Glasses and Brick Walls (& woods and trees).

Written By: - Date published: 9:41 pm, March 21st, 2016 - 47 comments
Categories: benefits, class, class war, cost of living, discrimination, paula bennett, poverty, quality of life, Social issues, unemployment, welfare - Tags: , , , , ,

The thing about not having great sight is that sometimes you don’t really see things coming. That was partly why, a year late, I took myself away for an eye check up. The glasses I have are over two years old now and one set of frames is decidedly wonky after being sat on. I paid for them by taking a loan from WINZ.

This, when people are on invalids benefit or whatever, is how things that are needed get acquired. WINZ lend the money from future entitlements and then deduct said monies from future payments. In other words, the person on entitlements pays. There is no extra money going into the pot from the public purse. None.

Anyway, last week after dropping into the optometrists, I made an appointment at WINZ. They threw $200 odd dollars on one of those wee green payment cards they issue these days and that, I thought, was that. It did cross my mind that I couldn’t remember agreeing to any pay-back rate, but the guy loading the card was having a bad day, seemed confused, and anyway, I reckoned I could sort out any repayment rate by and by if it was too high.

And so off I went to the same optometrists I’d used two years ago – for a check up and, if need be, new glasses just the same as the ones I’ve had these past two years.

My eyes have degenerated. No surprises there. New frames (same as the old frames) were on the same two for one offer as previously ($169) . There was a bit extra for tinting one pair (same as last time). Another bit extra for an anti-glare reflective layer on the clear lenses. (Same as last time) I went to pay. The person serving kinda froze. Now, I thought they maybe just didn’t know how to process the green swipe card that WINZ issues. But no, that wasn’t the problem.

It would appear that the government made exclusive money saving deals with some optometrists about a year or so back. According to WINZ literature, this cuts down on the amount of money any entitled claimant would have to pay back to the department from their own future income.

And here’s the catch (apart from the fact that there are absolutely no differences in any pricing that I can find having subsequently indulged in a spell of ‘google is my friend’.)

To paraphrase the person serving me, I could use the WINZ payment card for any frame from the Mickey Mouse range. And no, I couldn’t pay the difference in price between any Mickey Mouse frame and the same ones I had on my face. And no, I couldn’t utilise the two for one deal (only one pair allowed). And no, I couldn’t have tints and pay the difference. And no, I couldn’t have an anti-glare coating on the non-tint glasses and pay for that either.

Now just to reiterate and so that things are clear. Any and all money being spent on my glasses is my money. There is not, and there was not, any grant for glasses. All people on entitlements have been able to do, is get a loan off future earnings (IRD views social security payments as earnings and tax accordingly) and have the loan balance deducted from future payments.

So, WINZ had loaded more than enough money onto their wee green payment card to cover my replacements on a ‘like for like’ basis. All of that money would have deducted from future entitlements. Yet, the shop assistant (and yes, it did cross my mind that they might be playing the role of self appointed gate keeper – unfairly as it transpires) simply couldn’t take any monies from the card as full or even part payment…not even for the eye test component which, in line with everything else, was the same cost for everyone regardless of income.

So now I’m reflecting on someone from NIWA saying that air temperature will be quite high in the coming winter months. I hope they’re right because, well, that was a huge chuck of the money I’d saved for my winter wood supply that just got diverted to paying for the glasses that I need.

But there’s something else. This bullshit surrounding access to glasses for the like of me and others on entitlements is indicative of a broader picture…

I just want, by way of comparison and contrast, to skip over a couple of things shared by my sister who has just been over visiting from Scotland. Dentist bills cost…yeah, read and weep. Council rents are for life and if a son or daughter has moved back into the house for a year before their mother or father dies, and the council was aware of that fact, then the lease passes on to them…for life.

And so my question. Given that NZ modelled itself on ‘the mother country’ and is about as rich as in per capita terms, when and why did it become afflicted by this present day malaise that happily marginalises, bashes and discards? And I don’t want to hear any ‘Fourth Labour government of 1984’ cop outs, because you know, the UK got Thatchered too…

47 comments on “Glasses and Brick Walls (& woods and trees). ”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    The only answer to the question that’s ever made sense to me is “greed and stupidity masquerading as self-interest”.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      Throw in the self-interest of cutting taxes for the rich and the delusional belief that National has that people on benefits can’t budget.

    • aerobubble 1.2

      Bank fees plans, fancy ads to sell a commodity into a value product which the cinsumer pays more for without any addition benefit besides having now to manage their banking much closer to avoid pit falls.

      So stop whinning it happens to everyone, in every capitalist endeavour today, phine plans, internet plans, even movie plans. Karl Marx said it would happen, that wealth would pull up all the ladders behind them and leave themselves hanging unsupported.

      Just as you lost the lottery of being born when everyone else is, during a one off species population locust like plague, you also happen to pick the dumb ape too smart to be play nice and not shit in its own nest.

      Take the ratio of O2 and CO2, it wasn’t always the same, in fact dinosaurs lived when there was a lot of CO2, maybe need to be larger for larger lungs. So pouring co2 into our atmosphere selects for differing traits, similarly corporations and now welfare rigging, select for the new morelocks. Its planned economies that will survive longer as they have the infrastructure of control and haven’t breed morelocks to accept bureaucracy, the ladders are longer maintained bt reams of paper debt magically twisting onbook debt into supposed viable business models. y

  2. sabine 2

    It is the pettiness that gets me. It is just so petty. Loans should not come with humiliation.

    • Bill 2.1

      Erm. There was no loan. Nada, zip, zilch.

      Sure, there was humiliation but…no loan. The money’s still on the card. It will automatically default back to WINZ next week. I can’t use it. No optometrist can use it. It’s dead money.

      And like I say. Winter had better be fucking mild.

      • Olwyn 2.1.1

        It seems both silly and creepy. After all, they place a limit on what you can borrow anyway, and people are well able to balance out their own priorities within that range. It looks designed to humiliate.

      • weka 2.1.2

        I don’t get it. Why couldn’t your optometrist use the card payment?

        • Lanthanide 2.1.2.1

          Because WINZ, for some bizarre reason, has entered into a special agreement with optometrists, that limits the products that can be bought with the money. Evidently someone in WINZ believes (and was made to believe) by the optometrists that this would result in less money being spent by WINZ.

          But as Bill makes clear, the money being spent is in all ways his own money. So it doesn’t make any sense for WINZ to put in *limitations* to how it can be spent.

          Sure, perhaps they could come up with a special deal with the optometrists, but this should be an optional deal that actually does save the beneficiary money, rather than the only option available to them.

          • weka 2.1.2.1.1

            So Bill could get the kind of frames and base service that Winz and the designated optometrists agreed to?

            • Lanthanide 2.1.2.1.1.1

              Yes.

              Reading the linked pages, there is a small modicum of sense in the system.

              It’s designed to prevent people from spending more money on glasses than they perhaps should. Nanny state at it’s finest though – you aren’t capable of managing your own money (and sure, there would be some who aren’t), so we’re going to put strict rules in place to help you whether you need it or not.

              And secondly by reducing the total amount of money that is leant out in these ‘grants’ at any given time, they reduce the interest cost borne by the taxpayer.

              But I think the model is flat-out wrong – people should be able to top-up the given amount with their own private funds if necessary.

              • weka

                “And secondly by reducing the total amount of money that is leant out in these ‘grants’ at any given time, they reduce the interest cost borne by the taxpayer.”

                It’s a false economy. In addition to the things that Bill points out, if a beneficiary now can’t afford firewood for the winter and gets sick as a result and the State ends up paying for medical care, what’s being saved? So much of what the MSD does in trying to save money is these kinds of stupidity.

              • Olwyn

                But the grant for glasses is capped anyway, so they cannot borrow more than they should for glasses. And the designated styles will not necessarily be cheaper than some of the general styles. You could not, for example, take advantage of frames that are cheaper than the designated frames through being on special. Bill’s supermarket analogy is a good one. A food grant is set amount of money, so you can not overspend on it. If they followed the same practice with food grants, insisting they could only be used for budget brand items, you might end up paying $2.00 for a can of budget baked beans while Watties baked beans, on special that week at $1.50, were ruled out. And you would not be allowed to buy a few extras using your own money.

            • Bill 2.1.2.1.1.2

              Yes.

              One pair of glasses. Only choice from the very cheapest range of frames. No tinting (ie, sun-glasses) or anti- glare/reflection coatings.

              Not even if I paid for those things from any money i may have been able to put aside for, well…wood, say.

              And, as far as I can ascertain, the kind of frames and the base service costs exactly the same for people on entitlements as it does for anyone else. There is no ‘deal’.

              edit – in essence it’s kind of as though you got food money on the card but could only buy in store budget brand tins/packets of food…and your entire trolley had to comprise of nothing else – not even if you were willing to pay for some items separately.

              • Colonial Viper

                OMG Bill this is so shit I can’t even begin to attempt to express how shit this set up is.

                • Bill

                  45 minutes on a 40 seater bus with 39 people squeezed on to the one seat furthest away from me. Yup, I was definitely exuding a ‘vibe’ this afternoon.

                  (There weren’t actually 39 people cowering in some deeper recess of a bus…but, y’know 🙂 )

          • Bill 2.1.2.1.2

            Worth noting that there is a list of ‘approved’ optometrists. By the way. The person who was serving me was as embarrassed as me, albeit for different reasons, and actually thanked me for not nutting off as is, apparently, and understandably in my view, not uncommon.

            I don’t think optometrists pushed this particular barrow. It came about at the same time as ‘deals’ being set up with fisher and paykel for whiteware. There is now no avenue via WINZ for help with any second hand white-ware or any white-ware not made by fisher and paykel.

            • weka 2.1.2.1.2.1

              “There is now no avenue via WINZ for help with any second hand white-ware or any white-ware not made by fisher and paykel.”

              Wow, that’s really bad. Someone needs to OIA the cost savings details.

              I reckon it will technically to be discretionary. There will be circumstances where it doesn’t work eg someone lives in a town without a designated optometrist. Which means that if they can change it for that person, they can theoretically change it for any person. NZ really needs a well funded beneficiary advocacy service.

        • Bill 2.1.2.2

          If you go through to the two MSD links in the piece, the clues are there.

          It looks to me that the optometrist has to satisfy certain criteria, such as…not allowing anyone to pay for any (what the MSD calls) ‘extras’…like tinting etc…or to buy anything other than the very cheapest set of frames. (Mine aren’t exactly expensive, but they ain’t in the ‘allowable’ choice/price range)

          I did ask about x amount being taken from the card (eg – the cost of the cheapest range of frames) with me making up the difference. It was a no-go.

          I’m guessing (only guessing) that WINZ or MSD can ask the optometrist for any receipts associated with a purchase to ensure their criteria are being adhered to.

          As for what would happen if any optometrist flaunted those criteria and allowed common sense to enter into proceedings…Who knows?

          • Lanthanide 2.1.2.2.1

            I would think an optometrist could get around it by selling you the crap glasses using the card.

            Then in an entirely separate transaction that the government never need know about, return the glasses back to the store for full credit in cash, and use that cash towards the glasses you actually wanted.

            The government scheme seems to include some sort of 2 year warranty system though, and such a switcheroo as I’m suggesting would put you on the same level as any other private purchaser, so you’d lose any special benefit that might have been provided by the government scheme. But since you’re getting 2 pairs for the price of 1 anyway, and there’s always the CGA, it seems very unlikely that this would make you worse off.

            This also assumes there’s no nanny-state checkup where you have to show a WINZ case workers the glasses that you bought, so they can check that you got what you were supposed to get. But then again it’s not like the average WINZ case worker would know which frames were covered and which not.

            • Lanthanide 2.1.2.2.1.1

              I guess that eventually, news of any optometrist doing this as a routine matter would get back to WINZ, and they’d get in big trouble. Only takes one person to gab to their case officer (or whatever) about how they got a good deal on glasses the other week, and for that case officer to raise the alarm at WINZ.

              Stupid.

              • Colonial Viper

                clearly as a beneficiary you are a second class citizen and can’t have nice things.

                • Bill

                  No, no, no. It’s not that you can’t have nice things. It’s that you can only have crap.

                  • adam

                    Crap that needs to be replaced, which you have to get a loan for. So cycle begins again.

                    This is the one of worst uses of the state I’ve ever seen. Trust the national party to use the state to keep people in poverty.

                    Idiots and fools brought into Bill English and his caring for the poor, what a sick joke that turned out to be.

                    Also is this not just forcing the poor to enrich the already rich, by perpetually having to buy substandard products?

              • weka

                I’d love to see the agreement between WINZ and the optomestrists. Assuming that it’s different businessed, that’s lots of agreements. I’d guess the worst that could happen to the optometrist is that they get taken off he designated list.

          • weka 2.1.2.2.2

            Thanks for clarifying. This is fucked on so many levels I don’t know where to begin. I’m jumping from don’t people have a right to the health care provider of their choice (except, not beneficiaries, remember), to the mindfuckery of preventing beneficiaries of having choice about something actually quite personal, to the sheer stupidity and inefficiency. National, experts in taking money from poor people and making them eat shit at the same time and wasting money.

  3. Outdoor 3

    While you are on google look for prescription glasses, Hong Kong & USA (39dollar glasses) are 2 options then you can tell WINZ where to go.

  4. gez the rev 4

    after spending close to 14 years overseas and returning to nz a couple of years ago, I noticed the greed and self righteousness of the “ordinary” kiwi. what a disgusting bunch they have become. as long as ” im alright Jack” FUCK YOU.
    the person serving you is typical of this fact. “how can you have nice glasses when your on a benefit, that’s only “MY” entitlement”. they just don’t care for other people anymore. they don’t seem to realise that
    ITS NOT THEIR MONEY
    ITS NOT GOING INTO THEIR POCKET
    they think they are enforcers, it makes them feel important, like part of the gestapo govt
    what dumb thinking, they will go home(or probably while their still at work(for crap wages)) jump on their faceless book or twitter or whatever stupid fucking internet “friend” site they are on with their “friends” and gloat about it. they don’t even realise that they have actually cost you MORE money because the crap glasses that they sold you will fuck out soon and you will have to get more.
    when they are replaced by a lower wage foreign worker, their house starts fucking out because of all the crap materials used(just like the glasses they sell) and they have to go cap in hand to WINZ, this is when their Karma will arrive. it is a shame that they have to get that sort of karma in the first place but this is what our govt is bringing on us.

    [The person serving me was a typical example of a person being hog-tied by an ill-considered (from a social perspective) and cruel piece of legislation. As I said in the post, it did cross my mind that they might be playing at being gate-keeper. They weren’t. That was an unfair conclusion I reached and one I rejected after doing a bit of homework on the MSD glasses policy. I believe that there was absolutely nothing the employee at the optometrists could have done.] – Bill

    • miravox 4.1

      Yup. You go away for awhile, and when you get back that streak of meanness really shines through.

      It’s a good thing to prepare yourself with the comments on ‘stuff’ before getting back into the country, I find.

      Really sorry for you have to put up with that rubbish Bill. NZ has lost its way as a caring society. Christ, a politician just using those two words would give a political strategist heart palpitations, it’s that difficult to advocate for human decency these days.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      Realised a while ago that NZ is, basically, cheap and that’s been made worse with the BS rhetoric that we’ve been getting from the RWNJs that things should always cost less. We’ve talked our way into believing that we’re paying too much when the reality is that we’re paying enough.

      And we’re not getting the savings of our scrimping either – those are going to the multi-million dollar CEOs, CFOs, and shareholders.

  5. vto 5

    I was thinking last eve, on watching te news, that we in New Zealand are far from any of the nicest people on the planet. We are not generous, fair or pleasant.

    What led me to this consideration was firstly an item on Taina Pora – the way our system absolutely nails people when the system goes wrong with no heart at all.

    Secondly, the item on Bradley Ambrose and Key’s admission of bullshit and defamation yet all out refusal to apologise – what the fuck is that about? A 10-year old child would be made to apologise, yet the so-called leader of the country refuses. No wonder, I was thinking, people go off on rampages, bashing coppers and ripping people off when the leader does the exact same. Likewise willy-nilly Finlayson q c – what a wanker In not apologising to Muslim women for wrongly labelling them.

    Thirdly, various crime stories, which indicate a complete lack of care for wider community and our brothers and sisters in the street. There is no doubt that bare-faced criminal activities have a different flavour today

    I sheeted this sea-change in our community to the neo-liberal leadership of the last 30 years, in which we have been told that greed is good and that self-interest is the driver for people and our society.

    Political leadership has said this. Political leadership has practised this. John Key is the epitome of this greed and self-interest.

    A post I made several months back referred to this withn our own community where we live, whereby people were acting in this same manner with regard to children’s sports and with regard to neighbourhood / property issues. It is no-holds barred and total and complete self-interest.

    It is this societal sea-change that has led to this Bill imo. That combined with a slightly mean natural disposition that we have (we look at our history with rose-tinted glasses) has led us to this point where it is every man for himself (and other genders of course).

    This sea-change is reflected entirely in the government approach to beneficiaries.

    This sea-change is now embedded in our society.

    John Key is the ultimate expression. His lack of apology for any wrong-doing epitomises it.

    poorly so poorly

    sad so sad

    I’m going bush again .. .. ..

    • gez the rev 5.1

      good idea vto, ive fucked off again, taken my family with me before they end up talking the same. I came here to raise my family, why the fuck would you do that unless you want a lying , thieving narcissistic little prick like our pm

    • Lara 5.2

      I agree.

      A great number of New Zealanders appear to me to be a bunch of racist, mean spirited, nasty small minded idiots.

      And this is my response.

      I’m going to try and spread some joy, love and warmth around me every single day.

      I’ll give of myself to my community (and let go the feelings that so many don’t appear to appreciate it), smile at strangers on the street, open doors for people, speak politely, be kind at every opportunity.

      The more people change to kindness the more kindness we shall see.

      It may be utopian, and that’s what some people say. I don’t care. Sure, it’s utopian. But we’ll never live in a utopia if we don’t believe it is possible. And act accordingly.

      I like to think, what can I do today that is kind? How can I give myself away today?

      Now, I don’t always measure up to this high standard. I’ve lost my cool sometimes and been mean. I’m human. But I’m trying to be better.

      Imagine what New Zealand would be like if we all were kind and polite every single day?

  6. Sirenia 6

    Just imagine the bureaucratic time wasted and cost setting all this up and untangling it? Neatly illustrates why someone high up’s cost saving ideas are both expensive and dehumanising.

  7. adam 7

    I love how national out nanny state the labour party.

    Reading your post Bill was like reading a bad morality play.

    Just more targeting of the disabled these Tory Muppets seem to be good at, attack the weakest in society to feel good about themselves, how shallow these people are.

    Auckland Action Against Poverty are having an Impact event in Pukapuka Community centre on on April 5,6,and 7th. Can I pass this on as a case study Bill?

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      Just more targeting of the disabled these Tory Muppets seem to be good at, attack the weakest in society to feel good about themselves, how shallow these people are.

      QFT

    • Bill 7.2

      You can do whatever you want with the info Adam. I think everything is in the post – no details missed. (You might also want to click through to the dental charges from the post. That’s a fcking shocker. Even the richest person in Scotland only pays 80% of any dental cost and the totalcosts amount to about 10% of NZs costs.

      Eg. Small silver filling ~ $15
      A large one ~ $36
      Extraction ~ $12

      So the most any person will pay is 80% of those costs. Last time I had a filling it was $200 and an extraction was $300…..

      • Molly 7.2.1

        Given that overall health can be negatively impacted by bad teeth, this is a smart move by the NHS.

        (Dentistry costs for our children have been huge, even though none of them have ever had any cavities. Approx $26,000 over last eight years. Even then, one over exuberant “technician” tightened the braces so much they caused the death of one tooth, and another separate incident and place did the same resulting in a cracked tooth that had to be removed.)

  8. adam 8

    Some times we have to laugh at them…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5cahFMKorqM

  9. ianmac 9

    As I aged my eyes faded. So for reading I use $3 “hobby” glasses. $12 at the Warehouse. Rating 3.5 nowadays. I guess for Bill his need may be for a prescription glasses so my cheapo answer is no help.

    • Molly 9.1

      After being hit hard by glasses costs for two of us, we started buying through
      clearlycontacts.

      As long as you have your script you can keep an eye on the specials, or use the discount codes and get some really good glasses. Same frames that are available at the opticians, but much cheaper, and the last pair was delivered within a week.

      BTW, appalled but not surprised by Bill’s story. The pettiness and poor thinking exhibited by the Ministry is reflected in the choice of Minister, which seems to been a parade of spiteful, shades of complete people.

      The phrase from Joni Mitchell’s Magdalene Laundries comes to mind:

      … they leach the grass they walk upon…

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6DoAlothonQ

      • Molly 9.1.1

        Correction:

        … they wilt the grass they walk upon,
        they leach the light out of the room…”

  10. Brigid 10

    When WINZ had failed to include the price of the exam for my daughters glasses, she said to the optometrist, “I’ll just pay cash then”. The reply was “No WINZ wont allow us to accept any additional money from you, we’ll just cover it. This happens frequently”.

  11. McFlock 11

    That fucking bites, bill.

    FWIW, being also in the spectacles market, I went to an opshop and got decent old glasses that suited me reasonably for $2. The optometrist can put the lenses in that pair.

    All the ones in the optometrist’s that were priced in the lower half of the range were either frames for kids, or the type that keifer sutherland wears when he wants to look like a serial killer. Difficult to explain better than that, but not just “average” – they made me look downright creepy.

    • Bill 11.1

      I guess this will be the last time I attempt to source any new glasses/frames in a straight forward way.

      Yes. Old frames from an op-shop (though I can envisage a bit of a scramble for them these days all things considered)…or get frames sent in from over-seas.

      It shouldn’t be like that though.

  12. UncookedSelachimorpha 12

    We treat beneficiaries disgracefully here.

    On a practical note, I wear glasses. If you get your prescription, you can buy cheaply online (e.g. I use zenni optical, basic prescription glasses with good coating for US$26, delivered). I am sure the likes of SpecSavers use exactly the same factories to get their glasses made in Asia, then charge you $150.

    Trick is getting your prescription – you have to ask and I find some NZ optometrists are reluctant to give it to you (they make their money on the glasses!). But stand your ground, get a $40 checkup, get your prescription – then buy the actual glasses online.

    If the government wanted to actually help instead of that WINZ garbage – they could pass a law to follow the USA, where your optometrist is required by law to give you your prescription, even if you don’t ask for it.

  13. Hone 13

    My friend told me last week,his body is stuffed from a life of back breaking work and can hardly walk.
    The doctor told him to get a new bed for his health.
    But winz will only go 200 bucks for a new bed.
    All the mattresses he looked at for 200 are so bad it will make him worst.
    And for 200 bucks the range of choice is very limited.

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    Candidate donation returns for the 2023 election are out, and surprise, surprise - Shane Jones has been taking money from the industries he is now responsible for regulating: Newly released donation information for 2023 election candidates show the Fisheries Minister received $5000 from West Food Seafood (Westfleet Seafoods Limited). ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • GEOFFREY MILLER:  NZ’s dilemma at the WTO’s big meeting in Abu Dhabi
    Geoffrey Miller writes – New Zealand’s new trade minister is a busy man. Just weeks after taking office in late November, Todd McClay was also elected as vice-chair for the upcoming 13th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO). A major gathering of trade ministers from the WTO’s 166 members, ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    2 days ago
  • What if Generative AI isn’t the ‘benefit’ or ‘existential risk’ to humanity that it’s be...
    This is a fascinating conversation about the roots, the dangers and hype around AI. Both of these thinkers are so insightful about the issues, and raise issues in context with such clarity.I appreciate them so much. Watch the video from Al Jazeerah English at YouTube or below, and I have ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    2 days ago
  • MIKE GRIMSHAW: Kiwi populism… and future shock
    Mike Grimshaw writes – The last decade has seen the rise of populism across the Western world as well as more authoritarian populist offshoots in Latin America. Populism occurs on both of (what were) the traditional Left and Right, combining a charismatic leader, socio-economic change and challenges, and ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    2 days ago
  • Are You Old Enough?
    Ten years in the jailer's eyeAnd I'm thinkin' 'bout my babyLooking at my life go byFalling in the streets, I'm brokenAnd I'm laughing at the poor man talking to the blind manIf you could choose anybody to lead Aotearoa, who would it be? Maybe you’d like to see Jacinda back, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • Article Link. “South America’s Strategic Paradox” in MINGA.
    The Latin American multidisciplinary journal MINGA just published my article on “South America’s Strategic Paradox.” I was surprised that they wanted to do so because they have a very clear left-leaning orientation and my article was pretty much a straight-forward … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the perils of joining AUKUS Pillar Two
    The lure for New Zealand to join the AUKUS military alliance is that membership of only its “second pillar” will still (supposedly) give us access to state of the art military technologies. As top US official Kurt Campbell said during his visit to Wellington a year ago:We’ve been gratified ...
    2 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: New Zealand’s dilemma at the WTO’s big meeting in Abu Dhabi
    New Zealand’s new trade minister is a busy man. Just weeks after taking office in late November, Todd McClay was also elected as vice-chair for the upcoming 13th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO). A major gathering of trade ministers from the WTO’s 166 members, ‘MC13’ will take ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    2 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 23-February-2024
    It’s Friday and here are some of the things that caught our attention this week. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday Matt asked if the upcoming Regional Land Transport Programme will be another debacle. On Wednesday we ran a guest post from Nick Reid on why the CRL ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    2 days ago
  • Democracy Denied.
    Political Intervention From Above: From the early-1970s on, lobbying firms and think-tanks have grown like Topsy all across the capitalist world. Had the progressive middle-class not drawn its teeth and clipped its claws, an angry working-class might have risen to meet the Robber Baron’s challenge as it did in the ...
    2 days ago
  • “I Was Hacked!”
    Hi,“I was hacked” is a wonderful excuse for a variety of sins, and it was used to perfection this week by Brian Houston, the New Zealand founder (and disgraced former leader) of toxic megachurch Hillsong.Ladies and girls kissing” Brian tweeted at 11.41pm on Tuesday.It was four words he’d clearly meant ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    2 days ago
  • Child poverty progress reverses to 2019 levels
    It was touted as a focus by the previous government, but what progress was made on reducing child poverty has now been eroded away back to 2019-levels. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Six ‘newsy’ things that stood out for me in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy and beyond from my reading over the past ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • The Song of Saqua: Volume V
    Time for another D&D update. Session XI Gunderlun. So the party is back on dry land. First dealings were with the harbour master, who not only requested his fee, but also noted that if Sir Goatslayer (Goliath Monk) is going to have people lugging around his giant tome ...
    3 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #8 2024
    Open access notables Transition from positive to negative indirect CO2 effects on the vegetation carbon uptake, Chen et al., Nature Communications: Here we investigate how the impacts of eCO2-driven climate change on growing-season gross primary production have changed globally during 1982–2014, using satellite observations and Earth system models, and evaluate their evolution ...
    3 days ago
  • Gravity wins, everybody loses
    This government should come with a whiplash warning. Did you hear the Prime Minister just go off about the Black Hole They Left Us? - how much was it, 20 billion? 200 billion? Or was it 2 gazillion billion? God he just gets so excited doing his we were going ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    3 days ago
  • Gravity wins, everybody loses
    This government should come with a whiplash warning. Did you hear the Prime Minister just go off about the Black Hole They Left Us? - how much was it, 20 billion? 200 billion? Or was it 2 gazillion billion? God he just gets so excited doing his we were going ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    3 days ago
  • Willis tells us before dawn about her travel plans and – early this afternoon – she reports on h...
    Buzz from the Beehive Finance Minister Nicola Willis – and press secretary Nick Venter, too, we may suppose – were up and about before sparrow’s fart. Her bags would have been packed and her passport checked. We report this on the strength of an email from Venter which landed in ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    3 days ago
  • ROB MacCULLOCH: Grant Robertson’s new job sends an awful message to students about meritocracy in ...
      The appointment of Grant Robertson as Vice-Chancellor of Otago University has raised hackles – and questions – among academics.  Robertson’s credentials for the job is one issue.  The appointment process is another.  University of Auckland economics professor Rob MacCulloch has posted these three articles in the past few days ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    3 days ago
  • Govt's Budget 'just like a household,' says Willis
    TL;DR: Flying in the face of comments from a ratings agency and a mountain of demand for a new long-term sovereign bond issued yesterday, Finance Minister Nicola Willis has again characterised the Government’s finances as too fragile to borrow in its own right to solve Aotearoa-NZ’s infrastructure deficits. She also ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • How oil sands undermine Canada’s climate goals
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections Now in his ninth year as prime minister, Justin Trudeau has sought to position Canada as a global climate leader, touting one of the world’s highest taxes on carbon pollution, clean fuel regulations, and clean technology tax credits. Yet Canada’s per-person climate pollution remains stubbornly ...
    3 days ago
  • Untold back-stories: the little things media don't tell us but which are nevertheless pertinent
    ..Thanks for reading Frankly Speaking ! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.In an article entitled "School donations continue to yield millions of dollars for wealthier schools" on RNZ's website on 19 February, Data journalist Farah Hancock reported on the fees ("donations") that (some) schools were ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Untold back-stories: the little things media don't tell us but which are nevertheless pertinent
    ..Thanks for reading Frankly Speaking ! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.In an article entitled "School donations continue to yield millions of dollars for wealthier schools" on RNZ's website on 19 February, Data journalist Farah Hancock reported on the fees ("donations") that (some) schools were ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Efeso Collins – Gone Too Soon.
    My wife’s breathing was heavy beside me as I woke this morning, still dark. Yesterday, and it’s awful news, came crashing into my head and I lay there quietly crying.Thinking of Efeso’s family and loved ones. Of so many people who knew him and were devastated by the shocking news. ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • Efeso Collins spoke in Parliament only yesterday on bill which will regulate social workers (and vot...
    Buzz from the Beehive Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and other party leaders have been paying tribute to Green MP Fa’anānā Efeso Collins, who collapsed and died during a ChildFund charity run in central Auckland this morning, . The event, near Britomart, was to support local communities in the Pacific. Collins, ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • This is corrupt
    Earlier in the month, a panel of "independent" experts in Wellington produced recommendations for the future of housing in the city, and they were a bit shit, opposing intensification and protecting the property values of existing homeowners. Its since emerged that they engaged in some pretty motivated reasoning on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Efeso Collins
    God, life can be cruel sometimes can’t it?If only everyone was like him. He was so very warm, so very generous, so very considerate, so very decent. Plenty of people have those qualities but I can think of hardly anyone I've met who had them as richly as he did.Let me ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • CHRIS TROTTER:  Is applying “tough love” to a “fragile” nation the right answer?
      The Question Christopher Luxon Needs To Ask –  And Answer:  How was it possible for a nation of barely three million citizens to create and maintain an infrastructure that functioned, schools and universities that turned out well-educated and enterprising citizens, a health system that kept its people healthy, and a ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • DON BRASH: Is an independent foreign policy really feasible?
    Don Brash writes – A week or so ago, Helen Clark and I argued that New Zealand would be nuts to abandon the independent foreign policy which has been a characteristic of New Zealand life for most of the last 40 years, a policy which has seen us ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • YVONNE VAN DONGEN: So proud
    Ratepayers might well ask why they are subsidising people who peddle the lie that it is possible to be born in the wrong body and people can change sex. The preponderance of events advertising as ‘queer’ is a gender ideology red flag. Yvonne Van Dongen writes –  It ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • S&P slams new Govt's council finance vacuum
    Wellington Water workers attempt to resolve a burst water main. Councils are facing continuing uncertainty over how to pay to repair and expand infrastructure. The Wellington Regional Council was one of those downgraded. File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s has downgraded the outlooks for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Grant Robertson Resigns.
    Yesterday the man that I admire most in NZ politics called time.Around the middle of yesterday news began to filter out. People were posting unconfirmed reports that Grant Robertson was taking a new role as Vice-Chancellor at Otago Uni. Within an hour it became clear that he was indeed retiring ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Auckland’s City Rail Link will fail immediately… in the best possible way
    This post was originally published on Linked In by Nicolas Reid. It is republished here with permission. Here’s the thing: the City Rail Link is almost certainly going to be overcapacity from day one, with crowding on the trains at peak times. In the simple terms of popular transport ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    4 days ago
  • You can’t always get what you want
    Grant Robertson is leaving Parliament for two new careers, having been frustrated and blocked from achieving some of his biggest political ambitions. So, he is returning to Dunedin, and, unusually for a former finance minister, with seemingly no ambitions to enter the business world. Instead, he will become Vice Chancellor ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • At a glance – Was Greenland really green in the past?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    5 days ago
  • Sharp-elbowed and loving it
    It doesn't seem to take a lot to persuade someone who feels they work their guts out that in fact no one is working as hard as me.It doesn't seem to take a lot to persuade someone who knows somebody taking the welfare system for a ride that they’re all ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Sharp-elbowed and loving it
    It doesn't seem to take a lot to persuade someone who feels they work their guts out that in fact no one is working as hard as me.It doesn't seem to take a lot to persuade someone who knows somebody taking the welfare system for a ride that they’re all ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Then why did she do it?
    Earlier in the month, Cancer Minister Casey Costello was caught lying to the media about whether or not she had requested advice on cutting tobacco excise tax to benefit the cancer industry. She repeated her lies in Parliament. But today, she stood up and pretended to apologise for "causing confusion" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Is Applying “Tough Love” To A “Fragile” Nation The Right Answer?
    The Question Christopher Luxon Needs To Ask –  And Answer: How was it possible for a nation of barely three million citizens to create and maintain an infrastructure that functioned, schools and universities that turned out well-educated and enterprising citizens, a health system that kept its people healthy, and a workforce ...
    5 days ago
  • The limits to realism.
    Realism is a school of thought in the field of international relations (IR). It provides a theoretical framework for analysing the behaviour of States in the world political system. Like other theories (which in the IR literature include idealism, liberalism, … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • UNSOCIAL MEDIA – Following the Trolls
    From TODAY FM archives — Wilhelmina Shrimpton and Simon Morrow take a deep dive into trolling and cyberbullying. From the high profile to the general public, Kiwis across all walks of life are being targeted, and some are paying the ultimate price. So what drives us to troll, who is ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    5 days ago
  • Govt prescribes stiff medicine for some beneficiaries while easing access to drugs containing pseudo...
    Buzz from the Beehive One of two new announcements on the government’s official website  – given plenty of publicity by the mainstream media over the past 24 hours – has been pitched as the first steps in a “reset” of the welfare system.  Stiff medicine for beneficiaries, in effect. The ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • We’re not as fragile or as lazy as Luxon says
    Luxon says his government is one that is “prepared to make those hard decisions”. File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has adopted the language of Ruth Richardson before her 1991 ‘Mother of All Budgets’ in arguing for benefit sanctions to bolster the Government finances, which ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Talking over the Silence.
    Please open the doorNothing is different, we've been here beforePacing these hallsTrying to talk over the silenceIf I was to describe what I do, or at least the way it sometimes feels, then talking over the silence wouldn’t be a bad way to do so.Not that there aren’t other voices ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • LINDSAY MITCHELL: National needs to go further
    Lindsay Mitchell writes – In today’s State of the Nation speech Christopher Luxon talked repeatedly about getting young people off welfare. It seems that National has devised a traffic light system which will use increasing levels of sanctions – welfare deductions – when beneficiaries fail to meet their ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on National spreading panic about the economy
    It is a political strategy as old as time. Scare the public with tales of disaster and stampede them into supporting your ideological agenda because they believe There Is No Alternative. Yet, if the NZ economy truly is as “fragile” as PM Christopher Luxon says it is… Then how come ...
    5 days ago
  • The promise of passive house design
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Sarah Wesseler Imagine a home so efficient that it could be heated with a hair dryer. That’s the promise of a passive house, a design standard that’s becoming increasingly popular in the architecture community for its benefits to occupants and the climate. ...
    5 days ago
  • Deep in the Uncanny Valley of AI
    Hi,Before we get started, some very big fun Webworm news. I am launching a new journalism fund called Big Worm Farm!A really great thing that’s happened with Webworm over the last four years is that it’s grown. That’s great for a few reasons.Firstly — it means the work here gets ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • Introducing: Big Worm Farm
    Hi,I’m excited to tell you about Big Worm Farm.Put simply, the main aim of Big Worm Farm is to support investigative journalists from around the world to be able to devote dedicated time to research and report on a specific story, to be published on Webworm.The stories will capture the ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • Why Massey is broke
    The Tertiary Education Commission has named the two universities it says are at high risk financially. They are Massey and Victoria. The Commission appeared before Parliament’s Education Select Committee yesterday and offered a revealing and rare insight into the complex world of university economics. Its Briefing to the Incoming Minister ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • You keep Luxin' when you oughta be thruthin'
    Christopher Luxon’s campaign to win last year's election continued yesterday with a speech.Channelling possibly Bruce Willis in Die Hard, he was all, I'm not going to dress it up, I'm going to level with you guys: the state of the nation is fragile.The thing he’s maybe missing is that it ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • The PM spoke of the need for tough choices – and then opted to beat a retreat when gays and Gaza a...
    Buzz from the Beehive The PM’s State of the Nation speech – according to a Newshub headline – was a ‘buffet of buzzwords’ and full of ‘nonsense’. Fair to say, the quoted words were attributed to Opposition politicians, who were unlikely to say the speech was visionary and inspiring: PM ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    6 days ago
  • Keynesian Wisdom.
    When the facts change, I change my mind - what do you do, sir?John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946)This posting is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    6 days ago
  • BRIAN EASTON: Puffing policy
    Public policy towards tobacco consumption remains politically sensitive. Brian Easton writes – In 1983, a young researcher was told by a medium-level Treasury official that Treasury policy was to abandon excise duties on tobacco. The senior Treasury economist that I consulted, famed for his commonsense, snorted ‘we ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Is 2.8% per year population growth too much?
    TL;DR: The Government is reviewing migration settings that produced 2.8% population growth last year and is looking at a longer-term strategy of matching population growth to the ‘absorbtive capacity’ of Aotearoa-NZ’s infrastructure.Our population grew last year at its fastest rate since 1947, when large numbers of troops returning from World ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Tough Choices & Tough Love.
    I've been trying to hurt youI've been holding you tightI've been learning to love youAm I doing it right?How are you still breathingWith my hands all over your heart?How do we start healingIf we can't keep out the dark?Yesterday the Prime Minister delivered his State of the Nation, for no ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Will the 2024 RLTP be yet another debacle?
    A couple of years ago, Auckland Council and Auckland Transport found themselves in court over the 2021 Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP). A non-profit alliance for transport decarbonisation, All Aboard Aotearoa, argued that among other factors, the RLTP was unlawful because it failed to give effect to the 2021 Government ...
    6 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #07
    A listing of 31 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, Feb 11, 2024 thru Sat, Feb 17, 2024. Story of the week Based on mission alignment, our Story of the Week is certainly Can we be inoculated against climate ...
    7 days ago
  • Immigration Issues.
    Help is comingI heard a whisperWhite caps turningThe breath of summerA distant drummingAnd liar birds callingEscape the anguish of our pastAnd prayOne of the major challenges of the the 21st century will be the mass migration of human beings around our globe.Some seeking economic opportunities, others fleeing repressive regimes, war ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Trust us, we know what we’re doing
    The best trick the National Party ever pulled was to fabricate their reputation as the responsible ones.This would be the National Party that denied us the New Zealand Superannuation Scheme that—Brian Gaynor wrote back in 2007would be worth more than $240 billion today and would have transformed the New Zealand ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • The Left’s Timidity
    It is not just Karl Marx – even the most enthusiastic supporters of the market economy (not least Adam Smith) will concede that its normal operation inevitably leads to a concentration of wealth in relatively few hands. Some, at least, of these enthusiasts will accept that such a concentration is ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • OLIVER HARTWICH: Absurd – NZ courts can now decide on climate change
    Oliver Hartwich writes – The World Justice Project ranks New Zealand 7th out of 142 countries on its ‘Rule of Law Index’, narrowly ahead of Australia’s 13th place. However, Australia still has hope – if only because of a recent decision by the Supreme Court of New Zealand. The ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    1 week ago
  • Still waiting on that turnaround
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past week’s editions.Friday: Week in review, quiz style2. Shane Jones’ demeanour in mocking and deriding climate activists can be observed in what other realm of human behaviour?a. Gleeful little boys pulling wings off fliesb. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Can we be inoculated against climate misinformation? Yes – if we prebunk rather than debunk
    This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article written by Christian Turney, University of Technology Sydney and Sander van der Linden, University of Cambridge and first published on February 14, 2024. Adrien Demers/Shutterstock Last year, the world experienced the hottest day ...
    1 week ago
  • Mihi Forbes and the great Atlas conspiracy
    Graham Adams writes — Last week, Mihingarangi Forbes made an extraordinary claim while interviewing David Seymour on Mata Reports, a taxpayer-funded current affairs programme which, she says, looks at events through an “indigenous lens”. She asked him about Act’s links to the Atlas Network, which fosters connections between centre-right ...
    Point of OrderBy gadams1000
    1 week ago
  • Puffing Policy
    Public policy towards tobacco consumption remains politically sensitive. In 1983, a young researcher was told by a medium-level Treasury official that Treasury policy was to abandon excise duties on tobacco. The senior Treasury economist that I consulted, famed for his commonsense, snorted ‘we need the money’. He explained that no-excise-duty ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago

  • Northland’s new Kāeo Bridge officially open
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed the official opening of the new State Highway 10 (SH10) Kāeo Bridge, which will improve safety and traffic flow for people heading to and from the Far North. “This is an important piece of infrastructure for the Northland region that will help members of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Dry weather triggers extra support for farmers and growers across the top of the South Island
    The coalition Government is providing support for farmers and growers as dry conditions worsen across the top of the South Island. “Conditions on the ground across the Marlborough, Tasman, and Nelson districts are now extremely dry and likely to get worse in the coming months,” Agriculture Minister Todd McClay said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Trade Minister heads to Abu Dhabi for key WTO negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay travels to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates for the 13th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) today, to take up his role as Vice Chair of the negotiations. The Ministerial Conference is the highest decision-making body within the WTO and meets every ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Appointment round for King’s Counsel announced
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced an appointment round for King’s Counsel will take place in 2024. Appointments of King’s Counsel are made by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Attorney-General and with the concurrence of the Chief Justice. The Governor-General retains the discretion to appoint King’s Counsel in recognition ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Retiring Chief of Navy thanked for his service
    Defence Minister Judith Collins has thanked the Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral David Proctor, for his service as he retires from the Royal New Zealand Navy after 37 years. Rear Admiral Proctor will retire on 16 May to take up an employment opportunity in Australia.  “I would like to thank ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Indonesian Vice President to visit New Zealand
    Indonesia’s Vice President Ma’ruf Amin will visit New Zealand next week, the first here by an Indonesian leader since 2018, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters has announced. “New Zealand and Indonesia have a strong partnership,” Mr Peters says.  “The Vice President’s visit is an opportunity to discuss how we can strengthen ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government boost to fight against caulerpa
    The battle to contain the fast-spreading exotic caulerpa seaweed has today received a $5 million boost to accelerate the development of removal techniques, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The time is now to really lean in and build on the work of Biosecurity New Zealand, mana whenua, communities and local ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister attending Australian data, digital meeting
    Minister for Digitising Government Judith Collins is in Sydney to attend the first Data and Digital Ministers’ Meeting of 2024.  “This is a great opportunity to connect with our Australian counterparts and identify how we can work together on digital transformation,” Ms Collins says.   “Both our nations are looking into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Appointments to Antarctica New Zealand Board
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has appointed Leon Grice and Heather Simpson to serve on the Antarctica New Zealand board.  “Since taking office, the Coalition Government has become concerned about the direction of the Scott Base Redevelopment Project,” Mr Peters says.  “It is vital that Antarctica New Zealand has the right ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Strengthening the Single Economic Market
    Finance Minister Nicola Willis has met with Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers to discuss the opportunities to lower business costs and increase the ease with which businesses and people can operate across the Tasman.     “I have met with Treasurer Chalmers and shared our new Government’s ambitious economic goals, our plans ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government to address business payment practices
    The Government will repeal the Business Payment Practices Act 2023, Small Business and Manufacturing Minister Andrew Bayly announced today. “There is a major problem with large market players imposing long payment terms and routinely paying invoices late. “However, the Business Payment Practices Act is not an effective solution and would ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Greater focus on work will reduce child poverty
    Worsening child poverty rates support the Coalition Government’s focus on reducing the cost of living and getting people into work, Child Poverty Reduction Minister Louise Upston says. Figures released by Stats NZ today show child poverty rates have increased, with the rising cost of living, driven by inflation, making it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ announces new support for Ukraine
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Judith Collins have marked two years since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by announcing further support and sanctions, and extending our military assistance. “Russia launched its illegal, full-scale invasion of Ukraine, in blatant violation of international law, including the UN Charter,” Mr Peters says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Finance Minister to meet Australian Treasurer
    Finance Minister Nicola Willis will travel to Australia today to meet her Australian counterpart, Treasurer Jim Chalmers.    “New Zealand and Australia have an incredibly strong trade and investment relationship. The Closer Economic Relations and Single Economic Market are powerful engines for growth on both sides of the Tasman.     “I will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • PM shocked and saddened at death of Efeso Collins
    “I am truly shocked and saddened at the news of Efeso Collins’ sudden death,” Prime Minister Christopher Luxon says. “Efeso was a good man, always friendly and kind, and a true champion and advocate for his Samoan and South Auckland communities. “Our thoughts and deepest sympathies go to his family, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Greater support for social workers
    The Coalition Government is enhancing the professionalism of the social work sector and supporting the vulnerable people who rely on them, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says.  The Social Workers Registration Legislation Amendment Bill passed its third reading in Parliament today. It amends the Social Workers Registration Legislation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government delivers greater freedom and choice for sick New Zealanders
    The coalition government is delivering on its commitment to making principled decisions by getting rid of red tape that doesn’t make sense and allowing sick New Zealanders greater freedom and choice to purchase effective cold and flu medicines. A bill amending the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 is being introduced, and changes to the Medicines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government begins reset of welfare system
    The Coalition Government is taking early action to curb the surge in welfare dependency that occurred under the previous government by setting out its expectations around employment and the use of benefit sanctions, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. In 2017, 60,588 sanctions were applied to beneficiaries who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • State of the Nation
    Ka nui te mihi kia koutou. Kia ora, good morning, talofa, malo e lelei, bula vinaka, da jia hao, namaste, sat sri akal, assalamu alaikum. Thank you for coming to my first State of the Nation as Prime Minister. Thank you for coming to a speech where I don’t just ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • West Coast tourism attractions officially open
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will attend the official opening of two highly anticipated tourism projects on the West Coast today – Pike29 Memorial Track, dedicated to the memory of the Pike River miners, and Pounamu Pathway. “The Pike29 Memorial Track is a way to remember and honour the men ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Independent ferry service advisory group in place
    Appointments to the Ministerial Advisory Group tasked with providing independent advice and assurance on the future of KiwiRail’s inter-island ferry service have been made, State Owned Enterprises Minister Paul Goldsmith says. “It’s important for New Zealand that KiwiRail is focused on ensuring safe, resilient, and reliable ferry services over the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Joint statement from the Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada, and New Zealand
    The Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada and New Zealand today issued the following statement on reports of Israel’s planned military operation in Rafah. We are gravely concerned by indications that Israel is planning a ground offensive into Rafah.   A military operation into Rafah would be catastrophic. About 1.5 million Palestinians ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt will deliver on expanded breast screening
    The coalition Government has made the first steps in delivering on its promise to  extend free breast screening to women aged 70-74, Health Minister Shane Reti says. “As part of the 100 day plan, the Government has now met with officials and discussed what is needed in order for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government announces woolshed roadshows in support of sheep farmers
    The Government celebrates National Lamb Day (15 February 24) and congratulates sheep farmers on the high-quality products they continue to produce. Agriculture Minister McClay hosted bipartisan celebrations of National Lamb Day with industry representatives at Parliament this week to mark the anniversary of the first frozen lamb exports that left ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech: Address to the NZ Economics Forum
    It’s great to be back at the New Zealand Economics Forum. I would like to acknowledge everyone here today for your expertise and contribution, especially the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Head of the Waikato Management School, economists, students and experts alike. A year has passed since I was last before you, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government tackling high construction costs
    The Government is focused on reducing sky-high construction costs to make it more affordable to build a home, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says.  Stats NZ data shows the cost of building a house has increased by 41 per cent since 2019, making housing even more unaffordable for Kiwi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Three Waters legislation repealed
    The Coalition Government’s legislative plan to address longstanding issues with local water infrastructure and service delivery took an important step today, with the repeal of Labour’s divisive and unpopular Three Waters legislation, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “Repealing this legislation is a necessary first step in implementing our Local ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Cost of living support for beneficiary households
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its commitment to ease the cost-of-living by increasing main benefit rates in line with inflation and ensuring the Minimum Family Tax Credit threshold remains aligned with this change, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. The Social Security (Benefits Adjustment) and Income Tax ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government announces agriculture delegations to better support Primary sector
    The coalition Government has announced ministerial delegations to support key areas across the Primary sector to deliver for New Zealand’s food and fibre sector, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay announced today. “I will be supported in my roles as Minister of Agriculture, Trade, Forestry and Hunting and Fishing, by three Associate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Waikato MoU reinforces Govt’s commitment to increase NZ doctors
    The Government has taken an important step forward in addressing a critical shortage of New Zealand-trained doctors, with today’s signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for a third medical school, Minister of Health Dr Shane Reti has announced.  “Today’s signing by the Ministry of Health and the University of Waikato ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech – Lunar New Year 2024
    Annyeonghaseyo, greetings and welcome all. It is my pleasure as the Minister for Ethnic Communities to welcome you to the first Lunar New Year Event in Parliament. Thank you to our emcees for greeting us in the different languages that represent the many cultures that celebrate the Lunar New Year. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • More funding to Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti
    Urgent work to clean-up cyclone-affected regions will continue, thanks to a $63 million boost from the Government for sediment and debris removal in Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti.                                                                                                   The funding will help local councils continue urgent work removing and disposing of sediment and debris left from Cyclone Gabrielle.   “This additional ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Budget will be delivered on 30 May
    Plans to deliver tax relief to hard-working New Zealanders, rebuild business confidence and restore the Crown’s finances to order will be unveiled on 30 May, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says. The plans will be announced in the Budget which is currently being developed by Ministers.  “The last government’s mismanagement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government advances Local Water Done Well
    The Coalition Government is continuing work to restore council ownership and control of water assets by repealing Three Waters and appointing a Technical Advisory Group to provide expert advice on the implementation of Local Water Done Well, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “The Government will pass a bill to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister congratulates NZQA Top Scholars
    Education Minister Erica Stanford congratulates the New Zealand Scholarship recipients from 2023 announced today.  “Receiving a New Zealand Scholarship is a fantastic achievement and is a testament to the hard work and dedication the recipients have put in throughout the year,” says Ms Stanford.  “New Zealand Scholarship tests not only ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has today announced five new diplomatic appointments.  "Strong and effective diplomacy to protect and advance our interests in the world is needed now more than ever," Mr Peters says.  “We are delighted to appoint senior diplomats from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Committee for Auckland
    It is great to be here today at this event as Minister for Auckland and Minister ofTransport. Let me start by acknowledging each one of you and thanking the Committee forAuckland for hosting this event and inviting me to speak here today. The Committee for Auckland has been a symbol ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Getting Transport Back on Track in Auckland
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has today confirmed his high-level transport priorities for Auckland, in the lead up to releasing the draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport. “Our economic growth and productivity are underpinned by a transport network that enables people and freight to move around safely and efficiently. At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government to axe Auckland Regional Fuel Tax
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has confirmed that the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax will end on 30 June 2024. “Today, I can confirm that the Government has agreed to remove the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax in line with our coalition commitments, and legislation will be introduced to parliament to repeal the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Calls for Work to Tackle Kina Barrens
    Changes to fishing rules and a significant science programme are being undertaken to address kina barrens, says Minister for Oceans and Fisheries Shane Jones. “There has been tremendous interest from iwi, communities and recreational fishers who had raised concerns about such kina infestations being a major threat to Northland’s marine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago

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