web analytics

Fighting the dittoheads

Written By: - Date published: 9:03 pm, July 20th, 2009 - 43 comments
Categories: democratic participation - Tags:

One of the great strengths of the Right is that the rank and file supporters are such slavish followers of their leaders. It comes from the whole ‘triumph of the will’ mentality – ‘that dude’s rich and powerful, ipso facto, I must respect him and if I’m gonna get rich and powerful I’ll have to copy him’. It means they parrot the lines in a way that Lefties simply won’t.

Take this comment from one of our threads:

mike: Good ole ‘Wack it on the bill’ phil did he say where he was taking the money from to do this or does it just go on the Govts credit card??

Classic. Mike’s exhibiting beautiful meme absorption and regurgitation. Everything he says is as if from Key’s mouth. And the best part: he thinks those are his own ideas. People like that working for you is a propagandist’s dream.

If, say, it had been just John Key and co saying ‘PC’ it wouldn’t have got far. But they weren’t alone. There were the various front groups like Sensible Sentencing, For the Sake of the Children etc too but most importantly, there were the rank and filers, mindless repeating the line (in the States they call them dittoheads). That meant the swing voter started hearing ‘PC’ on talkback, on social websites, from their friends, they heard strangers mention it in the pub. It didn’t have to make sense. There was no actual defensible argument. It was the repetition, initially by a relatively small number of zealots, that got the meme wider penetration until it became a truth universally acknowledged.

Simply doesn’t happen with the Left’s support base. You can’t get the buggers to agree on anything. They care about detail. They argue over it. The educated ones, especially, see simple slogans and shallow arguments as anathema. They don’t tend to go in for blind adherence to their leaders either. They see leaders as tools. Servants for furthering their shared ideals. They critically assess what their leaders say. If they do agree with it when they repeat it to others it will be in their own words. Not a simple repetition of a carefully crafted slogan*. The Left will never have our version of ‘PC’. It’s just not the way we think.

So the Right have this powerful weapon and we can’t respond in kind. It results in people voting a government that will lower their wages, take away their work rights, cut their social wage, and sell their assets because they’re ‘sick of all this PC nonsense’. What do we do about it?

The answer, like always, has to be to talk, to challenge, to engage. When you are talking to someone who voted against their own economic interests because the PC meme (for example) has got to them, you’ve got to excise it. Constructively. You’ve got to point out the big things that matter – wages, public services, jobs, work rights – that the Left delivers on and the Right doesn’t. You’ve got to ask them if light bulbs really matter.

If you don’t, all they will hear are the dittoheads. And they’ll believe them.

*(not that the 21st century NZ Left are any good at generating slogans anyway, or want to be)

43 comments on “Fighting the dittoheads”

  1. Lew 1

    Zetetic, even more to your point, I seem to recall mike being an ACToid, not a Nat.

    This is indeed one of the strengths of the right – they are happy to shelve their differences to band together under a common banner. But it’s also a weakness – it only hangs together for so long before the infighting and factionalisation gets to them; and generally speaking they’re only a good fightin’ unit when unified under a strong leader. Labour under Clark suffered from the same problem – it tried to (and in a way was forced to) absorb the rest of the left, and competing agendas, suppressed in the name of unity, began to eat away from the inside. This is why enforcing slavish loyalty on the left (aside from being like herding cats) is generally deleterious.

    I think a different organisational model is needed – one where Labour can act as a focal point or a major partner for a bunch of other parties, doing so in a way which allows the minor partners to stand on their own issues and allows Labour to stand on theirs. National under Key is doing just this, and so far it’s working. We’ll see how the edifice cracks in time, but this term in opposition presents Labour with a golden opportunity to rethink themselves and reform their strategy, and learn as much as possible from a government which is committed to organisational experimentation.


  2. lprent 2

    I’ve noticed that dittohead mentality. Especially in trolls who just repeat without engaging their brains, thus boring the crap out of me (and earning band for being stupid programs).

    It is kind of wierd that the right indulge in that kind of collective behaviour, then accuse those on the left of wanting to stifle individual behaviour. But then many of them also lack any apparent ability to monitor their own behaviour.

    There are a few on the left like that as well. But nothing like the numbers I see from the right

    • Ag 2.1

      Again, Bob Altemeyer’s research explains exactly why this is the case. It should be required reading for everyone on this blog.

      If the “left” make one error over and over again, it is assuming that those on the right are “people just like them who happen to have different views”. A few of them are, or were (witness the demise of the “Eisenhower Republicans” in the US), but they are yesterday’s conservatives.

      If there is any redeeming feature of the NZ right, it is that they are nowhere near the Glenn Becks of this world or the “birther” lunatics, and Kiwiblog comments are nowhere near as insane as those on Free Republic. But they could get there with a little prompting, and that should be the goal of the New Zealand left: to goad the extreme right into ever greater acts of lunacy. It has worked very well for the US Democrats in the last couple of years.

  3. Lew 3

    Hm, enspammed?


  4. Zetetic 4

    Yeah, don’t know why.

    captcha: forgetting

  5. AndyC 5

    Back the bus up here. “One of the great strengths of the Left is that the rank and file supporters are such slavish followers of their leaders.”
    Never happend here. No way , no ..never. Not on this blog.

    hahahah Captcha .. unwanted.

    • Zetetic 5.1

      No, you’re right. There has never been slavish following of leaders by the writers on this blog. In fact, I’m planning a coup on Oliver Woods as we speak.

  6. Good post Zetetic.

    The comments also apply to the so called commentators. Bill Ralston and Matthew Hooton are classic dittoheads, slavishly regurgitating the current attack lines even the stupid ones. Laila Harre and Chris Trotter, the left equivalents, seem to spend nearly as much time criticising Labour as criticising National.

    I have often felt frustrated about this but after thinking about your comments I agree that differences of opinion are healthy and the left have never slavishly followed anything.

    Long may this continue.

    • Lew 6.1


      Laila Harre and Chris Trotter, the left equivalents, seem to spend nearly as much time criticising Labour as criticising National.


      I agree that differences of opinion are healthy and the left have never slavishly followed anything.

      Is it only me who sees a contradiction here?


  7. Pat 7

    “Simply doesn’t happen with the Left’s support base. You can’t get the buggers to agree on anything. They care about detail. They argue over it. The educated ones, especially, see simple slogans and shallow arguments as anathema. They don’t tend to go in for blind adherence to their leaders either.”

    And the uneducated ones – you simply round them up on election day with the Union vans.

  8. This is a classic “everyone is stupid but the people who agree with me” post. Not surprisingly, everyone that agrees with you shows up to say how perceptive it is.

    There are many people who aren’t really capable of independent thought. But I’m not sure it’s obvious that they’re situated on either side of the political spectrum – this post (to me) just looks like a case study in confirmation bias.

    But perhaps I deal less with the comments on your blog than you do.

    • Zetetic 8.1

      Not everyone, Tom.

      Seriously though, we can’t deny that political discourse influences people and some might be more influence-able than others. Doesn’t make them stupid.

      • Tom Mathews 8.1.1

        Don’t you think it’s ironic that every comment from someone on the left (as far as I can tell) has been in agreement with this post?

  9. Pat 9

    I get it – it’s the educated enlightened ones on the Left vs the sheep on the Right.

    You need to start counting the sheep, boys, because we have the numbers.

    • Sheep is the wrong term Pat.

      Many kiwis are trusting people interested only in politicians doing a good job.

      They do not get involved in the detail of policy debates, they just hope their leaders get the job done in a reasonable way.

      They have an innate sense of fairness, Cullen’s beach cricket concept is a good example of this. They thought it was Key’s turn with the bat.

      There will be a gradual but growing sense of fear and indignation as things get worse and this government’s policy response gets realised as being terribly lacking. Then the polls will swing around. Ordinary people will return because they will have realised they have been lied to and deceived.

      The next couple of years will be very interesting.

      • Pat 9.1.1

        “There will be a gradual but growing sense of fear and indignation as things get worse…”

        Conversely there will be a gradual but growing sense of reassurance and confidence if things get better (Maybe I’m just a glass-half-full kind of guy).

        Or maybe Labour are just hoping things keep getting worse so their wayward sons and daughters return.

        The trouble for the Left is that by forecasting all manner of economic and social doomsday scenarios, the flip-side is that anything better than that ends up being a tick for Key. For example, latest forecasts are for 180,000 unemployed next year. If this ends up being 160,000 (still an ugly number) Key can go into the next election trumpeting that his government saved 20,000 jobs.

        • Maynard J

          Key could claim about 400 jobs, saved by the Greens’ insulation policy. Then the left could point out the several thousand cut from the public service. National would need to be seen to be doing something, anything, before they could pretend/claim credit for it.

  10. Graeme 10

    Come on. Seriously?

    The left didn’t band together on the “gone by lunchtime” meme when Don Brash tried for honesty and nuance over Nuclear Policy (and the meme was applied to a bunch of other things as well).

    And just because it failed to get public traction doesn’t mean that “slippery” Key wasn’t a good attempt.

    The standard had fun – along with a bunch of others on the left – with “tax cuts for the rich” prior to the last election even though a greater proportion of Labour’s proposed cuts were for the well-off.

    Dittoheads lower the quality of the political debate, but the suggestion that there aren’t any on the left is laughable.

    • Zetetic 10.1

      I never ever heard an ordinary rank and filer use ‘gone by lunchtime’.I think you’re thinking of political operators, I’m not talking about them.

      The dittohead spreads the meme at the pub, not in his weekly column.

      • BK Drinkwater 10.1.1

        From this, I must conclude that you’ve never been in the same pubs as me, and that you’ve definitely never been in the same National Party meetings and conferences as me.

        I’ve long lost count of the number of people who tried a “gone by lunchtime” taunt at me; “Crosby/Textor” is a newer refrain.

        And as for those of us on the Right never disagreeing with each other? It doesn’t pass the laugh test; it doesn’t go close. My experience is that there is more furious contention within National than there is between it and Labour. I know: I’ve been caught in the middle of it more than once, in my own small way.

        Perhaps the difference is that we on the Right are not eager to air our internal grievances quite so publicly as those on the Left.

        Looking at the Left from outside, I can’t help but think of the old theological debates during the centuries leading up to the Great Schism, in which tempers ran so hot because people believed their salvation or otherwise was dependent on nothing so much as their belief about the precise nature and mechanics of the Trinity. The Right was never meant to be a unified movement like the Left; more a loose coalition of convenience with its own unwritten rules of etiquette. I think this explains the Left/Right difference you note; not some abdication of free will by everyone who votes National.

        I’m no conservative, and I’m reluctant to go in to bat for conservatives. But I’m insulted on their behalf by the reductive bullshit in this post and in this thread.

        • Pascal's bookie

          “I’ve long lost count of the number of people who tried a “gone by lunchtime’ taunt at me; “Crosby/Textor’ is a newer refrain.”

          I think these are qualitatively different from the ‘PC gone mad’, ‘mainstream’, ‘one law for all’ and similar authoritarian rhetoric this post is about.

          On the ‘gone by lunchtime’ stuff, it’s kind of ironic that Graeme describes it as Brash trying for “honesty and nuance over Nuclear Policy” when the whole issue was that Brash was making promises to the Americans that he was not prepared to talk about to NZers (until after his words became public).

          Somehow this becomes about the ‘honesty and nuance’ of dear leader, and the perfidy of the left. The fact is that those mixed signals from National over so many years actually hurt our relationship with the US. Once National finally stopped pretending that the no nukes policy was on the table, the US accepted that the policy (which the NZ public likes) is here to stay and things have started to move along.

          • Graeme

            Brash’s nuclear ships policy was very clear. It was the same as Key’s and the same as Labour’s. He just advised that if the public gave a democratic mandate to change at some future time they would. If there was a referendum and the people came out in favour of change I suspect Labour would agree that there should be change. For some reason Clark didn’t agree that if the majority of the people wanted change that there would be change.

            This wasn’t Labour perfidy. I’m not saying Labour was bad. I was just using it as an example to counter your claim that the left avoided soundbite memes and were the only ones interested in nuanced debate. It’s foolish to assert a policy now and pretend that it is forever. When Brash acknowledged this over nuclear ships he was pilloried by the left for it. Good politics, sure, but not an example of wanting reasoned debate.

          • BK Drinkwater

            @PB: What is long-forgotten, of course, is that Don Brash never said “gone by lunchtime”. Lockwood Smith did. Yet it was repeated mindlessly, ad nauseum, and uncritically by Labour supporters for years.

            I’ll have to think about your broader point a bit, but I’m way off buying that it salvages Zetetic’s extraordinarily shabby post.

            I’ll have to think about your point/distinction a little bit, but my first impression is this: as a general rule, I dislike using the vocabulary of meme propagation, but this post seems to be a classic example of something that has no trouble spreading and surviving because it’s flattering to the people who believe it. For this reason alone, if all the people here on the Left were really such the freewheeling critical thinkers they like to imagine themselves to be, they’d regard it as analytically unsafe.

            • Pascal's bookie

              “What is long-forgotten, of course, is that Don Brash never said “gone by lunchtime’. Lockwood Smith did.”



              “In response to Dr Brash’s challenge, the following is the comment he was recorded as making at the meeting, and the context in which it was made:

              Dr (Lockwood) Smith explained the current study being done by the National Party. If the study came to the same conclusion as it did in 1992, then National would look seriously at the nuclear legislation.
              It was here that Dr Brash made the throw-away comment ‘If the National Party was in government today, we would get rid of the nuclear propulsion section today by lunchtime, even.
              “This comment was recorded by a non-partisan record taker at the meeting. It has been checked with that person for accuracy, and he confirms that he is certain that is what was said.

              emph. mine

            • BK Drinkwater

              @PB: I’m happy to stand corrected here, and I don’t have the time right now to dig through all the old archives. From memory, it was this part of the notes that was contentious, and further reports attributed the statement to Smith. (I once won a prize at Back Benches for answering precisely this question).

              My critique of the post stands. It is an absurdity to me, contradicting almost all my (limited) political experience, that there is some dearth of independent thought on the Right. Believing that there is might be flattering for the Left, which is precisely why I think all you free-thinkers should be sceptical of the notion in the first place.

            • Pascal's bookie

              Hey, fair enough.

              Way I remember it Brash disputed this account and it came down to he said/he said. Whether Brash or Locky said it though misses the point from a left perspective. It was the fact that senior National Party figures were saying it.

              I’m not sure that the post says there are no ideas on the right, but rather that the right, to a much greater degree than the left has many followers that are happy to just ditto those ideas. For whatever reason. One only has to listen to talkback, (anywhere in the world) to see the evidence for this. For some reason, left wing talkback formats don’t really work.

              Think about some of the tensions that do exist on the right, or should 😉

              ACT style themselves as ‘classic liberals’ and claim that they are just as much about social freedom as economic, and yet they closely work with social conservatives to a much greater degree than they do with social liberals.

              I’d certainly agree that the phenomena is not as pronounced here as it is in the US, but if you look at it over there it really is amazing how the right wing wurlitzer operates. Think about all the Obama nonsense, and the Clinton nonsense before that. And remember too, that ‘dittohead’ is what they call themselves. It’s not some lefty smear.

              To a lesser degree the same thing does exist here though. Leighton Smith, Laws, Perigo, the SST, Family First, Garth George etc. Think about the seemingly reflexive defense of Paul Henry’s mustache comments. Or the ‘honey trap’ that didn’t make sense as a honey trap.

            • BK Drinkwater

              I can buy all that quite happily. Maybe it’s just a case of me being in too close; I’m within earshot of the grievance-airing, so I take that to be “normal”. In that case, I’m really not the best person to comment.

  11. lprent 11

    Never said that there aren’t any dittoheads on the left. They are however a lot less than the drones on the right by a few orders of magnitude.

    I had to cull the ones with defective and badly replicated code. A bit like badly tuned Borg. You mostly find them concentrated in the sewer these days.

    • Jared 11.1

      you might not have expressly stated that there are no dittoheads on the left, but to be fair, it was implied by being overly critical of the prevalence of dittoheads on the right, while conveniently ignoring the left. It happens all the time, just as the standard is largely aligned to the left and labours agenda, so is for instance, kiwiblog and its alignment to the right/ national. The difference is that, Labour now sitting in the defence have had 9 years of policy making, whilst those critical of National’s less than a year in the job have had plenty to say, most of the flow on effects are hall marks of labour policy. In that respect, it may seem like there are more dittoheads on the right, but rest assured, when Labour resume power, whenever that is, the left will have the same number of dittoheads as the right have previously, I believe the term is political ammunition no?

  12. jbc 12

    I’d say you’re drawing a fairly long bow to extrapolate the character of “the right” from comments on this blog. At best you’d suffer from extreme selection bias. None of my friends that you would label “right leaning” would ever comment here so I’d say the posts here are quite atypical.

    I guess that makes me an oddball.

    Meme followers and regurgitators tend to be those that don’t follow any critical thinking processes. Those that don’t add a bit of independent thought to what they spout. That’s certainly not confined to any one stripe of the political spectrum and I’d hesitate before drawing any conclusion in that respect as it would certainly be tainted by my own experiences.

    Thought experiment: what would you say to adding a “critical thinking test” to voter registration? Fail the test and you fail to vote. Weed out those that are just following others. In your mind who would that favour?

    • Ag 12.1

      Thought experiment: what would you say to adding a “critical thinking test’ to voter registration? Fail the test and you fail to vote. Weed out those that are just following others. In your mind who would that favour?

      The answer to that question is contained in this meta-study.


      We already know that conservatives tend to be rationality challenged. It’s a scientifically established fact. Of course the fact that conservatives will tend to deny such studies outright only confirms them.

      • BK Drinkwater 12.1.1

        I sincerely hope it is a sense of irony, and not supreme arrogance, Ag, that leads you to invoke “scientific fact” and then proceed to burden it with a proviso—Of course the fact that conservatives will tend to deny such studies outright only confirms them—that renders it utterly unfalsifiable.

        • Ag

          That doesn’t follow at all. If there existed a mental illness that among other things compelled all its sufferers to deny that they had it, it would in no way prevent diagnosis of the illness.

          You can read the various studies for yourself. One of the traits that tends to crop up among self described conservatives is an inability to even consider claims that are countered by their own authority figures.

          But hey, these studies just 20-40 years worth of peer reviewed material. If they clash with your views they must just be wrong…

          • BK Drinkwater

            Ag, it’s remarkably tacky to imagine you’ve looked into my soul and divined my opinion about a piece of scientific research you assume I haven’t read. I’m very familiar with the study, and I had no problem with it (with the exception of John J Ray and his acolytes, not many people have a problem with it).

            It’s kinda obvious that different people have different thought processes, and that this has an influence on the systems of political thought they’re likely to find attractive. Ask yourself: what thought processes and cognitive biases have led you to your own political views? Hint: I sincerely doubt that anyone has arrived at their views through pure disinterested rationalism.

            And as for analogizing conservatism to mental illness, and your implied approach to psychiatric diagnosis, well that’s Brezhnevian at best.

            If ya’ll on the Left are such free-thinkers, then I’m sure you can evaluate Ag’s argument without further help from me. I still maintain the proviso Ag added renders the research into an unfalsifiable framework.

  13. vto 13

    sheesh zit, just like that silly thread of yours a couple of weeks ago, you seem to enjoy claiming this wondrous knowledge and insight into the thoughts and minds of people who you simultaneously acknowledge live on a different planet from you. Tell me – how do you get this amazing knowledge of people who you are at the opposite end of the spectrum from?

    But to fire it back at you, your statement “Simply doesn’t happen with the Left’s support base. You can’t get the buggers to agree on anything. They care about detail. They argue over it. The educated ones, especially, see simple slogans and shallow arguments as anathema.” outlines to some extent the problem with ‘left people’s’ thinking. You know – can’t agree because everybodys an expert, dont get anything done because they get lost in the detail, too much intelligence and not enough brains, can’t see the simplicity in simplicity, etc etc.

    And as for the claim of dittohead – ha ha, did you think that perhaps these things stick because they have some truth to them??

  14. vto 14

    in moderation? what for?

  15. Daveski 15

    Sorry, but this is more shallow “four legs good, two legs bad” crap which starts from a fixed viewpoint – the left is morally superior to the right – and constructs a shon-key (deliberate :)) case around it.

    I think part of the problem is that many of the participants here are actively interested if not involved in the internal machinations of politics, particularly Labour.

    As such, you don’t have the wider outside perspective that one politician is pretty much the same to the average punter.

    As for dittoheads, try the union members who pay their union fees but regardless of their political affiliations, there fees go to Labour. Pot kettle black?

  16. randal 16

    its worse than that folks.
    just listen to radio ritalin or radio spud and they are full time shovelling out the slogans and themes for the right to parrot out ad infinitum.
    even worse and this stuck in my craw was organising “victims” to contact newspapers and rubbish sian elias.
    this country is wonking out badly but until someone starts telling the truth about their methods then they will keep doing it

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • New Zealand joins global search for COVID-19 vaccine
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon Megan Woods, Minister of Research, Science and Innovation Hon Dr David Clark, Minister of Health Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods,  and Health Minister David Clark today announced a COVID-19 vaccine strategy, ...
    3 hours ago
  • Budget 2020: Five things to know
    Budget 2020 is about rebuilding together, supporting jobs, getting business moving and the books back into the black. It’s an integral part of our COVID-19 economic response, and our plan to grow our economy and get New Zealand moving again. Here’s a quick look at the five top things you ...
    24 hours ago
  • Coalition Government approves essential upgrades on Ōhakea Air Base
    The Coalition Government has approved $206 million in essential upgrades at Ōhakea Air Base.  Defence Minister Ron Mark said the money would be spent on improving old infrastructure. He said safety issues would be addressed, as well as upgrades to taxiways, accommodation and fresh, storm and waste water systems. "This ...
    5 days ago
  • Attributable to the Rt Hon Winston Peters
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First “I am not persisting with this case just for myself, but for all people who have had their privacy breached. Privacy of information is a cornerstone of our country’s democracy. Without it our society truly faces a bleak future. We now ...
    7 days ago
  • Forestry Minister Shane Jones moves to protect sawmills
    Forestry Minister Shane Jones has introduced a Bill to Parliament that he says will "force more transparency, integrity and respect" for the domestic wood-processing sector through the registration of log traders and practice standards. The Forests (Regulation of Log Traders and Forestry Advisers) Amendment Bill had its first reading in ...
    1 week ago
  • Green MP joins international call to cancel developing countries’ debt
    Green MP Golriz Ghahraman is joining over 300 lawmakers from around the world in calling on the big banks and the IMF to forgive the debt of developing countries, in the wake of the COVID crisis. ...
    1 week ago
  • Forestry Minister Shane Jones swipes back at billion trees critics
    Forestry Minister Shane Jones says concerns that carbon foresters are planting pine trees that will never be harvested are the result of "misinformation". "The billion tree strategy is an excellent idea, unfortunately from time to time it's tainted by misinformation spread by the National Party or their grandees, hiding in scattered ...
    1 week ago
  • Budget boost for refugee families a win for compassion
    The Green Party welcomes funding in the budget to reunite more refugees with their families, ensuring they have the best chance at a new life in Aotearoa New Zealand. ...
    1 week ago
  • How Budget 2020 is supporting jobs
    This year’s Budget is about rebuilding New Zealand together in the face of COVID-19. Jobs are central to how we’re going to do that.There’s a lot of targeted investment for employment in this year’s Budget, with announcements on creating new jobs, training people for the jobs we have, and supporting ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters says China didn’t want NZ to go into lockdown
    Speaking to Stuff's Coronavirus NZ podcast, Foreign Minister Winston Peters revealed China tried to dissuade New Zealand from going into lockdown. “Without speaking out of turn, they wanted a discussion as to why we were doing it, because they thought it was an overreaction,” Mr Peters told Stuff’s Coronavirus NZ podcast. He also ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Changes made to Overseas Investment Act to protect New Zealand assets
    The Coalition Government is making changes to the Overseas Investment Act to ensure New Zealand assets don't fall into the hands of foreign ownership in the economic aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Associate Minister of Finance David Parker announced the Act will be amended to bring forward a national interest ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters: Trans-Tasman bubble to help tourism industry make swift recovery
    A quick start to a trans-Tasman bubble could see the tourism industry make a swift recovery, according to Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters. "I believe tourism will turn around dramatically faster than people think," Mr Peters told reporters after Thursday's Budget. "Why? Because I think the Tasman bubble is [going ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rt. Hon Winston Peters: Budget Speech
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First   Please check against delivery https://vimeo.com/418303651 Budget 2020: Jobs, Business and Balance   Introduction Acknowledgements to all Cabinet colleagues, and party ministers Tracey Martin, Shane Jones and Ron Mark, Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau and to caucus colleagues. Thank you for your support, your ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Jacinda Ardern’s 2020 Budget Speech
    Read Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's Budget 2020 Speech. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Budget 2020: Next steps to end family and sexual violence
    The 2020 Budget includes significant support to stabilise New Zealand’s family violence services, whose work has been shown to be so essential throughout the COVID-19 lockdown. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Investment in housing gives more people access to the home they deserve
    The Green Party says huge new investment in public and transitional housing will get thousands more families into the warm, safe homes they deserve.  ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Budget 2020: Huge investment in green nature based jobs jump starts sustainable COVID recovery
    The Green Party says the $1.1 billion environmental investment in this year’s budget to create thousands of green jobs will help jump start a sustainable recovery from the COVID crisis. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Grant Robertson’s 2020 Budget Speech
    Read Minister of Finance Grant Robertson's Budget 2020 Speech. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters tells struggling migrant workers ‘you should probably go home’
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters said today the Coalition Government told foreigners at the start of the Covid-19 crisis that if their circumstances had changed dramatically, they should go home. "And 50,000 did," Mr Peters said. Official advice to Cabinet revealed there is potentially 380,000 foreigners and migrant workers in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First welcomes today’s Alert Level 2 announcement
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand First welcomes the decision today to go to Alert Level 2 from midnight Wednesday, says Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters. Alert Level 2 will mean a return to work for the vast majority of New Zealand’s businesses. A return ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nurses to be protected after amendment to First Responders Bill
    Nurses now look set to get more protection from violence at work, under a proposed new law. This after NZ First MP Darroch Ball's "Protection for First Responders Bill", which introduces a six-month minimum sentence for assaults on first responders, will now also cover emergency department healthcare workers. The ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nurses to get more protection, added to ‘First Responders’ legislation
    Darroch Ball MP, New Zealand First Law and Order Spokesperson An amendment to the ‘Protection of First Responders Bill’ is being tabled which will see emergency department healthcare workers included in the legislation. “During this COVID-19 crisis we have seen reports of violence and specifically increased incidents of spitting towards ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Shane Jones: Northland port could be economic haven
    Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones is breathing new life into the proposal to move Auckland's port to Whangārei to help in the economic recovery post Covid-19 pandemic. If New Zealand First was returned in the September general election, Minister Jones said a priority would be development of an "economic haven" at Northport, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF grant for Ventnor memorial
    The plan to build a memorial to the SS Ventnor, and those who were lost when it sank off the Hokianga coast in 1902, has been granted $100,000 from the Provincial Growth Fund. Originally planned for a site near Rāwene cemetery, the memorial will now be built at the new Manea ...
    3 weeks ago
  • 75th anniversary of V.E Day
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader Leader of New Zealand First, Rt Hon Winston Peters said: “Today is the 75th anniversary of VE Day – marking the end of World War II in Europe." Millions died in the six years of war, and families were torn apart. 75 years ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Getting the job done
    From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, our Government has committed to providing calm, clear, and consistent communication, including regular press conference updates from the Prime Minister. While New Zealand is at Alert Level 3, we're making sure that New Zealanders are kept informed and up-to-date with all the latest ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters responds to Simon Bridges’ ‘my sweetheart’ comment
    New Zealand First leader Winston Peters spoke to The Country's Jamie Mackay. A day earlier, National Party leader Simon Bridges was on the radio show and referred to the Deputy Prime Minister as, "my sweetheart Winston". Mr Peters swiftly dismissed the question of whether Bridges had changed his mind about ...
    3 weeks 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
    4 hours 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 day 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days ago
  • Waikato-Tainui settlement story launched on 25th anniversary of Treaty signing
    The story of the Waikato-Tainui Treaty process and its enduring impact on the community is being told with a five-part web story launched today on the 25th anniversary of settlement, announced Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “I am grateful to Waikato-Tainui for allowing us to help capture ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Taita College to benefit from $32 million school redevelopment
    Taita College in the Hutt Valley will be redeveloped to upgrade its ageing classrooms and leaky roofs, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. “The work is long overdue and will make a lasting difference to the school for generations to come,” Chris Hipkins said. “Too many of our schools are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Redeployment for workers in hard-hit regions
    The Government is allocating $36.72 million to projects in regions hard hit economically by COVID-19 to keep people working, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Projects in Hawke’s Bay, Northland, Rotorua and Queenstown will be funded from the Government’s $100 million worker ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • $35m to build financial resilience for New Zealanders
    A $35m boost to financial capability service providers funded by MSD will help New Zealanders manage their money better both day to day and through periods of financial difficulty, announced Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “It’s always been our position to increase support to key groups experiencing or at risk ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New District Court Judge appointed
    Dunedin barrister Melinda Broek has been appointed as a District Court Judge with Family Court jurisdiction to be based in Rotorua, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. Ms Broek has iwi affiliations to Ngai Tai. She commenced her employment in 1996 with Scholefield Cockroft Lloyd in Invercargill specialising in family and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • $206 million investment in upgrades at Ohakea Air Force Base
    The Coalition Government has approved a business case for $206 million in upgrades to critical infrastructure at Royal New Zealand Air Force Base Ohakea, with the first phase starting later this year, Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. The investment will be made in three phases over five years, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Review of CAA organisational culture released
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today released the Ministry of Transport’s review of the organisational culture at the Civil Aviation Authority. Phil Twyford says all employees are entitled to a safe work environment. “I commissioned this independent review due to the concerns I had about the culture within the CAA, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Board appointed at Stats NZ
    Ensuring that Stats NZ’s direction and strategy best supports government policy decisions will be a key focus for a new Governance Advisory Board announced today by the Minister for Statistics, James Shaw. The new Governance Advisory Board will provide strategic advice to Stats NZ to ensure it is meeting New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Principal Environment Judge
    Environment Judge David Kirkpatrick of Auckland has been appointed as the Principal Environment Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  Judge Kirkpatrick was appointed an Environment Judge in February 2014. From December 2013 to July 2016 he was Chair of the Auckland Unitary Plan Independent Hearings Panel. Prior to appointment he ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Digital connectivity boost for urban marae
    A programme to connect marae around the country to the internet has received $1.4 million to expand to include urban marae in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister Kris Faafoi and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. The funding for the Marae Connectivity Programme ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt increases assistance to drought-stricken Hawke’s Bay farmers
    The Government will provide $500,000 to the Hawke’s Bay Mayoral Drought Relief Fund to help farmers facing one of the worst droughts in living memory, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Yesterday afternoon I received a letter from Hawke's Bay's five local Government leaders asking me to contribute to the Fund. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Investment in New Zealand’s history
    Budget 2020 provides a major investment in New Zealand’s documentary heritage sector, with a commitment to leasing a new Archives Wellington facility and an increase in funding for Archives and National Library work. “Last year I released plans for a new Archives Wellington building – a purpose-built facility physically connected ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Driving prompt payments to small businesses
    Government Ministers are asking significant private enterprises to adopt prompt payment practices in line with the state sector, as a way to improve cashflow for small businesses. The Ministers of Finance, Small Business, Commerce and Consumer Affairs have written to more than 40 significant enterprises and banking industry representatives to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Rotorua tourist icon to be safeguarded
    Maori Arts and Crafts will continue to underpin the heart of the tourism sector says Minister for Maori Development Nanaia Mahuta.  “That’s why we are making a core investment of $7.6 million to Te Puia New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute, over two years, as part of the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $14.7m for jobs training and education
    The Government is funding more pathways to jobs through training and education programmes in regional New Zealand to support the provinces’ recovery from the economic impacts of COVID-19, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Employment Minister Willie Jackson have announced. “New Zealand’s economic recovery will be largely driven by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Is it time to further recognise those who serve in our military?
     Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced the launch of a national conversation that aims to find out whether New Zealanders think there should be a formal agreement between service people, the Government, and the people of New Zealand. “This year marks the 75th anniversary of the end of World ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Paving the way for a fully qualified early learning workforce
    The Government’s drive to improve the quality of early childhood education (ECE) is taking another step forward with the reintroduction of a higher funding rate for services that employ fully qualified and registered teachers, Education Minister Chris Hipkins has announced. “Research shows that high-quality ECE can improve young people’s learning ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Sport Recovery Package announced
    The Sport and Recreation sector will receive a multi-million dollar boost as part of the COVID-19 response funded at Budget 2020.  Grant Robertson says the Sport and Recreation Sector contributes about $5 billion a year to New Zealand’s GDP and employs more than 53,000 people. “Sport plays a significant role ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Major boost in support for caregivers and children
    A major increase in funding and availability of support will improve the incomes and reduce the pressure on 14,000 caregivers looking after more than 22,000 children. Children’s Minister Tracey Martin says that caregivers – all those looking after someone else’s children both in and outside the state care system – ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Great Walks recovery on track for summer
    Vital conservation and visitor infrastructure destroyed by a severe flood event in Fiordland earlier this year is being rebuilt through a $13.7 million Budget 2020 investment, announced Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage.   “This investment will mean iconic Great Walks such as the Routeburn track and the full length of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Māori – Government partnership gives whānau a new housing deal
    The Government is investing  $40 million in a partnership with Māori to get more whānau into warm, dry and secure accommodation, Associate Minister for Housing (Māori Housing) Hon Nanaia Mahuta says.. “We are partnering with Māori and iwi to respond to the growing housing crisis in the wake of COVID-19. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders Safe In The Water
    Keeping New Zealanders safe in the water Our lifeguards and coastguards who keep New Zealanders safe in the water have been given a funding boost thanks to the 2020 Budget, Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector Poto Williams has announced. The water safety sector will receive $63 million over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Legal framework for COVID-19 Alert Level referred to select committee
    The COVID-19 Public Health Response Act 2020, which set a sound legal framework ahead of the move to Alert level 2, has been referred to a parliamentary select committee for review.  Attorney-General David Parker said the review of the operation of the COVID-19 specific law would be reported back to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand condemns shocking attacks on hospital and funeral in Afghanistan
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand condemns the targeting of civilians in two terrorist attacks in Afghanistan earlier this week. “The terrorist attacks on a hospital in Kabul and a funeral in Nangarhar province are deeply shocking. The attacks were deliberate and heinous acts of extreme violence targeting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government to close tobacco tax loophole
    The Government will close a loophole that allowed some people to import cigarettes and loose leaf tobacco for manufacturing cigarettes and ‘roll your owns’ for sale on the black market without excise tax being paid, says Minister of Customs Jenny Salesa. The legislation, which doesn’t affect duty free allowances for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • $62 million package to support families through the Family Court
    The Coalition Government has made a significant $62 million investment from the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund to start the reform of the Family Court and enable it to respond effectively to the increased backlog caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Today Justice Minister Andrew Little introduced the Family Court (Supporting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Tailored help supports new type of job seeker – report
    The Government’s expanded services to support people into jobs will help an emerging cohort of New Zealanders impacted by COVID-19. The impacted group are relatively younger, have a proportionately low benefit history and have comparatively higher incomes than most who seek support, as captured in a report published today from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • A modern approach to night classes
    New funding to boost Government-funded Adult and Community Education (ACE) will give more than 11,000 New Zealanders more opportunities to learn, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “This includes a modern approach to rebuilding night classes, which were slashed in the middle of our last economic crisis in 2010,” Chris Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Christchurch Call makes significant progress
    Significant progress has been delivered in the year since the Christchurch Call to Action brought governments and tech companies together in Paris with a single goal to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardent says. On its first anniversary, Ardern and French President Emmanuel Macron as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Christchurch Call: One year Anniversary
    Joint statement: the Right Honourable Jacinda Ardern Prime Minister of New Zealand and His Excellency Emmanuel Macron President of the French Republic. One year since we launched, in Paris, the Christchurch Call to Action, New Zealand and France stand proud of the progress we have made toward our goal to eliminate terrorist ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Budget 2020: Jobs and opportunities for the primary sector
    $19.3 million to help attract and train recently unemployed New Zealanders and grow the primary sector workforce by 10,000 people. $128 million for wilding pine and wallaby control, providing hundreds of jobs. $45.3m over four years to help horticulture seize opportunities for future growth. $14.9 million to reduce food waste ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New registration system for forestry advisers and log traders
    A new log registration scheme and practice standards will bring us one step closer to achieving ‘value over volume’ in our forestry sector, Forestry Minister Shane Jones says. New legislation introduced as part of Budget 2020 will require forestry advisers, log traders and exporters to register and work to nationally ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Finance Minister’s Budget 2020 s Budget Speech
    Mr Speaker, I move that the Appropriation (2020/21 Estimates) Bill be now read a second time. From its very beginning this Coalition Government has committed to putting the wellbeing of current and future generations of New Zealanders at the heart of everything we do. There is no time in New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago