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How much information is being withheld from us?

Written By: - Date published: 9:13 am, May 13th, 2017 - 12 comments
Categories: journalism, making shit up, national, Propaganda, spin - Tags: , , , , ,

Earlier this week I wrote about a ham-fisted Ministry of Social Development (MSD) attempt to gag emergency housing providers – quickly dropped after Checkpoint got involved. I wrote “Given this government’s record, it’s not beyond the bounds of possibility that there will be further attempts to shut down bad news”. Let’s dig in to this a bit further. The best roundup is by Graham Adams on Newsroom:

Information underload: We’re all mushrooms now

Kept in the dark and fed endless bullshit, it’s difficult for even engaged citizens to make sense of much in New Zealand’s public and political life.

[On Pike River] Roy is a little late to the party in starting to question the government’s willingness to bend the truth to its own ends, if not downright lying when it suits its purposes. Some commentators have been appalled by this for years.

And, of course, it’s not just ministers; it’s also government apparatchiks spouting half-truths, distortions and lies. There is a huge body of experienced former journalists employed by the government massaging messages to the public to hide or distort what is really happening behind the scenes.

Journalists on the Kiwi Journalists Association website complain that it’s difficult to get past the police media teams to talk to officers who actually know what’s going on. And try getting any information out of District Health Boards that isn’t sanitised and processed by their PR handlers first.

It came as no surprise that in early May international journalists organisation Reporters Without Borders pushed New Zealand down from eighth to 13th on a global register of 180 countries it surveys each year measuring the basic principles of press freedom.

“Our lower standing is due to the growing list of government agencies trying to hide information by thwarting the Official Information Act, and these agencies are ruining our reputation,” Dr Catherine Strong, from Massey University’s School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing, said.

The result is that anyone who cares about what’s going on in society will have a very difficult job trying to work out, say, how much dodgy Chinese steel has been used in the Waterview tunnel, how many foreigners are buying our houses, or why Fletchers have such a stranglehold on building supplies that German insulation giant Knauf quit the New Zealand market after barely a year.

And the list of the things the government doesn’t want us to know gets longer by the month. There will be no inquiry into the allegations made by Nicky Hager and Jon Stephenson of civilian deaths in a SAS operation in Afghanistan because the Prime Minister was advised by the Defence Force that there was no need. It is simply staggering that those accused of behaving illegally effectively get to decide if their actions should be examined more closely.

The government will not set up a foreign land ownership register, even though Australia and other developed nations have one. As Winston Peters said after his bill to set up a register was defeated in Parliament last December: “New Zealand voters can now conclude that the government does not want this information to get into the public domain.”

It also rejected suggestions that we should have a public register for foreign trusts. When Andrew Little recommended a public register in a parliamentary debate after accountant John Shewan’s report appeared last year, then Revenue Minister Michael Woodhouse dismissed it with: “Any suggestion that the salacious searching of the public register would be necessary or appropriate is just inappropriate.” Wanting to know what dubious transactions are being made behind New Zealand trusts is apparently “salacious” according to this government.

We really, really want to believe the best about our nation, but increasingly the only way to do that is to ignore the chasm between the rich and poor, our bulging jails and filthy rivers, and accept the bland reassurances that pour from the lips of our political masters that all is well, even as we quietly suspect there is a lot going on we’re not being told about.

Well worth reading the whole thing. Covering up inconvenient truths is an old pattern for this government. Back in 2012:

National scraps crucial environmental report

The National Government has decided to stop producing the essential five-yearly State of the Environment Report, the Green Party revealed today.

“The Government is keeping New Zealanders in the dark about what is happening to the environment and what the problems are by stopping publication of this report,” Green Party environment spokesperson Eugenie Sage said. …

When the news is bad, don’t count it or report it:

MSD report leaves out number of abused children

The number of abused children in state care has gone uncounted for 18 months, after years of reporting them.

The Ministry of Social Development has included this number in its annual report since 2010/11. Almost 170 children were found to be abused in state care from 2010 to 2015. But the number was not included in the last report for 2015/16. …

Same logic as refusing to develop a measure of poverty. Similarly:

Government manipulating social housing data – Child Poverty Action Group

Mr Johnson believes that the waiting lists are being tampered with.

“We believe that … there is evidence of those lists being manipulated by the Government officials who are responsible for them.” …

More on how the mechanics of how the Nats withold information, see excellent pieces by David Fisher: The OIA arms race, and Felix Marwick: No sunlight, no disinfectant. Political machinations remain behind the veil (seriously, if you haven’t already read those two pieces, do so). It’s no wonder that Reporters Without Borders have dropped NZ down from 8th to 13th on a global register of basic principles of press freedom:

Media freedom thrives in New Zealand but is not entirely exempt from political pressure. The media continue to demand changes to the Official Information Act, which obstructs the work of journalists by allowing government agencies a long period of time to respond to information requests and even makes journalists pay several hundred dollars for the information. In August 2016, the government revealed a grim future for whistleblowers, announcing a bill that would criminalize leaking government information to the media and would dramatically increase the surveillance powers of the intelligence services. Journalists, bloggers, and civil society representatives would be among the potential targets of the proposed law, which could be adopted in 2017.

On and on and on it goes, the fevered effort required to maintain the lie of the Brighter Future. What percentage of the government’s effort goes in to obfuscating and hiding the facts? How much information is being withheld from us?


Taking it to the next level, referenced in the Adams piece, Michael Reddell at Croaking Cassandra:

A government that simply makes things up

Perhaps all governments these days eventually do it, but one of the things that I’ve come to dislike most about our current government is the way they and their acolytes simply make stuff up. I could, I suppose, understand them not actually doing anything much. After all, they didn’t promise to do anything much. But the endless spin, and stuff that is just made up, sickens me. …

12 comments on “How much information is being withheld from us?”

  1. Ed 1

    Neoliberalism pretends it’s about freedom but it’s really fascism.

  2. One Two 2

    Assume 100% and work backwards from there

    That’s for ‘important information’ which enables people to make ‘best decisions’

    100% of nonsense, fluff and distraction is dumped into various media channels and forms the basis of too high in numbers, decision tree

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      If the people had the real information then they wouldn’t National ever again and National knows that and so they lie.

  3. greg 3

    the national government has created a huge mess right across society the only thing such incompetents can do is cover up the mess we don’t know the full extent of lies and BS . RWNJ would justify the lies as necessary to protect the economy and anyone who contradicts the alternative facts is commuting economic vandalism eg safe animal abuse commercials or john Campbell ,Nicky Hager its a wars against the truth to retain power at all costs

  4. Philj 4

    AND, when I hear government stats quoted verbatim in the Mainsteam Media I immediately think we are being massaged with BS Alt ‘facts’. Good work by Graham Adams and Croaker Liddell et al.

    • Enough is Enough 4.1

      Exactly

      That is what Trump has realised and he just works around the media now by talking directly to the public through social media.

      You don’t have to agree with him but his way of removing the corrupt main stream media is to be applauded.

      Winston attacks the media similar to Trump. Little should begin doing the same and learn to make the corrup fake news main stream media redundant.

  5. RedLogix 5

    I have no way of verifying this, but I’d hazard a guess there are now more journalists working for the government than there are in the media. Especially if you weight your measure by years of experience.

    It’s probably not too far from the truth to say the NZ govt’s own spin doctors and PR people are the dominant propaganda engine when it comes to anything important. What’s left of the media is allowed to report on car crashes and celebrity click-bait … but rarely strays into serious, sustained political analysis.

    Two nights ago we watched an ABC Four Corners program Power Failure which is a 45 min doco very clearly demonstrating the history of political failures that have led to a real lack of planning and investment in the Australian power generation sector. Slick, nicely produced, well researched and worth watching twice. At the end I said to my partner, “can you imagine anything of that quality being made in NZ?” We shook our heads.

    It’s been a complex process, corporate agendas, the internet, political hostility and so on … but the media in NZ is now a crippled shadow of it’s former self. It’s not entirely dead, there remain some bastions of resistance ( I’m thinking of Scoop) , maybe even pockets of health from which a recovery could be made.

    But yes … essentially we are now at the point where the strength of government spin, lies and manipulation clearly outmatch a weakened public media. Our so called Fourth Estate model is broken. And not a lot of people seem to care much.

  6. Whispering Kate 6

    Our education system has been dumbed down so much that citizens now can’t see drivel when its in front of their eyes. Their attention span is so engineered that they now only see things in sound bites and with an entertainment value attached to it. This is how right, wing or for that matter any government want their citizens, it suits them for us to be docile, servile and without a mind that wants to question or to enquire. Accepting is the word that comes to mind – accepting everything at face value.

    Mind control is insidiuous and is hard to retreat from once its got its hooks in. Not really much we can do as money is now the God and journalists are in the pay and good pay at that of the masters in control.

  7. Rosemary McDonald 7

    Case in point.

    Back in 2008 when the Atkinson plaintiffs put their case before the Human Rights Review Tribunal the Word was…

    “The Ministry of Health refuses. It argues this case is much bigger than the concerns of these eight families. If they win and the policy of not paying families is overturned, the floodgates for other families to claim payment would be opened with costs of anything between $17 million and $593 million, though Human Rights says the figure would be $40 million a year, if that.

    The ministry went further. If the families won, the consequences would be significant and immediate. The policy would be void and the ministry’s entire framework for disability services would crumble.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/catherine-masters/news/article.cfm?a_id=49&objectid=10536859

    Truly scary costings and dire apocalyptic predictions for the entire disability sector with the Misery of Health telling the Tribunal….

    “[156] Not surprisingly, these various sets of data provided information that was not easy to reconcile. But it was evident (and agreed by the parties) that there is a significant number of people with severe disabilities who do not receive Ministry funded disability support services – this group could total up to 29,000 in all. ”

    The “30,000 severely disabled being cared for by unpaid family carers ” stuck, and was repeated through the media on a number of occasions with Chief Crucifier Ryall one of the main offenders.

    Long (and painful) story short….Ryall’s answer to losing (numerous times) this case was to have the Ministry devise a plan for paying family carers…one which ‘respected the rights acknowledged by the Courts and was fiscally responsible.’

    Funded Family Care….$24m per year, paying a maximum of 1600 parent carers minimum wage for a maximum of 40 hours per week.

    However….”Effectiveness

    There is no doubt the FFC policy is effective for some, but its overall effectiveness is constrained by its limited uptake by those who could potentially benefit from it. As at 1 April 2015, only 191 adult disabled persons nationwide were accessing FFC (compared with 1,600 forecast). ”

    https://www.health.govt.nz/publication/evaluation-funded-family-care

    My understanding is that to date…that 191 has gone up to about 300. Not all paid family carers are being paid for the full forty our week.

    What happened to the “29,000” family carers of those with severe disabilities receiving no funding for care we were told about back in 2008?

    They never existed.

    How many came out of the woodwork (their words) demanding to be paid for what we had being doing for nothing?

    For all the media attention in 2008, 2010 and 2012 and 2013…the Appeal Court (for Spencer) heard that….

    “[89] Fifty-six people have enquired or complained to the Commission about the Ministry’s policy. Of that number, one complaint is presently open, nine are the plaintiffs in the Atkinson proceeding, one was a witness before the Tribunal in the Atkinson proceeding, 20 have had their complaints suspended pending the outcome of the Atkinson proceeding, and 25 have had their complaints closed.
    [90] Of the 25 complaints that were closed Ms Crane says:
    (a) Three complainants requested that the Commission provide their files to the Director;
    (b) 12 are aware of the Tribunal’s decision and expressed interest in its practical application, given that they were caring for a family member or advocating for someone who was; and
    (c) 10 did not claim direct disadvantage as a result of the Ministry’s policy and required no further contact.”

    There are currently about 10 of us (disabled people and their chosen family carers) with outstanding claims yet to wend through the system.

    The Ministry of Health and the Government ….Labour and National…lied.

    I’ll never trust any of them…ever.

    And don’t get me started on this little turd…http://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/informationreleases/ris/pdfs/ris-moh-fcc-may13.pdf

    And ironically the Treasury webpage where you’ll find the RIS begins…

    “To help ensure that the regulatory process is open and transparent, Regulatory Impact Statements (RISs) prepared to support the consideration of regulatory proposals are published at the time the relevant bill is introduced to Parliament or the regulation is gazetted, or at the time of Ministerial release.”

    I’m laughing, honestly.

  8. Incognito 8

    This is the paradox of the Government: it does not want to share information with us, the people who give it its mandate and whom it is supposedly representing and yet it wants to collect all sorts of big data (metadata) on us.

    The Government is authorised by us to collect data and often legally required to do so but in some situations the legal benchmark feels more like “pretty legal”.

    The Government cannot measure (child) poverty because it is too hard yet social investment has become a central plank and it seems to be determined with pressing on with the Predictive Risk Modelling Index in education (and elsewhere?).

    The relationship between Government and the people has become too asymmetric and the balance needs to be restored lest we slide into even less democratic rule.

  9. greywarshark 9

    In this weekend’s Press on Saturday paper:

    A report on trauma treatment in New Zealand announces good standards.
    Medical professionals complain this cannot be believed. Why? Because there are no South Island statistics included, that is the first surprise. Then the second, there are no (reliable?) South Island statistics on their trauma treatment.

    No stats!

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    Rubbish In, Rubbish Out: Put all this together, and it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that anyone who responds positively to a pollster’s request to “answer a few questions” is just ever-so-slightly weird. Desperately lonely? Some sort of psephological train-spotter? Political party member primed to skew the poll for or against ...
    1 week ago
  • Jordan Williams, Colin Craig podcast series announced
    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 week ago
  • How plant-based meat is stretching New Zealand’s cultural and legal boundaries
    Samuel Becher, Victoria University of Wellington and Jessica C Lai, Victoria University of Wellington Earlier this year, the New Zealand-based pizza chain Hell Pizza offered a limited-edition “Burger Pizza”. Its customers weren’t told that the “meat” was plant-based. Some customers complained to the Commerce Commission, which enforces consumer law in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 week ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    1 week ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    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 According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
    Professors Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall, Jude Ball, Dr Judith McCool, Anaru Waa, Dr Becky Freeman Recent media reports have presented conflicting evidence on youth vaping in NZ. While some NZ school principals report concerns about increasing vaping on school grounds and confiscating vapes, ASH Year ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • In pursuit of “Freedom and Democracy”: Forever Wars in “America’s backyard”.
    “America the Beautiful!”, staunch defender of democracy, freedom and… a whole lot of despotic tyrants that play nice with what is called “the Washington Consensus.” America is indeed capable of immense good, but like any Nation, and most assuredly any aspirant to the mantle of Empire, great, immense evil. All ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • November ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: The beginner’s guide to blogging 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 ...
    2 weeks ago

  • New partnership to boost screen sector job opportunities
    Auckland’s growing screen sector is the catalyst for a new partnership between the Ministry of Social Development and Auckland’s economic development agency Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED). The launch today at FilmFX in Henderson, is to celebrate the partnership which looks to capitalise on the social and economic development opportunities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • A minute’s silence for Whakaari White Island victims
    A minute’s silence will be observed at 2.11pm on Monday 16 December in honour of the victims of the Whakaari White Island eruption, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed. “Wherever you are in New Zealand, or around the world, this is a moment we can stand alongside those who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • NZ to help fund fight against measles in the Pacific region
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced New Zealand will contribute NZ$1 million of funding towards the joint United Nations Fund for Children (UNICEF) and World Health Organisation (WHO) Pacific Regional Action Plan for Measles.   “Prevention through vaccination is the most effective way of avoiding illness and a costly health emergency. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • New Zealand remembers Sir Peter Snell
    New Zealand is today remembering one of our true sporting heroes, triple Olympic gold medal winner Sir Peter Snell. “He was a legend, here and around the world,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “Our thoughts are with Sir Peter’s wife Miki and their family.” “Sir Peter is recognised as New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • PM congratulates Boris Johnson on election victory
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson on his election victory.  “New Zealand and the United Kingdom are close friends and despite our distance we are strongly connected by our history and people,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “I look forward to continuing to work with Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Building a platform for the future of rail
    The Government has released its long term vision for a sustainable 21st Century rail network that gets our cities moving, connects our regions and gets more freight off the roads.   Deputy Prime Minister and State Owned Enterprises Minister Winston Peters said the Government is committed to rebuilding New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Prime Minister statement Whakaari White Island recovery operation
    I want to start by acknowledging the families who have experienced such grief and such loss since the extraordinary tragedy on Monday. Today was all about reuniting them with their loved ones. We've just come from the airport where many of them were gathered and in amongst what you can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand medical specialists to provide further support to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today announced further support for Samoa’s longer term needs as it continues to respond to a devastating measles epidemic. “Samoa’s health system has experienced massive strain in the wake of the measles epidemic. The volume of patients needing care during this outbreak, and the number of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Discounted electric-bikes offered to public sector workers
    Discounted electric bikes will be offered up to public sector staff across the country as part of the Government’s work to reduce transport emissions and support healthier transport options.  Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter officially launched the new initiative at Wellington Hospital today.  “The Government has negotiated bulk-purchase ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Australia and New Zealand confirm joint bid for FIFA Women’s World Cup
    The Australian and New Zealand Governments today launch an historic joint bid to bring the FIFA Women’s World Cup to the Southern Hemisphere for the first time. Australian Minister for Youth and Sport, Richard Colbeck and New Zealand Minister for Sport and Recreation Grant Robertson will announce the bold campaign, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Blackwater gold mine gets PGF boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) has approved a $15 million loan to help re-establish a gold mining operation at Blackwater Gold Mine, near Reefton, Rural Communities Minister and local MP Damien O’Connor announced at an event on the West Coast today. “This is great news for the Coast that could ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being
    Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being A housing project by Kohupātiki whānau in Hastings is an outstanding example of a Māori-led housing initiative that can reduce financial pressure and reconnect whānau to their whakapapa says the Minister for Māori Development Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Minister Mahuta officially opened the Aroha Te Rangi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government provides more funding for major community wetland restoration project
    Restoration efforts for a significant wetland in the Hawke’s Bay are getting more support announced Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage. “Wetlands are vital to healthy landscapes and ecosystems. They function as nature’s ‘kidneys’, filtering and protecting water quality, acting as nature’s sponges after rain and are home to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Housing First to help Nelson Tasman homeless
    Nelson has today seen the launch of Housing First Nelson Tasman. Today’s launch marks the expansion of the Government’s homelessness programme, Housing First, to the top of the South Island. “Housing First is a proven programme that puts people who are experiencing homelessness and multiple, high and complex needs into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New funding to support Environment Centres working for sustainable local solutions
    New Government funding announced today will help communities make a difference in tackling environmental issues Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage announced in Hawkes Bay today. The Ministry for the Environment’s Community Environment Fund is dedicating $243,101 to growing the capacity and capability of the Environment Hubs Aotearoa’s (EHA) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government takes bite out of loan sharks
    The days of vulnerable consumers falling victim to loan sharks, truck shops and other predatory lenders are numbered, following the Credit Contracts Legislation Amendment Bill passing its third reading tonight. “Too many Kiwis are being given loans that are unaffordable and unsuitable, trapping them in debt and leaving their families ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand safer as Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders Bill) becomes law
    A Bill that prevents terrorism and supports the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas has passed its third reading, Justice Minister Andrew Little says. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill is a carefully targeted response to manage the risk posed by a small number of New Zealanders who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Foreign Minister and Pacific Peoples Minister to visit Samoa
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Samoa on Friday, where New Zealand medical teams are helping Samoa respond to an outbreak of measles. “New Zealand has been working closely with the Government of Samoa and offering our assistance from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Pastoral Care Code will support tertiary students in 2020
    The Government has changed the law to improve student safety and welfare in university halls of residence and other student accommodation. The Education (Pastoral Care) Amendment Bill passed its third reading this afternoon and details of an interim Code of Practice setting out the Government’s expectations of tertiary providers have also been released. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New infrastructure funding tool to build housing developments faster
    A new tool to help councils fund and finance infrastructure could mean some housing developments happen a decade earlier than currently planned, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. “This new tool, developed by the Government in partnership with industry and high-growth councils, will allow councils to access private debt ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Vision to unite the primary sector launched today
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has welcomed the release of a bold new vision for the country’s vital food and fibre sector. “I’m delighted that New Zealand’s major farmer and grower organisations are today supporting the Primary Sector Council’s vision – Fit for a Better World,” he said. “The international consumers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ congratulates PNG and Autonomous Bougainville Government on referendum
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has congratulated the Government of Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Bougainville Government for completing a well-conducted referendum on the future political status of Bougainville. “New Zealand supported the referendum process by providing technical advice through the New Zealand Electoral Commission and leading a Regional Police ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Next steps for Upper North Island logistics
    In light of Cabinet’s position that freight operations on prime land in downtown Auckland are no longer viable, the Government will now embark on a short work programme to enable decision-making in the first half of next year, Associate Transport Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones is today releasing the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Surgical mesh restorative justice report received
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter has received the report back from a surgical mesh restorative justice process undertaken by Victoria University. The process heard stories, either in person or online submission, from more than 600 people affected by surgical mesh. “The report made for heart-breaking and confronting reading,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai a milestone for drinking water safety
    The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai , introduced to Parliament today, is a milestone for drinking water safety in New Zealand and will help improve environmental outcomes for urban waterways, rivers and lakes.  “This is a breakthrough for New Zealanders in terms of providing safe drinking water throughout ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to new direction for criminal justice reform announcement
    Kia ora koutouE ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā matā wakaTēnā koutou katoaHaere ngā, moe maiKoutou ma ngā Rangatira Ko Anaru ahauKo au te Minita mo ngā TureHe Honore tino nui kei roto I ahau No reira tena koutou katoa Today, we are releasing two reports that are the ...
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    2 days ago
  • New direction for criminal justice reform
    The Government is looking to turn around the long-term challenges of criminal justice by taking a new approach to break the cycle of offending to ensure there are fewer victims of crime. Justice Minister Andrew Little released two reports today, Turuki! Turuki! from Te Uepū Hāpai I te Ora, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New law sets up $300m Venture Capital Fund
    New Zealand firms expanding beyond the start-up phase are set for more support after today’s passage of the Venture Capital Fund Bill, Associate Finance Minister David Parker said. The Bill, which establishes a $300 million Venture Capital Fund, puts in place a key initiative of the Wellbeing Budget’s economic package. ...
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    3 days ago
  • New Zealand’s National Statement to COP25
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira mā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Señora Presidenta, Excellencies, Delegates. International action A common thread that runs through the Paris Agreement is the commitment we have made to each other to do what we can to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • $12 billion in extra infrastructure investment
    The Government is lifting capital investment to the highest level in more than 20 years as it takes the next step to future-proof New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced $12 billion of new investment, with $8 billion for specific capital projects and $4 billion to be added to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Strong economy, careful spending gives $12bn of surpluses
    The Government is forecast to run $12 billion worth of surpluses across the four years to 2023/24 as the economy continues to grow. The surpluses will help fund day-to-day capital requirements each year. These include fixing leaky hospitals, building new classrooms to cover population growth and take pressure off class ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Priorities for 2020 Wellbeing Budget outlined
    Budget 2020 will continue the Coalition Government’s focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while also investing to future-proof the economy. When the Government took office in 2017 it was left with crumbling infrastructure, severe underinvestment in public services, degraded rivers and lakes, a housing crisis and rising ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Minister welcomes data-rich coastline mapping tool
    The Minister responsible for the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 (te Takutai Moana Act 2011), Andrew Little has welcomed the launch of an online geospatial tool that provides data-rich, dynamic coastline maps that will significantly boost research and evidence-gathering under the Act. Te Kete Kōrero a Te ...
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    3 days ago
  • Chief Victims Advisor reappointed for a further two years
    The Chief Victims Advisor to Government Dr Kim McGregor, QSO, has been reappointed in her role for a further two years. Dr McGregor has held the role since it was established in November 2015. She provides independent advice to government on how to improve the criminal justice system for victims. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand tsunami monitoring and detection system to be established
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare have today announced the deployment of a network of DART (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami) buoys. “New Zealand and the Pacific region are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. It is vital we have adequate warning systems in place,” ...
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    3 days ago
  • DART Buoys Announcement
    DART Buoys Announcement Aotea Wharf, 9.30am 11 December 2019   Acknowledgements Acknowledgements to Minister for Civil Defence Hon Peeni Henare also here today. White Island It is with regret that this event shadows the tragic natural disaster two days ago. The volcanic eruptions on White Island have claimed 5 lives, ...
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    3 days ago
  • Final steps for racing industry reform
    Racing Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Racing Industry Bill in parliament today. This is the second of two Bills that have been introduced this year to revitalise New Zealand’s racing industry. “Our domestic racing industry has been in serious decline.  The Government is committed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Funding to promote New Zealand Sign Language initiatives
    Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni, is pleased to announce that $291,321 is to be awarded to national and local community initiatives to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). “New Zealand is one of the few countries  in the world where Sign Language is an ...
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    4 days ago
  • How New Zealand defines and recognises veterans
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced today the Coalition Government’s initial response to work completed by the independent statutory body, the Veterans’ Advisory Board. “When Professor Ron Paterson completed his review of the Veterans’ Support Act in 2018, he made a number of recommendations, including one which I referred ...
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    4 days ago
  • Government to fund lion’s share of Ohakea water scheme
    The Government will fund the bulk of the cost of a rural water supply for the Ohakea community affected by PFAS contamination, Environment Minister David Parker announced today at a meeting of local residents. This new water scheme will provide a reliable and clean source of drinking water to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago