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Granny’s waterworks

Written By: - Date published: 1:30 pm, November 2nd, 2009 - 17 comments
Categories: articles, privatisation - Tags: , ,

I think Granny Herald must have shares in Infratil, based on her rubbish editorial today:

Particular fervour is reserved for private-sector participation in this sector, perhaps because water is one of life’s necessities. Rarely is it conceded that, in reality, it occupies the same utility bag as electricity, which in this country and elsewhere has been shown to sit comfortably in private hands.

Um, no. It’s one of life’s necessities.

Rarely, either, is it admitted that, in matters of utilities and infrastructure, private-sector involvement is often essential to bridge the disparity between the demands on the public purse and the resources available to meet them.

Huh? Where do private sector owners get the money from? Oh yeah, the customers, who are also the people who pay for public services. There’s no free lunch here. Either we pay for a public service or we pay a private company, which is just out to make a buck (from your wallet) and isn’t accountable to the public.

As well as providing much-needed investment, private participation brings cost efficiencies and financial discipline.

And, pray tell, what evidence is there that the private sector brings cost efficiencies over and above the cost of the private companies’ profits? Evidence from outside a first year economics textbook, please. And, how does the private sector provide investment? Oh, right by borrowing the money, which has to be repaid with interest (at higher interest rates than the government can borrow at), ultimately paid for by the customer.

Boot (build, own, operate, transfer) schemes have, however, been widely used in Australia, albeit not always successfully.

Yes, great! Let’s copy a failed model!

The secret, from a ratepayer perspective, is safeguards that ensure the public partner does not have to bear more than its share of bail-out costs if a project fails to meet expectations. The private company must be in no doubt about the risk to itself.

Um, and again, fail on the basic economics. How does a company cover itself against risk of loss? By buying insurance or building up cash paid for by passing the cost on to, you guessed it, the customer.

At the same time, however, such companies need to be able to make any project profitable. A fair return is essential

Or, we could just continue to pay for local government to provide the services and not pay anyone’s profits. No?

the law will be changed to stop councils controlling the management of privately run water services but they will retain a final say on pricing and policy. That backstop may answer some of the concerns of those who fear the cost of water services will escalate. But it could also offer a considerable disincentive to private investment. If councils are inclined to meddle, companies may see themselves having too much of a burden of risk and too little chance of a viable return.

So, that passage admits that councils would have to let water prices rise if water companies are privately run. Wow, I’m really getting sold on this idea.

In England, the private sector has shown a ready appetite for investing in water services. The experience has been somewhat chequered, with critics pointing to price rises and queries over water quality.

Yeah, let’s have some of that here.

In time, the degree of private-sector interest will show if it has got the balance right.

Basically, Granny’s saying ‘let’s have a great experiment with the provision of a critical resource following the disastrous example set overseas. We’ll know it works if companies swoop in to suck profits out of us!’ Sounds fun. But, hold on, I thought success was people getting dependable, high quality water cheaply. Silly of me, I was thinking that this was about the interests of the people, not the corporates.

Currently, we have perfectly adequate publicly-owned water services but, apparently, a ‘balanced’ approach means allowing foreign-owned companies to come in and make a profit off them. There’s no balance there – just the blind, self-serving ideology of the right.

17 comments on “Granny’s waterworks”

  1. Armchair Critic 1

    The assets will be sold to companies like Infratil, who bought Lubeck Airport for 10m in 2005 and sold it back to the Lubeck council this year for 25.5m. Nice business if you can get it (who would have guessed that even greed is an exportable commodity), but from a ratepayer’s perspective there is no sense at all in doing this.

    • Rob 1.1

      Honestly these sorts of comments leave me cold. Why is it the company’s fault that they purchased this asset, they surely did not hold a gun to the council. Then further why is it the fault of the company that they sold the asset for a profit back to the council. The council obviously felt compelled to pay 15.5M more for the asset, maybe it was due to the airport performing better than when the council managed it.

      I think the fault here sits with the council and that the people on the council obviously had zero skills in managing an infrastructure asset.

      This is probably the predominate reason that a lot of people (not all obviously) have issues with large state ownership. They just have a clear lack of understanding on how to manage these services correctly.

      • Armchair Critic 1.1.1

        Rob – there is nothing explicit in my comment about fault or blame. If there is something implicit, it was unintended, except for a hint of sarcasm in the “good work if you can get it”.
        I agree the fault lies with the council. But I don’t think it is obvious that the council had zero skills in managing the asset. How did you reach that conclusion? I would say it is more likely that the council was captured by an ideological group that believe that council’s have no business owning infrastructure, so they sold this asset. But the reporting by the MSM has been short on detail, so it is hard to be sure.
        Care to enlighten us with your opinion on the virtues of the privatisation of Auckland’s water infrastructure? How happy would you be if something similar happened here?

      • snoozer 1.1.2

        or an ideological government sells off the asset, the private purchaser proceeds to run it down and asset strip it, the government realises it can’t let a major piece of infrastructure fail and has to pay through the nose to get it back because the company knows that the price of the asset failing to it is negilible but very substantial to the government.

        Private companies are always trying to get their hands on vital infrastructure because it lets them point a gun to the local or central government’s head – ‘pay us a nice rate or return – bail us out when we fail to invest – buy it back before it too late at a premium, or we can derail your economy’

  2. ghostwhowalksnz 2

    Seem to forget that water supply and distribution is a MONOPOLY.

    We need investment in NEW businesses not the private sector freeloading on public sector cash cows-( which are bought with offshore funds in highly leveraged transactions that avoid any local taxes)

  3. BLiP 3

    The New Zealand Fox News Herald is part of a foreign-owned multinational transporting cash out of the country and it seems to have pulled out all the stops in promoting the National Ltd® in the last few days. The weekend edition provided a canvas for John Armstrong to indulge his googly-eyed giggly-girl infatuation with John Key and included page after page of glowing reports on the PM’s mastery – then the editorial today, plus Patrick Gower’s 8 out of 10 rating and snow job on Crusher Collins, with a promise of more such puff pieces featuring National Ltd® minister to come, and yet another story showering praise on John Key this time for his globe-trotting diplomacy.

    Crosby/Textor must be creaming their pants but I wonder why there’s this apparent upsurge in pro-National Ltd® coverage at the moment? Can’t just be that its one year since the election, can it?

  4. Tom Semmens 4

    The British water privatisation experience hasn’t been “chequered” its been an abject disaster, widely studied and quoted as to why you shouldn’t privatise water.

    A report at http://www.psiru.org/reports/2001-02-W-UK-over.doc tell us:

    “…For the period 1993-1998 water mains in poor condition (grades 4 and 5) increased from 9% to 11%, equating to £0.78bn worth of pipes moving into these categories. As of March 1998 (the latest assessments) 10% of critical sewers were also in a poor condition… …A number of companies deliberately cut their investment programmes and used the ‘savings to maintain or increase their dividends. The companies which did this include Thames Water, North west water, and Yorkshire Water.

    “Britain’s biggest water company is to cut its investment programme by £350 million – but it will not be passing on the savings to its 7 million customers. Thames Water has no plans for early price reductions or rebates. Instead consumers – whose bills have increased by 50 per cent since privatisation in 1989 – face yet another rise in April, by inflation plus 0.5 per cent…”

    or

    http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org reports:

    “…There was soon a sharp public outcry as consumer water prices rose. On average, prices rose by over 50% in the first 4 years. The first 9 years produced price increases of 46% in real terms (adjusted for inflation).The public was further outraged when information was released about director’s pay and the profits of the 10 water companies. The real value of the fees, salaries and bonuses paid to the director’s increased between 50% and 200% in most of the water companies. The profits of the 10 water companies rose 147% between 1990 and 1997. Profit margins in the UK are typically three or even four times as great as the margins of water companies in France, Spain, Sweden or Hungary. This could explain why most of the 10 UK companies were quickly purchased (after the 5-year “protection’ period) by the big corporate water multinationals including Suez, Vivendi and RWE…”

    in New Zealand, where the ideal business model is of unfettered crony capitalism extracting monopoly rents whilst running down infrastructure – you can guarantee we’ll repeat every mistake the Brits made, plus some more.

  5. Clarke 5

    Given the standard right-wing approach to contentious and unpopular issues, I expect we will begin to see an artificial crisis being manufactured by The Herald in the not too distant future, softening punters up for privatisation.

    In fact, I suggest The Standard start a sweepstake on the home page – first one to predict the correct date of Granny’s “Auckland Water In Crisis!” headline wins … I dunno, a year’s subscription to The Herald? Second prize can be two years subscription.

  6. Tom M 6

    “And, pray tell, what evidence is there that the private sector brings cost efficiencies over and above the cost of the private companies’ profits?”

    http://cesifo.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/49/3/429
    Or specifically:
    http://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/6215.html

    Google is a great tool to save yourself from looking like you don’t know very much about what you’re talking about…

    • Armchair Critic 6.1

      Good one Tom. Got any links that:
      1. don’t require a subscription, and
      2. don’t conclude “no conclusions can be drawn, but trends are positive”, and
      3. relate directly to NZ (where the management of utilities is relatively good under a public service model), rather than Latin America, where the ethos around public utilities is quite different to NZ’s.

      • BLiP 6.1.1

        Air New Zealand, maybe?

      • Tom M 6.1.2

        Most if not all academic journals require subscriptions.

        So to be clear, you want economic evidence that:

        1) Is not published in an academic journal
        2) Draws large conclusions from small-ish case studies
        3) Assumes that utilities are always well-run
        4) Is not written by an economist

        In this case I suspect you will be difficult to persuade – but in any case the point wasn’t to argue by induction from Mexico that privatisation is everywhere and always good. That’s an absurd claim. And in fact, privatising monopolies in particular often goes very poorly.

        The point was that there is plenty of evidence out there that can be found with a quick google search, and it’s really weird how often people on this site (and particularly this author) often bemoan the lack of evidence for positions for which there is really quite a lot of evidence.

        • felix 6.1.2.1

          Thing is, Tom, whenever the subject of privatising water is talked about here the only examples given are latin american ones with little relevance to the situation in Auckland.

          If you have information about the experience of privatising a well run efficient publicly owned 1st world water system then by all means post it.

          Otherwise the relevance will, and should, be treated with skepticism.

        • Armchair Critic 6.1.2.2

          “Most if not all academic journals require subscriptions”
          I had noticed, many years ago. Not much point in posting links to them in support of an argument, though.
          “So to be clear then, you want economic evidence that:
          1) is not published in an econimc journal”
          No, published in an academic journal is fine, but if I can’t read it without a subscription, it’s no good to me.
          “2) Draws large conclusions from small-ish case studies”
          Well, just drawing a conclusion would be fine. Studies that don’t draw conclusions don’t really support an argument. I agree that big conclusions from limited case studies are not good.
          “3) Assumes that utilities are always well-run”
          No, just run like they are in New Zealand, rather than how they are run in Latin America. As Tom Semmens points out, the example from the UK, which may well be the most similar to the situation in NZ, has been “an abject disaster”. From what I could see in your references, they related to all sorts of privatisations, not just utilities, so the conclusions drawn are not specfic to utilities. Which puts a bit of doubt about the applicability of the conclusions to utilities.
          “4) Is not written by an economist”
          No, contributions from economists are good. But utilities are not solely about economics. Economics is just one facet of what makes a successful (or indeed an unsuccessful) utility. Having input from other professions that are involved in running utilities would provide a broader perspective. So rather than a paper with written by two or three economists, I would be more heavily influenced by a paper written by an economist and a non-economist.
          “In this case I suspect you will be difficult to persuade”
          I suspect you are right. And I agree with most of the rest of your comment. Except the bit about “plenty of evidence”, and my only disquiet here is the quality, rather than the quantity, of the evidence.

    • Armchair Critic 6.2

      And number 4. – are not written from the narrow perspective that one gets when economists write papers?

  7. chris 7

    I thought wellington and auckland’s water supplies were already privitised? Not that i support dumb ass privitisation at all.

    • Armchair Critic 7.1

      Commercialised, corporatised in parts, but not fully privatised. Not yet, anyway.

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    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    7 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    7 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    7 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    1 week ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    1 week ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    1 week ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    1 week ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    1 week ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago

  • Decisions made on urgent turf maintenance
    The Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson has announced that urgent maintenance of turf and care for plants in non-plantation nurseries will soon be able to go ahead under Level 4 restrictions. “The Government has agreed that urgent upkeep and maintenance of biological assets will be able to go ahead ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Acknowledging an extraordinary te reo champion
    E tangi ana a Taranaki iwi, e tangi ana te ao Māori, otirā e tangi ana te motu. Mōu katoa ngā roimata e riringi whānui ana, mōu katoa ngā mihi.   E te kaikōkiri i te reo Māori, e Te Huirangi, takoto mai. Takoto mai me te mōhio ko ngā ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Prime Minister’s remarks halfway through Alert Level 4 lockdown
    Today is day 15 of Alert Level 4 lockdown. And at the halfway mark I have no hesitation in saying, that what New Zealanders have done over the last two weeks is huge. In the face of the greatest threat to human health we have seen in over a century, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Licenses, WoFs and regos extended under lockdown
    All driver licences, WoFs, CoFs, and some vehicle certifications, that expired on or after 1 January 2020 will be valid for up to six months from 10 April 2020, Transport Minister Phil Twyford has announced. “People shouldn’t have to worry about getting fined for having an expired document if driving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Inquiry report into EQC released
    The Government has today released the report from the Public Inquiry into the Earthquake Commission chaired by Dame Silvia Cartwright.  Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission Grant Robertson says the Government wants to learn from people’s experiences following the Canterbury earthquakes and other recent natural disasters. “Dame Silvia’s report documents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • More time for health workers and elderly to get flu vaccine
    The Government has extended by two weeks till April 27 the amount of time priority groups, such as health workers and those aged over 65, have to get their flu vaccine before it is made available to the wider public. This year’s vaccination campaign is a key component of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
    Communities stepping up to help New Zealanders stay at home to break the transmission of COVID-19 and save lives have received Government support, said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “Delivering groceries for the elderly who can’t shop online, providing data packs for low income families to keep them connected, and being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
    Across New Zealand 120 sites are taking samples to be tested for COVID-19.   68 community based assessment centres (CBACs) have been established to take samples from people with COVID-19 symptoms. Alongside this, 52 other centres including designated general practices, swabbing centres, and mobile clinics are now testing people for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
    The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government supports air services to offshore islands
    The Government has stepped in to support vital air links to our offshore islands, the Chatham Islands, Great Barrier Island and Motiti Island, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. “As part of our $600 million support package to minimise the impacts of COVID-19 on the aviation sector, the Government has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago