John Key’s response to the Panama Papers leak

Written By: - Date published: 9:13 am, April 5th, 2016 - 42 comments
Categories: Globalisation, International, john key, national, Politics, same old national, slippery, tax - Tags: , ,

john key working for new zealand sign with grafitti money bag

You can bet that deep in the bowels of National Party HQ the research unit and the party’s pollster are urgently trying to work out what lines they should use concerning the Panama Papers leak.  An urgent call may have been put into Crosby Textor although they may have an urgent clean up job that takes priority.  The party’s pollster has not blogged on the issue even though it has dominated the media for the past 24 hours.  Other Ministers are strangely silent.  No doubt polling is being conducted and the focus groups are being assembled to work out what should be said.

Key’s current lines are:

  • The tax system has been in place since 1988
  • The OECD has given our tax system a clean bill of health
  • There is a full disclosure of information requirement and you have a tax haven when you do not have this sort of system in place.

If you had the misfortune of watching the video of yesterday’s post cabinet press conference you would have seen these points made again and again and again and again.

But this is classical Key.  He stands up and with complete confidence and assurance gives an emphatic description of the current situation.

The only problem is that his lines do not reflect reality.

While the tax system has been in place since 1988 it has not been a significant problem until the last few years.  And recent events would cause a responsible government to review current laws.  In an article posted in October last year Gareth Vaughan wondered if New Zealand was becoming a paradise for money launderers.  His article said this:

The NZ Police Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) details suspicious transaction reports filed with it under the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Act (AML/CFT Act) by the likes of financial institutions and casinos. Although at around 12,000 the volume of these reports didn’t budge much in 2014-15 from 2013-14, the value of transactions in them shot up to $8.6 billion from $3.4 billion. …

Just what the FIU does with those suspicious transaction reports once it gets them isn’t completely clear. A Police spokeswoman said my question asking this was being treated as a request under the Official Information Act. We have, however, been told by Justice Minister Amy Adams that between December 2013 and May 2015, suspicious transaction reports contributed to four police operations in NZ that resulted in 30 people being arrested and about $220 million worth of drugs and assets seized.

Here’s hoping that $8.6 billion figure paints an accurate picture of the parts of our economy that are caught by the AML/CFT Act. But even if it does it’s merely the low hanging fruit. Because tempting swathes of the economy are excluded from the AML/CFT Act, crucially including real estate. Also excluded is the eighth wonder of the world, the offshore operating NZ registered – but not regulated – financial service provider.

Of course if you want New Zealand to become the Switzerland of the Southern Hemisphere and a refuge for the rich and powerful you would turn a blind eye on the source of the funds entering the country.

Has the OECD given New Zealand’s tax system a clean bill of health?  Well sort of in that it is better than some of the really notorious tax havens that had stronger secrecy provisions.  But the IRD warned in 2013 that our foreign trust tax regime posed a reputational risk.  This is hardly a clean bill of health when your own tax entity says that there is a problem.

And the full disclosure requirement?  As pointed out by Deborah Russell all that has to be disclosed is the name of the trust, the name of the trustees and if the settlor lives in Australia.  Details of the beneficiaries and the assets owned by the trust need not be disclosed.

So the interim answers from Key clearly are just spin.  I would expect there to be a gradual change in position as the polling results come in.  And I would not rule out a law change if the pressure becomes too much.

42 comments on “John Key’s response to the Panama Papers leak ”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    Time for an urgent meeting of Cabinet Club. “We regret to inform our members that we cannot stay bought on this issue. We may be able to delay investigations while you make other arrangements, if you pay us more”.

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    I would expect there to be a gradual change in position as the polling results come in. And I would not rule out a law change if the pressure becomes too much.

    Possibly a slight change in position but if there was any law change from this government on this subject then I’d expect it to be like their promise to get rid of zero hours contracts which ended up with a law to entrench them. And it’ll be passed under urgency so that the opposition can’t renegotiate it.

  3. Sacha 4

    Is it too much to expect journalists to ask the PM what he means by “full disclosure”, because it is such a blatant lie?

    • TC 4.1

      We dont have any journalists, they are lackeys of the owned msm and mostly unskilled to handle such a situation even if allowed to.

      There will not be any asking the tough questions, till they get an acceptable response. Nor a sustained intelligent objective commentary on the timelines, law changes, ignoring of ird and legal experts concerns, evidence etc etc.

      The sort of commentary that circles the logic wagons around the inevitable conclusion is desparately needed as the CT spin and DP units will be getting primed and ready to divert, deflect and diffuse their wizard of oz moment.

  4. ianmac 5

    Funny that neither the Herald nor other MSM are writing much online about this issue. National Radio has and The Standard has but…

    • Bearded Git 5.1

      Wrong ianmac. Read the Herald editorial today which, for once, is right on the mark.

  5. RedLogix 6

    Compare and contrast with over the Tasman:

    The Australian deputy opposition leader, Tanya Plibersek, said: “We have got evidence today of hundreds more Australians that are structuring their finances, perhaps some of them for legitimate reasons, but others perhaps making use of offshore tax havens to avoid paying their fair share.

    “That affects us all. It is hard to pay for our health and education and other investments in our community if very large companies and high net wealth individuals aren’t paying their fair share.

    “We know that ordinary wage and salary earners don’t get to restructure their affairs so they can avoid paying tax because they have set up in some tax haven overseas.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/global/2016/apr/04/panama-papers-release-sparks-war-of-words-in-australia-over-tax-avoidance

    Switzerland of the South Sleaze more like it.

    • ianmac 6.1

      I guess we in NZ are so gullible, so naive, and so trusting in our PM. If Key says everything is OK then so it must be. Huh!

  6. Lanthanide 7

    I do wonder if the ‘focus groups’ to determine government messaging actually exist?

    Surely if they did exist, someone would have gone to the media about having been involved in one.

    I guess if the participants are paid $$ with a confidentiality clause, they wouldn’t blab though?

    • Gabby 7.1

      Surely if they did exist, someone would have gone to the media about how they don’t exist.

    • shorts 7.2

      http://www.curia.co.nz/clients/

      what media story is their in being on a focus group?

      I assume you are intelligent enough to know they don’t simply ask people what the govt should say in any given instance…. if they did we’d hear a lot more yeah yeah nah’s

    • McFlock 7.3

      Participants might not know who the client is.

      You go to the market research company, they discuss a whole bunch of stuff (possibly involving topics from multiple clients), you leave. It’s not like they’d hold the focus groups in the Beehive.

      • Lanthanide 7.3.1

        The party’s pollster has not blogged on the issue even though it has dominated the media for the past 24 hours. Other Ministers are strangely silent. No doubt polling is being conducted and the focus groups are being assembled to work out what should be said.

        Let’s say the government needs to have a clear message to deliver by Wednesday, Thursday at the latest. The story broke on Monday.

        If they are using focus-groups to divine the message, on this tax-haven issue which has largely come out of left field, then they need to hold these focus groups no later than today; 30-40 hours after the story broke.

        Ergo, they can’t be using *focus groups* to help formulate this type of political messaging.

        I also doubt that much in the way of formal polling on the public would have a fast enough response time.

        More likely National would be reaching out to their members, and their members naturally reporting to MPs and ministers, what they think about the issue.

        • McFlock 7.3.1.1

          Ok, let’s say you have an ongoing relationship with a market research company that has several other clients.

          The market research company runs regulary focus group sessions, maybe twice a week, sometimes looking at beer ads, baked bean cans, power company ads, and social issues.

          You pay a wee premium to piggy back the crisis du jour into tomorrow or this afternoon’s focus group, two days at the outside, and get fast draft analyses returned.

          • Sacha 7.3.1.1.1

            I believe Curia also do daily polling during election campaigns, so no reason they can’t turn around crisis management likewise. And how many times have we seen a 24-48 hour lag before the Nats’ lines settle into place?

            • Lanthanide 7.3.1.1.1.1

              “so no reason they can’t turn around crisis management likewise”

              Sure there’s a reason – not having staff available to run the poll (eg they’re all working on other polls, or aren’t rostered in to work) and not having the questions prepared.

              It’s not like you can snap your fingers and get poll results with no work involved.

              • McFlock

                well, when I was casual on hospo I’d more than once received a phone call saying “can you work tonight?”

                While you’re getting the staff, the client is picking half a dozen questions they feel are important.

                • Lanthanide

                  Depends if the polling company has staff on call like that, or not. I guess they could.

                  But generally there’s quite a lot of work that goes into designing a survey. Sure you can just throw some questions together, but often the ordering of them is important, and the way the question is asked needs to be clear to the audience, etc.

                  I’m not saying it can’t be done, but the assumption that things like this can be thrown together at short notice seems off-base to me.

          • Lanthanide 7.3.1.1.2

            That’s feasible.

        • mickysavage 7.3.1.2

          So are you saying National does not poll religiously and never uses focus groups? My quote says “focus groups are being assembled”.

        • Psych nurse 7.3.1.3

          It’s already been buried in the mainstream media, the lead stories on Stuff are some news readers breasts,batchelorettes [ ? ] and the sexual performance of a groom the bride met that day. No mention of trust funds.Nothing to see here, move on.

    • RJL 7.4

      Sure, it’s hyperbole to claim that every single iota of government messaging is minutely focus grouped and surveyed.

      Sometimes, the delay is simply because Key/Joyce et al are struggling to dream up any suitable angle at all. And / or are hoping the issue will disappear of its own accord.

      On the other hand, as others have noted the polling company (i.e. Curia) will not explicitly say that it is doing National Party polling. That would simply be bad statistical practice as it would skew the results if the participants knew the poll purpose was for National Party policy/messaging. Also there will be a whole selection of issues and questions polled, partly to gain information to classify the respondents by demographic, partly to be efficient and to poll several issues at once, partly to calibrate responses, and (perhaps) partly to obscure the intent of the poll.

      Read here for a report of how Curia polls: http://publicaddress.net/hardnews/a-call-from-curia/

      Note, I realise that focus groups is a distinct tool from polling, but the general approach is likely to be similar.

  7. Penny Bright 8

    So – under this John Key led National Government tax changes were made in 2011 to help New Zealand become an arguably more attractive ‘tax haven’?

    http://www.chapmantripp.com/publications/Pages/New-Zealand-now-an-attractive-tax-location.aspx

    New Zealand now an attractive tax location for offshore managed funds
    10 October 2011

    Foreign investors in a New Zealand fund with only foreign investments will now bear no New Zealand tax on their income, whether or not the fund distributes that income.

    The tax change, which came into force in September 2011, should make New Zealand managed funds an attractive alternative to funds resident in Luxembourg, Ireland or the Caymans.
    …..
    ____________________________

    Penny Bright
    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

  8. ianmac 9

    Question 2 today:
    “ANDREW LITTLE to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement that New Zealand is not a tax haven because “New Zealand has full disclosure of information”, given Cone Marshall, a law firm specialising in establishing trusts for foreigners, says “The identity of the settlor need not be disclosed and the trust deed is not registered with any tax or Government authority” and “There is no obligation to file any trust accounts with any person or institution or to have such accounts audited”?”

    A good question. How will Key pass this off as a joke?
    http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/pb/business/qoa/00HOH_OralQuestions/list-of-questions-for-oral-answer

    • alwyn 9.1

      You might do well to read what John Key’s answer was to this question.
      He didn’t pass it off as a joke and appears to have thoroughly scotched Little’s claims.
      A pity that Little didn’t appear to listen.
      http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/pb/business/qoa/51HansQ_20160405_00000002/2-tax-system—overseas-trusts

      • McFlock 9.1.1

        Wow. What a joke.

        The existence of the trust is reported, along with the NZ trustee.
        No other information is reported unless the IRD explicitly requests it? And after requesting it, any enforcement body would have to sort through the myriad of payments and counterpayments between a variety of entities in several havens that any good laundromat would do?

        And that’s before you get into all the fun of “ExelsIor Trust” vs “ExeIslor Trust” on the paper records of those transactions (capital i and lowercase L swapped around), just to screw with text OCR.

        Money laundering dream.

        • alwyn 9.1.1.1

          Why don’t you read right through Key’s answers, but this time try and do it with your brain engaged. If you have one.
          Try and keep up, won’t you. Read what he said, not what you would like to think is the case.

          • Hanswurst 9.1.1.1.1

            What? Why don’t you read it? I read it, and McFlock’s first two paragraphs seem pretty accurate.

  9. Mosa 10

    Is it just me or is this country going to hell in a money bag
    Its become a joke and this government is totally inept at governing for the interests of ordinary kiwis
    This is TAX EVASION pure and simple
    This would be still hidden if not for the Panama leak
    and we have to rely on that to find out what this regime is hiding from us
    We have become a supressed third world state
    We don’t need a President we have 61 corrupt ones to do the job

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      Is it just me or is this country going to hell in a money bag

      It’s not just you. Started going that way under the 4th Labour government when they promoted rich people over everybody else.

  10. adam 11

    You Know the Tory scum are shitting themselves when Auntie Helen (TM) is their only answer.

    I laughed and laughed and laughed when I saw the herald today.

  11. Ralf Crown 12

    As so often, this will even more damage the New Zealand reputation and damage our welfare and trade. People around the world consider that you have a right, as a human right, to keep your private life, including financial, just private, especially away from prying state eyes who use the “tax” system as a way of confiscation like for instance the communists in old Soviet Union did.

  12. billmurray 13

    The financial ability to have off-shore Trust’s we bought into Law by the Helen Clark / Michael Cullen Labour government.
    You should know that as you are trust expert.

    • Draco T Bastard 13.1

      And then National made them secretive in 2011 so that NZ could act as a tax haven.

  13. Jim Bogan 14

    Whilst this latest revelation re the shady financial dealings encouraged and enabled by our current government are, and should be, of great concern to us, let us not forget the greatest tax-based rip off perpetrated by this government. The tax breaks of a few years ago that sucked many millions of dollars of revenue out of our coffers with obscenely generous reductions for those on high incomes, andcompared to the crumbs thrown to low income earners which were absorbed by the concurrent 2.5% increase in GST. Also, the villfication of beneficiaries, in particular benefit fraudsters, whose impact on lost tax revenue pales in comparison to that of corporate evasion. I don’t condone tax evasion in any form, yet it seems when it is committed by wealthy individuals and corporate entities, it is seen as sound financial practice. Claim an extra $20,000 in welfare you are not entitled to, although wrong, and suddenly you are the Devil incarnate. Let’s start asking the right questions, target all fraudsters equally, and maybe we can get back to having an economy, country and community we can be proud of and live comfortably in and with.

  14. Raff 15

    What line will he take? Well, “I’m comfortable with that”, obviously.

  15. reason 16

    Former National supporters have been up to their necks in tax scams for a long long time http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/8515361/Money-trail-leads-home-to-New-Zealand …… ( I think it’s this research/article that lead to Hooton trying to give out Nicky Hagers home address to angry criminals ).

    National is part of the problem and not part of the solution when it comes to shutting down tax scams and other dodges for the rich and corporations ……….

    John Key is our figurative Dingo being hired to do the baby sitting on this issue.

    I wonder how much hot/dirty money has gone into inflating New Zealand real estate prices …. another area where National are again part of the problem and not part of the solution…..

    I hope Winston goes Dingo hunting ……………….

    For entertainment I recommend watching the movie “The big short” and while watching try and work out which character or actor best would best resemble John Key……. I’m sure his old employers play a role in this movie which details some of the greed and dishonesty in the financial industry causing the GFC.

    When some-one like Key calls an idea “barking mad” it should be remembered it was only by Governments and the state pumping TRILLIONS of money into the greed driven corrupt “free market” financial Industry that prevented a worldwide collapse of the banking systems …….

    Key mistakes greed for sanity and will be reluctant to close our ‘legal’ tax dodge haven status……..

    This is an area where the Nats are very weak and sometimes closely associated with …. which is why the trolls have been told to give it little to no air.

  16. Murray Simmonds 17

    Interesting new take on the USA as the World’s biggest tax haven over on Zero Hedge this morning:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-04-05/rotschild-admits-america-biggest-tax-haven-world-obama-slams-tax-evasion

    I listened to Obama’s speech in disbelief yesterday. This article nicely puts it in context.

    Seems that Obama and Key really do have something in common . . . .

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    Hi there,I wanted to put all of Josh Drummond’s Webworm pieces all in one place. I love that he writes for Webworm — and all of these are a good read!David.Why Are So Many “Christians” Hellbent on Being Horrible?Why do so many objectively hideous people declare themselves “Christian”?Meeting the Master ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday soliloquy and weekend Pick ‘n’ Mix for June 8/9
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: On reflection, the six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty this week were:The Government-driven freeze in building new classrooms, local roads and water networks in order to save cash for tax cuts is frustrating communities facing massive population ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The no-vision thing
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • When Journalists are Disingenuous
    Hi,One of the things I like the most about Webworm is to be able to break down the media and journalism a little, and go behind the scenes.This is one of those times.Yesterday an email arrived in my inbox from journalist Jonathan Milne, who is managing editor at Newsroom.I don’t ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • Me, elsewhere: Just say you’ll do the thing
    Wrote something over at 1/200 on a familiar theme of mine: The way we frame the economy as a separate, sacred force which must be sacrificed to, the way we talk about criminals as invaders who must be repelled, the constant othering of people on the benefit, people not in ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    6 days ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted
    A nice bit of news today: my 4600-word historical fantasy-horror piece, A Voyage Among the Vandals, has been accepted by Phobica Books (https://www.phobicabooks.co.uk/books) for their upcoming Pirate Horror anthology, Shivering Timbers. This one is set in the Mediterranean, during the mid-fifth century AD. Notable for having one of history’s designated ...
    6 days ago
  • Ministerial conflicts of interest
    Since the National government came to power, it has been surrounded by allegations of conflicts of interest. Firstly, there's the fast-track law, which concentrates power in the hands of three Ministers, some of whom have received donations from companies whose projects they will be deciding on. Secondly, there's the close ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The 2024 Budget Forecasts Are Gloomy Prognosis About The Next Three Years.
    There was no less razzamatazz about the 2024 Budget than about earlier ones. Once again the underlying economic analysis got lost. It deserves more attention.Just to remind you, the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update (BEFU), is the Treasury’s independent assessment and so can be analysed by other competent economists (although ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 days ago
  • A government that can't see twenty feet ahead
    There are two failings that consistently characterise a National government. One is a lack of imagination, the other is their willingness to look after their mates, no matter what harm it might do to everyone else.This is how we come to have thousands of enormous trucks carving up our roads. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • A post I hope is incorrect
    In May, we learned that National MP David MacLeod had "forgotten" to declare $178,000 in electoral donations. Filing a donation return which is false in any material particular is a crime, and the Electoral Commission has now referred MacLeod to police, since they're the only people who are allowed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Māori Cannot Re-Write New Zealand’s Constitution By Stealth.
    The Kotahitanga Parliament 1897: A Māori Parliament – at least in the guise of a large and representative body dedicated to describing the shape of New Zealand’s future from a Māori perspective – would be a very good idea.THE DEMAND for a “Māori Parliament” needs to be carefully unpicked. Some Pakeha, ...
    6 days ago
  • Cowpats and Colonials.
    Dumbtown, is how my friend Gerard refers to people like ZB listeners - he’s not wrong.Normally on a Friday I start by looking at Mike Hosking’s moronic reckons of the week which he vomits down the throats of his audience like helpless baby birds in a nest, grateful for the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on cutting the sick leave of vulnerable workers
    Should sick leave be part and parcel of the working conditions from Day One on the job, just like every other health and safety provision? Or should access to sick leave be something that only gradually accumulates, depending on how long a worker has been on the payroll? If enacted ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    6 days ago
  • Nobody Move: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
    So long as we live in a democracy, economic policy can never be anything other than social-democratic.“HEH!”, snorted Laurie, as he waved his debit card over the EFTPOS machine. “Same price as last week. I guess budgets aren’t what they used to be.”“I wouldn’t know,” replied the young barman, wearily, ...
    6 days ago
  • In Search Of Unity.
    Kotahitanga: New Zealand’s future belongs to those who do not fear a nation carved out of unity and solidarity, and are willing to trust the carvers. Some New Zealanders will be required to step up, and others, perhaps for the first time in their lives, will be expected to step ...
    6 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 7-June-2024
    Welcome to another Friday roundup! Here are some recent links and stories that caught our eye, perfectly timed for your watercooler discussions and weekend reading. As always feel free to share more in the comments. Our header image this week is by Patrick Reynolds, and shows Te Komititanga from above. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    6 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 7
    As Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, ACT’s Brooke van Velden is fronting proposed changes to sick pay regulations and The Holiday Act. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Did we boil the oceans by cutting pollution?
    Lowering aerosol emissions from shipping has altered clouds, with potentially drastic effects. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: Here’s the top six news items of note in climate news for Aotearoa-NZ this week, and a discussion above between Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer:New evidence is increasingly pointing at efforts ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #23 2024
    Open access notables Abrupt reduction in shipping emission as an inadvertent geoengineering termination shock produces substantial radiative warming, Yuan et al., Communications Earth & Environment: Human activities affect the Earth’s climate through modifying the composition of the atmosphere, which then creates radiative forcing that drives climate change. The warming effect ...
    7 days ago
  • Fragments
    The best observation I’ve read this week about the deep, profound harm Trump is doingTrump has hurled threats and smears at witnesses, jurors and the judge (including his family)... [he] has tried to intimidate witnesses and delegitimize the New York courts as corrupt. In continuing to incite his mob (that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • March for Nature
    Do do do do do do do doDo do do do do doDi di di di di di di di di di diNature enter me…In 2018 the Labour lead government banned new oil and gas exploration in Aotearoa. A change welcomed by those who care deeply for our environment and ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 6
    The Transport Minister is trying to push through urgent legislation that would allow him to change emissions standards for car imports without approval from Parliament, after only consulting car importers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Just as two major reports showed fossil fuel burning was warming the planet to dangerous levels and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • A Better Broadway: Act 2
    This is a guest post by reader Grant A, the second of a pair about how to fix Broadway. If you missed the beginning of the show, here’s the link to Act 1 from yesterday. Yesterday, I discussed changing traffic circulation around Broadway in Newmarket. This included implementing a car-free ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • National breaks another health promise
    National has broken another manifesto health promise, apparently to save only $550,000. It will now train an additional 25 med students next year rather than the 50 it promised. This comes on top of the delays caused by National’s coalition partners in pushing ahead with the Waikato Medical School and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Climate Adam: Coping as the world’s best known climate scientist
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Katharine Hayhoe is quite possibly the world's most famous climate scientist. She's produced wide ranging research, and communicated climate change with ...
    1 week ago
  • SIS “evidence” isn’t, again
    Back in 2016, then-Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne cancelled a New Zealand woman's passport, claiming she was a terrorist. The basis for his decision was a secret briefing by the SIS, which claimed that if she was allowed to travel, the woman would "engage with individuals who encourage acts of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • As Low As You Go
    Taking you as low as you goAs low as you goA sense of Déjà vu this morning. How many times have I begun a newsletter, “just when you thought they couldn’t go any lower…” Only for the groundhog to reappear, more pissed off than the day before.Another day with headlines ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Wednesday June 5
    TL;DR: The public health costs of human-caused air pollution in Aotearoa-NZ is estimated at $38.8 billion a year because it kills 3,300 people each year, which is almost ten times more than the death toll on roads from accidents. Yet the Ministry for the Environment has just one staff member ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • A Better Broadway: Act 1
    This is the first of a two-part guest post by Grant A, a long time reader and commenter with a keen interest in all things urban, especially cycling and public transport. He’s been thinking about how to fix Broadway. Stay tuned for Act 2! Readers might remember the pre-Christmas traffic snarl-ups in ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • Road trance
    Sometimes technology is your friend and sometimes it can’t be bothered with you. Once you’re away from home and your dependable wifi, well, there’s no telling what will happen. I’ve been going in and out of high-speed and low-speed no-speed Internet pockets all over England and France and look, I’m ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • You Can't Undo Fake News
    Hi,I’ve been thinking a lot about Corey Harris, the 44-year old man who went viral after Zooming into his court appearance while driving. The headlines generated were basically all the same: “Man With Suspended Driver's License Dials Into Court Hearing While Driving”. The headlines said it all, and most people ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • At a glance – CO2 is the main driver of climate change
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    1 week ago
  • Acting Prime Minister David Seymour.
    When it came to David Seymour, Jacinda got one thing right, and another wrong. What is the sacrilege, I hear you ask? In what world in relation to David Seymour was our Jacinda ever wrong?Subscribe nowAs you no doubt remember, and personally I think there should be some sort of ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • More democratic abuse from National
    "Abuse of democracy" seems to be the emerging theme of this government, with bills rammed through under urgency or given pathetically short select committee submission times seemingly designed to limit and undermine public engagement. And today we have another case, with the public given just nine days to submit on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the curse of being politically moderate about everything
    Nigel Farage’s initial reason for not standing in the British election – because he wanted to be a Trump adviser – never looked very convincing. His perfectly timed “change of mind” though, has won him extensive media coverage, and he’s now plunging into the election campaign as the rival candidate ...
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Tuesday, June 4
    Placards at a 2018 rally for better funding for new cancer drugs. National’s pre-election promise to do so may have won it votes, but the attempt to quietly drop the plan has now ignited a firestorm of protest. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: The Government is now being engulfed in a firestorm ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Budget 2024 Highlights
    Last week the government delivered their first budget and while there’s been plenty of other discussion about the main aspects of it, I was particularly interested to look at what it meant for transport. Before getting into too much detail, the chart below shows at a high level where transport ...
    1 week ago
  • Jeff Masters and Bob Henson give us the low-down on the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Samantha Harrington (Background photo credit: NASA/NOAA GOES Project / CC BY 2.0 DEED) To kick off hurricane season, Yale Climate Connections editors Sara Peach and Sam Harrington sat down with meteorologists and Eye on the Storm writers Jeff Masters and Bob ...
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 3
    TL;DR: The Tiwai Point aluminium smelter, which consumes over 15% of the motu’s renewable electricity, has struck a deal to stay open for another 20 years. This will delay Aotearoa-NZ’s transition to carbon zero and make it more expensive and unfair for the 100,000 households who currently can’t afford their ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • maBaguette
    Today we rolled through troglodyte caves and ate a fresh roast chook by the river, the mighty Loire River, the still quite angry-looking Loire River. The Loire is not itself because it has been raining here for the last seven months without a break, the locals have been telling us, ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Empty Promises.
    Fighting out of the blue corner, wearing a pale pink jacket, a half hearted smile, and a lot of flack from the left and the right, it’s your Finance Minister - Nicola Willis.Her challenger will probe the Minister for answers. Armed with boyish charm and tricky questions, the last remaining ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #22
    A listing of 33 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, May 26, 2024 thru Sat, June 1, 2024. Story of the week Sometimes one story is not enough. Our ongoing 2023-2024 experiences with lethal heatwaves, early wildfires and a threatening Atlantic hurricane season ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Treaty Principles Bill: Smokescreen for sweeping change?
    Much has been said about how the coalition government’s Treaty Principles Bill distorts te Tiriti o Waitangi. However, it could also serve as a Trojan horse, installing an extreme libertarian agenda. We don’t know the intent driving the proposed Bill; however, many serious effects may ensue. Far from simply clarifying the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago

  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
    New Zealand and Philippines are continuing to elevate our relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “The leaders of New Zealand and Philippines agreed in April 2024 to lift our relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership by 2026,” Mr Peters says. “Our visit to Manila this week has been an excellent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Paid Parental Leave increase to help families
    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Brooke van Velden says paid parental leave increase from 1 July will put more money in the pockets of Kiwi parents and give them extra support as they take precious time off to bond with their newborns. The increase takes effect from 1 July 2024 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Defence increases UN Command commitment
    The number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is increasing, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.  NZDF will deploy up to 41 additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend 'Summit on Peace in Ukraine' in Switzerland
    New Zealand will be represented at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine by Minister Mark Mitchell in Switzerland later this week.    “New Zealand strongly supports Ukraine’s efforts to build a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Minister Mitchell is a senior Cabinet Minister and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Big step forward for M.bovis programme
    Farmers’ hard work is paying off in the fight against Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) with the move to a national pest management plan marking strong progress in the eradication effort, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The plan, approved by the Coalition Government, was proposed by the programme partners DairyNZ, Beef ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Build To Rent opening welcomed by Housing Minister
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Housing Minister Chris Bishop formally opened a new Build to Rent development in Mt Wellington this morning. “The Prime Minister and I were honoured to cut the ribbon of Resido, New Zealand’s largest Build to Rent development to date.  “Build to Rent housing, like the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Agriculture to come out of the ETS
    The Government will deliver on its election commitment to take agriculture out of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) and will establish a new Pastoral Sector Group to constructively tackle biogenic methane, Coalition Government Agriculture and Climate Change Ministers say. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand farmers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Luxon Tokyo-bound for political and business visit
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will travel to Japan from 16-20 June, his first visit as Prime Minister.   “Japan is incredibly important to New Zealand's prosperity. It is the world’s fourth largest economy, and our fourth largest export destination.  “As you know, growing the economy is my number one priority. A strong economy means ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Bayly travels to Singapore for scam prevention meetings
    Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Andrew Bayly, travels to Singapore today to attend scam and fraud prevention meetings. “Scams are a growing international problem, and we are not immune in New Zealand. Organised criminal networks operate across borders, and we need to work with our Asia-Pacific partners to tackle ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • More help for homeowners impacted by severe weather
    People who were displaced by severe weather events in 2022 and 2023 will be supported by the extension of Temporary Accommodation Assistance through to 30 June 2025. Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says the coalition Government is continuing to help to those who were forced out of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    Removing the ban on petroleum exploration beyond onshore Taranaki is part of a suite of proposed amendments to the Crown Minerals Act to deal with the energy security challenges posed by rapidly declining natural gas reserves, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “Natural gas is critical to keeping our lights on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand and Malaysia to intensify connections
    New Zealand and Malaysia intend to intensify their long-standing, deep connections, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “Malaysia is one of New Zealand’s oldest friends in South-East Asia – and both countries intend to get more out of the relationship," Mr Peters says.   "Our connections already run deep and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Ending contracted emergency housing motels in Rotorua
    The end of Contracted Emergency Housing (CEH) motels in Rotorua is nearing another milestone as the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announces it will not renew consents for six of the original 13 motels, Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka says. The government is committed to stop using CEH ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • First Home Grant closure exemptions
    The Government is providing a narrow exemption from the discontinuation of the First Home Grant for first home buyers who may face unfair situations as a result, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. “The First Home Grant scheme was closed with immediate effect on 22 May 2024, with savings being reprioritised ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Faster consenting for flood protection projects in Hawke's Bay
    Work to increase flood resilience in Hawke’s Bay can start sooner, thanks to a new fast consenting process, Minister for Emergency Management and Recovery Mark Mitchell and Environment Minister Penny Simmonds say.  “Faster consenting means work to build stop banks, spillways and other infrastructure can get underway sooner, increasing flood ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Judge Craig Coxhead and Nathan Milner newest Māori Land Court appointments
    Tangata tū tangata ora, tangata noho tangata mate. Minister for Māori Development Tama Potaka today announced acting Deputy Chief Judge Craig Coxhead as the new Deputy Chief Judge, and Nathan Milner as Judge of the Māori Land Court. "I want to congratulate Judge Coxhead and Mr Milner on their appointments ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade and cooperation
    Trade Minister Todd McClay and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts, today signed three Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) agreements that will boost investment, grow New Zealand’s digital and green economies and increase trade between New Zealand and the 14 IPEF partners. IPEF’s partners represent 40 per cent of global GDP ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade
    Trade Minister Todd McClay and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts, today signed three Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) agreements that will boost investment, grow New Zealand’s digital and green economies and increase trade between New Zealand and the 14 IPEF partners. IPEF’s partners represent 40 per cent of global GDP ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Visit to Viet Nam strengthens ties
    New Zealand and Viet Nam are focused on strengthening cooperation by making progress on mutually beneficial opportunities, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says. “Viet Nam matters enormously to New Zealand," Mr Peters says. "Our countries enjoy broad cooperation, in such areas as defence, security, trade, education and tourism. We are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government delivers funding boost to fix potholes
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its commitment to boost funding for pothole prevention, with indicative funding levels confirmed by NZTA showing a record increase in funding to help fix potholes on our State Highways and Local Roads, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The NZTA Board has today confirmed indicative ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government making fuel resilience a priority
    The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment will halt work on procuring reserve diesel stock and explore other ways to bolster New Zealand’s diesel resilience, Associate Energy Minister Shane Jones says. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) will also begin work on changes to the minimum fuel stockholding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt strengthens COVID-19 preparedness
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says additional supplies of COVID-19 rapid antigen tests (RATs) will enable New Zealanders to continue testing this winter.  “In January, we announced an extension of public access to free RATs until the end of June,” Dr Reti says.  “I’m pleased to confirm that Health New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ and Fiji commit to strengthening partnership
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has met with his Fijian counterpart, Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka, and discussed how New Zealand and Fiji can further strengthen their partnership.  During their bilateral talks in Suva this morning, Mr Luxon and Mr Rabuka canvassed a range of issues including defence and regional security, trade, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Making it easier to invest in New Zealand
    The Associate Minister of Finance David Seymour has issued a new Ministerial directive letter to Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) to make consent processing timeframes faster under the Overseas Investment Act.  “New Zealand is currently rated as having the most restrictive foreign direct investment policy out of the OECD countries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $30m investment for faster access to radiology services
    New Zealanders will now benefit from free access to radiology services referred directly by their general practitioner, resulting in faster diagnosis and improved health outcomes, says Health Minister Dr Shane Reti. “Our Budget last Thursday delivered the foundations for a thriving New Zealand economy, but also for better public services ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to Pacific Economic Development Agency – Pacific Business Trust
    Good afternoon everyone, and warm Pacific greetings. Thank you for your lovely introduction Mary Losé. It’s wonderful to be here today at the Pacific Economic Development Agency - Pacific Business Trust. I want to acknowledge the chair Paul Retimanu and chief executive Mary Losé, your team and the many business ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Progress for fixing the Holidays Act 2003
    The Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Brooke van Velden says this Government will improve the Holidays Act 2003 [the Act] with the help of businesses and workers who will be affected by changes to the Act.  “Change has been a long time coming, and I know there are many ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand and Niue mark special milestone
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Niue Premier Dalton Tagelagi have agreed to enhance the special relationship that exists between their two countries, as Niue marks 50 years of self-government in free association with New Zealand. Mr Luxon and Mr Tagelagi held formal talks this morning and released a Joint Statement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ministry for Regulation kicks off first sector review – Early Childhood Education
    Minister for Regulation David Seymour today announced the terms of reference for the sector review into early childhood education (ECE) by the new Ministry for Regulation. This will be the first review by the Ministry.   “Issues with affordability and availability of early childhood education, and the complexity of its regulation, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $43 million commitment for local catchment groups
    The Government is backing farmers to improve land management practices with a $36 million commitment to support locally led catchment groups, and an additional $7 million direct investment into catchment groups across the country, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay has announced. “Budget 2024 provides $36 million over four years for regionally based ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $36 million commitment for local catchment groups
    The Government is backing farmers to improve land management practices with a $36 million commitment to support locally led catchment groups, $7 million of which will go directly to catchment groups across the country, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay has announced. “Budget 2024 provides $36 million over four years for regionally based ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Communities reap rewards of regional investment
    The success of regional investment in the Far North has been highlighted with the opening of two community projects that benefit their communities, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones attended a dawn blessing for the $10.16 million Te Hiku Revitalisation project, which has provided much-needed community infrastructure improvements ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to sign groundbreaking Indo-Pacific agreements
    Trade Minister Todd McClay and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts travel to Singapore tomorrow to sign three Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) agreements.  IPEF’s 14 partners represent 40 per cent of global GDP and account for 50 per cent of New Zealand’s exports. They include critical markets for Kiwi exporters ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • King’s Birthday Honours recognise significant contributions to education
    Minister of Education Erica Stanford today recognises the significant achievements of those included in the King’s Birthday 2024 Honours List, particularly those being celebrated for their services to education. “This year’s King’s Birthday Honours recognises the commitment, dedication and passion that those who have been honoured have shown,” Ms Stanford ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • ...
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