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Kerr shows how the Right lie to themselves

Written By: - Date published: 5:33 pm, September 21st, 2008 - 42 comments
Categories: im/migration, national, spin - Tags:

The Business Roundtable held another in their series of forums on political issues targeted at young people on Thursday. The aim is obviously to get along the type of kid who goes to his (sorry for the gendering but they were 90% male) commerce classes in a suit that he can’t yet fill and give him an ideological steer. It’s pretty funny and there’s free pizza and beer, so worth going along to.

This forum was on the dreaded brain drain. Roger Kerr hosted a usual and the panelists were the CTU economist Peter Conway and Opus head Kevin Thompson. I can’t make up my mind if Kerr’s presentation was amusing or outrageous. The man’s a trained economist, he knows statistics and he knows when he’s mis-using them, so it speaks to a deep arrogance that he would present flawed statistics to what is, after all, meant to be a friendly audience; on the other hand, it’s amusing that none of them seemed to see the flaws in the numbers they were being shown but, then, there’s none so blind…

Three examples of how Kerr used faulty figures to make an argument about the mythical brain drain:

He did not show the historical trend in migration figures, he just said there were spikes in net emigration 1979, 1989, 2002 and now – he failed to mention that these ‘spikes’ are actually just peaks in a cycle and that the earlier peaks were much larger in terms of % of the population than the present one.  He also failed to show that peaks in the net migration were correlated with anything else.

Which didn’t stop him concluding that the wage gap is the problem (despite the head of Opus not mentioning wages once in his talk on retention strategies and studies showing we, like Australia, like Canada etc don’t have a brain drain but lose a small % of people representing a cross-section of skills and gain more highly skilled workers) and presented a graph of average full time equivalent wages in Australia and New Zealand. He knew this isn’t adjusted for purchasing power parity, that one should uses medians rather than averages because a situation as in the 1990s when the rich get richer and most people get poorer can show a rising average when most people are actually worse off, and that just look at FTE wages is useless if other sources of income are changing, like the removal of overtime and penalty rates in the 1990s, or if the composition of the workforce changes (ie casualisation and high unemployment in the 1990s) but chose to misrepresent the numbers that suited his argument – ie. that the wage gap grew less in the 1990s than the 2000s thanks to de-reguation.

He then brought up the productivity growth figures. The argument being if we are to raise wages we need more wealth (a higher GDP) and the way to do that is to increase productivity (through lower taxes, weaker work rights, and less regulation). Of course, that’s falsely premised. We know that growth is not passed on to workers in wage rises automatically it only happens if workers have a good bargaining position (eg low unemployment and strong work rights). It also seems somewhat odd that we should try to catch up to the wages paid in Australia, where there are stronger work rights, by further weakening our work rights. But the clincher is this: productivity per worker grew at something like 2.7% per annum under National and has grown 1.5% per annum per worker under Labour but GDP per capita barely rose under National and has grown much faster under Labour. How can GDP growth be faster when productivity growth is lower? Because under National we had hundreds of thousands of workers unemployed and lots of capital sitting ideal – only the highest quality workers and capital were used. Labour has succeeded in bringing New Zealand to practically full employment but that means lowering the overall quality of the workforce which makes productivity growth appear slower. According the Brian Easton, a study of workers employed in both the 1990s and 2000s showed their productivity growth rate did not change.

Of course, Kerr knew all that when he made be presentation but he chose to do it anyway. The interesting thing was that he was trying to fool young Tories (and succeeding, a smattering of questions from Lefties had him floundering by the tory-boys just swallowed it). Why lie to your own side, why not all just believe in something that is supported by the facts instead? I think there’s two answers. One is that the brain drain argument is veiled xenophobia. National certainly dog-whistles xenophobia when it talks about the number of ‘native-born New Zealanders’ who are overseas; if so many ‘real Kiwis’ weren’t leaving the proportion of the population from non-European ethnic groups would be smaller. For the second answer we have to look not at the ‘problem’ by the proposed solutions. The Right’s remedy is tax-cuts, weaker work rights, lower government spending, and weaker regulation. No serious person could think these would really solve a brain drain were there one – is anyone really leaving over $20 a week, $1000 a year, of tax? Would weakening work rights somehow see workers paid more? of course not. But it does just so happen that the ‘solutions’ proposed by National and others like Kerr for the brain drain are their solution for everything from growth rates to heartburn and the people who would certainly gain from lower tax, smaller government, weaker work rights (=lower wages), and less regulation are the big business owners that employ Kerr and finance the National party. Funny that.

42 comments on “Kerr shows how the Right lie to themselves”

  1. randal 1

    even If I made a truthful contribution to this post I would still leave myself open for slander libel and defamation so I will refrain.

  2. Steve:
    What is wrong with a male who takes a commerce class in a suit he cant fill? You write like its a bad thing.

    What did you major in anyway?

  3. brett.

    tory boys in suits they can’t fill just strikes me as metaphorical

    It’s not any of your business what I studied and I’m not interested in what you may have studied but, what the hell, I have an LLB, a BA majoring in Politics minoring in Economics, a Diploma in European Studies, and a Graduate Diploma in International Relations.

  4. Carol 4

    And IF all these folks are currently leaving NZ in droves, why are they doing it at the same time as the polls are showing them that the Nats are soon to govern and going to (allegedly) line everyone’s pockets, and pave the streets with gold?

    Could people be emigrating because they’re appalled at the idea of a Nat government?

  5. There wasn’t really any need for the first two lines of your reply.

  6. My comments in my previous post were directed at Steve. Anyway I was Just trying to guess how you have came to have your political views.

  7. i’m planning on doing a series of posts on political philosophy rising from first principles, so that might give you a look in on where my views come from… they were well-established by uni, bit raw though

  8. randal 8

    brett dale…do you have a qualification in little people backbiting and dragging others down to your level?

  9. Randal:

    No I don’t, but thanks for sharing.

  10. roger nome 10

    Steve, good post. Jafa Pete not long ago, gave DPF a going over for his unquestioning use of Roger Douglas’ faulty productivity statistics. DPF tries to defend the misleading figures, but quickly dissapears from the argument once it’s obvious he’s lost. Here’s that, fairly amusing thread:

    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2008/07/salient_interviews_sir_roger_douglas.html

    BTW steve – you need to fix up the grammar in your post.

  11. Phillip Mason 11

    Yes Steve, please fix the grammar. Thank you.

    [lprent: dad you’re still banned. You want me to isolate you from this system permanently regardless of which IP range you come in under?]

  12. Mr Mason 12

    Hi roger
    [lprent: dad you’re still banned. You want me to isolate you from this system permanently regardless of which IP range you come in under?]

  13. Roger Nome: that thread was awesome! Just count up the blatherers getting their heads handed to them on a plate there, including DPF. Really, that was the dog’s bollocks.

  14. Millsy 15

    Meanwhile, in our arrival lounges, thousands of English, South African and Indians queue up waiting to get into our communist, high tax, unsmacked kids hell-hole…..

    [lprent: dad you’re still banned. You want me to isolate you from this system permanently regardless of which IP range you come in under?]

  15. Nedyah Hsan 16

    I guess it shows we’re doing something right Millsy that other nationalities want to come here.

  16. roger nome 17

    Psycho Milt:

    yeah – always craks me up how the right accuse the left of being economically illiterate, when it’s so often the market fundamentalists that get it completely wrong.

    oh and, hey Dad – how’s the wheather in chchs? It’s a beautiful Sunday morning over here in Liverpool.

  17. Mr Mason 18

    Do watch out for a Liverpool kiss roger. It’s that hot here it melted all the red billboards that feature some computer generated huckster bitch.

    [lprent: dad you’re still banned. You want me to isolate you from this system permanently regardless of which IP range you come in under?]

  18. Janet 19

    I wonder if anyone can tell me the answer to this question about the Oz statistics? Many NZers who currently live in Australia come home frequently to visit – sometimes 2 or 3 times a year with the cheap fares. Each time they leave NZ they tick the box that says Are you leaving permanently? or Where will you spend the next 12 months? – or whatever (I can’t remember the exact wording). So are they counted each time as a new person leaving? If so the stats will be very exaggerated.

  19. randal 20

    roger…dad’s feeling his oats after he harassed and hectored some poor judge somewhere today. It made the news so I gues he’s pretty fired up and his cojones are getting in the way of a rational argument.

  20. Pascal's bookie 21

    i’m planning on doing a series of posts on political philosophy rising from first principles,

    Yay. Can’t wait 🙂

    But it’ll be libertarian bait I tells ya. Just ignore them.

  21. “The aim is obviously to get along the type of kid who goes to his (sorry for the gendering but they were 90% male) commerce classes in a suit that he can’t yet fill and give him an ideological steer.”

    Ahh I know exactly the type of person you mean! Gosh what a joke they are. In fact last night I came across one at a party, in wearing chinos and the most chump-tastic private school knitted sleeveless jersey you’ve ever seen, this one had the nerve to interupt my conversation and attempt to defend the USA in Iraq.

    Its more an ideological smack over the head (so as to deal to any last trace of independent thought) than it is an ideological steer.

  22. gosh, this guy still going..huh..

    aka roger of the rolling arrrrs.. resentment being the first, rolling(as per political figures) somewhere close…BTW is rog still into buying speakers that dummie him.. and stats that deny reality..???

  23. Pascal's bookie 24

    There’s a type of religious apologetics that jumps whole heartedly into accepting that many of the things they are asked to believe don’t make sense.

    During the enlightenment various big brains were pulling apart religious claims and pointing out inconsistencies and asking how can that be right, and don’t you have to be retarded to think this and so on and so forth.

    One response was to come up with some tidy theodicy or another to show that the claims did, in spite of all appearances, make sense. Another approach was to say, you know what, it doesn’t make sense, and that’s why I believe it. Look at how faithful I am! I really do believe five impossible things before breakfast. Jesus loves me so.

    Right wingers have internalised a lot of that shit.

  24. randal 25

    nah…pb…they just lie as a matter of course because they want money and they will do anything to get it.

  25. Anita 26

    Janet,

    I wonder if anyone can tell me the answer to this question about the Oz statistics? […]

    Your best bet will be asking Stats NZ. From memory they have a really handy service where you email them a question about their stats and they get back to you within 2 working days.

    If you’re asking them, you might want to check how they’re counting the Australian resident NZers coming in to the country. As NZers coming home? Or as holidaymakers?

  26. Janet 27

    Thanks Anita.

    And SP re the principles of political philosophy I presume that covers morality as well?

    The lack of morality in the financial market crashes has been worrying me. Did Adam Smith or the earlier men (they were all men I presume while the women cooked and cleaned and soothed their brows and changed their ink wells) have anything to say about the role of morality in politics?

  27. Janet 28

    This is what worries me about lack of morality in business/politics – a lack of personal responsibility or accountability for actions which have significant negative effects on others. Here is a quote from JKey which I found on the Sunday Star Times website in the 08 campaign section

    ‘Key says he does not believe a moral issue arises for the traders who make these speculative attacks on currencies, or for the dealing rooms that carry out their orders. “I don’t really see it as a judgemental business. You’re simply executing orders for people.”‘

    That last sentence is particularly chilling.

  28. jbc 29

    Janet

    Each time they leave NZ they tick the box that says Are you leaving permanently? or Where will you spend the next 12 months? – or whatever (I can’t remember the exact wording). So are they counted each time as a new person leaving?

    The form asks that question under a section titled “Answer these questions if you live in NZ, or lived in NZ until today, otherwise answer 4. [Visitor to NZ]”

    I don’t know about those NZers that moved to Australia, but I can say that I can follow the simple instructions and count myself only as a visitor on my trips to NZ.

    The Auckland Airport immigration/customs people don’t hesitate to treat as as visitors either. I was back in NZ to attend a funeral recently – a 3 day trip. While holding my NZ passport (the only passport I have) the officer proceeded to interrogate me in their best stern voice about my visit, why I was there, staying where, etc. Felt like I was visiting USA. I’ve never had such a grilling anywhere else.

    As far as I know natural born NZers can’t be denied entry to NZ can they?

  29. Janet,

    The other day Ms M another commenter provided this link this article was written in 1999 and it interviews a couple of investment bankers.

    One of them being John Key. It turns out that when the Glass-Steagall Act was repealed in Nov 1999 John Key was the managing director of debt for Merrill Lynch.

    The repeal of the Glass Seagall act is important because until than a bank could be only of of two forms of bank. You were either a gambling investment bank or a bank to help people finance business based sound investment principles.

    After the 4th of November 1999 these two types of banks could merge and merge they did. This meant that the big investment bankers could do some really big gambling and boy did they ever.
    According to John Key himself in the 19th of June NZHerald “unauthorised” biography, he was running a department that was developing all these cool new investment products like bonds and derivatives.

    The act that was repealed was called into existence after the previous Wall street crash of 1929 in 1933.
    It was repealed because Bankers would “regulate” themselves.

    The bankers of Wall street and London must have been pissing themselves with laughter when the got that one through.
    Of course bankers do no regulate themselves. Banksters are in it for the money and only the money and our Smiling Assassin was a very good bankster.

    The people of the US and make no mistake the UK, Australia and New Zealand are going to pay the price for the scheisters of Wall street robbing and gambling spree and John Key was one of them.

  30. ropata 31

    @PB.
    Your prejudice is showing. So much for Mickey Savage‘s “Applied Christianity” huh?

  31. Pascal's bookie 32

    Which Prejudice Ropata? Care to explain?

    No out of context quotes please.

    Depending on what you came up with I’ll either defend myself or apologise tonight, bit busy at the mo’

    cheers

  32. TRAVELLEREV:

    Trying to tie the wall street collapse to John Key is like the right in the USA trying to tie Clinton to Bin Laden.

  33. ropata 34

    @PB
    Sorry ’bout that misunderstanding. I see that you were basically critiquing a head-in-sand approach, but not all religion is like that. Cheers

  34. Pascal's bookie 35

    No worries.

  35. jbc 36

    travellerev,
    Lots of completely unconnected links and strange ‘facts’ there [bonds and derivatives ‘new’ in 1999?].

    Had me thinking back to the only govt-bailout of a NZ bank that I can remember.

    Which type of bank was BNZ in 1990? A gambler or one that helped people based on sound principles? Or was it the 3-day old governments fault? Where was John Key at the time?

    [apologies for getting way, way off-topic]

  36. jbc,

    I just checked the links and they open on the correct pages, perhaps there is something wrong with your browser?
    I don’t know about BNZ. I wasn’t living at that time and have not done any research on it but all banks can go bankrupt if they have liquidity problems.

    John Key was working for the Bankers Trust at the time as forex manager and Treasurer.

    No, bonds and derivatives are an old speculative vehicle. They have just been taken out of the cupboard dusted off and with the internet deals could be made in seconds in totally non-transparent ways and with complicated computer models

    Brett,

    Are you suggesting that Clinton is a nice lefty president? He was hand in glove with the banksters. It was his administration that repealed the Glass- Seagall act making the road clear for the biggest speculative bubble in human history.
    With the paltry 700 billion Bush has just given Paulson to play with nothing is going to get solved. The banksters have created a derivatives bubble of some 700 trillion while the entire worlds annual GDP is something in the order of 60 trillion. That means US$640 trillion in leverage and it’s deflating fast.

    John Key was the managing director of debt for Merrill Lynch and one of only 4 upon invitation only advisors to Alan Greenspan and the fed, just as Alan Greenspan was pumping masses of cheap money in the system and the unsuspecting punters were told what a brilliant investments foreign exchange and other derivatives were.
    The other three were representatives for Lehman bros (just gone belly up), Citigroup (also in very serious trouble) and UBSWarburg again a bank very badly damaged by the subprime crisis.

    In fact Merril Lynch was one of the most prominent and advanced derivatives dealers and it was no accident that John Key was head hunted by them because the Banker trust had been developing derivatives and CDO’s and the whole alphabet of debt backed junk in the as if 1987 when John Key started to work for them.

    The Bankers trust was a bank who got in trouble as John Key said in the NZ herald, “in ’95 it all went to shit and I said I’m out of here.” because they sold derivatives to Proctor and gable and when the derivatives started to loose money they were taken to court and due to the phone tapes that were made off all the conversations Proctor and gamble was able to prove that the Bankers trust bankers were lying and cheating scum specialised in racy derivatives who derived their value from bonds, currencies commodities etc. What do you reckon is the chance of John Key ending up as a specialist in a variety of complex financial products and him ending up heading that department and as advisor to Alan Greenspan with the other three most hit banks and him being squeaky clean?

    He lived off and on in New York and had employees and an office in the Merrill Lynch head quarters in New York. In fact he lost three colleagues in the attacks on 911. According to his New York John Key had an expert knowledge of a multitude of complex financial products and in the link I gave previously John Key describes ho the internet is a fantastic medium to do trade in derivatives etc.

    John Key was a shark with the sharks mate, and very good at what he did.

  37. jbc 38

    travellerev,
    by ‘unconnected’ I mean that if you follow the content then there is no connection to your argument.

    Attempts to link Key to the present global financial malaise are comical – but I suspect that most making these links are not trying to be satirical.

    Helen Clark was deputy PM in the government that sold Telecom. Can we blame her for that? It’s a pretty darned strong connection if you ask me. She must be at least partly responsible. Deputy PM. How could she not know?

    I don’t believe that any more than the rubbish about Key – but it is a stronger argument than those against him.

    OK, nuff said. Next time I’ll just skip the Key/meltdown conspiracy stories. I’ll be keeping my eye out for any argument that holds water though.

  38. Pascal's bookie 39

    jbc, If a party leader ran on the fact that they were a leading trade unionist then I think it would be fair to say that they brought along with them, as a supposed qualification, a certain set of views reagarding labour policy at the least and economics in general.

    By the same token, the fact that Key used, until recently, his career in finance as a supposed qualification we are entitled to ask what exactly he brings with him to the job. The roles he had, and the level he reached surely point to the fact that he held certain views with regard to economics and the role of the free market. He was picked for the National party precisely because of his international success in the deregulated world of high finance. Which has just imploded. Until he explains, in detail, what his views are about neo liberalism and the ability of markets to regulate and discipline themselves with a light hand from the government, it is reasonable to assume that that he was on board with the Washington consensus, which has served us so poorly.

    What are his instincts? What does he think went wrong? Does he agree with the BRT? Did he see this coming? Has he changed his mind? Did he push for more regulation when he was on Wall street?

    All legitimate questions that Key won’t have a bar of. When the issue is raised, he attacks the questioner, which is less than reassuring.

  39. Millsy 40

    …I am not Dad4Justice…even though it would be nice to be a far-right jackboot wearing wannabe Nazi who hates gays and women and thinks the earth was made be a magical pixie fairy named “God”….

  40. jbc,

    According to John Key the subprime crisis was not hard to predict: this is what he said about it:

    Did he foresee the problems which resulted in the sub-prime crisis? “Was it hard to predict? Not really.”

    And the next sentence is:

    The products which underpinned the sub-prime boom – then bust – were hatched in 2004-2005, long after Key had left Merrill.

    Yeah right.

    In 1997 Fred Harris predicted the boom and bust of the subprime crisis and derivatives scam. In fact he warned Gordon Brown this would happen in that year.
    In 2001 a senior Treasury official, Sheila C. Bair tried to persuade subprime lenders to adopt a code of “best practices’ and to let outside monitors verify their compliance.

    Didn’t happen. Why not? They could sell the crap mortgages to unsuspecting suckers.

    This is what John Key had to say while being the managing director of debt for merrill Lynch.

    FX is just the first serving in a feast of products that banks are bringing on-line. “The initial thought was that, yes, the Internet’s great for foreign exchange because it’s vanilla. But there are applications that are just as wide in many other areas: corporate bond trading, government credit, equity underwriting, credit derivatives-it’s endless,” says Key.

    Isn’t “vanilla” a term for bland sexual practices?

    And lastly this is what John Key had to say about the debt department he was running: Key explains: “I had a whole lot of people working for me who were at the cutting edge of delivering quite complex and new and innovative products. They tended to either be a new product or into a new market, usually the emerging markets, Russia, Brazil, Argentina. I wasn’t the guy sitting there dreaming it all up, but I was the guy who was responsible for those people.”

    That and the fact that he was an upon invitation only advisor to the architect of the bubbles for the last 20 years Alan Greenspan and the fact that he was prepared to lie about his involvement in the attack on the New Zealand dollar in 1987 gives me reason enough to think John Key was up to his eyeballs in the derivative scam.

  41. Oops deleted some stuff.

    In 1997 Fred Harris predicted the boom and bust of the subprime crisis and derivatives scam. In fact he warned Gordon Brown this would happen in that year.
    In 2001 a senior Treasury official, Sheila C. Bair, tried to persuade subprime lenders to adopt a code of “best practices’ and to let outside monitors verify their compliance.

    Didn’t happen. Why? because they could sell the crappy mortgages on to unsuspecting suckers.

    In 1999 John Key Managing director of debt for Merrill Lynch has this to say about derivatives:

    FX is just the first serving in a feast of products that banks are bringing on-line. “The initial thought was that, yes, the Internet’s great for foreign exchange because it’s vanilla. But there are applications that are just as wide in many other areas: corporate bond trading, government credit, equity underwriting, credit derivatives-it’s endless,” says Key.

    This is what John Key had to say about his debt department:

    Key explains: “I had a whole lot of people working for me who were at the cutting edge of delivering quite complex and new and innovative products. They tended to either be a new product or into a new market, usually the emerging markets, Russia, Brazil, Argentina (very interesting by the way him mentioning those countries since a lot of them collapsed in the late 90s). I wasn’t the guy sitting there dreaming it all up, but I was the guy who was responsible for those people.”

    That makes his department a breeding ground for speculative crap and not as some might think the debt collection department. John Key was managing 140 geeks who were dreaming up ways to make money out of nothing with speculative crap and Foreign exchange manipulation.

    That and the fact that he was an upon invitation only advisor to the architect of the bubbles for the last 20 years Alan Greenspan and the fact that he was prepared to lie about his involvement in the attack on the New Zealand dollar in 1987 gives me reason enough to think that John Key is a scam artist and that he was up to his eyeballs in the derivative scam.

    As for the Key/meltdown conspiracy stories. The above is from the horses mouth. you can check the facts. What is it with you guys and the “Conspiracy” stories (theories, what ever) when I support everything I say with links to articles etc?

    I said here months ago that we would have en economic meltdown based on what Roubini, Engdahl and other eminent scholars and finance specialists have been saying for years. Fred Harris predicted a 10 year boom and a collapse in 2007. I don’t just make this shit up. What is it that makes it a “conspiracy” theory if you can see with your own eyes that it is actually happening?

    And if John Key himself places him in the middle of the grubbiest scummy business then what do I have to theorise about it? It’s there in plain sight.All I did was put a few quotes from different interviews together and they paint the picture not I.

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    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party proposes transformational Poverty Action Plan
    The Green Party is today unveiling its Poverty Action Plan, which includes a Guaranteed Minimum Income to ensure people have enough to live with dignity.     ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF accelerates Rotorua projects
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development The Rotorua Museum redevelopment and Whakarewarewa and Tokorangi Forest projects will be accelerated thanks to a $2.09 million Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) boost, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Getting people into jobs
    This week, we rolled out the next steps of our recovery plan, with new infrastructure investment, extra support for tourism operators, and a new programme to get Kiwis into agriculture careers. The global economic consequences of COVID-19 will continue to be a challenge, but we have a detailed plan to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Coalition commitment establishing Mental Health Commission delivered
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its final reading in Parliament today fulfilling a coalition agreement commitment. “This is an important step in saving the lives of New Zealanders and delivers a key coalition commitment ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whakatāne gets a $2.5m ‘turbo boost’
    Whakatāne has been given a $2.5 million boost to speed up previously funded projects and create more than 450 jobs in the next decade. Of those, the equivalent of 160 full-time jobs could be delivered in the next six weeks. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters is in town to make ...
    2 weeks ago
  • $2.5m PGF funding to speed up economic recovery in Whakatāne
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $2.5 million to accelerate three infrastructure projects in Whakatāne, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “This package is about ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Shane Jones calls out those holding drought-stricken Auckland ‘to ransom’ over water
    Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones is throwing his weight behind a bid by the Auckland Council to fast-track the more than doubling of the city's water allowance from the Waikato River. And he's coming out strongly against anyone who plans on getting in the way of this campaign. "It is my ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another Green win as climate change considerations inserted into the RMA
    The Green Party is thrilled to see changes to the Resource Management Act (RMA) that mean consents for large projects can be declined if they will have significant climate change implications that are inconsistent with the Zero Carbon Act and Aotearoa New Zealand’s Paris Agreement obligations.  ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Navy vessel Aotearoa to arrive in New Zealand
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence The Royal New Zealand Navy’s new ship, Aotearoa, set sail for New Zealand on 10 June from the Republic of Korea, and is due to arrive in Auckland tomorrow, announced Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “Aotearoa is the Royal New Zealand Navy’s new fleet ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Racing Industry Bill passes third reading
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters has today welcomed the Racing Industry Bill passing its third reading, creating the legislative framework for revitalising the racing industry while limiting the need for future government intervention. “For too long our domestic racing industry has ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party seek amendment to ensure all prisoners can vote
    The Green Party has today put forward an amendment to the Electoral (Registration of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Bill to ensure all people in prisons can vote in general elections. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party welcomes new approach to delivering light rail
    The Green Party welcomes the decision to not proceed with Public Public Investment (PPI) delivery of Auckland’s light rail project and to instead run the process through the public service. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First welcomes PGF investment in Wairarapa Water
    Hon Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in the Wairarapa New Zealand First List MP Hon Ron Mark welcomes the announcement of Provincial Growth Funding investment of $1.4 million to help secure the Wairarapa’s water supply. The funding boost will allow the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC), and ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First MP Mark Patterson selected as candidate for Taieri
    New Zealand First list MP Mark Patterson has been selected to represent the party in the newly formed Taieri electorate at the upcoming election. Mr Patterson, his wife Jude and two daughters farm sheep and beef at Lawrence and Waitahuna. He previously stood in the Clutha-Southland electorate however boundary changes ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Ground-breaking on NZ Post depot
    Hon Shane Jones, Associate Minister for State Owned Enterprises A new ‘super depot’ to be built for NZ Post in Wellington will create around 350 jobs during construction, Associate Minister for State Owned Enterprises Shane Jones says. Shane Jones today attended a ground-breaking and blessing ceremony for the parcel-processing depot ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Putting our economic plan into action
    Our strong economic management prior to COVID-19 - with surpluses, low debt and near-record-low unemployment - put us in a good position to weather the impact of the virus and start to rebuild our economy much earlier than many other countries. Now we're putting our plan to recover and rebuild ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Fleeing drivers hit new record-high yet again
    Darroch Ball MP, New Zealand First Spokesperson for Law and Order Recently released Police fleeing driver statistics have shown yet another increase in incidents with another record-high in the latest quarter. “This new quarterly record-high is the latest in a string of record-high numbers since 2014.  The data shows incidents ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Inaugural launch of Kiribati Language Week
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio is pleased to announce the inaugural launch of Kiribati Language Week as part of the 2020 Pacific language Weeks programme. “I am so pleased that this year we are able to provide resourcing support to the Kiribati community in Aotearoa which will ...
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    3 hours ago
  • New support package for wildlife institutions
    Wildlife institutions affected by a loss of visitor revenue during the COVID-19 lockdown are set to receive government support with nearly $15 million of funding available announced Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage.  “Eco-sanctuaries, zoos, aquariums, wildlife parks, and wildlife rescue, hospital and rehabilitation facilities provide crucial support for the recovery ...
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    5 hours ago
  • 300,000 students to benefit from free mental health services
    The Government is expanding and accelerating frontline mental health and wellbeing services at tertiary education institutes (TEI) to help students manage ongoing stresses related to COVID-19. “The lockdown has been hugely disruptive for students. Many of them have had to relocate and move to online learning, isolating them from their ...
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    6 hours ago
  • Gang crime, meth harm targeted in Waikato
    The Minister of Police says a major operation against the Mongrel Mob in Waikato will make a big dent in drug harm and violent offending linked to organised crime networks. “Senior leadership of the Waikato Mongrel Mob has been taken out as a result of Operation Kingsville, which resulted in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Supporting victims and families to attend mosque attack sentencing
    The Government is extending the border exception criteria to enable some offshore victims and support people of the Christchurch mosque attacks to attend the sentencing of the accused beginning on 24 August2020, says Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway. “We want to support our valued Muslim brothers and sisters who were directly ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Boost for community freshwater restoration projects
    A project to support volunteer efforts to look after streams and rivers is getting a boost thanks to support from DOC’s Community Conservation Fund announced Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today.  “The government is backing efforts to look after waterways with $199,400 for the Mountains to Sea Conservation Trust from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • More support for women and girls
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter today announced that funding for the COVID-19 Community Fund for women and girls will be doubled, as the first successful funding applications for the initial $1million were revealed. “Women and girls across the country have suffered because of the effects of COVID-19, and I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Crown accounts stronger than forecast with higher consumer spending
    The Government’s books were better than forecast with a higher GST take as the economy got moving again after lockdown, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Crown Accounts for the 11 months to the end of May indicate the year end results for tax revenue will be stronger than forecast. ...
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    1 day ago
  • Govt releases plan to revitalise wool sector
    A plan to revitalise New Zealand’s strong wool sector and set it on a new, more sustainable and profitable path was unveiled today by Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. The newly-released report - Vision and Action for New Zealand’s Wool Sector - was developed by the Wool Industry Project Action Group ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Funding for Predator Free Whangārei
    Community efforts to create a Predator Free Whangārei will receive a $6 million boost, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage announced today. The new funding, through Government company Predator Free 2050 Ltd, will create around 12 jobs while enabling the complete removal of possums over ...
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    1 day ago
  • New Zealand to review relationship settings with Hong Kong
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced that the New Zealand Government is reviewing the settings of its relationship with Hong Kong. “China’s decision to pass a new national security law for Hong Kong has fundamentally changed the environment for international engagement there,” Mr Peters said. “New Zealand remains deeply ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding for Whangārei’s infrastructure projects revealed
    Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced details of a multimillion-dollar investment in Whangārei for infrastructure projects that will help it recover from the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 200 jobs are expected to be created through the $26 million investment from the Government’s rejuvenation package ...
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    2 days ago
  • Managed isolation and quarantine update
    Following a second incident in which a person escaped from a managed isolation facility, security is being enhanced, including more police presence onsite, Minister Megan Woods said. “The actions of some individuals who choose to break the very clear rules to stay within the facilities means that more resourcing is ...
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    2 days ago
  • Funding for Kaipara district community waste programmes
    Waste reduction and recycling programmes in Kaipara are set to get a boost with Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage today announcing a $361,447 grant from the Ministry for the Environment’s Waste Minimisation Fund (WMF) Sustainable Kaipara. “The new funding will allow Sustainable Kaipara to partner with local schools, kura, community ...
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    2 days ago
  • Government will support the people and economy of Southland
    The Government will support the Southland economy in the wake of multinational mining company Rio Tinto’s decision to follow through with its long signalled closure of the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter. “This day has unfortunately been on the cards for some time now, but nevertheless the final decision is a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New transformational tools for the Predator Free 2050 effort
    New tools being developed to help boost Aotearoa’s Predator Free 2050 effort were unveiled today by Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage and Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau. A new rat poison, a camera with predator recognition software to detect and report predators, a new predator lure and a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Armoured vehicles for New Zealand Army
    The Coalition Government has approved the purchase of a fleet of Bushmaster vehicles to replace the New Zealand Army’s armoured Pinzgauers, Defence Minister Ron Mark has announced today. The new fleet of 43 Australian-designed and built Bushmaster NZ5.5 will provide better protection for personnel and improved carrying capacity. “The age ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Community-led solutions to prevent family violence
    The Government’s three prevention frameworks to reduce family violence in Aotearoa were launched this week by Associate Minister for Social Development Poto Williams.   The frameworks were developed in partnership with communities around New Zealand, and build on the work the Government has already begun with its new family violence prevention ...
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    3 days ago
  • Govt confirms investment in better radiology and surgical services for Hawke’s Bay
    The Government is pleased to confirm funding for improvements to radiology and surgical services at Hawke's Bay DHB, Health Minister Chris Hipkins says.     "The Minister of Finance the Hon Grant Robertson and former Health Minister Dr David Clark approved funding for Hawke's Bay DHB’s redevelopment of their radiology facilities ...
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    3 days ago
  • Specialist alcohol and drug addiction services strengthened across New Zealand
    •    New funding for four beds at Napier’s Springhill Residential Addiction Centre •    A new managed withdrawal home and community service, and peer support before and after residential care at Tairāwhiti DHB  •    A co-ordinated network of withdrawal management services throughout the South Island •    Peer support in Rotorua and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Coastal Shipping Webinar
    Introduction, seafarers and POAL Good morning everyone, I am delighted to be online with you all today. Before I begin, I have to acknowledge that COVID-19 has disrupted the maritime sector on an unprecedented scale. The work of seafarers and the maritime industry is keeping many economies around the world ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Support for resilient rail connection to the West Coast
    A $13 million investment from Government will create jobs and improve the resilience of the rail connection between Christchurch and the West Coast, Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones and Regional Economic Development Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau say. The funding comes from the tagged contingency set aside in Budget 2020 for infrastructure projects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Major investment in safe drinking water
    The Government is investing $761 million to assist local government upgrade under-pressure water services across the country, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today.  The announcement was made at the site of the water bore that was found to be the source of the fatal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Supporting stranded seasonal workers to keep working with more flexible options
    Recognised Seasonal Employers and migrant seasonal workers stranded in New Zealand will be able to continue working and supporting themselves with more flexible hours and roles, says Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway. The time-limited visa changes are: Stranded RSE workers will be able to work part-time (a minimum of 15 hours ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Relief for temporary migrants, employers and New Zealanders who need work
    The Government is making immediate short-term changes to visa settings to support temporary migrants already onshore in New Zealand and their employers, while also ensuring New Zealanders needing work are prioritised, Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. We are: Extending temporary work visas due to expire by the end of 2020 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Freshwater commissioners and fast-track consenting convenor appointed
    Professor Peter Skelton CNZM has been appointed as Chief Freshwater Commissioner and Alternate Environment Court Judge Craig James Thompson as Deputy Chief Freshwater Commissioner for the newly established Freshwater Planning Process (FPP). Environment Minister David Parker today also announced the appointment of Chief Environment Court Judge Laurie Newhook as the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Appointment of Judge of the High Court
    Auckland Queen’s Counsel Neil Campbell has been appointed a Judge of the High Court, Attorney‑General David Parker announced today. Justice Campbell graduated with a BCom and LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland in 1992. He spent two years with Bell Gully Buddle Weir in Auckland before travelling to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Feedback sought – Commercial Film and Video Production Facilities
    The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to better enable the development and operation of commercial film and video facilities in Christchurch. The Proposal, developed by Regenerate Christchurch in response to a request from Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt launches bold primary sector plan to boost economic recovery
    The Government has launched a bold plan to boost primary sector export earnings by $44 billion over the next decade, while protecting the environment and growing jobs. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today released Fit for a Better World – Accelerating our Economic Potential, a 10-year roadmap to unlock greater value ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Wellbeing of whanau at heart of new hub
    A new approach to prevent family harm that encourages greater collaboration across government and community groups is being celebrated at the opening of a new facility in Auckland. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today opened the Multi-Disciplinary Family Harm Prevention Hub Te Taanga Manawa in Lambie Road in Manukau. The facility ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Report on Auckland Port Relocation
    The Government has released a major new report on the options for relocating the Port of Auckland’s freight operations while deferring any decision on the issue. “That decision needs to be informed by policy analysis that is still to be completed. As a result it will be up to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Dual place names for Te Pātaka-o-Rākaihautū / Banks Peninsula features
    The history of Rāpaki is being restored through the inclusion of te reo in thirteen official place names on Te Pātaka-o-Rākaihautū / Banks Peninsula and around Lyttelton Harbour/Whakaraupō, the Minister for Land Information, Eugenie Sage, announced today.   “I am pleased to approve the proposals from Te Hapū o Ngāti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government and Air New Zealand agree to manage incoming bookings
    Bookings for seats on Air New Zealand flights into New Zealand will be managed in the short term to ensure the Government is able to safely place New Zealanders arriving home into a managed isolation or quarantine facility, says Housing Minister Megan Woods.  “Last week Air Commodore Darryn Webb and I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • $80 million for sport recovery at all levels
    Grant Robertson has today announced the first major release of funding from the $265 million Sport Recovery Package announced at Budget 2020.  “Today we’re setting out how $80 million will be invested, with $54 million of that over the 2020/2021 financial year for organisations from community level through to elite ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Keeping ACC levies steady until 2022
    The Government is maintaining current levy rates for the next 2 years, as part of a set of changes to help ease the financial pressures of COVID-19 providing certainty for businesses and New Zealanders, ACC Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. “New Zealanders and businesses are facing unprecedented financial pressures as a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Extended loan scheme keeps business afloat
    Small businesses are getting greater certainty about access to finance with an extension to the interest-free cashflow loan scheme to the end of the year. The Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme has already been extended once, to 24 July. Revenue and Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says it will be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New investment creates over 2000 jobs to clean up waterways
    A package of 23 projects across the country will clean up waterways and deliver over 2000 jobs Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Environment Minister David Parker announced today. The $162 million dollar package will see 22 water clean-up projects put forward by local councils receiving $62 million and the Kaipara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to Labour Party Congress 2020
    Tena koutou katoa  Nga tangata whenua o tenei rohe o Pōneke, tena koutou Nau mai, haere mai ki te hui a tau mo te roopu reipa Ko tatou!  Ko to tatou mana!  Ko to tatou kaupapa kei te kokiri whakamua  Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena tatou katoa   Welcome. I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • PGF top-up for QE Health in Rotorua
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $1.5 million to ensure QE Health in Rotorua can proceed with its world class health service and save 75 existing jobs, Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The PGF funding announced today is in addition to the $8 million ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Building a more sustainable construction sector
    A new programme, which sets a firm course for the Building and Construction sector to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, has been announced by the Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa. “A significant amount of New Zealand’s carbon emissions come from the building and construction sector.  If we’re serious ...
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    1 week ago