Folic acid fiasco

Written By: - Date published: 2:00 pm, July 14th, 2009 - 30 comments
Categories: food, health, labour, national/act government - Tags:

Wilkinson Key white breadI just don’t see why medicating an entire population to prevent a handful of spina bifida cases, which will only work if women eat far more bread than they do, is a good idea. It’s such a grossly untargeted and unsophisticated approach.

Saying ‘well many women don’t get enough folic acid and many pregnancies are unplanned so let’s give it to them some other way’ might be well and good, if people ate bread in the quantities that are necessary for this dosing to work and it was proven to be safe. But they don’t, and it isn’t. Given that, why are we, against the public will, carrying out a population-wide health experiment by injecting yet another chemical into our diets?

Why not just let bakers do what they propose, have lines of bread with folic acid and lines without? Women could be encouraged to take the folate bread but it wouldn’t be forced on everyone.

Frankly, this was a case where Labour got it badly wrong (and they’ll be kicking themselves for reconfirming that position last week). It displayed all the overbearing, we-know-best traits that their enemies have so successfully exploited in the past with their ‘nanny state’ rhetoric.

But there’s no use blaming the last government. The Key government is the one with the responsibility to act now. It simply beggars belief to hear Food Safety Minister Kate Wilkinson on one hand saying she doesn’t want folic acid to be mandatory in bread and on the other hand attacking the concerns of those who want her to stop it happening.

It’s just not credible to say that there’s nothing she and Key can do. They have had 7 months and have a couple more in which they could get an exemption from the Aussies or, if needed, pass a simple piece of legislation overruling the standard. A least have this ministerial review Wilkinson is promising before the standard comes into effect.

Instead, Key and Wilkinson are pulling the possum-in-the-headlights imitation and blaming Labour. It’s a pattern that’s becoming all too familiar from a government that is failing to govern.

30 comments on “Folic acid fiasco ”

  1. The idea that women will ‘need to eat far more bread than they need’ is fallacious. Vitamin B9 would come from other sources as well.
    Compared to what they put into bread allready its a normal part of living in an advanced society And no its not an ‘experiment’ this has been done successfully for some time elsewhere.
    Next you will be saying ‘end flouridation’, ban Xrays’ ‘stop blood transfusions’

    • Anita 1.1

      Yeah, the “women will need to eat 11 slices of bread a day” is pure spin, Katherine Rich spin even 🙂

      People get folate from other sources, this will simply increase it taking more soon-to-be-pregnant women over the line from sub-optimal to optimal.

      There are plenty of good arguments against mandatory fortification which don’t involve buying the bread lobby’s spin.

  2. Quoth the Raven 2

    The cost of this to businesses is not something that the “left” often talks about, but this kind of regulation that puts greater cost on to small businesses. Larger businesses are better able to absorb such a cost. We should be concerned about small businesses if we don’t want a large corporate dominated market and regulations like this should be considered as to how they may or may not further tilt the balance in favour of large businesses.

    • BLiP 2.1

      Lets hope the best of the smaller bakers are also the smartest and “go organic”.

      Such a transition from foreign corporate-supplied soy pap to New Zealand-grown organic produce would be a boon to the country. Economically and evenironmentally.

      Its a chance for consumers to act like citizens for a change and claim back the sovereignty of their daily bread.

      What’s the chances, I wonder.

  3. Wrangle 3

    ‘end flouridation’, ban Xrays’ ‘stop blood transfusions’

    except those things have significant positive effects for a great many people.

    Here, we’re talking about medicating an entire population to benefit (not even save the lives of) a few people a year.

  4. toad 4

    ghostwhowalks said: Next you will be saying ‘end flouridation’, ban Xrays’ ‘stop blood transfusions’

    I agree we should end fluoridation too ghost (but not the other two you cite). Like folic acid in bread, fluoridation is mass medication, and I find that unacceptable. I agree both have health advantages (at least for some people), but I don’t see how that justifies forcing them on everyone.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      Because it helps maintain the health of the entire society and not just those that can afford it. It also decreases costs in the future.

      • Noko 4.1.1

        That’s bullshit.

        Fluoridation in water barely helps your teeth (protip: fluoride has to be applied topically, as in tooth paste to work) simple drinking it and hoping it’ll work doesn’t.

      • Anita 4.1.2

        Draco T Bastard,

        Because it helps maintain the health of the entire society and not just those that can afford it. It also decreases costs in the future.

        So would mandatory weekly iron injections and mandatory hormonal contraception for teenagers and and and

        With each public health intervention there are pros and cons when calculating justification, and this one is pretty finally balanced. I come down on the not-justified side partly because it’s mandatory (I’d be ok with default fortification as long as there was a realistic opt out option) and smacks of nutritionism (which I think is part of the problem, not the solution).

  5. Evidence-Based Practice 5

    I understand that this policy came about after much lobbying from public health advocates – particularly in Australia but also here – who were very concerned about preventing neural tube defects particularly in children whose mothers are unlikely to carefully take folic acid supplements before a planned pregnancy. It was seen as the easiest way to reach the target population (although of course not the gluten intolerant), without any negative effects. So there is scientific evidence behind it.

    • Bright Red 5.1

      No-one’s saying it doesn’t help reduce neural tube defects. The question is weather putting folic acid in everyone’s bread is the best way to help those few people.

  6. Tigger 6

    This whole ‘Labour were wrong to do it yet we’re going to do it anyway but it’s really Labour’s fault’ line is worn through.

    National, it’s no good blaming Labour for something that is entirely within your power to fix. Grow a backbone and either make a change or stop whining. You’re the government, start acting like it.

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    …by injecting yet another chemical into our diets?

    Um, dude, it’s b9 – you know, a vitamin that’s essential to our over all good health? Calling it a chemical may help get people upset about this mass medication but you really should tell people what it really is – just another part of an essential diet.

    Hell, this post comes across as another dog-whistle.

  8. Jasper 8

    From a diabetics point of view, it’s shocking.

    Folic Acid has adverse reactions with the insulin injected multiple times daily by type one diabetics.
    Some extreme cases have proven that folic acid being consumed by population groups not needing extra supplements actually hinder the absorption of insulin into the bloodstream.

    All laid out with references in my submission to select committee, but still, it went through.

    Will this be ALL bread products? Anything with yeast? What constitutes bread? Are crumpets included? Pikelets?

    Or just your standard loaf style?

    • Luxated 8.1

      http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/591111?sssdmh=dm1.458066&src=nldne

      Also a possible relationship between folic acid (as in fortified foods) and colon cancer, although there also seems to be evidence that dietary folate (natural levels of folate) protects against colorectal cancer.

      Seems like more investigation is needed before action can be taken.

      Jasper my understanding is that the folate will be in the yeast, even the stuff you buy for your own baking. I assume organic yeast is exempt.

  9. mike 9

    Whats even worse is Annette “fullmoon” King didn’t even allow debate on the matter, “a no-brainer” was the term used – how apt. Democracy under attack?

    Give JK some time to fix this – it’s is only one of many feck-ups he was handed by the sinking ship..

    • snoozer 9.1

      How much time does Key’s government need for even simple things like getting rid of a standard that they themselves don’t want? It’s going to take them a year just to get around to reviewing it.

      Can’t these guys walk and chew gum? Actually, can’t they just walk or chew gum? Because at the moment they’re just sitting around doing nothing.

  10. r0b 10

    Not often that I disagree with you Eddie, and I don’t have time for a debate today, but just briefly, I don’t get the hysteria over folic acid.

    “Medicating” the population is just rhetoric, it’s no more medication than citric acid or vitamin C. Why get worked up over folic acid when the we accept (with the same debatable issues) fluoride in water, iodine in salt, or much more dodgy issue of food additives such as monosodium glutamate? And for goodness sake no one is claiming that the whole RDA has to come from bread!

    I accept that there are health risks as well as the benefits, but these were not known at the time that Labour got this thing moving, so it’s a tad unfair to say that they got it “badly wrong”. How badly wrong is it to let kids die of preventable causes?

    There’s a thoughtful and balanced discussion of the whole folic acid issue here:
    http://www.pundit.co.nz/content/to-folate-or-not-to-folate

  11. George D 11

    Now showing in cinemas: Revenge of the Nanny State Meme!

    You thought it was dead, unable to claim victims… this monster has a life of its own!

  12. Mike 12

    This is the most ridiculous and fact-free ‘controversy’ since the section 59 repeal.
    What next, banning orange juice and green vegetables because of ‘deadly’ folic acid?
    Time to start pretending I’m Australian again.

  13. nanny state ??
    Thats why they have had it for years in the US. The home of the nanny state

  14. gobsmacked 14

    Tigger is right, above. It’s the way this government makes decisions (or doesn’t) that is so pathetic.

    Tenable positions:

    1) Benefits outweight risks.(pro)

    2) Risks outweigh benefits. (anti)

    3) Regardless of risks/benefits, not the role of gov’t (therefore anti, on ideological grounds)

    Not a tenable position:

    Ignore both science and principle, just follow the noise of the crowd, like Mayor Quimby at a town hall meeting.

    I know nothing about folic acid. But I expect the people in charge to make sure they do know, and to make a decision on that basis, not just because of the latest headlines in a slow news week. And then to bloody well stand up for it, not bleat about the opposition party.

    It’s a joke. All spin. No spine.

  15. Spectator 15

    I would have more sympathy for the poor, hard done by bakers if they didn’t already load their “bread” up with so much sugar that it might as well be called “cake”. Almost all bread these days is barely suitable for making a savoury sandwich, to the extent that they sometimes taste like someone had accidentally spilled sugar or jam on the plate before making it.

    I’d rather eat bread fortified by a vitamin – even though I have no intention of ever getting pregnant – than eat bread as full of sugar as modern New Zealand bread is.

  16. BLiP 16

    What gives me the shits about this fiasco is that the manufacturers of the New Zealand folic acid supplement are based in a country not widely recognised here as a trusted supplier of anything! All we need is a greedy corporate, a couple of corrupt officials and the Fonterra Board and who knows what we’re all gonna be eating!

    And what about folic acid masking low B12 levels and thus putting the elderly more at risk of going ga-ga much quicker!

    This whole thing stinks!

    That purse-lipped, front-row parishioner at the altar of Our Lady Of The Truely Thick who dares to call her self the Minister of Food Safety – she’s gotta go.

  17. Flipper 17

    BLiP is spot on. The proposed form of folate to be added to bread is not the natural type but is another unproven and synthetic product. Even in the UK and Ireland, the only two EU states that allow drinking water to be fluoridated (conned just like you Antipodeans in the 1950s !) their public health ‘experts’ have learned the lesson of mass fluoridation and have backed off mandatory fortification of bread with folic acid because of unintended health effects.

    Folic acid fortification has already been dubbed FLUORIDATION MARK II. It is the same spurious health argument about simply increasing the level of a ‘natural’ substance in food/water but without telling you that the additive is completely different in form AND has not been proven safe. In the case of toxic fluorosilicates, they have not even been toxicologically tested. Don’t be duped by this flipper from Oz on yet another US-originating wheeze.

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    5 days ago
  • I’ve been doing this all wrong
    Here are six words that are not easy to say but god it can feel good when you finally say them:I’ve been doing this all wrongFive years ago today I said to myself:What if I'm doing this all wrong?Five years ago today I said to Karren: I think I’m going to ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • New study suggests the Atlantic overturning circulation AMOC “is on tipping course”
    This is a re-post from RealClimate by Stefan Rahmstorf A new paper was published in Science Advances today. Its title says what it is about: “Physics-based early warning signal shows that AMOC is on tipping course.” The study follows one by Danish colleagues which made headlines last July, likewise looking for early warning signals ...
    6 days ago
  • Valentines from ACT.
    Some of us make a big deal out of Valentine’s Day. We’ll buy the flowers, eye watering though the price spike might be. Say the things we should be saying anyway, although diminished by being scheduled for delivery. Some of us will even write long free-form newsletters with declarations of ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Tax cuts paid for by 13k more kids in poverty
    MSD advised the government that the indexation change it passed under urgency last night is likely to put around 7,000 extra children (and potentially up to 13,000) into poverty. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The Government has reverted indexation for main beneficiaries to price inflation from wage inflation under ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Fuel Tax Fight and Rail Fail update
    The two stories we covered at the start of the week continue to be in the headlines so it’s worth looking at the latest for each of them. Regional Fuel Tax Mayor Wayne Brown promised some ‘argy-bargy’ over the government’s decision to cancel the Regional Fuel Tax and he’s ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Arsonists
    Today, a major fire broke out on the Port Hills in Ōtutahi. Like its 2017 predecessors, it is almost certainly exacerbated by climate change. And it is still burning. The present government did not start the fire. But they piled the tinder high last time they were in power, gutting ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • I don’t know!
    http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/73411 7 examples And who actually makes the decisions? Vladimir Putin: I don’t know. America is a complex country, conservative on the one hand, rapidly changing on the other. It’s not easy for us to sort it all out.   Tucker Carlson: Do you think Zelensky has the freedom to negotiate the settlement to this conflict? Vladimir Putin: I don’t know the details, of course it’s difficult for me to judge, but ...
    6 days ago
  • Fresh thinkers
    Fresh thinking will always give you hope.It might be the kind that makes you smite your brow, exclaiming: Why didn't we think of that! It's obvious!It might be the kind that makes you go: Dude you’re a genius.Sometimes it will simply be Wayne Brown handing Simeon Brown his weasel ass ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • It is not about age, it is about team.
    Much attention has been directed at Joe Biden’s mental lapses and physical frailty. Less attention has been spent on Donald Trump’s cognitive difficulties and physical limitations, with most focus being devoted to his insults and exaggerated claims (as if they … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • ROBERT MacCULLOCH: Fletcher Building – it is time to break up NZ’s most useless company.
    Robert MacCulloch writes –  Gosh, the CEO of Fletcher Building, Ross Taylor, says today’s announcement of a half-year loss of $120 million for the company is “disappointing” and was “heavily impacted” by the Convention Centre losses. He must be crying all the way to the bank (to quote Las ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Mortgage rates seen high for even longer
    Government and borrower hopes for early mortgage cost relief look likely to be thwarted. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Stronger-than-expected US inflation data out overnight is expected to delay the first US Federal Reserve rate cut into the second half of 2024, which in turn would hold mortgage rates ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, the first of the new Parliament. And to start the Parliament off, there's a bunch of first readings. A bunch of other bills have been postponed, so first up is Duncan Webb's District Court (Protecting Judgment Debtors on Main Benefit) Amendment Bill, followed by Katie ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Three Waters go down the legislative gurgler – but what should we make of Local Water Done Well?
    Buzz from the Beehive Local Government Minister Simeon Brown – it seems fair to suppose – was flushed with success after the repeal of Labour’s divisive and unpopular Three Waters legislation. As he explained, repealing this legislation is a necessary first step in implementing his government’s Local Water Done Well ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    7 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on five of Luxon’s Gaza absurdities
    Earlier this week, PM Christopher Luxon met with 48 public service CEOs to make sure they were on board with his plans to cut spending on public services so that National can proceed to give the revenue away to those New Zealanders least in need. This wasn’t the only absurdity ...
    7 days ago
  • Love and the Fairer Sex.
    This morning I woke early with many thoughts in my head of things said, events of the week, things that matter. I’m afraid none of them involved Seymour, Willis, or Luxon so if you’re looking for something political maybe take the day off and come back tomorrow. You won’t find ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • He stood up to Muldoon and Lange and the Fji army
    Gerald Hensley, who died aged 88 on Saturday, was the key official who presided over the tumultuous events that followed the election of the Lange Labour Government in 1984. He was also instrumental in helping a key Fijian official escape the country during one of the 1987 coups. A diplomat ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    7 days ago
  • At a glance – Has Arctic sea ice returned to normal?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    1 week ago
  • Halo dunia!
    Selamt datang di WordPress. Ini adalah pos pertama Anda. Sunting atau hapus, kemudian mulai menulis! ...
    1 week ago
  • The PM wants a turnaround
    As a treat today I have lined up a favourite in the music slot. I love Turnaround, I cannot hear it too often, and I feel in need of a treat when I make myself listen to the Prime Minister the way I did this morning.He too, has favourites that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • The PM wants a turnaround
    As a treat today I have lined up a favourite in the music slot. I love Turnaround, I cannot hear it too often, and I feel in need of a treat when I make myself listen to the Prime Minister the way I did this morning.He too, has favourites that ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • ELE LUDEMANN: Trusting locals
    Ele Ludemann writes- A government-knows-best and predilection for central control was another unfortunate feature of the 2017-2023 Labour governments. One of the worst polices as a result of that was what started as Three Waters and became several more. The National-led government is much more trusting of locals ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    1 week ago
  • Legislation to flush away Three Waters has become a certainty – but we must wait for details on th...
    Buzz from the Beehive A  three-day information drought was broken, just after Point of Order published yesterday’s Buzz from the Beehive, and two significant ministerial announcements were made. First, the Budget will be delivered on 30 May, telling us which genuine savings have been made by eliminating waste and which ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    1 week ago
  • Rise of the Lobbyists.
    An unpopular opinion, I love Auckland.Not so much the transport or the house prices - those are pretty dire. But there’s a lot to like. We’ve a vibrant, multicultural city in a beautiful location with, mostly, friendly locals. From the native bush of the Waitakeres to the Gulf islands, it’s ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The holes in National’s water reform pipes
    Young renters just have to watch on as pipes keep failing and the Government and councils point fingers at each other, because all the incentives are for ratepayers to block rates increases, water meters, water charges and the creation of new entities. File Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: The National-ACT-NZ First coalition ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago

  • Greater support for social workers
    The Coalition Government is enhancing the professionalism of the social work sector and supporting the vulnerable people who rely on them, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says.  The Social Workers Registration Legislation Amendment Bill passed its third reading in Parliament today. It amends the Social Workers Registration Legislation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Government delivers greater freedom and choice for sick New Zealanders
    The coalition government is delivering on its commitment to making principled decisions by getting rid of red tape that doesn’t make sense and allowing sick New Zealanders greater freedom and choice to purchase effective cold and flu medicines. A bill amending the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 is being introduced, and changes to the Medicines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Government begins reset of welfare system
    The Coalition Government is taking early action to curb the surge in welfare dependency that occurred under the previous government by setting out its expectations around employment and the use of benefit sanctions, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. In 2017, 60,588 sanctions were applied to beneficiaries who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • State of the Nation
    Ka nui te mihi kia koutou. Kia ora, good morning, talofa, malo e lelei, bula vinaka, da jia hao, namaste, sat sri akal, assalamu alaikum. Thank you for coming to my first State of the Nation as Prime Minister. Thank you for coming to a speech where I don’t just ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • West Coast tourism attractions officially open
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will attend the official opening of two highly anticipated tourism projects on the West Coast today – Pike29 Memorial Track, dedicated to the memory of the Pike River miners, and Pounamu Pathway. “The Pike29 Memorial Track is a way to remember and honour the men ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Independent ferry service advisory group in place
    Appointments to the Ministerial Advisory Group tasked with providing independent advice and assurance on the future of KiwiRail’s inter-island ferry service have been made, State Owned Enterprises Minister Paul Goldsmith says. “It’s important for New Zealand that KiwiRail is focused on ensuring safe, resilient, and reliable ferry services over the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Joint statement from the Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada, and New Zealand
    The Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada and New Zealand today issued the following statement on reports of Israel’s planned military operation in Rafah. We are gravely concerned by indications that Israel is planning a ground offensive into Rafah.   A military operation into Rafah would be catastrophic. About 1.5 million Palestinians ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt will deliver on expanded breast screening
    The coalition Government has made the first steps in delivering on its promise to  extend free breast screening to women aged 70-74, Health Minister Shane Reti says. “As part of the 100 day plan, the Government has now met with officials and discussed what is needed in order for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government announces woolshed roadshows in support of sheep farmers
    The Government celebrates National Lamb Day (15 February 24) and congratulates sheep farmers on the high-quality products they continue to produce. Agriculture Minister McClay hosted bipartisan celebrations of National Lamb Day with industry representatives at Parliament this week to mark the anniversary of the first frozen lamb exports that left ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech: Address to the NZ Economics Forum
    It’s great to be back at the New Zealand Economics Forum. I would like to acknowledge everyone here today for your expertise and contribution, especially the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Head of the Waikato Management School, economists, students and experts alike. A year has passed since I was last before you, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government tackling high construction costs
    The Government is focused on reducing sky-high construction costs to make it more affordable to build a home, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says.  Stats NZ data shows the cost of building a house has increased by 41 per cent since 2019, making housing even more unaffordable for Kiwi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Labour’s Three Waters legislation repealed
    The Coalition Government’s legislative plan to address longstanding issues with local water infrastructure and service delivery took an important step today, with the repeal of Labour’s divisive and unpopular Three Waters legislation, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “Repealing this legislation is a necessary first step in implementing our Local ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Cost of living support for beneficiary households
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its commitment to ease the cost-of-living by increasing main benefit rates in line with inflation and ensuring the Minimum Family Tax Credit threshold remains aligned with this change, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. The Social Security (Benefits Adjustment) and Income Tax ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government announces agriculture delegations to better support Primary sector
    The coalition Government has announced ministerial delegations to support key areas across the Primary sector to deliver for New Zealand’s food and fibre sector, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay announced today. “I will be supported in my roles as Minister of Agriculture, Trade, Forestry and Hunting and Fishing, by three Associate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Waikato MoU reinforces Govt’s commitment to increase NZ doctors
    The Government has taken an important step forward in addressing a critical shortage of New Zealand-trained doctors, with today’s signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for a third medical school, Minister of Health Dr Shane Reti has announced.  “Today’s signing by the Ministry of Health and the University of Waikato ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech – Lunar New Year 2024
    Annyeonghaseyo, greetings and welcome all. It is my pleasure as the Minister for Ethnic Communities to welcome you to the first Lunar New Year Event in Parliament. Thank you to our emcees for greeting us in the different languages that represent the many cultures that celebrate the Lunar New Year. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More funding to Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti
    Urgent work to clean-up cyclone-affected regions will continue, thanks to a $63 million boost from the Government for sediment and debris removal in Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti.                                                                                                   The funding will help local councils continue urgent work removing and disposing of sediment and debris left from Cyclone Gabrielle.   “This additional ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Budget will be delivered on 30 May
    Plans to deliver tax relief to hard-working New Zealanders, rebuild business confidence and restore the Crown’s finances to order will be unveiled on 30 May, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says. The plans will be announced in the Budget which is currently being developed by Ministers.  “The last government’s mismanagement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government advances Local Water Done Well
    The Coalition Government is continuing work to restore council ownership and control of water assets by repealing Three Waters and appointing a Technical Advisory Group to provide expert advice on the implementation of Local Water Done Well, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “The Government will pass a bill to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has today announced five new diplomatic appointments.  "Strong and effective diplomacy to protect and advance our interests in the world is needed now more than ever," Mr Peters says.  “We are delighted to appoint senior diplomats from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Committee for Auckland
    It is great to be here today at this event as Minister for Auckland and Minister ofTransport. Let me start by acknowledging each one of you and thanking the Committee forAuckland for hosting this event and inviting me to speak here today. The Committee for Auckland has been a symbol ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Getting Transport Back on Track in Auckland
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has today confirmed his high-level transport priorities for Auckland, in the lead up to releasing the draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport. “Our economic growth and productivity are underpinned by a transport network that enables people and freight to move around safely and efficiently. At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government to axe Auckland Regional Fuel Tax
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has confirmed that the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax will end on 30 June 2024. “Today, I can confirm that the Government has agreed to remove the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax in line with our coalition commitments, and legislation will be introduced to parliament to repeal the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Calls for Work to Tackle Kina Barrens
    Changes to fishing rules and a significant science programme are being undertaken to address kina barrens, says Minister for Oceans and Fisheries Shane Jones. “There has been tremendous interest from iwi, communities and recreational fishers who had raised concerns about such kina infestations being a major threat to Northland’s marine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government law and order crackdown begins
    The coalition Government is making good on its promise to restore law and order by removing government funding for Section 27 reports and abolishing the previous Labour Government’s prison reduction target, Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Corrections Minister Mark Mitchell say.  “In recent years, the development of Section 27 reports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Greater focus on getting people into work
    The coalition government will refocus employment efforts and the welfare system so that supporting people who can work into jobs is the number one priority, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “Of concern in the labour market statistics released by Stats NZ today was the number of youth not ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • One year on, NZ appeals for release of Phillip Mehrtens
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has appealed to those holding New Zealand pilot Phillip Mehrtens in remote Papua, Indonesia, to release him immediately.  Phillip Mehrtens was taken hostage a year ago on 7 February in Paro, Papua, while providing vital air links and supplies to remote communities. “We strongly urge those holding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministers reaffirm Pacific connections this week
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Health Minister and Minister for Pacific Peoples Dr Shane Reti are reaffirming the importance of New Zealand’s connections to the Pacific by visiting Tonga, Cook Islands and Samoa this week.  “New Zealand enjoys strong and long-standing relationships with our Pacific partners - especially in Polynesia, where we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Rt Hon Christopher Luxon – Waitangi speech
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, rau rangatira ma. Tēnā koutou katoa. He tino mihi ki te mana whenua o tēnei rohe.  Mihi mai, mihi mai, mihi mai. Te whare e tū nei, tēnā koe.                               He-wāhi whakahirahira tēnei mō Aotearoa. Ka huri nga whakaaro, ki nga mate. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government awards primary sector scholarships to students
    Six university students studying agriculture and science have been awarded scholarships as part of the coalition Government’s efforts to boost on-the-ground support for farmers and growers. “The coalition Government is committed to improving support and operating conditions for farmers and growers,” Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says. “We’re backing a range ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister Jason Scott McHerron as a High Court Judge. Justice McHerron graduated from the University of Otago with a BA in English literature in 1994 and an LLB in 1996. From 1996 to 1999 he worked as a solicitor in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand provides further humanitarian support to Gaza and the West Bank
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that New Zealand is providing a further $5 million to respond to the extreme humanitarian need in Gaza and the West Bank.  “The impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on civilians is absolutely appalling,” Mr Peters says.  “That is why New Zealand has contributed $15 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Government consults on expanding COVID-19 Inquiry terms of reference
    The Government is delivering on its commitment to enable public input into expanding the scope of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into COVID-19 Lessons, says Internal Affairs Minister Brooke van Velden. “As committed to in both the ACT-National and NZ First-National coalition agreements, the public will be given the opportunity ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Tai Tokerau Water Boost
    A further $5 million loan has been advanced to the Tai Tokerau Water Trust for Te Waihekeora Reservoir, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says.  “Water is a precious resource, Kānoa – Regional Development and Investment Unit at the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment have done amazing work in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Fast track consenting in the fast lane
    The Government is progressing changes to resource management laws as part of its 100 Day Action Plan, with the first steps taken to establish a new fast-track consenting one-stop shop regime. “This new regime, which forms part of National’s coalition agreement with New Zealand First, will improve the speed and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • JOINT STATEMENT ON AUSTRALIA-NEW ZEALAND MINISTERIAL CONSULTATIONS (ANZMIN) 2024
    Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence the Hon Richard Marles MP and Minister for Foreign Affairs Senator the Hon Penny Wong hosted New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Winston Peters MP and Minister of Defence Hon Judith Collins KC MP on 1 February ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Minimum wage set for cautious increase
    The adult minimum wage rate will increase by 2 per cent to $23.15 an hour from 1 April 2024, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden announced today. “This Government is committed to striking the right balance between protecting the incomes of our lowest paid workers and maintaining labour ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Increased security improves ED safety over summer
    Increasing the number of security staff in emergency departments (EDs) over the busy Christmas and New Year period improved the safety of both staff and patients, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says. 200 additional security staff (93 FTEs) were provided to 32 EDs in response to concerns raised by ED ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago

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