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Jacinda Ardern’s child poverty speech

Written By: - Date published: 7:42 am, February 1st, 2018 - 74 comments
Categories: benefits, child welfare, class, class war, jacinda ardern, labour, poverty, quality of life - Tags:

In a major speech yesterday on poverty, Prime Minister Ardern has laid out fully and forthrightly what is the problem and what need to be done.

The Bill now introduced is described by the Prime Minister as “the framework for measuring and targeting child poverty. It sets in law four primary and six supplementary measures of poverty and material hardship. It requires the government of the day to then set targets to reduce child poverty.”

We have all seen the damage child poverty is doing to our country through the mainstream media last year, let alone in our neighbourhoods, and the Prime Minister has spelled it out for us all.

It would be tempting to have specified targets in the Bill, but she specifically left them out: “We want to leave room for each government to determine their own child poverty reduction ambition. The Bill is about building consensus on behalf of children.”

I am perplexed I must admit about this governments’ approach to social measures, since it seems quite happy to strip them out of education without rationale, and provided no reasons for chucking out the measurement framework of social welfare that National had operated.

But when the Child Poverty Action Group and the Maxim Institute both agree with Labour, the Prime Minister has won.

Whereas National are nowhere. By failing to join with the Prime Minister and jointly form legislation about child poverty reporting, Bill English lost his only leverage. They were only able to meekly repeat “National shares the government’s goal of reducing child poverty.”

That’s as good a definition of a political snooker I’ve seen.

National even likes the idea of measures about social progress. They would simply prefer to use the ones that they invented.

This child poverty legislation pulls National further and further to the left in a broad, binding, and foreseeably permanent social compact determined by Labour:

  • Working For Families
  • Kiwisaver
  • NZ Super
  • ACC
  • Social welfare framework

… and may more

The poverty measures and the inevitable institutional frameworks that will follow them, will be just as permanent a fixture of New Zealand’s full social compact. National are invisible, riding on 4644.5% in the polls. That’s how far they’ve shut themselves out.

The hard thing is this: the government is going to be held to account upon measures over which it has nowhere near full control over the outcomes.

This, not the politics, is the real daring of Prime Minister Ardern. She is making the welfare of children a permanent political issue. Every budget, and every election, how many children remain in poverty will be a reason to vote Labour in or out. The Prime Minister is willingly forming measures for job performance reviews that make retaining her job even harder. She is putting her job on the line about the measurable welfare of all of New Zealand’s children. That takes guts.

Even if the measures trend well, it’s highly unlikely to have any political upside. They will have to compete with more dominant (though coarse) measures like GDP, inflation, unemployment, productivity, immigration, housing, and crime.

That is the massive bet: this Labour-led government believes in its policy direction so much that it is confident that it will bring down the whole of child poverty in New Zealand, within three years, and have no reward for it. The entire public sector will have its funding held accountable to that task. That takes real belief in your values. So I am proud of this government for that alone.

The children of New Zealand await the results, with the national attention they deserve.

74 comments on “Jacinda Ardern’s child poverty speech ”

  1. Ad 1

    Here’s a little excerpt from the speech yesterday:

    “Taken as a whole, each of these 100 day priorities don’t just show where we have been, they show where we are going.

    —————————————————
    That we want to see a genuine transformation in the way we create and share our prosperity. That we believe we can build thriving regions.

    That we do need to move beyond the branding, and genuinely become a clean, green and carbon neutral New Zealand.

    That we all do well when we look after our people. This means a country where everyone is earning, learning, caring or volunteering because that’s the basis of strong communities.

    That when your basic needs are met, you have decent health services, a roof over your head and feel safe in your community, that is when you thrive.

    And that we can and should aspire to be the best place in the world to be a child.”

  2. Ad 2

    First measure:

    “I want to share with you our targets for the next 10 years to reduce child poverty.

    When it comes to our first measure, which is taken before housing costs, we plan to do something New Zealand hasn’t managed before, and reduce the proportion of children living in poverty from the current rate of 15% of kids to just 5%. That is 100,000 children.”

    • Anon 2.1

      That doesn’t describe the measure, but the current govt target and purpose of the measure – which presupposes the results of statistical analysis. It makes the bill sound like it was tailored to give specific results for the govt today rather than ongoing compareable metrics, which makes it sound slimy as.

      • Ad 2.1.1

        That text comes from the speech yesterday.

        As noted below, you need to separate out the bill from the speech. They have two different purposes.

  3. Ad 3

    Second measure:

    “But that is not the only measure. We are a nation in a housing crisis, and that means families living in housing stress and with less discretionary income. Roughly 20% of children are part of families could be considered to be in poverty after their housing costs. Our goal is to halve that, and get it down to 10%”

    • Anon 3.1

      Again that can’t be a goal of the bill if the bill is to provide stats and measurement. Tell us the measure /exactly/ and the purpose of it, not PR spin about wishful thinking.

      • Ad 3.1.1

        The bill has the framework that shows how to measure poverty, not how they are going to go about it.

        It’s the speech yesterday that has the accountability measures that gives the “how”.

        What she is trying to do in the bill is form a framework that will endure beyond any one government. If she stuck hard measures into law, guaranteed the Nats would kill the bill superfast as soon as they got in.

        Whereas the actual targets are for every budget to be held to – and each relevant Department will have to show how they are contributing. Most of that detail we won’t get until the actual budget in early May.

        • Anon 3.1.1.1

          “The bill has the framework that shows how to measure poverty” – ok, and there’s apparently ten of them, so what are they?

          Don’t get me wrong I applaud the stated aims, but the wishy washyness over the bill itself doesn’t look good. I want to see explanation about how solid and robust the proposed legal framework is, not just assertion.

          • Ad 3.1.1.1.1

            The best detail you are going to get in the medium term will be the Select Committee report once all the submissions are in.

  4. Ad 4

    Third measure:

    “So we will also report on how many children are living in families in material hardship: which means they have told us they can’t get to the doctor when they need, or heat their home properly when they are cold or get a decent meal on the table every day – we want to make a difference here too by halving the number of families in material hardship from about 13 – 15% now to just 7%.”

  5. Anon 5

    So what actually are the ten measures? That bill is rather hard to read compared to other legislation I’ve looked up in the past – are there any laymen interpretations anywhere?

    I did manage to find and figure out the DHI measures, I assume DHI before and after housing are two of the measures mentioned. I’ve seen right wingers misconstrue this as median income, not median disposable income, so I think some concrete info is needed in the public space to counter some spin/misinformation.

    • Ad 5.1

      I’ve just put the main ones up for you, which were contained in the first link in the post.

      • Anon 5.1.1

        They don’t actually explain the measures, and there’s only three of them.

        • Ad 5.1.1.1

          As noted in the backgrounder to the Bill, there are four primary and six supplementary measures, totalling ten:

          https://www.beehive.govt.nz/sites/default/files/2018-01/Child%20Poverty%20Reduction%20Bill%20backgrounder_0.pdf

          There are four primary measures:
          1. Low income before housing costs (below 50 % of median income, moving line)
          2. Low income after housing costs (50% median, fixed line)
          3. Material hardship (using the EU’s standard threshold)
          4. A persistence measure (for low income, material hardship or both)

          In addition there are six supplementary measures, which help build a deeper understanding
          of the impact on child wellbeing. These are:
           low income before-housing-costs (60% of median, moving line)
           low income after-housing-costs (60% of median, moving line)
           low income after-housing-costs (50% of median, moving line)
           low income after-housing-costs (40% of median, moving line)
           severe material hardship
           both low income and material hardship (using 60 percent AHC moving line and the
          material hardship measure from the primary list).

  6. Ad 6

    Annual budgetary accountability:

    “By Budget 2019 Grant and I want New Zealand to be the first country to assess bids for budget spending against new measures that determine, not just how our spending will impact on GDP, but also on our natural, social, human, and possibly cultural capital too.”

  7. Ad 7

    Correction: National was 44.5% not 46% on latest poll – my bad.

  8. One Anonymous Bloke 8

    I am perplexed I must admit about this governments’ approach to social measures, since it seems quite happy to strip them out of education without rationale, and provided no reasons for chucking out the measurement framework of social welfare that National had operated.

    Notional Standards aren’t a “measure”, and that is the rationale for abandoning them.

    Ardern clearly stated the reasons to replace National’s notional targets too. As Micky Savage sad in the “Bye Bill” post, “Jacinda destroyed him in Parliament”. Worth watching the whole exchange.

    tl;dr: those targets are notional and don’t address underlying causes.

  9. Dean Reynolods 9

    A true storey from our recent past. During WW2, Lord Beveridge was drafting up his Beveridge Report, the blueprint which transformed the UK’s society & economy when implemented by the British Labour Govt from 1945 – 1951
    In 1943, during the drafting, Peter Fraser, NZ’s Labour PM visited Beveridge. Beveridge said to Fraser, ‘What have you done in NZ about entrenched poverty?’ Fraser replied, ‘We have abolished entrenched poverty.” Beveridge was amazed that in just 7 years (from 1936 – 1943), coming out of the Depression & then fighting in a world war, NZ could abolish entrenched poverty without a revolution, but simply through legislative change

    If we could abolish poverty then, we can certainly do it now – thank God for Jacinda

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 9.1

      Absolutely. Poverty could be all but wiped out in short order with some strong legislative changes. You don’t need long term targets and visions (that is what you do when you aren’t really going to do anything) – you can instead just take strong and obvious action now. As you say, done before, can be done again.

    • patricia bremner 9.2

      Dean R Thanks indeed. Thanks for that wee gem.

  10. Anon 10

    “this Labour-led government believes in its policy direction so much that it is confident that it will bring down the whole of child poverty in New Zealand, within three years” – Um??? Speech states over 10 years – not three, and the target is half – not the whole of.

    • Ad 10.1

      Three years is the time that they face re-election.

      • alwyn 10.1.1

        “Three years is the time that they face re-election”.

        Actually it is already down to two years and eight months.

        t the rate they are going on most of the things they promised before the election they aren’t going to get anything useful done. Mind you I don’t think they worried about that because they didn’t expect to get into power.

        It is the responsibility of an incoming Government to have plans in place. Trying to come up with their proposals after the election will lead only to failure.
        That is why Roger Douglas got his changes in place in a single term. He had worked them out long before they came into office.

        And nobody has changed them to any real degree.

        Why did Labour waste nine years fluffing around between 2008 and 2017? It has simply left them with no real preparation for office and they are simply drifting in a sea of platitudes.

        • Ad 10.1.1.1

          Alwyn this is not an FPP government as per Lange or Muldoon. MMP permanently stopped major reform as it was designed to do.

          Blue or Red you only ever get mildly reforming governments with at best a few institutional moves.

  11. Sparky 11

    Yeah very nice words but actions speak louder. Walk away from the CP-TPP Jacinda which can only serve to exacerbate child poverty and poverty in general and I personally might start taking you seriously.

    Oh and tell the oil exploration companies to bugger off too….climate change does not help children either….

  12. Alex 12

    Why ‘child’ poverty though? Why not just poverty? I honestly don’t understand why we place a qualifier on addressing poverty – can someone help me understand?

    • Anon 12.2

      I guess they want to encourage the poor to have children. I could even think of a few cynical reasons for that.

    • McFlock 12.3

      Removes 90% of tory objections about “poor choices”.

      • AB 12.3.1

        Yes. Victim-blaming over poverty (i,e. attributing it to ‘poor choices’ by the poor themselves) has become engrained in just about everybody’s thinking. The only way to defuse that reaction is to place the word ‘child’ in front of it, because nobody blames children for poor choices. The ‘poor choices’ lie is a necessary foundation stone of the “just world fallacy” that drives much conservative thinking.
        Fortunately the only way to address ‘child’ poverty is to raise the income of their parents, which addresses poverty itself anyway. The downside is that the childless or elderly poor may get overlooked, depending on how policy is set.

        • Alex 12.3.1.1

          Thanks McFlock and AB. I see now.
          Still disagree completely with using the ‘child’ qualifier but I see why they have.

        • David Mac 12.3.1.2

          C’mon AB, to start making serious inroads with this problem requires acknowledging that the people spending the money in a household have some kind of control over that family’s fiscal wellbeing.

          Give a gambling addict $100,000 and will their poverty be cured?

          I hear what you’re saying, there is comfort for the comfortable in adopting the view ‘Oh it’s all their own fault.’

          I think it’s dishonest to flop entirely the other way…’There is nothing they can do about it.’

          Surely the truth lives somewhere in the middle.

          • Anon 12.3.1.2.1

            Society can help e.g. mental health, addiction services, physical health, heck social services such as budgeting advice. But under capitalism, especially without these services, there will always be some who for circumstances beyond their control cannot do anything about their situation.

            • David Mac 12.3.1.2.1.1

              By and large, I disagree.

              I feel this way because if I was to subscribe to your view I would feel obliged to begin a conversation with the people you speak of like this…

              “I understand that you are absolutely incapable of doing anything whatsoever towards helping yourself?”

              I just don’t think there are all that many people that fall into that category.

              I’m a social democrat, there’s a role and a vote for everyone.

              • Anon

                Well of course you start the conversation trying to figure out how to help people to help themselves, and with a bit of help in the right direction many could – or do you think people do nothing to help themselves because they like being in poverty?

              • “I understand that you are absolutely incapable of doing anything whatsoever towards helping yourself?”

                Have you ever considered that many people simply know how to help themselves?

                It’s not that they’re incapable but that they haven’t been taught and because we teach people that failure is bad and that they should stand on their own two feet and not ask for help. Given this societal BS is it any wonder that some people can’t help themselves?

                They simply don’t know how and we’ve cut off the paths that they could take to learn

          • AB 12.3.1.2.2

            Sure – but I’ve become tired of giving nasty right-wing arseh*les the benefit of nuance. It just encourages them.

      • The Chairman 12.3.2

        “Removes 90% of tory objections about “poor choices”.

        No. It largely results in them being redirected towards the parents.

        • McFlock 12.3.2.1

          Initially, yes they did.

          But then the counter was “so what? How does blaming the parents help the kids?”

          • The Chairman 12.3.2.1.1

            Countering it doesn’t remove it.

            • McFlock 12.3.2.1.1.1

              And yet we hardly ever see the parental blame argument in regular debats about child poverty. Might not be a 90% reduction on, say, 10 or 15 years ago, but it’s probably in that ballpark.

              Yet as soon as we talk about adult poverty issues like homelessness or begging, a substantial part of the argument is still to this day about blaming “these people” and moving them out of sight rather than addressing their problems.

              • The Chairman

                “And yet we hardly ever see the parental blame argument in regular debats about child poverty.”

                Speak for yourself, I’ve yet to see a reduction.

                Regardless the form of poverty being discussed, the substantial part of the argument is still to this day about blaming them or in this case, the parents.

                From where I stand, it’s becoming worse.

                • McFlock

                  Fair enough – I haven’t done a content analysis on random news reports or anything.

                  Internet tories be tories, but even then the worst comments are down to a few handles. Back in mid-Lab5, I reckon the comments were also a substantial part of actual news reports.

                  Over the last few years, many of the reports have recognised poverty as a systemic issue – but only if kids are involved.

                  • The Chairman

                    “But only if kids are involved”

                    Kids tug at the heartstrings. So the use of kids in media coverage is to be expected.

                    And while tugging at heartstrings may muster empathy, tories tend to lack it. Thus, the “poor choices” objections and blame game remain.

                    Tories tend to better respond to the economic rationale for improving poverty, opposed to the emotive.

                    Unfortunately, however, as long as there continues to be a number making poor choices, the blame game will persist, attempting to tar the many that aren’t.

                    • McFlock

                      Well, no, tories respond to self interest as long as it doesn’t overwhelm their bigotry.

                      So arguments about boosting funding for primary healthcare to save 14 times that on 2ary+ healthcare down the line is heard by tories as “tax me more now” so they hate it.

                      But we’re talking about getting legislative and social change, not persuading every single tory to not be a selfish prick. The more astute tories know that media coverage about them being pricks might be coverage, but it won’t help their legislative intransigence (look at Mihingarangi Forbes vs Alisdair thompson for an example of a non-astute tory).

                      I don’t for one minute think that the nats wanted to measure child poverty, let alone reduce it. But they were always on the back foot on the issue, because as you put it “kids tug at the heartstrings” of voters. Not all voters, but more than adults do. Even when kids aren’t cute, they’re blameless. So by the end of the nat regime they were promising to lift 100k kids out of poverty.

                  • The Chairman

                    The economic rationale for improving poverty relates to their self interest.

                    The more consumers in poverty, the less they have to spend. Hence, improving poverty is vital to improving consumer demand, thus business returns.

                    And the economic benefits don’t only appeal to the right as a stimulated economy provides more jobs and more business opportunities, thus is a vote winner.

                    As poverty is widespread and on top of that many are struggling, the Nats faced widespread public pressure to act. Moreover, Bill had his investment agenda which was expected to largely benefit the private sector, hence their so-called concern.

                    • McFlock

                      The more consumers in poverty, the less they have to spend. Hence, improving poverty is vital to improving consumer demand, thus business returns.

                      In that case everyone would be on a living wage by now, because workers sure wouldn’t oppose it.

                      As poverty is widespread and on top of that many are struggling, the Nats faced widespread public pressure to act.

                      Don’t forget the massive resources put into efforts by social services, researchers, clinicians, and a variety of other individuals and organisations to make poverty a political issue. Reports issued annually as part of coordinated media campaigns. Because people tend to think “it must just be me struggling”.

                      Moreover, Bill had his investment agenda which was expected to largely benefit the private sector, hence their so-called concern.

                      How much did they do on that again? Beyond privatising some social services?

                    • The Chairman

                      “In that case everyone would be on a living wage by now, because workers sure wouldn’t oppose it”

                      Seems Labour did. No living wage as the minimum wage this term.

                      Yes, the massive resources put into efforts by social services, researchers, clinicians, and a variety of other individuals and organisations helped gather and focus the momentum, but the sentiment was largely there and building.

                      Bill had only begun, a lot more would have followed if he had won the election. But, apparently, apart from some changes, Labour are largely going to run with it nonetheless.  

                    • McFlock

                      Seems Labour did. No living wage as the minimum wage this term.

                      Why didn’t Labour steal votes of national supporters by promising a living wage then?

                      Blinglish had been high in cabinet since the beginning. Why didn’t the tories act to save money by doing all that in 2009? Because their self interest had nothing to do with the interests of poorer NZers. Poor people don’t just buy, they work cheaply. If you can sell overseas, why do you need a strong local purchase market? There’s no profit in it for them.

  13. patricia bremner 13

    This is the frame work for the big picture, the budget will be the how targets will be achieved across all portfolios. It is a huge change from a piece meal approach.

    She has begun with children, as they are hard for opposition to knock back. However the measures could easily target other groups as fiscals allow.

    What has built up over 30 years is going to take time. Jacinda has named the lowest targets she hopes to reach, hopefully these will be exceeded.

    We need to realise they are aware of the depth of struggle, and have to work to change frameworks, and carry coalition partners and support.

    Often it will be slower than we hoped, but to quote our Rachel “It will happen”

    • Anon 13.1

      Oh the measures could, could they? Does that mean someone somewhere knows what the measures /are/?

      • patricia bremner 13.1.2

        What a revealing thing to say Anon. LOL they came out of thin air! sarc.

        • Anon 13.1.2.1

          The measures are of /child poverty/, there’s no reason to assume they’ll be collected for households/persons without children. Indeed, I imagine there are rules against stats collecting erroneous data surplus to their remit.

          • McFlock 13.1.2.1.1

            All of the poverty and hardship measures in AD’s link are standard measures and already routinely collated by MSD for the full range of primary demographic criteria (age, ethnicity, household characteristics, etc).

            They are based on subject-relevant responses to questions in the Census, Household Labour Force Survey, and I think one or two other already present data sources.

            The data collection is already done, the collation and analysis is slightly different for this purpose compared to, say, labour force projections.

            • Anon 13.1.2.1.1.1

              I’m currently part of the Household Labour Force Survey, they ask for info on one calendar weeks work hours and wages every three months. Since I work a roster with varying hours over a non-calendar week it’s a pain to collate this information for them in their format (if I even have it on hand) – and it’s not necessarily an accurate picture of my overall income/hours worked. It would be trivial for me to supply them my payslip each week, heck I could give them my last ~8 years of payslips. They could even get this information from employers instead, or even IRD already collects this information – they’d get a much better picture than asking the general public to do the maths for them, and more complete than asking for a quarter of the info.

              • McFlock

                Well, if you want to debate the methodology of the HLFS specifically, feel free to take it up with StatsNZ.

                But it’s not just hours worked, is it:

                The HLFS measures:

                the number of employed and unemployed people,
                the number who are not in the labour force,
                the hours worked,
                which occupations and industries people work in,
                the duration of unemployment,
                steps people take to find work,
                steps they take to find more work hours,
                the number of people in formal study,
                the number of youth not in employment, education, or training (NEET)

                Themy might be able to get your employment data from IRD, but the current education enrolment data (for NEET) would require probablistic ID matching like they use for the IDI (which wouldn’t really provide the demographic weighting granularity the need for the HLFS – look at the shit Labour got for the real estate data) or the steps you take to find additional work?

                And then there’s hoping that every department or employer gets their paperwork in on time and everyone’s home address is up to date…

  14. Chris 14

    Where is that actual bill?

    I can’t see it on the parliament site

    Could just be me being an idiot

  15. Chris 15

    Cheers!

  16. indiana 16

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/101069693/truth-or-fable-factchecking-the-pms-child-poverty-speech

    Best line in the article may be…”Sadly for the fact-checkers, Ardern’s speech was light on specific claims to test.”

  17. Mark 17

    Fluff and nonsense.

  18. Michael 18

    I thought the speech was well done. Of course, no amount of words actually lifts a single child out of poverty. That requires action and, in a society like Aotearoa-NZ, that means resources – and that means money. I see no evidence, whatsoever, that this government has the guts to raise the necessary revenue to even reduce poverty, let alone eliminate it.

  19. Sumsuch 19

    Halve child poverty in 10 years! That’s Labour? Halve it next month.

  20. Delia 20

    How can any govt justify the GST on essential foods..get that off and it will mean people have a bit more in their pocket go buy good nutritious food. I wonder how when people are on such lowed fixed incomes in this country, how their children’s lives can be improved. The rents alone are crippling households.

    • indiana 20.1

      What are essential foods? When I go to the movies, a bag of chips and coke are essential.

      How will you police people to ensure that they spend their extra money on nutritious food?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 20.1.1

        One small step for humanity, but far too difficult for right wingers to even contemplate.

        On what planet would the removal of GST from eg: fruit and vegetables need to be “policed”?

        • indiana 20.1.1.1

          Have you shopped in Australia? Loose fruit and veg has no GST applied, but yet their poverty levels are equivalent to NZ if you use Jacinda’s new wishy washy measures. Oh by the way, their GST is lower than NZ’s. Their obesity rates, same if not worse than ours. Bro, they even have Capital Gains Tax and their housing crisis is worse than ours.

          “On what planet would the removal of GST from eg: fruit and vegetables need to be “policed”?”

          Delia has inferred that people will more likely spend their extra money on products that have no GST. If the government entertained that idea, what assurances do they have that their constituents will behave accordingly.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 20.1.1.1.1

            What assurances do we have that anything predicted by economics will actually happen? Perhaps the police should investigate that.

            In the meantime, the government will get on with tackling the problems involved while the National Party sits on the sideline reminding everybody that they had nine years to do something, and parroted lies about personal responsibility, poor choices, and lazy useless teens instead.

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    11 hours ago
  • Formal consultation starts on proposals for Hawera schools
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced a formal consultation for the future of schooling in Hawera. "Recent engagement shows there is a lot of support for change. The preferred options are for primary schools to be extended to year 7 and 8, or for a year 7-13 high school to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • He Whenua Taurikura: New Zealand’s Hui on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism
    The Government is progressing another recommendation of the Royal Commission of Inquiry report into the terrorist attack on Christchurch masjidain by convening New Zealand’s first national hui on countering terrorism and violent extremism. He Whenua Taurikura, meaning ‘a land or country at peace’, will meet in Christchurch on 15 and ...
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    17 hours ago
  • Hundreds of new electric cars for state sector
    Total of 422 new electric vehicles and charging infrastructure across the state sector $5.1 million for the Department of Conservation to buy 148 electric vehicles and install charging infrastructure $1.1 million to help Kāinga Ora buy 40 electric vehicles and install charging infrastructure 11,600 tonnes of carbon emissions saved over ...
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    1 day ago
  • Apartments give new life to former Trade Training hostel
    A building that once shaped the Māori trade training industry will now revitalise the local community of Ōtautahi and provide much needed housing for whānau Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson announced today. The old Māori Trade Training hostel, Te Koti Te Rato, at Rehua Marae in Christchurch has been ...
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    1 day ago
  • Opening of Te Kōti o Te Rato at Rehua Marae, Ōtautahi
    *Check with delivery* It is a great pleasure to be here with you all today. I acknowledge Ngāi Tūāhuriri and the trustees of Te Whatu Manawa Māoritanga o Rehua Trust Board. The opening of six new apartments on these grounds signifies more than an increase in much-needed housing for Ōtautahi. ...
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    1 day ago
  • Major step to pay parity for early learning teachers
    Certificated teachers on the lowest pay in early education and care services will take another leap towards pay parity with their equivalents in kindergartens, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said in a pre-Budget announcement today. “Pay parity for education and care teachers is a manifesto commitment for Labour and is reflected ...
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    1 day ago
  • New Zealand Wind Energy Conference
    Tēnā koutou katoa Tēnā koutou i runga i te kaupapa o te Rā No reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tatou katoa  Thank you Grenville for the introduction and thanks to the organisers, the New Zealand Wind Energy Association, for inviting me to speak this morning. I’m delighted that you ...
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    1 day ago
  • Speech to New Zealand Drug Foundation 2021 Parliamentary Drug Policy Symposium
    Speech to Through the Maze: On the road to health New Zealand Drug Foundation 2021 Parliamentary Drug Policy Symposium Mōrena koutou katoa, Tēnei te mihi ki a koutou, Kua tae mai nei me ngā kete matauranga hauora, E whai hononga ai tatau katoa, Ka nui te mihi! Thank you for the opportunity ...
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    2 days ago
  • Govt to deliver lower card fees to business
    Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister David Clark has today announced the Government’s next steps to reduce merchant service fees, that banks charge businesses when customers use a credit or debit card to pay, which is estimated to save New Zealand businesses approximately $74 million each year. “Pre COVID, EFTPOS has ...
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    2 days ago
  • Government support boosts Arts and Culture sector
    Government support for the cultural sector to help it recover from the impact of COVID-19 has resulted in more cultural sector jobs predicted through to 2026, and the sector performing better than forecast. The latest forecast by economic consultancy ‘Infometrics’ reflects the impact of Government investment in keeping people in ...
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    2 days ago
  • Govt takes further action against gang crime
    The Government will make it illegal for high risk people to own firearms by introducing Firearms Prohibition Orders (FPOs) that will strengthen action already taken to combat the influence of gangs and organised crime to help keep New Zealanders and their families safe, Police Minister Poto Williams and Justice Minister ...
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    3 days ago
  • Thousands of MIQ spaces allocated to secure economic recovery
    Five hundred spaces per fortnight will be allocated in managed isolation facilities over the next 10 months, many for skilled and critical workers to support our economic recovery, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor say. “The Trans-Tasman bubble has freed up more rooms, allowing us to ...
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    3 days ago
  • New Zealand Sign Language Week a chance to recognise national taonga
    This week (10 – 16 May 2021) is New Zealand Sign Language Week (NZSL), a nationwide celebration of NZSL as an official language of New Zealand. “We’re recognised as a world leader for our commitment to maintaining and furthering the use of our sign language,” says Minister for Disability Issues ...
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    4 days ago
  • Economic resilience provides more options in Budget 2021
    Securing the recovery and investing in the wellbeing of New Zealanders is the focus of Budget 2021, Grant Robertson told his audience at a pre-budget speech in Auckland this morning. "The economy has proven resilient in response to COVID-19, due to people having confidence in the Government’s health response to ...
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    4 days ago
  • Pre-Budget speech to BNZ-Deloitte Auckland Breakfast Event
    Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today, and to share with you some of the Government’s thinking leading into this year’s budget. This will be my fourth time delivering the annual Budget for the Government, though the events of the past year have thrown out that calculation. ...
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    4 days ago
  • Rotuman Language week affirms language as the key to Pacific wellbeing
    The first Pacific Language Week this year  makes it clear that  language is the key to the wellbeing for all Pacific people said Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio. “This round of language  weeks begin with Rotuman. As I have always  said language is one of the pillars of ...
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    4 days ago
  • Budget delivers improved cervical and breast cancer screening
    Budget 2021 funds a more effective cervical screening test to help reduce cervical cancer rates A new breast screening system that can proactively identify and enrol eligible women to reach 271,000 more people who aren’t currently in the programme. Budget 2021 delivers a better cervical screening test and a major ...
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    4 days ago
  • NZ-France to co-chair Christchurch Call Leaders’ Summit
    New Zealand and France will jointly convene the Christchurch Call Community for a leaders’ summit, to take stock of progress and develop a new shared priority work plan. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and President Emmanuel Macron will co-chair the leaders’ meeting on the 2nd anniversary of the Call, on 14 ...
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    5 days ago
  • New South Wales travel pause to be lifted tomorrow
    COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says the current travel pause with New South Wales will lift tomorrow – subject to no further significant developments in NSW. “New Zealand health officials met today to conduct a further assessment of the public health risk from the recently identified COVID-19 community cases in Sydney. It has been determined that the risk to public ...
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    5 days ago
  • March 15 Collective Impact Board appointed
    The voices of those affected by the March 15 mosque attacks will be heard more effectively with the establishment of a new collective impact board, Associate Minister for Social Development and Employment Priyanca Radhakrishnan announced today. Seven members of the Christchurch Muslim community have been appointed to the newly established Board, ...
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    6 days ago
  • More young Kiwis supported with mental health and addiction services
    Nearly quarter of a million more young New Zealanders will have access to mental health and addiction support in their communities as the Government’s youth mental health programme gathers pace. New contracts to expand youth-specific services across the Northland, Waitematā and Auckland District Health Board areas have been confirmed, providing ...
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    6 days ago
  • New hospital facilities mean fewer trips to Auckland for Northlanders
    Northlanders will no longer automatically have to go to Auckland for lifesaving heart procedures like angiograms, angioplasty and the insertion of pacemakers, thanks to new operating theatres and a cardiac catheter laboratory opened at Whangārei Hospital by Health Minister Andrew Little today. The two projects – along with a new ...
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    6 days ago
  • Fair Pay Agreements to improve pay and conditions for essential workers
    The Government is delivering on its pre-election commitment to implement Fair Pay Agreements which will improve wages and conditions, as well as help support our economic recovery, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood announced today. Fair Pay Agreements will set minimum standards for all employees and employers in an ...
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    6 days ago
  • Establishment of the new Māori Health Authority takes first big step
    Sir Mason Durie will lead a Steering Group to provide advice to the Transition Unit on governance arrangements and initial appointments to an interim board to oversee the establishment of the Māori Health Authority. This Group will ensure that Māori shape a vital element of our future health system, Minister ...
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    6 days ago
  • Cycle trails move up a gear in Central
    Work on new and upgraded cycle trails in Queenstown, Arrowtown and Central Otago is moving up a gear as two significant projects pass further milestones today. Tourism Minister Stuart Nash has announced new funding for the Queenstown Trails Project, and will also formally open the Lake Dunstan Trail at Bannockburn ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government gives households extra help to reduce their power bills
    Nine community energy education initiatives to help struggling New Zealanders with their power bills are being given government funding through the new Support for Energy Education in Communities (SEEC) Programme.   “Last year we committed nearly $8 million over four years to establish the SEEC Programme. This funding will help ...
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    6 days ago
  • Picton ferry terminal upgrade consent fast-tracked
    The planned upgrade of the Waitohi Picton Ferry terminal has been approved under the fast-track consenting process.  Environment Minister David Parker today welcomed the decision by the expert consenting panel to approve the Waitohi Picton Ferry Precinct Redevelopment Project.    The project will provide a significant upgrade to the ferry facilities ...
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    1 week ago
  • Quarantine Free Travel with New South Wales paused
    COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins has announced his intention to pause Quarantine Free Travel from New South Wales to New Zealand while the source of infection of the two cases announced in Sydney in the last two days is investigated.  Whole genome sequencing has linked the case yesterday to a recent ...
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    1 week ago
  • Covid-19 immigration powers to be extended
    The passing of a bill to extend temporary COVID-19 immigration powers means continued flexibility to support migrants, manage the border, and help industries facing labour shortages, Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi said. “Over the past year, we’ve made rapid decisions to extend visas, vary visa conditions and waive some application requirements ...
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    1 week ago
  • “Supporting a Trade-Led Economic Recovery”
    Trade Policy Road Show SpeechManukau, Auckland   Kia ora koutou – nau mai, haere mai ki Manukau, ki Tāmaki.   Good morning everyone, and thank you for this opportunity to discuss with you current global challenges, opportunities and the Government’s strategy in support of a trade-led recovery from the economic ...
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    1 week ago
  • Building consent numbers at an all-time high
    A record 41,028 new homes have been consented in the year ended March 2021 March 2021 consent numbers the highest since the 1940s Record number of new homes consented in Auckland The number of new homes consented is at an all-time high, showing a strong and increasing pipeline of demand ...
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    1 week ago