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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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    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    6 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    6 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    7 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    7 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    7 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    1 week ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    1 week ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    1 week ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    1 week ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    1 week ago

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