web analytics

Exclusive: New evidence shows Lee lied about NZ on Air funding

Written By: - Date published: 2:27 pm, December 6th, 2009 - 53 comments
Categories: melissa lee - Tags:

Newly uncovered correspondence between Melissa Lee and NZ on Air shows that she and her leader, John Key, seriously misled the media, the house and the public over the issue of her company’s misappropriation of $80,000 of NZ on Air funds.

Documents obtained by The Standard show Lee’s claim to media that she had no idea about the matter until 12th of October was false. (“Ms Lee said she was informed of the problem when a business partner forwarded her a letter last night”*, “NZ on Air sent a letter to my business partner which I have just received now”*) Lee was actually notified five months earlier on the 18th of May. Here’s the note from the NZ on Air file:

Spoke to Melissa Lee 16:45 18/5. She thought the amount coded to contingency was for overexpenditure in other codes. She will check with the previous production manager who has left the company.

The documents also confirm Lee’s first written reply on the issue was on the 22nd of June:

I just want to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated June 12th. It was received by the Asia Downunder office on Friday and it was delivered to me today

And that she had acknowledged there was money to pay back on the 17th August (although this letter, supposedly sent the day before Broadcasting Minister Johnathan Coleman found out about the issue, wasn’t received by NZ on Air until August 24th):

I would like your guidance and advice on what [sic] and how we sort this error out.

After TV3 broke the story John Key’s response was to attack NZ on Air, telling Parliament:

Maybe that reflects badly on NZ On Air, which thinks that the way that it should respond to these things is by leaking them to the Labour Party, without having the courtesy of sending the letter in the first place to Melissa Lee.

But we now know that NZ on Air had notified Lee more than five months earlier. The information John Key provided to the House, whether intentional or not, is false.

Within hours of the TV3 airing, Lee’s company announced that they would pay the money back with Lee issuing a statement claiming it was “a technical accounting mistake” and that “This has come as a total surprise, the company wasn’t aware that the money set aside in the contingency was technically expected to be refunded.” The implication was that the “surprise” issue had only just come to her attention and she had moved quickly to fix it. We now know this is untrue. We also have no record of the money being refunded.


  • 12 May – Report on Lee’s company shows issues under investigation
  • 18 May – First telephone conversation between NZ on Air and Melissa Lee on the issue
  • 12 June – Lee contacted by NZ on Air and asked to explain
  • 13 June – Mt Albert by-election
  • 22 June – Lee replies via email to NZ on Air letter, promises action
  • 14 July – NZ on Air contact Lee asking her to report progress
  • 16 July – Lee replies she hasn’t had a chance to follow up
  • 12 August – NZ on Air make determination to tell Minister of Broadcasting Jonathan Coleman
  • 17 August – Lee finally gets back to TVNZ, says she can provide no further information about the misappropriated fund (received by NZ on Air, 24 August)
  • 18 August – Jonathan Coleman says he’s told of the problem by NZ on Air
  • 7 October – NZ on Air board agree Lee should pay back $80,000 of public money
  • 12 October – Asia Downunder sent letter demanding payment
  • 12 October – Letter demanding payment leaked and broadcast by TV3 News
  • 12 October – Lee says this is the first day she hears of the matter five months after she first talked to NZ on Air about it
  • 12 October 8:55pm – TV3 reports Lee will pay back the money
  • 13 October – Key repeats Lee’s story in House and attacks NZ on Air

This new information raises some serious questions. It’s clear from the documents that Lee lied to the media about her knowledge of the situation and it’s highly likely that, having known about the misappropriation of public funds for some time, she was only willing to pay the (taxpayers’) money back after it became a media story.

Further, John Key lied to Parliament the following day. I would have expected that before he took this up in the House he would have been briefed by Lee and told about how far back her knowledge of the issue went. The public deserve answers:

– What did Melissa Lee tell John Key about when she first knew of NZ on Air’s allegations?

– Did John Key make it up when he said NZ on Air had leaked the letter to Labour before telling Melissa Lee?

– Did Melissa Lee backdate her letter of 17 Aug, which wasn’t received by NZ on Air until August 24th? Jonathan Coleman says he was told of the problem by the chair of NZ on Air on August 18th.

– Why did Lee wait until the TV3 broadcast to pay back the money, when she indicated to NZ on Air several months earlier that she wanted to sort it out?

– Who was involved in the cover-up to keep the issue secret from the people of Mt Albert before the 13th June by-election?

– Lee, Key and Coleman each need to spell out in detail what they knew when.

– Will John Key apologise to Parliament for presenting misinformation on the matter during question time?

53 comments on “Exclusive: New evidence shows Lee lied about NZ on Air funding ”

  1. Gooner 1

    Gunning for Lee is like Brazil gunning for the All Whites at the World Cup.


    • Tigger 1.1

      Because she’s an MP and we should all just accept their behaviour? Because she’s bulletproof and Key won’t dump her no matter how much dirt sticks to her? Because she’s a lady? Because she’s a nice person?

  2. prism 2

    Just shows. Not all the dodgy people live in South Auckland.

  3. Santi 3

    No need to worry. The lazy Prime Minister will do nothing about this transgression.
    He’s too busy flying around the world and smiling like there is no tomorrow.

    A pathetic man leading a pathetic National government.

  4. Tim Ellis 4

    On a desperation scale this post scores pretty highly Eddie.

    • IrishBill 4.1

      That’s Mr Eddie to you, Tim. And you’re right, Lee’s actions certainly were desperate.

    • Eddie 4.2

      I’m less than taken back by your response, Tim. Have you got anything to say about the substance? The fact that Lee lied, the fact that Key at least repeated her lie, Coleman’s coverup?

    • andy 4.3

      Tim, I am glad your relaxed ™ about misleading the house and the people of New Zealand.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.4

      Evidence of outright corruption by ministers of the present government and you call it desperation on the part of the people bringing it to the public’s notice?

  5. Tim Ellis 6

    IB either I am on a losing battle for referring to people by their last name (which is my habit since childhood) or for referrring them by their first name when no last name is provided. A bit petty if you ask me.

    Documents obtained by The Standard show Lee’s claim to media that she had no idea about the matter until 12th of October was false. Lee was actually notified five months earlier on the 18th of May. Here’s the note from the NZ on Air file:

    There was no claim to the media that Ms Lee knew nothing about the matter until 12th October. It is clear from the correspondence that from the initial inquiry an amount was in dispute. There is no evidence that Ms Lee knew how much was in dispute until 12 October.

    Another beat up from somebody who seems obsessed with Ms Lee.

    • Eddie 6.1

      Tim. The old distraction tactics are looking pretty desperate.

      There’s no obsession with Lee. We last posted on her in October when this issue was last in the news.

      “There was no claim to the media that Ms Lee knew nothing about the matter until 12th October”

      Yes there was. I have two quotes: http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/national/mnr/2009/10/13/asia_downunder_moves_to_correct_accounting_error and http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/pm-stands-lee-over-funding-row-113108

      Still comfortable with Lee lying along with Coleman and Key?

      • Tim Ellis 6.1.1

        No evidence of lying in any of those quotes Eddie. What there is evidence of is a long series of inquiries into AV by NZOA on some pretty technical accounting issues that were in dispute by the two parties. If you’ve ever been through a financial audit you will know this is pretty common, and mistakes of interpretation happen all the time.

        There is no evidence that Ms Lee knew how much was in dispute at the time of the 18 May discussion, or the extent of the problem.

        So yes, pretty desperate on your part. As for whether you are obsessed with Ms Lee your cat calling at the time of the by election shows otherwise.

        • Eddie

          “cat calling” what an odd term to use.

          do you mean that we had posts on lee’s frequent pratfalls and her inability to control her temper? Because, you know, they were pretty major news. Maybe Guyon and Duncan were cat calling too?

          gee, Tim. you’re really not doing well today.

        • Chris C

          “If you’ve ever been through a financial audit you will know this is pretty common, and mistakes of interpretation happen all the time.”

          No they don’t. There are no “mistakes of interpretation”, because an audit sets the terms of interpreting the accounts. That’s what an audit is for – to define the terms by which financial peformances and accounting methods will be judged. There is no interpretation except what the auditors interpret it as. That’s why we have GAAP and IFRS.

          If someone uses the term “mistakes of interpretation”, then an auditor’s ears will prick up. Interpretation isn’t a word often used in an audit.

  6. Irascible 7

    I’d argue that this demonstrates yet another example of arrogance allowing the NACT MPs to believe that their inbuilt natural tendency to exploit the taxpayer (also called corruption) is an acceptable practice in public life.

  7. Eddie 8

    Tim: “No evidence of lying in any of those quotes Eddie”


    “Ms Lee said she was informed of the problem when a business partner forwarded her a letter last night.”

    • Tim Ellis 8.1

      Eddie please point out where in the correspondence it says that NZOA had investigated and found that there was an accounting error relating to $80,000 of incorrectly attributed expenditure, and where it was acknowledged in the earlier correspondence that Ms Lee knew of this.

  8. Eddie 9

    all in the post, of course but here, again, is the correspondence on misuse of the contingency fund, which Lee later said she only learned of on 12 October. 18th May, to Lee: http://www.thestandard.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/File-note.jpg . 22 June, from Lee: http://www.thestandard.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/First-Lee-email.jpg

    • Tim Ellis 9.1

      The correspondence shows nothing of the kind Eddie.

      The call on 18 May shows a “please explain how you decided on this” conversation, the same kind that accountants have with their clients when reviewing financial information all the time. There is no evidence that NZOA reached a judgement on the matter until much later and no evidence that Ms Lee knew about the judgement until 12 October.

      Please show where in any of the correspondence prior to 7 October it shows that NZOA had reached a decision on what to be refunded Eddie. You will have to do better than posting links with vague assumptions of your own.

      • IrishBill 9.1.1

        I don’t think it’s a vague assumption at all. Lee clearly says tells the media she was not aware of the problem until the 12th of October but she had actually been in correspondence with NZ on Air about the problem since May.

        • Tim Ellis

          Yes you might come to that conclusion IB if you started with the assumption that Ms Lee was dishonest and set out to misappropriate money, which was Eddie’s contention going right back to his original claim that Ms Lee misappropriated NZOA money to spend on political advertising (which NZOA investigated and found there was no substance to the claim).

          But as with all auditing or reviews of company or organisational accounting, the first thing to happen will be NZOA asks for a set of accounts, then questions the directors on the assumptions they used in preparing the accounts, and then reaches a conclusion on the validity of those assumptions.

          The file note of 18 May shows that NZOA was inquring into the assumptions made by AV in preparing the accounts. To describe such questining as an allegation of impropriety shows that Eddie is either being dishonest or ignorant about how auditing works.

          The assumptions that Ms Lee’s company made with regard to the transfer to the continegency line survived both standard audit and presumably ongoing annual review of accounts by NZOA going back several years. NZOA reached a view on 7 October that the interpretation that AV had been applying with respect to the contingency line item was incorrect.

          There is no evidence at all that Ms Lee knew what the outcome of NZOA’s queries were, how much was in dispute, or even whether the decision of NZOA’s board would be that AV’s intepretation of the use of the contingency fund was incorrect, until after the Board reached its determination on 7 October.

          Eddie further says:

          And that she had acknowledged there was money to pay back on the 17th August

          Ms Lee’s letter of 17 August makes no such acknowledgement. It makes an offer to change AV’s budgeting process so that the use of the contingency line item is not used in future, and asks NZOA for guidance on the next stage.

          There is no evidence in any of the correspondence that Ms Lee was aware that NZOA would determine that AV’s budgeting process was incorrect, that money would need to be repaid, or how much money was involved until after the 7 October board decision.

          Nowhere in the media did Ms Lee deny having any conversations with NZOA, as Eddie has claimed. Clearly she was in discussions, but she did not know the outcome of those discussions until NZOA reached its determination.

          • Eddie

            she claimed not to be aware of the issue. the papers prove otherwise.

          • andy

            Tim, when an external auditor has a ‘please explain’ question, alarm bells should ring. Especially when you are receiving public funds, one should be aware that there is a certain sensitivity surrounding it (twilight golf anyone?).

            Lee and Co should have been on amber alert, this is not your accountant asking why you accidentally coded an expense as non taxable instead of taxable. This is a ‘this looks dodgy, you better have a good explanation, cause if you don’t…..’ type of question.

            Good try, external auditors are very very serious and can have a huge impact on future funding, but you should know that.

          • Rex Widerstrom

            Good grief. A small part of what I do involves making TV with a production company in which I have an interest.

            A very small part of that involves public money. If the public funder said “we’re going to audit you” (as opposed to the usual process of simply requiring you to account for your expenditure, which is an entirely different matter) I’d s**t my pants.

            In my experience (and I should state I’ve had no dealings with NZOA so this may not apply to them) public funders tend to be quite relaxed in their dealings with production companies with whom they’ve had a pre-existing relationship.

            So relaxed, in fact, it annoys me because they tend to shut out newcomers and fund existing providers to produce what often turns out to be second rate material.

            So for one to trot out the possibility of an audit could not fail to cause alarm at a production company.

            To spin this as her thinking they needed to recode their contingency funds or somesuch minor accounting issue is disingenuous.

            If alarm bells didn’t go off in May, or maybe early June at the very latest then Lee and her comrades are so breathtakingly dim that they should never have been deemed suitable to receive the money in the first place.

  9. Eddie 10

    “Please show where in any of the correspondence prior to 7 October it shows that NZOA had reached a decision on what to be refunded Eddie.”

    Not relevant. Lee clearly claimed not to know of the issue,it’s not a matter of whether the decision had been made, it’s whether she knew there was a problem.

    “Ms Lee said she was informed of the problem when a business partner forwarded her a letter last night”,

    “NZ on Air sent a letter to my business partner which I have just received now’

  10. Eric C. 11

    Excellent work Eddie.

    If you need further evidence that Lee was telling porkies read this from http://www.parliament.govt.nz :

    Question for Written Answer

    “15491 (2009). Hon Pete Hodgson to the Prime Minister (19 Oct 2009): Was it a member of his staff who informed him that NZ on Air had leaked information about their investigations into Melissa Lee’s company; if not, who did inform him that New Zealand on Air was the source of the leak?

    Hon John Key (Prime Minister) replied: Melissa Lee.”

    Key was rubbished by the media for his claim that NZ on Air leaked the letter and here he himself tells us he got that advice from Melissa Lee.

    Key bought her story lock, stock and barrel and repeated it in parliament. How stupid is that?

  11. Anne 12

    Any chance of banning T Ellis permanently? I look forward to intelligent and enlightened debate on this site and I’m sick of that troll’s attempts to hijack the posts. I’m not the only person who is being turned off from reading the comments because of that ignorant prat.

    • Tim Ellis 12.1

      I’m sorry if you’re offended Anne, but I didn’t realise that directly discussing the claims made in a post constitute “hijacking” it.

    • gitmo 12.2

      “I look forward to intelligent and enlightened debate on this site ”

      Really ? I thought most people came here for partisan hackery or a bit a verbal bif.

      • mickysavage 12.2.1

        I think that Tim does us a service. We get to know the National attack and defend lines even before they are trotted out in the MSM. Keep it up Tim, good work.

  12. dave 13

    unfortunately, this doesn’t actually meet the “so what” test. Therefore no serious questions are raised.

    • Eric C. 13.1

      An MP misleading her leader and her leader being stupid enough to repeat that misleading advice shows a lack of judgement in both MP and leader.

      I guess you can say, “So what,” but some expect more from their leaders.

      • IrishBill 13.1.1

        To be fair it’s only public funds and lying to the house, it’s not like she was driven through Temuka really fast or signed a painting for charity. Now that would be a big deal.

      • andy 13.1.2

        It meets the “Worth” test for sacking. What ever that was 🙂

  13. Eddie 14

    yeah, an MP, a minister, and a prime minister misleading the public over an investigation into the misuse of public funds. So what?

    • Rex Widerstrom 14.1

      FWIW I can see parallels between this and situation Winston was in in 1996 with Michael Laws and his company’s receipt of public money for “polling” in Hawkes Bay.

      The leader cannot know for sure what happened* and is thus forced to rely on the MP’s version of events. You have no choice but to figure the MP wouldn’t be reckless enough to take you (and possibly the party) down with them by compounding whatever misdemeanour they’d committed by lying.

      So you grit your teeth and stand up in Parliament, blinking the sweat out of your eyes and trying to keep your sphincter clenched, and repeat the story you’ve been told, all the while suspecting that the little toad is just using you as a human shield.

      One could argue that Leader ought to have gone with his instinct and jettisoned the rat before it gnawed a hole in the side of the ship, but then you’d be accused of dictatorial behaviour and disloyalty.

      The sad fact is, you should never have hand picked that particular rodent. But by then it’s too late.

      * Though of course Winston pretty much did know, since I went to Hawkes Bay and investigated the incident, then reported to him.

      But alas a complete numpty from ACT to whom I’d spoken decided it was better to big note himself to the media than to let matters run their course, and Winston felt he had to stand by his newly minted MP, hoping it was he and not I who was telling the truth.

      Thus the haemorrhaging continued for months, until a “principled” resignation was finally extracted.

      Perhaps we’re in for a few months of Lee haemorrhaging till she too resigns. Well done The Standard for this admirable bit of investigative journalism, BTW.

  14. Anne 15

    Offended by you Timmy boy? That’s a joke. If you had a sense of humour you would be tolerable. Why don’t you go get your kicks elsewhere… somewhere far, far away. I’m sure there are people at this site who would be delighted to assist you find another outlet for your energies.


  15. Steve 16

    What is a Kangaroo Court? Seems to be a lot of insulting by todays Standard Judges?
    Oh sorry, I asked two questions, please do not get confused

  16. Doug 17

    On Red Alert
    Idiot/Savant says:

    December 6, 2009 at 9:55 pm
    or whether he has the backbone to sack her.

    Sack her from what? She’s not in Cabinet, she’s just an MP. And the Prime Minister doesn’t get to sack them.

    Poor old Trevor Malard.

    • Zorr 17.1

      She is a List MP. She wasn’t personally elected to the position she currently holds and has been sworn in to Parliament as selected by National as a result of voting, not by the voting of an electorate for her. So she can actually be sacked and replaced without subverting the democratic process.

    • lprent 17.2

      Does raise an interesting question about list MPs.

      I’ll take a bet that National has some clauses about behaviour. If they dump her from the party, then I think that there is waka jumping legislation? After all she is an MP because of the national list. The Nats would be out one MP.

      The National story is that she claimed something to the PM that is contradicted by the facts. That has got to be bad behavior.

      • Tim Ellis 17.2.1

        The National story is that she claimed something to the PM that is contradicted by the facts. That has got to be bad behavior.

        Where did you get this LP?

  17. Personally, I’m finding Tim Ellis’s rationalisations hugely entertaining.

  18. Tigger 19

    Personally it’s a lot like watching a small dog doing tricks – amusing after a while but ultimately you just want it to stop yapping.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Progress in establishment of Aged Care Commissioner
    Recruitment for an Aged Care Commissioner will start next month, to ensure greater oversight of New Zealand’s aged care sector. “This sector is responsible for supporting a large and often vulnerable population. While most people are able to access quality care, there have been cases where that care has fallen ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • New record number of homes consented
    In the year ended June 2021, the actual number of new dwellings consented was 44,299, up 18 percent from the June 2020 year. In June 2021, the seasonally adjusted number of new dwellings consented rose 3.8 percent. In June 2021, 4,310 new dwellings were consented, an increase of 3.8 per ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Communities backed to tackle wilding pines
    Twelve community projects across New Zealand will receive a share of $2 million to carry out wilding pine control, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor announced as part of Biosecurity Week. “Wilding pines are a serious problem that threaten many of the unique landscapes that New Zealanders value. Community groups and trusts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Health Minister Andrew Little responding to the New Zealand Nurses Organisation's rejection of ...
    I was advised last night that the result of the ballot of Tōpūtanga Tapuhi Kaitiaki o Aotearoa New Zealand Nurses Organisation members have rejected the latest proposal to settle their collective agreement. Let me be clear: the proposal was one they put to the Government. The Nurses Organisation rejected their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation introduced to Parliament
    Legislation has been introduced to Parliament to protect against practices intended to change or suppress someone’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. Introducing the Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation Bill, Minister of Justice, Kris Faafoi, said the measures proposed were aimed at ending conversion practices which don’t work, are widely ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New school site for booming West Auckland
    The Government will build on a new school site in West Auckland to cope with rapid population growth in the area, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says. The Ministry is working with existing local schools to determine how the 1.5-hectare site at 279 Hobsonville Point Road will be used to support ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Trans-Tasman travel window to close at midnight tomorrow
    A further 500 MIQ rooms released for managed returnees from NSW Further Government actions announced today are balanced to provide more certainty for Kiwis wanting to return from Australia, while continuing to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, acting Minister for COVID-19 Response Ayesha Verrall says. The actions were foreshadowed last ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt investing millions in Hawke's Bay and Tairāwhiti schools
    Napier Boys’ and Girls’ High Schools are among those set to benefit from a $16.5 million investment in the Hawke's Bay and Tairāwhiti region, Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash announced today. The Government has set aside money in Budget 2021 to accelerate five projects in Napier, Hastings, Havelock North ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Game changing Jobs for Nature investment for Northland
    Conservation Minister Kiri Allan has announced Jobs for Nature funding for a portfolio of projects that will create ‘game changing’ gains for nature and communities across Northland/Te Tai Tokerau as part of the Government’s acceleration of the economic recovery from COVID. “This portfolio of 12 projects will see over $20 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Third COVID-19 vaccine receives provisional approval
    New Zealand’s regulatory authority Medsafe has granted provisional approval of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for individuals 18 years of age and older, Acting Minister for COVID-19 Response Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. New Zealand secured 7.6 million doses (enough for 3.8 million people) of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine through an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Bowel-cancer screening programme is saving lives
    More than 1000 New Zealanders have had bowel cancer – New Zealand’s second-most-common cause of death from cancer - detected under the Government’s National Bowel Screening Programme, Health Minister Andrew Little said today. More than 1200 New Zealanders died from bowel cancer in 2017. The screening programme aims to save ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt welcomes draft report on the retail grocery sector
    The Commerce Commission’s draft report into the retail grocery sector is being welcomed by Government as a major milestone. “I asked the Commerce Commission to look at whether this sector is as competitive as it could be and today it has released its draft report for consultation,” Commerce and Consumer ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Christchurch’s Youth Hub ‘set to go’ thanks to further Government funding
    Construction of New Zealand’s first, purpose-built centre for youth well-being is ready to get underway thanks to an extra $2.5 million of COVID-19 response funding, Housing Minister and Associate Minister of Finance, Megan Woods announced today.  “The Christchurch Youth Hub is about bringing together all the things young people need ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Next step to protect Milford Sound Piopiotahi
    Expert group lays out plan to better protect iconic UNESCO World Heritage site Milford Sound Piopiotahi and its surrounds Funding confirmed for dedicated unit and Establishment Board to assess the recommendations and provide oversight of the process from here Milford Opportunities Project a test case for transformational change in tourism ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Funding for projects to reduce waste from construction and demolition
    The Government has announced funding for projects in Auckland and the lower North Island to help reduce construction and demolition waste. “Construction is the main source of waste sent to landfill, and much of this could be reduced, reused and recovered,” Environment Minister David Parker said. “The Government is funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech at the launch of the National Hepatitis C Action Plan
    Tēnā koutou katoa. Thank you Anglesea Pharmacy and Te Manawa Taki for hosting this event. As a doctor, I saw first hand the impact of hepatitis C. I met Moana in 2019; she came to the infectious diseases outpatient clinic at Wellington Hospital having tested positive for hepatitis C. Like ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Plan to eliminate hepatitis C as a major health threat by 2030
    A plan to eliminate hepatitis C in New Zealand, reducing liver cancer and the need for liver transplants, has been released today by Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall. “Around 45,000 New Zealanders have hepatitis C, but only around half know they have it,” said Ayesha Verrall. “Symptoms often ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • School upgrades and new classrooms for West Coast, Tasman and Canterbury
    A funding injection from Budget 2021 to complete four shovel ready projects and new classrooms at six schools and kura will provide a real boost to local communities, Minister Dr Megan Woods announced today. “This Government has committed to providing quality fit for purpose learning environments and 100,000 new student ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Warmer Kiwi Homes smashes annual target
    The Government's highly successful insulation and heating programme, Warmer Kiwi Homes, is celebrating a key milestone with the completion of more than 38,000 insulation and efficient heater installs in the year to the end of June, smashing its target of 25,000 installs for the year. “The Warmer Kiwi Homes scheme ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Exemption granted for Wallabies to enter NZ
    Bledisloe Cup rugby will be played in New Zealand after the Australian rugby team received an economic exemption to enter New Zealand. Travel between Australia and New Zealand was suspended on Friday for at least eight weeks following the worsening of the COVID outbreak across the Tasman. New Zealanders have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs makes three diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced three New Zealand Head of Mission appointments. They are: Mike Walsh as Ambassador to Iran Michael Upton as Ambassador to Ethiopia and the African Union Kevin Burnett as Ambassador to Indonesia Iran “Aotearoa New Zealand has a long-standing and constructive relationship with Iran, despite a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Enhanced Task Force Green Approved for West Coast and Marlborough
    The Government has activated Enhanced Task Force Green (ETFG) in response to the West Coast and Marlborough floods, Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “To assist with the clean-up, up to $500,000 will be made available to support the recovery in Buller and Marlborough which has experienced ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt support for upgrade of Eden Park players facilities
    Minister for Sport and Recreation Hon Grant Robertson has announced funding to upgrade the players facilities at Eden Park ahead of upcoming Women’s World Cup events. Eden Park is a confirmed venue for the Rugby World Cup 2021, the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022, and a proposed venue for matches of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • More jobs and quicker public transport motoring towards West Auckland
    Work to improve public transport for West Aucklanders and support the region’s economic recovery by creating hundreds of jobs has officially kicked off, Transport Minister Michael Wood announced today. Michael Wood and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff this morning marked the start of construction on the Northwestern Bus Improvements project. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government backs critical health research
    Research into some of New Zealanders’ biggest health concerns including cancer, diabetes, and heart disease is getting crucial support in the latest round of health research funding, Health Minister Andrew Little announced today. The funding, awarded through the Health Research Council of New Zealand, covers 31 General Project grants ($36.64 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Bay of Islands hospital facilities to bring services closer to home
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Andrew Little have joined a ceremony to bless the site and workers for Phase Two of the redevelopment of the Bay of Islands Hospital in Kawakawa today. The new building will house outpatients and primary care facilities, as well as expanded renal care ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Raukokore re-imagined with ‘smart’ relocatable rent to own housing
    Iwi, Crown Partnership Relocatable, fully insulated housing, connected to a new solar plant Provides a pathway to home ownership New housing in the remote eastern Bay of Plenty community of Raukokore shows how iwi and Crown agencies can work together effectively to provide warm, dry, energy efficient homes in a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Cabinet accepts Turkish authorities’ request for the managed return of three NZ citizens
    Cabinet has agreed to the managed return of a New Zealand citizen and her two young children from Turkey, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. The three have been in immigration detention in Turkey since crossing the border from Syria earlier this year. Turkey has requested that New Zealand repatriate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt delivers more classrooms so children can focus on learning
    Extra Government investment in classrooms and school building projects will enable students and teachers to focus on education rather than overcrowding as school rolls grow across the country, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis say. The pair visited Ruakākā School in Whangārei today to announce $100 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New station a platform for AirportLink to take off
    Every Aucklander with access to the rail network will now have a quick and convenient trip to the airport, Transport Minister Michael Wood and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said during the official opening of the new Puhinui Interchange today. The new interchange links the rail platform with a new bus ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 10 days sick leave for employees delivered
    Legislation doubling employees’ minimum sick leave entitlement to 10 days comes into effect today, bringing benefits to both businesses and employees, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood announced today. “Our Government is delivering on a key manifesto commitment to help Kiwis and workplaces stay healthy,” Michael Wood said. “COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister congratulates Fiame Naomi Mata’afa on Election Win
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern tonight congratulated Prime Minister-elect Fiame Naomi Mata’afa on her victory in the Samoa’s general election. “New Zealand has a special relationship with Samoa, anchored in the Treaty of Friendship. We look forward to working with Samoa’s new government in the spirit of partnership that characterises this ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Quarantine Free Travel with Australia suspended
    Quarantine Free Travel from all Australian states and territories to New Zealand is being suspended as the Covid situation there worsens, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. From 11.59pm today Australians will no longer be able to enter New Zealand quarantine-free. This will be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Growing conservation efforts in Gisborne
    A big injection of Jobs for Nature funding will create much-needed jobs and financial security for families in TeTairāwhiti, and has exciting prospects for conservation in the region, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “The projects target local communities most affected by the economic consequences of COVID 19 and are designed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Flood recovery given further assistance
    The Government is contributing a further $1 million to help the flood battered Buller community, Acting Emergency Management Minister Kris Faafoi announced today. “Buller is a small community which has found itself suddenly facing significant and ongoing welfare costs. While many emergency welfare costs are reimbursed by Government, this money ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Funding for five projects to reduce food waste
    The Government is funding five projects to help address the growing problem of food waste, Environment Minister David Parker announced today. “New Zealand households throw away nearly 300,000 tonnes of food every year, half of which could still be eaten. By supporting these initiatives, we’re taking steps to reduce this ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Temporary Accommodation Service activated for West Coast flooding event
    The Temporary Accommodation Service (TAS) has been activated today - meaning residents on the West Coast of the South Island and in the Marlborough region hit by flooding over the weekend can now access help finding temporary accommodation, announced Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Poto Williams in Westport today. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pause to Quarantine Free Travel from South Australia to New Zealand
    Quarantine Free Travel from South Australia to New Zealand will be paused from 11.59am (NZT) tonight, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins has announced. However, people currently in the state who ordinarily live in New Zealand will be able to return on “managed return” flights starting with the next available flight, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand condemns malicious cyber activity by Chinese state-sponsored actors
    New Zealand has established links between Chinese state-sponsored actors known as Advanced Persistent Threat 40 (APT40) and malicious cyber activity in New Zealand. “The GCSB has worked through a robust technical attribution process in relation to this activity. New Zealand is today joining other countries in strongly condemning this malicious ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Remarks to Diplomatic Corps
    It is a pleasure to be with you all this evening. Some of you may have been surprised when you received an invitation from the Minister of Disarmament and Arms Control, and I would forgive you if you were. New Zealand is unique in having established a Ministerial portfolio ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago