web analytics

Germany and New Zealand Redux

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, December 20th, 2017 - 10 comments
Categories: Europe, International - Tags: ,

Unlike Germany, New Zealand is a tiny country in which little of note occurs.

But we are both successful societies, with proportional democracies, strong economies, underpinned by strong public institutions and legal frameworks, and consistently believe that we are going in the right direction.

New Zealand is one of no more than a handful of countries with that combination who are also led by a highly redistributive Labour Party. Not that we the singular shining beacon in space, but it’s pretty solitary out here.

For the sake of sustaining our compact, it might be tempting to do what Germany’s Social Democratic Party (SD) is doing with the Christian Democratic Union (CD): unite together in coalition rather than see the irreversible fall of the European Union and the entire project of social democracy.

For the SD it comes down to this: the world is lost and there is stuff worth saving for as long as we can even if it really costs us. For the CD: stay in power.

For Germany, undisputed leader of the European Union in both social innovation and in economic strength, the race to save itself is particularly pressing because it has no proper government.

To sustain the giant and enduring political and social culture of Germany, some great bind needs to hold. Enter Martin Schulz, the leader of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SD). Schulz’s party, which governed together with Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CD) in a grand coalition for eight of the past 12 years, suffered its worst electoral result since the late 1940s in the most recent German parliamentary contest.

Here we need only be reminded of how much cost such a pact entails. In the great poem “Faust” by the German poet Goethe, Faust the learned scholar feels that none of his many achievements have provided him with real satisfaction or fulfillment. He yearns to gain fundamental satisfaction and meaning. Faust turns to magic in the hope of finding some way to get it, and only the devil can really cut that deal. So he agrees to sell his soul if the devil can give him that great moment of experience that everything in his life finally fits, reveals its total truth, and he wills it to stay forever.

The Faustian pact has high cost and reward. With only a few exceptions, social democratic parties have been steadily losing ground in Europe since the 1970s. Nevertheless, those center-left parties have played a critical role in anchoring the working-class vote to the welfare state domestically and to the European project across the continent. Social democratic parties have also been central actors in integrating immigrant communities into the democratic electorate and in maintaining pressure against the rise of income inequality. To some extent, Europe’s social democrats are the victims of their own success. They managed to create a broad consensus around the need to balance capitalism’s excesses with active government intervention. Same in New Zealand, and we only got back into power this time by the skin of our teeth.

By governing in a national coalition with center-right Christian Democrats for eight of the last 12 years, Social Democrats have often had to compromise against the interests of their traditional working-class base. Tainted — some would say corrupted — by power, they have become less pure and less effective as a progressive movement in German politics.

It’s something like Labour going into government with National. If Little hadn’t resigned and Labour continued tracking downwards from 20-something per cent, the same conversations would be in play here right now. It would probably be a disaster here as it has been for the SPD, but may also have been necessary for the centre left to survive in government in any form.

It is necessary at least in Germany, and in policy terms it would not be too hard in New Zealand either. Most of our remaining arguments are about how to redistribute taxes rather than any notable structural reforms, and the basic social compact is well set. Labour will never get in power again without coalition anyway  – it’s merely a matter of who.

Schultz was damaged by his ballot-box defeat in September and immediately announced his intention to have the SPD spend the next four years on the Bundestag’s opposition benches. This left Merkel with the unenviable task of cobbling together a so-called “Jamaica” coalition (black-yellow-green) with the liberal Free Democrats (who are the yellow to the black of the Christian Democrats) and the Greens (who are, well, green), and it all died. This leaves only one realistic possibility to form a coalition government that does not include the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD).

In a country that prides itself on its stability culture and lack of political drama, the SPD is now being forced to rethink its strategy of rejuvenating its forces in opposition. German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier — himself a Social Democrat — made it clear that he sees finding a workable majority as a political obligation for any major party worthy of its name. Caught between the call of national duty and the need to revamp their waning electoral support, Schulz and his colleagues are now faced with three choices:

  1. Join another grand coalition with Merkel’s Christian Democrats;
  2. Support a minority government led by Merkel and her more conservative partners in Bavaria’s Christian Social Union; or
  3. Face the German voters once again in early elections.

Alas, it is not hard to guess what those options will bring. Another grand coalition will be near-fatal for the SPD, because it would deprive the party of its distinctive identity in the eyes of the voters. A minority government would achieve little and be picked off next time. The third option is just a big roll of the dice for everyone.

The bind for the SPD is this: don’t go into coalition and have some chance of keeping your existing if declining voter base, but then give Steinmeyer as President and Merkel the perfect scapegoat for the collapse of the government and the requirement for future elections.

Like New Zealand, Germany is one of those rare countries with a bit of a budget surplus. The SPD could seek that surplus get spent on targeted tax cuts for working people. The SPD could also insist that they double down on their climate commitments. Or insist on family reunification for the over 1 million Syrian refugees. They will need an almighty and magical mix of policy wins to get some of their lost votes back. If they don’t, they will go the way of the organised left across Europe.

Prime Minister Ardern is already seeking to form a common pact with National about poverty. This would build on common policies on NZSuper and superannuation, trade, international relations, Treaty partnerships, agriculture, economic sectoral intervention, conservation and national parks, infrastructure other than irrigation, and many more areas besides. The big compact is by no means unimaginable.

But in Germany they get to dare a little greater. On Europe, Martin Schultz wants to see a United States of Europe by 2025. Big call especially in the current climate in which the EU immigration-sharing quota system just died. New Zealand is largely keeping its head down on immigration letting Australia simply handle all its quandaries and hard tasks. New Zealand also doesn’t face a hard anti-immigration party like the Alternative for Germany, so the risk to real political tilting is small.

Germany and the SPD find themselves at the crossroads. While it is Angela Merkel who seems to be the only one holding the cards having just won a fourth consecutive electoral victory for the CDU, in many ways the SPD holds the key to the future of Germany and the future of Europe.

New Zealand is, for better and for worse, one of the very few remaining countries whose institutions, economy, and society are strong like Germany. We are now led by a strongly redistributionist Labour government.

For Germany and New Zealand, cross-parliamentary coalitions are the greatest, riskiest Faustian bargain.

10 comments on “Germany and New Zealand Redux”

  1. Matthew Whitehead 1

    Um, both Labour and New Zealand first are anti-immigration parties, Ad, who want less people coming here. They’re just neither as extreme as AfD. It’s completely inaccurate to claim we have no political analogue to AfD here: they literally want to copy our immigration policy, because it’s too anti-immigrant for even the US Republicans to manage.

    I should also point out that AfD’s emergence is arguably a result of the tendency towards grand coalitions. There is a feeling among more extreme voters on both sides of the political system that There Is No Alternative, because even when they vote in large numbers for the Left Party or the Free Democrats, it still delivers a grand coalition because the Social Democrats are unwilling to deal with the Left Party even when they have the numbers to. This phenomenon is why Alternativ für Deutschland got its name, in fact.

    SDP’s stance that it didn’t want to go into coalition was actually about addressing this backlash to Grand Coalitions more than taking an opposition-bench rejuvenation. With the FDP unable to compromise with the Greens, and the SDP being dragged into negotiations by the President, it’s not exactly a happy election result for the CDU, either.

    This is the one big advantage to New Zealand’s tribal allegiances to Labour and National: while the two are actually the closest parties to each other ideologically, *ducks fanboys on both sides* they continuously insist they have larger differences than they really do in order to not co-operate. I actually think it’s reasonably healthy for them both to do this when we’re not in some sort of national emergency, but it does lead to funny situations where each party opposes something bitterly in opposition, but then ends up doing something that’s different only in nuance when they’re in the next government. Go figure.

    Working with National would kill off the Labour Party as a party of the left, not that it hasn’t been drifting centre-ward for ages.

    • Ad 1.1

      What the AfD believe is this:

      – They repudiate Germany’s shame and guilt about the impact of Nazism
      – They are explicitly anti-Islamic
      – They are intensely patriotic
      – They are explicity against the idea of the European Union
      – One of the key leaders, Fauke Petry, wants the Germany border secured by the military from immigrants
      – They want traditional roles for women, and are anti-gay
      – They deny climate change exists or is human-caused

      They also have strong links with the kind of extremist groups that we haven’t seen here since the end of the Land Wars.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternative_for_Germany#Ideology_and_policies

      Here’s a useful paper on thier origins, aims, and consequences:

      Click to access abenheim-afd-full-interview-11-2016.pdf

      It is a very long bow to equate any policy of either the Labour Party or the New Zealand First Party with AfG from the policies that any of them have.

      Not sure your point about the rise of AfG. Under multiple governments there have been and continue to be plenty of party alternative parties rise up, and plenty of different kinds of coalition.

      Personally I see this NZ government, within its first 100 days, as the most left-leaning and most redistributionist I have seen in a very long time.

      • Matthew Whitehead 1.1.1

        While I’m a New Zealander, I am in fact a German speaker, and am highly familiar with AfD (excuse me for not being able to think of them by the English acronym, it just doesn’t gel for me for whatever reason) and do follow German politics myself to some degree. (It’s relatively far down my list of things to follow- on a day-to-day level I mostly follow kiwi and US politics) and the factors behind its rise.

        It both is and isn’t a difficult comparsion between AfD and parties like NZF and Labour. Specifically on immigration, their policies are shockingly similar, to an extent that should worry even the NZLP. AfD naturally wants to go further than either do, but the fact that they consider some of New Zealand’s ideas, like the points-system model that is now considered in the political mainstream by both Labour and National, as a model for a Nazi immigration system, should be intensely disturbing to all New Zealanders who support either large party, and we as voters should be asking them why they feel we don’t have a Nazi immigration system.

        I do agree, of course, that AfD’s policies in other areas would be completely unfair to compare to even New Zealand First, which is actually quite moderate as far as nationalist parties without any sort of main focus on an indigenous and/or oppressed ethnic or cultural minority go, and as much as I am bitterly opposed to them politically, they’re more like an unpleasantly poisonous thing you’d eat, while militantly racist nationalists like AfD or the Trump cult are essentially full-blown venomous snakes and should be handled as such.

    • Ad 1.2

      The AfG’s policies are outlined here:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternative_for_Germany#cite_note-Duke-3

      – Deny climate change exists
      – Traditional roles for women
      – Resists immigrants at all borders by military force
      – Compulsory military service for all
      – Specifically anti-muslim

      And has very deep links to the kind of extremist groups that we haven’t had here since the end of the Land Wars.

      So no, trying to equate either New Zealand First or the New Zealand Labour Party with Alternative for Germany won’t work.

      Click to access abenheim-afd-full-interview-11-2016.pdf

      • corodale 1.2.1

        Open invitation for a cup of tea in Dresden! Sorry, no beer for you boys, better to stick with the cola.

  2. Most of our remaining arguments are about how to redistribute taxes rather than any notable structural reforms, and the basic social compact is well set.

    Which is probably why we’re failing. We seem to have hit our End of History moment.

    Our poverty is structural, our abuse of beneficiaries systemic and the corruption is soaring. We really don’t want those to be strong as it tears our society apart.

    The SPD could seek that surplus get spent on targeted tax cuts for working people.

    There’s no such thing. Tax cuts, even when given to the poor, always go to the rich as they’re in a position to grab the extra cash whereas the poor are going to be in the same position and having to spend everything that they’ve got just to get by.

  3. Policy Parrot 3

    Option 2 seems the most plausible. Obviously, the SPD would have to indicate which particular policies from the CDU/CSU are a bridge too far and would result in SPD votes against, rather than abstention.

    They also retain the distinction of the official opposition, and become the handbrake on the most extreme tendencies of the Merkel coalition.

    Sounds similar to the Canadian scenario in 2009? when Conservative PM Harper was kept in office by Liberal abstention when a coalition of Liberals, NPD and PQ could have ousted them.

    Weimar Germany is a more sobering analogue. The Conservative Parties and SPD were encouraged to form grand coalitions to the point where there was a “majority of extremes”, where the KPD and Nazi parties together controlled more than half the seats of the Reichstag, and effectively, either one could bring down the government by voting with the opposition.

    These days: die Linke and AfD together hold 27% of the seats in the current Bundestag – although I would dispute that despite some tendencies, either die Linke or AfD are as extreme as their forbears. Just illuminating that this strategy, particular of isolating the KPD/die Linke from government at a federal level may prove counterproductive in the long term to the political landscape.

  4. greywarshark 4

    A good read Ad. You explained the German situation well enough for me to get the picture.

  5. Jackel 5

    I tell all too well by your article you’ve made no Faustian bargain yourself.

  6. corodale 6

    Well written, lieber Faust. But consider this: With German Democracy sweet as cola, we can we not expect them to follow NZ’s trend of more outsoucing to the East? If they can outsource atomic arsenals, why not a govt? Or continue watching foot ball from the Alps of Chicago? Sport or oriental dancing? The mind boggles.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Greens work to secure inquiry into Wild West student accommodation sector
    The Green Party has begun the process for a Select Committee inquiry into student accommodation, which has been exposed during COVID-19 as an under-regulated sector that straddles students with unfair debt. ...
    8 hours ago
  • New Zealand joins global search for COVID-19 vaccine
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon Megan Woods, Minister of Research, Science and Innovation Hon Dr David Clark, Minister of Health Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods,  and Health Minister David Clark today announced a COVID-19 vaccine strategy, ...
    2 days ago
  • Budget 2020: Five things to know
    Budget 2020 is about rebuilding together, supporting jobs, getting business moving and the books back into the black. It’s an integral part of our COVID-19 economic response, and our plan to grow our economy and get New Zealand moving again. Here’s a quick look at the five top things you ...
    2 days ago
  • Coalition Government approves essential upgrades on Ōhakea Air Base
    The Coalition Government has approved $206 million in essential upgrades at Ōhakea Air Base.  Defence Minister Ron Mark said the money would be spent on improving old infrastructure. He said safety issues would be addressed, as well as upgrades to taxiways, accommodation and fresh, storm and waste water systems. "This ...
    6 days ago
  • Attributable to the Rt Hon Winston Peters
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First “I am not persisting with this case just for myself, but for all people who have had their privacy breached. Privacy of information is a cornerstone of our country’s democracy. Without it our society truly faces a bleak future. We now ...
    1 week ago
  • Forestry Minister Shane Jones moves to protect sawmills
    Forestry Minister Shane Jones has introduced a Bill to Parliament that he says will "force more transparency, integrity and respect" for the domestic wood-processing sector through the registration of log traders and practice standards. The Forests (Regulation of Log Traders and Forestry Advisers) Amendment Bill had its first reading in ...
    1 week ago
  • Green MP joins international call to cancel developing countries’ debt
    Green MP Golriz Ghahraman is joining over 300 lawmakers from around the world in calling on the big banks and the IMF to forgive the debt of developing countries, in the wake of the COVID crisis. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Forestry Minister Shane Jones swipes back at billion trees critics
    Forestry Minister Shane Jones says concerns that carbon foresters are planting pine trees that will never be harvested are the result of "misinformation". "The billion tree strategy is an excellent idea, unfortunately from time to time it's tainted by misinformation spread by the National Party or their grandees, hiding in scattered ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Budget boost for refugee families a win for compassion
    The Green Party welcomes funding in the budget to reunite more refugees with their families, ensuring they have the best chance at a new life in Aotearoa New Zealand. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How Budget 2020 is supporting jobs
    This year’s Budget is about rebuilding New Zealand together in the face of COVID-19. Jobs are central to how we’re going to do that.There’s a lot of targeted investment for employment in this year’s Budget, with announcements on creating new jobs, training people for the jobs we have, and supporting ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters says China didn’t want NZ to go into lockdown
    Speaking to Stuff's Coronavirus NZ podcast, Foreign Minister Winston Peters revealed China tried to dissuade New Zealand from going into lockdown. “Without speaking out of turn, they wanted a discussion as to why we were doing it, because they thought it was an overreaction,” Mr Peters told Stuff’s Coronavirus NZ podcast. He also ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Changes made to Overseas Investment Act to protect New Zealand assets
    The Coalition Government is making changes to the Overseas Investment Act to ensure New Zealand assets don't fall into the hands of foreign ownership in the economic aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Associate Minister of Finance David Parker announced the Act will be amended to bring forward a national interest ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters: Trans-Tasman bubble to help tourism industry make swift recovery
    A quick start to a trans-Tasman bubble could see the tourism industry make a swift recovery, according to Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters. "I believe tourism will turn around dramatically faster than people think," Mr Peters told reporters after Thursday's Budget. "Why? Because I think the Tasman bubble is [going ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rt. Hon Winston Peters: Budget Speech
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First   Please check against delivery https://vimeo.com/418303651 Budget 2020: Jobs, Business and Balance   Introduction Acknowledgements to all Cabinet colleagues, and party ministers Tracey Martin, Shane Jones and Ron Mark, Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau and to caucus colleagues. Thank you for your support, your ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Jacinda Ardern’s 2020 Budget Speech
    Read Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's Budget 2020 Speech. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Budget 2020: Next steps to end family and sexual violence
    The 2020 Budget includes significant support to stabilise New Zealand’s family violence services, whose work has been shown to be so essential throughout the COVID-19 lockdown. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Investment in housing gives more people access to the home they deserve
    The Green Party says huge new investment in public and transitional housing will get thousands more families into the warm, safe homes they deserve.  ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Budget 2020: Huge investment in green nature based jobs jump starts sustainable COVID recovery
    The Green Party says the $1.1 billion environmental investment in this year’s budget to create thousands of green jobs will help jump start a sustainable recovery from the COVID crisis. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Grant Robertson’s 2020 Budget Speech
    Read Minister of Finance Grant Robertson's Budget 2020 Speech. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters tells struggling migrant workers ‘you should probably go home’
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters said today the Coalition Government told foreigners at the start of the Covid-19 crisis that if their circumstances had changed dramatically, they should go home. "And 50,000 did," Mr Peters said. Official advice to Cabinet revealed there is potentially 380,000 foreigners and migrant workers in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First welcomes today’s Alert Level 2 announcement
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand First welcomes the decision today to go to Alert Level 2 from midnight Wednesday, says Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters. Alert Level 2 will mean a return to work for the vast majority of New Zealand’s businesses. A return ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nurses to be protected after amendment to First Responders Bill
    Nurses now look set to get more protection from violence at work, under a proposed new law. This after NZ First MP Darroch Ball's "Protection for First Responders Bill", which introduces a six-month minimum sentence for assaults on first responders, will now also cover emergency department healthcare workers. The ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nurses to get more protection, added to ‘First Responders’ legislation
    Darroch Ball MP, New Zealand First Law and Order Spokesperson An amendment to the ‘Protection of First Responders Bill’ is being tabled which will see emergency department healthcare workers included in the legislation. “During this COVID-19 crisis we have seen reports of violence and specifically increased incidents of spitting towards ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Shane Jones: Northland port could be economic haven
    Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones is breathing new life into the proposal to move Auckland's port to Whangārei to help in the economic recovery post Covid-19 pandemic. If New Zealand First was returned in the September general election, Minister Jones said a priority would be development of an "economic haven" at Northport, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF grant for Ventnor memorial
    The plan to build a memorial to the SS Ventnor, and those who were lost when it sank off the Hokianga coast in 1902, has been granted $100,000 from the Provincial Growth Fund. Originally planned for a site near Rāwene cemetery, the memorial will now be built at the new Manea ...
    3 weeks ago
  • 75th anniversary of V.E Day
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader Leader of New Zealand First, Rt Hon Winston Peters said: “Today is the 75th anniversary of VE Day – marking the end of World War II in Europe." Millions died in the six years of war, and families were torn apart. 75 years ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Getting the job done
    From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, our Government has committed to providing calm, clear, and consistent communication, including regular press conference updates from the Prime Minister. While New Zealand is at Alert Level 3, we're making sure that New Zealanders are kept informed and up-to-date with all the latest ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters responds to Simon Bridges’ ‘my sweetheart’ comment
    New Zealand First leader Winston Peters spoke to The Country's Jamie Mackay. A day earlier, National Party leader Simon Bridges was on the radio show and referred to the Deputy Prime Minister as, "my sweetheart Winston". Mr Peters swiftly dismissed the question of whether Bridges had changed his mind about ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Historic pay equity settlement imminent for teacher aides
    The Ministry of Education and NZEI Te Riu Roa have agreed to settle the pay equity claim for teacher aides, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This will see more than 22,000 teacher aides, mostly women, being valued and paid fairly for the work they do. “Teacher aides are frontline ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • New Zealand and Singapore reaffirm ties
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong have marked the first anniversary of the New Zealand-Singapore Enhanced Partnership with a virtual Leaders’ Meeting today. The Enhanced Partnership, signed on 17 May 2019, provides the framework for cooperation across the four main areas of trade, defence and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • JOINT STATEMENT BY THE PRIME MINISTERS OF NEW ZEALAND AND THE REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE ON THE FIRST AN...
    On 17 May 2019, New Zealand and Singapore established an Enhanced Partnership to elevate our relations. The Enhanced Partnership – based on the four pillars of trade and economics, security and defence, science, technology and innovation, and people-to-people links – has seen the long-standing relationship between our countries strengthen over the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Government investment supports the acquisition of new Interislander ferries
    State-Owned Enterprises Minister Winston Peters has welcomed KiwiRail’s announcement that it is seeking a preferred shipyard to build two new rail-enabled ferries for the Cook Strait crossing. “This Government is committed to restoring rail to its rightful place in New Zealand. Bigger, better ships, with new technology are yet another ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Better protection for seabirds
    Better protection for seabirds is being put in place with a new National Plan of Action to reduce fishing-related captures, Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage announced today.   The National Plan of Action for Seabirds 2020 outlines our commitment to reduce fishing-related captures and associated seabird ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Milestone in cash flow support to SMEs
    Almost $1 billion in interest-free loans for small businesses More than 55,000 businesses have applied; 95% approved Average loan approx. $17,300 90% of applications from firms with ten or fewer staff A wide cross-section of businesses have applied, the most common are the construction industry, accommodation providers, professional firms, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Government protects kids as smoking in cars ban becomes law
    Thousands of children will have healthier lungs after the Government’s ban on smoking in cars with kids becomes law, says Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa. This comes after the third reading of Smoke-free Environments (Prohibiting Smoking in Motor Vehicles Carrying Children) Amendment Bill earlier today. “This law makes it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Parliament returns to a safe normal
    The special Epidemic Response Committee (ERC) has successfully concluded its role, Leader of the House Chris Hipkins said today. The committee was set up on 25 March by the agreement of Parliament to scrutinise the Government and its actions while keeping people safe during levels 4 and 3 of lockdown. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Foreign Minister makes four diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced four diplomatic appointments: New Zealand’s Ambassador to Belgium, High Commissioners to Nauru and Niue, and Ambassador for Counter-Terrorism. “As the world seeks to manage and then recover from COVID-19, our diplomatic and trade networks are more important than ever,” Mr Peters said. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Bill to counter violent extremism online
    New Zealanders will be better protected from online harm through a Bill introduced to Parliament today, says Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin. “The internet brings many benefits to society but can also be used as a weapon to spread harmful and illegal content and that is what this legislation targets,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Mycoplasma bovis eradication reaches two year milestone in good shape
    New Zealand’s world-first plan to eradicate the cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis is on track the latest technical data shows, says Agriculture and Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two years ago the Government, DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb New Zealand and industry partners made a bold decision to go hard and commit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New payment to support Kiwis through COVID
    Further support for New Zealanders affected by 1-in-100 year global economic shock 12-week payment will support people searching for new work or retraining Work programme on employment insurance to support workers and businesses The Government today announced a new temporary payment to support New Zealanders who lose their jobs due ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • PGF reset helps regional economies
    The Provincial Growth Fund will play a vital role in New Zealand’s post-COVID-19 recovery by creating jobs in shorter timeframes through at least $600 million being refocused on projects with more immediate economic benefits, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The funding is comprised of repurposed Provincial Growth ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government exempts some home improvements from costly consents
    Government exempts some home improvements from costly consents Homeowners, builders and DIYers will soon have an easier time making basic home improvements as the Government scraps the need for consents for low-risk building work such as sleep-outs, sheds and carports – allowing the construction sector to fire back up quicker ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Concern at introduction of national security legislation for Hong Kong
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says the New Zealand Government has reacted with concern at the introduction of legislation in China’s National People’s Congress relating to national security in Hong Kong.  “We have a strong interest in seeing confidence maintained in the ‘one country, two systems’ principle under which Hong ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Samoa Language Week theme is perfect for the post-COVID-19 journey
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, says the theme for the 2020 Samoa Language Week is a perfect fit for helping our Pacific communities cope with the unfolding COVID-19 crisis, and to prepare now for the journey ahead as New Zealand focuses on recovery plans and rebuilding New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Adult kakī/black stilt numbers soar
    A nearly 40-year programme to protect one of New Zealand’s most critically endangered birds is paying off, with a record number of adult kakī/black stilt recently recorded living in the wild, the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. “Thanks to the team effort involved in the Department of Conservation’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Waikato-Tainui settlement story launched on 25th anniversary of Treaty signing
    The story of the Waikato-Tainui Treaty process and its enduring impact on the community is being told with a five-part web story launched today on the 25th anniversary of settlement, announced Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “I am grateful to Waikato-Tainui for allowing us to help capture ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Taita College to benefit from $32 million school redevelopment
    Taita College in the Hutt Valley will be redeveloped to upgrade its ageing classrooms and leaky roofs, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. “The work is long overdue and will make a lasting difference to the school for generations to come,” Chris Hipkins said. “Too many of our schools are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Redeployment for workers in hard-hit regions
    The Government is allocating $36.72 million to projects in regions hard hit economically by COVID-19 to keep people working, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Projects in Hawke’s Bay, Northland, Rotorua and Queenstown will be funded from the Government’s $100 million worker ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • $35m to build financial resilience for New Zealanders
    A $35m boost to financial capability service providers funded by MSD will help New Zealanders manage their money better both day to day and through periods of financial difficulty, announced Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “It’s always been our position to increase support to key groups experiencing or at risk ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New District Court Judge appointed
    Dunedin barrister Melinda Broek has been appointed as a District Court Judge with Family Court jurisdiction to be based in Rotorua, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. Ms Broek has iwi affiliations to Ngai Tai. She commenced her employment in 1996 with Scholefield Cockroft Lloyd in Invercargill specialising in family and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • $206 million investment in upgrades at Ohakea Air Force Base
    The Coalition Government has approved a business case for $206 million in upgrades to critical infrastructure at Royal New Zealand Air Force Base Ohakea, with the first phase starting later this year, Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. The investment will be made in three phases over five years, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Review of CAA organisational culture released
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today released the Ministry of Transport’s review of the organisational culture at the Civil Aviation Authority. Phil Twyford says all employees are entitled to a safe work environment. “I commissioned this independent review due to the concerns I had about the culture within the CAA, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Board appointed at Stats NZ
    Ensuring that Stats NZ’s direction and strategy best supports government policy decisions will be a key focus for a new Governance Advisory Board announced today by the Minister for Statistics, James Shaw. The new Governance Advisory Board will provide strategic advice to Stats NZ to ensure it is meeting New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Principal Environment Judge
    Environment Judge David Kirkpatrick of Auckland has been appointed as the Principal Environment Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  Judge Kirkpatrick was appointed an Environment Judge in February 2014. From December 2013 to July 2016 he was Chair of the Auckland Unitary Plan Independent Hearings Panel. Prior to appointment he ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Digital connectivity boost for urban marae
    A programme to connect marae around the country to the internet has received $1.4 million to expand to include urban marae in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister Kris Faafoi and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. The funding for the Marae Connectivity Programme ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt increases assistance to drought-stricken Hawke’s Bay farmers
    The Government will provide $500,000 to the Hawke’s Bay Mayoral Drought Relief Fund to help farmers facing one of the worst droughts in living memory, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Yesterday afternoon I received a letter from Hawke's Bay's five local Government leaders asking me to contribute to the Fund. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Investment in New Zealand’s history
    Budget 2020 provides a major investment in New Zealand’s documentary heritage sector, with a commitment to leasing a new Archives Wellington facility and an increase in funding for Archives and National Library work. “Last year I released plans for a new Archives Wellington building – a purpose-built facility physically connected ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Driving prompt payments to small businesses
    Government Ministers are asking significant private enterprises to adopt prompt payment practices in line with the state sector, as a way to improve cashflow for small businesses. The Ministers of Finance, Small Business, Commerce and Consumer Affairs have written to more than 40 significant enterprises and banking industry representatives to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Rotorua tourist icon to be safeguarded
    Maori Arts and Crafts will continue to underpin the heart of the tourism sector says Minister for Maori Development Nanaia Mahuta.  “That’s why we are making a core investment of $7.6 million to Te Puia New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute, over two years, as part of the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $14.7m for jobs training and education
    The Government is funding more pathways to jobs through training and education programmes in regional New Zealand to support the provinces’ recovery from the economic impacts of COVID-19, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Employment Minister Willie Jackson have announced. “New Zealand’s economic recovery will be largely driven by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Is it time to further recognise those who serve in our military?
     Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced the launch of a national conversation that aims to find out whether New Zealanders think there should be a formal agreement between service people, the Government, and the people of New Zealand. “This year marks the 75th anniversary of the end of World ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Paving the way for a fully qualified early learning workforce
    The Government’s drive to improve the quality of early childhood education (ECE) is taking another step forward with the reintroduction of a higher funding rate for services that employ fully qualified and registered teachers, Education Minister Chris Hipkins has announced. “Research shows that high-quality ECE can improve young people’s learning ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Sport Recovery Package announced
    The Sport and Recreation sector will receive a multi-million dollar boost as part of the COVID-19 response funded at Budget 2020.  Grant Robertson says the Sport and Recreation Sector contributes about $5 billion a year to New Zealand’s GDP and employs more than 53,000 people. “Sport plays a significant role ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Major boost in support for caregivers and children
    A major increase in funding and availability of support will improve the incomes and reduce the pressure on 14,000 caregivers looking after more than 22,000 children. Children’s Minister Tracey Martin says that caregivers – all those looking after someone else’s children both in and outside the state care system – ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Great Walks recovery on track for summer
    Vital conservation and visitor infrastructure destroyed by a severe flood event in Fiordland earlier this year is being rebuilt through a $13.7 million Budget 2020 investment, announced Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage.   “This investment will mean iconic Great Walks such as the Routeburn track and the full length of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori – Government partnership gives whānau a new housing deal
    The Government is investing  $40 million in a partnership with Māori to get more whānau into warm, dry and secure accommodation, Associate Minister for Housing (Māori Housing) Hon Nanaia Mahuta says.. “We are partnering with Māori and iwi to respond to the growing housing crisis in the wake of COVID-19. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders Safe In The Water
    Keeping New Zealanders safe in the water Our lifeguards and coastguards who keep New Zealanders safe in the water have been given a funding boost thanks to the 2020 Budget, Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector Poto Williams has announced. The water safety sector will receive $63 million over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Legal framework for COVID-19 Alert Level referred to select committee
    The COVID-19 Public Health Response Act 2020, which set a sound legal framework ahead of the move to Alert level 2, has been referred to a parliamentary select committee for review.  Attorney-General David Parker said the review of the operation of the COVID-19 specific law would be reported back to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago