Gutless backdown will cost money and lives

Written By: - Date published: 9:27 am, July 27th, 2010 - 63 comments
Categories: crime, Social issues - Tags: ,

So, National has failed to act on drink driving. The Director of the National Addiction Centre calls it “scandalous”.

While recidivist and youth drink drivers will, from early next year, be permitted to drive only if they have consumed no alcohol, the rest of the population will be able to continue to drive as intoxicated, as merrily and as foolishly as ever. Yet, New Zealand has a devastating road toll, and alcohol consumption is a major contributing cause. There seems to be no good reason not to lower the breath-alcohol level, and every reason to do so. The government’s failure of leadership will cost money and lives.

Why, then, the back down? Because drink driving is the common man’s crime – one that, among well-to-do middle class people, looms larger than most other criminal offences. This is why Steven Joyce has decided to stall legislative change to the breath-alcohol limit pending the results of New Zealand-specfic “research”. The Minister can’t really think that New Zealand is so different from Australia or Europe (where blood-alcohol limits are generally 50mg/100ml, as opposed to our 80mg/ml), or that New Zealanders are, in any scientifically significant way, so different from Europeans or Australians that we need to do our own, special research to find out whether a lower breath-alcohol level would work to lower the road toll. And anyway, what’s with National’s sudden fetish for evidence-based law-making: double bunking, anyone? National standards? 90-day legislation? Truth is, Steven Joyce knows that if the drink driving net is widened, lots more people will find themselves in court. Some of those people will look a bit like him. And that won’t win him, or his Party, votes.

63 comments on “Gutless backdown will cost money and lives ”

  1. tsmithfield 1

    According to Guyan Espinar this morning on “Breakfast” Labour also balked at reducing the general blood alcohol limit. Probably for similar reasons.

    • comedy 1.1

      “Labour also balked at reducing the general blood alcohol limit. Probably for similar reasons.”

      I don’t think ‘they are fuckwits too nah ne nah ne nah’ is very helpful.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 1.2

      Fairly safe to say given they were in for nine years and did nothing as well. Its pretty damning of our polticians that they won’t put their own interests ahead of public safety.

      • prism 1.2.1

        ZB I think I know what you mean or are you being ironic?
        “It’s pretty damning of our politicians that they won’t put their own interests ahead of public safety.”
        Oh if only that were true!

    • I will be the first to admitt that the Labour Party failed to adress the drink drive problem. However it shows which way Espinar thinks when he has to point out that Labour did not lower the limit .
      What has that got to do with situation now.

    • Well it proves that Espinar means to defend National and to denigrate Labour whatever the debate. I would agree that Labour did not limit the alcohol limit but that is in the past . The overwhelming evidence is that drinking and driving kills!
      The answer is zero alcohol for drivers. Is it too much to ask for there to be a non drinker in a group party people . Sweden has zero limit and its common for the host of a party to ask who is the driver and then supply them with non-alcoholic drinks.

  2. prism 2

    And anyway, what’s with National’s sudden fetish for evidence-based law-making: double bunking, anyone? National standards? 90-day legislation? Truth is, Steven Joyce knows that if the drink driving net is widened, lots more people will find themselves in court. Some of those people will look a bit like him. And that won’t win him, or his Party, votes.
    Good point. Joyce found no joy for him when trawling through the suggestions to make a practical difference to the drinking and driving habits of NZs. The excess of alcohol that spoils lives with a loss of future achievement of that individual. Then there is the disaster on the roads and heightened police presence and surveillance of us all.

    So Joyce has picked out something to do so it appears that he is willing to tackle the problem whereas he is shelving it for later. Gutless Joyce and NACT – lazy useless politicians picking their favourite flavours from the chocolate box – leaving the ones not to their taste. Labour didn’t do anything about it, NACT was going to be so much better. Right!

    And now we find that for yonks a great number of recidivist drivers have received no assessment, assistance and retraining etc. before they had their licences handed back. What a pathetic country we are – she’ll be right, don’t fuss, can’t have a nanny state (that is an organised community setting reasonable standards on behaviour). We either don’t bother with laws and training for competence and understanding, or we bring in stupid arbitrary ones as in Auckland and fining people who don’t cross a bus lane at the exact (I believe, unmarked) dot on the road.

    • comedy 2.1

      It is undeniable that the pollies are fuckwits

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 2.2

      Same with Collins and gun control. They’ll legislate knives, gang patches and noisy boy racers out of existence (well in theory) but when it comes to stopping unimportant stuff like fire arms they pander to the masses.

  3. jcuknz 3

    The more rules you have the tougher they have to be because there are fewer lives to save?
    It is no laws that make a society a safe sane place but self discipline of its members. Perhaps and I guess most likely alchoholism is a sickness and simply connot be controlled by more laws.
    The proposed law changes seem most sensible to me but then I am a relatively sane sensible person rather than a political animal trying to make hay out of nothing.

  4. tsmithfield 4

    This is the problem with democracy. Politicians make policies to get them voted in next time rather than what is actually the best. What we really need is a beneficial dictatorship. 🙂

    • Richard 4.1

      What we need is a competent media to clearly communicate and critic the effects of government policies. And an educated, informed population that pays attention.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1

        Exactly and we haven’t had one of those since the 1980s when the MSM in this country followed the US ideal for news – infotainment. It tells you nothing and makes you happy to hear it.

        • E. Campbell 4.1.1.1

          Indeed, a questioning and critical media is now largely absent from New Zealand’s political discourse. A thorough examination of this decision, or rather lack of a decision, would be nice but we’re sadly probably not going to get it from the MSM.

    • Craig Glen Eden 4.2

      I am available to fill this role on Fridays I might need a little assistance on the other days of the week.

      PS I don’t need a credit card nor do my assistants.

      PPS mind you I am very important now so maybe the odd sandwhich and flowers on the tax payer aye.

      PPPS I come from a average middle class background I am educated and I am very aspirational.

  5. Andrew 5

    i would like to how many people have been killed, or have serious accidents with a blood alcohol level between 50 and 80mg / 100ml, and if dropping the limit from 80 to 50mg would actually make much of a difference or would just end up with loads more people being prosecuted for no real gain.

    i would have thought that targeting those that were 2, 3, or even 4 times the limit would be a better use of resources, as those are the drivers that are ticking time bombs.

    • Lanthanide 5.1

      The person on NatRad this morning said that reducing it to 50mg/100ml would save 15-33 lives per year, 200-300 injuries and $100m in social harm.

      The AA spokesperson said that when you’re double the legal limit you are 200 times more likely to crash, and it is those people that they should be going after.

    • jbanks 5.2

      Evidence based policy is overrated around here. It’s all about the emotive headlines.

    • Puddleglum 5.3

      “i would like to how many people have been killed, or have serious accidents with a blood alcohol level between 50 and 80mg / 100ml, and if dropping the limit from 80 to 50mg would actually make much of a difference or would just end up with loads more people being prosecuted for no real gain”

      Andrew, I’m not sure there’s much merit in trying to split hairs the way Joyce appears to be suggesting. It would make as much sense to say we should research how many accidents are ’caused’ by the difference between 80 and 100mg with an aim to increasing it if that 20mg proved to have an insignificant or very minor effect. The fact is, this isn’t about the research, it’s about the politics.

      Also, have a look at your sentence above, Andrew, and instead of thinking about road accidents think about the same blood alcohol limit applied to any occupation: airline pilots, checkout operators, forklift drivers, assembly line workers, nurses, doctors, teachers, lawyers in court, etc.. Are you happy for anyone in those occupations to be performing them, habitually, with 80 mg levels of alcohol?

      There probably hasn’t been any New Zealand specific research showing the effects of 80 mg in such settings. Does that therefore mean – and it’s really a question for Joyce – that we should allow those blood alcohol levels in all occupations and perhaps make it illegal for employers to enforce or require ‘no alcohol’ (in terms of blood alcohol levels) in workplace settings on health and safety grounds? After all, on Joyce’s logic it would be an irrational prejudice without evidence to support it and so, presumably, employers would have to wait for a couple of years before the New Zealand specific research was done for their particular kind of workplace before enforcing any type of ban on employees’ blood alcohol levels.

      It’s only because it’s personal driving behaviour that we’re talking about that there’s this curious debate about how much alcohol should be allowed. Yet cars are just as risky as any of the work environments I’ve mentioned – in fact usually much riskier.

      We know everything we need to know about the effects of alcohol on the nervous system. It’s an anaesthetic (euphemistically called a ‘relaxant’). It progressively shuts down more and more of the nervous system right from the ‘get go’. The social relaxation/disinhibition – which is one of the main reasons people give for drinking – is one of the first signs of its effect. It’s related to a more ‘carefree’ attitude to risk (e.g., the ‘risk’ of speaking socially). Loss of our automatic motor control (controlled by the cerebellum) deteriorates just as fast, which is why the old tests of touching your nose with your finger or walking a straight line were used before the bag. Why would we want anyone driving whose nervous system and behaviour is being modified because of a freely chosen behaviour?

      It’s probably impossible to eliminate all contributors to driving risks. But those we can disallow should be disallowed (remember, we’re not talking about banning alcohol in society).

      In the bigger picture, this is just another social pathology that results from the way we organise ourselves. How many of us live within walking distance of our work, our friends, places where people gather for socialising? More and more we have to drive. Why? It didn’t used to be like that. My home town in England still (just) has pubs within easy reach of everyone (by foot) – though pubs are closing down at a great rate even in England with fewer, bigger outlets further from people. I don’t want to harp on, but all roads lead back to the same old rotten Rome, I’m afraid.

  6. prism 6

    For goodness sake we wouldn’t have laws and rules if they weren’t needed because in their absence the self-centred and powerful will dominate others and society becomes chaotic. Personal discipline cannot be relied on completely as you mention jcuknz.

    Laws made to prohibit and force behaviour or denial, that constantly impede us in petty or large ways and that are not accepted by the general population are the ones that become an imposition. Even then sometimes the greater good must prevail. (So I have to give up my wood burner for the sake of cleaner air and climate change, for a more expensive better one if I’m lucky, or have an expensive electric heat exchange that sucks up money along with the air.)

  7. randal 7

    the gubmint is backing down on everything.
    what we have now is gubmint lite.
    as hooton pointed out yesterday on 9-noon ,the gubmint is being run by a pack of juveniles out of kweewee’s office and they haven’t really got a clue about anything.

  8. Herodotus 8

    What is stoppiong some so called community minded polly from placing a private members bill. We have them for abortion changes, S59.”Truth is, Steven Joyce knows that if the drink driving net is widened, lots more people will find themselves in court. Some of those people will look a bit like him. And that won’t win him, or his Party, votes” would not the same be applied to any party (except The Greens). So if that is the case perhaps a better question should be “When is it acceptable to promote and pass laws that upset the voting public at large” We already have had Nanny State, now we are getting in every increasing frequency something similar associated with Nat.
    Or is there some other reason for this posting say attack Nat irrespective of how the MP’s on the left feel.
    This site is for me progressively trending away from what matters to the left to blind support towards Lab. The 2 are not totally compatible, and all this will do is present a weakened Lab and a greater weakening of the Left as the two become ever increasingly associated by many as beingthe same.
    “There seems to be no good reason not to lower the breath-alcohol level,” I thought you answered this, because of the political damage, otherwise get some private members bill that Lab endorses by wipping the crew of Mp’s, thus displaying where Lab stand in solidarity!!

  9. Clarke 9

    Translation of the National government’s policy statements on drink driving into English

    There will be no tolerance for drivers under 20, who will have a zero alcohol limit
    Translation: We have proven research that people under 20 do not vote, so it’s an obvious political win to give the kids a kicking – again. This policy will also result in additional support for National from the knee-jerk rednecks who constitute our rural support base, who regard the yoof as an existential threat to their way of life. We have concluded that there is no political downside to putting the boot in.

    More research is needed before the adult limit is reduced to 0.05
    Translation: Our current research indicates that state of the National Party’s coffers may be adversely affected by a policy that results in people drinking less, as the alcohol merchants will contribute fewer funds for the next election. In addition, a lower drink-drive limit may adversely affect the profitability of the Rugby World Cup for the hospitality sector, which will potentially have a negative impact on their donations to our party. We regard the additional deaths and injuries that will result from this policy a satisfactory social price to pay for our re-election – from a political standpoint, these are an acceptable level of casualties.

    Sentences for deaths and injuries caused by drink drivers will be increased
    Translation: Research indicates that our imprisonment rate is only the second highest in the western world, and our aspirations are larger than that. This policy will further increase the number of people in jail – a stated aim of this government – and will contribute to a higher level of profitability for the private prison sector. We think there are possible flow-on benefits that may result from prison companies making higher contributions to our funds for next year’s election.

  10. Bill 10

    Not defending drink driving in any way, shape or form. But drink driving is symptomatic of larger problems.

    Not so long ago it was possible and normal for people to transport themselves to pubs, or wherever, and back without the use of cars.

    But with the car came ever increasing distances between people and utilities alongside fewer and fewer public transport options. (The supermarket is usually a drive away as opposed to the short walk away that the local shops used to be. And there will often not be a bus option.)

    Meanwhile, as greater distance has become the norm, local facilities and activities have shut down. Including, but not limited to pubs.

    So we live in a social culture that to a large extent and for better or worse, revolves around alcohol consumption and yet our access to alcohol (and so, to some degree, society) has become increasingly problematic.

    Where I lived, it used to be common to walk for up to an hour or even more to get to the pub and walk the same distance back home. (Taxis were a very rarely used option) Not any more. We are convinced the streets are unsafe…and they kind of are because we don’t populate them any more. And our sense of normality has shifted so that anybody walking for an hour to meet up at the pub would we considered a peculiar individual.

    So I wonder if we are destined to shut ourselves behind the walls of our total entertainment centre homes and contribute even more to the break down of our society?

    • js 10.1

      This is where the “wowsers” arguments come from.

      “Someone is stopping me getting to a beer easily, so instead of getting off my fat, lazy, surround-sound ass, it is they who are wowsers trying to reduce my quality of life.”

  11. js 11

    One thing is certain: When pushed, Kiwis will risk death, theirs or someone else, in exchange for being able to drive home after a couple of beers. Someone mentioned juveniles.

  12. randal 12

    right on bill.
    you got it in one but what matters most is how much money you spend and if it goes to the justice industry then so be it.

  13. Bill 13

    How many glasses of wine translates to 80mg/100ml and how many to 50mg/100ml and what impact would the difference make to the sales and profit margins of the wine industry?

    Any figures on how many glasses of wine are sold at on-licences…particularly restaurants?

    Would those sales be roughly cut in half with an approximate halving of alcohol/blood levels?

    Hmm, I take it that Johnny Boy took absolutely nothing to do with this cabinet decision given his interest in (forgetitsname) winery and the potential big hit on its profit margins were blood/alcohol levels to be reduced?

  14. aj 14

    Look for Key to get shares in Taxi Companys. It will mean he’s about to reduce the limit to zero

  15. Pat 15

    Think how many lives could have been saved:

    “Lower drink-drive limits abandoned
    Published: 6:31PM Tuesday December 16, 2003”

    “An attempt to lower legal blood alcohol levels for drivers and introduce hidden speed cameras has been abandoned after Transport Minister Paul Swain failed to get enough support for the move.

    Swain had hoped to cut the legal blood alcohol level from 80 milligrams to 50 milligrams per 100 millilitres of blood – a move that he claimed would save 14 lives each year.

    But on Tuesday, facing opposition from cabinet colleagues and the public, he admitted defeat.

    “It is clear from work that’s been done, that there is not widespread support in the community for this measure,” Swain said.

    http://tvnz.co.nz/content/243441/423466/article.html

  16. Rex Widerstrom 16

    Because drink driving is the common man’s crime one that, among well-to-do middle class people, looms larger than most other criminal offences. This is why Steven Joyce has decided to stall legislative change

    As opposed to doing 10km/h an hour over the limit? I know anecdotes don’t equal evidence but the vast majority of the people I speak to on law ‘n’ order issues (more than most people, I suspect) fume and rail against petty speed enforcement and have been caught by it themselves. They have not, however, driven drunk and support efforts to reduce it.

    I suggest that if you asked any group of people gathered anywhere but around the table of some “road safety” lobby group you’d get a similar response.

    So if it’s all driven by a fear of offending the “common man” can we expect an order to go out to the plods to set the margins on their speed cameras to a reasonable level, and to hand out warnings on the first one or two occasions rather than reflexively reaching for the ticket book?

    Because if we can, bloody good job, I say.

    • felix 16.1

      I’d like to see the plods set the margins on their cameras to sensible levels too.

      I propose 50kmph around town and 100kmph on the open road in accordance with the speed limit.

      • Mac1 16.1.1

        Amen, Felix. The limit is the limit. I have students who come into my classes and ask when they are late. They of course are wanting to know when the guillotine descends. I tell ’em. The bell is the bell. After that you’re late. Few are late. They just want to know where the boundaries actually lie..

        Speeders are the same. Tell ’em the limit is the limit. It’s not hard to fathom.

        I think de facto speed limits set by speed cameras are stupid. And they deny basic human instincts to push the boundaries. “But I was just over…..”

      • Draco T Bastard 16.1.2

        Actually, the reason the cameras aren’t set to that already is because of limits on the devices. They’re not 100% accurate. Back when the +10km/h was set they were considered to be accurate to +- 7km/h. I assume that they’ve gotten better since which is the real driver for dropping the margin from 10km/h to 5km/h.

        Average car speedometers have also improved as the older vehicles disappear from the roads.

        • Mac1 16.1.2.1

          Thanks, Draco, for the explanation. Could a speedometer be checked and even recalibrated in the WOF process for a more accurate reading, I wonder?

          • jcuknz 16.1.2.1.1

            Oh NO not another ‘little’ thing added to the WOF test. Actually I know that my speedo is reading slightly under becuase of the trailer speed cameras which read back at 48k when my speedo reads 50k. Only problem is will it be similar at 100k? Is that a sufficiently good excuse? 🙂 My bathroom scales are set at 11kg to read the same weight as my doctor’s scales at 90kg. I think only specialised garages have speedo testing gear, I’ve see it on TV but not at any garage I’ve frequented.
            When I was in Colorado a few years back I found they didn’t have WOF tests like us but rather emmission testing, for cars built after 1992. For once I thought they had their priorities right.
            I had to take the car to a building much like testing stations here and they put fans up against the radiator to avoid over heating as they ran the engine and we the public where confined to a waiting room. They thought that cars built pre-1992 were too few and too far gone to bother about.

        • Armchair Critic 16.1.2.2

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speedometer#Error
          There will always be some error. GPS provides a good second opinion and by staying below the posted limits on both the car speedo and the GPS I’ve been pretty successful at avoiding a third opinion from the law.

          • Herodotus 16.1.2.2.1

            When towing on the open road the speed limit is 90km (light & heavy vehicle) the current form of policing does not recogise theis in operation, as speed cameras do not differentiate the vehicle approaching if it is towing or not. So we see in practice another example of the transport industry “getting away” without complying to the rules. Many truck and trailer units I have had difficulty in keeping up with them in my Toyota copy of a Ferrari just over the 100km mark on the Desert Rd. S is there a rule for them and another for us?
            http://www.nzta.govt.nz/resources/roadcode/about-limits/speed-limits.html

            • jcuknz 16.1.2.2.1.1

              Once I overtook a articulated petrol tanker, obviously returning empty to base, and had a real problem getting past. Now I might pass them when there are two lanes going up a hill but really they have far more grunt than what I have and I ease over so they can overtake me when they catch up with me again.

      • burt 16.1.3

        felix

        Why not just ticket directly from the vehicle management system once every second for every second over the limit? Hell man you want draconian and you are relying on a physically limited number of sampling points, off ya game toning, have you been drinking?

        • loota 16.1.3.1

          I’m pretty sure every city council in NZ will be rolling out computer recognition parking meter systems, where your movements and number plate is automatically recorded, if you stay in a P30 one minute over time an automated fine will be issued against your registration (no more parking wardens on mopeds needed), if you stay in a metered spot and your time runs out by more than a minute, an automated fine will be issued against your registration…and of course Council staffers will be able to record and track your movements around the city centre any time of day or night.

          Fun and games.

        • felix 16.1.3.2

          Gidday burt,

          If that’s possible, then why not? I’m so sick of people complaining that they get ticketed for being “just a few ks over” which usually turns out to be a few ks over 110.

          Call me old fashioned but 100k is not supposed to be an average, or a target, or a guideline. You shouldn’t be driving at 100k, you should always be under 100k.

  17. tc 17

    I find it intruiging that this NACT gov’t always grasps at opportunities to get tough on crime, road issues (banning phones) and other areas like welfare, industrial relations etc etc

    But issues around alchohol, be it raising excise or in this case discouraging consumption are pushed back, against all international evidence, as ‘needing further research’.

    Methinks that further research involves evaluating the impact on their investments and their backers agendas…….sod the great unwashed we may upset our backers appears a better motive.

    Love that selective choice of issues that require ‘more debate’…..mining/ACC/3 strikes etc didn’t need it did they to name a few. Joyce’s just the bloke to front this sham he loves it.

  18. Reality Check 18

    “So, National has failed to act on drink driving.”

    And in 8 years in government Labour did what to reduce the drink driving? a lot LESS then what national is doing.

    Before we go claiming that the Nats have failed, lets look in our own camp and see where we failed?

    • jbanks 18.1

      “It’s a bit rich for a government…that didn’t even bother commissioning the report, to be arguing we should be doing something.”

  19. Sarge 19

    I’ve got a good question. Can anyone tell me the number of crashes caused annually by drivers with a BAC between 0.5 and 0.8, ie. is there any evidence that this law will make the blindest bit of difference?? Cause I don’t know about you, but I like to base law making on facts and figures.

    • lprent 19.1

      At present the police don’t collect that data. In fact they’re prohibited by law from acquiring it. The only good aspect of this proposed legislation is that they will start collecting that data now.

      However there is quite a lot of clinical evidence from both here and overseas that shows peoples reaction times decreasing with almost any amount of alcohol in their system. Almost any other factors (like tiredness, age etc) that also slow reaction times are accentuated by almost any amount of booze in their systems.

      In the countries where the permissible BAC has been lowered, there have also been drops in crashes, and particularly in fatal crashes.

      Seems like a bit of a no-brainer to me (and I haven’t been drinking)….

      • Herodotus 19.1.1

        “In the countries where the permissible BAC has been lowered, there have also been drops in crashes, and particularly in fatal crashes.” IPRENT could this also be part attributable to the efforts car makers have made in protecting the driver and passangers, e.g.seatbelts from the 1980’s, side intrusion bars, air bags and the increased effort and skill in our medical field, the magic hour, helicopters and all that. As we all know the same stats can support both sides of an arguement !!!!
        What gets me is some of the underlying stats 1% of our pop get convicted from drink offense. Also wonder what the nos are of 2,3,4,5 … times people receive convictions. We cannot even cope with the 80 level, policing and the court system. What additional costs and resources are required to adequately police the current law?

      • jcuknz 19.1.2

        I was interested to hear the Aussie AA man on NatRad tonight, where some are agitating for the 5 be reduced to 2, being pretty non-commital over the benefits of reducing 8>5. I guess it depends on what you believe and what you read.
        The other comment I read was that many of us who are careful to make sure we don’t go over the 8 limit would be under the 5 if it was adopted. It is just the uncertainty of this that makes me against any change.
        The uncertainty as I mix a Gin and It by eye, how much wine and how much gin, topped up with tonic to make a long drink … sorry I don’t want to risk my licence. Even though I know it usually has less effect on me than a stubbie. I know that’s personal and not scientific but its how I feel.

  20. coolas 20

    Close Up poll tonight had 68% of 17.000 supporting reduction

    U turn by lunchtime?

    • Bill 20.1

      Yes, a U-Turn.

      Except it ain’t really a U-Turn. It’s just a bullshit game of manufactured perceptions.

      We know they wanted to mine. They tried to sell non-mining (at least on S4) back to us as them being responsive to our concerns….a pragmatic, caring and listening government.

      We know they are in bed with (or are the bed of) the alcohol industry. And they know they have no option but to lower limits. But first they don’t….. and then they do….because they listened (apparently).

      So you see how they propose impossible bad shit but back down (apparently) due to popular demand? And you see how that makes them responsive…a listening government to someone who isn’t paying close attention?

      And you see how that gives them a punt at a second term which gives the mandate to roll?

      Cunning little…

    • jcuknz 20.2

      Obviously the workers are overpaid, wasting their money on Television polls, and will moan when the bill arives at the end of the month.

    • jbanks 20.3

      So a ‘close up poll’ is a legitimate alternative to research as a means to justify a policy change?

      You’re doing it wrong.

  21. Bill 21

    What’s the limit for dak?

    Or methadone…which many people drive to the chemist to get and consume…. and drive back home or to work on?

    Or speed?

    Or coke?

    Or whatever other drug?

    Any legality/illegality argument cannot hold water when methadone is taken into consideration.

    And tendency of drug to incapacitate would seem unsustainable given that alcohol is one of the most irredeemably incapacitating drugs around…maybe with the exception of some downers.

  22. Rharn 22

    Key’s back down is nothing more than a sop to the liquor industry. The two year gap for bringing the public ‘along’ has more to do with allowing the industry to restructure the price of liquor so as to minimise the loss in profit that the reforms will cause to the bottomline.

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    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
    17 hours 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
    17 hours 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 ...
    18 hours 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
    18 hours 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
    18 hours 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
    20 hours 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
    21 hours 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
    22 hours 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
    24 hours 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 ...
    1 day 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. ...
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    2 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
    2 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. ...
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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 ...
    2 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 ...
    2 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
    3 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
    3 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days ago
  • Luxon is one of three prime ministers pressing for a ceasefire in Gaza – but the two-state solutio...
    Buzz from the Beehive Two days after hundreds of people rallied outside the New Zealand parliament and the US embassy in Wellington to protest against what they maintain is genocide in Gaza,  Prime Minister Chris Luxon joined with the Prime Ministers of Australia and Canada to express their  concerns that ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • All jellied up with possum grease
    1. Shane Jones, addressing the energy industry, called climate concern what?a. The only sane responseb. Undeniably valid c. Our last best hope d. A "religion" 2. 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. Gleeful ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Equality comes to Greece
    The Greek Parliament has voted for marriage equality: Greece has become the first Christian Orthodox-majority country to legalise same-sex marriage. Same-sex couples will now also be legally allowed to adopt children after Thursday's 176-76 vote in parliament. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the new law would "boldly abolish a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • CHRIS TROTTER:  Iron in her soul.
      “Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” – Friedrich Nietzsche   Chris Trotter writes – TELEVISION NEW ZEALAND is to be congratulated for inviting Chloe Swarbrick onto its Q+A current affairs show. The Green MP ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to Feb 16
    Net emigration of New Zealanders overseas hit a record-high 47,000 in the 2023 year, which only partly offset net immigration of 173,000, which was dominated by arrivals from India, the Philippines and China with temporary work visas. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The five things that mattered in Aotearoa’s ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Stop Whispering.
    There's nothing to sayAnd there's nothing to doStop whispering, start shoutingStop whispering, start shoutingYesterday our government surprised a few of us by standing up for something. It wasn’t for the benefit of people who own holiday homes and multiple investment properties. Neither were there any tobacco companies or fishing cartels ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • “I'm Not Keen on Whataboutism, But What About…”
    Hi,Not sure how your week is going, but I’ve had a pretty frustrating one. I’ve been trying to put my finger on it, and I think it’s perhaps distilled in this message I got on Twitter:What got me a bit riled up is that it was a response to the ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on National passing bad policies under urgency
    If National really had faith in its welfare policies, it wouldn’t be ramming them through Parliament under urgency – a step that means the policies can’t be exposed to select committee debate, public submissions, expert commentary, media scrutiny and all the normal democratic processes that this coalition appears to hold ...
    5 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 16-February-2024
    It’s Friday so once again here”s our roundup of some of the articles that caught our attention this week. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday Matt looked at the Government’s war on Auckland. On Tuesday Matt covered the ongoing issues with the rail network. On Thursday Matt ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    5 days ago
  • The Dawn Chorus for Friday, February 16
    The six things to note in my view at 6.30 am on Friday, February 16 in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy are: Read more ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Iron In Her Soul.
    “Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” – Friedrich NietzscheTELEVISION NEW ZEALAND is to be congratulated for inviting Chloe Swarbrick onto its Q+A current affairs show. The Green MP for Auckland Central is the odds-on ...
    5 days ago
  • Dig this
    Resources Minister Shane Jones yesterday told a breakfast hosted by Energy Resources Aotearoa precisely what they wanted to hear. “We campaigned to rehabilitate relegitimise and stand up for working families who derive their income,  derive their hope and derive purpose in regional New Zealand through a flourishing, growing, forward-leaning energy ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #7 2024
    Open access notables Physics-based early warning signal shows that AMOC is on tipping course, van Westen et al., Science Advances: Here, we show results of the first tipping event in the Community Earth System Model, including the large climate impacts of the collapse. Using these results, we develop a physics-based and ...
    6 days ago
  • A rejection of the rule of law
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Shrugging-Off The Atlas Network.
    Upholding The Status-Quo: The Left’s election defeat is not the work of the Atlas Network. It is not even the work of David Seymour and Act. It is the work of ordinary citizens who liked the Right’s stories better than they liked the Left’s. If the Right’s stories were made ...
    6 days ago
  • BARRIE SAUNDERS: Treaty Principles – all rather problematic
    Barrie Saunders writes – When ACT’s leader said they wanted legislation to state what the Treaty principles mean, my first thought was this will be controversial and divisive.  Clearly it is. The first reference to the principles of the Treaty were contained in the 1975 Act establishing the Treaty of ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Luxon Rejects The “Rejection Election” At His Peril.
    Fitting Right In: National retailed a reactionary manifesto of right-wing, racially-charged policies to the electorate throughout 2023. No talk back then of ignoring the overwhelming political preferences of the voting public and making a strong stand on principle. If Luxon’s pollsters and focus-groups were telling him that the public was ...
    6 days ago
  • Valentine’s Day went unnoticed on the Beehive website – but it is not “baa, humbug” to celeb...
    Buzz from the Beehive None of our ministers – a quick check with the Beehive website suggests – found cause to mention, let along celebrate, Valentine’s Day. But two ministers – Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson – ensured that National Lamb Day did not pass ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    6 days ago
  • Are You A Leftist?
    Nothing To Lose But Our Chains: The emancipatory movement which the Left, understood correctly, has always been, cannot accommodate those who are only able to celebrate one group’s freedom by taking it from another. The expectation, always, among leftists, is that liberty enlarges us. That striking-off a person’s shackles not ...
    6 days ago
  • An unlawful directive
    An interesting question in the Parliamentary written questions feed today, from Jan Tinetti to the Minister of Education: Has she or her Office directed the Ministry of Education to not release Official Information Act material prior to the full twenty working days, if so, why? Given that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • I’ve been doing this all wrong
    Here are six words that are not easy to say but god it can feel good when you finally say them:I’ve been doing this all wrongFive years ago today I said to myself:What if I'm doing this all wrong?Five years ago today I said to Karren: I think I’m going to ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • New study suggests the Atlantic overturning circulation AMOC “is on tipping course”
    This is a re-post from RealClimate by Stefan Rahmstorf A new paper was published in Science Advances today. Its title says what it is about: “Physics-based early warning signal shows that AMOC is on tipping course.” The study follows one by Danish colleagues which made headlines last July, likewise looking for early warning signals ...
    6 days ago
  • Valentines from ACT.
    Some of us make a big deal out of Valentine’s Day. We’ll buy the flowers, eye watering though the price spike might be. Say the things we should be saying anyway, although diminished by being scheduled for delivery. Some of us will even write long free-form newsletters with declarations of ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Tax cuts paid for by 13k more kids in poverty
    MSD advised the government that the indexation change it passed under urgency last night is likely to put around 7,000 extra children (and potentially up to 13,000) into poverty. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The Government has reverted indexation for main beneficiaries to price inflation from wage inflation under ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Fuel Tax Fight and Rail Fail update
    The two stories we covered at the start of the week continue to be in the headlines so it’s worth looking at the latest for each of them. Regional Fuel Tax Mayor Wayne Brown promised some ‘argy-bargy’ over the government’s decision to cancel the Regional Fuel Tax and he’s ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Arsonists
    Today, a major fire broke out on the Port Hills in Ōtutahi. Like its 2017 predecessors, it is almost certainly exacerbated by climate change. And it is still burning. The present government did not start the fire. But they piled the tinder high last time they were in power, gutting ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • I don’t know!
    http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/73411 7 examples And who actually makes the decisions? Vladimir Putin: I don’t know. America is a complex country, conservative on the one hand, rapidly changing on the other. It’s not easy for us to sort it all out.   Tucker Carlson: Do you think Zelensky has the freedom to negotiate the settlement to this conflict? Vladimir Putin: I don’t know the details, of course it’s difficult for me to judge, but ...
    7 days ago
  • Fresh thinkers
    Fresh thinking will always give you hope.It might be the kind that makes you smite your brow, exclaiming: Why didn't we think of that! It's obvious!It might be the kind that makes you go: Dude you’re a genius.Sometimes it will simply be Wayne Brown handing Simeon Brown his weasel ass ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • It is not about age, it is about team.
    Much attention has been directed at Joe Biden’s mental lapses and physical frailty. Less attention has been spent on Donald Trump’s cognitive difficulties and physical limitations, with most focus being devoted to his insults and exaggerated claims (as if they … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • ROBERT MacCULLOCH: Fletcher Building – it is time to break up NZ’s most useless company.
    Robert MacCulloch writes –  Gosh, the CEO of Fletcher Building, Ross Taylor, says today’s announcement of a half-year loss of $120 million for the company is “disappointing” and was “heavily impacted” by the Convention Centre losses. He must be crying all the way to the bank (to quote Las ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    7 days ago
  • Mortgage rates seen high for even longer
    Government and borrower hopes for early mortgage cost relief look likely to be thwarted. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Stronger-than-expected US inflation data out overnight is expected to delay the first US Federal Reserve rate cut into the second half of 2024, which in turn would hold mortgage rates ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, the first of the new Parliament. And to start the Parliament off, there's a bunch of first readings. A bunch of other bills have been postponed, so first up is Duncan Webb's District Court (Protecting Judgment Debtors on Main Benefit) Amendment Bill, followed by Katie ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Three Waters go down the legislative gurgler – but what should we make of Local Water Done Well?
    Buzz from the Beehive Local Government Minister Simeon Brown – it seems fair to suppose – was flushed with success after the repeal of Labour’s divisive and unpopular Three Waters legislation. As he explained, repealing this legislation is a necessary first step in implementing his government’s Local Water Done Well ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    7 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on five of Luxon’s Gaza absurdities
    Earlier this week, PM Christopher Luxon met with 48 public service CEOs to make sure they were on board with his plans to cut spending on public services so that National can proceed to give the revenue away to those New Zealanders least in need. This wasn’t the only absurdity ...
    7 days ago
  • Love and the Fairer Sex.
    This morning I woke early with many thoughts in my head of things said, events of the week, things that matter. I’m afraid none of them involved Seymour, Willis, or Luxon so if you’re looking for something political maybe take the day off and come back tomorrow. You won’t find ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • He stood up to Muldoon and Lange and the Fji army
    Gerald Hensley, who died aged 88 on Saturday, was the key official who presided over the tumultuous events that followed the election of the Lange Labour Government in 1984. He was also instrumental in helping a key Fijian official escape the country during one of the 1987 coups. A diplomat ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • At a glance – Has Arctic sea ice returned to normal?
    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 ...
    1 week ago
  • Halo dunia!
    Selamt datang di WordPress. Ini adalah pos pertama Anda. Sunting atau hapus, kemudian mulai menulis! ...
    1 week ago
  • The PM wants a turnaround
    As a treat today I have lined up a favourite in the music slot. I love Turnaround, I cannot hear it too often, and I feel in need of a treat when I make myself listen to the Prime Minister the way I did this morning.He too, has favourites that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • The PM wants a turnaround
    As a treat today I have lined up a favourite in the music slot. I love Turnaround, I cannot hear it too often, and I feel in need of a treat when I make myself listen to the Prime Minister the way I did this morning.He too, has favourites that ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • ELE LUDEMANN: Trusting locals
    Ele Ludemann writes- A government-knows-best and predilection for central control was another unfortunate feature of the 2017-2023 Labour governments. One of the worst polices as a result of that was what started as Three Waters and became several more. The National-led government is much more trusting of locals ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    1 week 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
    15 hours 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
    23 hours 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
    2 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
    3 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
    5 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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. ...
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    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week 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 ...
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    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
  • Government law and order crackdown begins
    The coalition Government is making good on its promise to restore law and order by removing government funding for Section 27 reports and abolishing the previous Labour Government’s prison reduction target, Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Corrections Minister Mark Mitchell say.  “In recent years, the development of Section 27 reports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Greater focus on getting people into work
    The coalition government will refocus employment efforts and the welfare system so that supporting people who can work into jobs is the number one priority, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “Of concern in the labour market statistics released by Stats NZ today was the number of youth not ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • One year on, NZ appeals for release of Phillip Mehrtens
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has appealed to those holding New Zealand pilot Phillip Mehrtens in remote Papua, Indonesia, to release him immediately.  Phillip Mehrtens was taken hostage a year ago on 7 February in Paro, Papua, while providing vital air links and supplies to remote communities. “We strongly urge those holding ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Ministers reaffirm Pacific connections this week
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Health Minister and Minister for Pacific Peoples Dr Shane Reti are reaffirming the importance of New Zealand’s connections to the Pacific by visiting Tonga, Cook Islands and Samoa this week.  “New Zealand enjoys strong and long-standing relationships with our Pacific partners - especially in Polynesia, where we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Rt Hon Christopher Luxon – Waitangi speech
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, rau rangatira ma. Tēnā koutou katoa. He tino mihi ki te mana whenua o tēnei rohe.  Mihi mai, mihi mai, mihi mai. Te whare e tū nei, tēnā koe.                               He-wāhi whakahirahira tēnei mō Aotearoa. Ka huri nga whakaaro, ki nga mate. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government awards primary sector scholarships to students
    Six university students studying agriculture and science have been awarded scholarships as part of the coalition Government’s efforts to boost on-the-ground support for farmers and growers. “The coalition Government is committed to improving support and operating conditions for farmers and growers,” Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says. “We’re backing a range ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister Jason Scott McHerron as a High Court Judge. Justice McHerron graduated from the University of Otago with a BA in English literature in 1994 and an LLB in 1996. From 1996 to 1999 he worked as a solicitor in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand provides further humanitarian support to Gaza and the West Bank
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that New Zealand is providing a further $5 million to respond to the extreme humanitarian need in Gaza and the West Bank.  “The impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on civilians is absolutely appalling,” Mr Peters says.  “That is why New Zealand has contributed $15 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Government consults on expanding COVID-19 Inquiry terms of reference
    The Government is delivering on its commitment to enable public input into expanding the scope of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into COVID-19 Lessons, says Internal Affairs Minister Brooke van Velden. “As committed to in both the ACT-National and NZ First-National coalition agreements, the public will be given the opportunity ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Tai Tokerau Water Boost
    A further $5 million loan has been advanced to the Tai Tokerau Water Trust for Te Waihekeora Reservoir, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says.  “Water is a precious resource, Kānoa – Regional Development and Investment Unit at the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment have done amazing work in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Fast track consenting in the fast lane
    The Government is progressing changes to resource management laws as part of its 100 Day Action Plan, with the first steps taken to establish a new fast-track consenting one-stop shop regime. “This new regime, which forms part of National’s coalition agreement with New Zealand First, will improve the speed and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • JOINT STATEMENT ON AUSTRALIA-NEW ZEALAND MINISTERIAL CONSULTATIONS (ANZMIN) 2024
    Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence the Hon Richard Marles MP and Minister for Foreign Affairs Senator the Hon Penny Wong hosted New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Winston Peters MP and Minister of Defence Hon Judith Collins KC MP on 1 February ...
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    3 weeks ago
  • Minimum wage set for cautious increase
    The adult minimum wage rate will increase by 2 per cent to $23.15 an hour from 1 April 2024, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden announced today. “This Government is committed to striking the right balance between protecting the incomes of our lowest paid workers and maintaining labour ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Increased security improves ED safety over summer
    Increasing the number of security staff in emergency departments (EDs) over the busy Christmas and New Year period improved the safety of both staff and patients, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says. 200 additional security staff (93 FTEs) were provided to 32 EDs in response to concerns raised by ED ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago

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