web analytics

Free trade suckers

Written By: - Date published: 10:45 am, August 30th, 2011 - 38 comments
Categories: debt / deficit, exports - Tags: ,

The effects of our economic belief system on our balance of payments

The global economy relies on a set of rules to ensure fair and free trade.  The “Free Trade” nations rely on the “level playing field” that is they rely on all partners acting honestly and openly and according to the same set of rules.  This however is not the practice.  Only some countries abide by the rules.  The effect of the cheats versus the honest players is the same as in cards.  Cheats prosper.  One of the basic concepts of free trades is the floating exchange rate.  The floating exchange rate should in theory result in each country’s exchange rate moving to a point where its imports and exports balance because the value of its currency will move up when it’s export flows improve and down when its imports become excessive.

The result is that a country with a strong exchange rate will import more and a weak one will produce more internally.  The fundamental flaw in the world of trade is that not all parties do this.  If any one country can artificially fix its’ currency at an artificially low level then it will have a trading advantage that is equivalent to a tariff on imports and a subsidy on exports.  Conversely with a country like New Zealand where we have a severely over valued currency we are effectively subsidising imports and placing a tariff on exports.  Our indebtedness is a clear testimony to that.

The Central Intelligence Agency publishes an annual set of Country Reports and in 2008 its summary of nation’s current account balance had the greatest surpluses in the hands of the countries that are oil rich and have nationalised their oil resources, Saudi Arabia, Russia Norway and Kuwait, or that have currency controls and are centrally planned economies China, Japan Singapore and arguably Switzerland.

The beneficiary nations of the European Union also rank up there as the EU set permanent currency distortions with undervalued currencies for the northern European countries and over valued for the southern nations.

Current account balance
$ 363,300,000,000
$ 195,900,000,000
$ 185,100,000,000
$ 88,890,000,000
$ 74,000,000,000
$ 67,890,000,000
$ 59,280,000,000
$ 55,820,000,000
$ 51,490,000,000
Central planned
$ 41,390,000,000

At the bottom of the list we have the global trade basket cases.  What is interesting to note is that most of the worst cases are governed by free market ideologies.  India has the same cheap labour pool advantages as China.  Australia has an equivalent natural resource wealth as Saudi Arabia.

New Zealand is on a per capita basis one of the most well endowed countries on the planet.  But we are at the losing end of the global trade war.  Our indebtedness means that we are becoming ever poorer as the cheats at the game of global free trade take our money from us and use it to buy our assets.  This makes us poorer again.  Our indebtedness is a black hole and our fatal path into its’ depths is inexorable – under the current ideology.

Resource rich free market
$ -9,973,000,000
Free market/overvalued
$ -12,600,000,000
Free market/overvalued
$ -18,130,000,000
$ -18,530,000,000
$ -18,530,000,000
Resource rich free market
$ -20,060,000,000
$ -22,600,000,000
Free market/overvalued
$ -35,940,000,000
Free market/overvalued
$ -36,270,000,000
Free market/overvalued
$ -36,400,000,000
Resource rich free market
$ -50,960,000,000
Free market/overvalued
$ -57,940,000,000
Free market/overvalued
$ -111,000,000,000
Free market/overvalued
$ -126,300,000,000
Resource rich free market
$ -747,100,000,000

Our free market ideology endows us with a victim mentality.   We can’t remove ourselves from the abuse and we applaud our abusers.

China, the worst offender doesn’t just cheat on the floating currency, it cheats on copyright, it cheats on employment and environment law and it subsidises energy. It also uses a wide range of non-tariff barriers to trade to protect its own domestic economy.  It also trades in our domestic market without having to meet all the costs of production that the domestic producer must face.  The more of our domestic production that imports displace, the fewer domestic producers remain to cover the social overhead of our domestic economy with the result that the domestic producer is either crushed by the overheads or shifts production to a place where these overheads don’t exist.

China has seen the flaws in our ideology and is exploiting them.  China will end up owning us using our own money to buy us.  This is as inevitable as gravity.  The global trade imbalance is structural and it will persist and grow for as long as we its victims allow it to.  As resource owners we have the power, as the oil owning states that have nationalised their resources have already learned.   If we want to get out of this situation we need to learn from our abusers and stop listening to our fellow abused who can be identified on the CIA list along side us.  Several of these have already fallen into the economic black hole.  We are only being prevented from joining them because we are resource exporters and we have major capital inflows as our resources are removed from our ownership.  This is a temporary respite.

We can escape from this situation but it will take a very different approach to trade and commerce and to finance to achieve it.

38 comments on “Free trade suckers ”

  1. Policy Parrot 1

    Trade barriers are exactly that. Barriers to trade. So, in effect they are bad. But what is worse is the approach that the New Zealand Government took to trade in the 80s and 90s, by unilaterally removing trade barriers while our competitors kept theirs up.

    I know there’s always one sucker who so keen to jump that despite the chance of others wimping out they’ll go as soon as they can. Unfortunately, for us, it was us.

    Not opposed to the Government negotiating to remove trade barriers. But there has to be some serious bargaining on CBA grounds before any deal goes ahead – not just stoopid voo-doo fervour.

    EDIT: In addition, there should be certain minimum standards/wages/practices guaranteed by the industry’s seeking trade access to New Zealand/and vice-versa. Of course it is unfair for companies to compete solely on the basis on their home government’s willingness to allievate the worst working practices.

    • ropata 1.1

      we should take a leaf out of Australia’s unwritten trade strategy,
      – block and hinder imports as much as possible (see: NZ apples and fireblight fearmongering)
      – sabotage foreign owners operating in Aussie, or just make life difficult (see: AirNZ attempt to take over Ansett – followed by industrial action, diplomatic incidents, and mysterious deletion of aircraft maintenance records, effectively grounding the whole fleet)
      – tilt the market in favour of local production as much as possible without technically breaking trade rules
      – award big contracts to local industry (we seem to do the opposite)
      – be more bolshie with the government and use industrial action (eg. tractors in parliament grounds, trucks stopping on the motorway) to force them to listen to local concerns over their corporate pals
      – don’t leap into free trade agreements signing away our sovereignty without 75% majority approval

      • prism 1.1.1

        @ropata – Good thinking. The unfortunate case of the entrepreneur airline from Hamilton having his major plane grounded in Queensland just before a fully-booked Easter because of cracks found by a ‘chance’ inspection, which I understand were not affecting safety or the good running of the plane.

  2. Jim Nald 2

    We are not very good at playing this ‘free trade’ game, aye?

    How come we tend to end up getting the worse deals in most things?

    The Kiwi isn’t that smart? The Kiwi is susceptible to many ‘free trade’ predators out there? The Kiwi on the way to extinction? The Kiwi survives only in the ‘free trade’ captivity called a ‘free trade’ sanctuary?

    Bloody yo-yo currency. Benefits who? Currency traders bwahaha.

    Nice to eat or nice to have souffle-like Kiwi dollar?

    Peg the damn thing to a basket of currencies.

    The question is: what currencies should strategically make up that basket?

  3. ropata 3

    You forgot attribution to darkhorse.

    Brilliant post BTW. Should be front page news.

  4. clandestino 4

    It wouldn’t matter how well we negotiated FTAs. We will always and forever lose out on labour costs. Not because we haven’t negotiated minimum standards, but because the supply-demand balance in poorer, populous countries will ensure low wages, despite all the well-meaning minimums.

    So long as the cost of energy inputs is below the difference in labour costs, most shit will keep getting made in China.

    Time we started targeted protection of manufactures in advance of higher energy costs and its economic and social consequences.

  5. Colonial Viper 5

    Hey where are all the RWNJ’s trumpeting the benefits of Neoliberal Free Trade? Come back come back!

    Of course, the reason that NZ is doing so badly on that table right now is that we are not “free” enough! Open us up further and take away our protections, that is the answer. If we only spread our legs wider we will finally receive the benefits we are due!

    • Jim Nald 5.1

      Neolib’s free trade?

      That’s when they extort a large fee
      and then pee on you

      Are you feeling that trickle down effect?

    • Gosman 5.2

      Ummmm…. what do you want someone on the right to comment on a supposed benefit of having Current Account surpluses do you?

      Have you read Adam Smith’s ‘On the wealth of nations’?

      You do realise that trumpeting surpluses such as these is essentially the same argument that went on in the 18th Century between Free Traders such as Smith and Mercantilists represented by ‘academics’ at the French court don’t you?

  6. Thomas 6

    This article misses the point (and basic economics). The problem is simple: we are borrowing too much and saving too little. The current account deficit is exactly that: It shows how much our country is borrowing (or selling investments) overseas.

    Our dollar is high because to buy NZ debt you have to buy NZ dollars. So our borrowing is driving up demand for our dollar.

    Blaming free trade is not the solution, nor is currency intervention. We need to address the fundamental issue.

    I’m not sure I agree with the classification of countries like Germany and Japan as protectionist, Singapore as centrally planned, and France as free market.

    Import tariffs are not the answer. They will increase the cost of living and slow our economy, without having a significant impact on borrowing.

    Also, you can’t just set the currency price without consequences. Undervaluing your currency leads to more people buying it, which means you have to print money to meet demand, which drives up inflation. China is an example of this with 6.5% inflation (and they are slowly increasing the value of the yuan). Overvaluing your currency leads to a run. This continues until the central bank’s foreign currency reserves are exhausted. Money traders make a healthy profit from currency crises. When the pound sterling was devalued in 1992, it cost the UK 3.3 billion pounds and much of that went to George Soros. This is why it has been accepted that a floating exchange rate is best.

    • Jim Nald 6.1

      Exactly. We have accepted the best option. This is best system we have to live with. Nothing to see here. Stupid Standardistas.

    • Colonial Viper 6.2

      This article misses the point (and basic economics). The problem is simple: we are borrowing too much and saving too little. The current account deficit is exactly that: It shows how much our country is borrowing (or selling investments) overseas.

      All you’ve done here is describe the SYMPTOMS of the free market neoliberal DISEASE.

      And you’ll notice that the countries in the table who don’t buy into your Chicago school crap don’t have the disease, and therefore don’t have the symptoms of a structurally fucked current account deficit.

      I’m not sure I agree with the classification of countries like Germany and Japan as protectionist, Singapore as centrally planned, and France as free market.

      He gives a fuck what you agree with, you’re a Chicago school neoliberal, and according to the table above, the countries who run the biggest trade surpluses (and who are net creditors to the world) have long learnt to ignore your ilk.

      • Thomas 6.2.1

        according to the table above, the countries who run the biggest trade surpluses (and who are net creditors to the world) have long learnt to ignore your ilk.

        CV, the ones at the top of the table are resource-rich, that is why they have current account surpluses. Furthermore, you suggest that free market policies lead to current account deficits. This assertion is challenged by China (which has been liberalising since 1978), Germany (liberal since 1948), and Singapore (considered the second most liberal economy in the world) being close to the top.

        I think that there is an alternative explanation. Take Norway and Nigeria as examples. Both countries are oil rich and the rest of their economies are a shambles. The problem is that oil is so profitable that other economic activities are no longer attractive. Norway saw higher education rates drop off when oil was discovered, as it was no longer worthwhile getting a highly-skilled job. Nigeria cannot feed itself; it has to import food because farming and fishing are no longer attractive.

        So here is what the table tells me:
        (i) Resource-rich countries have current account surpluses.
        (ii) Resource-rich countries can cover up dysfunctional economies.
        (iii) Fiscally irresponsible countries have current account deficits.

        • In Vino Veritas

          Nice work Thomas. I’m liking (iii). I note that the table says NZ is resource rich. This may well be so, but we arent allowed to get at those resources. Unfortunately clean and green doesnt lend itself to extracting resources in a cost effective way.

          And just remember all, tourism doesnt count as a resource….

        • clandestino

          Germany is neither resource rich nor liberalised. They are a net importer of energy.

          Germany benefited from the creation of the ECSC and the agreement with France to subsidise their agriculture if the rest of the EEC subsidised German manufacturing. Germany imported millions of cheap labourers from Turkey to compete on wages during the latter decades of the 20thC, effectively a NTB. This was extended when East Germany joined in. And we all seem to forget the Marshall Plan.

          You are a fool if you think Singapore is not a centrally planned economy down to the dot. Their planning involves almost every sector of life from an individuals educational path to where you live and how you eat. Not to mention strategically as a major port facility and financial hub.

          As for the rest, balderdash. Nigeria is still poor because the oil companies saw fit to extort concessions (royalties etc) from the people of the country by paying off the government which is corrupt as all hell.

          Norway has been fortunate, but has invested and behaved wisely especially re: EU engagement. The main reason it can’t compete in other industries is their GDP/capita is already 55k, do you think they want to take a pay cut so they can make shit?

          It is you who fails to see the bigger picture.

          • clandestino

            Oh and by the way seeing as we are talking basic economics, you do realise industry subsidies (tax incentives, corporate welfare, ‘R and D’ cash) are ALL non-tariff barriers and therefore PROTECTIONIST. Why we go on denying this reality and don’t do it ourselves because we think it’s ‘right’ is beyond me.

            Oh it’s coz we’ve got a bunch of blind ideologues running things, I forgot.

          • rosy

            As Angela Merkel said to Tony Blair…

            Merkel was once asked by then British Prime Minister Tony Blair what the secret was of her country’s economic success, which includes being the world’s largest exporter and running substantial trade surpluses in recent years. She famously replied, ‘Mr Blair, we still make things’. In Germany, manufacturing still dominates finance because Deutschland capitalism didn’t succumb to the financialisation of the economy that swept the United States and Britain in the 1980s under Reagan and Thatcher.

            An interesting little read, this article – how a conservative leader has policies that any left wing government should espouse.

        • Draco T Bastard

          the ones at the top of the table are resource-rich,

          Ah, that would explain why China needs to import so much raw resources such as oil and logs (from us in fact)…

          Oh, wait…

        • Colonial Viper

          This assertion is challenged by China (which has been liberalising since 1978), Germany (liberal since 1948), and Singapore (considered the second most liberal economy in the world) being close to the top.

          Fuck off

          As a foreigner you cannot buy any power infrastructure in China, and if you want access to key markets you MUST partner with a Chinese company and GIVE them your tech. That’s liberalised? No, this is China using the parts of the free market rule book which SUITS THEM. They ignore all the rest of your bullshit.

          Germany liberal since 1948 you must think we are fucking idiots, Germany has the strongest trade unions in Europe and their business community loves private family owned businesses not foreign multinationals, and by the way anyone who wants to outsource manufacturing work from a German factory must give the workers A YEARS NOTICE.

          As for Singapore. Lee Kuan Yew ran Singapore with an iron fist, both political and business enemies were destroyed, a completely centrally planned economy with the government picking winners and giving them billions. (Check out the recent investments in biotech). Also the Singapore Govt BUYS private sector assets and runs them, it doesnt sell.

          You are a loser who knows nothing even about the economic theories you pretend to espouse.

    • mik e 6.3

      Germany and Japan Not Protectionist you’ve got to be joking German farmers get more subsidies than our farmers make in profit like wise Japan.The Reason we are in so much debt is we are allowing our dollar to inflate against printed and pegged currencies keeping their economies going while ours borrows and hopes.So we are to small to say boo and our politicians would rather borrow than print or peg we are the suckers.Helping their economies the Soros’s who have been telegraphed well in advance that we a going to play the game by the rules while everybody else that counts doesn’t.Savings would help But this Govt Seems hell bent on undermining a decent compulsory saving scheme as it has done every other time in the past look across the ditch .2020 Australia will have $2trillion in the bank NewZealand at best $60 billion.Savings per capita Australia will have 10 times more so much for catching up with Australia!

    • KJT 6.4

      And the money traders have not been making a huge profit from our dollar since it was floated??

      The worlds most traded currency. Because of our stupid and shortsighted reserve bank act.

      If you think Japan is not protectionist, try selling non Japanese manufactured goods in Japan.

      Singapore is almost totally centrally planned. The Government has fingers in almost everything. That is how they manage to maintain a military and subsidise industry with such low tax rates.
      Unlike our dipshits, who think we should leave it to the magic of the market.

      China has 6% inflation. We have over 20% inflation in necessities without corresponding wage rises.

      Being the first, first world economy to lie down and spread our legs for the IMF, has and will cost us dearly..

      Our heavily subsidised and protected farming has been the only real earner as the rest of the economy has been gutted, in the totally mad idea, that the USA and EU will remove agricultural protection, if we expose our manufacturing.

    • prism 6.5

      @Thomas Which textbook are you quoting from?

    • mik e 6.6

      Chinas inflation is around an housing bubble not currency valuation . they have increased interest to cope with that they also have a centrally planned economy if run right they can mitigate more factors in their economy than free market economies thats why their are no free market economies with saving more than debt.

  7. Afewknowthetruth 7

    Fortunately the whole system is at the point of imploding, so we won’t have to worry about free trade for much longer.

    The decline in energy availability associated with the peak of oil extraction will demolish most current arrnagements by 2015.

    Neoliberal twats won’t know what hit them.

  8. Policy Parrot 8

    Interesting with regard to the list, it was only 13 years ago that Russia defaulted on her Paris Club debts (debts inherited as the legal successor of the Soviet Union), and now they have a huge sovereign fund to which to do battle with (of course with the assistance of a prejudiced trial of an oligarch – they were/are all guilty – just Khodorkovsky got uppity).

    Has the war in Iraq done the opposite to the US strategic position than was intended? Rather than a Pax Americana, has it in fact moved the global strategic scenario to that of a multipolar world? Because, if in fact, the situation remains a [largely] rules-based order, then Europe and the US will be increasingly [financially] beholden to countries that [currently] are in strategic opposition.

  9. hellonearthis 9

    Those figure look bad, but NZ looks worse when you look at the per head figures.
    The USA comes in at -$2433.49 per person
    And New Zealand at -$2260.76 per person

    On the balance there, we seem to be pretty close to the USA position.

    • KJT 9.1

      Yeah. We are going to catch up to the successful countries by following the UK, Ireland, Greece and USA’s example

    • mik e 9.2

      And the per capita income of a citizen in the U s is not quite double ours . So we are in deeper doo doos Most non bank economists are picking another downturn before or around 2015 . Borrowing bill will have us owing about $75 billion by then

  10. Draco T Bastard 10

    Now if the FTAs hust dealt just with free trade (the exchange of completed products) and not free capital movement and ownership we’d probably be able to get ourselves back out of debt. No nation needs to borrow money from any other nation.

  11. MrSmith 11

    Great post: 
    So crime does pay and honestly isn’t always the best policy, the sooner we put the walls back up the better, at-least start building them before we become renters in our own country.
    Trying to convert the world is honorable but will fail, this is just business and in business there can be no room for the romantic fantasy of fair free trade with another country, the only winners will be the middle takers and the crooks, I understand how people get sucked into the free trade ideology, but we are not dealing with mathematics here, there are people involved for Christ sake.

    • Afewknowthetruth 11.1


      ‘we are not dealing with mathematics here’

      Opps. I’m afraid we ARE dealing with mathematics.


      Indeed, mathematics is why the system is now imploding.

      ‘there are people involved for Christ sake’

      Unfortunately mathematics doesn’t care about people.

      And the elites who are in control definitely don’t care about people.

      People need to wake up to some fundamental truths. But most won’t.

      • MrSmith 11.1.1

        I think you understand what I was trying to say though AFKTT, People are doing the sums and people are unreliable at best. 

  12. Brendon O'Connor 12

    Oh god this is all so terrible, we need to start bailing out more corporates and quick.So many corporate buddies to wash with dosh and so little taxpayer base to do it with.

    Also, do you think for a minute that China can’t mine it’s own resources. It will when it has depleted the rest of the worlds. They are not as silly as we give the credit for.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      Also, do you think for a minute that China can’t mine it’s own resources. It will when it has depleted the rest of the worlds. They are not as silly as we give the credit for.


      Very interesting how China, with one of the largest coal reserves in the world, has recently become a net coal importer.

      They’re not selling their coal mines off for worthless USD, thats for sure.

  13. Well that stirred you all up – great dialogue!

    The fundamental problem is one of leadership and belief systems and ideology. Polarised opinions are the real problem as a number refer to Adam Smith and maybe more should read him. Capitalism can only work in a stable and equitable society socialism and capitalism are not mutually exclusive they are mutually dependent. The alternatives are feudalism or fascism.

    As for surviving int eh big wide world. The All Blacks have just been accused of being the best rugby cheats in the world. They learnt that from the Australians who used to be the best rugby cheats in the world. And no doubt will be once again – but hopefully not too soon.

    We live in a nasty world were the innocent get shafted.

    I am not advocating criminality or low ethics as each of these are economically and socially sub-optimal strategies however we need to abide by the rules of which ever game we play. There is no point in being naive that just costs us money. Australia is our closest ally but as pointed out by several commentators here shafts us at every turn. There was good reason for mother England exporting their forefathers – the greatest experiment in reverse eugenics ever.

    Anyone who thinks CER is good for us only needs to look at what the Aussie banks are doing to us to see what China will be doing to us next.

    New Zealand needs to be run as if it was a small business or a family. Don’t spend what you don’t earn, don’t borrow unless to invest it in something that earns more than the rate of interest. If you can’t afford to buy it you make it yourself. You don’t hire Mr Green to do your lawns if you have an idle teenager lying on the couch.

    We lack good management at the top, instead our governing representatives have become the petty crusaders for narrow and selfish interests fighting over the diminishing pile of crumbs from the cake that was once our inheritance.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Prime Minister attends East Asia Summit
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern attended overnight the 16th East Asia Summit hosted virtually by Brunei Darussalam. The East Asia Summit is a key forum for leaders to discuss pressing issues facing the region and provides a platform to manage strategic risks through cooperation and collaboration. “Our region continues to manage a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Bill passes first reading – Ka tutuki te pānuitanga tuatahi o te P...
    The Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Bill passed its first reading in Parliament and a special Select Committee has been set up to consider the Bill and hear public submissions, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “We are fixing a public health system that has, for far too long, failed Māori and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty – what next for the nuclear “grand bargain?” – Speech t...
    (Check against delivery) Kia ora tatou It’s my great pleasure to be here today at the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. I welcome this opportunity to share with you the Government’s thinking on the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, or NPT. Forged in the depths of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Government helps sharpen the competitive edge of New Zealand’s medicinal cannabis industry
    The Government is backing an innovative research and development programme to help accelerate the establishment of New Zealand’s medicinal cannabis industry and boost export potential, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. The Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund (SFF Futures) is contributing nearly $760,000 to the $1.9 million, three-year programme ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Restrictions eased in parts of Waikato at Alert Level 3; Northland to remain at Alert Level 2
    Restrictions in the Waikato will be eased slightly from midnight tonight, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “From 11.59pm tonight, people in the parts of Waikato at Alert Level 3 will be able to meet for outdoor gatherings between two households, with a maximum of 10 people,” Chis Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • COVID-19 rent relief support measures refined
      The Government has landed on a balanced package of changes to improve rent relief measures for both landlords and tenants hit by COVID-19 restrictions, the Minister of Justice Kris Faafoi says. “Businesses in the Auckland region, and elsewhere under COVID Alert Level Three, have been doing it tough, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Govt considers regulatory safeguards for three waters services
    Public feedback is being sought on the regulatory safeguards required to ensure consumers and communities receive three waters services that meet their needs, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister, Dr David Clark announced today. “The future three waters system needs to promote consumer interests and ensure infrastructure is delivered in a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Appointment of new Te Pou Tupua welcomed
    Environment Minister David Parker and Ngā Tāngata Tiaki o Whanganui chairperson Sheena Maru have welcomed the appointment of Keria Ponga and Turama Hawira as Te Pou Tupua. In a joint statement Sheena Maru and David Parker said: Today, Ngā Tāngata Tiaki o Whanganui chairperson Sheena Maru Minister and Environment David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Don't freak out, ShakeOut
    Minister for Emergency Management Kiri Allan is challenging more people to join the almost 650,000 who have already signed up to take part in the nation-wide ShakeOut drill, happening tomorrow. “ShakeOut, New Zealand’s annual national earthquake drill and tsunami hīkoi, is a great opportunity for all of us to put ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Government to protect vital public water services for future generations
    Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta today confirmed the Government will create four publicly owned water entities to ensure every New Zealander has access to affordable, long-lasting drinking, waste and storm water infrastructure without ballooning costs to households and families. “The case for change is too compelling to ignore. It is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Annual MFAT- NGO Hui
    Tēnā koutou katoa, Talofa Lava and Warm Pacific Greetings to one and all— and in recognition of Tokelauan Language Week this week, Fakatalofa atu ki te koutou uma. Malo ni. Thank you for inviting me to join with you at the 2021 MFAT–NGO Hui. It’s a privilege for me to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Opening Address – Council for International Development and MFAT NGO Hui
    Tuia te rangi e tu iho nei, Tuia te papa e takoto nei, Tuia te here tangata ki te here wairua kia rongo te pō, kia rongo te āo – Tīhei Mauri Ora! Kei ngā iti, kei ngā rahi i whakapau kaha ki te whakahaere i ngā mahi atawhai mo ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Govt backs business to vaccinate workforces
    Vaccination will be required for all workers at businesses where customers need to show COVID-19 Vaccination Certificates, such as hospitality and close-contact businesses. New law to introduce a clearer and simplified risk assessment process for employers to follow when deciding whether they can require vaccination for different types of work. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Winners of the 2021 Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards
    Frimley Primary School in Hawke’s Bay is the Supreme Award winner of the 2021 Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The past year has been a real test for teachers, schools and local communities. But out of the challenge of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government provides greater assurance to homeowners
    The Government has provided greater assurance for homeowners with the introduction of a new code of ethics for Licensed Building Practitioners (LBPs), Building and Construction Minister Poto Williams announced today.   The Code of Ethics, which comes into force in October 2022, sets behavioural standards for LBPs to give both ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Primary sector returns strengthen export-led recovery
    Farmers’ hard work in leading New Zealand’s export-led recovery from COVID-19 is being rewarded with high prices forecast for milk and very strong returns for meat, says Trade and Export Growth and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. Fonterra announced today a record predicted milk price of $7.90 to $8.90 for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Supporting economic resilience in the Indo-Pacific – Speech to the Asia Forum
    (Check against delivery) Ladies and gentlemen, distinguished guests, kia ora koutou katoa Thank you Farib. It is a great pleasure to be invited to speak at this event. I want to acknowledge the on-going work of the Asia Forum. Over many years – decades, in fact – you have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • RSI ‘state of the nation’ report published
    New Zealand’s FCR cited research ratio is twice the world average Investment in R&D is increasing Case studies underscore how a science based COVID-19 response helped save lives In 2019, Māori and Pacific people represented 5 per cent of PhD graduates. The latest research, science and innovation system report card ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding to translate science into real life solutions
    The Government is investing in ‘Te Tītoki Mataora’ the MedTech Research Translator, to deliver new medical tools - and meet both the demands of a global pandemic and of a growing and aging population. “COVID-19 has shown that we need to build a more resilient, productive, innovative and economically-sustainable health ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Tokelau champions language and culture
    COVID-19 continues to be a powerful reminder of the importance of language and culture to the wellbeing of our Pacific communities, said the Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio. “Our Tokelau community in Aotearoa has responded strongly to the challenges of the global pandemic by getting vaccinated and supporting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Festival drug-checking services get a boost
    The Government is financially supporting drug-checking services to help keep young people safe at this summer’s large festivals and events, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “This is not about condoning drug use, but about keeping people safe,” Andrew Little said. “There is clear evidence that having drug-checking services at festivals ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Expanded vaccination order for health and disability, education and prison workers
    A newly-signed Order means most people working in three key sectors will very soon need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 for the sake of themselves, their workmates and their communities, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins has confirmed. The extended COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Amendment Order 2021 comes into effect ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • APEC finance ministers focus on inclusive, sustainable COVID recovery
    APEC finance ministers will continue to work together to respond to the effects of COVID-19 and ensure a sustainable and inclusive recovery while capitalising on the opportunity to build a more resilient future. The New Zealand Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson chaired the virtual APEC Finance ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Improvements to child and maternity facilities at Timaru Hospital on track
    Improvements to child and maternity facilities at Timaru Hospital are well underway, and the next stage of the project will begin next month. Health Minister Andrew Little visited Timaru Hospital today to view progress onsite. “The improvements are part of South Canterbury DHB’s four-year refurbishment project and will create a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt responds to independent review into WorkSafe
    The Government has clear expectations that WorkSafe must action the recommendations of the independent review into the regulator to improve its management of adventure activities following the tragedy at Whakaari White Island, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood says. The Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) today released the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Prevention funding to reduce tamariki in care
    A new iwi-led prevention programme will receive funding from Oranga Tamariki to help reduce the number of tamariki and rangatahi coming into state care, Children’s Minister Kelvin Davis has announced. Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu (Te Rūnanga) will receive $25.9m of Oranga Tamariki funding over three years to improve outcomes ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Transforming New Zealand’s mental health legislation
    Public consultation is now open for Aotearoa New Zealand to have a say on the repeal and replacement of the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992. “’He Ara Oranga, the report of the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction’ made it clear that we needed to replace ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19 Protection Framework
    Kia ora koutou katoa Today I’m speaking directly to all New Zealanders to share a plan that will help us stay safe from COVID-19 into the future. A future where we want to continue to protect people’s lives, but also to live our lives – as safely as possible. Our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Business boost to transition to new COVID framework
    We know that over the last twenty months the approach New Zealand has taken to COVID and Delta has saved lives and livelihoods. Along with one of the lowest mortality rates in the world, we have also had strong economic growth, low unemployment and one of the lower levels of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19 funding boost to protect maōri communities
    Tēnā koutou katoa As you have heard from the Prime Minister, the new protection framework will support us to keep people safe especially our vulnerable communities and minimize the impact COVID-19 has on business and our day to day lives. If you want to protect yourself, your whanau and your ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New COVID-19 Protection Framework delivers greater freedoms for vaccinated New Zealanders
    New COVID-19 Protection Framework provides pathway out of lockdown and ability for businesses and events to re-open to vaccinated New Zealanders Simpler framework to minimise cases and hospitalisations without use of widespread lockdowns Auckland to move into the new framework when 90 percent of eligible population in each of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New fund to accelerate Māori vaccinations
    The Government has established a $120 million fund to accelerate Māori vaccination rates and support communities to prepare for the implementation of the new COVID-19 Protection Framework. The new Māori Communities COVID-19 Fund will directly fund Māori, Iwi, community organisations and providers to deliver local vaccination initiatives for whānau, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government extends hardship assistance for low income workers
    Income limits for Hardship Support through the Ministry of Social Development have been temporarily lifted so more people can recieve assistance. “Cabinet has agreed to make it easier for low income workers to recieve assistance for items such as food and other emergency costs,” Carmel Sepuloni said. “We know the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More support for learners with highest needs
    Students most in need of extra help in the classroom are the focus of a new review that gets under way today, Associate Education Minister Jan Tinetti says. About 50,000-80,000 children and young people are expected to benefit from a Ministry of Education review into Highest Need Learners that will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Parts of Waikato to stay at Alert Level 3 for next six days
    The parts of Waikato that have been in Alert Level 3 will remain at that alert level till Wednesday, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Based on the latest public health information, maintaining level 3 in those parts of the Waikato continues to be the most prudent course of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Hon Peeni Henare September 2021 Proactive Diary Release
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • NZ passes world-first climate reporting legislation
    New Zealand has become the first country in the world to pass a law that will ensure financial organisations disclose and ultimately act on climate-related risks and opportunities, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Dr David Clark and Climate Change Minister James Shaw today announced today. The Financial Sector (Climate-related Disclosures ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Prime Minister NZ UK FTA opening remarks
    Tēnā koutou katoa. Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa. I am delighted to announce today that following a conversation with Prime Minister Johnson last night, New Zealand and the United Kingdom have Agreed in Principle a historic high-quality, comprehensive and inclusive free trade agreement. I’m joined today by the Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand secures historic free trade deal with the United Kingdom
    A boost of almost $1 billion to New Zealand GDP, unprecedented access for New Zealand exporters to the UK market UK to eliminate all tariffs on New Zealand exports, with over 97% being removed the day the FTA comes into force NZ exporters to save approx. $37.8 million per year ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Quarterly benefit numbers show more people in work
    Benefit figures released today show a year on year fall of 9,807 people receiving a Main Benefit in the September Quarter.  “The Government is working hard to tackle COVID-19 and it is clear our strong response to the initial outbreak has created a resilient labour market which is providing opportunities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago