the Aussie form is a trial.

    the NZ First policy looks to me much easier to administer, and also responds to criticisms of recent immigrants getting the full entitlement of super.

  5. Lots of moving targets.

  6. Sanctuary 6

    Change the age of super eligibility? Bye Bye Bill.

    • NewsFlash 6.1

      The age of eligibility should NOT be changed, but I don’t understand why we’re paying millionaires and the very wealthy, personally I think asset testing is the only fair change that can be made to the super system, the point that the Nats simply didn’t care about the future of ordinary Kiwi’s by decimating the super fund set by Cullen is evidence enough to know who will likely bear the brunt of any changes.

      Failure of the Nats to recognise the looming problem of the number of super recipients as a percentage of the number of employed will be a serious problem for whoever is in charge.

      Failure to have a super scheme that is payed for by the employer is the BIGGEST mistake of all, wages are too low to expect ordinary workers to fund out there own income, in places like Aus, where the super has been going since the 80’s, has generated a huge amount of wealth for many, being redistributed throughout the economy, the difference in foresight (Aus) and the head in the sand policy from the Nats.

      Asset testing is the only Fair way to alter the current scheme, those who don’t need it, shouldn’t receive it.

      • dv 6.1.1

        There is a form of asset testing by the tax system.

        • Carolyn_nth 6.1.1.1

          Yep. And on the Nation today, Blinglish said the super fund was in a healthy state – better than they had anticipated because of the increased number of 65+ people working.

          Of course, while working, part or full time, seniors are also paying tax.

          The problem with the wealthy is too many avoid paying tax. For wealthy and diligent tax payers there probably is little money (if any) for them in applying for super. It isn’t automatically given to people when they reach 65. Why bother applying if it all goes in tax payments?

          • dukeofurl 6.1.1.1.1

            Something like 20% of the super payout comes back in taxes from the over 65s.
            There could be ways of getting those who are asset rich but cash poor .
            We used to have death duties but national gutted that along with gift taxes and the pay as you earn super that Muldoon abolished.
            Is there no end to nationals clumsy handling of these issues.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.2

        The age of eligibility should NOT be changed, but I don’t understand why we’re paying millionaires and the very wealthy, personally I think asset testing is the only fair change that can be made to the super system

        You’re asking the wrong question.

        Why are people paid millions of dollars?
        Why are people paid for ownership of a business but do no work?

        The problem isn’t that we’d be paying everybody a universal income, the problem is that we have millionaires.

        • Good framing of the problem.

          This is why folding super into a UBI as a negative tax intercept instead of the current system is actually more sustainable: Because it allows us to raise the effective level of tax on millionaires, effectively “eating” their UBI without ever talking about eligibility levels or having to spend money administering asset tests.

        • NewsFlash 6.1.2.2

          DB

          You know the answer to your questions, but at the moment, this is how things work in the real world, some millionaires actually worked pretty damn hard to get there, but as you know there are many freeloaders as well.

          Many wealthy retirees boast about their benefits around investment and how little tax they need to pay, at the expense of those who don’t have the same opportunities.

          There will always be individuals who have more than others, no matter what the socio economic system is, some seek material rewards in life, while others find value in non material rewards.

          A UBI is not answer to the problem either, as it does not address the route cause, it’s just a sticking plaster, a temporary fix.

          • Draco T Bastard 6.1.2.2.1

            some millionaires actually worked pretty damn hard to get there

            IIRC, it’s less than 5%. All the rest inherited it.

            And that 5% is dropping.

      • mikesh 6.1.3

        The surcharge, introduced by Labour in the eighties and scrapped, somewhat reluctantly, by Bolger in the early nineties, achieved much the same thing.

        • dukeofurl 6.1.3.1

          Not at all. Bolger increased the ‘surcharge ‘ from 20 to 25% and exemption lowered ,contrary to their election promises and made other changes such as age of entitlement moved up from 60 to 65 ( 2001)
          It was Peters and his coalition which forced Bolger to backtrack after 96.

          http://www.goodreturns.co.nz/article/976486067/super-history-understanding-recent-changes.html

          Muldoons scheme had pension at The original legislation had provided for gross pensions to be set at 80 percent of gross ordinary time wages.

          1998 the National minority government introduced and passed legislation that:
          • removed the 65 percent “floor” on the pension wage ratio
          • specified that New Zealand Superannuation was to be adjusted on the basis of prices subject to a new 60 percent pension-wage ratio floor.

          Which was partly reversed :
          Labour-Alliance coalition which took office after the 1999 election reversed the pension-wage ratio decision of the previous government. It announced the restoration of a 65 percent floor for the ratio of the married couple rate of NZ Superannuation to average net ordinary time wages

          Along with $2 billion per year to the Super fund

          You see how national has wrecked the whole process all along

      • Thinkerr 6.1.4

        Superannuation is not another welfare benefit, that’s why means testing is inappropriate.

        It’s also why it should be regarded separately in the government accounts, and not tinkered with to balance the books.

    • fisiani 6.2

      Having to work another 3 or 6 or 9 months is hardly political poison.

  7. infused 7

    It’s not surprising. He’s always said he’d change it.

  8. Ad 8

    If Prime Minister English proposed limiting NZ SUPER eligibility for immigrants who’d been here 20 plus years, I’d support it and I think many other New Zealanders would as well.

    This government won’t change just on housing issues alone.

    • I don’t quite understand – if someone has made their home here for over 20 years you would want to restrict or limit their entitlement to NZ Super?

      Have I got that right?

      and if that is correct – why do you think that’s a good idea?

      • Ad 8.1.1

        Limit the liability.
        Retirement Commissioner is very keen on it.

        Need a higher benchmark on immigration.

        • marty mars 8.1.1.1

          maybe those that don’t need it should get a cut amount (to keep the universal bit) or be means tested, or property/capital gains taxed (reduce liability) and those that do – say Māori for instance get theirs early – after all the life expectancy is lower for Māori (less liability) and there are often major commitments for kaumatua from a cultural point of view.

          • Ad 8.1.1.1.1

            Administratively messy and full of bureaucratic make work.

            I think sending a signal to new migrants that we only support permanent super as a benefit only to those with absolute commitment to the country would be proper.

            Could also consider stopping it altogether and permanently for any citizen who is on else as more than 6 months. If they can afford that scale of jaunt, they don’t need it.

            Need to keep universality but shave off the edges indirectly.

  9. Michael 9

    Do you have a private pension fund, Anthony Robins, just like Bill English (albeit paid by taxpayers)? I also think the qualifying age for NZ Super should be increased, except for those who cannot work because their health won’t stand it. But that raises a problem: who gets to determine disability? For years now, a small cabal of second-rate doctors have been making a fortune, conducting medicolegal assessments of disability for ACC, managing insurers and, now, WINZ. In these characters’ opinions (which the legal system treats as sacrosanct) everyone can still do a full week’s work, irrespective of their health condition. It is virtually impossible to challenge the ipse dixit statements of the medical police. Without a clean out of their ranks a fair means of assessing disability will remain impossible and hundreds of thousands of elderly New Zealanders will be shafted. Of course, few of them are likely to be within Labour’s new target demography, so I guess there’s no harm in whacking the retirement age up to 75, as Treasury recommended a few years ago.

    • weka 9.1

      On those grounds alone the retirement age should never be touched. If we ever manage to change the culture in NZ away from bashing ill and disabled people or entrenching the deserving ill meme, then maybe we can then look at fair ways to raise the Super age. But in the meantime there is no way to do this policy change that won’t both hurt individuals and add to the culture of bash a sick person that NZ has developed. The state certainly is not to be trusted as per your examples of ACC and WINZ (I would add the MoH in there too). Also, where there is a clear conflict of interest between people’s need to cap budgets and them being in an assessing role, it just shouldn’t be happening.

      • Carolyn_nth 9.1.1

        Yep. And for seniors who only get super and don’t own property or have savings, super isn’t enough to live on. They may physically be up to working part time to supplement their super, but not sturdy enough to work full time.

        • Michael 9.1.1.1

          That’s not what the medical police will report (in return for the usual consideration).

    • Red Hand 9.2

      An accurate means of assessing disability is preferable to a fair means because an accurate assessment will be more predictive of outcome, based as it is on research findings.

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20482853

      Fairness by comparison is too subjective, exemplified by your presumably subjective “second-rate doctors” assessment, which is a trivial opinion, unless you have some credible data to back it up.

      • Michael 9.2.1

        Medicolegal assessment of disability is now iredeemably politicised. Not sure how to post links here but there’s plenty of it. The people shafted by your friends, Red Hand (aka the “second rate doctors”) feel believe it is far from “trivial”.

  10. fisiani 10

    Bill might raise the age of eligibility to 75 or perhaps 70.

    • I hope that’s his announcement, if that’s all there is to it, I can’t see him winning the election with that anchor around his neck.

      Boomers are just starting to get Super, if he takes it away from them they are gonna be mad as hell.

    • NewsFlash 10.2

      What would Bill do for an income for 5 to 10 years if he did that.

      I thought yo would be more concerned about the non citizen changes that affect those who have not in lived in NZ for 20 years.

      • fisiani 10.2.1

        The 75 year eligibility will not come into force until 2058 . A raise of just 3/12 every year. i.e. 2022 66 2026 67….

  11. mac1 11

    “Hence, Prime Minister John Key has said he would rather retire than touch Super. Labour campaigned on raising the age to 67, but lost badly, and have now backed down” 25 May 2016.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/80223200/Budget-2016-Can-we-afford-the-superannuation-status-quo

    Six months later, Key retires.

    Meanwhile English states that he is not bound by a John Key promise, which is surely Party policy, and two elections were fought with this as a major difference between Labour and National, no doubt influencing many superannuitant-oriented votes.

    Another broken promise? Was this a reason for Key’s hasty departure?

    • Draco T Bastard 11.1

      Was this a reason for Key’s hasty departure?

      Probably.

      National know that they’ve screwed over the economy and that they’re going to have to put the bill on the poor so as not to tax the rich.

      • greg 11.1.1

        this is from the party that sabotaged every attempt to pre fund super in the last 40 years these wankers cost the cullen fund billions they cut kiwi saver this is the party that has blown up the property bubble to point of creating a debt bomb and savers are paying by being screwed over with low interest rates i am gen x there is no way we should except being fucked over by national they were quite happy to screw our future for the benefit of property owning baby boomer’s .its about time the national reap what they have sowed

  12. Enough is Enough 12

    r0b I have never quite understood your support for cutting the eligibility to Super.

    Increased costs for Super is not a reason to make cuts. If you buy into that argument then you should support National with all their other cuts. Lets look at health, with an ageing population costs are increasing. Lets just cuts people’s eligibility to public health.

    That is what National like to do.

    Or we could look at the other side of the balance sheet and see how we fund Super. Lets collect tax to pay for Super rather than cut it.

    • solkta 12.1

      Super and Public Health are not comparable. Public Health is available to all citizens whether they need it or not. Super is available to only those over 65 whether they need it or not.

      • Enough is Enough 12.1.1

        No shit sherlock

        The point I am making is you don’t cut elegibilty to something because it is getting expensive. You get a better funding model.

        The right cut cost

        The left look after people and find ways to fund it.

        • solkta 12.1.1.1

          The current Super model is looking after wealthy people by giving them a welfare benefit they do not need. My father has used his for spending money on his annual European holiday. That is not a left wing thing but just stupidity. These people have a sense of entitlement because Muldoon made them a promise that was not sustainable.

          • weka 12.1.1.1.1

            “My father has used his for spending money on his annual European holiday.”

            You mean he chose that over paying rent and eating?

            • solkta 12.1.1.1.1.1

              I’m not sure what you mean. I think my father paid rent for three years when he was first married.

      • Actually Super prevents a lot of issues that would cause problems to the health system. It’s led to us having a markedly low level of poverty for seniors. It’s been a highly successful, if costly, policy.

        There are ways to transition to a less costly system that’s less of a giveaway to more wealthy seniors while still retaining that success. Further eligibility tests are costly and will make Super more difficult to get, so seem like a poor answer, even though the principle behind them is reasonable: people who can already support their own retirement will need less government assistance. I highly suspect Bill’s answer is going to be to simply cut elibility, when it’s at least partly his fault the government will have difficult affording Super costs soon, because of his wasteful tax cuts and refusal continue payments to the Super fund.

        (Of course, there will need to be some progress about that transition by the time boomers are solidly on Super, because it will quickly escalate costs if we continue to fund retirement for the already-wealthy when so much of our population falls into the qualifying bracket for Super, so he’s right to have the discussion)

        • Carolyn_nth 12.1.2.1

          RNZ article tonight, says that Super has become more affordable than 15 years ago, because people are working for longer.

          Little says:

          <blockquotethe government's decision to stop contributing to the New Zealand Superannuation Fund meant there was now a $20 billion funding gap.

          Mr Little said Labour would not raise the age of eligibility and would resume making payments to the fund.

          • solkta 12.1.2.1.1

            I think you mean to say that the RNZ article says that English says..

          • Matthew Whitehead 12.1.2.1.2

            Super being more affordable at the moment doesn’t change the maths of it not being affordable in its current form in the long-run. I don’t support changing the age or means-testing as the best solutions, but we can’t continue to subsidise retirement for people who are already wealthy in perpetuity.

            Besides, even though Super has done great things, it was never conceived as what it was today. Most people died before being eligible for Super when it was implemented, it’s just nobody ever updated the ages to keep the policy the same, so it’s gotten progressively more generous as medicine has kept people healthy longer. It’s not unreasonable to say that we can try and keep the good things its done for keeping seniors out of poverty, while still setting it up so that we’re actually spending the money where it’s needed most, while still maintaining the accessibility of the fact the only gating to Super was age-based.

            If we set up a proper basic income system that’s properly funded, we can have it do the same thing Super’s done for the whole population, on a sustainable basis, and it will be much harder to repeal or “reform,” because every single voter will be on the side of keeping it for self-interested reasons, not just seniors and soon-to-be-seniors.

            • Carolyn_nth 12.1.2.1.2.1

              I don’t know the figures for super re- continued sustainability with the current system.

              I do agree we need a very good, comprehensive, cradle-to-the-grave social security system. That means a big overhaul of the entire system as various aspects of society are interwoven.

              Everything now is tarnished by the growing/entrenched wealth and income inequality gap — most noticeable at the top and bottom 10%.

              I notice many comfortably middle-class people in their 60s and 50s have health/medical insurance. So they get fast-track attention, while the elderly relying on the public system are languishing on big queues, waiting for attention.

              And elderly on fixed incomes in Auckland are struggling with ever increasing rates, rent and other essential bills. Meanwhile younger people are also struggling to find affordable housing, a living income, to pay the bills, etc.

              Meanwhile the speculators, real estate moguls and investment bankers are creaming it.

              • Whispering Kate

                I don’t know who your friends are but the modestly comfortable middle-class I know , got a hell of a fright when they reached 65 at the rate their Private Health Insurance was rarked up. There is nobody I know who is modestly comfortable who is still paying out their monthly premiums. Instead they are placing their health in the hands of a precarious health system and going on lists a mile long for treatment. Only the very wealthy can keep up sustained pricey premiums on an on-going long term basis.

                • Carolyn_nth

                  Hmmm. Interesting. I wouldn’t describe anyone I know as very wealthy. Just professional people – from lower level professionals to more business types.

                  Though not all are in their 60s. And only 1 or 2 are over 65.

                  My GP seems to treat me as a bit unusual in not having health insurance – me being a well educated person in an Auckland, renting in a fairly central suburb.

                  Most own their own homes – and one in late 50s in Auckland has health insurance and is a renter. Can’t afford to buy.

                  So, yes, I’d pretty much describe them as mostly modestly comfortable middle class. Maybe a couple could be described as comfortable middle class. But not very wealthy.

        • solkta 12.1.2.2

          Yes, but if we paid Super to everybody that would prevent a lot more issues that do cause problems to the health system.

          I’m not saying that we should leave old people high and dry. A means tested benefit at a similar amount would have achieved the same result.

          • Matthew Whitehead 12.1.2.2.1

            I support a UBI at a level comparable to NZ Super and Super being rolled into that UBI with conditional assistance for those in additional need, combined with a tax package that will pay for it in a way that will effectively get us to the same place as means-testing, and will also treat the UBI as a negative income tax for those not in employment. For those in employment, we can have a simplified income tax, and they’ll still get a fraction of the UBI if they’re earning under a certain amount, which will likely taper off around $45k annually, but actually depending on what exact settings you use for the UBI and simplified tax.

            Super as-is won’t be there for my generation, full stop, and we all know it, the maths of the costs of super and the demographics of Boomers going onto it aren’t deniable. It’s part of why Kiwisaver was implemented. So we need something new. And trying to get rid of a UBI will be even harder than cutting Super if Labour implements a good one with help from the Greens, and sets the basic income to a level that’s livable, say starting at $20k for every adult. (There are arguments it should go higher, but $20k is definitely affordable if coupled with some basic wealth taxes like a CGT, and starting lower will allow time for the savings from universalising benefits to become apparent. Savings? Yep, it’s likely to reduce medical costs, lower the number of remaining conditional benefits needed, and address) This will simplify welfare provision, get most people out of the WINZ office, and let them focus on actually providing help to people who genuinely need it instead of trying to kick people off benefits.

            Means testing is actually an expensive and inefficient way to solve the problem, it will make it even less convenient to apply for super than it is now, and it frames the issue the wrong way.

            Besides, I don’t want someone whose wealth suddenly dries up to suddenly have to re-apply. We should make the process easier than that, and integrating a UBI into the tax system is a great way to do it all easily and transparently.

            • solkta 12.1.2.2.1.1

              I’ve been a supporter of UBI for a long time but I think it would be really hard to sell it to the public. I think it would be great if the Greens and Labour could introduce it but my concern would be that it would cost them an election before they could get it fully implemented.

              • I think any serious attempt at a UBI would need to start at the beginning of a government’s term in office so it could get off the ground and functioning and people get used to the transfers before the next election.

                I think a proper UBI would be unpopular with the wealthy, but massively popular with everyone else. It would play out similarly to Working For Families in terms of the political optics: the Right would hate it, right up until their less wealthy supporters actually started getting it, then it would be political suicide not to support it in some limited form. They’d most likely try to “death by a thousand cuts” it by lowering the benefit level gradually, or repeal the tax offsets required to make it affordable, if they felt emboldened enough to touch it.

                I think you underestimate how well a UBI will play, especially one that’s structured not to entirely abate payments for people who work for what are currently low wages. The real winner of a UBI is people who’d still get roughly half the benefit while in low-paid jobs to supplement their income.

                Much of the incentive against getting into work on the benefit is that abatement formula. If you’re forced to take a shitty job instead of getting kicked off the benefit, you’re often getting paid no different, and you’re in a job you expect won’t be around for long that you hate while you’re trying to find something more permanent. I expect in the long-run, a UBI will actually address unemployment better than Jobseeker Support does. It’s possible that will not make a difference with benefit-bashers, but if they really care about people getting into work they should actually be happy, and they should be happy that it’ll give them better income security, letting them switch jobs more easily, or even take a break between jobs to study something new and change directions.

                • solkta

                  I think bene-bashing is a big thing in this country and not just on the right. You would be basically selling an idea that we should pay people to do nothing, or at least that is how many and maybe most would see it. For a government to implement it at the start of their term it would have to be policy at the election just passed lest they be be toast at the next. I think there is many years of developing the idea needed and perhaps some success in other countries before Green/Labour could win an election on it.

                  • The evidence actually shows it works better than restricting payments in getting people into employment though, so why shouldn’t we do it? And if the government is quick on their feet, they could have two or more years of evidence that the unemployment rate actually went down afterwards.

                    Most people if they’re given the support they need will go on to work. Not all of them, because sometimes there are other issues that come down to more than money, (gang involvement, drug abuse, undiagnosed mental illness can all be contributory to unemployment) but that’s why we’ll still need social workers and conditional benefits even after the UBI replaces Jobseeker Support. It may sound naive to skeptical bene bashers, but humans want to be respected, want to do things, and like extra money. If you can earn more by getting a job, even if you can survive on the UBI, why not try?

                    The idea isn’t to “pay people to do nothing.” Most people want to do something with their lives, it might not work out the way they planned, and they might need help, but most people want to do some sort of work, it’s how we’re wired, and the people who give up are often depressed because they legitimately can’t find work. WINZ’s engagement with the unemployed could then be switched to helping them solve any non-financial issues, to employment coaching for those having legitimate trouble, and basically a more constructive engagement with the community than their current adversarial relationship. At worst, you’re paying some deadbeat to produce bad poetry and get by at a cheap rental eating mince on toast. Besides, you might also get a lot of good poetry in the mix. Or a great New Zealand novel.

                    If they’re getting the UBI and can’t find a job, then they’re more likely to volunteer for charity work or help out their local community, because they’ll be under less time pressure to fulfill WINZ’s crazy requirements. Unpaid work is hugely valuable, and it’s possible a UBI would cause people to re-prioritise their time and make more volunteer hours available.

                    Besides, the workers technically get the UBI too, even if their income tax will sometimes exceed it. The settings I modeled had everyone under the average wage paying less tax, and everyone under about $44k p/a being net UBI recipients, although you could structure things less generously if you wanted to be less aggressive on collecting taxes from sources other than income. It’s perfectly fair to all workers, and it can be paid for largely out of wealth taxes and the direct savings it provides in retiring the programs it’d replace such as Jobseeker Support and NZ Super. My model *assumed* a lot of people would quit their jobs or take less hours, and even that about 50,000 extra people would register for tax to receive the UBI, and it still worked out to make the government an extra $700m compared to the current income tax regime.

                    The media bashed the UBI policies because they made no mentions of cost offsets or savings from the policy, which are natural concerns as the raw cost of a generous UBI could be as much as $70-90 billion. (my model had a gross cost of $72b) If they’re educated about the benefits and the fact that the costs are in fact manageable with reasonable tax offsets, it won’t be so controversial.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  It’s possible that will not make a difference with benefit-bashers, but if they really care about people getting into work they should actually be happy, and they should be happy that it’ll give them better income security, letting them switch jobs more easily, or even take a break between jobs to study something new and change directions.

                  And that is why businesses will absolutely hate it. They’ll have to pay people and treat them well enough for them to come to work.

                  National’s attacks on beneficiaries has nothing to do with how much it costs – it has to do with forcing people into work and thus lower wages.

                  A UBI that actually gives people choice? Yeah, nah, they won’t support that – ever.

                  • Well, that kinda depends. If you’re an employer whose jobs are in high demand, you probably like the prospect of increased portabality between employers, because it will afford you the possibility to poach workers from other people who have been under-utilised. If you’re say, a shitty temping agency, maybe not so much.

                    Of course, on this site I think most people know which of those two types of employer is breathing more heavily down the necks of the National Party, and would love to destroy any UBI as soon as it’s implemented. But it’s not employers who are the majority of beneficiary bashers. It’s middle-class people who don’t know better, but should. The question of whether going full-on wealth taxes and going for a UBI rather than simply funding Super makes sense comes down to whether you think those people are more persuadable by us than by employers. I think they are.

              • Do you mean the coming election?

                • solkta

                  No. UBI is not current policy for either party but just something they are both looking at. When Labour floated the idea a while back they got a bit of a hiding in the media.

                  • Thanks. got a bit scared things were perhaps being rushed. Seems to me english and co are going to have to announce their intentions in perhaps the budget re super,-Andrew and Greens can sit back until after any announcement.

                    • solkta

                      I think you will see a very careful and considered approach by the Greens to UBI. They are not like Labour, they do not change policy as if underpants.

        • greywarshark 12.1.2.3

          Get real Bill English. Why raise super cost, and make people look for jobs that younger people could do. The farce of being forced to go to workshops on how to get a job when you are over 55 is bad enough, but when you are 65!

          And the diminished self-respect you feel if you have to trail round as a rather tired old body looking for some dead end poorly paid job that stops you being able to plan your life! Keep it as it is and require everyone who receives super to do some useful task in the community. Professional people could do pro bono work, there could be reading help, gardening help, cutting back clematis or other weeds, there could be more help with so called wrap around services for disabled people and their carers in the community.

          All would have to find something to do if they were mentally fit. If they were disabled, they would be able to join a group getting transport to their work in their area. Or the able bodied could help out with seasonal work, supervising trainee young people.
          The wealthy would gradually take a 33 per cent drop for doing nothing for the community, and the community services card group would lose 10%.

          Don’t stop older people getting super, get them doing jobs that need doing. Volunteer NZ would be over the moon. People could get one-off help with tasks beyond their capacity. There’s too much of the second childhood with super these days, all centred on self as if money grows on trees. And that’s justified with ‘I’ve paid taxes all my life’. The answer to that is that they were spent on and around you at the time you paid them. Also the fact that super comes out of current tax, and no-one can reliably save enough to fund old age. Funds crash, assets disappear, fraud is carried out by the wealthy looking for a quick return on some deal. Bang go your savings.

          Pay part of the super in NZ vouchers that have to be spent in NZ within a month, and not on food, but on local industry. Be creative, we can afford the administration if we start being more generous with social welfare eligibility and therefore not needing the Scrooges there. Cut it all out and get people registering for volunteer work, and get paid a living wage for that plus a base benefit. Sounds like UBI perhaps?

        • jcuknz 12.1.2.4

          If you asset test super you remove the need to save during the working life.
          although I have read indirect argument against my position above I think any change should be downwards to look after those whose working life is shorter than the average … lets say 50 and ability tested [health-wise] up to 70.*

          I was made redundant at 59 and existed on the dole at $7 a week or fortnight for about a year until Muldoon’s 60 pension took effect.. But was still healthy enough to build a retirement cottage. But also my savings lost out by about 20% because of the reduced work period. So many flies in the ointment.

          I suggest taxation is the way to claw back from those who do not need super but with realistic allowance which doesn’t discourage saving during one’s worklife. By the by with employers contribution I was saving 15% and this had gradually built up over the years from quite a low rate on a low starting salary so I view the Cullen fund deductions as foolishly small. Plus having private funds running it is a complete scam where they earn big salaries while savings suffer,

          *Reasonable in full employment times but today I doubt it. another fly

      • Andrea 12.1.3

        “Public Health is available to all citizens whether they need it or not. ”

        Eventually. If you make it alive to the head of the waiting list. If there’s a specialist in the country. If you can afford to travel to another region.

        And Super is also conditional.

        • solkta 12.1.3.1

          Super is conditional on what?

          • Carolyn_nth 12.1.3.1.1

            Conditional on not getting a state pension from another country, even though the schemes in other countries are not comparable. Amount of state pensions received from other countries (eg UK, Aussie) gets deducted from NZ super entitlement.

            Also conditional on having lived in NZ a certain amount of time.

    • r0b 12.2

      r0b I have never quite understood your support for cutting the eligibility to Super.

      I’m not happy about it, but I find the population maths compelling.

      Increased costs for Super is not a reason to make cuts. If you buy into that argument then you should support National with all their other cuts.

      No, just that (1) some problems are bigger than others and (2) I don’t understand the logic of giving money to rich old people who don’t need it when there poor / young people who need it desperately.

      Lets collect tax to pay for Super rather than cut it.

      Let’s collect tax to fund a UBI, that’s fair. But tax young workers to pay for those old rich who don’t need it?

      • Or we could actually tax wealth, which we don’t currently do. Ignoring the indirect savings you can’t necessarily count on immediately, you’d need somewhere between $20b and $40b to get a really decent UBI rate, assuming you don’t mind flattening and raising income tax a little in return.

        Vic Uni modelled a CGT with about $16.6b in revenue. That’s most of the way there to the low-end figure. You could institute a proper carbon tax to go with that, or a land tax, and you’re probably home. You could also consider financial transaction taxes or estate taxes in the mix, but those two are more about ethical concerns and behaviour change than they would be about serious revenue offsets, and then you could rely on those indirect savings to bump up the rate towards the current rate of NZ Super.

        The advantage of paying for it with a wealth tax is that it essentially means-tests the UBI already, as the wealthy will be the ones paying for most of it.

      • weka 12.2.2

        “I don’t understand the logic of giving money to rich old people who don’t need it when there poor / young people who need it desperately.”

        Shouldn’t you be arguing for an asset/income tested Super then, rather than raising the eligibility age? Given it’s almost impossible for the state to fairly judge the conditions you want to set (illness/disability and manual labour), why are you arguing the age thing rather than wealth assessment?

        And what about the those that don’t have the exemptions you prefer but aren’t rich?

        (and there is the whole ethnicity thing too).

        • NewsFlash 12.2.2.1

          +1

          A quote from a commenter (who I think has been banned), here on TS a few years ago.

          ” The airplane is full of super recipients heading for the south of France for their annual winter holidays”

          Why should the tax payer fund extravagant holidays for wealthy pensioners?

          The commenter also boasted about have a $1M asset that accrued a 6% return for which no tax was required to be paid.

          There are too many pensioners living week to week to have parasites working the system for their advantage, the govts prepared to crack down on dishonest bene’s, they should apply this across the board, as the pension is a welfare benefit, and cost the country more than 10 times of that of any other benefit.

      • Enough is Enough 12.2.3

        If you can find a way of means testing that actually works then I want to hear it.

        Just like the one that applies to student loans where rich kids receive a full allowance because their filthy rich parents have clever accountants and lawyers.

        Means testing does not work as it is too easy for the wealthy to structure their affairs so that they do not have any personal wealth at all.

        As soon as you remove universality of eligibility you create exceptions and rules which bring about loopholes.

        Don’t look at it as young workers paying for rich old people to retire (that is a similar bullshit argument Farrar’s pulls out with student fees – where he argues why should low paid workers be subsidising future lawyers and doctors).

        • weka 12.2.3.1

          “Means testing does not work as it is too easy for the wealthy to structure their affairs so that they do not have any personal wealth at all.”

          Can you give some examples? e.g. if a family has a Trust, it could be a requirement that that is disclosed (this is already a requirement for WINZ I think).

          • Enough is Enough 12.2.3.1.1

            There is a whole industry centred on doing this very thing called Asset Planning. You structure your affairs so that you have no personal assets at all.

            The Weka Family Trust is structured like this:

            Lawyer A and Accountant B are the trustees and legal owners of all the Trust’s assets (the Million dollar home, the million dollar bach, the two Audis, the boat, the diamond rings)

            The Trust is for the benefit of Weka’s two kids. With the trusts assets being transferred to them on Weka’s death. Weka is however permitted use the Trust’s asset’s during Weka’s lifetime.

            Subsequently Weka has no assets. When Weka fills out Weka’s means tested Super application, Weka can legitimately declare zero assets.

  13. mickysavage 13

    My first thought was you fuckers, you have previously sacrificed the possibility of a decent discussion for purely political reasons.

    Similar to National’s treatment of the climate change issue.

    At least now there can be a discussion. And suddenly the parties are reverting to type.

    Labour should go strong with a UBI.

    • solkta 13.1

      First thought? I still can’t get that thought out of my head. National set up Super and have scuttled every attempt since to make it sustainable. Fuckers just does not cover it.

      • dukeofurl 13.1.1

        Its much much worse than even that.

        Kiwisaver they have sabotaged that as well, Cullen Fund, dropped the annual payments.
        Now English has the cheek to come along and hint at the age of payment and or other cutbacks.

        • Sacha 13.1.1.1

          Selfish short horizons are their thing.
          ‘How can I minimise what I pay now regardless of what others will need to pay in future?’

    • Sacha 13.2

      “Labour should go strong with a UBI”

      Yes please.

      • weka 13.2.1

        Someone should. Unfortunately I’ve yet to see a decent UBI proposal* that won’t make some vulnerable people worse off than they are now, due to loss of supplementary benefits.

        *apart from Matthew Whitehead’s, which puts the UBI rate at the Super rate. That still won’t solve the supplementary benefit issue, but it is a vast improvement on the ones setting the rate at the dole rate.

      • Antoine 13.2.2

        >> “Labour should go strong with a UBI”
        > Yes please.

        +1

        Would be another 3 terms for National

        A.

        • jcuknz 13.2.2.1

          Does that matter A. ? National are pretty left wing already and we just need to curb the RW extremists the party contains. I would be more confident of that if Key had not resigned, for all the KDS displayed here. I never liked the guy by the way.

  14. RedBaronCV 14

    If it’s a right wing party proposing this measure then you can bet with certainty on one thing- the rich will get richer & the poor poorer. The rich are just deciding they can’t afford you.

    And just raising the age is a blunt instrument that will still leave trails of issues behind it. The retirement commissioner also needs to stop being a one trick pony.

    So I think it needs to be a wide ranging discussion covering all age groups. There are a lot of questions to look at:

    Do private savings enable any state pension to be whittled away to next to nothing so the working poor become destitute on retirement?
    Younger age groups that cannot afford to own a house are also forced to save for a retirement from meager earnings – how do we cope with that?
    Does user pays retirement further strip assets from the poor – so there is no inheritance for the poorer sections of society and too much for richer sections?
    Do we continue to import labour when older & younger people are being excluded from the workforce despite being willing to work.
    Does the discriminate against those with lower lifetime earnings – working poor & women?
    Do we have a pension bump for the very elderly – say 85 plus ? so any individual planning is to a known horizon.
    What contribution & engagement in our society is needed before we give welfare benefits? Is 10 year’s residency enough?
    Does a lack of pensions increase family size- the classic response to no pensions?

    But at the heart of all these discussions is a need to redistribute wealth in our society much more fairly than at present ( and so that all get the benefits of increasing automation?)

  15. Glenn 15

    Make the superannuation age 75 …as long as those voting on it pass laws that they can’t receive their parliamentary pension until they are 75 as well. This includes all the perks as well..and cut all this free airflight shit for them and their spouses as well.
    Fucking pariahs!

    They will keep first dibs on their sip of the trough while they expect the great unwashed to work longer before they either get super or pass on. And if you are a Maori the chances are you will not make it to super age.

    They tried this in France a number of years ago and after folk rioted and a dozen or so buses were torched the idea was forgotten.
    Alas we are too complacent.
    AUX BARRICADES !!

  16. fisiani 16

    75 it is.Treasury has decreed it.

  17. millsy 17

    The ones who are going to be shafted by this are those who have spent their lives in insecure or low paid work, and have not been in a position to build any sort of asset base, beyond the family home at least, ACC and supported living/invalid benefit claimants in their early 60’s who are hanging out for National Super to kick in so they dont have to justify the right to that income anymore.

    Moving the pension age or reducing the payments is just going to break a lot of people financially and emotionally.

    All you will have is a large number of elderly homeless people, like you see in the US.

  18. david 18

    Saving in the form of “Cullen” fund is from budget surpluses. We need budget surpluses first. Otherwise it is not savings but bets that sharemarket returns will be better than the cost of debt. I don’t want government gambling with borrowed money.

    • Whispering Kate 18.1

      To release more positions in work for the unemployed why don’t they only pay National Super out to people who quit work permanently after the age of 65. This way retirees could get on with voluntary work by the spades and leave vacant positions for the unemployed.

      How many people working past 65 are there in this country – lots I’ll bet- there are some MP’s I can think of, how many sit on Boards or have honorary positions, even sit on boards of DHB’s perhaps. Its great that they are extending their working lives but it isn’t necessary that they draw the National Super while they are at it. Most retirees still working full time will be in jobs that don’t break their backs and they will be bringing in big money – it doesn’t seem right that they can get National Super as well to supplement their overseas holidays or their fortnightly booze bill.

  19. timeforacupoftea 19

    I would promote a 80% income tax on income over $100,000 per annum.
    Leave age 65 to collect National Super.

    Many people were paying 60% income tax on a fairly low wage in the 1960’s 1970’s

  20. jcuknz 20

    I remember my guardian telling me that he paid 19/6 in the pound on the top of his income at the end of WWII. At the time there was no Health Service and he was paying for his wife’s treatment as she died of cancer, and nursing her too..
    In calculating tax do not forget that not all income is taxed at those high rate, only the top %. Also if you pay 80% income tax that is another 15% GST added on stuff you buy [ 95% ] unless you are a business person and can fiddle expenses.

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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    1 week ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    1 week ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    1 week ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago