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Herald cans fact-checking, opts for dogwhistles

Written By: - Date published: 11:35 am, March 17th, 2010 - 57 comments
Categories: articles - Tags: , , , , , ,

The New Zealand Herald has never been shy of attacking blogs for their lack of journalistic standards and editorial rigour, but given some of the paper’s recent work you’ve got to wonder who they think they’re kidding.

Take today’s piece by Dita De Boni pontificating about Charles Chauvel and those screaming kids on his plane.

The piece is simply woeful. De Boni can’t even get the identity of the main protaganist right, referring to the blogger in question as “Clint Heine”. Just amateurish. Clint is the owner of the blog, the guy who made the attacks on Chauvel is Wellington orthopaedic surgeon and ACT Party activist Fred Phillips*.

It gets worse. De Boni’s intro to the piece declares: “Sometimes child-free adults need to have some sympathy for parents of noisy and fractious children on planes”, obviously making the assumption that because Chauvel is gay he doesn’t understand what it’s like to have kids.

It’s no wonder she got this impression from the news coverage. Fred Phillips and his wife Stephanie have been pushing the homophobic dogwhistle for all it’s worth, telling TVNZ “the pre-schoolers were well-behaved and Charles Chauvel just is not used to kids.”

But of course, Charles does have a kid. As Zet put it last night:

Gotta love that ACT woman saying Chauvel wouldn’t know what it’s like to have a young family. A variation of the line the Right used to use on Clark. In fact, Chauvel has a four year old son. I know! A gay with a kid! Carter and Hague have children too. What a world!

De Boni, like many journalists, simply hasn’t done her research. She’s picked up on yet another a right-wing smear campaign aimed at targeting a gay Labour MP for his sexuality and has repeated the story with framing intact. No fact-checking, no critical analysis. In fact, not once does she mention that an ACT Party activist might have a political interest in embellishing the story or even lying to make Chauvel look bad.

The fault isn’t entirely hers though. She’s sloppy, but she’s hardly the first columnist to be guilty of that. The real fault lies with the Herald’s failure to fact check her or require some basic research and critical analysis from its writers. It’s a basic failure of editorial standards.

As I said yesterday, this is what happens when the right’s smear machine meets an increasingly tabloid news media. There’s more of this dirty personal smearing to come, and I’d suggest Labour gets a strategy in place soon to counter it. Using Charles’ excellent front-footing of this issue as a case study would be a good place to start.

[The Standard was informed of Fred Phillips’ identity yesterday afternoon but chose not to publish it in the interests of his privacy. Now that the name has been published in the Dominion Post it is in the public realm.]

57 comments on “Herald cans fact-checking, opts for dogwhistles”

  1. Lew 1

    The real fault lies with the Herald’s failure to fact check her or require some basic research and critical analysis from its writers. It’s a basic failure of editorial standards.

    This is the only failure I can see. De Boni is the Herald’s mummy-blogger, she writes in the style pages. She’s not an actual journalist, or at least, is not expected to be one in this role — and the piece simply isn’t a news story in form, structure or content.

    So the problem is with publishing her musings as actual news, rather than as … musings.

    L

  2. yup, journalism R.I.P 2

    i read it, then read a few of her other pieces and then went to the shed and headbutted the wall a few thousand times. Then went back and read it again. It didn’t help, but the headache and all the pretty lights in front of my eyes made the silly words dance so it wasnt a complete waste of time

    • Bored 2.1

      Look here, the only “piece” in the article is De Boni…I seem to have caught some gutter press virus and need some political correction. My brain hurts too.

  3. A Nonny Moose 3

    “De Boni’s intro to the piece declares: “Sometimes child-free adults need to have some sympathy for parents of noisy and fractious children on planes’, ”

    Ha! It doesn’t declare that now. It’s been edited out now that they’ve been sprung.

  4. gobsmacked 4

    The smear has backfired, because most people (not just the usual suspects on the poli-blogs, but the general public) don’t know or care about an MP they’ve never heard of, but do have an opinion about passengers/kids on planes. It’s a story people relate to, and Chauvel has come across as an ordinary, reasonable person. Generally, people can at least see his point of view.

    On the other hand, you have the priceless expression on Stephanie Phillips’ face, when asked about the couple’s political motivation on Close-Up last night. Followed by the longest pause in the history of interviews. Hilarious! (The interview’s worth putting up here, IMHO).

  5. Julie 5

    I generally find De Boni OK, so this column is disappointing to me. I agree with Lew that most of the responsibility lies with the Herald for running an opinion column as high profile news, and for failing to fact check.

  6. Andrew 6

    “*The Standard was informed of Fred Phillips’ identity yesterday afternoon but chose not to publish it in the interests of his privacy. Now that the name has been published in the Dominion Post it is in the public realm”

    Eddie, sorry, but you are now banned from this site for stating that a computer program can be informed about something and then make a concious decision on that something. Please read the policy, I have copied the relevant section below:

    “attributing a mind to a machine (ie talking about The Standard as if it had an opinion) is not allowed”

    [Eddie: The Standard has policies and guidelines. This was one of them. Don’t be a troll.]

    • IrishBill 6.1

      That’s hilarious. You’re a real funny guy. Now have you got anything to say about the topic of the post, funny guy?

      • Andrew 6.1.1

        don’t be a dick, and yes i am a funny guy and i was being rather sarcastic. But I see people get picked up on this all the time. All i expect is a level playing field. If we can’t refer to “the standard” then i would also expect this to apply to the authors of post as well. if we have posters referring to “the standard” then we can expect commenter’s to do the same.

        back on topic … yes i agree that the piece is simply woeful and was not at all news worthy.

    • lprent 6.2

      Ah damn. I’d like to comment on this, but something is wrong on vodafones 3G data network at present. Not getting any traffic.

      This comes via the work system which has a lot of javascript restrictions…

      • poxywog 6.2.1

        well that would have to be as off topic as any comment I’ve seen result in a banning. Give yourself an uppercut and move to XT

      • lprent 6.2.2

        Back again….

        I’ll amend the post because I’m getting sick of that phrasing and the inevitable discussion that follows.

        • Eddie 6.2.2.1

          Lynn, I’d strongly prefer it if you didn’t change anything. I used the term “The Standard” deliberately. While it doesn’t have opinions, it can have editorial policies and guidelines such as respect for privacy. I discussed this with other authors yesterday when we were told Phillips’ identity.

          If the trolls can’t understand the difference between an editorial opinion and an editorial policy it’s their problem, not ours.

          • lprent 6.2.2.1.1

            Disagree. We cannot expect to get others to treat the site as being a coop of authors if we imply that there is editorial control.

            Each time this comes up it makes the comment stream diverge into that spurious argument (and I have to firefight it). Either we do have an editorial control and a explicit decision is made that way, OR we don’t – in which case don’t refer to it as in the collective sense.

            Until that decision is clearly made and the policy updated, then I will modify the posts to conform to the current policy.

            • Eddie 6.2.2.1.1.1

              Lynn, it’s a fine distinction but it’s an important one. Happy to continue the discussion over email rather than in public, but having a collective agreement to not breach someone’s preference for privacy is not the same as having a hive mind or central editorial control.

              Just because a few trolls can’t understand that fine distinction doesn’t mean we should change the way we do things.

              • lprent

                That wasn’t exactly my point either. Actually Andrew correctly brought up exactly my point. But this is better discussed on e-mail.

      • vto 6.2.3

        But lprent how on earth did you make that comment then? That is seriously unhinged logic and action going on …

        [lprent: I also have the work network. It has quite a strong firewall that hampers editing so I don’t usually use it. Who’d live in a system where the failure of one network would knock you off the net? ]

        • felix 6.2.3.1

          I’d like to register my confusion too, v, but unfortunately I’m not connected to the net either.

          • Rex Widerstrom 6.2.3.1.1

            That’s done it, felix. I’ll now forever imagine you, Tron-like, skating through my laptop’s CPU and leaving comments only I can see 😀

            Lynn: Don’t know if it was only me but I started out getting a 500 error earlier today (roughly 3pm your time), then a weird eefect whereby I’d click the bookmark, it’d say the site was loading in the status bar, but then nothing would happen… no 500, 404 or other error, just a blank tab. I assume the connection was being dropped entirely.

            • lprent 6.2.3.1.1.1

              Nope there is something odd happening at the server with very high CPU spiking outside of my virtual server. Each time it spikes, mySQL starts to crawl, the site backs up, and everyone starts getting errors or strange screens.

              I’ve dialled the site parameters back to ensure it stays operating. That includes disabling the search which is pretty intensive on the site.

              I’ve requested that support at the other end has a look at the problem. Hopefully I’ll get it resolved shortly.

              In the meantime it seems to be quieting down at the other side…

  7. Bored 7

    On a more serious note, Chauvel should have kept his lip buttoned, to the gutter media what he did was akin to a soldier lighting a fag and getting shot by the sniper. Bloody stupid.
    Chauvel might have been better to offer concerned assistance to the mother and helped out (or atleast offered) .mind you the jornos might then have labeled him a child molester. You can’t win but there is no need to become a target.

    • poxywog 7.1

      [Eddie: I’ve asked you to change your username already. This is clearly derivative of another commenter and is arguably racist. You won’t receive another warning.]

  8. randal 8

    get a life bored.
    Hats off to Charles Chauvel for asking for order.
    people like you bored are trying to squeeze the juice out public life without realising that the voters of new zealand ares standing up and cheering for Charles Chauvel for taking a stand.
    so go back to your tory masters and ask for fresh instructions.

    • Bored 8.1

      Erggg!!! That hurt Randall, have not been called a Tory before. Ouch, to the doctor for treatment.

      So for the record I once saw a similar scenario inflight, the business lady in front of the screaming child started kicking up an equal fuss, and bitched and moaned alarmingly. I offered her my seat, she refused, so I told her to shut up and stop whinging. Its what you do that counts, not what you complain about.

  9. Olwyn 9

    This whole story is just rubbish from beginning to end, and all it reveals is the by now built-in bias of our MSM. If a down-at-heel family had been on the same plane as a National MP, and the incident was identical, even to the point of involving a gay National MP, the story, if there was one, would have been about the problem of unruly children on planes, the danger to other passengers, what airline staff have to put up with, and so on.

  10. toad 10

    Note to ACC claimants: If ACC attempts to refer you to Fred Phillips for an assessment of whether you are still incapacitated by your injury, ask for another orthopaedic surgeon.

    • Georgie 10.1

      If he chopped off the wrong leg, would he get his Mrs to explain?

    • OTT don’t you think Toad? Out of all the comments made here, yours is the silliest. The Standard has actually (and I hate to say it) done a fair appraisal of this… apart from the political bias, as I know he’d write about any MP if it was done. So much that I have only written any feedback here and no other blog….

      But don’t be too worried, I don’t plan on polluting your blog much longer 🙂

  11. tc 11

    Ah let’s all wade ankle deep across the Herald’s journalistic talent pool…..she’s also a TVNZ hack as well so there’s no surprises the tabloid ethos is applied being ” don’t let truth get in the way of a good story/smear/whatever”

  12. richgraham 12

    Right on “Bored”. Mr Chauvel should have talked to the children whose behaviour he says offended him. That he didn’t sort of reinforces the “he’s gay so doesn’t know much about children” line. Children are people you know, amazing eh ? Instead of whingeing, instead of griping, instead of complaining, instead of rolling your eyes, instead of ‘suffering in silence”, TALK to the children.
    And that way, earn the Labour Pary some friends and so reduce the numbers of enemies.
    Score – Mr Chauvel – 0, Mr Philipps – 4.

    • gobsmacked 12.1

      Rich Graham, don’t be so stupid.

      ACT Blog latest: “Gay Labour MP approaches three year old on plane … He was a stranger, it was creepy says Mrs BoomtownPrat, a wholesome blonde heterosexual parent who loves her kids …”

      RichGraham, what do you think of the parents who said NOTHING to Chauvel on the plane, and then rushed home to blog about it? Clearly they were so annoyed they just … did and said nothing at the time. Funny, that.

      Chauvel was their target simply because he is Labour, and he exists. That is all.

      (If you doubt this, spend five minutes reading Fred Phillips’ views online. Not hard to find).

      • Clint Heine 12.1.1

        My co-blogger is neither racist nor homophobic. I *do* have a number of authors on my blog and some do have leanings that do verge on homophobia. I have spoken to those who do make these remarks on my blog. Funnily enough, the worse two I ever had was a Nat and a Labour supporter…both horrifically anti gay – and booted out after one post.

        It wasn’t an attack on Labour, but I know you won’t believe that. I know him well and he is a parent and a professional first – politics is a distant third. If it was any other MP he would have said the same.

        • Marty G 12.1.1.1

          You’re a homophobe who posts porn on your website. And a coward who removes it because you’re scared of the media seeing it.

          • Clint Heine 12.1.1.1.1

            Marty G… dude, where have I *ever* written anything homophobic? Seriously. I have never made comments about that, I’m as liberal as you can get. Get it right!

            I may be a lot of things, but that is well wrong.

            • Marty G 12.1.1.1.1.1

              you play host to homophobs, who you let write on your blog. I don’t see any substantive difference.

              and you’re a pornographer without the courage to keep your work on display when it comes to public attention. Bit like Slater.

              • I can’t regulate who comments on the blog. One of my contributors isn’t as liberal as me and I have spoken to him about this. That does not make me homophobic. That only shows you as ignorant.

                My work is on display. I just removed one link to it. It’s still there and easily found. Surprisingly, you seem upset that you can’t click on it quickly enough… which is a little creepy considering you apparently “object”to it.

              • Pascal's bookie

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    • lprent 12.2

      rg, you’re completely inaccurate. Mind you, you’re probably as accurate as this dipshit ‘journo’

      The Prat overheard a private conversation between Charles and the person next to him. Even his own account states that amongst all of the other probable inaccuracies that are in it.

      That is what the fuss is about. You appear to be trying to make a mountian out of a molehill. It says more about your level of stupidity than it does about anything else.

      • Bored 12.2.1

        RG may be innacurate with what happened (who really knows, its all conjecture, hearsay and journalistic license / beat up) but I think what he says about talking to children or other problem people is a good message. And pertinently Jonkey would not have missed the phot op!

    • toad 12.3

      Seems Mr Phillips is not always that polite himself:

      BoomTownPrat
      17 December 2007 at 12:38 am

      I think this is your problem

      “r0b, I think he was asking about whether the newly selected Labour candidates will support the Electoral Finance Bill, which struck me as kind of stupid considering it’ll be law in a matter of days.’

      unfortunately many new zealanders have good memories, you arrogant fuck.

      If he talks to his children the way he blogs, I’m not surprised they are badly behaved.

    • Bored 12.4

      RG We agree at last, much as I dont like admitting it I think Jonkey would have taken the photo shot opportunity and done just that….headlines “Key rescues distressed parents in flight”.

      I do however think Chauvel has been misrepresented and hung out to dry over nothing much. He needs to be more alert to the upside opportunities. As for the jornos its a crap cheap story.

  13. freedom 13

    on a side note to the above editorial comments, please refrain from using actual names as those of us who try to respect the T&C’s feel a bit four legs good two legs better

  14. The herald set a precedent with the Bailey Kurariki smear so look forward to more…

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10629000

    2 journos corroborating each others story can now make serious sexual assault claims against a named person, with no history or previous record for these types of charges, in the media, while remaining anonymous themselves and prior to the charges being investigated through the appropriate channels. As long as they cry victim and go for name supression their arse is covered !
    The herald now knows they can hide behind the veil of journalistic truth and chuck shit because even if the shit doesn’t stick, the smell lingers so now I’m wondering if that was the De Boni womans handiwork as well.

    Lucky for them Bailey’s just a fucked up kid but would they have done the same to a “person of greater worth” with a high priced lawyer and could they still get away with being anonymous journalists working for a frontline mainstream newspaper ?…i wouldn’t have thought so but now i’d say yeah, if it fits the political leanings of their overlords.

    Place bets on who’s next on the smear list ? I’d wager whoever’s running against rodders in epsom ?

  15. BLiP 15

    Not only has the New Zealand Fox News Herald printed the factless musings of its resident Mummy, it has also linked Chauvel’s alleged comments with Ivana Trump’s “air rage” incident last year.

    Tabloid heaven: homosexuals, children, crime, and celebrities all in the one story.

  16. Draco T Bastard 16

    The real fault lies with the Herald’s failure to fact check her or require some basic research and critical analysis from its writers. It’s a basic failure of editorial standards.

    The NZHerald isn’t a newspaper any more – it’s an opinion piece and the opinions are almost invariably wrong as they’re not based in reality.

  17. Hi Guys

    Sorry that what I thought was a pretty innocuous piece on CC was so offensive to y’all.

    Firstly, I did get the Clint Heine bit wrong, and that WAS sloppy. I agree. I sent through a correction earlier on but it hasn’t appeared yet.

    Secondly, I don’t know much about CC, I didn’t realise he had a child, true. But what I was meaning to convey was that he didn’t have a child on the flight and was therefore “child free”, ie, without child. To suggest it has anything to do with his sexual orientation is really daft. In fact, the most judgemental of parents, I have found, are other parents, regardless of what they get up to in the bedroom.

    Thirdly, yes I was a TVNZ “hack”. I was also a NZ “Herald “hack”, but unfortunately being on strike with your fellow work mates for almost three weeks doesn’t endear one to management much. Luckily for me, but obviously not for you guys, Herald Online had me back as a blogger many years later.

    Again, just want to reiterate I have nothing against Labour party members, gay people, Bailey Kurariki (well, hang on a sec…) or even people who call me a “dipshit”. Hey, you’re entitled to your opinion like the next person.

    regards
    Dita

    • MikeG 17.1

      “But what I was meaning to convey was that he didn’t have a child on the flight…”

      Tui billboard anyone?!!

    • Lew 17.2

      Dita, the article wasn’t nearly as offensive as the fact it was treated as front-page news. That’s not your fault, though.

      L

    • Try getting me to explain that I don’t have any children in New Zealand Dita. That was an interesting one to front up to when I woke up yesterday morning.

      Eddie – I take my hat off (honestly) for not revealing the name until it was public. Thank you.

      What bugs me, is that my blog has been deemed as homophobic and racist. I can get the homophobic stuff, as a few readers are blatantly nasty gay-haters – but the racist bit is baffling. The MSM have been in my opinion, a disgrace. This is not journalism. Man got offended by a comment made by an MP on a flight, he got home and vented it out on my blog, end of story.

  18. Lindsey 18

    So hard to do real journalism, so easy to interview your word processor and jump on the populist bandwagon with no thought as to the origons of the beat up “story” from the ACToid blogger.
    Professional – not!

  19. Richard 19

    It takes a brave (or foolish) soul to read the feedback comments on a Herald blog, but I did in this case. And, surprise surprise, most were sympathetic to Chauvel’s actions as the parents did nothing to calm the kids, therefore showed contempt for their fellow passengers. Chauvel’s comments were obviously aimed at the parents, not the kids.
    Most comments were of the line that kids will be kids, and if the parents are doing all they can, then so be it, they sympathise with the parents and can put up with it. But if the parents don’t give a shit that their darling toerags are making life hell for the other passengers, then they sympathise with the actions of Chauvel.

  20. SPC 20

    It’s up to the Herald to check the facts in their blogs (off line columns) – especially if they want to be taken seriously as a media standing by the quality of their product – being a critic of blogs for lacking journalism standards.

    Being a media, means being accountable for one’s own brand.

    People write blogs to share commentary, sometimes they do so to inform and that’s where their research would come in.

    People who blog and those who comment on blogs often are influenced by media into accepting a false understanding of a situation – and I doubt many will deny that is true of them – particularly when doing a commentary of recent event.

    Lew had the rights of this earlier, the Herald made the blog into a news story without checking the facts and the error is on their part – probably because it was mislead by other media which simply broadcast a women so out of touch with the real world she presumes gay people don’t have children. The wider dog whistle is about Labour, having MP’s without children, not understanding parents – WFF must really hurt when ACT wants the money to give the few and not the many an even larger tax cut.

  21. Bob 21

    Most of my fellow medicos regard orthopods as being, ahem, ‘intellectually challenged’ – “strong as oxen and twice as clever” as the old saw goes. Go easy on him, his reasoning capacity is severely limited, as evidenced by the content of his blog posts. Boomtown seems to be superfluous.

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    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon Megan Woods, Minister of Research, Science and Innovation Hon Dr David Clark, Minister of Health Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods,  and Health Minister David Clark today announced a COVID-19 vaccine strategy, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Budget 2020: Five things to know
    Budget 2020 is about rebuilding together, supporting jobs, getting business moving and the books back into the black. It’s an integral part of our COVID-19 economic response, and our plan to grow our economy and get New Zealand moving again. Here’s a quick look at the five top things you ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party unveils its candidate list for the 2020 election
    The Green Party is pleased to reveal its candidate list for the upcoming election. With a mix of familiar faces and fresh new talent, this exceptional group of candidates are ready to lead the Greens back into Government. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Coalition Government approves essential upgrades on Ōhakea Air Base
    The Coalition Government has approved $206 million in essential upgrades at Ōhakea Air Base.  Defence Minister Ron Mark said the money would be spent on improving old infrastructure. He said safety issues would be addressed, as well as upgrades to taxiways, accommodation and fresh, storm and waste water systems. "This ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Attributable to the Rt Hon Winston Peters
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First “I am not persisting with this case just for myself, but for all people who have had their privacy breached. Privacy of information is a cornerstone of our country’s democracy. Without it our society truly faces a bleak future. We now ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Forestry Minister Shane Jones moves to protect sawmills
    Forestry Minister Shane Jones has introduced a Bill to Parliament that he says will "force more transparency, integrity and respect" for the domestic wood-processing sector through the registration of log traders and practice standards. The Forests (Regulation of Log Traders and Forestry Advisers) Amendment Bill had its first reading in ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Green MP joins international call to cancel developing countries’ debt
    Green MP Golriz Ghahraman is joining over 300 lawmakers from around the world in calling on the big banks and the IMF to forgive the debt of developing countries, in the wake of the COVID crisis. ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Great Walks bookings open next week
    This summer presents a great opportunity for New Zealanders to get out into nature with bookings on Great Walks for 2020/21 set to open next week, says Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage.  Bookings for the Great Walks will open between 9 and 11 June, excluding Milford and Routeburn tracks which ...
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    2 hours ago
  • Ministerial Diary April 2020
    ...
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    15 hours ago
  • Govt extends support schemes for businesses
    Extra 40,000 businesses to be eligible for wage subsidy extension Small business cashflow support application period extended The Government is today announcing further support for businesses that continue to be affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic, as the broader economy becomes one of the most open in the world following ...
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    17 hours ago
  • Five new Super Hercules to join Air Force fleet
    The Coalition Government has confirmed five Lockheed Martin C-130J-30 Super Hercules transport aircraft will be purchased to replace the existing fleet, Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today.  “Last year, Cabinet selected these aircraft as the preferred option to replace the current Hercules fleet. Procurement of the Super Hercules has been ...
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    17 hours ago
  • Wairarapa Moana seeks international recognition as vital wetland
    The Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage is celebrating World Environment Day with an announcement of a major step towards Wairarapa Moana being recognised as an internationally significant wetland. “Wairarapa Moana is an ecosystem of 10,000 hectares of wetland and open water that provides a home for indigenous fish, birds and ...
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    20 hours ago
  • New public housing sets standard for future
    New public housing that will save tenants money in energy bills, and provide warmer, healthier and more comfortable homes, is setting the standard for the Government’s future public housing programme, Housing Minister Megan Woods said. Dr Woods opened the new Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities complex, which has a ...
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    20 hours ago
  • First Police wing to complete training post lockdown
    A new-look Police graduation ceremony to take account of COVID19 health rules has marked the completion of training for 57 new constables. Police Minister Stuart Nash attended this afternoon's ceremony, where officers of Recruit Wing 337 were formally sworn in at the Royal New Zealand Police College without the normal support of ...
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    2 days ago
  • Government makes further inroads on predatory lenders
    Mobile traders and truck shops must adhere to responsible lending requirements Interest rate cap on high-cost loans Lenders prohibited from offering further credit to an applicant who has taken two high-cost loans in the past 90 days The Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Kris Faafoi, has signalled an end ...
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    2 days ago
  • New survey shows wage subsidy a “lifeline” for businesses, saved jobs
    94% of firms say wage subsidy had positive impact on cashflow 62% of firms say support helped to manage non-wage costs like rent A survey of business that have received the Government’s wage subsidy show it has played a significant role in saving jobs, and freed up cash flow to ...
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    2 days ago
  • Tax changes support economic recovery
    New legislation introduced to Parliament today will support growth and assist businesses on the road to economic recovery, said Revenue Minister Stuart Nash. “The Taxation (Annual Rates for 2020-21, Feasibility Expenditure, and Remedial Matters) Bill proposes that businesses can get tax deductions for ‘feasibility expenditure’ on new investments,” said Mr ...
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    2 days ago
  • $4.6 million financial relief for professional sports
    Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson has welcomed the first release of funds from the $265 million Sport Recovery Package announced as part of Budget 2020. Sport NZ has announced that $4.6 million in funding will go to the Wellington Phoenix, NZ Warriors, Super Rugby teams and the ANZ Premiership ...
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    2 days ago
  • Critical support for strategic tourism assets
    An iconic New Zealand tourism attraction and the country’s 31 Regional Tourism Organisations are the first recipients of support from the $400 million Tourism Sector Recovery Plan, to help position the sector for recovery from COVID-19, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. The plan includes a Strategic Tourism Assets Protection ...
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    2 days ago
  • Supporting Kiwi businesses to resolve commercial rent disputes
    The Government will legislate to ensure businesses that suffered as a result of the COVID-19 response will get help to resolve disputes over commercial rent issues, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. A temporary amendment to the Property Law Act will insert a clause in commercial leases requiring a fair ...
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    2 days ago
  • Prompt payments to SMEs even more urgent
    The Minister for Small Business says new data from Xero highlights the urgency of prompt payment practices to small and medium enterprises as we move into economic recovery. Last month Government ministers wrote to significant private enterprises and the banking industry to request they join efforts by government agencies to ...
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    2 days ago
  • Free period products in schools to combat poverty
    Young people in Waikato will be the first to have free access to period products in schools in another step to support children and young people in poverty,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.  During term 3, the Ministry of Education will begin providing free period products to schools following the ...
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    3 days ago
  • Response to charges in New Plymouth
    The Minister of Police Stuart Nash has issued the following statement in response to charges filed against three Police officers this morning in the New Plymouth District Court. “Any incident involving a loss of life in Police custody is taken very seriously. The charges today reflect the gravity of the ...
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    3 days ago
  • Govt boosts innovation, R&D for economic rebuild
    $196 million for Crown Research Institutes $150 million for R&D loan scheme $33 million for Māori research and development opportunities $12 million for the Nationally Significant Collections and Databases $10 million to help maintain in-house capability at Callaghan Innovation New Zealand’s entrepreneurs, innovators and crown researchers will benefit from a ...
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    3 days ago
  • Temporary changes to NCEA and University Entrance this year
    Further temporary changes to NCEA and University Entrance (UE) will support senior secondary school students whose teaching and learning have been disrupted by COVID-19. “The wellbeing of students and teachers is a priority. As we are all aware, COVID-19 has created massive disruption to the school system, and the Government ...
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    3 days ago
  • Extended terms for the directors of the Racing Industry Transition Agency
    Minister for Racing Winston Peters today announced that the terms for the directors of the Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) have been extended to 30 June 2021. Due to the COVID-19 crisis the transition period has been extended to ensure that the Racing Industry Bill can complete its progress through ...
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    3 days ago
  • Healthy Homes Standards statement of compliance deadline extended
    The deadline for landlords to include detailed information in their tenancy agreements about how their property meets the Healthy Homes Standards, so tenants can see the home they are renting is compliant, has been extended from 1 July 2020 to 1 December 2020.  The Healthy Homes Standards became law on 1 July 2019. The Standards are ...
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    4 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission board appointments announced
    Justice Minister Andrew Little today announced details of further appointments to the Criminal Cases Review Commission. “I am pleased to announce Paula Rose QSO OStJ as Deputy Chief Commissioner for a term of five years commencing on 15 June 2020,” said Andrew Little. “I am also pleased to announce the ...
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    4 days ago
  • Release of initial list of supported training to aid COVID-19 recovery
    The Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund (TTAF) will pay costs of learners of all ages to undertake vocational education and training The fund will target support for areas of study and training that will give learners better employment prospects as New Zealand recovers from COVID-19 Apprentices working in all industries ...
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    4 days ago
  • Emission trading reforms another step to meeting climate targets
    The Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will finally start to cut New Zealand’s greenhouse gas pollution as it was originally intended to, because of changes announced today by the Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw. The changes include a limit on the total emissions allowed within the ETS, rules to ensure ...
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    4 days ago
  • Queen’s Birthday Honours highlights Pacific leadership capability in Aotearoa
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says the Queen’s Birthday 2020 Honours List provides an abundance of examples that Pacific people’s leadership capability is unquestionable in Aotearoa. “The work and the individuals we acknowledge this year highlights the kind of visionary examples and dedicated community leadership that we need ...
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    5 days ago
  • Govt backing horticulture to succeed
    The Government is backing a new $27 million project aimed at boosting sustainable horticulture production and New Zealand’s COVID-19 recovery efforts, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our economy. During and ...
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    5 days ago
  • Applications open for forestry scholarships
    Applications have opened for 2021 Ngā Karahipi Uru Rākau – Forestry Scholarships, which will support more Māori and women to pursue careers in forestry science, says Forestry Minister Shane Jones. “I’m delighted Te Uru Rākau is offering Ngā Karahipi Uru Rākau – Forestry Scholarships for the third year running. These ...
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    5 days ago
  • Excellent service to nature recognised
    The Queen’s Birthday 2020 Honours List once again highlights the dedication by many to looking after our native plants and wildlife, including incredible work to restore the populations of critically endangered birds says Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. Anne Richardson of Hororata has been made an Officer of the New ...
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    5 days ago
  • Wetlands and waterways gain from 1BT funding
    The Government will invest $10 million from the One Billion Trees Fund for large-scale planting to provide jobs in communities and improve the environment, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Forestry Minister Shane Jones have announced. New, more flexible funding criteria for applications will help up to 10 catchment groups plant ...
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    6 days ago
  • New fund for women now open
    Organisations that support women are invited to apply to a new $1,000,000 fund as part of the Government’s COVID-19 response. “We know women, and organisations that support women, have been affected by COVID-19. This new money will ensure funding for groups that support women and women’s rights,” said Minister for ...
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    6 days ago
  • Govt supports King Country farmers to lift freshwater quality
    Healthier waterways are front and centre in a new project involving more than 300 King Country sheep, beef and dairy farmers. The Government is investing $844,000 in King Country River Care, a group that helps farmers to lift freshwater quality and farming practice, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. “Yesterday ...
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    1 week ago
  • Libraries to help with jobs and community recovery
    A major funding package for libraries will allow them to play a far greater role in supporting their communities and people seeking jobs as part of the economic recovery from COVID-19. “Budget 2020 contains over $60 million of funding to protect library services and to protect jobs,” says Internal Affairs ...
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    1 week ago
  • Support for arts and music sector recovery
    A jobseekers programme for the creative sector and four new funds have been set up by the Government to help our arts and music industry recover from the blow of COVID-19. Thousands of jobs will be supported through today’s $175 million package in a crucial economic boost to support the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Legislative changes to support the wellbeing of veterans and their families
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has welcomed the First Reading of a Bill that will make legislative changes to further improve the veterans’ support system.  The Veterans’ Support Amendment Bill No 2, which will amend the Veterans’ Support Act 2014, passed First Reading today. The bill addresses a number of ...
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    1 week ago
  • Christ Church Cathedral – Order in Council
    Views sought on Order in Council to help fast track the reinstatement of the Christ Church Cathedral  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Hon Poto Williams, will be seeking public written comment, following Cabinet approving the drafting of an Order in Council aimed at fast-tracking the reinstatement of the ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealanders’ human rights better protected in new Bill
    The law setting out New Zealanders’ basic civil and human rights is today one step towards being strengthened following the first reading of a Bill that requires Parliament to take action if a court says a statute undermines those rights. At present, a senior court can issue a ‘declaration of ...
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    1 week ago
  • Deep concern at Hong Kong national security legislation
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today reiterated the deep concern of the New Zealand Government following confirmation by China’s National People’s Congress of national security legislation relating to Hong Kong. “New Zealand shares the international community’s significant and long-standing stake in Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability,” Mr Peters said. “New Zealand ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government invests in New Zealand’s cultural recovery
    Thousands of artists and creatives at hundreds of cultural and heritage organisations have been given much-needed support to recover from the impact of COVID-19, Prime Minister and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Jacinda Ardern announced today. “The cultural sector was amongst the worst hit by the global pandemic,” Jacinda ...
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    1 week ago
  • Better protection for New Zealand assets during COVID-19 crisis
    Key New Zealand assets will be better protected from being sold to overseas owners in a way contrary to the national interest, with the passage of the Overseas Investment (Urgent Measures) Bill. The Bill, which passed its third reading in Parliament today, also cuts unnecessary red tape to help attract ...
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    1 week ago
  • Cleaning up our rivers and lakes
    Setting higher health standards at swimming spots Requiring urban waterways to be cleaned up and new protections for urban streams Putting controls on higher-risk farm practices such as winter grazing and feed lots Setting stricter controls on nitrogen pollution and new bottom lines on other measures of waterway health Ensuring ...
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    1 week ago
  • Record year for diversity on Govt boards
    The Government is on the verge of reaching its target of state sector boards and committees made up of at least 50 percent women, says Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter and Minister for Ethnic Communities Jenny Salesa. For the first time, the Government stocktake measures the number of Māori, ...
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    1 week ago