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Guest post – Democracy and debate in the suburbs

Written By: - Date published: 1:00 pm, August 13th, 2014 - 25 comments
Categories: election 2014, The Standard - Tags:

One of the more intriguing features of New Zealand politics and political debate in recent years is, to my mind, the preparedness of appointed and self-appointed gate keepers to shut down any opportunity for informed political debate.

The gate keepers can range from the editors of suburban news-sheets who, in the 1970s and early 80s were ready to seize the chance to open their pages up to robust debate and exchanges of viewpoints by local political party activists regardless of persuasion. I can recall the local suburban papers offering regular columns to the local Political Parties and insisting on getting copy each fortnight on a contentious issue be it on a local, regional or national issue.

The same papers ran regular and, often quite large letters to the editor pages that encouraged an-imated discussion of political issues. In fact, if memory serves, the vitality of the letters to the editor writers to one regional newspaper (the Evening Standard of PN) was such that the paper managed to print an entire edition made up purely of such commentary when their journalists went on strike!!

A colleague has recently had occasion to search through the back issues of several suburban news-sheets published in Auckland from 1970 through to the present and noted that from the mid 1990s these papers had shed all pretence of encouraging local debate and had reduced their let-ters to the editor columns to one or two (on a good day four) innocuous letters and had removed the opinion columns offered to the Political Parties.

But, now, in 2014,the Editors appear to have lost that sense of local responsibility and involvement and have crept into a shelter of remarks like: “ We live in a very sensitive area so we must be cautious about what we publish…. if there is space left after we’ve placed our advertorial we may publish the story you so very kindly sent us… but you must realise…” The nett result is that in much of suburban New Zealand the chances of the local election campaign being reported will be little or none.

The gate keeping of debate and public interest discourse also extends into the local “Service Clubs” which were, once, organisations that actively encouraged discussion and debate amongst their members and community. One can recall a Rotary Club in the lower North Island hosting contentious speakers like J.K.Baxter, Nuclear Free Campaigners and other similarly vocal groups at their monthly meetings. But, it appears, not any longer.

While the following exchange may not be representative of the attitudes of Service Clubs in other parts of New Zealand the following example of the gate keeping and censorship of informed debate and discourse is anything to go by then the concept of informed debate and involvement in the community, particularly suburban communities, has long gone.

The newly selected Labour Candidate wrote to the different organisations in the electorate informing them of his selection and readiness to meet with them and, perhaps, address the members.

Dear Mr XXXXX (the Chair of the organisation),
My name is xxxxxx xxxx. I have been chosen by The New Zealand Labour Party to represent the xxxxxxxx Electorate to Parliament. The New Zealand Labour Party has a whole new team with some innovative new ideas to return the focus of government back on the business of serving the people of this country and their needs.
In the last two years that I have been living in xxxxxxx I’ve noticed that the conversation in our community has been one sided. As the New Zealand Labour Party candidate I am bringing the balance back to the conversation in our community, by discussing the role the Labour Party can play in solving the problems facing our country and our community.
If you and your organisation would like to join in on this conversation please contact my Campaign Secretary to book a time:

Yours faithfully,
xxxxx xxxxxxx

The internal correspondence within the local Rotary Club was inadvertently sent to the writer of the letter and read:

Hi Bill,
Well, as a bunch of socialistically minded people, we should embrace this opportunity! (Yeah Right!!!)
Who wouldn’t want to vote for David Cunliffe, Matt McCarten, The Union Movement, and an $18+ minimum wage, not to mention prospective deputy prime minister Dr Russell Norman?
I will leave it to you to ponder this difficult decision and to respond to Comrade xxxxxxxx.
Charles

Needless to say no response to the candidate was ever received as a follow up to the internal commentary.

One is, therefore, forced to wonder if there has developed both a climate of fear among local suburban news-sheet editors that their advertorial providers will withdraw their sponsorship if the News-Sheet dares to report contentious political issues and, if the self-appointed gatekeepers of local “Service Clubs” are unwilling to allow their membership the chance to engage in the political discussion and debate that would and does make for a vibrant and involved local community.

One cannot help but regard the bigotry of the writer of the “internal memo” from the local Rotary Club as being indicative of a malaise that has infected New Zealand much to the detriment of its democracy and informed debate on issues of importance to many New Zealanders.

Old Irascible

Old Irascible blogs at The Irascible Curmudgeon

25 comments on “Guest post – Democracy and debate in the suburbs”

  1. vto 1

    That is sad on so very many fronts

    • aerobubble 1.1

      The internet, by allowing access to the world, destroys local politics and culture. It doesn’t have to, it should be just as easy to connect to the person one street over as on the other side of the planet. Just the internet does give that control, well, except to the aggragators (collectors of identity and usage patterns).

      • vto 1.1.1

        Absolutely it does. Couldn’t agree more.

        But this … “It doesn’t have to, it should be just as easy to connect to the person one street over as on the other side of the planet” …… is not right, as much as it seems better to be so..

        It is in fact easier to email or text or social network, than it is to physically approach the person one street over.

        Where will it go to next? Will we humans ever peak, or stop, or pause? I don’t think so… so ….

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    One cannot help but regard the bigotry of the writer of the “internal memo” from the local Rotary Club

    The letter from said writer indicates that said writer is, as a matter of fact, a radical RWNJ who refuses to hear anything other than what supports his own delusional beliefs.

    • Roflcopter 2.1

      Pretty much you then, but from the other side of the fence… we all have to put up with this kind of stuff in some form or another.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.1

        Yeah, sure, jumped up little gate-keepers at Rotary are totes what the organisation is all about.

  3. Big Blue Al 3

    As a long term and committed right winger, I only occasionally have a look at the Standard.
    I rarely (in fact, I believe, never) have made a comment, and found little to agree with on your site.
    However, I must agree totally with Old Irascible on this one. It’s not just local and community papers which have shied away from the opportunity of robust debate, but, as you say, community, social and local organisations as well. We unfortunately appear to have become a community of neutrals when it comes to “showing our colours” or taking a stance. The movement towards Presidential style elections have certainly enhanced this, but I believe the Political Correctness attitudes in both New Zealand and around the world have now denied us the right to publicly hold and express strong views, lest we “offend” some section of our community.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1

      What has partisan bigotry to do with neutrality? The technical illiterate suppressing debate at the Rotary isn’t afraid to express their extremist hatred are they?

      I agree that racists and other right wing types aren’t quite so open with their hate-speech these days; they always did pay lip-service to good manners after all. It’s revealing who complains about it.

      PS: the real “problem” with “political correctness” is that people had a gutsful of low-IQ bullies ruining public discourse, so we pushed back, and the Right lost, and you’re still bumming out 🙂

      • Tracey 3.1.1

        pc was a label invented to mock those who stood up to people disrespecting others based on ignorance and to replace coherent, mature discourse.

    • McFlock 3.2

      I agree with everything except what you attribute it to. 🙂

      I think the reluctance to take a stance goes hand in hand with a singular lack of nuance, the lack of any effect a stand might have, and the use of offense as a weapon (as distinct from “political correctness”, which to my mind means simply having enough respect for someone to avoid causing needless offence).

      Presidential style politics are a byproduct of the lack of nuance, as is paul henry either being vapid or grossly offensive (rather than using the full range of territory between the two).

      Ordinary people tend to not be listened to any more, I think. The polly/decision maker makes the right sounds to indicate that their shit doesn’t stink, then continues on business as usual.

      And the hypocrisy of using offense as a weapon has been well demonstrated in the last few days when some folk who probably hadn’t even heard the word “Shylock” before (unless they were in a class that studied MoV at school) expended great effort being outraged by supposed anti-semitism. Some might well have been genuinely upset, but I doubt it. It was just another attack weapon. I’m not saying that both sides don’t do it to greater or lesser degrees, or anything like that – just that I don’t think that that many folk gave a shit.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1

        Ordinary people tend to not be listened to any more, I think. The polly/decision maker makes the right sounds to indicate that their shit doesn’t stink, then continues on business as usual.

        QFT

    • Tracey 3.3

      i agree with everything you wrote until the comma on the third last line.

    • Clemgeopin 3.4

      Our democracy and freedom of expression now seems to be given a serve by a bunch of fearful, biased, controlling, dictatorial, cowardly, politically correct, humourless, thin skinned, egotistical self important little nit wits infesting MSM and various avenues and entities of political discourse….just because they have the ‘power’ to frame an issue as they want, to twist it as they desire and feel smug doing whatever they want, no matter how unfair.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.5

      I believe you need to read this.

  4. One Anonymous Bloke 4

    This story deserves a wider airing. The Rotary club in question needs a chance to publicly distance itself from the trash currently mismanaging it.

  5. Macro 5

    Mind you, if there is the chance to publish a photo of the incumbent National MP holding a pussy cat – well what more is there to say?!

  6. weka 6

    Thank god for admin mistakes.

  7. Johnny on the spot 7

    Having left West Auckland over a year ago, I am impressed with the Opunake Coastal News coverage
    http://www.opunakecoastalnews.co.nz/Elect_Mag/August%207%202014/index.html

  8. Tom Jackson 8

    My mother belongs to Rotary. I cannot understand why she, as a lifelong Labour voter would, as it seems to be composed of ignorant, elderly fascists.

  9. just saying 9

    About five years ago a friend in Auckland became politicised around a couple of issues that had touched her personally, and which she came to know a lot about. She disagreed with the editorial line in The Herald on the issues and started writing letters to the editor in which she presented an alternative point of view argued clearly and backed up with facts. She writes a lot with her job and she writes very well but she never had a letter published. She noticed that the few letters published that disagreed, as she did, were badly written and incoherent while the many letters in agreement with the Herald were usually much more cogent and literate.
    After a while, she tried an experiment. She wrote a truly dreadful letter which didn’t make much sense at all, in support of her opinion. Sure enough the Herald published it.

    Balance – Herald style

  10. TightyRighty 10

    from one email you assume all suburban broadsheet editors are quivering in fear? you lot see a conspiracy everywhere don’t you?

    so pathetic. just another example of pot calling the kettle black and then having a moan as its against the left.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 10.1

      No: from one email it’s clear that a typical National Party supporter thinks they open and close the gate, which funnily enough, is about all they’re good for.

  11. tricledrown 11

    Tighty almighty your just the prospect street thug who needs to be seen defending the indefensible!

  12. Glenn 12

    I belonged to a service club (not Rotary) for 15 years The local national party M.P. was a regular speaker. No other party candidates or MPs were considered and none were invited.
    When I first joined the club was a good mixture of folk, manual workers (like myself), teachers and professional folk. By the time I left only the latter were left. 4 years after I left the club folded.
    I left because I could no longer stand the bigotry and racism that was more suited to what one would expect in a 1950s Gentlemens Club. I suspect those that had left felt the same.
    I regret I had never quit years earlier.

  13. vto 13

    You know, this shit doesn’t occur all over the place. Local rags I consume with great vigour generally because they can have more flavour and more guts than the bland big daily daisies like the Press.

    The best example of this is the Greymouth Star and its cuz the Hokitika Guardian. They are the best way to get the full flavour of the community. Funny, accurate, forgiving, informative, knowledgeable, funny,,, such great waze to start and end the daze.

    I’m sure there are more around the country.

    The demographic reflected in the interchange expressed in this post has its place in the world, and that place is well known now. It affects nothing.

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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The disappearing Women …
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Contemptuous
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
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    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Participation rates
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    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    2 weeks ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
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    2 weeks ago
  • Asking for it …
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    2 weeks ago
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    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
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    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The astroturf party
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How to cheat at university
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    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
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    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
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    2 weeks ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
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    2 weeks ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
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    2 weeks ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: Tackling child poverty
    It's been a great week of progress: we've celebrated Children's Day, we've made communities safer with 1800 new police, and we've seen almost 90% of eligible schools take up Government funding to scrap school donations - taking pressure off the families of more than 416,000 students. ...
    13 hours ago
  • New measures for wood processing boost
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister of Forestry The Government will further strengthen New Zealand’s wood processing sector as part of our focus on ‘value over volume’ in our forestry industry, Forestry Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones will today meet with forestry representatives in Northland to signal new measures to help the ...
    15 hours ago
  • New high tech traps will reduce the need for 1080 poison
    New Zealand First are celebrating the announcement of an investment of $3.5 million into five new trapping devices. These are a range of bait and trap devices, all designed to be left unattended for long periods of time. NZ First conservation spokesperson Jenny Marcroft says that this latest development will ...
    2 days ago
  • Cowboy clampers will be stymied
    Clayton Mitchell, Spokesperson for Consumer Affairs The ‘wheel clamping’ Bill that will cap clamper fees to $100 passed its third reading in Parliament today. New Zealand First welcomes The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill to combat predatory wheel clamping behaviour in what is currently a largely unregulated business. Cowboy clampers are: gouging ...
    3 days ago
  • Mental Health Commission back on track
    Jenny Marcroft, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its first reading in Parliament. “Today’s progress takes serious action on the mental health and addiction crisis the country is facing,” says New Zealand First Health Spokesperson Jenny Marcroft. “The re-establishment ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand’s key assets are not for sale: national interest test delivered
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries Today the Government announced the delivery of the promise to protect New Zealand interests by applying a new National Interest Test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. This further strengthening of the Overseas Investment Act will ...
    4 days ago
  • National interest test added to protect New Zealanders’ interests
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high-risk assets to overseas buyers. Under current Overseas Investment Act (OIA) rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and ...
    4 days ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
    Rt Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years. Declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission. Our ...
    4 days ago
  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    5 days ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    5 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    1 week ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    3 weeks ago

  • PGF approves wind turbines funding for Stewart Island
    Stewart Island/Rakiura has been granted $3.16 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to help build two wind turbines, putting the island on a path to sustainable electricity generation, Environment Minister David Parker announced today. “Stewart Island is our third largest island, after the North and South Islands, and it is ...
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    19 hours ago
  • NZ economy in good shape amid global headwinds
    A major new report on the global economy shows New Zealand is in good shape amid increased global headwinds. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has just released its latest Economic Outlook. It shows the OECD group of economies is forecast to grow between 1.6% and 1.7% across ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Milestone of 1800 new Police officers
    The Coalition commitment to add 1800 new Police officers to frontline policing has been achieved with the graduation of 59 constables from the Royal New Zealand Police College today. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters say today’s graduation means 1825 new Police have been deployed all ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • PM appoints business leaders to APEC Business Advisory Council
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    2 days ago
  • PM speech notes for Trans-Tasman Business Circle
    Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tatou katoa. Thank you for having me to speak today. To start, I’d like to acknowledge Sharron Lloyd, the General Manager of the Trans–Tasman Business Circle, the partners for this event Westpac’s  David McLean, and Derek McCormack from  AUT, and, of course ...
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    2 days ago
  • Otago Regional Council given deadline for freshwater management plan
    A four-month investigation by former Environment Court judge Professor Peter Skelton found that Otago’s freshwater planning system is not fit for purpose to manage the region’s rivers, lakes and aquifers and that the Council has inadequate rules for the taking of water and the discharge of nutrients.   “Existing planning provisions ...
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    2 days ago
  • LGNZ Rural and Provincial Sector Speech
      Introduction Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This is the first opportunity I’ve had to speak to an LGNZ meeting since the local elections, and I’m delighted to see the fresh faces of newly elected mayors. To returning mayors here today, as well as chief ...
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    2 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Japan
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters departs New Zealand today to attend the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Nagoya at the invitation of this year’s G20 President, Japan. “This is the first time New Zealand will attend a G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and we are deeply honoured that it is at ...
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    2 days ago
  • Ambassador to the European Union announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of diplomat Carl Reaich as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to the European Union. “The Ambassador to the EU is one of the most important and senior roles in New Zealand’s foreign service, advocating for New Zealand’s interests with the EU institutions,” Mr ...
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    2 days ago
  • New inventions boost Predator Free 2050 effort
        Innovation and technology are behind five new tools to give nature a helping hand by helping eliminate predators, funded through the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage and Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “The new tools will be trialled in ...
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    2 days ago
  • APEC 2021 Bill passes first reading
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation 2021 (APEC 2021) Bill in Parliament today. The temporary bill supports New Zealand’s security preparations for hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in 2021. “APEC is the leading economic and trade forum ...
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    2 days ago
  • Making progress for our kids
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    3 days ago
  • Māori women in business contribute to our economy, whānau and communities
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    3 days ago
  • Two schools on the way for Omokoroa
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    3 days ago
  • Families Package helps over 1 million New Zealanders in first year
    1 million New Zealanders warmed by the Winter Energy Payment 36,000 families bank the Best Start Payment in first year 6,000 more families received the Family Tax Credit, 220,600 in total   They receive an increase too – from an average of $117 to $157 a week for Inland Revenue clients, ...
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    3 days ago
  • Clamp down on wheel clamping passes third reading
    New rules to clamp down on overzealous wheel clamping and extortionate fees charged in order to release a vehicle have passed their final stage in Parliament today. The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill has now passed its third reading. “These changes mean $100 will be the maximum wheel clamping ...
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    3 days ago
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill passes first hurdle
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    3 days ago
  • Boosting border security with electronic travel authority – now over 500,000 issued
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    4 days ago
  • Plan of action to protect seabirds
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    4 days ago
  • National interest test added to overseas investment rules
    The Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. Associate Finance Minister David Parker said under current Overseas Investment Act rules, assets such as ports and ...
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    4 days ago
  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
    The Government is building special housing to accommodate one of Aotearoa’s greatest taonga- our kaumātua, says the Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Speaking at a National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference in Rotorua today, the Minister reinforced the importance kaumātua play in maintaining and passing on mātauranga Māori, knowledge, ...
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  • Forestry helps prisoners into jobs
    Eleven men from a pilot forestry training programme for prisoners in Northland now have full time jobs or job offers upon release, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis and Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. The ‘release to work’ programme was a collaboration between Te Uru Rākau and the Department of Corrections, ...
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  • Reform of public service a step closer
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    5 days ago
  • Donations scheme to relieve pressure on families
    The families of more than 416,000 students will be better off next year as their schools have signed up to the Government’s donations scheme, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. The scheme will see almost $62.5 million in additional Government funding go to schools nationwide next year. “I’m really pleased ...
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  • Further support for Samoan measles outbreak
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  • Speech to the Child Poverty Action Group 2019 Summit
      Fa’atalofa atu, malo e lelei, Kia ora koutou katoa Thank you to the Child Poverty Action Group for asking me to be here today to provide an update on some of the things that have been happening across my the social development portfolio.  Can I firstly acknowledge the vast ...
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    5 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Annual Conference
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  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
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    6 days ago
  • Two decades of marine protection celebrated at Te Tapuwae o Rongokako in Tairawhiti
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    7 days ago
  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
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    7 days ago
  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
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    1 week ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
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  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
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  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
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    1 week ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
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    1 week ago
  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
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    1 week ago
  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
    Streamlined payment practices are a step closer for Kiwi businesses with the formal launch of New Zealand’s e-Invoicing framework. Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says the government has now established the structure to enable automated and direct data exchange between the accounting systems of buyers and sellers. “The move to ...
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    1 week ago
  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
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    1 week ago
  • NZ space economy worth $1.69 billion
    A new report has found New Zealand’s space sector contributed $1.69 billion to the economy in the last financial year and employs 12,000 people, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. The report by Deloitte was commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and shows New Zealand ...
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  • New Chair for Royal Commission into Abuse
    Judge Coral Shaw has been appointed as the new Chair of the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. "Judge Shaw, who is currently one of the inquiry commissioners, is extremely well qualified for the ...
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    1 week ago