web analytics

Fallow latest to slay privatisation arguments

Written By: - Date published: 8:02 am, February 11th, 2011 - 44 comments
Categories: privatisation - Tags:

Well, I think Brian Fallow has put the nails in the coffin of the Nats’ privatisation arguments. His column goes through each of the excuses that National has come up with for selling the family silver and none of them stack up.

“Reducing borrowing the easy, soft, cosmetic way by selling assets and shrinking both sides of the Crown’s balance sheet will make little or no difference to its net worth or its operating deficit.

As long as we get a fair price we will be no worse off’ isn’t much of an argument for selling anything.”

Especially in the current economic environment, when we are unlikely to get a good price.

“It would reduce the Crown’s future interest bill (all else being equal) but reduce its future revenue at the same time. The net effect might be positive, or negative, but either way it is unlikely to be material in the context of a $70 billion budget.”

It would almost certainly be negative. Our power companies make returns in excess of the cost of government borrowing and any private buyer would need them to make higher returns than that too – only sovereign governments get to borrow cheaply, everyone else has to make a higher return on capital.

“Treasury advice recently released takes it as a given that in the case of enterprises operating in competitive markets (as those proposed for sale are) their efficiency and performance are likely to be lower under Crown than private ownership.

“The commercial disciplines that come from investors risking their own money are difficult to replicate in the public sector.”

Is that thought-out advice or just brain-dead recitation of a quasi-religious belief?

But it is a fair bet that most of the shares in semi-privatised SOEs would end up being held by institutions like fund managers, iwi, the Cullen Fund, and overseas investors likewise entrusted with other people’s money.

They can hardly be said to be “risking their own money”.

Indeed. In fact, the ultimate risk would still lie with the taxpayer, who would have to bail out the companies after they asset strip them itno the ground.

“The SOE model requires their boards to run the enterprises as if they were privately owned. Where is the evidence in the case of the energy SOEs that the boards have failed in that statutory duty?”

Nowhere. You have to realise that asset sales is rooted in ideology, not logic. That’s why the excuses that are presented for privatisation don’t stand up to any critique. In fact, Bill English is going around simultaneously saying that the SOEs current returns are too high and that privatisation will make them higher. Even Treasury admits:

“there is little evidence to suggest privatisation would significantly improve the financial performance of many of the SOE companies”.

But don’t these SOEs need capital to grow? Capital they can’t get from the Crown (and which they wouldn’t get from a partial sale, since the proceeds go to the Crown)? No. Again, Treasury:

“This investment is funded from the SOEs’ own balance sheets, whilst maintaining dividends, indicating that Crown ownership is not starving these enterprises of capital.”

Finally, Fallow addresses this argument that asset sales would be good for the stockmarket, which would supposedly then make it cheaper for companies to borrow. He just has to quote Treasury:

“We think the gains would be modest,”

And that’s from privatisation-mad Treasury!

There’s one final thing Fallow doesn’t address. That is National’s argument that the Cullen Fund or ACC could buy up listed SOEs.

Remember, the SOEs are government-owned and so are the Cullen Fund and ACC. So, National is saying ‘lets get parts of the government to sell its holdings in private assets to buy different parts of the government and the cash will go to the government, which will then spend it to fund tax cuts’.

Get me of this money-go-round, I feel sick.

44 comments on “Fallow latest to slay privatisation arguments”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    We step off this money go-round on Nov 26. LAB and Greens need to work together to present some real Left leaning policies to present to the country. LAB why so quiet on the TPP?

    • Salsy 1.1

      Exactly, no mention on their FB page, no mention on Red Alert and round two of the talks in Chile on 14 Feb. This is just the kind of deal that infuriates NZ’ers – coupled with asset sales. Nats underestimate NZers sense of patriotism and their fear and repulsion of US multinationals…

    • Nick C 1.2

      Doesn’t surprise me at all that Labour don’t have much to say on TPP, they probably have exactly the same position as National. Support for free trade has pretty much been bi-partisan in New Zealand since the 4th Labour government.

    • I have been advocating a Green /Labour coalition election arrangement for some time .Labour and Greens must show a united front. No more public statements mainly from Norman critizing Labour . We don’t agree with each other on everything but we are on the same side .The enemy is ACT/Nats . they always will be . We should have been able to include the Maori Party but they are the Brown Round-Table and are firmly in the Nats clutches . Turia and Sharples have double-crossed Maori ,Im glad to see the back of them.

      • Colonial Viper 1.3.1

        Norman and Turei have long figured that they should try and skim some votes off Labour.

      • Nick C 1.3.2

        Oh come on when it comes to Labour on the Greens, actions speak louder than words. For 9 years in government Labour consistently prefered pretty much anyone to them. Why should the Greens buddy up with Labour now when they are being led by a bastion of Rogernomics in the 1980’s?

        • orange whip? 1.3.2.1

          Sorry Nick it’s slipped my mind. When exactly did Labour have the option of governing with the Greens?

          • Nick C 1.3.2.1.1

            After 2002 election: Labour+Progressive was 54 seats. They could have C&S with Greens (who had 9 seats) to get a majority but instead they went with United Future (who had 7).

            After 2005 election: Labour gave United Future, NZ First and Progressives C&S and Ministries outside cabinet. Greens got C&S with fewer concessions and no ministers: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Zealand_general_election,_2005

            • orange whip? 1.3.2.1.1.1

              2005 my arse. Labour 50, Greens 6. Needed to govern, 61. Not possible Nick.

              2002, yes you have a point there. Lab 52, Greens 9 could’ve made it.

              So to be accurate your comment should read “For 3 years in government Labour consistently prefered pretty much anyone to them”.

              • Nick C

                Yes but they could have gone with the Greens and UF or Greens and NZF in 2005. Maybe made Jennette Fitzimmons Minister of Conservation instead of making Winston Minister of Foriegn Affairs.

                • Pascal's bookie

                  As far as I recall both UF and NZF said that ‘no greens’ was a condition of their support.

                • orange whip?

                  Force NZF and UF into a coalition against their will?

                  I don’t think you really get this whole “democracy” thing at all, Nick.

                  • Nick C

                    “Force NZF and UF into a coalition against their will?

                    I don’t think you really get this whole “democracy” thing at all, Nick.”

                    Turn that around: Why should minor parties like NZF or UF force Labour into who they pick as their other coilition partner against their will? Labour had the mandate to form the government with HC as PM. And Peters/Dunne have shown their willingness to break various other promises if it’s in their interests.

                    I think you dont get this whole blogging thing OW, blithly insulting those who you are trying to argue with doesnt make you look smart, it makes you look stupid. Especially when the arguements are as weak as the ones that you regularly come up with.

                    • orange whip?

                      “Why should minor parties like NZF or UF force Labour into who they pick as their other coilition partner against their will?”

                      They can’t. And neither can any other party force them into a coalition. ACT had a few seats too. You think Labour should’ve been able to insist that they join the “coalition of the unwilling” too? If not, why not?

                      “Labour had the mandate to form the government with HC as PM.”

                      What bullshit Nick, there is no such thing as a “mandate to form a govt”. The mandate to govern comes with commanding a majority in the house – nothing more, nothing less.

                      Labour didn’t have one.

                      Labour + Greens didn’t have one either.

                      Labour + Prog + NZF + UF did.

                      That’s how our democratic system works, Nick. You have to have more than 50% or you don’t have a mandate. It’s that simple.

                      “blithly insulting those who you are trying to argue with doesnt make you look smart, it makes you look stupid.”

                      Well I was being a little facetious suggesting that you have no idea how our democratic system works, but face it Nick – your last comment quite literally proves that you don’t.

                      And if you think I look stupid explaining these very simple concepts to you, you’re probably right. It’s likely quite clear to others that I’m wasting my time.

        • Colonial Viper 1.3.2.2

          Did you just say that Goff is a “bastion”? 😛

  2. tc 2

    Even the born blue commentators are becoming tired of Sideshow John’s emporer’s clothes routine jeez the bloke can’t even get his own personal gains from his own tax cuts correct which just shows how ignorant and out of touch he is, but then show me a financier who isn’t.

    With the career public servant Blinglish, my way or the highway Findlayson and old technology Joyce just to name a few of the so called movers and shakers the quicker we rid ourselves of these self serving haters n wreckers the sooner we can get on with extraditing ourselves from the downward spiral they’ve manufactured with wreckless tax cuts offset with damaging GST increases.

  3. RedLogix 3

    The ultimate question to ask is simple:

    “What would happen if this enterprise fails in any way?”

    If the answer is; the public sector would have to bail it out… then the private sector has no business pretending to own it.

    • vto 3.1

      Exactly RedL. Like banks with their implied (and express) taxpayer end-of-the-line base support, such enterprises are directly state supported. Hence ownership benefits should accrue.

  4. Harry 4

    Some are suggesting that asset sales are another “kick the tyres” exercise. So if they don’t do it what will be the next ploy?

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      Well the Tories never change. So it will be a variation on

      1) Asset sales.
      2) Tax cuts for wealthy individuals and corporations
      3) Wage and workers rights suppression
      4) Benefit cuts/increase beneficiary distress
      5) Reduction of social services
      6) Concentration of power and influence amongst the Right to Rule
      7) Corporate welfare
      8 ) Increasing private debt/recreating an asset bubble

      I am guessing that NAT has been taking international advice on all of the above.
      ….

    • Pascal's bookie 4.2

      I reckon they mean it Harry.

      JK hisself has been fronting this one. If they was kicking tyres it woulda been gerry or some other lesser light. If they back down on this, JK looks like a chump, and that’s been priority #1 to avoid. (ask Dickie Worth or Melissa Lee)

      • Puddleglum 4.2.1

        Agreed.

        Key’s strategy has been to march boldly and unexpectedly out onto the end of the high diving board above a long drop (well, you know what I mean) and a cold pool. He’s puffed out his bare, manly chest and the crowd beneath has gasped in wonder. Leader writers have barely contained their admiration for his courage, his un-politician like calm in facing what no politician would dare face, his determination to boldly go where none have gone before – all for the sake of us!

        We all wait with baited breath and, and, and … he cringes and timidly tip-toes backwards from the edge hugging himself and shielding his nipples from the cold.

        I don’t think so – he’s taken his gamble and has to see it through.

        The old rhetorical cover for his flip-flops – that he’s a man brave enough to change his mind – won’t work with this one. It goes to the core of the myth and so can’t be withdrawn. In fact, the myth has been created in order to do just this kind of thing. If the public turn against National because of this (and similar policies) it means the myth wasn’t constructed as well as he and his handlers would like to think it is.The myth will have imploded under the weight of New Zealanders’ gut instincts over-riding their faith in him.

        anti-spam: Pop – goes the weasel?

  5. Nick C 5

    “The SOE model requires their boards to run the enterprises as if they were privately owned. Where is the evidence in the case of the energy SOEs that the boards have failed in that statutory duty?”

    Labour have signalled an intention to order SOE’s to lower power prices if they get back into government. Classic example of the sort of political influence that the government is trying to prevent in future.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Labour have signalled an intention to order SOE’s to lower power prices if they get back into government. Classic example of the sort of political influence that the government is trying to prevent in future.

      The Govt using political influence to help people pay their power bills, instead of extracting maximum monies and consequently leaving tens (hundreds) of thousands in energy poverty is, according to you…a bad thing?

      I think that National MP was correct. National really don’t see their job as making NZ’ers day to day lives any easier.

      • Nick C 5.1.1

        Dumb response CV: The point i’m making is that if that policy were to be implemented, it would be a failure of the statutory duty of SOEs to run as if they were private companies. Perhaps you reject the assumption that there should be such a statutory duty, but that doesn’t disprove my point.

        It’s a bad policy regardless: Everyone uses power so you are giving the discount to the rich as well as the poor (in fact the rich almost certainly use more power). You are better off with a policy like a guarenteed minimum family income which targets low income families and allows gives them more money to spend on things such as power.

        Plus the mechanism that Labour have said they will use for the policy (taking lower dividends) is almost a guarenteed failure. The company can use the extra money to do things like pay executives more rather than lower power prices.

        • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1

          I’m not disagreeing that the details of implementation will have to be examined once LAB is in power. The concept remains simple however: LAB will not have power generators extract maximum profits from consumers for Government, and will expect those margin reductions to be passed directly to those consumers.

          One assumes that the power companies will not be bloating and paying their own execs big bonuses if they have to keep their margins tight.

          Also the guaranteed min family income concept you raise is a good one, and may indeed be the better way ahead.

          • Nick C 5.1.1.1.1

            Interesting that you support that. Did you know that Roger Douglas tried to impliment a GMFI in the 1988 Budget, but Lange scrapped it?

            • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Yeah I head Douglas was a backer of it. Wouldn’t really have trusted his specific development and management of it but there is a logic to the proposal.

      • KJT 5.1.2

        Power companies both public and private took monopoly rents from the economy of over 4 billion dollars. That is a lot of extra expense on business and private consumers.

  6. randal 6

    blah blah blah.
    selling stae assets is solely about paying off political supporters with earning assets.
    and they are giving something away that does not rightly belong to them.
    time to start calling a spade a spade.
    privatisation is theft of social assets and thats that.

  7. Godder 7

    Farrow’s column actually said that if the government isn’t going to sell assets then it must cut spending in order to reduce borroing. Farrow describes this as the “real” way to reduce borrowing

    I note you dont refer to that aspect of Farrow’s column in your post Marty G – can we take it from your strident criticism of National’s plan to sell assets that you instead support cutting spending?

    • I noticed that too, in the article.

      There’s a few ways of dealing with debt: Sell assets; reduce spending; increase income and pay it off quicker.

      But there’s another, prior, question that needs to be addressed first: Is there a government debt problem?

      Fallow says:

      To address the problem – the Government’s contribution to woefully inadequate national saving – it has to reduce borrowing the hard way, the real way, by reining in its spending

      The issue is whether Fallow, or anyone else, is correct to say that the Government’s ‘contribution to woefully inadequate national saving’ is itself currently inadequate. In fact, Fallow (and others) beg the question of whether or not the government is making such a contribution.

      Given the very low (by international standards) government debt to GDP ratio the response to Fallow and others could simply be that the government is not contributing to ‘woefully inadequate national saving’.

      If I have a debt that I am more than able to service and am using it for purposes that I have decided add to the quality of my experience of life but my neighbours have irresponsibly put themselves well over their heads into debt, do you think that I should lower my debt in order to alter the “woefully inadequate” savings in my street?

      So far as I can tell from historical and international comparisons, the government has been very responsible in relation to what debt it has and in accumulating assets. It is NOT making a contribution to “woefully inadequate” savings. It is private citizens and companies whose savings are “woefully inadequate”. Why should the government, and those of us who depend upon and use its services, bail out the profligate borrowers in the private sector when ‘we’ have been responsible borrowers?

      • Nick C 7.1.1

        I would like to know whether or not New Zealand has a full employment deficit or not: has the Treasury done any analysis on this? Thats probably the best way of working it out.

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.2

        the Clark/Cullen government has been very responsible in relation to what debt it has and in accumulating assets. It is NOT making a contribution to “woefully inadequate” savings.

        Fixed it for you.

        • Puddleglum 7.1.2.1

          Thanks, CV. It’s what I meant.

          On that, I’ve noticed in today’s The Press editorial the second appearance of a line run the day before that it was the 1990s National-led governments that started this process of debt reduction and the Labour-led government simply ‘continued’ the process or – more weakly still – kind of allowed it to carry on.

          Looks like a deliberate line to undermine the notion that the debt reduction actually carried out by Labour might have been part of a deliberate economic strategy.

  8. Jum 8

    Key made it clear in parliament that if National is returned to Government that is the mandate they need to sell off whatever they like of our assets. Whether they say they will or they won’t dependent on the public feedback is just a sideshow.

    But we already knew that.

  9. sunny 9

    Hello all, I want to thank everyone for the education I have been receiving reading your blogs. I am an American that is considering looking for another country to live in. For many of us in the US, New Zealand has been thought of in a very favorable light. Most here think NZ has kind people caring of their environment. I have been very surprised at how similar the problems are between our countries. I had not realized that big money was also trying to destroy NZ. Take it from me you do not want to go down the road USA has gone. Our government is basically a mafia run by big money Wall Street criminals. Sadly our Media is controlled by those same money interests with Rupert Murdock and Fox news (Faux news as some call it). The US has become an aggressor nation. If you turn on the media (which is almost all right wing) you will get a 24 hr a day barrage of hate directed at the working class. What is crazy is that working class people agree with this garbage; they have become brainwashed fools. Sadly I noticed that on the NZ blogs there was a similar flavor to our American blogs. For example, I read a blog where a person had commented on the NZ government bullying through legislation. Next there was a reply from a “TightyRighty” who calls the poster various uncouth names and blathers about stupidly. Why is it Conservatives can not have an intellectual conversation ; it awalys gets lowered to name calling . It is so sad to see. I am curious to see if NZ has been infected by Murdock and other right wing big money media. We have a man named Rush Limbaugh in the US that has been spewing hate on the radio for over twenty years now. You can follow the decline of our country into ignorance and selfishness with the minor popularity of this show. While there are not a majority that listen to him, they are the loudest and more crazy of our population as well as gun wielding scary. We has lost civility and compassion as a nation. Good friends that once were sensible and now listen to these programs are full of hate and racist. I don’t want to make it sound like all American’s are awful, but too many have gone to the dark side. If you want to be a greedy jerk, come to America. We won’t prosecute you, in fact you can be governor of a state if you like. My state of Florida just elected a guy to Governor that robbed the federal government of BILLIONS of dollars. He was fined the most ever for Medicare fraud: 2 billion dollars, but of course no jail time. And then we elect this scum to governor. He is presently gutting all public programs, privatizing every thing to give his buddies contracts, and taking us back to the stone age socially and financially. Can’t forget to mention tax breaks for the Millionaires while raising the taxes on workers.
    So is New Zealand still a country worth considering for a reasonable, hard working guy, that wants his neighbors to enjoy a good life with health care and relative safety as himself? Appreciate your time reading this and any comments. Sunny

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      Yep, NZ is still a top place, find yourself a good town and a good community to hang out with, a place with a slow pace and where people have more time for others.

      One measure we are definitively still better than the US IMO – very very few handguns in circulation…

      Our Right Wingers here do need to stop learning shite from Fox News, Limbaugh and co. however.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Healthy Homes Standards statement of compliance deadline extended
    The deadline for landlords to include detailed information in their tenancy agreements about how their property meets the Healthy Homes Standards, so tenants can see the home they are renting is compliant, has been extended from 1 July 2020 to 1 December 2020.  The Healthy Homes Standards became law on 1 July 2019. The Standards are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    26 mins ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission board appointments announced
    Justice Minister Andrew Little today announced details of further appointments to the Criminal Cases Review Commission. “I am pleased to announce Paula Rose QSO OStJ as Deputy Chief Commissioner for a term of five years commencing on 15 June 2020,” said Andrew Little. “I am also pleased to announce the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    35 mins ago
  • Release of initial list of supported training to aid COVID-19 recovery
    The Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund (TTAF) will pay costs of learners of all ages to undertake vocational education and training The fund will target support for areas of study and training that will give learners better employment prospects as New Zealand recovers from COVID-19 Apprentices working in all industries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Emission trading reforms another step to meeting climate targets
    The Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will finally start to cut New Zealand’s greenhouse gas pollution as it was originally intended to, because of changes announced today by the Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw. The changes include a limit on the total emissions allowed within the ETS, rules to ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Queen’s Birthday Honours highlights Pacific leadership capability in Aotearoa
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says the Queen’s Birthday 2020 Honours List provides an abundance of examples that Pacific people’s leadership capability is unquestionable in Aotearoa. “The work and the individuals we acknowledge this year highlights the kind of visionary examples and dedicated community leadership that we need ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Govt backing horticulture to succeed
    The Government is backing a new $27 million project aimed at boosting sustainable horticulture production and New Zealand’s COVID-19 recovery efforts, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our economy. During and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Applications open for forestry scholarships
    Applications have opened for 2021 Ngā Karahipi Uru Rākau – Forestry Scholarships, which will support more Māori and women to pursue careers in forestry science, says Forestry Minister Shane Jones. “I’m delighted Te Uru Rākau is offering Ngā Karahipi Uru Rākau – Forestry Scholarships for the third year running. These ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Excellent service to nature recognised
    The Queen’s Birthday 2020 Honours List once again highlights the dedication by many to looking after our native plants and wildlife, including incredible work to restore the populations of critically endangered birds says Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. Anne Richardson of Hororata has been made an Officer of the New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Wetlands and waterways gain from 1BT funding
    The Government will invest $10 million from the One Billion Trees Fund for large-scale planting to provide jobs in communities and improve the environment, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Forestry Minister Shane Jones have announced. New, more flexible funding criteria for applications will help up to 10 catchment groups plant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New fund for women now open
    Organisations that support women are invited to apply to a new $1,000,000 fund as part of the Government’s COVID-19 response. “We know women, and organisations that support women, have been affected by COVID-19. This new money will ensure funding for groups that support women and women’s rights,” said Minister for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt supports King Country farmers to lift freshwater quality
    Healthier waterways are front and centre in a new project involving more than 300 King Country sheep, beef and dairy farmers. The Government is investing $844,000 in King Country River Care, a group that helps farmers to lift freshwater quality and farming practice, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. “Yesterday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Libraries to help with jobs and community recovery
    A major funding package for libraries will allow them to play a far greater role in supporting their communities and people seeking jobs as part of the economic recovery from COVID-19. “Budget 2020 contains over $60 million of funding to protect library services and to protect jobs,” says Internal Affairs ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Support for arts and music sector recovery
    A jobseekers programme for the creative sector and four new funds have been set up by the Government to help our arts and music industry recover from the blow of COVID-19. Thousands of jobs will be supported through today’s $175 million package in a crucial economic boost to support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Legislative changes to support the wellbeing of veterans and their families
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has welcomed the First Reading of a Bill that will make legislative changes to further improve the veterans’ support system.  The Veterans’ Support Amendment Bill No 2, which will amend the Veterans’ Support Act 2014, passed First Reading today. The bill addresses a number of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Christ Church Cathedral – Order in Council
    Views sought on Order in Council to help fast track the reinstatement of the Christ Church Cathedral  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Hon Poto Williams, will be seeking public written comment, following Cabinet approving the drafting of an Order in Council aimed at fast-tracking the reinstatement of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealanders’ human rights better protected in new Bill
    The law setting out New Zealanders’ basic civil and human rights is today one step towards being strengthened following the first reading of a Bill that requires Parliament to take action if a court says a statute undermines those rights. At present, a senior court can issue a ‘declaration of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Deep concern at Hong Kong national security legislation
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today reiterated the deep concern of the New Zealand Government following confirmation by China’s National People’s Congress of national security legislation relating to Hong Kong. “New Zealand shares the international community’s significant and long-standing stake in Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability,” Mr Peters said. “New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government invests in New Zealand’s cultural recovery
    Thousands of artists and creatives at hundreds of cultural and heritage organisations have been given much-needed support to recover from the impact of COVID-19, Prime Minister and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Jacinda Ardern announced today. “The cultural sector was amongst the worst hit by the global pandemic,” Jacinda ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Better protection for New Zealand assets during COVID-19 crisis
    Key New Zealand assets will be better protected from being sold to overseas owners in a way contrary to the national interest, with the passage of the Overseas Investment (Urgent Measures) Bill. The Bill, which passed its third reading in Parliament today, also cuts unnecessary red tape to help attract ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Cleaning up our rivers and lakes
    Setting higher health standards at swimming spots Requiring urban waterways to be cleaned up and new protections for urban streams Putting controls on higher-risk farm practices such as winter grazing and feed lots Setting stricter controls on nitrogen pollution and new bottom lines on other measures of waterway health Ensuring ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Record year for diversity on Govt boards
    The Government is on the verge of reaching its target of state sector boards and committees made up of at least 50 percent women, says Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter and Minister for Ethnic Communities Jenny Salesa. For the first time, the Government stocktake measures the number of Māori, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New appointments to the Commerce Commission
    The Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister and Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister, Kris Faafoi, has today announced the appointment of Tristan Gilbertson as the new Telecommunications Commissioner and member of the Commerce Commission. “Mr Gilbertson has considerable experience in the telecommunications industry and a strong reputation amongst his peers,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Historic pay equity settlement imminent for teacher aides
    The Ministry of Education and NZEI Te Riu Roa have agreed to settle the pay equity claim for teacher aides, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This will see more than 22,000 teacher aides, mostly women, being valued and paid fairly for the work they do. “Teacher aides are frontline ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt delivers security for construction subcontractors
    Subcontractors will have greater certainty, more cashflow support and job security with new changes to retention payments under the Construction Contracts Act says Minister for Building and Construction, Jenny Salesa. A recent review of the retentions money regime showed that most of the building and construction sector is complying with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand and Singapore reaffirm ties
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong have marked the first anniversary of the New Zealand-Singapore Enhanced Partnership with a virtual Leaders’ Meeting today. The Enhanced Partnership, signed on 17 May 2019, provides the framework for cooperation across the four main areas of trade, defence and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • JOINT STATEMENT BY THE PRIME MINISTERS OF NEW ZEALAND AND THE REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE ON THE FIRST AN...
    On 17 May 2019, New Zealand and Singapore established an Enhanced Partnership to elevate our relations. The Enhanced Partnership – based on the four pillars of trade and economics, security and defence, science, technology and innovation, and people-to-people links – has seen the long-standing relationship between our countries strengthen over the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government investment supports the acquisition of new Interislander ferries
    State-Owned Enterprises Minister Winston Peters has welcomed KiwiRail’s announcement that it is seeking a preferred shipyard to build two new rail-enabled ferries for the Cook Strait crossing. “This Government is committed to restoring rail to its rightful place in New Zealand. Bigger, better ships, with new technology are yet another ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Better protection for seabirds
    Better protection for seabirds is being put in place with a new National Plan of Action to reduce fishing-related captures, Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage announced today.   The National Plan of Action for Seabirds 2020 outlines our commitment to reduce fishing-related captures and associated seabird ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Milestone in cash flow support to SMEs
    Almost $1 billion in interest-free loans for small businesses More than 55,000 businesses have applied; 95% approved Average loan approx. $17,300 90% of applications from firms with ten or fewer staff A wide cross-section of businesses have applied, the most common are the construction industry, accommodation providers, professional firms, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government protects kids as smoking in cars ban becomes law
    Thousands of children will have healthier lungs after the Government’s ban on smoking in cars with kids becomes law, says Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa. This comes after the third reading of Smoke-free Environments (Prohibiting Smoking in Motor Vehicles Carrying Children) Amendment Bill earlier today. “This law makes it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Parliament returns to a safe normal
    The special Epidemic Response Committee (ERC) has successfully concluded its role, Leader of the House Chris Hipkins said today. The committee was set up on 25 March by the agreement of Parliament to scrutinise the Government and its actions while keeping people safe during levels 4 and 3 of lockdown. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Foreign Minister makes four diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced four diplomatic appointments: New Zealand’s Ambassador to Belgium, High Commissioners to Nauru and Niue, and Ambassador for Counter-Terrorism. “As the world seeks to manage and then recover from COVID-19, our diplomatic and trade networks are more important than ever,” Mr Peters said. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Bill to counter violent extremism online
    New Zealanders will be better protected from online harm through a Bill introduced to Parliament today, says Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin. “The internet brings many benefits to society but can also be used as a weapon to spread harmful and illegal content and that is what this legislation targets,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Mycoplasma bovis eradication reaches two year milestone in good shape
    New Zealand’s world-first plan to eradicate the cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis is on track the latest technical data shows, says Agriculture and Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two years ago the Government, DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb New Zealand and industry partners made a bold decision to go hard and commit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New payment to support Kiwis through COVID
    Further support for New Zealanders affected by 1-in-100 year global economic shock 12-week payment will support people searching for new work or retraining Work programme on employment insurance to support workers and businesses The Government today announced a new temporary payment to support New Zealanders who lose their jobs due ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PGF reset helps regional economies
    The Provincial Growth Fund will play a vital role in New Zealand’s post-COVID-19 recovery by creating jobs in shorter timeframes through at least $600 million being refocused on projects with more immediate economic benefits, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The funding is comprised of repurposed Provincial Growth ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government exempts some home improvements from costly consents
    Government exempts some home improvements from costly consents Homeowners, builders and DIYers will soon have an easier time making basic home improvements as the Government scraps the need for consents for low-risk building work such as sleep-outs, sheds and carports – allowing the construction sector to fire back up quicker ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Concern at introduction of national security legislation for Hong Kong
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says the New Zealand Government has reacted with concern at the introduction of legislation in China’s National People’s Congress relating to national security in Hong Kong.  “We have a strong interest in seeing confidence maintained in the ‘one country, two systems’ principle under which Hong ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Samoa Language Week theme is perfect for the post-COVID-19 journey
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, says the theme for the 2020 Samoa Language Week is a perfect fit for helping our Pacific communities cope with the unfolding COVID-19 crisis, and to prepare now for the journey ahead as New Zealand focuses on recovery plans and rebuilding New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Adult kakī/black stilt numbers soar
    A nearly 40-year programme to protect one of New Zealand’s most critically endangered birds is paying off, with a record number of adult kakī/black stilt recently recorded living in the wild, the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. “Thanks to the team effort involved in the Department of Conservation’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago