web analytics

It’s time to reform Fonterra

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, March 25th, 2016 - 49 comments
Categories: Economy, Environment, exports, farming, farming - Tags:

At the formation of Fonterra in 2001 it was thought New Zealand could essentially monopolize the world price of milk. From here, OMG, and what folly that appears now. Now, it is New Zealand’s largest economic liability, apart from real estate. Why hasn’t Fonterra worked?

The NZ Herald generated some thoughts last year from Tony Baldwin, leader of the government’s group that help change the whole industry.

You don’t have to agree with everything he said. I don’t agree that Fonterra should revert to bulk commodities at all, for example. But he made some good points.

Waikato Professor of Agribusiness Jacqueline Rowarth discussed the subject recently again in the Herald.

She understands the folly of Fonterra continuing in a race to the bottom of production, where its brands do not promote the values of our comparative advantage to other dairy producer nations, such as higher animal welfare, higher environmental regulation, extensive pastoral production, massive national branding strength, and more efficient production. That is to say, it does not advance the interests of New Zealand. It is not even close to generating strong competitive advantage.

It’s time the collective opposition stated that it will hold Fonterra to account as a core economic priority. Fonterra holds more power over our economy than Telecom did before it was forcibly split up by Labour’s 1999 government. It is a commercial entity formed by legislation and should therefore be regularly held to account by Parliament, and isn’t. No regulator currently touches it.

In the last two months, prior to its financial result a few days ago, its leadership faced up the the media a total of zero times.

Our regional economies and our regional environments are so vulnerable to Fonterra that it must be regulated. Even our current Prime Minister can see straight through their corporate lies to their suppliers.

Maybe it’s time for a Minister to sit on its board. Maybe a national water price regulator would help. Whatever. Apart from banks, Fonterra is our only economic Too Big To Fail. The Opposition must plan to pay as much policy and executive attention to Fonterra as it does to banking and real estate. Fonterra is New Zealand’s Nokia.

We are all too vulnerable to Fonterra for government to stay neutral to it.

49 comments on “It’s time to reform Fonterra”

  1. Saarbo 1

    That Tony Baldwin is a free market ideologue, …surprised to see you promoting his views against a farmer owned co op. Fonterra may have some issues at the moment but for fucks sake don’t look to Tony Baldwin for solutions…he’s the sort of arsehole who would suggest that farmers own the commodity side of the business and Fonterra should float of the Branded side on to the New York stock exchange (Actually that idea was promoted by Matthew Hooten on Nine to Noon on Monday)

    • Ad 1.1

      I dismissed quoting Oram because he’s so well known to readers here. I like an oppositional framing – good for dialectic.

      Plenty of other Fonterra critiques around, and they’ll get stronger.

    • Henry Filth 1.2

      I thought they’d already flogged off the “Anchor” brand in various parts of the world.

      But the trouble is that New Zealand has no products. French cheese-brie. Italian cheese-parmesan. British cheese-cheddar. New Zealand cheese????

      • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1

        /shrug

        Cheeses are the result of the mould used to create them. How many cheese moulds are unique to NZ?

        I figure the best we can do, as far as cheese goes, is say that it’s grown in NZ.

  2. RedLogix 2

    In my experience successful enterprises, regardless of whether they are public, private or any structure whatsoever, push operational decision-making down to the lowest level possible in the organisation, while ensuring the role of management is to provide communication and strategic coherence.

    Invariably it is the people doing a job who know how to do it best. I’ve encountered this so often, plant operators while they may lack a degree or be able to fully express an issue in the right jargon, almost always have a more intimate sense of what is right than I do. I make it a rule to listen to them, even if it seems wrong at first. Then I try to figure out what I need to do to help them get the result they already know they need in the larger context of everything else going on.

    Writ on a larger scale this is the correct role of management; acting as a conduit for operational knowledge and harnessing the collective power of the enterprise.

    Emphatically Spierings is taking Fonterra down a different, confrontational, top-down model which will only further damage the industry.

    • Ad 2.1

      I noted your comments on Open Mike re hollowed structures with a chill.

    • lprent 2.2

      The first rule of management is that their role is to be slaves to the people actually doing the work – from the drivers through the techs to the sales and marketing. Management are there to facilitate those people in becoming more productive and effective.

      As an overhead cost, that is managements only effective contribution towards productivity.

      Unfortunately often management get a tin God mentality.

      Incidentally this was the reason I dropped out of management and into programming in my late 20s. Rather than spending a lot of time, worry, and effort in 5 minute time slices trying to get others to be more effective, I found I just liked doing the actual work myself. It was a lot more fun.

      • Macro 2.2.1

        Exactly – but you try telling that to the young managers of today, and they will never believe you! 🙂

        • lprent 2.2.1.1

          I have been known to point it out..

          But fortunately with the slow demise of middle management through technology, it does appear to have gotten a lot more traction in the last decade.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.3

      Thank you for explaining why management should be getting lower pay than the workers.

  3. millsy 3

    Stop me if I am wrong, but all these problems seem to stem from when Fonterra listed on the stock exchange.

    It may have been a rather convoluted listing without it being a listing, but as Fonterra directors are now bound by insider trading laws, it is most definetely a listing.

    Genuninely cooperative Tatua and Westland seem to still be doing alright.

    • nadis 3.1

      Fonterra’s problems have existed from way before the listing – note its not a full listing – the normal shareholder rights still reside with the farmer shareholders. The listed fonterra shares are kind of irrelevant to the actual management and capital structure of the company.

      Fonterra’s problem is cultural one. It is an engineering and logistics company. Give them a problem like “increase production of milk powder and reduce costs” and they’ll do that better than anyone in the world. But charge them with growing a consumer brand and they’ll spend $100 million on the task, fail and then write off the investment. I think the cultural bias extends right back to farmers who think only in terms of milk production and input costs (rational as they are the only things they can control), and then management who have always been able to be successful enough through selling bulk commodities.

      But that game is over – traditionally NZ accounted for something like 30-40% of global dairy trade but around 1% of global production. Now with other countries starting to export Fonterra is no longer a whale in the export world.

      The smaller dairy companies have been successful (imo) because they have been unable to rely on a dominant position in exporting bulk commodities. Rather they have had to build added value brands to make money.

      If there is any kind of split that makes sense for fonterra it is in to a bulk business and a brands business. Problem for current management though is that this would advertise their failure as the current brands business would look like a joke.

      • David 3.1.1

        For a brand on the scale of Fonterra you need billions, not a hundred million. The smaller players have been successful because they are operating on a very small scale and their farmers have been committed to the longer term rather than just the upcoming payout.

        Splitting Fonterra is a logical step, but brands are not something Fonterra has succeed at, so I can’t see them improving that short term.

      • millsy 3.1.2

        A listing is a listing is a listing.

        As I said, the directors are now bound by NZX rules and insider trading laws. That makes them a listed company, and not a co-operative.

  4. Time to reform Fonterra? Sure – all you need to do is buy a dairy farm, join the cooperative and then try and persuade other members of the cooperative that reform is necessary. Let us know how you get on.

  5. Bill 5

    Maybe if Fonterra had been a genuine cooperative at the outset; one that gave farmers genuine agency, as opposed to the typically rigid, short sighted, top down corporate model that it is…

    Anyway. That as it may be…getting out of the hole might not be an option now. I note the post reports Jacqueline Rowarth as suggesting things like “higher animal welfare, higher environmental regulation”.

    And that’s all good, but then I think TTPA.

    Put simply. Better welfare or enlightened regulation etc – costs. And under a TTPA, with no tariffs to equal things out, foreign suppliers who don’t hold to the same standards will be able to offer cheaper products. That in turn will lead the domestic regulated industry (whichever industry it may be) to lobby for a relaxation of standards in order that they can compete on a level playing field. (The argument being that the will ‘go under’ otherwise)

    • Murray Simmonds 5.1

      Not dead, Draco T. But I wouldn’t mind betting that is being set up for an offshore corporate takeover.

      Just a guess.

  6. Gristle 6

    Fonterra’s fundimental problem is that the international export market accounts for 9% of internationalproduction and Fonterra’s share is 25% of that export market. So NZ’s exported dairy product is around 2.5% of the world’s production. Increasing world production by 2% matches the entire Fonterra export quantities.

    So whenever there is an increase in demand in the export market that drives up prices will see the rest of the world’s dairy production capability ramp up and the price will drop. There will be a continual Vulnerabilty wherever you base your products in the commodity end of the market and where competing production can easily be scaled up to meet increases in demand. When you have feed lot cows producing milk, adding an extra 10% in herd size doesn’t see much on farm investment required as it is bringing feed into the feed lot all the time already.US Feed lot cows are treated as machines and produce maybe 50% more milk that NZ cows. They are milked hard and culled out of the herd in half the time a NZ field based cow. Guess which type of system is more scalable more quickly. So New Zealand turning every bit of soil into a dairy farm is not the solution when the answer is exporting commodities.

    Fonterra’s profitability is dependent on sourcing material cheaply and processing it. As such it is happy to have low prices at the farm gate: $400m profit cannot be wrong. And as such sets up conflict with its farmer owners.

    Being a commodity supplier increases Fonterra’s risk in the future as there is a high probability that synthetic milk will produced from yeast. Milk powder is milk powder, right. So where is the value of organic, or grass feed, or cow produced if all you do is take all the water out of it as send it to a food manufacturing factory to turn it into bread or Coke or whatever.

    Fonterra setting up farms overseas to supply export markets is just compounding the problem. Increasing production into a volume sensitive environment is crazy unless this production offers some unique advantages, eg counter cyclical, removing trade barriers.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      So New Zealand turning every bit of soil into a dairy farm is not the solution when the answer is exporting commodities.

      Actually, simply exporting commodities isn’t the answer. Samsung, with about the same number of employees as Fonterra, produces about 25% of our GDP.

      Fonterra is proof that we’re doing it wrong.

  7. Fustercluck 7

    Danone makes several times the amount of profit per kg of milk solids than Fonterra.

    Finished, value-added products with brands and product names owned by the milk processor are the only way to make money in the dairy sector. The commodity approach was and is guaranteed to fail.

    Investing in overseas farms that compete with NZ farmers and drive down commodity prices was also a puzzling move.

    • RedLogix 7.1

      The farming sector in this country can only be bitterly disappointed in the performance of it’s industry leaders on so many fronts. This is just the latest.

      But until a majority of farmers wake up, understand they’ve been duped and dumped by the elite capitalists like everyone else … nothing much will change.

      • weka 7.1.1

        High stakes gambling. There must be a lot of denial going on about the people who lose.

      • Gristle 7.1.2

        Hate to say it but most farmers had and continue to have a low level of education. At a stage where you need a degree to get an entry level job how is it that it’s appropriate to base the future of the country, and multimillion dollar businesses on somebody who didn’t like maths science and English. You see a farmer in trouble and more than likely they compensate by doing more tractor work- iron disease.

        Don’t give me anecdotal evidence on how you are or know someone who left school at the age of 9 and now has 5 farms. I’ve got an inlaw just like that. He has 15 farms and does all his paperwork at the kitchen table (just like Crayfor). He also has no succession plan.

        There are some who are absolute guns, but there is very little opportunity to replicate there knowledge/experience elsewhere whilst the owner -operator model dominates. I am reluctant to endorse corporate farming. Hybrid models may be the answer.

        But this is all at the front end of a chain that likes commodities over value add and relies on a benign climate when this advantage is changing.

        • RedLogix 7.1.2.1

          Totally agree with your comment on the absolute guns. Whether it’s conventional or non-conventional ideas they are implementing, there are some operators who are absolute role models.

          Some are remarkably deep green guardians of the land, but for too many heavy levels of debt force them into unsustainable practices which ultimately degrade their businesses and their own health. More than a few men have been broken this way.

          As you suggested, education has to be the key. While it’s true many farmers may lack paper qualifications, most are no fools. Farming is not an easy business, it’s damned hard work and one wrong decision at the wrong time can bugger a whole season or more. So it’s not surprising many of them become very risk averse and in the absence of better information will stick to what’s worked for them in the past. But the key to change is showing them new ideas that are working.

          While most will have an informal bunch of mates in the district they’ll talk with and help each other out, my impression is too often these small networks also reinforce conservatism rather than promote change. Field days have often been a good thing, but perhaps too captured by commercial interests. Industry groups have been too often crippled by in-fighting between conflicting interests.

          We used to have a strong MAF that heavily invested in best-practice on the ground; I’m not so sure how much of this remains after decades of neo-liberal slash and burn. But ultimately sustainable agriculture is one of the core and vital responsibilities of government we ignore at great risk.

    • David 7.2

      Fonterra doesn’t have the capital needed to create brands on the scale it needs for the whole milk supply, on top of which, it sets itself up in direct competition with all its current major customers.

  8. cowboy 8

    Its important that farmers don’t get duped into throwing the baby out with the bathwater re Fonterra. They will realise becoming price takers at the end of the supply chain at the behest of foreign corporates is an incredibly dangerous place to be. Fonterra may not be perfect but at least they have the ability to evolve it in their own interests.

    While I agree Fonterra has not progressed the value add part of their business as fast as it should have, I didn’t hear those howls of criticisms a couple of years back when the payout was $8.40kg. The current collapse in commodity prices is a huge wake up for all concerned.

    Its timely the DIRA legislation gets reviewed as the mandatory requirement to take new milk, and supply a certain amount to the competition to effectively subsidise their establishment, has run its course.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      I didn’t hear those howls of criticisms a couple of years back when the payout was $8.40kg.

      Actually, there’s been huge amounts of criticism on here for years regarding Fonterra’s (and NZ’s) lack of diversification. And warnings about what was going to happen because of it.

  9. gsays 9

    while this may not be exactley along reform lines, i suggest this:

    massively cut the pay of the knobs up top.

    whoever came up with the idea that fonterra would treat their contractors as a bank (60 day extension of payment terms), and while they are at it give us a 20% discount needs an uppercut.
    they should be shown the door and every other executive that went along with it.
    apparently the high salaries are needed coz they attract quality workers….

    value added, value added, value added.

    go organic.
    i think it was on the standard i read the bog standard milk powder price was nz$2800 per tonne compared to organic milk powder @nz$14,600.

  10. Draco T Bastard 10

    Apart from banks, Fonterra is our only economic Too Big To Fail.

    If anything in the economy id too big to fail then there’s only three options:

    1. Break it up so that’s no longer ‘big’
    2. Regulate it so that the government has a say in it’s running and a payout of it’s dividend
    3. Nationalise it into a state monopoly

    Fonterra is New Zealand’s Nokia.

    No it’s not although it probably likes to think it is. If anything, it’s what’s holding us back from developing our economy properly.

    What we’ve been doing over the years is focussing too much upon the stuff that’s easy to do rather than pushing on the stuff that’s actually a challenge. The reason for this reticence seems to be that out ‘leaders’ are focussed upon the costs and ignore the benefits.

    We need to reach further if we want to succeed rather than doing the same stuff over and over again hoping that we’ll all suddenly get rich. We need to look at the hard to do and say: This is going to be fun. Because it will be. Doing the easy stuff is boring, mundane.

    And now you know why the best and brightest of us leave – they’re bored and to do anything interesting requires leaving.

    • Macro 10.1

      “What we’ve been doing over the years is focussing too much upon the stuff that’s easy to do rather than pushing on the stuff that’s actually a challenge. The reason for this reticence seems to be that out ‘leaders’ are focussed upon the costs and ignore the benefits.”

      QFT

    • Hammerman 10.2

      3 very poorly thought out suggestions.

      Break it up – so we end up cannibalising each other in the overseas marketplace?
      Regulate it – because the government are really good at running businesses?
      Nationalise it – because that’s worked so well in the past.

      As a dairy farmer, supplier and shareholder of Fonterra – I look forward to you buying a dairy farm which will give you the ability to raise your 3 suggestions for a shareholder vote at this years AGM. I’m sure you’ll get 75% of milk solids to support your remit.

      Ultimately, it works like this. Me and 10,499 other farm owners will run our co-op in our interest. So you can either buy a farm and join us or move on. Fortress Fonterra is my co-op, not yours.

      • Ad 10.2.1

        Definitely agree that the shareholders are the key. But the effect of Fonterra on New Zealand is also bigger than shareholders – it’s the largest international corporate we have.

        It’s made its on-farm shareholders far too vulnerable. To banks, to their ability to respond to market signals, to succession and leadership planning. And yet Fonterra can’t return enough to make a profit that rewards the life.

        It’s shown too little capacity to stop mistakes, of a magnitude that damages the whole country. It’s bigger than its shareholders by a long way.

        We can wait for shareholder activism to work. It almpst never works.

        Nokia is the right comparison because it’s had to completely redirect its business model to survive. And so does Fonterra.

        • Hammerman 10.2.1.1

          Couldn’t disagree more.

          I’m less vulnerable with Fonterra then without it. Fonterra have delivered to dairy farmers over the long term. They’ve underpinned my farm value as a co-op member, the introduction of gDT has normalised NZ’s milk price with the rest of the world, and my ability to own and profit from the manufacturing asset beyond my farm gate is key to diversifying my farming portfolio and hedge my risks.

          This years milk price shouldn’t be a catalyst for change. FYI – I have farming interests in the UK and we’re getting 17 ppl from Arla for our milk over there. Convert that to solids and NZD and you get $3.96 so my $4.30 from Fonterra isn’t too bad after all. If Fonterra were behind internationally, then we’d be concerned.

          Our farm does 182,000 solids and Fonterra shares are about $6 each. I’ve got skin in the game, so my say counts. Until you get a tanker roll up your drive, and you make an equivalent investment like I have in Fonterra shares, you’re opinion is irrelevant. That’s the beauty of a co-op after all. It’s run for the benefit of its members only.

          • Cowboy 10.2.1.1.1

            Dairy farmers need look no further than the meat industry to see what a disparate beyond the farmgate model delivers.

          • Ad 10.2.1.1.2

            I’m not proposing ‘doing away with Fonterra’. Silly straw-man argument.

            My opinion matters because I’m a New Zealander and it’s the largest NZ business. It affects our entire economy.

            As for milk price (per kg ms) it was last under $4 in 2006. The next year it went to $7.5. Next year just over $4.5. By 2011 back to $7.5. 2014 around $8.3. You know where it is now.

            Congrats if you can plan on that. You’re a walking talking miracle too arrogant to admit improvement needed in Fonterra.

            BTW do you know how many Waikato dairy owner suicides there have been this year? I do.

            Do you know the % of forced sales ANZ is planning in mid-Canterbury this calendar year? I do.

            You could do with some of the cocky taken out of you.

      • Draco T Bastard 10.2.2

        Break it up – so we end up cannibalising each other in the overseas marketplace?

        That’s what competition is all about.

        Regulate it – because the government are really good at running businesses?

        Well, generally speaking, they’re better at it than the private sector.

        Nationalise it – because that’s worked so well in the past.

        Yeah, it did. The problems we’ve got now are because of privatisation.

        Ultimately, it works like this. Me and 10,499 other farm owners will run our co-op in our interest.

        Great, we’ll leave you guys to it. Don’t come to us next time there’s a drought, storm, long winter or any of the other myriad things that you usually come demanding the government (us) bail you out for.

      • Gristle 10.2.3

        The 3 solutions offered by DTB are not exhaustive and effectively represent non-solutions.

        Fonterra needs to be reconceptualised as an entity that delivers a premium range of products.

        And for farmers being suppliers of premium inputs will mean:
        1. A focus on environmental management that sees improved water quality
        2. Ethical treatment of animals. Tail breaking, Bobby calves, slinks, culling, lameness all need to be sorted out.
        3. Staff welfare is an issue. Look at the hours and lack of breaks, the drug and alcohol usage, the accident and death rates, as well as the low real pay rates.
        4. Resource consumption needs to be managed. A dairy farm can go through 80,000 litres per milk. A milking cow requires about 110 litres per day, so that’s another 80,000 litres. A quarter of a million litres per day per dairy farm is about the same as 250 homes. If you require irrigation then the water usage doubles.
        Over allocation of water resources has already occurred.
        5. Cows have to be pasture based eating mainly grass.

        Imagine a picture of Heidi in a meadow with a few cows. That’s what consumers want their dairy product to come from.

        I am a farmer but accept that as a consumer of a vast number of free high quality inputs that the NZ society can demand things of me, such as exceptional production values.

      • millsy 10.2.4

        You guys dont run the co-op anymore.

        Not since the backdoor NZX listing.

  11. Tautuhi 11

    Executives are very well paid at Fonterra, probably got their bonuses as well this year?

  12. saveNZ 12

    Personally feel the co operative model is working well, it is just the lack of talent and self indulgent agenda in the management side of Fonterra that is causing the down turn. They are getting too much corporate welfare from the government in water subsidies and lazy immigration etc. If they had to plan for less water, paying market rates for labour and a more sustainable future which is the likely to be needed in the future then they would have put research into water saving ideas and sustainable ventures.

    Fonterra executives are paid too much and produce more spin than long term results. They should not earn more than 1 million including bonuses. The bonuses should be pegged to a 10 year return not each quarter or year which incentivises executives to cut costs and investment to show better books. They should also no received bonuses if they have laid off workers.

    • Ad 12.1

      They’ve sacked their Head Office in droves this year to bring their exec overhead down.

      I haven’t heard anyone propose unwinding the entire coop structure.

      • sabine 12.1.1

        nope Ad, they sacked the workers and paid themselves a raise.

        from September 24 2015
        http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/agribusiness/72361647/Fonterra-boss-Theo-Spierings-gets-up-to-18-per-cent-pay-rise

        Quote: “Fonterra’s chief executive received a pay rise of up to $770,000 last year, despite struggling milk prices and hundreds of his staff losing their jobs.

        Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings’ salary for the year to July 31 was between $4.93 million and $4.94 million, it was revealed in the company’s annual result on Thursday.

        That’s up to 18 per cent more then what he was paid in the year to July 31, 2014, pushing his hourly take home wage up to $1595.” Quote end.

        but maybe you say, that he has had his salary frozen, cause you know shared pain and all of that …….

        October 1 2015
        http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/agribusiness/72585204/Fonterra-CEO-Theo-Spierings-salary-freeze-offer-too-late-farmers-say

        Quote” Theo Spierings received an 18 per cent pay rise in the year to July 31, with an hourly take-home pay up to $1595.

        Fonterra boss Theo Spierings’ salary has been frozen at his own request, but he will still qualify for major bonuses on top of his salary.
        Spierings requested the freeze for the 2015-16 year at a meeting of the company’s people, culture and safety committee on September 21.
        That was the same day Fonterra confirmed 230 more jobs were going, adding to the 523 staff made redundant in July.
        Spierings’ total earnings for the year to July 31 were at least $4.93 million, representing a pay rise of about $770,000.
        The freeze will only apply to his base salary and he will still be eligible for short and long-term “incentive” payments.
        Unusually for a major company, the dairy co-operative only publishes Spierings’ total remuneration, without splitting out bonuses from fixed salary.
        It is not uncommon for such bonuses to make up more than half of top executives’ total pay.” Quote end.

        Nope they only kicked out the worker drones, expecting the remaining worker drones to pick up slack and doing two jobs for the wage of one – lest they want to loose their jobs too and face the WINZ created under the current National Governments Lady of Welfare Mismanagement Paula Bennett, share price goes up as labour costs are cut, and large bonuses are paid to those that just unemployed a few hundred people.

        • Ad 12.1.1.1

          Describing those in head office as ‘worker drones’ is neither fair nor true. Far better to show if the total staff overhead has gone up or down.

          And scapegoating the performance of Fonterra onto the CE’s pay is just silly. The problems have been there since 2001, and are not improving.

          • saveNZ 12.1.1.1.1

            Personally feel it is extremely relevant. Fonterra is a co operative. Why should the CEO be earning “at least $4.93 million, representing a pay rise of about $770,000. The freeze will only apply to his base salary and he will still be eligible for for short and long-term “incentive” payments.”, while laying off workers and paying farmers milk payouts below what it costs to produce the milk.

            There is something wrong with a co operative if a few are benefiting from their own decisions while most of the rest of the co operative are much poorer or worse off.

            It’s classic neoliberalism not good for the farmers, not good for the suppliers, not good for the country, but really good for the 0.01% in the co operative who run it (into the ground for everyone else) and then will have a brainiac idea to sell parts of it off and raise more money or cut costs further by laying off more people or getting more corporate welfare, or not guaranteeing to collect the milk.

            Obviously cutting their own wage costs is not in the equation. (P.S Steve Jobs paid himself $1 salary when he took Apple back from bankruptcy. He was not a saint, but he did understand business!)

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Govt to protect jobs and businesses with extra support
    In-principle decision to extend wage subsidy to support businesses and protect jobs Support will be nationwide in recognition of Auckland’s position in NZ economy and the impact of Level 2 Mortgage deferral scheme to be extended to support households The Government is taking action to support businesses and protect jobs ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • National Does the Nation a Disservice
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters today called for National Party and Opposition leader Judith Collins to stop undermining democracy. “New Zealanders are sadly being fed a steady stream of misinformation about the pre-election period from the National Party,” said Mr Peters. “Its effect is to sow doubt about the legitimacy ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech at the graduation of Wing 340
    Graduation of Wing 340 2pm, 13 August 2020, The Royal New Zealand Police College [CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY] Introduction Ladies and gentlemen, it is a privilege to be here today to celebrate the graduation of Wing 340. Let us begin by acknowledging the presence of Coalition Government colleague, Police Minister the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • More Police deployed for COVID efforts
    More Police are being deployed to the frontline to help manage the COVID response, after the graduation today of 56 new officers. “The ceremonies for the graduation of Wing 340 at the Royal New Zealand Police College were trimmed to take account of new Alert Level 2 restrictions in Wellington,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Transitional housing provides much needed support for Taumarunui whānau
                                                                     Transitional housing provides much needed support for Taumarunui whānau   New emergency and transitional homes will help ease a housing shortage in Taumarunui and provide whānau with much needed support, say Māori Development Minister, Nanaia Mahuta and Whānau Ora Minister, Peeni Henare.  The Ministers officially opened five two-bedroom units ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government announces plan to tackle problem plastics and seven single-use plastic items
    Following the success of the phase out of single-use plastic shopping bags, the Government now has plans to phase out more single-use and problem plastics to reduce waste and protect the environment announced Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage. The proposals are to phase-out: some hard-to-recycle PVC and polystyrene ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New opportunities for Kōpū marine facilities
    A commercial and industrial site in Thames-Coromandel will receive $8.2 million to revamp its marine-servicing infrastructure and create new economic development opportunities, Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones has announced. This project is being supported from the $3 billion ‘shovel ready’ fund set aside in Budget 2020 to kick-start the post COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • PM comments on Auckland COVID-19 case
    After 102 days we have our first cases of Covid-19 outside of a Managed Isolation or Quarantine facility in New Zealand. Shortly I will ask Dr Bloomfield to set out the details of the case. While we have all worked incredibly hard to prevent this scenario, we have also planned ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Significant investment in Raukūmara Pae Maunga to prevent Raukūmara forest collapse
    An iwi-Crown approach programme to restore the Raukūmara forest on the East Coast of the North Island and boost employment opportunities for whānau, particularly rangatahi/young people, will receive $34 million funding, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage has announced. “Raukūmara Pae Maunga is a partnership with Te Whānau-ā-Apanui, Ngāti Porou, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New partnership central to delivering more Māori housing
    Government agencies and partners are working closer together to provide more Māori Housing through the Te MAIHI o te Whare Māori – the Māori and Iwi Housing Innovation Framework for Action (MAIHI). MAIHI is a kaupapa Māori approach that drives a system change to give effect and impact on Māori ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Manawatū Gorge replacement highway drives forward
    Site work is soon to begin on Te Ahu a Turanga: Manawatū Tararua Highway, the project to replace the former SH3 route through the Manawatū Gorge, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Phil Twyford was today in Woodville at the signing of a formal agreement by members of the Alliance ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Pacific Ministers meet to discuss regional economic priorities
    The Pacific Islands Forum Economic Ministers Meeting (FEMM) begins today and will focus on the major economic and social impacts of COVID-19 on the Pacific.  FEMM is an important congregation of Economic Ministers and senior officials from around the region, and for the first time, the annual meeting will be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Formal apology and payment to George Nepata
    Cabinet has approved a formal apology and ex gratia payment to former soldier George Nepata, announced Defence Minister Ron Mark. This payment is to recognise the New Zealand Defence Force’s failure to provide Mr Nepata with a safe system of work in April 1989 when, as a result of an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Report into Iain Lees-Galloway’s expenditure
    A report undertaken by Ministerial Services into Iain Lees-Galloway’s ministerial expenditure has found no evidence of any inappropriate transactions or spending. Ministerial Services undertook a line by line review of all his expenditure, including staff and spouse expenses for the period 1 January 2019 to 30 June 2020.  “I commissioned ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Managed isolation charges to start 11 August
    Managed isolation charges for returnees will come into force from 12.01am Tuesday 11th August, after they passed their last cabinet milestone today, Housing Minister Megan Woods said. “The new charging system balances the rights of New Zealanders to return home and helps reduce pressure on the managed isolation and quarantine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Update on New Zealand and the Cook Islands travel bubble
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Henry Puna have welcomed the completion of phase one in the establishment of a travel bubble between New Zealand and the Cook Island. Negotiations on the text of an ‘Arrangement to Facilitate Quarantine-Free Travel ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • One-stop ‘jobs and training’ shop goes live
    The Government has launched a new online, phone and onsite service to help New Zealanders connect to a range of employment support and products for workers and businesses affected by COVID-19, announced Minister of Education Chris Hipkins and Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. Connected.govt.nz is a one-stop-shop for jobseekers, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • MSD security guards to be paid Living Wage
    Security guards contracted to the Ministry of Social Development will be paid at least the Living Wage from next month supporting the Government’s commitment towards fair pay and employment conditions, announced Minister for  Social Development Carmel Sepuloni.   “MSD was  among the first government agencies to pay its employees the living ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New strategy to ensure nature thrives
    The Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today launched Te Mana o te Taiao, the Aotearoa New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy - a way forward that envisions Aotearoa New Zealand as a place where ecosystems are healthy and resilient, and people embrace the natural world. “Many of New Zealand’s plants and wildlife species ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Provider Languages Fund will support Pacific Wellbeing approach
    “Pacific languages, cultures and identity are essential to the health, wellbeing and lifetime success of our Pacific peoples and their communities in Aotearoa. The strength and resilience of Pacific Aotearoa is not only vital to their own prosperity but integral to the prosperity of all New Zealanders, and is particularly ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19: More funding for schools and boost to construction sector
    ·       $38 million to help schools cover unexpected costs related to COVID-19 ·       $69 million upgrade for online learning ·       $107 million contingency funding to support school construction suppliers facing additional costs due to the lockdown. The Government is releasing $214 million from the COVID-19 response and recovery fund to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Stay safe on the tracks – Rail Safety Week
    Despite the Government installing safety upgrades around the country, people should still take care around rail crossings, said Transport Minister Phil Twyford launching Rail Safety Week. Phil Twyford said installing safety infrastructure is crucial, but we are encouraging people to be more careful around trains too. “We’re making good progress ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government backs Manawatū social housing project
    The Government is providing a cash injection to help Palmerston North City Council complete a programme to provide 78 social housing units for vulnerable tenants. The $4.7 million to build 28 units in the Papaioea Place redevelopment comes from the $3 billion set aside for infrastructure in the Government’s COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Major funding boost for Predator Free Banks Peninsula
    A pest free Banks Peninsula/Te Pātaka o Rākaihautū is one step closer with a $5.11 million boost to accelerate this project and create jobs, announced Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage in Canterbury today. “This is a game changer for this ambitious project to restore the native wildlife and plants on Ōtautahi/Christchurch’s doorstep ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Major investment for indoor sports in Hawke’s Bay
    A Government grant of $6.4 million will expand the Pettigrew Arena in Taradale with new indoor courts of national standard. “The project is likely to take 18 months with approximately 300 people employed through the process,” Grant Robertson said. “The expansion will increase the indoor court space up to 11 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New infrastructure for Far North tourist town
    The Far North tourist destination of Mangonui is to receive Government funding to improve waterfront infrastructure, open up access to the harbour and improve water quality, Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones has announced. A total of $6.5 million from the $3 billion set aside in the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government remains committed to Women’s Cricket World Cup
    The Government has re-affirmed its commitment to supporting the hosting of the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup, which the ICC has delayed from 2021 to 2022. “This is obviously a disappointing decision for cricket players and fans around the world and for the White Ferns and their supporters here at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Green light for Te Awa River Ride in $220m nationwide cycleways investment
    Cyclists and walkers will now have a safer way to get around Taupō, Tūrangi, and between Hamilton and Cambridge, with funding for shared paths and Te Awa River Ride, Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter announced today. “The Te Awa River Ride is the latest part of massive growth ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Six major ‘shovel-ready’ cycleways funded in Christchurch
    Six major cycle routes will be completed in Christchurch thanks to funding from the Government’s investment in shovel-ready infrastructure as part of the COVID-19 recovery Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter announced today. $125 million will be invested to kick-start construction and fund the completion of the following cycleway ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Police facilities for Whanganui
    Plans are underway for a brand new state-of-the-art hub for Whanganui’s justice and social agencies, following confirmation the ageing Whanganui Central Police Station is to be replaced. Police Minister Stuart Nash has announced $25 million in new infrastructure spending to improve facilities for the wider community, and for staff who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Relativity adjustment for Waikato-Tainui and Ngāi Tahu
    An adjustment payment has been made to Waikato-Tainui and Ngāi Tahu under the relativity mechanisms in their 1995 and 1997 Treaty of Waitangi settlements, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little announced today. The latest payments to Waikato-Tainui and Ngāi Tahu are $2,700,000 and $2,600,000 respectively to ensure the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Auckland rail upgrades pick up steam
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Transport Minister Phil Twyford today kicked off the start of the Auckland NZ Upgrade Programme rail projects which will support over 400 jobs and help unlock our biggest city. Both ministers marked the start of enabling works on the third main rail line project ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PGF support for Wairoa creates jobs
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) investment of $3.78 million in Wairoa will create much needed economic stimulus and jobs, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. PGF projects announced today include: $200,000 loan to Nuhaka Kiwifruit Holdings Ltd (operated by Pine Valley Orchard Ltd) to increase the productivity ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Public and Māori housing to trial renewable energy technology
    Tenants in public and Māori housing may be benefiting from their own affordable renewable energy in future – a fund to trial renewable energy technology for public and Māori housing has today been announced by Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods and Associate Minister for Housing (Māori Housing) Nanaia Mahuta. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $2.7m for Hokianga infrastructure
    Hokianga will receive $2.7 million to redevelop four of its wharves and upgrade its water supply, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. Far North District Council will receive $1.8 million from the Provincial Growth Fund for the work on the wharves. “The work will include the construction of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New fund to support housing and construction sector
    A $350 million Residential Development Response Fund is being established to support the residential construction sector and to minimise the economic impact from COVID-19, the Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods has announced. “The Residential Development Response Fund will help to progress stalled or at-risk developments that support our broader housing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government investment to boost Auckland’s community recycling network
    As part of a broader plan to divert waste from landfill, the Government today announced $10.67 million for new infrastructure as part of the Resource Recovery Network across the Auckland region. “This key investment in Auckland’s community recycling network is part of the Government’s Infrastructure Reference Group ‘shovel ready’ projects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Te Papa transformation starts at Cameron Road
    The Government is investing $45 million in the first stage of an ambitious urban development project for Tauranga that will employ up to 250 people and help the region grow, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says the funding has been allocated out of the $3 billion ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PGF supports Hawke’s Bay community and environmental projects
    The Government is investing more than $1.6 million from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) for a wide range of community and environmental projects in Hawke’s Bay, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. These announcements today are part of the Government’s commitment to supporting regional economies in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Low-emissions options for heavy transport a step closer
    Getting low-emission trucks on the road is a step closer with investment in infrastructure to support hydrogen vehicles, the Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods has announced. The Infrastructure Reference Group has provisionally approved $20 million for New Plymouth company Hiringa Energy to establish a nationwide network of hydrogen-fuelling stations. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago