First moves on Holidays Act reform

Written By: - Date published: 1:14 pm, June 7th, 2009 - 23 comments
Categories: workers' rights - Tags:

Call me old-fashioned but the Worth scandal doesn’t really interest me much. In fact I’m of the opinion that Goff and others should just STFU about it now and let process take its course or risk having some of the unpleasantness of it rub off on the Labour brand by association.

I’m much more interested in last Wednesday’s announcement of the Holiday’s act review group.

You see for the vast majority of New Zealanders changes to the Holidays Act will have far more significant and material consequences that anything Richard Worth is alleged to have done. That’s because the Holidays Act determines things such as how much wage earners get paid on sick days and what your rights are if you have to work a public holiday. In short, small changes in the Act could involve millions of dollars ending up in the hands of working New Zealanders or fattening the profits of their employers.

And, although I don’t want to prejudge the outcome, the make up of the five-person group does not bode well. There are two senior unionists on it, Helen Kelly and James Ritchie, and both of them are intelligent sensible and moderate people who understand business. As the head of the Dairy Workers Union Ritchie in particular has a lot of experience in working with Fonterra.

But the balance of power in this group is distinctly tilted toward the other side of the fence. The chair, for example, is Peter Kiely who is an ex-National Party president, is the chairman of the party’s rules committee (a very powerful lay-position in the party) and who led the failed legal action to stop the EPMU registering as a third party during the last election. One of the things Kiely’s law firm, Kiely, Thompson, Caisley specialises in is representing employers’ interests. Air New Zealand is one of their largest clients.

And Air New Zealand has another, more direct connection to the group in the form of their Senior Counsel, Philip Doak, who one can reasonably assume has played a strong role in the airline’s aggressive anti-worker tactics over the last few years including threats of outsourcing to drive down wages and the use of subsidiary companies such as Zeal 320 to cut wage costs.

Then there’s Paul Mackay. He’s been Business New Zealand’s employment policy man since 2006 and presumably helped guide the lobby group’s recommendations to the National-led government earlier this year which included advice such as making strike-breaking easier and restricting union members’ rights to representation.

As I said earlier, it would be wrong to prejudge the outcomes of this group based on who is sitting on it but given how important the Holidays Act is and how much impact it has on the lives of workers in this country, it is a group that should bear more scrutiny than it’s getting. Unfortunately Labour and the fourth estate don’t seem to want to talk about much other than Richard Worth at the moment.

Go figure.

23 comments on “First moves on Holidays Act reform”

  1. Anita 1

    I don’t know the names well enough: is there anyone there who can bring non-Pākeha cultural attitudes about holidays to the table? Or a strong faith-based perspective?

  2. IrishBill 2

    Anita, not directly, no. And speaking of not knowing the names well enough there is a real issue with National’s use of these groups in terms of scrutiny and transparency. Not many people would know, for example, that the 20 year plan for our infrastructure and assets is in the hands of a group consisting mainly of people with strong ties to interests that would benefit from privatisation:

    http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/infrastructure-board-map-20-years-development-102852

    • Anita 2.1

      But the board is full of “industry luminaries”, what more could we need to know? 😉

      • The Baron 2.1.1

        OK, before I call “batshit”, would you please enlighten me as to what non-pakeha attitudes and faith based perspectives would bring to a Holiday’s Act review, Anita?

        Genuinely interested, though my bollocks radar is screaming already.

        • RedLogix 2.1.1.1

          There are a number of minority faiths in NZ, Sikh, hindu, Buddist, Islamic, Bahai for instance, who have community religious calendars that are quite different to,and who have a number of religious festivals that are not at all supported the standard official one.

          For many adherents of the faiths difficulties arises when their community expects them to take a day off to attend an important festival or event, but their employer has no obligation whatsoever to accede to the request. Generally most employers will grant the request, but not always.

          By contrast the major Christian festivals such as Christmas and Easter are statutory days leave, yet for a non-Christian there no comparable option available to them. Any time off they take for faith events (which can amount to 5-10 days a year) comes out of their annual leave, which places them at a considerable disadvantage.

          • The Baron 2.1.1.1.1

            Thanks Red – that all sounds totally worthy of discussion and inclusion.

            I agree that some flexibility here could be useful. Why on earth we mandate christmas in an increasingly secular society is beyond me. In a similar way, it peeves me a little that I have to take off two weeks at Christmas – the weather is better in Feb anyway!

            How you actually incorporate that in an equitable manner is beyond me though – trading Christmas/Easter for the holy days on your calendar sounds good in theory… but what if your religion requires 40 faith days a year? Or what if they all fall within your business’ trading month?

            Worth thinking about – bullshit radar off.

          • Anita 2.1.1.1.2

            It gets even more messy when you try to look at how it would be implemented in different industries.

            My workplace (a small consultancy firm) could tell everyone they can nominate any 4 days of religious holiday they like (to swap for Christmas and Easter if we wanted different ones), and that we would never be forced to work on them. However if anyone picked other days, what work would they do on the 25th and 26th of December? None of our clients would be open so it’d take some logistics to find the work.

            A Nelson holiday park, to take a different example, would have great difficulties is 95% of their staff picked Christmas. The exact reverse issue.

          • mike 2.1.1.1.3

            RL – I like to go duck shooting each May – As a Southlander it is a type of religion to me.
            Don’t think my boss would buy it though – for the minority it’s what annual leave is for isn’t it?

        • Anita 2.1.1.2

          Holidays mean lots of different things to different people, families and communities, and if we’re going to discuss how holidays should be provided it would be worthwhile making sure as many of those different voices are heard as possible.

          When I look at the make up of the committee I see people from a variety of business and workers’ perspectives, and those perspectives are not the only relevant ones.

          Taking faith first, I suspect if you had someone from a faith perspective talking about holidays they’d bring a very different lens to it. They’d talk about swapping holidays differently from business (all should be swappable  to take the extreme) and unions (none should be swappable ditto). They’d talk about some holidays having different significance from others, and how swapping for other religious holidays should be permitted and treated differently from swapping for personal preference (e.g. a Jew should be able to swap Christian holidays for Jewish ones). I’m not saying those opinions are more valid than the business/union ones represented at present, just that they equally represent NZ perspectives on holidays, and that they deserve a voice at the table.

          As a Pākeha I feel a bit less certain about cultural considerations, but I’ll try  hopefully someone will step in and help/correct me. My impression is that Pākeha tend to use holidays for a medium number of nuclear family and a tiny number of extended family events. Some other ethnic communities have a greater focus on whole-of-community events, which necessarily require a different shape of holidays. Again it’s a different perspective, if a single business has 60% of workers from a single ethnic community it may be preferable for them to have a small number of compulsory holidays rather than staying open every day and rostering and paying overtime or trying to solve it with voluntary swaps  that way community events have space to occur.

          Again, holidays are about communities and families as much as they are about individuals and businesses, and it would be useful to have representatives from as many different perspectives as possible.

          How’s that bollocks radar? 🙂

          • The Baron 2.1.1.2.1

            See above…

            Ultimately, one solution could be to scrap universal public holidays, and go all out for 6 weeks annual leave….

          • Anita 2.1.1.2.2

            Then the issue becomes who gets to decide when they can be taken.

            A faith based voice would argue that people of faith should get to take their religious holidays as of right. As discussed above this could cause all manner of business issues.

            An ethnic community voice might argue that businesses should be prepared to close down for a day if a large ethnic community had a festival so lots of people needed to use of their days and the business would be unsustainably understaffed.

            All mucky 🙂

          • The Baron 2.1.1.2.3

            Though the alternative is to mandate which religious festivals are worthy of “no excuse needed” time off, and which aren’t. I see a couple of heads at DoL to maintain that list…!

            No, I would far rather prefer that everyone, including the Christians, didn’t have their religious festivals guaranteed, and instead had 6 weeks a year of leave that allows them to negotiate their time off when they want it. Far simpler, but also prone to employers saying no…

            God, maybe I’ll turn the radar back on. All this religion stuff is all horse shit anyway! I want a day off, each and every week, to celebrate the birth, death and return of the flying spaghetti monster.

          • SPC 2.1.1.2.4

            Perhaps the thing is, this is not focused on the issue of any change to the days which are our “public holidays”, but about how workers are compensated when they work on them.

            The purpose of the review is to appease employer concerns about the past legislation (primarily reduce cost to business) – the presence of the 2 union reps is indicative of government concern that this change may not be popular with workers – thus the resort to union resistance to moderate any change and reduce political damage to itself.

          • felix 2.1.1.2.5

            Faith and reason are uncomfortable bedfellows at best. I think you’re all pushing shit up hill trying to rationalise belief-based paid holidays – there’s just no rational basis to work from.

            Just give up your silly religious rituals and it will all be a lot easier to sort out. And in your hearts you know it.

  3. Zimbo 3

    Good post IrishBill. Being a Nat supporter I would hope that the party wouldn’t be silly enough to mess around with this issue too much. Helen Kelly is also, I feel, extremely good at ensuring employees get a fair deal, so I personally cannot see this group making any drastic changes to the Act.

    • Anita 3.1

      I expect National to move forward with both transfer and cashing in of leave, plus a “simplification” of the calculation of “relevant daily pay” which will lead to a reduced amount to some, the same for many, and an increase for nearly none.

      The first two are big changes IMO, the final one is just mean.

  4. Irascible 4

    The process of dismantling the rights of and social obligations to workers is beginning along with the destruction of the fabric of our communities through the Hide plan to destroy the communities that make up greater Auckland and the suspension of the Cullen Fund investments.
    The problem for the public is that the media always favour small human issues like sleazy and abusive behaviour by those who pretend to be honorable men as these are easier to write about and illustrate.The nett result is that politics becomes dominated by these fascinations.
    How do you make attacks on the Holidays Act as easy to digest as the sleaze that is Richard Worth, the ignorance of Melisa Lee and the incompetence of John Boy Key?

  5. doc whose asking 5

    Outside my interests and brief I’m sad to say, but you might consider how massive layoffs in the States have already led to a burgeoning rise in reduced pay. Lower-skilled the worst offended.. ie $20 ph to $10 ph..

    The levers to lower wages are many hence this note and encouragement you push back in such matters..

  6. Bill 6

    I suspect one line that will be spun will run somewhere close to ” those poor defenceless workers were veritably horse whipped into having to take four weeks holiday. They didn’t ask for it or fight in any way to get it! So we, the good guys, are going to alleviate that oppressive imposition, and give them the freedom to chose to trade their holidays.”

    And then there will be the line about the poor oppressed employer who simply cannot afford to maintain slave privileges.

    And you know what?

    A bucket of shite will be signed off on, sealed in wet paper bags and delivered in real trickle down fashion without so much as a whimper of protest. (Oh, somebody somewhere will say it stinks, but that will be about the extent of it)

  7. bill brown 7

    Add up all of the current holidays, divide them up into manageable chunks, mostly 1 day and a couple of 2 day holidays.

    Disperse them throughout the year, on Mondays and or Fridays, with a small bias towards the summer months.

    If you’ve got some kind of weird bias towards having a day off on a particular day then you’ve got 20 days extra to do with as you like.

  8. RedLogix 8

    Just give up your silly religious rituals and it will all be a lot easier to sort out. And in your hearts you know it.

    Mature believers in almost every faith understand that rituals and celebrations are in themselves rather peripheral to the questions of conviction and consecration. But at the same time they are recognised as essential markers in the life of the community, which in itself consists of many, many folk from the very young, through to the most elderly. They bring together, bond and give heart in a simple, manner that speaks directly to the hearts of all, regardless of their experience or stage of life.

    As for religion itself. I defend it on the grounds that it is an innate manisfestation of the unique human capacity to perceive and rationalise with abstracts. This means that we all have the opportunity (even if many decline to exercise it) to address our rational spirit to the certainty that reality encompasses many mysteries that our limited minds and imaginations cannot yet grasp. Of course the human ego, paired with our vanity, is very prone to filling the mystery up with fanciful ideas and vain, pointless imaginings. Fundamentalist fall into this trap all the time.

    Personally I prefer to be rather more respectful, and accept that I simply have no idea of, or means to directly experience the fullness of creation, much less the notion of divinity. At the same time, I realise that my lack of capacity (or desire even) to understand, is not an excuse for metaphorically sticking my fingers in my ears, going ‘lalalala’, and hoping that God will just go away.

    Well it’s a Sunday and occasionally I use that as an excuse to indulge in a wee sermon. Nite all.

    • Noko 8.1

      not an excuse for metaphorically sticking my fingers in my ears, going ‘lalalala’, and hoping that God will just go away.

      Had me up until there.

      The concept of a “God” or gods has no basis in reality, and just sticking my fingers in my ears, going ‘lalalala’ isn’t going to change that fact. Just because it makes life seem pointless and without beauty, well, it’s all in the eye of the beholder, isn’t it?

      • Noko 8.1.1

        And I’d like to say in addendum: many people use Christianity or other religions as a crutch, in fact I heard someone I know describing his belief in Buddhism this way a few days ago. Especially that they find it hard to reconcile that when you’re dead, you’re dead, so it’s nice to think there is an afterworld of any sorts, or that you’re reborn again.

        It’s my personal belief that it’s a lot more poetic that you become apart of the Earth again (though I’m no believer in Gaia) you rot in the ground, and the nutrients in your body are again supporting life.

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  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    1 week ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
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    1 week ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
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    1 week ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘The Workshop’ – Report: Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Strategies that ...
    The Workshop is a charitable trust for public good. The Workshop undertake research to find ways of communicating that will build support for the solutions that work to solve complex social and environmental problems. See their Report on Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform below. ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Exclusive language
    What is language? We generally assume that it a facility unique to humans, allowing us to share what’s in and on our minds. We can tell of our plans, our past exploits, our knowledge. It also allows us to lie. And yet there are vast numbers of people we can’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • April 2018 – Submission to the NZ Govt Tax Working Group
    You can read our submission HERE ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • 2018 – Submission to the NZ Government Tax Working Group
    Read our submission here ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Guardian: Poll shows DISASTER for Corbyn and the End of Times
    The Guardian - ever eager to forewarn of doom and disaster on the left - are leading with a new poll from Opinium, which puts the Conservatives 15% clear of Labour.Con 38% +2Lab 23% -1Lib Dem 15% -5Brexit 12% +1Green 4% +2This isn't good news, and it would be very ...
    1 week ago
  • How prostitution became the world’s most modern profession
    Being and Being Bought (Spinifex Press, 2013) by Kajsa Ekis Ekman  A synopsis and commentary of Chapters 1-2 by Daphna Whitmore Ekman, a Swedish journalist and critic, brings together a Marxist and feminist analysis of prostitution and surrogacy in this groundbreaking book She opens the discussion with a definition of ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Clever legal fellow on Scottish challenge to Brexit
    I make no claims to having much legal knowledge,  so I defer to those trained in this area.I am very much enjoying this twitter stream from m'learned friend in Edinburgh, deciphering the legal arguments around the Scottish court challenge to Boris Johnson, based on the charmingly obscure principle of Nobile ...
    2 weeks ago
  • An Open Letter From Closed Minds.
    Ivory Folly? The University of Auckland’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart McCutcheon, upheld the right of the radical nationalist group, Action Zealandia to exercise their freedom of speech – not matter how distasteful that speech might be. A wiser community of students and scholars would have nodded their agreement and moved on. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Extinction Rebellion members want to “eat babies”
    If you are not convinced terrorist Organisation ‘Extinction Rebellion’ is very, very dangerous – watch this video at one of their recent meetings. Not only is this obviously mentally ill Woman begging the other terrorists to promote killing and “eating” babies and children, if you watch carefully other members nod ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    2 weeks ago
  • The government needs to tell people about the OIA
    The Ombudsman has been surveying people about their knowledge of the OIA and the right to information. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem that widespread:The Chief Ombudsman says too many New Zealanders were in the dark over their right to access official information. Peter Boshier said an independent survey released yesterday on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Join the rebellion
    In the wake of last Friday's climate strike, Peter McKenzie had an article in The Spinoff about protest strategies. The school strike movement is "polite" and cooperates with those in power because that's its kaupapa - its led by schoolkids who understandably don't want to risk arrest. But there's more ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Jermey Corbyn, I don’t like GNU (sorry)
    So, the latest ruminations on the gnews from Westminster (Again, sorry; I'll stop making that pun right now).  This follows on from, and likely repeats bits of, my last post, on the suggestion that a Government of National Unity (GNU) should be set up and then oversee a referendum before ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • About time
    New Zealand likes to think of itself as not a racist country (despite being founded on the racist dispossession and subjugation of Maori). But for years, we've had a racist refugee policy, which basicly excludes refugees from Africa and the Middle East unless they already have relatives here. Now, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Legal Beagle: Vexation, or Something Too Long for Twitter
    Several people have asked me whether a particular repeat litigant could be declared a vexatious litigant, in light of their recent decision to appeal an adverse High Court ruling. My nascent tweet thread was getting ridiculously long, so it became this blog post instead.The short answer is: no. The particular ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Zealandia’s Lost Boys.
    Appealing To The Past: Action Zealandia, like so many of the organisations springing up on the far-Right, across what they call the “Anglosphere”, is born out of the profound confusion over what a man is supposed to be in the twenty-first century and, more importantly, what he is supposed to do.THE STATUE OF ...
    2 weeks ago
  • British trade union and political activists defend women’s right to speak, organise
      The attempts of anti-democratic transactivists to (often violently) disrupt women’s rights organising is largely ignored by those sections of the left most prone to misogyny and authoritarianism in New Zealand.  In Britain, however, scores of trade union and left activists added their names to a letter in July, defending ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Turning their back on justice
    The Justice Committee has reported back on the Criminal Cases Review Commission Bill. The Bill would establish an independent, quasi-judicial body to investigate and review potential miscarriages of justice, and refer them back to the Court of appeal if required. It would be a vital backstop to our judiciary, help ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Further details of Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visit to New Zealand
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed further details on the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s visit to New Zealand next month. Their Royal Highnesses will visit New Zealand from 17-23 November – their third joint visit to New Zealand and first in four years. They arrive in Auckland ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • O’Connor in Thailand to push for RCEP deal
    Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth and Minister of Agriculture, Damien O’Connor, heads to Thailand today to attend the final Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial meeting, as negotiations enter their final stages. “The RCEP Agreement would anchor New Zealand in a regional agreement that covers 16 countries, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Young Pacific people can access earning and learning opportunities in Hawke’s Bay, Otago and South...
    Pacific young people living in the Hawke’s Bay, Southland and Otago regions will have access to support services that have proved successful in helping young people find new earning and learning opportunities. “Tupu Aotearoa is about changing Pacific young peoples’ lives. Our young people are talented, they are smart, they ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Protecting wellbeing – ACC HQSC Trauma Forum
    Introduction As the Minister for ACC I thank you all for the work that you do supporting New Zealanders in their literally most vulnerable moments. From those who hold people’s lives in their hands, to the people who research technique, technology and trends, your work is highly valued. A special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ economy in good shape – notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch
    Notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch – Wednesday 9 October 2019 Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • World Mental Health Day a reminder of the importance of mental health work
    Minister of Health Dr David Clark and Associate Minister of Health Peeni Henare say this year’s World Mental Health Day theme is a reminder of why the Government’s work on mental health is so important. “This year the World Federation for Mental Health has made suicide prevention the main theme ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Cultural Ministers Meeting
    Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni will represent the government at Australia’s Meeting of Cultural Ministers in Adelaide this week. “This year’s meeting is special because New Zealand is expected to become an International Member of the Meeting of Cultural Ministers at this Australian forum,” Carmel Sepuloni said. “The meeting is an opportunity to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 608 claims resolved by GCCRS in first year
    The Greater Christchurch Claims Resolution Service has resolved 608 insurance and EQC claims in its first year in operation, Minister Megan Woods has announced. The government service, which celebrates its first birthday today, provides a one stop shop to help Cantabrians still battling to get their homes repaired or rebuilt ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ economy in good shape
    Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There has been an increasing amount of attention paid to the outlook ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZTA to refocus on safety following review
    The Government is acting swiftly to strengthen NZTA’s regulatory role following a review into the Transport Agency, and Ministry of Transport’s performance as its monitor, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. An independent review by Martin Jenkins has found NZTA failed to properly regulate the transport sector under the previous ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Joint Cooperation Statement on Climate Change between the Netherlands and New Zealand
    The Netherlands and New Zealand have a long-standing and close relationship based on many shared interests and values. We value the rule of law, our democracies, and multilateralism.  And we value our environment – at home and globally. Right now there are major global challenges in all of these areas – ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government putting right Holidays Act underpayment in Health
    The Government is putting right a decade’s worth of underpayment to nurses, doctors and other health workers, says Health Minister Dr David Clark.  Initial sampling of District Health Boards payroll records has found that around $550-$650 million is owed to DHB staff to comply with the Holidays Act. It’s expected ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government accounts show strong economy
    A strong surplus and low debt show the economy is performing well, and means the Government is in a good position to meet the challenges of global economic uncertainty. “The surplus and low levels of debt show the economy is in good shape. This allows the Government to spend more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ministers approve application to expand Waihi mine
    New applications from mining company OceanaGold to purchase land in Waihi for new tailings ponds associated with its gold mines have been approved. Minister of Finance Grant Robertson and Associate Minister of Finance David Parker considered the applications under the Overseas Investment Act. Earlier this year, applications from OceanaGold to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla launches with tribute to tangata whenua
    New Zealanders in Tūranganui-a-Kiwa / Poverty Bay will witness Māori, Pākehā and Pacific voyaging traditions come together today as the Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla assembles for the first time, Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti Minister Kelvin Davis says. “Tuia 250 is a national commemoration and an opportunity for honest conversations ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Visit to advance trade agenda with Europe and the Commonwealth
    Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker leaves tomorrow for Dubai, London and Berlin for a series of meetings to advance New Zealand’s trade interests.  In Dubai he will visit New Zealand’s Pavilion at Expo 2020 where construction is underway.  There he will meet Minister of State for International Cooperation, Her ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More cancer drugs confirmed – even more on horizon
    Confirmation that PHARMAC will fund two new cancer drugs is further evidence of the good progress the Government is making to improve the treatment of New Zealand’s leading cause of death, Health Minister David Clark says. From 1 December PHARMAC will fund alectinib (Alecensa) for ALK positive advanced non-small cell ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago