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Hickey on fighting the currency war

Written By: - Date published: 10:30 am, October 7th, 2010 - 15 comments
Categories: Economy - Tags: ,

Bernard Hickey continues his politico-economic rebirth. Yesterday, he wrote on how New Zealand can protect itself from dangerous international capital flows that undermine our economy and our ability to choose our own path. We shouldn’t leave the guidance of our economy to the invisible hand of blind, fallible, and valueless markets.

the efficient market hypothesis has been proved wrong. We can’t trust our companies, our banks and, ultimately, ourselves anymore.

The point is that individual ‘rational’ actions of corporations and individuals can sum up to negative outcomes that ultimately come back to hurt everyone. The tragedy of the commons isn’t the only example of market failure; we’re in the middle of simultaneous and inter-linked financial, sovereign debt, resource, and climate change crises because of markets’ failure to react to the long-term problems they’re causing. Yet we have signed over the direction of our economy and with it our society to markets that we know to be short-termist and prone to mal-investment (like bubbles).

We now face international currency wars, mass money printing and the eventual restructuring of the global currency landscape, possibly with a changing of the reserve currency guard from the US dollar to something else.

The Institute of International Finance, which represents 420 financial institutions in 70 countries this week called for a new ‘Plaza Accord’ or Bretton Woods Agreement to restructure the global currency system.

It’s clear something failed and something will change in global currency system, whether we like it or ignore it or not.

We’re going to have the largest revamp of the international capitalist system since Bretton Woods at the end of World War 2 (which set up institutions like the IMF and World Bank). Brazil says it’s already in a ‘currency war’ trying to keep its exchange rate down and others are going to join in as they try to keep their exchange rates down. Why? Because it makes exports more competitive and decreases imports, which supports domestic growth. This is known as a ‘beggar thy neighbour’ strategy because countries are trying to improve their trade balances at their trading partners’ cost. It’s a race to the bottom, as countries try to undercut each other in a vicious and unsustainable cycle.

Countries will engage in ‘quantitative easing’ (printing money) to lower their exchange rates. This is inflationary, of course, which has the side benefit of reducing the real value of previously issued government debt – governments will ‘inflate away’ their debt but the cost doesn’t disappear, it is worn by savers and results in less faith in sovereign debt, which means higher borrowing costs in the future.

How do we cope in this world, which looks more like the pre-20th century international system then what we’ve come to think of as normal and natural in the last 60 years?

If the New Zealand dollar surges under the weight of capital inflows from carry-trading, yield-hunting investors and those hunting for safety away from the money printing, then the Reserve Bank needs to be ready to sell New Zealand dollars. It worked before in 2007 and made the taxpayer a tidy profit. It can work again…

…The Reserve Bank then decided to set the banks a target for how much of their funding should come from long term and stable sources, rather than the shorter term and unstable ‘hot’ CP markets.

This target is the Core Funding Ratio, which says banks must have 75 per cent of their funding from longer term bond and local term deposit markets by midway through 2012. The interim limit at the moment is 65 per cent

This has forced the banks to reduce their reliance on ‘hot’ money and hunt harder for funding from local term deposits, pushing these rates up sharply relative to the Official Cash Rate.

This simultaneously has encouraged more local savings and less foreign borrowing. It essentially forces New Zealanders to save locally to repay foreign debt through the banking system.

So what’s wrong with lifting the Core Funding Ratio to 90 per cent or even higher? It would make our system safer and make our economy less vulnerable to another freeze on international capital markets.

During the end of the boom, The Reserve Bank couldn’t get the housing market and inflation under control because of the huge inflows of ‘hot money’ that were, paradoxically, attracted by the high interest rate the Reserve Bank set. Increasing the long-term capital ratio is a far better way to control inflation without being at the mercy of foreign speculators.

Next, we need to keep our real assets ours, as they become increasingly sought after in a resource-poor world:

Right now nations with large capital surpluses and those looking to diversify out of US dollars are looking for hard, food-producing and commodity-producing assets in stable, easy countries such as New Zealand and Australia.

The Australians have repeatedly blocked foreign attempts to buy strategically large chunks of gas and iron ore. We should do the same, if only to prevent the influx of foreign capital looking to exit the devaluing currencies from boosting our currency and destroying our export sector.

We should have a proper debate about it. This week Harvard University’s pension fund bought the largest dairy farm in central Otago with nary a squeak of debate, unlike the case of the possible sale of Crafar Farms to the Chinese. Let’s do this properly….

One of the problems both old and young New Zealand businesses face is a lack of local capital to fund either growth overseas or ownership succession at home.

All too often the easy option has been to sell out to a foreign company. In many cases this has either led to a steady drain of profits and dividends offshore or the loss of technology and expertise.

One solution is to require New Zealand fund managers, particularly those receiving a government subsidy of sorts through Kiwisaver or controlled by the government in the form of the NZ Super Fund, to invest a certain portion of their funds here.

What we need is a New Zealand Future Fund, comprising money from the Cullen Fund and other government funds, Kiwisaver, and other private savings, with a mandate to buy and hold assets of strategic importance to New Zealand, both here and abroad.

If New Zealand is going to be able to afford to support an ageing population and keep its higher skilled youth paying taxes in this country then we need plenty of interesting and highly paid jobs.

The NZ Institute’s excellent ‘A Goal is not a strategy‘ report highlights how New Zealand needs to prioritise development of high skilled, high value export sectors such as Information, Communications, Technology and Niche Manufacturing rather than low skilled and low value jobs in local services, commodity exports and low value tourism.

We need more software engineers and less night porters.

The neoliberal mantra has always been that the government shouldn’t pick winners. Well, the market has proven woeful at doing it. When you look at it, governments actually have a fantastic record in infrastructure investment and fostering innovation. Why shouldn’t we, through the democratic process, choose the path we want for the economy, the same way we do for the health or education systems? It’s time we woke up to the power of government. Total Crown spending equates to nearly 50% of GDP. In conjunction with tax and labour policies, the aggregate demand of the government has the potential to direct the economy in the right direction, if politicians are willing wield the weapon.

I should point out that I don’t think Hickey has become a Leftie. I think he’s just woken up the the economic realities that we are facing and concluded that leaving the steering of the little boat called New Zealand through these stormy seas to an invisible and incompetent hand is madness.

15 comments on “Hickey on fighting the currency war”

  1. prism 1

    ” We shouldn’t leave the guidance of our economy to the invisible hand of blind, fallible, and valueless markets.” Not forgetting predatory. Is it wasps that will puncture grapes, suck out the juice and leave the depleted fruit hanging looking good from a dstance? That will be us, may be is already proceeding. Or perhaps the analogy is Nauru, mined for its riches of fertiliser and now facing stones all around and stoney-eyed financiers.

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    The tragedy of the commons isn’t the only example of market failure;

    Actually, The Tragedy of the Commons is a perfect example of the irratinality of the free-market. Add rules and that tragedy won’t happen (if they’re followed and enforced). The neo-liberal paradigm is to remove the rules which, of course, ensures that the tragedy will happen. The other point is that the psychopaths will try to avoid the rules or, if in a position of power, will write the rules in such a way so that they don’t work or benefits them in some way, i.e. Nationals’ ETS, the repealing of the Glass-Steagal Act

    …and climate change crises because of markets’ failure to react to the long-term problems they’re causing.

    “The market” will use up resources as fast as possible with no thought about tomorrow. This is partly due to its propensity to use everything available now and partly due to the profit motive where the sole purpose is to accumulate as much money as possible and the money is accumulated by using up resources.

    The neoliberal mantra has always been that the government shouldn’t pick winners.

    Of course that’s what they say – that way they can game the system. If the government actually did what was best for society then the capitalists would lose the wealth that they’ve accumulated as well as the control that they have. And we would, of course, have a viable economy that actually helps the people.

    It’s time to drop the neo-liberal paradigm. It doesn’t work, it never has worked and never will work. We also have to become self-sufficient and so does every other country in the world.

    • nzfp 2.1

      He Draco

      Add rules and that tragedy won’t happen

      Change/add the rules and you change the game – which means we can change the game to make “winning” socially, environmentally and economically beneficially to all of us (including the biosphere we live in).

      Capcha: ACHIEVED!

    • djp 2.2

      >>The tragedy of the commons isn’t the only example of market failure;

      This is a total clanger, the tragedy of the commons can only happen when there is no market. Note the word “commons”, how can there be a market when there is no private ownership.

      It seems to me that Marty uses this (misplaced) point to argue for govt intervention and then spends the rest of the article showing the stupid govt interventions (I agree they are stupid btw) going on around the world today (mercantilism, printing money etc).

      Come on guys (as Jane Galt said):
      1) People are often stupid
      2) Bureaucrats are the same stupid people, with bad incentives.

      • Bright Red 2.2.1

        the problem of the tragedy of the commons is that individuals making rational decisions at an individual level will cause a problem at a colelctive level that comes back to hurt them all.

        The individual cowherd has an incentive to have as many cows as possible on the unregulated field. They overstock it and the cows starve.

        That’s a problem of individuals in a market acting for themselves with no colletive authority to make sure they don’t screw up.

        Marty’s point is correct.

        • djp 2.2.1.1

          I think you are mixed up Bright Red.

          Either the cowherd owns the property (in which case he will take care of it), or the property is designated “commons” (probably by some govt bureaucrat) and it will fall foul of the “tradgedy of the commons”.

          Compare for example the state of your home toilet with a public one.

          • Bright Red 2.2.1.1.1

            the private property system is one way to deal with the particular situation in the tragedy of the commons. What it is important to realise is that the private property system is a form of collective governance. Private property rights exist in as much as they are recognised and enforced by a governing body.

            It is only by organising collectively (perhaps to create private property rights, perhaps by creating collective rules/laws) that the tragedy of the commons, where each looks after himself in an unregulated, free-for-all environment is avoided.

          • Colonial Viper 2.2.1.1.2

            In fact, when it comes to things like water coming down the river, or air quality, commercial interests have no problem dumping into or exploiting the resource as much as they are able to. Circumventing or removing regs as far as possible is an example of this behaviour.

            Compare for example the state of your home toilet with a public one.

            The widespread mindset of property oriented individualism – I don’t own it so why should I be careful with it, keep my litter off the beach etc.

          • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1.1.3

            Compare for example the state of your home toilet with a public one.

            And that wouldn’t be an example either if the people paid enough in rates to ensure that the toilets were properly maintained. It would also help if the children were taught just where the resources were coming from for that toilet and it’s maintenance that way they may just stop destroying them.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.2.2

        The “commons” is a set area were anyone can use it within a set of rules. It’s not privatisation that stops the tragedy as argued by the economists but the rules which always accompanies it. Privatisation actually ensures the tragedy as it also removes the rules and the oversight by the community. This is seen in our farms where the rules governing the farms are close to non-existent (voluntary regulation) and there’s no real oversight anyway. The result is the massive degradation of our natural ecology, pollution of our rivers and usurpation of our water to profit the individual farmers.

        And Jane Galt was obviously an idiot to come up with such simplistic nonsense.

    • jimmy 2.3

      It makes me laugh how some of the commenters on Hickeys page still think the govt shouldnt be picking winners when not picking winners is just the same as picking winners (i.e. not doing anything is just the same as doing something, someone wins/looses regardless).

    • Jeremy Harris 2.4

      The neo-liberal paradigm is to remove the rules which, of course, ensures that the tragedy will happen.

      Actually the neo-liberal paradigm is to remove the commons…

  3. nzfp 3

    Great post Marty,
    I like this comment particulary:

    Right now nations with large capital surpluses and those looking to diversify out of US dollars are looking for hard, food-producing and commodity-producing assets in stable, easy countries such as New Zealand and Australia.

    American Economist and Chief Economic Policy Advisor for the Kucinich for President 2008 campaign – Professor Michael Hudson made similar statements and gave warnings about Australia and Malaysia in a speech he gave in Australia in late 2009

    “Michael Hudson — Historical & International Perspective of the Global Economic Collapse”
    Source: http://reformthemoney.blogspot.com/2010/03/michael-hudson-historical-international.html

    At 1hr 10mins 25 seconds into the speech, Hudson comments on alternatives to the US dollar as an international medium of exchange when he describes a meeting with former Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Tun Mahatir bin Mohamed. Mahatir stated that it was not a good idea for Malaysia to build up international reserves because:

    … having international reserves is like having an oil well for a predatory army, in this case George Soros and the speculators. A country with international reserves, is just going to be a sitting duck for speculators to raid the currency and empty out the reserves into their own pockets by corporate trading and derivatives trading …

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    Thanks for picking up on this and writing such thorough commentary Marty.

    Now, lets start thinking about what a world would look like which is aimed at helping people and communities thrive. One which doesn’t rely on unsustainable, ever increasing mounds of interest bearing debt created money and psychologically destructive consumerism/individualism.

  5. nzfp 5

    Oh Marty,
    You are soo insightful. You state:

    “How do we cope in this world, which looks more like the pre-20th century international system then what we’ve come to think of as normal and natural in the last 60 years?”

    That is because we are living in the same economy as pre-20th century – before the economic reforms of the social democrats as advocated by the classical economists such as John Stuart Mills, Adam Smith, David Ricardo and of course Henry George.

    All of these economists recommended a tax system that placed the burden of tax squarely on land and economic rent and removed the burden from labour. The result was that land and labour costs decreased because industry didn’t need to include labour tax (income tax) into the costs of production, the economy had more money flowing as labour got to keep the majority – if not all of the fruits of it’s labour. The Government could fund itself from the tax on resource and land rents.

    This was the basis of classical liberalism, liberating labour and industry.

    With the advent of neo-liberalism (anti-liberalism) we got the complete reverse which puts us back in the same place we were before the social democratic economic reforms of the classical economists.

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    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released their annual report today, and I've been busy reading through it. In amongst the usual review of what they've been doing all year, there's a few interesting bits. For example, a discussion on "agency retention and disposal of information", which points out that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why municipal waste-to-energy incineration is not the answer to NZ’s plastic waste crisis
    Trisia Farrelly, Massey University New Zealand is ranked the third-most-wasteful country in the OECD. New Zealanders produce five times the global daily average of waste per person – and they are getting more wasteful, producing 35% more than a decade ago. These statistics are likely to get worse following China’s ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    2 weeks ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago

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

  • PGF approves wind turbines funding for Stewart Island
    Stewart Island/Rakiura has been granted $3.16 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to help build two wind turbines, putting the island on a path to sustainable electricity generation, Environment Minister David Parker announced today. “Stewart Island is our third largest island, after the North and South Islands, and it is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • NZ economy in good shape amid global headwinds
    A major new report on the global economy shows New Zealand is in good shape amid increased global headwinds. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has just released its latest Economic Outlook. It shows the OECD group of economies is forecast to grow between 1.6% and 1.7% across ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Milestone of 1800 new Police officers
    The Coalition commitment to add 1800 new Police officers to frontline policing has been achieved with the graduation of 59 constables from the Royal New Zealand Police College today. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters say today’s graduation means 1825 new Police have been deployed all ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • PM appoints business leaders to APEC Business Advisory Council
    Ensuring APEC work gets input from diverse New Zealand business and trade interests is behind three new appointments to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. Rachel Taulelei, Malcolm Johns and Toni Moyes have been appointed to represent New Zealand on the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • PM speech notes for Trans-Tasman Business Circle
    Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tatou katoa. Thank you for having me to speak today. To start, I’d like to acknowledge Sharron Lloyd, the General Manager of the Trans–Tasman Business Circle, the partners for this event Westpac’s  David McLean, and Derek McCormack from  AUT, and, of course ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Otago Regional Council given deadline for freshwater management plan
    A four-month investigation by former Environment Court judge Professor Peter Skelton found that Otago’s freshwater planning system is not fit for purpose to manage the region’s rivers, lakes and aquifers and that the Council has inadequate rules for the taking of water and the discharge of nutrients.   “Existing planning provisions ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • LGNZ Rural and Provincial Sector Speech
      Introduction Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This is the first opportunity I’ve had to speak to an LGNZ meeting since the local elections, and I’m delighted to see the fresh faces of newly elected mayors. To returning mayors here today, as well as chief ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Japan
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters departs New Zealand today to attend the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Nagoya at the invitation of this year’s G20 President, Japan. “This is the first time New Zealand will attend a G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and we are deeply honoured that it is at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Ambassador to the European Union announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of diplomat Carl Reaich as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to the European Union. “The Ambassador to the EU is one of the most important and senior roles in New Zealand’s foreign service, advocating for New Zealand’s interests with the EU institutions,” Mr ...
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    2 days ago
  • New inventions boost Predator Free 2050 effort
        Innovation and technology are behind five new tools to give nature a helping hand by helping eliminate predators, funded through the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage and Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “The new tools will be trialled in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • APEC 2021 Bill passes first reading
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation 2021 (APEC 2021) Bill in Parliament today. The temporary bill supports New Zealand’s security preparations for hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in 2021. “APEC is the leading economic and trade forum ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Making progress for our kids
    The Government is making progress on improving the wellbeing of the one million New Zealanders under the age of 18,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on World Children’s Day. The Government has today recommitted to the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history – the United Nation’s Convention on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Māori women in business contribute to our economy, whānau and communities
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter has released a new report celebrating the contribution of Māori women in business across Aotearoa New Zealand. “Māori women are leaders in our communities, they employ many people and support our economy and our communities,” Julie Anne Genter said. The report, Ngā wāhine kaipakihi: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Two schools on the way for Omokoroa
    Four parcels of land have been bought in Omokoroa, in the Western Bay of Plenty District, for an education facility that will accommodate both a primary and secondary school on a campus-like facility, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Two parcels were acquired from private land owners and two were ...
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    3 days ago
  • Families Package helps over 1 million New Zealanders in first year
    1 million New Zealanders warmed by the Winter Energy Payment 36,000 families bank the Best Start Payment in first year 6,000 more families received the Family Tax Credit, 220,600 in total   They receive an increase too – from an average of $117 to $157 a week for Inland Revenue clients, ...
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    3 days ago
  • Clamp down on wheel clamping passes third reading
    New rules to clamp down on overzealous wheel clamping and extortionate fees charged in order to release a vehicle have passed their final stage in Parliament today. The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill has now passed its third reading. “These changes mean $100 will be the maximum wheel clamping ...
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    3 days ago
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill passes first hurdle
    An independent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission is a step closer after it unanimously passed its first vote in Parliament today.  The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill lays the groundwork for establishing the Commission as a fully independent crown entity – delivering on a key recommendation of He Ara ...
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    3 days ago
  • Boosting border security with electronic travel authority – now over 500,000 issued
    We’ve improved border security with the NZeTA, New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority, which helps us to screen travellers for border and immigration risks off-shore before they travel to New Zealand. It was launched in August and became mandatory on 1 October 2019. More than 500,000 NZeTAs have been issued since ...
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    4 days ago
  • Plan of action to protect seabirds
    A proposed national plan of action to reduce the number of seabirds caught in fisheries is being circulated for public feedback. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage say New Zealand is a global centre of seabird diversity with about 145 species in our waters. It has more ...
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    4 days ago
  • National interest test added to overseas investment rules
    The Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. Associate Finance Minister David Parker said under current Overseas Investment Act rules, assets such as ports and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
    The Government is building special housing to accommodate one of Aotearoa’s greatest taonga- our kaumātua, says the Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Speaking at a National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference in Rotorua today, the Minister reinforced the importance kaumātua play in maintaining and passing on mātauranga Māori, knowledge, ...
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    4 days ago
  • Forestry helps prisoners into jobs
    Eleven men from a pilot forestry training programme for prisoners in Northland now have full time jobs or job offers upon release, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis and Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. The ‘release to work’ programme was a collaboration between Te Uru Rākau and the Department of Corrections, ...
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    4 days ago
  • Reform of public service a step closer
    Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins today introduced into Parliament a Bill that will make it easier for the public service to tackle the biggest challenges facing Governments. The Bill represents the most significant change in the public service in 30 years. The State Sector Act 1988 will be repealed ...
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    4 days ago
  • Donations scheme to relieve pressure on families
    The families of more than 416,000 students will be better off next year as their schools have signed up to the Government’s donations scheme, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. The scheme will see almost $62.5 million in additional Government funding go to schools nationwide next year. “I’m really pleased ...
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    5 days ago
  • Further support for Samoan measles outbreak
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced further support as the Government of Samoa responds to a serious measles outbreak. “New Zealand will deploy a further 18 vaccination nurses, bringing the total to 30 working in Samoa over the next four weeks,” Mr Peters said. “A New Zealand Medical Assistance ...
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    5 days ago
  • Speech to the Child Poverty Action Group 2019 Summit
      Fa’atalofa atu, malo e lelei, Kia ora koutou katoa Thank you to the Child Poverty Action Group for asking me to be here today to provide an update on some of the things that have been happening across my the social development portfolio.  Can I firstly acknowledge the vast ...
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    5 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Annual Conference
    ***Please check against delivery*** Good morning everyone. It is a pleasure to be with you this morning to open this year’s New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Conference and AGM. Firstly, thank you Dr Alan Jackson, NZTR Chair for your introduction. And let us acknowledge also: The NZTR Board; Dean McKenzie, Chair ...
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    5 days ago
  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
    The Government has delivered on its promise to the over one million New Zealanders who now rent to make it fairer and more secure, Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Kris Faafoi has announced today. Both renters and landlords will benefit from the suite of practical changes to the Residential ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Two decades of marine protection celebrated at Te Tapuwae o Rongokako in Tairawhiti
    A marine conservation milestone - the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve - is being celebrated today at a community event in Tairāwhiti/East Coast attended by the Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “The creation of this marine reserve in November 1999 was a game ...
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    7 days ago
  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
         The Government is asking the food industry to step up work to tackle obesity including reducing sugar, fat and salt in their products, better information for consumers, and tighter restrictions on advertising to children. Health Minister David Clark and Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor have responded to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
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    1 week ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
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    1 week ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
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    1 week ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
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    1 week ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
    Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting 14 November 2019 Joint Statement 1. Defence Ministers Ron Mark and Dr Ng Eng Hen today conducted their third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Singapore. 2. Building on the Enhanced Partnership signed between both countries in May this year, this annual meeting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
    A Bill to improve the court system’s response to sexual violence has passed its first reading in Parliament today. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill will reduce the trauma sexual violence complainants experience in court, while maintaining defendants’ fundamental rights and making sure the trial process ...
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    1 week ago
  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
    Streamlined payment practices are a step closer for Kiwi businesses with the formal launch of New Zealand’s e-Invoicing framework. Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says the government has now established the structure to enable automated and direct data exchange between the accounting systems of buyers and sellers. “The move to ...
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    1 week ago
  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
    Another 51 quarantine officers and four new biosecurity detector dog teams will help protect New Zealand from invasive pests and diseases this summer, says Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “The Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen New Zealand’s biosecurity system and support our valuable primary sector “New Zealand’s flora, fauna ...
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    1 week ago
  • NZ space economy worth $1.69 billion
    A new report has found New Zealand’s space sector contributed $1.69 billion to the economy in the last financial year and employs 12,000 people, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. The report by Deloitte was commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and shows New Zealand ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Chair for Royal Commission into Abuse
    Judge Coral Shaw has been appointed as the new Chair of the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. "Judge Shaw, who is currently one of the inquiry commissioners, is extremely well qualified for the ...
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    1 week ago