How the special votes may work out

Written By: - Date published: 8:18 am, October 17th, 2023 - 57 comments
Categories: election 2023, labour, maori party, national, national/act government - Tags:

We are in an interesting phase and things are finely balanced between a National/Act destroy everything Government and a National/Act/NZ First muck everything up and destroy quite a bit Government.

There has been some talk about special votes.  Generally these favour the left.  In 2014 they resulted in National losing a seat and the Greens picking this seat up.  In 2017 Labour and the Greens picked up one seat each.  In 2020 Labour picked up overall one extra seat as well as flipping three electorate seats while the Maori Party also picked up a second seat at National’s expense.

The reasons are multiple.  Overseas voters tend to be progressive and those casting special votes tend to be younger or more transient and the younger population or the more transient population tend to vote left.

Graeme Edgler has had a look at the figures and thinks that National will again lose two seats, that Labour will pick up one and the Maori Party picking up the second but this will reduce the overhang.  Given what has happened in the past his figures feel right.

There are five electorate seats that have knife edge majorities and here are my predictions:

  • Mt Albert will be a Labour hold.  The current majority for Helen White is 106.  Some deep soul searching is required to work out what happened there however.
  • Te Atatu with a current National majority of 30 will flip to Labour.  National will lose its only potential Pacific MP.  Phil Twyford ran a really good on the ground campaign and this will probably save him.
  • Nelson with a current National majority of 54 will flip back to Labour.  Rachel Boyack has been a very hard working and conscientious MP and I expect to see her returned.
  • Banks Peninsular with a current National majority of 83 will also flip back to Labour.
  • This is a longer shot but I am quietly confident that my local seat of New Lynn which currently has a National majority of 483 will flip back to Labour.  Reflecting on the result the area has been harder hit by flooding than most and I can’t help but wonder if the overwhelming feeling of despair has contributed to the result.  In 2017 when Deborah Russell faced off against Paulo Garcia the special votes saw her majority increase by 899.  I expect the effect this year to be less but to be sufficient to see her get over the line.

If this happens then Labour will have 21 electorate seats and 14 list seats. Camilla Belich will be on the wrong side of the cusp.

The overall result will have National/Act on 59 seats and even with the Port Waikato by election, which they should win easily, they will not have a majority.  Winston will then be in play.

It looks like we will have a National/Act/NZ First muck everything up and destroy quite a bit Government.  Get ready …

57 comments on “How the special votes may work out ”

  1. observer 1

    I felt a bit sorry for Blair Cameron, who was paraded in front of the media yesterday, standing alongside Luxon as the new MP for Nelson. Except … he won't be.

    It's another of those silly things that happens every 3 years. Pretending election night is the result, when it never is.

    Also, pretending that list MPs on the losing side don't retire. We know some will, so the next on the list will come in (like Camilla Belich, as mentioned in the OP).

  2. No-Skates 2

    I worry that the wishing for Winston being in play is a schadenfreudian hope that'll bite us in the backsides.

    It is fun to think about how upset NACT will be to have not got a clean victory, and all their petty squabbles about who should receive what title.

    But like Bernie bros wishing for Trump, the joy is fleeting since harsh reality catches up pretty darn quick.

    • observer 2.1

      I said before the election that it was stupid to wish for (or even worse, vote for) Winston to be there to screw Luxon. It only makes a bad government worse.

      But I think we can still allow ourselves a little Schadenfreude, now that it's happened, and there's nothing that can be done about it (NZF won't fall below 5% on specials).

      We're also likely to avoid the worst outcome, which would be NZF in opposition to National, and Labour trying to keep on their good side while Winston picks up support from the disgruntled, non-left "anti-government" vote. Ever since the 1990s that's been a thorn in the side of Labour and the Greens.

      That's gone forever. Winston will end his career back where he started – on the Right.

      • Thinker 2.1.1

        I don't think any of us wished for the outcome of watching Winston screwing Luxon. A clear left win would have cheered us all.

        But, if NACT had to come out of the election with a majority, the left will get back in all the sooner for Winston being in the mix. I don't see that as schadenfreude, it's politics.

        Look at it this way, Luxon could have, for once, met Hipkins in the corridor and both could have outright refused to go with Winston, thereby despatch ING him to the promised land. Probably, given how things rolled, Luxon and Seymour could have formed a cosy arrangement, got done most of the things they said they would do and use that fact to get back in before the swinging voters realised the joke was on them.

        But, in a game of who blinks first, Luxon blinked and noone else blinked at all. Now, having made his bed, Luxon has to lie in it. Chris Bishop doesn't like it, Seymour doesn't like it, you can bet the NACT's invisible hands won't like it and the day will surely come when Luxon doesn't like it either.

        Despite having lost the war on 14 October, the left is winning the first battle of the new war.

      • Barfly 2.1.2

        "It only makes a bad government worse."

        I'm hoping it makes a bad government dysfunctional devil

  3. Ad 3

    New Lynn has never been National since it was formed in 1963.

    It has had one of the most active and engaged set of activists in the country for decades.

    From 2006 it has had hundreds of millions of public investment from Labour in housing and transport.

    How is it possible that clear Labour investment and strong Labour base could be so utterly wrecked?

    Each of the electorates who have felt this pain whether they regain their composure on the Specials or not, need to send a strong signal to Hipkins et al that their failure is monumental and they they will be held to account for it.

    The very last thing we need is silence. Even if those feckless fucks in Caucus call for it.

    Hipkin's caucus squandered over a million votes and half their seats, and in doing so just wasted our time and money.

    • Jack 3.1

      How is it possible that clear Labour investment and strong Labour base could be so utterly wrecked?

      As someone who has only ever lived in the New Lynn electorate and has in the past voted green, red, blue and yellow I can offer my perspective.

      Labour for too long has taken west Auckland for granted, theirs by entitlement. As for investment, our infrastructure is wrecked. Our roads are either full of pot holes, one lane or closed. Our bush tracks have largely been closed since 2018. Advocacy to reopen them has been non existent. Rather, the local labour stance appears to be keep them closed. Crime is rampant. In our part of West Auckland in the past 12 months the bottle store ram raided twice, supermarket twice and the post office so many times it’s now closed. Schooling is such a joke, in our small area alone 7 buses queue up to take kids out of zone on a daily basis. Enough. Change may not fix this but god dam it’s worth a try. We’re desperate.

      • mickysavage 3.1.1

        It is not a Labour party policy to keep the tracks closed. Some were closed to protect Kauri. Others have been closed by storm damage but are being opened as remedial work is being conducted.

        But this is not a party political policy or stance.

        Crime has always been present. Believe me I have practiced law out here for 36 years.

        Kids going out of school has always happened and is more of a perception problem than an actual reflection of school's values. And Green Bay High School's roll is bulging.

        My three kids were educated out west. Their education was fine.

    • Anne 3.2

      You are moving into the realm of over-egging the situation imo Ad.

      While there is truth to your assertions, you have to factor in the unprecedented number of crisises that occurred during their six years of power. They have been listed time after time so am not going through them again, but they had a profound effect on every aspect of government activity. It is no wonder they were unable to fulfil all the promises they made. Another three years would have made a huge difference.

      One criticism I would make however, is the top down style of political thinking. It is those of us at ground level who have the best understanding about what is happening on that ground, yet we are rarely consulted. Or if we are, they don't seem able to take on board what we say. That has been my experience anyway.

      • Grey Area 3.2.1

        "Another three years would have made a huge difference."

        After Hipkins' policy bonfire and him ruling out a fairer tax system despite strong public support and other mis-steps, I think not.

        Labour have lost their way and their heart.

        Labour are centrist neoliberals. They need to find their soul again, repudiate neoliberalism and work over the next three years with the Greens and Te Pati Maori as one partner in the left bloc.

        Hipkins or whomever follows him will be Leader of the Opposition pretty much in name only. The true leadership on the left now lies elsewhere and Labour won't find their way back until they acknowledge that.

        • Phillip ure

          Wot grey area said….

          (I was composing something similar in my head..but already done..)

          There have only been 3 single term gummints in the history of nz..

          And two things have to happen for this carnival of clowns to make history by being number four..

          The first is that 'nan' (national/act/nz first) have to be as dysfunctional as many are claiming..(and I fail to see how it won't..)

          The second is that labour have to realize that we are now in an mmp environment…made up of different parties clearly united in policy positions etc..

          And as grey said ditching neoliberalism is the first step..and especially the neoliberal-incrementalism they honed to a dark art..

          And let's not forget the inbuilt delayed gratification always present: ('we will do.this little bit to address this issue…but we won't enact it for 18 months')

          Labour have to accept they are no longer the dog wagging the tail..that they are now roughly equal partners on the left of the political spectrum..and all together they offer a clear alternative to the nan-grouping..(ie capital gain/wealth redistribution demanded by many…)

          This is labour's only/best option to make the carnival of clowns a one-term wonder..

          (I worry that labour decides to just sulk/slouch in their bunkers for the first term..just accepting that usual two-term gummint dictum…

          (And for those still grasping in the dark for the reasons for labour halving their support.?

          It's quite simple really…

          Labour promised transformation…and delivered incrementalism..

          End of story..)

      • Ad 3.2.2

        You have got to be kidding Anne.

        In 2017 Labour got 956,000 votes. And 46 seats

        In 2020 Labour got 1,440,000 votes. And 65 seats

        In 2023 Labour got 603,000 votes. And 34 seats maybe they squeak another.

        Every government gets crises, and the good ones turn that into political capital. On the political returns above this was a really poor government.

        • Anne

          Nope. I'm not kidding. There is what they call the 'cumulative effect', which only appears after the events are over. When you add the massive financial backing for NAct from the multi millionaires both in NZ and off-shore (I suspect) and the myriad of mis and disinformation which was spread far and wide then I doubt Labour had a chance.

          As one well known commentator put the voter's choice :

          shallow, selfish and stupid.

          And that pretty much sums it up.

          • Ad

            You're just making excuses.

            Key had plenty of crises to get through. Evaluate as you will.

            Simply being outspent is no excuse. Labour under Clark had really good fundraising events and effective bundlers (ie those who asked for the money), and was able to compete head to head. Whoever was doing the fundraising for Labour's campaign did a terrible job.

            • Anne

              "Whoever was doing the fundraising for Labour's campaign did a terrible job."

              I agree with that. Its a question I've had for a while. As I said @ 3.2: "there's truth to your assertions" but imo you went too far. For instance:

              Hipkin's caucus squandered over a million votes and half their seats, and in doing so just wasted our time and money.

              That is unfair. Labour started losing support last year. It may not have shown in the polls but the vibe was definitely there. The loss was a combination of things, but imo the most important was the aftermath of Covid. It has taken a while to get things back to normal and in fact we're not there yet. People started to 'stamp their feet' like toddlers and walked away in a huff.

              I well recall several overseas commentators observing the following at the time along the lines:

              "Governments around the world are going to fall due to the fallout from Covid"

              That is what is happening.

        • Craig H

          That comparison is out a bit given the special votes are still to be counted. Obviously specials probably won't doe much to change the seats (might be +1 when all is said and done), but that vote count somewhat understates what Labour will finish with.

        • Tricledrown

          The left went back to its average base with a low voter turnout not a landslide for the right but a slip back to normal with a coalition required. This is MMP not first past the post.Otherwise we wouldn't have to wait till November 3rd,for Winston to screw Luxon and Seymour for the best deal Winston has only one other option confidence and supply. National have one other option call another election if they can't do any sort of deal. But that would require a majority.Labour Te Parti Maori and greens could do a last minute deal with Peters if he drops the anti Maori stance unlikely but The Labour Green TPM have that option and should make an overtone just so Peters can get more unpopular baubles from Nact.

    • mickysavage 3.3

      Lots and lots of discussion about the leadership happened at our recent LEC meeting. I am sure that other parts of the party are also doing some deep soul searching.

      • Phillip ure 3.3.1

        @ ms..

        Was there any questioning of the neoliberal yoke they have been hauling around since the time of douglas…?

        Any calls for a change of direction..?

        Any hints of social-democracy..?

    • Ghostwhowalks 3.4

      New Lynn when it was called Titirangi ( 1999-2002) was won by Marie Hasler for Nats

      All electorates have changed over time and a seat in this part of the Auckland isthmus more than most as extra electorates added because of population growth

      • Ad 3.4.1

        New Lynn was abolished for that term and divided into two.

        In 2002 when it was reconstituted we smashed Hasler out of the park.

  4. Sanctuary 4

    I agree with everything you say MS except New Lynn – 480 or so is just too much, still I could (hopefully) be wrong. Mt/ Albert is pretty simple – Labour took the seat for granted and parachuted in an insipid candidate who now gets a plum job for life for no apparent reason, the tide was running against the government, and the Greens ran a high profile campaign for God knows what reason beyond Ricardo Menéndez March being a wrecker – the Greens were only ever going to split the progressive vote in Mt Albert.

    My view is Labour needs to a wider look at what candidates it selects and where it stands them. Wellington Central and Rongatai could have profitably swapped candidates and that could have helped there. As it is, a genuine working class success story lost to a Green member of the PMC because she was a better fit for the voters of that Wellington central and Rongatai, a more working class area that might have rallied to Ibrahim Omer, rejected the anonymous Fleur Fitzsimons. And as Simon Wilson points out today in the Herald looking at New Lynn and Mt. Roskill, the candidate you select needs to match the seat – the slow erosion of the Labour vote in New Lynn vs O'Connor hanging on in Ohariu speaks to that obsrvation. At the end of the day, Labour has a very bad habit of rewarding loyal middle class technocratic women with safe seats, without any evidence these candidates possess the skills to excite the demos of their electorate. Surely the list is the place to reward such apparachiks, if you must?

    • Anne 4.1

      Labour has a very bad habit of rewarding loyal middle class technocratic women with safe seats, without any evidence these candidates possess the skills to excite the demos of their electorate. Surely the list is the place to reward such apparachiks, if you must?

      I made similar comments during the "man ban" episode around ten years ago and was sent to coventry by some for my efforts.

      • Sanctuary 4.1.1

        The thing is, a technocratic middle class woman (or man) with a splendid record in local administration and professional achievement might have enormous skills useful to a political party.

        But technocratic and administrative skills are secondary mission skills for an electorate MP. The primary mission skillset is being very good at winning elections. It is most puzzling to me that frequently Labour seems to take great pains in ensuring the secondary mission skillset is met, but leaves the primary one almost entirely to chance.

        It reminds me of Abraham Lincoln, who when told by Ulysses S. Grant’s enemies that Grant was an uncouth drunkard unworthy of a generals rank remarked that if he could find out what brand of whiskey he drank he’d send a case of it to every general in his army. In other words you need people who win, not people who conform to a particular type.

        • Craig H

          Because after you win the election, you have to govern. Most of the previous reviews have found various ways of telling Labour that there is no point selecting candidates who are good at winning elections but wholly unsuited to being an MP.

    • Belladonna 4.2

      It's not just the candidate – in every single one of those traditionally red West Auckland electorates – which are either gone or at risk of going – the party vote did even worse than the candidate one. [Yes, of course, provisional votes – but they're not going to change by thousands]

      You can see them, for each electorate, here.

      I don't think that the candidates helped (I've been on record on TS as regarding Deboarah Russell as a poor fit for her electorate) – but the failure is not entirely (or possibly even mostly) due to this.

      The government badly underestimated the effect of Crime on these communities – and the Road to Damascus conversion of Hipkins was seen as insincere – and too little, too late.

      • Incognito 4.2.1

        The winning candidate often does better than their Party in their electorate. In New Lynn, Deborah Russell attracted about 1,000 votes more than the Party (LAB) vote in 2017 and 2020 and in 2023, based on the preliminary result, she almost did 3,500 votes better on a much-reduced total.

        In 2020, Steve Abel (Green) did gain 365 more votes in the specials, by my calculation, Deborah Russell got 39 more, but Lisa Whyte (NAT) got 467 fewer votes (i.e., she did much worse in the specials).

        I haven’t looked at how the parties fared on the specials in this electorate, but all the info is there.

        Labour was not going to dance to the beat of the fear drums of the Right on Law & Order until they did cave in to the increased volume of the noise in MSM and SM. The fear won [on] the day.

        • Belladonna

          I think that is echoing my point – that it wasn't that the electorate suddenly didn't like these candidates – it was that they didn't like Labour (for whatever reason)

          My understanding (after doing a spot check of results) is that the reversal is a lot greater in these electorates than it is in others.

          Compare Northcote for example, where Halbert lost (2,500 majority to a 7K loss) – but the total vote change against Labour is a lot lower than say Mt Albert (21K majority to 106) or New Lynn (13K majority to a 483 loss)

          [Yes, provisional figures – but they're not going to change by thousands]

          Labour depreciating people's lived experience of the crime wave – is exactly why they lost the narrative over this issue.

          • Incognito

            I think I get you now – the higher they go, the harder they fall.

            Mt Albert was, of course, Jacinda Ardern’s electorate in 2020.

            Indeed, the rational lost out to the irrational narrative – it was an almost-Trumpian campaign.

            • Anne

              In 1975 the then Mt. Albert incumbent, Warren Freer dropped from a very comfortable margin of several thousand to a mere 200 majority. It was another case of a general election where National ran a scare campaign (reds under the bed) together with a superannuation scheme which, along with a few other projects, eventually led us to the brink of bankruptcy.

              A populist PM (Muldoon) backed by a treasure chest of money pandered to greed and made false promises.

              The same thing is happening again, and the outcome will be the same… violence, strife, massive protests and general disorder among the populace – not to mention a financial crisis in the making.

              • Incognito

                A campaign of fear was entirely predictable because we live in ‘interesting times’. One failure of Labour, in my opinion, was lack of a clearly articulated vision for the immediate future. This could have been the guiding compass and anchor point for a reasonably strong and possibly less devastating campaign strategy instead of buying into and even feeding the negative narratives of the Right. Of course, Labour lost the lolly scramble (aka tax cuts) to National. Losing some of your key team players shortly before the real competition started was another (self-inflicted?) handicap.

                • Anne

                  …. lack of a clearly articulated vision for the immediate future. This could have been the guiding compass and anchor point for a reasonably strong and possibly less devastating campaign strategy…

                  I believe there was a 'vision for the future' in the co-governance arrangement, three waters etc. a strong pledge to speed up the process to lift kids out of poverty and of course Climate Change. Apart from vague references which we know mean nothing, National promised none of those things.

                  But I do agree Labour did a very poor job of explaining their policies.

                  It is an endemic fault in Labour circles to assume the general public have a reasonable level of comprehension about such matters. The majority don't. Helen Clark was the only recent Labour PM who recognised this, and she and her team produced a simple pledge card laying out (iirc) five major points in easy to understand language. It worked a treat. Labour could have done the same thing again but instead they went for wordy pamphlets that no-one bothers to read.

                  Such is life.

                  • Incognito


                    The failure to effectively communicate and connect with the people to get them onside and tag along did not start at the beginning of the election campaign or when Hipkins took over.

    • Craig H 4.3

      In MMP, winning electorates is secondary to winning party vote – that was one of the primary lessons from 2014.

      • Tricledrown 4.3.1

        Electorate seats are more important than you think having a local MP working in that community for the whole 3 year cycle keeps people engaged depending on how good that MP is. Labour's hierarchy needs to stop putting carpet baggers in traditional labour seats and put popular local effective candidates .To many dipsy party hacks who are ineffective at keeping local supporters engaged.Then Labour's idiots Nash arrogant,Kiri Allen ,Michael Wood ,David Clark etc all bringing down the Labour Party. Candidate selection needs to be overhauled.If Labour had kept the petrol tax off until inflation had slowed pushed the fact NZ outperformed just about all other economies as well as the best pandemic response lowest unemployment relatively low debt etc.No Labour focused on Negative campaigning. National will struggle because Peters will stop tax cuts high migration rates which is the only way National can get any economic growth.The last time National were in they averaged 1% growth per annum while inflation was much higher the economy declined over 9 years even with record dairy pay outs unemployment remained high under National as well.

        • Craig H

          I live in Christchurch East, one of the safest Labour seats in NZ so am well aware of the importance of good MPs in safe seats. Obviously there is a job to be done, so selecting a dud isn't useful to anyone.

          And which carpet-baggers? Nash, Wood, Allan and Clark were all locals in their electorates and it's common for sitting MPs to be unopposed in which case no selection process is required. The only way to remove them would be to parachute someone else in and hope they get selected instead which isn't a guarantee.

          If more than one person is nominated to potentially be electorate candidates, the candidate is chosen by a committee of LEC and head office nominees plus a vote of the financial LEC members present at the selection meeting. If the LEC particularly wants one candidate, they have the votes to carry that.

          The process seems a reasonable balance of local and central to me, and is the product of however many reviews after previous losses. While there will be another review, it seems unlikely to me that it will recommend yet another overhaul of candidate selection, or that LECs would automatically agree to it.

  5. Tricledrown 5

    The cost of Living was the elephant in the room. The cost of living was out of control putting the petrol tax back on was the nail in the coffin.Left voters didn't vote a low turn out by those who fealt left out by Labour. The left block didn't collapse it held with.low numbers.The left have to reconnect and do some very hard work build volunteers to reach out to the base.

    • weka 5.1

      The left increased. The centre left collapsed. Interestingly the left did address the cost of living. eg the Greens were set to make this the climate election, and they ended up doing that via their cost of living crisis response.

      • weka 5.1.1

        and because I'm in a conversation elsewhere about this, if the centre left and left want to advance co-governance, we have to listen more to the people who are feeling the cost of living and who are reacting to co-governance out of misplaced fear and anger. I'm not talking about the outright racists here, I'm pointing to the people who are struggling with the state of the world and NZ and perceiving something as unfair.

        This should have been Labour's job as representing especially the working class. There's only so long we can try and force progressive values on people. We have to bring them along and that can only happen by being willing to talk and be in relationship. The ostracisation and warring has to stop.

        • Craig H

          A more cynical group would leave co-governance for TPM and then agree to it under some other branding after an election as part of coalition arrangements. Hopefully Labour aren't that cynical.

  6. tsmithfield 6

    Specials will be interesting this time around.

    National likely will drop back a bit. Though, it was a funny old election with the Covid factor in, and a lot of Aucklanders seem not to have enjoyed being locked down for such a long time.

    I think NZ First will definitely slide back a bit, as people in retirement homes don't tend to move around much lol. Though, I put forward some maths in a post yesterday that showed that even if NZ First got 0 specials they would still be above the 5% margin. So, no getting rid of NZ First, unfortunately.

    Greens will likely go up due to students voting from out of town etc.

    If Labour/Greens/TPM end up with more of the vote than NACT then Labour has shot itself in the foot by ruling out NZ First. Though Peters also ruled Labour out. So, it may have been a moot point.

  7. Mike the Lefty 7

    The specials are very hard to read this time. The top three on the list could go either way. What I would be most interested in, personally, is the possibility of Te Pati Maori picking up one or even two Maori seats off Labour on specials. This might create an interesting scenario of overhang which could potentially change the whole state of negotiation for the NACTs.

    • Sanctuary 7.1

      A lot of special votes were cast when the system crash occurred, especially in South Auckland.

      Maybe those specials will push up the numbers who voted in seats like Mangere.

  8. William 8

    I suspect National might be quietly happy to lose some electorate seats once the specials are counted, so long as their total number of seats doesn't fall too much.

    On the preliminary results they will only have five list members!

    While some of the public think list members have a cushy life, they are actually very useful for doing the policy and legislative grunt work without the distraction of electorate clinics and bowling club openings etc.

    • Ghostwhowalks 8.1

      Most List Mps these days have a funded local office- dont call it an electorate office- in a location of their choice ( usually where they live).

      I gives their party visibility in that area . Its not as fully staffed as an electorate Mp office but you can make appointments and such.

      of course a trick ACT used in the late 80s- 90s was to put all its List mps local office in 2-3 townhouses just around the corner from parliament. So they have a staffing formula for those offices but you make them part time and part time in the party parliament office.

      It was said by someone who worked for ACT under this arrangement, that they only visited the 'local office' once and spent the rest of the time in the party office – doing party business not constituent work. They masked this further by centralising its Mps staff allocation in parliament to one office space rather than allocated to each MP.

      Lo and behold a whole operation funded by the taxpayer in Parliament. No constituents were ever provided with adresses of the party list Mps local offices.

      Even before this election Acts list Mps would be hard to find, the party may have repeated the scam

  9. Bearded Git 9

    There are two Maori electorates where Labour currently has a small lead:

    Tamaki Makaurau-Henare 495

    Te Tai Tokerau-Davis 487

    I'm wondering if one of these might flip to TPM which would increase the overhang. Perhaps possible but not likely?

  10. SPC 10

    Ideally TPM get to 4 seats off the list, Greens up to 15 and Labour up to 35.

    National down to 47 + PWBE to 48 and ACT down to 10.

    A 57-54 party list lead sans NZF in 2026 (they never survive a period in government) is marginal.

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    The Coalition Government’s Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill, which will improve tenancy laws and help increase the supply of rental properties, has passed its first reading in Parliament says Housing Minister Chris Bishop. “The Bill proposes much-needed changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 that will remove barriers to increasing private ...
    2 days ago
  • Montecassino Commemorative Address, Cassino War Cemetery
    Standing here in Cassino War Cemetery, among the graves looking up at the beautiful Abbey of Montecassino, it is hard to imagine the utter devastation left behind by the battles which ended here in May 1944. Hundreds of thousands of shells and bombs of every description left nothing but piled ...
    2 days ago
  • First Reading – Repeal of Section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989
    I present a legislative statement on the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill Mr. Speaker, I move that the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill be now read a first time. I nominate the Social Services and Community Committee to consider the Bill. Thank you, Mr. ...
    2 days ago
  • First reading of 7AA’s repeal: progress for children
    The Bill to repeal Section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act has had its first reading in Parliament today. The Bill reaffirms the Coalition Government’s commitment to the care and safety of children in care, says Minister for Children Karen Chhour.  “When I became the Minister for Children, I made ...
    2 days ago
  • China Business Summit 2024
    Kia ora koutou, good morning, and zao shang hao. Thank you Fran for the opportunity to speak at the 2024 China Business Summit – it’s great to be here today. I’d also like to acknowledge: Simon Bridges - CEO of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce. His Excellency Ambassador - Wang ...
    2 days ago
  • Assisted depatures from New Caledonia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has confirmed a New Zealand Government plane will head to New Caledonia in the next hour in the first in a series of proposed flights to begin bringing New Zealanders home.    “New Zealanders in New Caledonia have faced a challenging few days - and bringing ...
    2 days ago
  • Assisted departures from New Caledonia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has confirmed a New Zealand Government plane will head to New Caledonia in the next hour in the first in a series of proposed flights to begin bringing New Zealanders home.  “New Zealanders in New Caledonia have faced a challenging few days - and bringing them ...
    2 days ago
  • Government to rollout roadside drug testing
    The Coalition Government will introduce legislation this year that will enable roadside drug testing as part of our commitment to improve road safety and restore law and order, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Alcohol and drugs are the number one contributing factor in fatal road crashes in New Zealand. In ...
    3 days ago
  • Minister responds to review of Kāinga Ora
    The Government has announced a series of immediate actions in response to the independent review of Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. “Kāinga Ora is a large and important Crown entity, with assets of $45 billion and over $2.5 billion of expenditure each year. It ...
    3 days ago
  • Pseudoephedrine back on shelves
    Associate Health Minister David Seymour is pleased that Pseudoephedrine can now be purchased by the general public to protect them from winter illness, after the coalition government worked swiftly to change the law and oversaw a fast approval process by Medsafe. “Pharmacies are now putting the medicines back on their ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand-China Business Summit
    Tēnā koutou katoa. Da jia hao.  Good morning everyone.   Prime Minister Luxon, your excellency, a great friend of New Zealand and my friend Ambassador Wang, Mayor of what he tells me is the best city in New Zealand, Wayne Brown, the highly respected Fran O’Sullivan, Champion of the Auckland business ...
    4 days ago
  • New measures to protect powerlines from trees
    Energy Minister Simeon Brown has announced that the Government will make it easier for lines firms to take action to remove vegetation from obstructing local powerlines. The change will ensure greater security of electricity supply in local communities, particularly during severe weather events.  “Trees or parts of trees falling on ...
    5 days ago
  • Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani win top Māori dairy farming award
    Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani were the top winners at this year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy awards recognising the best in Māori dairy farming. Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka announced the winners and congratulated runners-up, Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board, at an awards celebration also attended by Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Finance Minister ...
    6 days ago
  • DJ Fred Again – Assurance report received
    "On the 27th of March, I sought assurances from the Chief Executive, Department of Internal Affairs, that the Department’s correct processes and policies had been followed in regards to a passport application which received media attention,” says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “I raised my concerns after being ...
    6 days ago
  • District Court Judges appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins has announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges, to replace Judges who have recently retired. Peter James Davey of Auckland has been appointed a District Court Judge with a jury jurisdiction to be based at Whangarei. Mr Davey initially started work as a law clerk/solicitor with ...
    6 days ago
  • Unions should put learning ahead of ideology
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour is calling on the Post Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA) to put ideology to the side and focus on students’ learning, in reaction to the union holding paid teacher meetings across New Zealand about charter schools.     “The PPTA is disrupting schools up and down the ...
    6 days ago
  • Craig Stobo appointed as chair of FMA
    Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Andrew Bayly today announced the appointment of Craig Stobo as the new chair of the Financial Markets Authority (FMA). Mr Stobo takes over from Mark Todd, whose term expired at the end of April. Mr Stobo’s appointment is for a five-year term. “The FMA plays ...
    6 days ago
  • Budget 2024 invests in lifeguards and coastguard
    Surf Life Saving New Zealand and Coastguard New Zealand will continue to be able to keep people safe in, on, and around the water following a funding boost of $63.644 million over four years, Transport Minister Simeon Brown and Associate Transport Minister Matt Doocey say. “Heading to the beach for ...
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand and Tuvalu reaffirm close relationship
    New Zealand and Tuvalu have reaffirmed their close relationship, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says.  “New Zealand is committed to working with Tuvalu on a shared vision of resilience, prosperity and security, in close concert with Australia,” says Mr Peters, who last visited Tuvalu in 2019.  “It is my pleasure ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand calls for calm, constructive dialogue in New Caledonia
    New Zealand is gravely concerned about the situation in New Caledonia, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.  “The escalating situation and violent protests in Nouméa are of serious concern across the Pacific Islands region,” Mr Peters says.  “The immediate priority must be for all sides to take steps to de-escalate the ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand welcomes Samoa Head of State
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met today with Samoa’s O le Ao o le Malo, Afioga Tuimalealiifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II, who is making a State Visit to New Zealand. “His Highness and I reflected on our two countries’ extensive community links, with Samoan–New Zealanders contributing to all areas of our national ...
    1 week ago
  • Island Direct eligible for SuperGold Card funding
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has announced that he has approved Waiheke Island ferry operator Island Direct to be eligible for SuperGold Card funding, paving the way for a commercial agreement to bring the operator into the scheme. “Island Direct started operating in November 2023, offering an additional option for people ...
    1 week ago
  • Further sanctions against Russia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today announced further sanctions on 28 individuals and 14 entities providing military and strategic support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.  “Russia is directly supported by its military-industrial complex in its illegal aggression against Ukraine, attacking its sovereignty and territorial integrity. New Zealand condemns all entities and ...
    1 week ago
  • One year on from Loafers Lodge
    A year on from the tragedy at Loafers Lodge, the Government is working hard to improve building fire safety, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says. “I want to share my sincere condolences with the families and friends of the victims on the anniversary of the tragic fire at Loafers ...
    1 week ago
  • Pre-Budget speech to Auckland Business Chamber
    Ka nui te mihi kia koutou. Kia ora and good afternoon, everyone. Thank you so much for having me here in the lead up to my Government’s first Budget. Before I get started can I acknowledge: Simon Bridges – Auckland Business Chamber CEO. Steve Jurkovich – Kiwibank CEO. Kids born ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand and Vanuatu to deepen collaboration
    New Zealand and Vanuatu will enhance collaboration on issues of mutual interest, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “It is important to return to Port Vila this week with a broad, high-level political delegation which demonstrates our deep commitment to New Zealand’s relationship with Vanuatu,” Mr Peters says.    “This ...
    1 week ago
  • Penk travels to Peru for trade meetings
    Minister for Land Information, Chris Penk will travel to Peru this week to represent New Zealand at a meeting of trade ministers from the Asia-Pacific region on behalf of Trade Minister Todd McClay. The annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministers Responsible for Trade meeting will be held on 17-18 May ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister attends global education conferences
    Minister of Education Erica Stanford will head to the United Kingdom this week to participate in the 22nd Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers (CCEM) and the 2024 Education World Forum (EWF). “I am looking forward to sharing this Government’s education priorities, such as introducing a knowledge-rich curriculum, implementing an evidence-based ...
    1 week ago
  • Education Minister thanks outgoing NZQA Chair
    Minister of Education Erica Stanford has today thanked outgoing New Zealand Qualifications Authority Chair, Hon Tracey Martin. “Tracey Martin tendered her resignation late last month in order to take up a new role,” Ms Stanford says. Ms Martin will relinquish the role of Chair on 10 May and current Deputy ...
    1 week ago
  • Joint statement of Christopher Luxon and Emmanuel Macron: Launch of the Christchurch Call Foundation
    New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and President Emmanuel Macron of France today announced a new non-governmental organisation, the Christchurch Call Foundation, to coordinate the Christchurch Call’s work to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online.   This change gives effect to the outcomes of the November 2023 Call Leaders’ Summit, ...
    1 week ago
  • Panel announced for review into disability services
    Distinguished public servant and former diplomat Sir Maarten Wevers will lead the independent review into the disability support services administered by the Ministry of Disabled People – Whaikaha. The review was announced by Disability Issues Minister Louise Upston a fortnight ago to examine what could be done to strengthen the ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister welcomes Police gang unit
    Today’s announcement by Police Commissioner Andrew Coster of a National Gang Unit and district Gang Disruption Units will help deliver on the coalition Government’s pledge to restore law and order and crack down on criminal gangs, Police Minister Mark Mitchell says. “The National Gang Unit and Gang Disruption Units will ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand expresses regret at North Korea’s aggressive rhetoric
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has today expressed regret at North Korea’s aggressive rhetoric towards New Zealand and its international partners.  “New Zealand proudly stands with the international community in upholding the rules-based order through its monitoring and surveillance deployments, which it has been regularly doing alongside partners since 2018,” Mr ...
    1 week ago

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