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In support of Nanaia Mahuta

Written By: - Date published: 8:11 am, November 6th, 2020 - 70 comments
Categories: International, labour, Nanaia Mahuta, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags:

Some elements of the right as well as Comrade Chris Trotter have decided to attack Nanaia Mahuta’s appointment as Foreign Affairs minister.

I can understand the attacks from the right.  They are motivated by distaste because not only is she not a man but she is not one of them, her skin colour is not quite right as far as they are concerned and they still harbour views that were last century and which are well and truly past their use by date .  But the attack by Comrade Trotter is to be frank well misplaced.

At the Daily Blog he said this:

No amount of fluffing-up the elevation of Nanaia Mahuta to Minister of Foreign Affairs – “the first woman in our nation’s history appointed to hold the portfolio” – can disguise the sheer awfulness and irresponsibility of Ardern’s decision.

The job should have gone to David Parker: not only because he has earned it many times over, but also because, in the years between now and the next election, New Zealand is going to need a truly outstanding Foreign Minister. Regardless of who wins the 3 November presidential election, the conflict between the USA and China is going to ramp-up into something with the potential to inflict huge damage on this country and its economy. New Zealand needs a Foreign Minister of vision, courage, verbal felicity and real, on-the-ground, experience. Mahuta, sadly, has not distinguished herself as a person over-endowed with any of these qualities.

I would beg to differ with Comrade Chris.  Mahuta has displayed heaps of courage, for instance when she opposed the Foreshore and Seabed legislation, has an outstanding ability to present and critique ideas and her ability to ride the complexity of Maori politics leaves her well placed to do the same with International politics.

Mahuta has a proud history in the Labour Party.  She has been an MP since 1996.  I got to know her in 2011 during the Labour leadership contest that year when she stood for the deputy leadership in partnership with David Cunliffe.  The two of them toured the country and wowed the membership.  The caucus decided to support David Shearer but I can say confidently that large parts of the membership did not see it that way.

Nanaia was a star.  I saw her speak at a couple of meetings and her speech was straight from the heart, presented a complex view of the world, and made me think about things.  Her world view was expansive and complex.  She provided a distinct and welcome alternative to the other speeches being given.  And the David Nanaia partnership was perfect.  Male female, Pakeha Maori.

She was first elected to Parliament in 1996.  She survived the foreshore and seabed difficulties that the party faced.  She sought and received permission to vote against the bill.  In 2005 which was a good year for Labour but a bad year for Labour’s Maori MPs she was returned to Parliament.  Since then she has won the seat very comfortably.  Maori have a very sophisticated and complex understanding of the political process.  Mahuta’s continued success shows that she is tuned into what it happening within her community.

The increasing strength of the Maori and Pacifica caucuses in Labour are reasons for celebration.  Their sense of Manaakitanga is something that every leftie should endorse.  If you are looking for the left faction in Labour’s caucus this is it.

Shane Te Pou, who is going from strength to strength as a political commentator also considers that Nanaia’s appointment is a worthy one.  In this morning’s Herald he says this:

Ardern has recognised Mahuta as one of her most reliable ministers — she gets the job done, she keeps people onside, and she doesn’t create negative headlines. In other words, perfect attributes for a Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Nanaia Mahuta has built her 24-year career as an MP by being a quiet achiever. She connects to communities and stakeholders, builds consensus, fixes problems without a fuss, without a splash. She constantly surpasses expectations.

I was on the selection panel when Mahuta put her name forward to be a Labour candidate in 1996. I’ll confess, she wasn’t the top candidate in my mind, until she came and spoke to us.

Her research and knowledge was impeccable, her vision was impressive. Already in 1996, she was thinking about the post-Treaty settlement future that we’re only just starting to grapple with now.

She won that selection and has gone on to win eight successive electorate races. Through the foreshore and seabed controversy, when she voted against the bill in its first two readings, she decided the best course was to stay with Labour and be part of rebuilding the Māori voice in the party. She went back to her people and made the case for staying with Labour, and she won re-election — one of only two Māori seats Labour held in 2008.

People underestimate Mahuta at their peril. They think that because she’s not all over the news she’s not doing much, but that’s a mistake. Not every minister needs to be a star or a show-off. Getting things done is more important than producing a lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

His conclusion is outstanding:

The best bit is the old grumps and racists moaning about it. It just shows how out of touch and irrelevant they are. It’s the 21st century — the days when grey men in suits were in charge are long gone. It’s time for the people of Aotearoa to be proud of who we are and display what makes us unique. A skilful, consensus-building wāhine with a moko kauae is the perfect voice for NZ’s place in the world.

He rākau taumatua he huinga manu — it’s not a wāhine leadership of one but it’s about the tree in the forest where all the birds turn up for a sing and a kōrero. A trusted and important tree in Te Wao nui a Tane, just as she is now a trusted and important politician in the current Government.

Maori woman with a moko representing us to world leaders?  Hell yeah.

70 comments on “In support of Nanaia Mahuta ”

  1. Antonina 1

    well said Micky and thank you for writing this.

  2. Robert Guyton 2

    "I can understand the attacks from the right. They are motivated by distaste …"

    Poor lambs!

    I applaud the appointment.

  3. Tiger Mountain 3

    Nice piece. Do some of the critics even know what the Kingitanga is one wonders? This woman is definitely someone of status.

    Nanaia and Peeni replacing the reactionaries from NZ First are an opportunity for new approaches. Solidarity networks for the likes of Palestinians and West Papua need to move fast though, because 5 Eyes, internal security agencies and Israeli supporters, will already be trying to capture these two.

    It will be interesting when Nanaia meets some US State Dept. types and drops into the conversation–“so where is it all at with Standing Rock?”

  4. JanM 4

    Chris Trotter has some trouble understanding that white men no longer rule as of right. I feel as though I have hurtled back to the history department of the 60s when I read him sometimes. I personally am proud and happy that Nanaia Mahuta gets to represent us on the international stage. Kia kotahi!

    [Removed spurious text from e-mail address]

    • greywarshark 4.1

      JanM I think you have trouble understanding discussion and critiquing in general, wanting a rose-strewn path with feminine/feminist bias all the time. Women need to be watched and checked and evaluated as with all candidates for anything, to ensure they are trustworthy and capable. Women and Maori as two groups who have been backgrounded for a long time, can not be indulged with have-a-go, or rah rah, it's your time. It should be a case of equal opportunity, with a recognition of whom is ready and capable to do the job. There should also be a willingness, a desire to have a greater representation of society among those ready to carry out the task. To ensure this all should have an opportunity to learn skills and shine especially those who have not been considered in the past. They must have opportunities to build the skills and abilities, and have places set aside at training institutions, whether in university or practical social work courses. Then equality must be evident in choosing personnel, and thinking widely, we might then see more NZs in positions with aurthoritu instead of the present influx of overseas high flyers.

      It seems that Ms Mahuta's talents can stand any amount of critiquing and comparison with David Parker. It is not unreasonable of Chris Trotter to discuss and test the case.

      • JanM 4.1.1

        Are your comments about what I said wilful ignorance or just an excuse to hang your hat on a convenient peg?

        • greywarshark

          Jibes at anyone who doesn't follow your line of thinking which has superior authority is your style it appears.

      • CrimsonGhost 4.1.2

        Yeah nah, Chris is just becoming reactionary in his old age & bummed that his tidbit feeder Parker didn't get the role and be able to provide him with more tidbits LOL.

    • tc 4.2

      "…I have hurtled back to the history department of the 60s when I read him.." +100

      Trotter's a tame lefty media rent a quote goto they turn to as he doesn't scare the 'horses' like pagani etc. They have to pay the piper eventually.

  5. Patricia Bremner 5

    Nanaia will represent us with dignity and knowledge. She is a believer in the rule of law and a great communicator and listener. She is able to network, and has confidence in her role and is a team player. The World Trade people she met through her Associate Minister of Trade role, congratulated her on her new role and gave a glimpse of the warm relationships and respect in which she is held. I am pleased for her, but more pleased for us. Jacinda Ardern is a very astute leader, and shows that once again.

  6. swordfish 6

    I can understand the attacks from the right. They are motivated by distaste because not only is she not a man but she is not one of them, her skin colour is not quite right as far as they are concerned

    Ohhh, Poor Little Rich Girl.

    Mission of the Political Right: Maintaining power for the Christ College / Whanganui Collegiate Old Boys Network

    Mission of the Woke "Cultural Left": Empowering & ostentatiously celebrating the spoiled, privileged elites of ID demographics deemed "marginalised" … from Old Money Pakeha Woodford House Girls to Blue Blood Indigenous Aristocracy …

    All very emotionally moving for the sort of Upper-Middle Professionals (imbued with a kind of Romantic Paternalism) now firmly in control of supposedly "Left"-leaning Parties.

    Elitist to its very core.

    • RedLogix 6.1

      Blue Blood Indigenous Aristocracy

      Indeed, most pakeha are quite blind to how very elitist and precisely calibrated are the class distinctions in Maori society.

      Nonetheless, if she is as competent as the OP paints her to be, then this is all that really matters to me.

      • left_forward 6.1.1

        … very elitist and precisely calibrated…

        If you are pakeha, then the irony of your view is how dangerously close to intellectual elitism and racist it is.

        If you are maori, then I recommend that you look for the deeper nuances within your whanaunga.

        • Redlogix

          Whakapapa. While it is usually explained as genealogy and connection to your past ancestors, there is also no doubt that it very precisely places each individual into a complex hierarchy in the present.

          And that hierarchy has both it's good and oppressive aspects. None of this is terribly controversial, all human societies do this to some degree.

    • left_forward 6.2

      Sorry – don't understand anything you have written here – too many codified phrases – what are you actually saying?

    • Matthew Whitehead 6.3

      Happy to discuss elitism within Labour or the Left generally, but what exactly are you citing as evidence here that either Minister Mahuta herself or her appointment is a result of elitism? So far you've just thrown the accusation without really backing it up.

    • mickysavage 6.4

      Interesting comment Swordfish. The broad left have discussed for a few decades now the competing arguments of class, race and gender.

      Some see things in class terms only, others in gender terms, others in race terms.

      For me I see class and race as being closely linked. Gender perhaps less so.

      It is a valid argument but one that tends to blow up every time the left has it …

  7. left_forward 7

    Yes I entirely agree – the critique is completely unwarranted and ignorant.

  8. Matthew Whitehead 8

    Most of the criticism I've seen of this falls into one of three categories:

    a) Obvious racism. I don't think we need to waste time discussing that nonsense, and it discredits anyone who tries it. I'm sure to some degree other critiques are motivated by unconscious racism, and that one's a bit more insidious to get at.

    b) Objecting to how "quiet" Mahuta is- I think you covered this well in the post. There is no reason a Minister has to be flashy, in fact from the PM's perspective there is some benefit to surprising the public or your opponents with everything they've done because they're plugging away in the background. Frankly, being able to sit back and say "this room already has all the questions I want to ask covered, I will observe and report later" or even just "this isn't my area yet, I will be quiet and learn for now" is an underrated political skill, and it is telling that political liches like Stephen Franks think it's disqualifying.

    c) Fetishizing experience- I think Trotter's objection that Parker is more qualified fits in here. There are other ways to be qualified than just the sorts of obvious things you'll have checked in a job interview, although the Minister has some of those as a previous Minister for Trade, too, and I'm willing to take Ardern at her word that she's impressed in that portfolio. (And you know me, I will be skeptical as all hell when there's evidence behind doing so!) Also, Parker may frankly not want MFAT, and is almost certainly the type who will be pleased for Mahuta's promotion. It is uncharitable to push him as an alternative to her given their presumably still close working relationship.

    Mahuta comes from a tradition that is deeply appropriate to this role, and even Pakeha like me can see she's built up an impressive amount of mana for Labour in general and herself in particular, that will be of great value in MFAT. Not only is it past time we gave roles this senior to women, a wahine Māori perspective will be extremely valuable in MFAT and hopefully build new and useful values into the future. And she was actually very impressive in the Labour leadership shuffle debates.

    I think on paper she's a particularly brilliant pick, but obviously as with all Cabinets, we do have to wait and see to a degree whether theory becomes reality. I'm frankly surprised that it's Mahuta that most of the ire has fallen upon, as she seems for less controversial to me than re-appointing Clark, or promoting Jackson.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 8.1

      Great comment Matthew. Can't recall the last time the appointment of a NZ Foreign Affairs minister engendered such angst.

      Looking at a photo of Mahuta, it's easy to fully understand the origin of that angst in some, but why not give her a fair go – her decisions and actions in this portfolio will be scrutinised as never before; literally like no other.

  9. Darien Fenton 9

    I am so proud of this appointment. I agree what you are seeing is the traditional old boys bullshit that woman have no place in the "real" jobs of the government. It shows NZ is growing up at last.

  10. Brigid 10

    She withdrew from the Labour list after the seabed and foreshore legislation and stood only as an electorate candidate in Hauraki-Waikato at the next election to truly test the feeling of the electorate. Hows that for courage and strength? How many other politicians have similarly risked their job?


    Chris Trotter, this time, is so wrong. And why does he think Parker is more fit for the role anyway?

    • tc 10.1

      manufacturing dissent as he is a media poodle. No doubt he’s got a snoozefest of an article to back up his thoughts.

  11. Brendan 11

    Nat voter here.

    NZ's Foreign policy is basically the same under Team Blue or Team Red with a different flavour. I.e sell more stuff and don't have a war. I don't see a major change in foreign affairs – other than trying to do as much as possible with possibly smaller budgets due to COVID cuts.

    She has been around for a while in Parliment so she will know how things work. And she will have had lots of practice doing buisness with us whities, which will help with the job. Foreign Affairs will be there to handle the finer protocol details that otherwise might be missed.

    And overseas Ministries of Foreign affairs are be proffessional organizations who just want to get on with buisness (And they know that foreigners like Nanaia are different anyway so they expect them not to act like them).

    All the best for the next 3 years – although she might get sick of airports and air travel once COVID ends.

    • left_forward 11.1

      Is that all that foreign policy is to a Nat voter? Money and war?

      • Wensleydale 11.1.1

        That's all foreign policy is to the entire human race, generally speaking. Money, power, resources, and war. The latter is simply one means of acquiring the former.

        • left_forward

          Doesn’t humanitarianism hold any value across the 'entire' human race?

          • Wensleydale

            Sure it does. But self-interest is a huge aspect of what goes on. Human nature is funny like that.

          • Gabby

            That would be the presence of money and the absence of war.

            • greywarshark

              No I don't think so. It has been found that war is a great wealth creator for some. The spending of nations on armaments and just grenades is tremendous. Diana, Princess of Wales was onto that.

              War is a problem to those who get caught up in it as attackers or the attacked, but isn't so terrible for the organisers and those at home who may be just inconvenienced. Ir has proved to be something terrible, that someone is always prepared to countenance; the mind skips over it and Anzac Day has lost the depth of meaning.

              And the fancy equipment and gear development and then the building costs a fortune, and gives a fortune to the businesses involved. So war and money go well together. Wensleydale is right on the button.

  12. Rosemary McDonald 12

    If you all remember…in 2017 Nanaia Mahuta made a staunch stand in Hauraki / Waikato against the Maori Party candidate endorsed by King Tuheitea.

    She held her seat, despite having to go up against the Kingitanga's Chosen One.

    "I never take an election for granted. I've been clear in this election about the issues that Labour would seek to implement to improve the lives of whānau that I represent. And they've heard that message, and they've spoken, and they've returned me back to Parliament for three years,"


    I've always admired Nanaia Mahuta, and given the space she'll represent Aotearoa on the world stage with intelligence and grace.

  13. Reality 13

    Great to see a quiet and respected achiever is being recognised and that men in suits are having to learn these roles can be held by women.

    Jacinda's diverse caucus is in stark contrast to Judith's, as we saw with post election photos of the two caucuses.

  14. Stuart Munro 14

    I haven't followed her particularly closely, and I am not a fan of facial tats.

    But her rep is very strong. The last Maori we had doing foreign affairs did a great job. And it's a wakeup call to countries that have put less effort into supporting their indigenous peoples.

    I imagine she'll shine, and good on her.

  15. Anne 15

    Around 2012 Nanaia came to my electorate to put the local active membership through a special exercise. She divided us into teams of 5-10 people and gave each team a political circumstance to solve. It could have ended up a bit of a battle ground but it didn't. Nanaia handled the occasion brilliantly and I was very impressed with the way she was able to engage with each of us regardless of our backgrounds and level of importance in the party.

    I think that ability will stand her in very good stead no matter who she is negotiating with. She also comes across to me as a woman of infinite patience too, which could be sorely needed in the times ahead.

  16. Siobhan 16

    "Maori have a very sophisticated and complex understanding of the political process."…qudos for noticing that Maori, like all humans, are inherently political I guess, but what on earth does that mean? and as opposed to whom exactly?..you perchance? or Pakeha (all of them..seeing as were going for broad racial stereotypes today).
    It would be good to read a bit more about Nanaia’s actions as an individual political force rather than so heavily pigeonholing her…and her critics..

    • greywarshark 16.1

      You're looking for a stern but fair assessment. Fair enough. What Anne says above may be heartening and answer some of your queries?

      • Siobhan 16.1.1

        Yes..thank you. Annes comment is more what i'm interested in. And more. I'm all for the 'stern but fair assessment' of Labour and its members even though some people interpret such things as being one step away from some sort of Communist style show trial.

        • greywarshark

          You set up the questions well Siobhan, and we throw the balls at the figures in the sideshow. And everyone gets to participate, and who knows who is winning but the idea is to have a try, and the show rolls on with good attendance. Which is what we want I think.

    • weka 16.2

      Not all cultures are the same. Māori have a particular cultural way of approaching politics. Why does this have to be understood in opposition to something, instead of looking at it in its own right?

      • Siobhan 16.2.1

        Not all cultures are the same. Then again not all people within each culture are the same….Not all people of any particular gender are the same. Not all people of any generation are the same…yet do we feel the need to point this out on every comment about every individual and their approach to politics?

        …any way..my point was that this piece seemed to lack any real information as to Nanaias particular skills and suitability for the job.,which at the end of the day would the best argument as to her suitability..rather than a tit for tat about 'grumpy old white men' vs 'Maori', let alone the implication that Maori and Pasifika people are somehow inherently the Leftist faction in Labour.

        • weka

          I felt the need to point it out because you seemed confused about Māori politics.

          We must have read different posts. The one I read is full of Mahuta's skills and suitability for the job.

  17. bwaghorn 17

    So we have a woman pm ,a maori woman foreign affairs minister, the nats had a Maori leader and a Maori woman DP in bennet ( correct me if I'm wrong on that)

    Sounds like maybe we need to stop with the nz is a racist sexist country palaver.

  18. AB 18

    I think Chris gives the game away by accusing Mahuta of lacking "verbal felicity". This is the thing that really bothers him, the other stuff about 'courage' etc. he can't possibly know. For a certain type of educated Pakeha (I'd plead guilty here too), this skill of "verbal felicity" is a marker of intelligence. And Trotter illustrates what he perceives as Mahuta's lack of it, by showing off his own through the very use of this phrase. I wouldn't call it racist, but it's very bound up with one particular cultural perspective.

  19. Heather Grimwood 19

    Nanaia most certainly has courage Micky ! and not only over Seabed and Seashore. She has dealt with attitudes to capable women prevailing in her early years of activism, with sadness, with producing and raising children while an M.P., characteristically without fanfare and undoubted racial slights with seeming equanimity.
    I first recognised her earnestness at LP conferences….always on tasks at sessions and in between, always friendly and capable, and through the years always answering emails. I remember at a LP conference in Dunedin, The little family sitting quietly at dinner when Nanaia must have been exhausted.
    I wish her well
    Yes, Pat Bremner, Nanaia “has dignity and knowledge.”
    Yes, Tiger Mountain, Nanaia “is definitely a woman of status.”
    Yes, Matthew Whitehead ( at 8 par 3 ), David Parker is most “certainly the type who will be pleased for Nanaia’s promotion. “

  20. Ad 20

    I would evaluate her on her work.

    The policy work she has done on freshwater governance over the last two years could have been an explosion of poop all over the place. Instead she has subtly tilted the field of discourse towards "of course" and "totally necessary".

    Fresh water governance reform is of course driving policy deep in to rural local government heartland, which is code word for National. All those tiresome fifedoms of farmers electing each other up. But what's coming their way is a shift towards amalgamation of water entities that will require greater common accountability from larger regions for water reliability and water quality. That's Mahuta's work.

    She's formed a very firm bed for policy change that will enable Ardern to have a bit more courage when it comes to water price reform. Which runs of course straight into mana whenua kaitiaki and Treaty claim issues. It would be bonkers not to replace her with a Maori Labour leader in this area. Note again near silence from Maori on water at the moment. That's Mahuta's work.

    The field of policy work that is most strongly open to her in Foreign Affairs is the Pacific Islands Forum, COVID-19 economic development recovery response, and pacific islands regional development. New Zealand frankly needs a te reo speaker there because putting up a Pakeha – no matter how skilled – inevitably has a parochial tint to it. It certainly is an advantage that she comes from the prestigious Mahuta line, and with very strong Kingitanga understanding.

    We have never done a convincing job on this forum, and the testosterone levels within the Melanseian Spearhead Group are quite something. Frankly it needs a female Maori leader to engage on this well. None other have her standing.

    Many Pacific Islands have been proven over COVID19 lockdown to be totally dependent upon tourism trade from ourselves and Australia. She will be an excellent asset landing the new health protocols that will enable flights to re-start, and in dong so re-start the devastated economies of our Realm countries and further afield.

    Often Foreign Affairs is the position you give to the Minister most likely to form a coup against you.

    Instead she has sent one of her most competent, most Pacifika-smart, most relationship-nuanced Cabinet Ministers.

    It's a strong choice.

    • RedLogix 20.1

      Thanks for filling out some details. She is a bold choice that was always going to attract some comment. No question she will be under considerable scrutiny to deliver in what is going to be a critical Ministry role in the next few years.

      Like most others here I wish her the best.

    • Patricia Bremner 20.2

      Thanks Ad, a good summary.
      I was impressed with her dignified inclusive manner, and this action shows we colonials have begun to cringe less, and have developed pride in our own.

    • mickysavage 20.3

      Thanks Ad.

      Agreed entirely about water. This is the big, really big issue for the country. This summer parts of Tamaki Makaurau are going to face severe pressures, worse than last year.

      The Waikato river and Tainui (kia ora) are helping but this is not sustainable.

      And te wai must be clearly in the centre of article two of the Treaty of Waitangi.

      This is a bit of a downer for some but once the Crown makes an agreement it should stick to it.

  21. mary_a 21

    Well done Labour and Jacinda for appointing Nanaia Mahuta as our Minister of Foreign Affairs.

    I could not be prouder than to have Nanaia represent NZ's interests overseas. Nanaia is a woman with mana and dignity, possessing the necessary ability to calmly draw people together. She will serve our country well.

  22. Heather Grimwood 22

    [Hopefully fixed. There was some stray text in your name field – MS]

  23. Dot 23

    Mary -a, you have expressed my thinking well.
    I feel very proud to have Nanaia Mahuta as Aotearoa’s Foreign Minister .

  24. Jae 24

    Thanks for writing this, couldn't agree more.

  25. PsyclingLeft.Always 25

    Nanaia seems to have a quiet, measured dignity. Is gravitas the appropriate word? Best Wishes Nanaia !.

    (and I did look this up)….

    Kia kaha, kia maia, kia manawanui

  26. Grafton Gully 26

    "There are approximately 476 million Indigenous Peoples worldwide, in over 90 countries."


    We now have an Indigenous Person as Foreign Minister, who will become known to the 476 million as a woman of Aotearoa/New Zealand. 90 countries is potentially a lot of influence.

  27. peterlepaysan 27

    Interesting I cannot find a reference to Nanaia on on either trotters or bradbury's sites.

    • weka 27.1

      If you make even a minor change to your username or email address the system treats you as a new person and you get caught in the spam filter. I've adjusted your username back to what its been historically onsite. Mods *strongly prefer people to use the same name (choose one name and stick to it).

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    2 days ago
  • Government to consider recommendations on DNA use in criminal investigations
    The Minister of Justice has received the Law Commission’s recommending changes to the law governing the way DNA is used in criminal investigations. The report, called The Use of DNA in Criminal Investigations – Te Whahamahi I te Ira Tangata I ngā Mātai Taihara, recommends new legislation to address how ...
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    2 days ago
  • Speech to Wakatū Nelson regional hui on trade
    First, I want to express my thanks to Te Taumata for this hui and for all the fantastic work you are doing for Māori in the trade space. In the short time that you’ve been operating you’ve already contributed an enormous amount to the conversation, and developed impressive networks.  I ...
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    3 days ago
  • Speech to Primary Industries Summit
    Thank you for the opportunity to speak to you today about the significant contribution the food and fibres sector makes to New Zealand and how this Government is supporting that effort. I’d like to start by acknowledging our co-Chairs, Terry Copeland and Mavis Mullins, my colleague, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, ...
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    3 days ago
  • Fast track referrals will speed up recovery and boost jobs and home building
    The Government is taking action to increase jobs, speed up the economic recovery and build houses by putting three more projects through its fast track approval process. “It’s great to see that the fast-track consenting process is working. Today we have referred a mix of potential projects that, if approved, ...
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    3 days ago
  • Papakāinga provides critically needed homes in Hastings
    A papakāinga opened today by the Minister for Māori Development the Hon Willie Jackson will provide whānau with much needed affordable rental homes in Hastings. The four home papakāinga in Waiōhiki is the first project to be completed under the ‘Hastings Place Based’ initiative. This initiative is a Government, Hastings ...
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    5 days ago
  • New Zealand ready to host APEC virtually
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern took over the leadership of APEC earlier today, when she joined leaders from the 21 APEC economies virtually for the forum’s final 2020 meeting. “We look forward to hosting a fully virtual APEC 2021 next year. While this isn’t an in-person meeting, it will be one ...
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    6 days ago
  • Revival of Māori Horticulturists
    The rapid revival of Māori horticulture was unmistakeable at this year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy Awards, with 2020 marking the first time this iconic Māori farming event was dedicated to horticulture enterprises. Congratulating finalists at the Awards, Māori Development Minister Willie Jackson said growing large-scale māra kai is part of Māori DNA. ...
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    6 days ago
  • Emergency benefit to help temporary visa holders
    From 1 December, people on temporary work, student or visitor visas who can’t return home and or support themselves may get an Emergency Benefit from the Ministry of Social Development, Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced today. Previously, temporary visa holders in hardship because of COVID-19 have had ...
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    6 days ago
  • School sustainability projects to help boost regional economies
    Forty one schools from the Far North to Southland will receive funding for projects that will reduce schools’ emissions and save them money, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This is the second round of the Sustainability Contestable Fund, and work will begin immediately. The first round announced in April ...
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    6 days ago
  • Farmer-led projects to improve water health in Canterbury and Otago
    More than $6 million will be spent on helping farmers improve the health of rivers, wetlands, and habitat biodiversity in Canterbury and Otago, as well as improving long-term land management practices, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. Four farmer-led catchment group Jobs for Nature projects have between allocated between $176,000 and ...
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    6 days ago
  • Tupu Aotearoa continues expansion to Pacific communities in Nelson, Marlborough, Tasman & Northl...
    Pacific communities in Nelson, Marlborough, Tasman and Northland will benefit from the expansion of the Tupu Aotearoa programme announced today by the Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio. The programme provides sustainable employment and education pathways and will be delivered in partnership with three providers in Northland and two ...
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    6 days ago
  • New primary school and classrooms for 1,200 students in South Island
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins unveiled major school building projects across the South Island during a visit to Waimea College in Nelson today. It’s part of the Government’s latest investment of $164 million to build new classrooms and upgrade schools around the country. “Investments like this gives the construction industry certainty ...
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    7 days ago
  • Minister of Māori Development pays tribute to Rudy Taylor
      Today the Minister of Māori Development, alongside other Government Ministers and MP’s said their final farewells to Nga Puhi Leader Rudy Taylor.  “Rudy dedicated his life to the betterment of Māori, and his strong approach was always from the ground up, grassroots, sincere and unfaltering”  “Over the past few ...
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    7 days ago
  • Prime Minister to attend APEC Leaders’ Summit
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will attend the annual APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting and associated events virtually today and tomorrow. “In a world where we cannot travel due to COVID-19, continuing close collaboration with our regional partners is key to accelerating New Zealand’s economic recovery,” Jacinda Ardern said. “There is wide ...
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    7 days ago
  • Speech to Infrastructure NZ Symposium
    Tena Koutou, Tena Koutou and thank you for inviting me to speak to you today. This is a critical time for New Zealand as we respond to the damage wreaked by the global COVID-19 pandemic. It is vital that investment in our economic recovery is well thought through, and makes ...
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    1 week ago
  • Pike River 10 Year Anniversary Commemorative Service
    Tēnei te mihi ki a tātau katoa e huihui nei i tēnei rā Ki a koutou ngā whānau o te hunga kua riro i kōnei – he mihi aroha ki a koutou Ki te hapori whānui – tēnā koutou Ki ngā tāngata whenua – tēnā koutou Ki ngā mate, e ...
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    1 week ago
  • Huge investment in new and upgraded classrooms to boost construction jobs
    Around 7,500 students are set to benefit from the Government’s latest investment of $164 million to build new classrooms and upgrade schools around the country. “The election delivered a clear mandate to accelerate our economic recovery and build back better. That’s why we are prioritising construction projects in schools so more ...
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    1 week ago
  • Keeping Pike River Mine promises 10 years on
    Ten years after the Pike River Mine tragedy in which 29 men lost their lives while at work, a commemorative service at Parliament has honoured them and their legacy of ensuring all New Zealand workplaces are safe. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern attended the event, along with representatives of the Pike ...
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    1 week ago
  • Additional testing to strengthen border and increase safety of workers
    New testing measures are being put in place to increase the safety of border workers and further strengthen New Zealand’s barriers against COVID-19, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “These strengthened rules – to apply to all international airports and ports – build on the mandatory testing orders we’ve ...
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    1 week ago
  • More public housing delivered in Auckland
    The Government’s investment in public housing is delivering more warm, dry homes with today’s official opening of 82 new apartments in New Lynn by the Housing Minister Megan Woods. The Thom Street development replaces 16 houses built in the 1940s, with brand new fit-for-purpose public housing that is in high ...
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    1 week ago
  • Agreement advanced to purchase up to 5 million COVID-19 vaccines
    The Government has confirmed an in-principle agreement to purchase up to 5 million COVID-19 vaccines – enough for 5 million people – from Janssen Pharmaceutica, subject to the vaccine successfully completing clinical trials and passing regulatory approvals in New Zealand, says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. “This agreement ...
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    1 week ago
  • Jobs for Nature funding will leave a conservation legacy for Waikanae awa
    Ninety-two jobs will be created to help environmental restoration in the Waikanae River catchment through $8.5 million of Jobs for Nature funding, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan announced today. “The new funding will give a four-year boost to the restoration of the Waikanae awa, and is specifically focussed on restoration through ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Dunedin Hospital project progresses to next stage
    As the new Dunedin Hospital project progresses, the Government is changing the oversight group to provide more technical input, ensure continued local representation, and to make sure lessons learnt from Dunedin benefit other health infrastructure projects around the country. Concept design approval and the release of a tender for early ...
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    1 week ago
  • Jump in apprentice and trainee numbers
    The number of New Zealanders taking up apprenticeships has increased nearly 50 percent, and the number of female apprentices has more than doubled. This comes as a Government campaign to raise the profile of vocational education and training (VET) begins. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced ...
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    1 week ago
  • ReBuilding Nations Symposium 2020 (Infrastructure NZ Conference opening session)
    Tena koutou katoa and thank you for the opportunity to be with you today. Can I acknowledge Ngarimu Blair, Ngati Whatua, and Mayor Phil Goff for the welcome. Before I start with my substantive comments, I do want to acknowledge the hard work it has taken by everyone to ensure ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand's biosecurity champions honoured
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor has paid tribute to the winners of the 2020 New Zealand Biosecurity Awards. “These are the people and organisations who go above and beyond to protect Aotearoa from pests and disease to ensure our unique way of life is sustained for future generations,” Damien O’Connor says. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Tourism Industry Aotearoa Conference
    speech to Tourism Industry Aotearoa annual summit Te Papa,  Wellington Introduction Nau mai, haere mai Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, Ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou. Thank you Tourism Industry Aotearoa for hosting today’s Summit. In particular, my acknowledgements to TIA Chair Gráinne Troute and Chief Executive Chris Roberts. You ...
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    1 week ago
  • Supermarkets announced as Government’s second market study
    The Government has today launched a market study to ensure New Zealanders are paying a fair price for groceries.   “Supermarkets are an integral part of our communities and economy, so it’s important to ensure that Kiwis are getting a fair deal at the checkout,” Minister of Commerce and Consumer ...
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    1 week ago
  • Masks to be worn on Auckland public transport and all domestic flights
    Masks will need to be worn on all public transport in Auckland and in and out of Auckland and on domestic flights throughout the country from this Thursday, Minister for COVID-19 Response Chris Hipkins said today. “I will be issuing an Order under the COVID-19 Response Act requiring the wearing ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand signs Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership
    Increase to New Zealand’s GDP by around $2 billion each year Increase opportunities for NZ exporters to access regional markets Cuts red tape and offers one set of trade rules across the Asia Pacific region New government procurement, competition policy and electronic commerce offers NZ exporters increased business opportunities Prime ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Minister acknowledges students as exams begin
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins has recognised the extraordinary challenges students have faced this year, ahead of NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams which begin on Monday. “I want to congratulate students for their hard work during a year of unprecedented disruption, and I wish students all the best as ...
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    2 weeks ago