web analytics

For the people

Written By: - Date published: 12:01 pm, July 28th, 2008 - 28 comments
Categories: activism - Tags:

A sage comment from our reader, Bill, got me thinking. He said “If political news was even given the same modest in-depth coverage as (say) sports news we wouldn’t be living in the NZ that we inhabit today.” I might put it like this: “If you knew as much about politics and how your country is run as you do about the All Blacks, New Zealand would be a better country.”

Unfortunately, there is a very strong tendency to dumb down and sensationalise politics in the media. National too, knows it benefits from voters having cliche view of politics. And the collapse in membership of the major parties has distanced people from political decision-making. All these factors turn people off politics, which allows politicians to succeed based on the Crosby/Textor formula of fear, greed, and resentment.

Democracy’s lifeblood is an informed and engaged population. The political elite (if you’re reading a political blog that’s you, whether you’re of the Left or Right) needs to think about how the rest of the population can be reengaged. A good starting point would be realising that politics is not an elite sport – it is something that everyone has an interest in and everyone is capable of participating in if they are given the opportunity. The media needs to start providing proper, extended, coverage of politics as the process by which decisions affecting everyone’s lives are made (rather than as a soap opera). The political parties need to treat Kiwis with respect by a) putting out real policies and having real debates on a vision for New Zealand and b) making themselves into mass parties once more.

28 comments on “For the people”

  1. That is exactly what is proved by the responses to last week’s SST Trotter column.

    Whilst, I disagree with Trotter characterising all people within those groups as self-interested, National voters, it seems a great majority are, the leaderships of such groups present and advocate for policies to achieve that end. Therefore, his conclusions are largely correct. The only difference I would possibly make is to exclude the name-calling as it takes away veracity of the opinion.

    The issues that many National plants harp on about, i.e. social engineering, are ones that National would never change or implement on gaining government. Essentially, they are attempting to bring all of us down to their level, where politics is a nasty business conducted by nefarious individuals. It really points out how hypocritical the slogan “Ambitious for New Zealand” really is.

  2. Rex Widerstrom 2

    A small part of the equation (and by no means would I ever advance it as a panacea) is to embrace the opportunity technology provides us for real democratic interaction.

    If, instead of coming here and debating Steve, we could come here and debate Helen Clark or Michael Cullen or John Key, asking questions, demanding they be answered (and within 5 minutes – after all, doesn’t everyone eat, work sleep and procreate with one eye on their screen?! 😉 people might begin to feel they could affect the outcomeof the political process – or at least that their opinion had been given consideration by the powers-that-be.

    There are numerous, mainly European, models for using technology to facilitate citizen engagement with politicians. One I looked at decades ago was sophisticated enough to create an online “Parliament” where someone wishing to speak had to electonically “raise their hand” and couldn’t address the group till the moderator recognised them. This allowed the politician to frame considered answers and not be lost amongst a constantly streaming babble. There were lots of other features as well. But my point is, if this were possible before the turn of the century, what must be out there now? The system I’ve mentioned was actually being used, at a regional level, in Germany.

    In short, if we want a re-engaged populace we need politicians willing to listen and take on board their ideas – not display the hubris of Labour or the evasiveness of National. Technology is merely a tool to help deal with the volume.

  3. T-rex 3

    Crowdsourced policy – could be interesting.

    I noticed just yesterday actually – Stuff’s front page categories are as follows:

    National News
    World News
    Sport News
    Business News
    Entertainment News

    Like I said, if our political system goes to the dogs it’ll be because the average person let it.

    Add “political literacy” to the proposed “financial literacy” education. At the end of the day it’s probably going to have a more significant impact on your life (although obviously both will be huge).

    I tend to think that highly intelligent and highly informed people will tend to make decisions that are both
    a) Right, and
    b) (from a) the same.

    Obviously there are some prepared to deceive themselves for the sake of personal gain, but I think an educated society IS largely a moral society.

    So – to all parties – for f*cks sake stop scrimping on budgets for education.

  4. Matthew Pilott 4

    How about education? I know many shudder at the thought of schools dealing with this topic (and I can see their point), but at the very least a bit of time devoted to New Zealand’s socio-political history might be in order.

    I’d bet the average kiwi, upon leaaving school, knows more about our geological history than our political one. I know they’d know more about our sports history!

    Political history can be taught from a fact-based neutral standpoint – basucally saying who did what, and when. Maybe a bit of why. It is remarkable what a little bit of knowledge in this area can do.

    How about Michael king’s History of New Zealand – some of that stuff should be mandatory in schools!

    The media aren’t beholden to the people, they are a business like any other. Without a proper education, a commercial media will not have an imperative to inform or educate as people don’t know to demand it – merely to entertain.

    This neatly brings up my second point – public broadcasting! Make it happen, make it worthwhile. I’d like to see TV2 being the cash-cow, the proceeds from which could be used to fund informative and intelligent content on TV1 (and maybe premiere good NZ movies, many of which areoverlooked here). Make it revenue neutral, but go for quality over quantity.

  5. T-rex 5

    Matt – High five.

    Looks like we’ve got at least part of the syllabus sorted out for the secret island.

  6. Yeah, I think a proper civics course, not just ‘you are a citizen, you vote then the people you vote for make laws in this manner’ but a syllabus designed around having young people actually debate the issues themselves, get informed and think about things like ‘what the pros and cons of ACC?’ and ‘is it the Government’s place to regulate private behaviour (and when does private behaviour become public)?

  7. Daveski 7

    I tend to agree with most of the sentiments here.

    IMO both Labour and National play the game – clearly most people here believe that Labour is virtuous and every single decision is made for the benefit of mankind and never to influence potential voters. Because Labour is principled, they would never resort to policy flip flops or petty, personalised comments. So diddums to that 🙂

    Regretably, we seem to be back to the future with bread and circuses … I suspect there will be more public discussion on the AB’s failure than political issues.

    I like the concept of “civics” being taught in school but the reality is that that type of programme would only appeal to younger versions of ourselves.

    The media has a lot to blame with the 15 mins of fame given to all sorts of 2 bit celebrities and trivial matters rather than more important topics. Likewise, while I like the idea of “intelligent and informative” TV, it won’t stop the punters for tuning into the latest reality BS programme.

    Perhaps we need Mathew and Mark to do NZ Politics??

  8. Matthew Pilott 8

    T-rex – yup, social education, civics policy, and turnip cultivation (incidentally, I can’t attest to having consumed a turnip) will make up the syllabus. Might need some good trades skills in there too.

    Steve – with that kind of education, you’d have to be very very careful. I’m not sure I’d be comfortable with it to tell the truth. It’s not exactly that I’d disagree in principle, but that such education could be A) open to abuse and maniuplation for political gains, and B) even more open to accusations of the same.

    If a party had a policy that was against something that was on such a syllabus, they’d be fighthing an uphill battle against state-funded education. That could be very divicive.

    I feel it’s a debate for the adults, not the kids, and feel that we’re failing to have that debate, apart from isolated outposts such as the NZ Political blogosphere.

  9. Vanilla Eis 9

    Daveski: Perhaps a Havoc and Newsboy World Tour of the Houses of Parliament?

  10. Phil 10

    Paul Henrys next Intrepid Journey; The Beehive

  11. matt. acknowledge the risks, but it would be about getting kids to think fundementally on these issues – you just assign groups to research both sides of the arguments. If you wait until people are adults they don’t have the tools or experience and there’s no real way for them to pick it up.

  12. Felix 12

    Mathew and Mark to do NZ Politics??

    That’s pretty much the state we’re in now. We can do better Daveski.

  13. Daveski 13

    Felix – yep Havoc and Newsboy.

    Actually, I kind of like Mathew and Mark in Russia or wherever just so long as they are out of NZ.

    They’re a perfect example of the personality driven BS on TV.

  14. Bill 14

    Politics is perceived as boring because the politics fed to us is, well, boring. Politics is far more than the parliamentary parties,the rising/falling dollar and all the other ‘stuff’ we are fed on a daily basis.

    What about civics that placed our parliamentary system of (cough), democracy in a wider context? Well, that’s not going to happen for the simple reason that the system we have protects, serves and is crafted by powerful elites who are not going to stand by while their neat little state of affairs is dismantled by an educated or aware populace.

    On the bright side, a person does not have to be educated to be aware. The education might help them to articulate what it is they are aware of.

    People are far more aware than is generally recognised. The problem would seem to be that many feel acutely disempowered…there is fear in other words.

    There is also a distinct lack of practice at this thing called democracy. Two small indicative incidences spring to mind.

    The first incidence involved the moving of a bus stop. The council moved it about a hundred meters meaning passengers had to stand in the elements. Over a period of months campaigning through recognised channels, the bus stop was finally repositioned to a spot that satisfied everybody concerned.

    In my mind a far more efficient and democratic process would have involved passengers and bus drivers communicating their concerns directly to each other (along with any other affected party) and moving the bus stop to a mutually acceptable position in the first place. Might have taken a couple of days including the physical work involved?

    No need for the involvement of council bureaucracy and a protracted costly affair lasting several months.

    The second instance reflects on a barrier to the above scenario.

    Was at an anti-war rally. The usual affair of speakers talking at the crowd. No room for exploration of ideas or for people to inform themselves beyond the lines being thrust upon them by speakers. I was invited to speak and told that particular organiser that I was only going to suggest to the people in the crowd that they talk with those around them…share ideas/analysis and possible courses of action/protest.

    The organiser informed me that people weren’t ready for such an exercise in democracy. I didn’t take the stage. Party lines were affirmed (possibilities narrowed) and by and by people felt disenfranchised and drifted away from future protests.

    In summary, I don’t believe that people are ‘not ready’ to exercise democratic control over their affairs. We are simply never given the opportunity and so tend to ‘give up’ and retreat into apathy and disenfranchised cynicism.

  15. 08wire 15

    Steve

    I love the vast majority of your work – but I disagree here.

    The key to engaging the majority of the population who are not in the political elite is to provide them political content that they want to read. We need to shift supply to meet demand – and a diet of lengthy, serious, in-depth coverage has little demand outside of elite circles. If there really was a massive untapped demand for domestic news of this sort, then Agenda and The Economist would be much more widely viewed/read than they are.

    Some academics have called for a “burglar alarm” model of political journalism – where media widely report political stories only when they really matter, and they do so as loudly and colourfully as possible. That way the wider citizenry knows that when a political story is on: (1) it will be important; and (2) it won’t be boring. I agree with this.

    Does this mean most citizens know nothing most of the time? Not at all. Social networks do a really good job of providing some nuggets of information, and plenty of research has shown thet people can operate pretty effectively in a democracy without the encyclopedic knowledge of goings on that you have,

    Put it this way: for most citizens the real world choice isn’t between shallow political news some of the time or in-depth political news some of the time; instead, it is between shallow news some of the time or in-depth news none of the time. This is not to cast aspersions on then in any way – they are busy people with lives to lead.

    (The record of civics classes in the US, by the way, is mixed at best.)

  16. Bill 16

    Which allows the dominant voice, as maintained through education and reinforced by the media etc to continue unchallenged.

  17. randal 17

    if anybody thinks the coverage of the all-blacks and the nzrfu is in-depth then they need their heads read. it is as labrynthine and as disingenuous and dissembling as anything the national party is putting out

  18. We both might need to lie down to cope with the shock.
    But I think we are in full agreement here.
    This is something I have commented on a few times over at No Minister.
    We just need to change one of your sentences a little.

    “All these factors turn people off politics, which allows politicians to succeed based on the Ninth Floor/ Chris Trotter formula of fear, greed, and resentment.”

    There, that’s better 🙂

  19. Tane 19

    Hey Fairfacts, just a warning while you’re here. Smear us on your blog again and you’re banned from here for life.

  20. coge 20

    Steve, I think I’ve been moderated off this thread. Don’t think I violated the rules, or did my comment get confused for spam?

    [lprent: Can’t see anything going into moderation or spam from you. I’d suggest trying a restart on the browser first as it may be that it is having problems saving the comments from your side. I’ll have a look at the server as soon as I get home. ]

  21. It would be nice if there was a greater focus on the substance of issues, to question framing labels that are slung around like cancerous, corrosive and slippery, wouldn’t it?

    FM: I guess you are really worried now eh?

  22. randal 23

    no…creeps like fm dont care what crap they leave hanging around as long a sthey can look back and say “meeeee did that” like the infantile goons they are

  23. Matthew Pilott 24

    Oh, like arrogant, tired, out of touch, corrupt, wasteful, The Double Standard?

  24. Rex Widerstrom 25

    Annnnnnnnd… yet again and intelligent blog threat degenerates into threats and abuse.

    Thanks those who’ve been sticking to the issue, it’s one I find fascinating as well as seeing it as having vital importance.

    I think Bill sums it up well when he says;

    People are far more aware than is generally recognised. The problem would seem to be that many feel acutely disempowered

    I found some of the most intelligent political debate was to be had at places like the Naenae RSA and the Petone Workingmen’s Club – blue collar haunts where few if any of the attendees could be described as part of the “political elite”. But two things seemed to hold them back from any involvement in the process.

    First, the belief that those in power paid them no attention until election time, and then only to tell them what they thought they wanted to hear, with no intention of keeping their promises.

    And second, that you might “get a funny look” or, worse still, start a real disagreement if you discussed politics. How many people walk into a barbeque and say “Geez, that John Key, is he the right choice or what?”. Instead it’s far more socially acceptable to say “That Graham Henry, is he the right choice or what?”.

    God forbid we ever get Mark and Matthew discussing politics – I think viewers would lose an IQ point for every minute they watched.

    The answer to that problem is the same, really, as the answer to the first. Politicians need to leave the spin doctors at the office and get out amongst people. Talk, listen, and act upon what they’re told.

    That’d not only restore some confidence in the process but start making politics once again an acceptable topic to raise in company for people who presently feel they can’t.

  25. coge 26

    Iprent, ta. There may have been a problem when I tried to edit the post. Seems to be working OK now.

  26. max 27

    Look out FairFacts! You’re on thin thin ice! hur hur.

    My god Tane you are a power mad little man.

  27. Bill 28

    Rex, I don’t think the main point is fear and disempowerment, important as it is.

    If we overcome fear there still remains the stumbling block that we simply don’t know how to do things. That’s why I gave the two simple examples before. I was trying to illustrate the point that democracy has become something foreign to us. We’d stand around waiting to be herded by another ‘cure all’ authority and in the absence of such authority, for the ground to open up and swallow us.

    When was the last time you experienced something being done democratically? It certainly wasn’t in your workplace. It’s perfectly understood that democracy is hung up in the locker when you clock in.

    It probably wasn’t through your union either since they have become unremarkable ‘party’ bureaucracies in the Lenin/Trotsky tradition.

    Your local bowling/golf/ whatever club? Nope. They be run by committees and like everything else have reduced and marginalised individual expressions of democracy to asinine ‘yes/no’ reflexes.

    I can’t really think of any spaces where democratic practices are allowed to flourish.

    We’ve been locked in to a situation where all democratic decisions are made on our behalf by others. We simply get a nominal input into choosing those others, which isn’t by any stretch of the imagination something approaching democracy.

    If I can tweak your proposal of “Politicians need to leave the spin doctors at the office and get out amongst people. Talk, listen, and act upon what they’re told.’

    And propose instead We need to leave politicians and their spin doctors at the office and get out amongst people. Talk, listen and act upon what we’re telling each other.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Green Party unveils Clean Energy Plan
    The Green Party is today unveiling part one of its plan for a fossil-fuel free Aotearoa, including an immediate ban on new industrial coal boilers. ...
    11 hours ago
  • New Zealand First calls for tahr cull halt
    Mark Patterson MP, Spokesperson for Primary Industry New Zealand First is supporting calls by hunters and the New Zealand Tahr Foundation (NZTF) to halt a large scale cull of Himalayan Tahr by the Department of Conservation in National Parks. The calls are supported by a 40,000 strong petition and the ...
    5 days ago
  • Response to Spin-off allegations
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand First leader Winston Peters today scoffed at suggestions that a team of six political operatives have been dispatched to New Zealand to assist his campaign. ‘As President Ronald Reagan once said, ‘there they go again.’ ‘The clickbait journos can’t ...
    5 days ago
  • Jenny Marcroft MP to represent New Zealand First in Auckland Central
    New Zealand First is pleased to announce Jenny Marcroft as the party’s election 2020 candidate for the Auckland Central electorate. Jenny spent years working in Auckland Central, having spent a vast proportion of her broadcasting career there. She says she, "knows the place and knows the people." Ms Marcroft says ...
    6 days ago
  • Creating jobs and cleaning up our rivers
    New Zealanders deserve healthy rivers and lakes that are safe to swim in - but they have been getting worse for decades. That's why, with our latest announcement, we're investing in projects that will help clean up our rivers and lakes and restore them to health, within a generation. ...
    1 week ago
  • Jacinda Ardern: 2020 Labour Congress Speech
    Jacinda Ardern's speech to the 2020 Labour Party Congress. ...
    1 week ago
  • Kelvin Davis: 2020 Labour Congress Speech
    Kelvin Davis' speech to the 2020 Labour Party Congress. ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: Another week of major progress
    This week we moved into the second half of 2020 - and our Government delivered another week of big changes and major progress for New Zealanders. Read below for a wrap of the key things moments from the week - from extending paid parental leave, to making major investments in ...
    1 week ago
  • Green Party opposes RMA fast-track bill that cut corners on environmental safeguards and public cons...
    The Green Party has opposed the COVID-19 Recovery Fast-track Consenting Bill which shortcuts normal consenting processes under the Resource Management Act (RMA), reduces public participation and narrows environmental considerations. ...
    1 week ago
  • Site of new freight hub revealed
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister of Regional Economic Development A regional freight hub for the lower North Island will be built just northeast of Palmerston North, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The Government is investing $40 million through the Provincial Growth Fund to designate and buy land and design ...
    1 week ago
  • Greens call for Guaranteed Minimum Income to alleviate skyrocketing debt with MSD
    Green Party Co-leader Marama Davidson is calling for the introduction of a Guaranteed Minimum Income to lift hundreds of thousands of people out of poverty and prevent more families entering into further debt with the Ministry of Social Development.  ...
    1 week ago
  • Winston Peters: Facts matter when taxpayer money is on the line
    There has been renewed focus on New Zealand First acting as a handbrake on the Government after our decision to not support Auckland light rail. We are a handbrake for bad ideas, that is true, but our track record since 2017 has seen New Zealand First constructively also serve as an ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bill raising minimum residency requirement for NZ Super passes first reading
    Mark Patterson MP, New Zealand First List MP New Zealand First’s Fair Residency for Superannuation Bill passed its First Reading in Parliament today. The Bill makes a significant change to NZ Super by raising the minimum residency requirement from 10 to 20 years, after age 20. “Currently, a migrant of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Harsher penalties for assaults on first responders one step closer
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Law and Order A New Zealand First member’s bill in the name of Darroch Ball introducing a six-month minimum prison sentence for assaults on first responders has passed its second reading in Parliament. The new offence of "injuring a first responder or corrections officer with ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission delivers Coalition promise
    Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Deputy Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand First welcomes the launch of the new Criminal Cases Review Commission, gifted with the name from Waikato-Tainui - Te Kāhui Tātari Ture, announced in Hamilton today by Justice Minister Andrew Little. “New Zealand First has long believed in and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Greens welcome huge new investment in sustainable projects
    The Green Party is celebrating over $800m in new funding for green projects, which will get people into jobs while solving New Zealand’s long-term challenges. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First demands answers from Meridian Energy
    Mark Patterson MP, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is appalled that Meridian seems to have been unnecessarily spilling water from its dams to drive up its profits."While New Zealanders have been coming together in some of our darkest hours, we don’t expect power gentailers to waste water and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Getting New Zealand moving again: June 2020
    We wrapped up the first half of 2020 with a busy month, taking additional steps to support New Zealanders as we continue with our economic recovery. We rolled out targeted packages to support key industries like tourism and construction, helped create jobs in the environmental and agriculture sectors, and set ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori union leader appointed to Infrastructure Commission board
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Infrastructure Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones has welcomed the appointment of Maurice Davis and his deep infrastructure and construction experience to the board of the Infrastructure Commission. Mr Davis (Ngāti Maniapoto), is the seventh and final appointment to the board led by former Reserve Bank Governor ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Click-bait journalism at its worst
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand’s click bait journalism is taking a turn for the worse, with yet another example of sensationalist, wilful-misrepresentation of the facts. “New Zealand First has worked constructively with its Coalition partner on hundreds of pieces of legislation and policy, and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party proposes transformational Poverty Action Plan
    The Green Party is today unveiling its Poverty Action Plan, which includes a Guaranteed Minimum Income to ensure people have enough to live with dignity.     ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF accelerates Rotorua projects
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development The Rotorua Museum redevelopment and Whakarewarewa and Tokorangi Forest projects will be accelerated thanks to a $2.09 million Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) boost, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Getting people into jobs
    This week, we rolled out the next steps of our recovery plan, with new infrastructure investment, extra support for tourism operators, and a new programme to get Kiwis into agriculture careers. The global economic consequences of COVID-19 will continue to be a challenge, but we have a detailed plan to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Coalition commitment establishing Mental Health Commission delivered
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its final reading in Parliament today fulfilling a coalition agreement commitment. “This is an important step in saving the lives of New Zealanders and delivers a key coalition commitment ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whakatāne gets a $2.5m ‘turbo boost’
    Whakatāne has been given a $2.5 million boost to speed up previously funded projects and create more than 450 jobs in the next decade. Of those, the equivalent of 160 full-time jobs could be delivered in the next six weeks. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters is in town to make ...
    2 weeks ago
  • $2.5m PGF funding to speed up economic recovery in Whakatāne
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $2.5 million to accelerate three infrastructure projects in Whakatāne, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “This package is about ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Shane Jones calls out those holding drought-stricken Auckland ‘to ransom’ over water
    Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones is throwing his weight behind a bid by the Auckland Council to fast-track the more than doubling of the city's water allowance from the Waikato River. And he's coming out strongly against anyone who plans on getting in the way of this campaign. "It is my ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another Green win as climate change considerations inserted into the RMA
    The Green Party is thrilled to see changes to the Resource Management Act (RMA) that mean consents for large projects can be declined if they will have significant climate change implications that are inconsistent with the Zero Carbon Act and Aotearoa New Zealand’s Paris Agreement obligations.  ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Navy vessel Aotearoa to arrive in New Zealand
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence The Royal New Zealand Navy’s new ship, Aotearoa, set sail for New Zealand on 10 June from the Republic of Korea, and is due to arrive in Auckland tomorrow, announced Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “Aotearoa is the Royal New Zealand Navy’s new fleet ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Racing Industry Bill passes third reading
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters has today welcomed the Racing Industry Bill passing its third reading, creating the legislative framework for revitalising the racing industry while limiting the need for future government intervention. “For too long our domestic racing industry has ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party seek amendment to ensure all prisoners can vote
    The Green Party has today put forward an amendment to the Electoral (Registration of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Bill to ensure all people in prisons can vote in general elections. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Green Party welcomes new approach to delivering light rail
    The Green Party welcomes the decision to not proceed with Public Public Investment (PPI) delivery of Auckland’s light rail project and to instead run the process through the public service. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First welcomes PGF investment in Wairarapa Water
    Hon Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in the Wairarapa New Zealand First List MP Hon Ron Mark welcomes the announcement of Provincial Growth Funding investment of $1.4 million to help secure the Wairarapa’s water supply. The funding boost will allow the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC), and ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First MP Mark Patterson selected as candidate for Taieri
    New Zealand First list MP Mark Patterson has been selected to represent the party in the newly formed Taieri electorate at the upcoming election. Mr Patterson, his wife Jude and two daughters farm sheep and beef at Lawrence and Waitahuna. He previously stood in the Clutha-Southland electorate however boundary changes ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Inaugural launch of Kiribati Language Week
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio is pleased to announce the inaugural launch of Kiribati Language Week as part of the 2020 Pacific language Weeks programme. “I am so pleased that this year we are able to provide resourcing support to the Kiribati community in Aotearoa which will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New support package for wildlife institutions
    Wildlife institutions affected by a loss of visitor revenue during the COVID-19 lockdown are set to receive government support with nearly $15 million of funding available announced Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage.  “Eco-sanctuaries, zoos, aquariums, wildlife parks, and wildlife rescue, hospital and rehabilitation facilities provide crucial support for the recovery ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • 300,000 students to benefit from free mental health services
    The Government is expanding and accelerating frontline mental health and wellbeing services at tertiary education institutes (TEI) to help students manage ongoing stresses related to COVID-19. “The lockdown has been hugely disruptive for students. Many of them have had to relocate and move to online learning, isolating them from their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Gang crime, meth harm targeted in Waikato
    The Minister of Police says a major operation against the Mongrel Mob in Waikato will make a big dent in drug harm and violent offending linked to organised crime networks. “Senior leadership of the Waikato Mongrel Mob has been taken out as a result of Operation Kingsville, which resulted in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Supporting victims and families to attend mosque attack sentencing
    The Government is extending the border exception criteria to enable some offshore victims and support people of the Christchurch mosque attacks to attend the sentencing of the accused beginning on 24 August2020, says Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway. “We want to support our valued Muslim brothers and sisters who were directly ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Boost for community freshwater restoration projects
    A project to support volunteer efforts to look after streams and rivers is getting a boost thanks to support from DOC’s Community Conservation Fund announced Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today.  “The government is backing efforts to look after waterways with $199,400 for the Mountains to Sea Conservation Trust from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • More support for women and girls
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter today announced that funding for the COVID-19 Community Fund for women and girls will be doubled, as the first successful funding applications for the initial $1million were revealed. “Women and girls across the country have suffered because of the effects of COVID-19, and I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Crown accounts stronger than forecast with higher consumer spending
    The Government’s books were better than forecast with a higher GST take as the economy got moving again after lockdown, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Crown Accounts for the 11 months to the end of May indicate the year end results for tax revenue will be stronger than forecast. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt releases plan to revitalise wool sector
    A plan to revitalise New Zealand’s strong wool sector and set it on a new, more sustainable and profitable path was unveiled today by Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. The newly-released report - Vision and Action for New Zealand’s Wool Sector - was developed by the Wool Industry Project Action Group ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Funding for Predator Free Whangārei
    Community efforts to create a Predator Free Whangārei will receive a $6 million boost, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage announced today. The new funding, through Government company Predator Free 2050 Ltd, will create around 12 jobs while enabling the complete removal of possums over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand to review relationship settings with Hong Kong
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced that the New Zealand Government is reviewing the settings of its relationship with Hong Kong. “China’s decision to pass a new national security law for Hong Kong has fundamentally changed the environment for international engagement there,” Mr Peters said. “New Zealand remains deeply ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Funding for Whangārei’s infrastructure projects revealed
    Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced details of a multimillion-dollar investment in Whangārei for infrastructure projects that will help it recover from the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 200 jobs are expected to be created through the $26 million investment from the Government’s rejuvenation package ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Managed isolation and quarantine update
    Following a second incident in which a person escaped from a managed isolation facility, security is being enhanced, including more police presence onsite, Minister Megan Woods said. “The actions of some individuals who choose to break the very clear rules to stay within the facilities means that more resourcing is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Funding for Kaipara district community waste programmes
    Waste reduction and recycling programmes in Kaipara are set to get a boost with Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage today announcing a $361,447 grant from the Ministry for the Environment’s Waste Minimisation Fund (WMF) Sustainable Kaipara. “The new funding will allow Sustainable Kaipara to partner with local schools, kura, community ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government will support the people and economy of Southland
    The Government will support the Southland economy in the wake of multinational mining company Rio Tinto’s decision to follow through with its long signalled closure of the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter. “This day has unfortunately been on the cards for some time now, but nevertheless the final decision is a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New transformational tools for the Predator Free 2050 effort
    New tools being developed to help boost Aotearoa’s Predator Free 2050 effort were unveiled today by Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage and Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau. A new rat poison, a camera with predator recognition software to detect and report predators, a new predator lure and a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Armoured vehicles for New Zealand Army
    The Coalition Government has approved the purchase of a fleet of Bushmaster vehicles to replace the New Zealand Army’s armoured Pinzgauers, Defence Minister Ron Mark has announced today. The new fleet of 43 Australian-designed and built Bushmaster NZ5.5 will provide better protection for personnel and improved carrying capacity. “The age ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Community-led solutions to prevent family violence
    The Government’s three prevention frameworks to reduce family violence in Aotearoa were launched this week by Associate Minister for Social Development Poto Williams.   The frameworks were developed in partnership with communities around New Zealand, and build on the work the Government has already begun with its new family violence prevention ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt confirms investment in better radiology and surgical services for Hawke’s Bay
    The Government is pleased to confirm funding for improvements to radiology and surgical services at Hawke's Bay DHB, Health Minister Chris Hipkins says.     "The Minister of Finance the Hon Grant Robertson and former Health Minister Dr David Clark approved funding for Hawke's Bay DHB’s redevelopment of their radiology facilities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Specialist alcohol and drug addiction services strengthened across New Zealand
    •    New funding for four beds at Napier’s Springhill Residential Addiction Centre •    A new managed withdrawal home and community service, and peer support before and after residential care at Tairāwhiti DHB  •    A co-ordinated network of withdrawal management services throughout the South Island •    Peer support in Rotorua and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Coastal Shipping Webinar
    Introduction, seafarers and POAL Good morning everyone, I am delighted to be online with you all today. Before I begin, I have to acknowledge that COVID-19 has disrupted the maritime sector on an unprecedented scale. The work of seafarers and the maritime industry is keeping many economies around the world ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Support for resilient rail connection to the West Coast
    A $13 million investment from Government will create jobs and improve the resilience of the rail connection between Christchurch and the West Coast, Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones and Regional Economic Development Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau say. The funding comes from the tagged contingency set aside in Budget 2020 for infrastructure projects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Major investment in safe drinking water
    The Government is investing $761 million to assist local government upgrade under-pressure water services across the country, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today.  The announcement was made at the site of the water bore that was found to be the source of the fatal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Supporting stranded seasonal workers to keep working with more flexible options
    Recognised Seasonal Employers and migrant seasonal workers stranded in New Zealand will be able to continue working and supporting themselves with more flexible hours and roles, says Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway. The time-limited visa changes are: Stranded RSE workers will be able to work part-time (a minimum of 15 hours ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Relief for temporary migrants, employers and New Zealanders who need work
    The Government is making immediate short-term changes to visa settings to support temporary migrants already onshore in New Zealand and their employers, while also ensuring New Zealanders needing work are prioritised, Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. We are: Extending temporary work visas due to expire by the end of 2020 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Freshwater commissioners and fast-track consenting convenor appointed
    Professor Peter Skelton CNZM has been appointed as Chief Freshwater Commissioner and Alternate Environment Court Judge Craig James Thompson as Deputy Chief Freshwater Commissioner for the newly established Freshwater Planning Process (FPP). Environment Minister David Parker today also announced the appointment of Chief Environment Court Judge Laurie Newhook as the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Appointment of Judge of the High Court
    Auckland Queen’s Counsel Neil Campbell has been appointed a Judge of the High Court, Attorney‑General David Parker announced today. Justice Campbell graduated with a BCom and LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland in 1992. He spent two years with Bell Gully Buddle Weir in Auckland before travelling to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Feedback sought – Commercial Film and Video Production Facilities
    The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to better enable the development and operation of commercial film and video facilities in Christchurch. The Proposal, developed by Regenerate Christchurch in response to a request from Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt launches bold primary sector plan to boost economic recovery
    The Government has launched a bold plan to boost primary sector export earnings by $44 billion over the next decade, while protecting the environment and growing jobs. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today released Fit for a Better World – Accelerating our Economic Potential, a 10-year roadmap to unlock greater value ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Wellbeing of whanau at heart of new hub
    A new approach to prevent family harm that encourages greater collaboration across government and community groups is being celebrated at the opening of a new facility in Auckland. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today opened the Multi-Disciplinary Family Harm Prevention Hub Te Taanga Manawa in Lambie Road in Manukau. The facility ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Report on Auckland Port Relocation
    The Government has released a major new report on the options for relocating the Port of Auckland’s freight operations while deferring any decision on the issue. “That decision needs to be informed by policy analysis that is still to be completed. As a result it will be up to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Dual place names for Te Pātaka-o-Rākaihautū / Banks Peninsula features
    The history of Rāpaki is being restored through the inclusion of te reo in thirteen official place names on Te Pātaka-o-Rākaihautū / Banks Peninsula and around Lyttelton Harbour/Whakaraupō, the Minister for Land Information, Eugenie Sage, announced today.   “I am pleased to approve the proposals from Te Hapū o Ngāti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government and Air New Zealand agree to manage incoming bookings
    Bookings for seats on Air New Zealand flights into New Zealand will be managed in the short term to ensure the Government is able to safely place New Zealanders arriving home into a managed isolation or quarantine facility, says Housing Minister Megan Woods.  “Last week Air Commodore Darryn Webb and I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • $80 million for sport recovery at all levels
    Grant Robertson has today announced the first major release of funding from the $265 million Sport Recovery Package announced at Budget 2020.  “Today we’re setting out how $80 million will be invested, with $54 million of that over the 2020/2021 financial year for organisations from community level through to elite ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Keeping ACC levies steady until 2022
    The Government is maintaining current levy rates for the next 2 years, as part of a set of changes to help ease the financial pressures of COVID-19 providing certainty for businesses and New Zealanders, ACC Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. “New Zealanders and businesses are facing unprecedented financial pressures as a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Extended loan scheme keeps business afloat
    Small businesses are getting greater certainty about access to finance with an extension to the interest-free cashflow loan scheme to the end of the year. The Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme has already been extended once, to 24 July. Revenue and Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says it will be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New investment creates over 2000 jobs to clean up waterways
    A package of 23 projects across the country will clean up waterways and deliver over 2000 jobs Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Environment Minister David Parker announced today. The $162 million dollar package will see 22 water clean-up projects put forward by local councils receiving $62 million and the Kaipara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to Labour Party Congress 2020
    Tena koutou katoa  Nga tangata whenua o tenei rohe o Pōneke, tena koutou Nau mai, haere mai ki te hui a tau mo te roopu reipa Ko tatou!  Ko to tatou mana!  Ko to tatou kaupapa kei te kokiri whakamua  Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena tatou katoa   Welcome. I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PGF top-up for QE Health in Rotorua
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $1.5 million to ensure QE Health in Rotorua can proceed with its world class health service and save 75 existing jobs, Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The PGF funding announced today is in addition to the $8 million ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Building a more sustainable construction sector
    A new programme, which sets a firm course for the Building and Construction sector to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, has been announced by the Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa. “A significant amount of New Zealand’s carbon emissions come from the building and construction sector.  If we’re serious ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago