web analytics

Key and Shirtcliffe conspire against MMP

Written By: - Date published: 1:57 pm, September 26th, 2010 - 60 comments
Categories: democracy under attack, MMP - Tags: , ,

The Sunday Star Times has documents showing John Key’s Chief of Staff and anti-MMP campaigner Peter Shirtcliffe discussing how best to remove proportional representation from Kiwi votors.

According to the documents the two decided that STV wouldn’t attract people away from MMP:

Shirtcliffe prepared notes of the meeting outlining areas of agreement on how the issue should be handled, noting chief of staff Wayne Eagleson and Shirtcliffe agreed Key supported the SM option. “The feeling seems to be STV [Single Transferable Vote] does not meet the public wish for simplicity. There is… some merit in offering a format which reduces the House to 100 seats.”

While there were “a few National caucus members who want the whole thing to go away”, the document said, “Wayne does not believe they are any impediment to progress”.

Key’s press sec, Kevin Taylor is trying to claim it’s “ridiculous” to think that the Nat’s and Shirtcliffe would collude to get rid of MMP. Which begs the question; has anyone from Key’s office discussed the caucus position on MMP with pro-MMP campaigners?

Thought not.

Of course the end of MMP would suit the Nat’s as they would be likely to be able to govern despite a minority vote and thus be able to push through the kind of policy their big business backers are desperate to see. That would be the same big business backers that helped fund the anti-democratic attack on MMP last time:

60 comments on “Key and Shirtcliffe conspire against MMP”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    The authoritarian right plotting to get rid of democracy – who’d ‘ve thunk it.

    • Bored 1.1

      If Shirtcliffe had no money and no position in the hierachy of right wing organisations I know for a fact I would not have heard of him or his dislike of representative democracy. He would be what he is today, a nobody BUT more importantly an unheard nobody.

  2. outofbed 2

    Good to see Diana there
    Expect to see the same sort of thing again
    It a shame that there won’t be a level playing field around the advertising for the referendum

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    I hope ACT and the MP are keen to support National in gutting MMP 🙄

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      The MP get all their seats from the electorates, so getting rid of MMP would be in their favour, presuming that the Maori Seats stayed (which is a separate issue).

      captcha: suppose

      • Ari 3.1.1

        Not really, as it would be harder for the Maori Party to implement its goals with the way most disproportionate systems advantage right-wing parties like National.

        Not to mention that their closest allies on continued Maori representation are in the Green Party, which would be at least halved under SM, if not worse.

        • Lanthanide 3.1.1.1

          Yes, of course if National got majorities each time, they wouldn’t need coalitions with other parties.

          But obviously even with FFP you sometimes need coalitions (see England, Australia, current Canadian parliament) and under the last results, Act and United Future would have single seats, NZF and Greens wouldn’t get in at all, leaving Maori Party as the only minority party with any significant share of seats with which National could form a coalition with. I would suggest that a MP/National coalition would be stronger in favour of the MP than the current National/MP/Act/UF grouping is.

          • Pascal's bookie 3.1.1.1.1

            Why would Epsom voters have voted for Rodney absent MMP bringing an extra 4 mps on his coattails. That was his whole election campaign ffs. Likewise United. Dunne’s main claim is to keep the others sensible. That becomes a lot less meaningful when the chances of the others needing to give a shit about your opinion is reduced.

            Have a look at how often parliaments are hung under fpp and you’ll see how often the mP would be relevant in that system. That’s assuming the mP would even survive in an fpp system. Would their voters make the same calculations that they do now about the benefits of independence? Who knows? Not me.

  4. the sprout 4

    no surprise there mate.

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    Grant Robertson has a post up about this over at Red Alert as well.

    This was of course a classic tactic to divert the debate away from the actual issue (the fact he is supporting Rodney Hide who covered up David Garrett’s actions) to try to make it about MMP.

    Spin and distraction – the only things we ever get from NACT.

  6. Tigger 6

    “Prime Minister’s Department spokesman Kevin Taylor said it was “ridiculous” to claim the memo showed the two men were working for SM.”

    Key likes SM? That’s the most interesting thing I’ve ever learned about him. Creepy, and understandable, but interesting.

  7. richard Bartlett 7

    Nicky Hagers “Hollow Men” demonstrated just how devious and hypocritical Key and Co really are.
    The media are playing their part lulling us into a totally false sense of security.
    The “No Brash…..no cash” gang prepared a bloodless coup for 2005, and were stopped only by the
    release of the emails and memos which revealed what their actual plans were. Don’t expect anything but lies from the “smiling assassin”. The advice from the spin doctors was don’t do anything to frighten the “punters in punterland” in the first term. That’s what they’re doing. They want FPP………..
    but then, so does Phil Goff.

    • IrishBill 7.1

      I would hope that Goff doesn’t support FPP. I know Grant Robertson is on record as an MMP supporter.

      • the sprout 7.1.1

        same. if he did that’d really burn some already rickety bridges

      • Anne 7.1.2

        @ richard Bartlett
        Phil Goff does not support FPP.

        I’m not sure who are the most dangerous: the RWNJs or those Lefties who have some sort of ‘hate’ fetish on Phil Goff. He may have fallen for the neo-liberals once (so did I – briefly) but that was nearly 25 years ago. For god’s sake give the man a break!

  8. outofbed 8

    Maybe the campaign for MMp should write to all the Mp’s to gauge their opinion and then publish the results That would be interesting
    I’d guess that white middle aged men would be the most anti MMP. Grant and Keith excepted

    • the sprout 8.1

      from what I’ve seen the highest positive correlates for being pro-FPP are age and being a National party voter

    • IrishBill 8.2

      Grant’s Middle aged? I’d always thought of him as young. Damn, I’m getting older every day.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.3

      I’d guess that white middle aged men would be the most anti MMP.

      That’s too much of a generalisation. Most middle aged men would remember the fiasco that was 1981 and 1993 where National got in with significant minorities. Now, if you’d said rich, white, middle aged men then I’d probably agree with you as they’d have the propensity to vote National who long for the days of having a minority dictatorship.

      • KJT 8.3.1

        This white middle aged man prefers MMP over FPP. I do not have fond memories of the exercise of absolute power by either Labour or National.

        NACT are now re-eNACTing the borrow for election bribes policies of the Muldoon minority Government era.

        • Macro 8.3.1.1

          this white “decrepit ol’ man also totally supports MMP (with perhaps minor amendments to lower the “cut off” of 5% vote to a smaller say – 2.5% of party vote – ie 3 + MP representation),
          and for much the same reasons.

  9. outofbed 9

    Labour leader Phil Goff said in the 1990s he had preferred first past the post but the problem with that system was that it did not allow small parties fair representation in Parliament.

    ”My personal support would be for the system that is fairest, I think MMP is fairest, but it does have the problem that the tail wags the dog and we have seen that in recent days,” Mr Goff said

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/politics/3334329/MMP-referendum-question-released
    So yes Goff is on the fence, funny that

    • rosy 9.1

      One person’s tail wagging the dog is another person’s representative democracy.

      • locus 9.1.1

        The argument that “the tail wags the dog” when a small party is in coalition suggests a greater degree of influence than is really the case. The small party in the coalition “tugs the whiskers” rather than “wags the dog”.

        Ultimately the best thing about MMP is that people can vote for the party that represents their views best, in the knowledge that there’s a good chance their views will get an airing in parliament.

  10. locus 10

    I lived with FPP most of my life. Being ruled by a party that had gained around 30 percent of the vote totally sucked unless it was the party you voted for. Typically FPP led to wholesale policy and legislative change whenever the alternate ‘minority’ party gained power. The 30 percent of the electorate who never voted for the two larger minority parties were generally disenfranchised. Occasionally one of the small minority parties would start to poll well, but as it got closer to election time the pressure on people to switch their vote to one of the two larger parties was huge: better to have a party in power which you agree with 20% of the time than one you agree with 2% of the time. Neither of the two bigger parties had any real intention of changing the regime because they rather liked having 100% control when they were in power.

  11. Tanz 11

    List MPs are not voted in by the people and are often rejected, but get to stay, due to the silly list system. Key should be more open in his views, if he doesn’t like MMP, that is his right, his populist manner is just annoying. I would like to have a leader who has the courage of their convictions, rather than one who constantly tests the winds, and shifts their views accordingly.

    FPP is the better, more decisivie system, with all MPs elected by the people and answerable to the people (and not just their various party machinery).

    • millsy 11.1

      Are you an old white man who wants his privilige back?

      Please give me a detailed explanation why you want less gays, Maoris, women, etc in Parliament.

    • outofbed 11.2

      No FPP election are decided by a few marginal electorates it
      is a shocking system
      I want my vote to count thankyou very much
      in FPP I would be forced to vote Labour as my least worst option

    • Pascal's bookie 11.3

      List MPs are not voted in by the people and are often rejected, but get to stay, due to the silly list system.

      List mp’s are elected via the list vote, so even if an electorate rejects them then the people can put them in parliament by voting for the list they are on.

      You do know you two votes in MMP don’t ya tanz? And that they are different?

      You may not like Key, fair enough. But according to your preference for fpp that’s just tough shit. He’s an electorate mp so your opinion of him under fpp is worth precisely nothing unless you live in his electorate. Under mmp you get a list vote to help determine how much power Key gets, and that vote is separate and independent from your vote for the choice of your own electorate mp.

      Clearly one system is better than the other. Granted though, given you prefer decisiveness over representativeness or other factors then fpp is a marginally better choice. Better still of course for decisiveness would be a simple absolute monarchy.

      …with all MPs elected by the people and answerable to the people (and not just their various party machinery).

      As noted, all mps are elected by the people now, but if you think candidate selection for electorates isn’t just as partisan as list section, then you haven’t been watching fpp elections for the last few, I dunno, centuries.

    • Shazzadude 11.4

      And this is the flaw in your thinking. Electorate candidates are not rejected if they do not win their electorate, someone else just merely wins more votes, and that can often be based on the political climate in that electorate. Would Phil Goff win Clutha-Southland? No. Would John Key win Mangere? No.

  12. Tanz 12

    MMP has not delievered more MPs who represent minority groups, it just delivers more MPs who were not actually elected by voters. Don’t split hairs, Millsy, or do you like being represented by MPs who were not endorsed by the electorate? Is representation of minorities all that matters to you? That’s usually typical of the pro- MMP debate. MMP is not a democratic system, how can it be, it offers rejected MPs/Candidates an undeserved and unmandated lifeline. I am neither old, nor male. by the way.

    • Lanthanide 12.1

      “MMP has not delievered more MPs who represent minority groups”
      Yeah, because all those people who vote for a sustainable future, you know, the minority, aren’t represented by the Green Party in parliament under MMP. Oh wait, actually they are represented under MMP!

    • Pascal's bookie 12.2

      If you know of any mps who were not elected, you should inform the police.

    • the sprout 12.3

      MMP has not delievered more MPs who represent minority groups

      that is factually incorrect

    • Draco T Bastard 12.4

      I am neither old, nor male. by the way.

      Who cares, what you are is bloody stupid.

      http://publicaddress.net/6865

      Phillip Field – electorate MP, shown to be dishonourable stayed in parliament.
      Chris Carter – electorate MP, shown to be dishonourable stayed in parliament.
      Richard Worth – List MP, shown to be dishonourable got kicked out of parliament.
      Donna Huata – List MP, shown to be dishonourable got kicked out of parliament.
      David Garrett – List MP, shown to be dishonourable did the only thing he could and left because he had no mandate left.

      The more accountable MPs are the list MPs.

      BTW, when people vote for the party they are voting for the list that the party has put forward so those list MPs are voted for specifically, ergo, they are not rejected.

  13. tsmithfield 13

    I don’t really see why a fuss is being made about this.

    1. Key is entitled to have a view on the electoral system he prefers.
    2. It is open for anyone, pro or against MMP to lobby the government.
    3. There is going to be a referendum on the matter anyway. It is not like the government is going to impose a system on voters.

    Unless there is evidence of money being offered for a change in the electoral system, or some other form of corruption, then I don’t see where the problem is.

    • IrishBill 13.1

      So you’d expect the pro-mmp campaign to get an inside-running briefing from the PM’s chief of staff on the cabinet’s view of the electoral system?

      • tsmithfield 13.1.1

        I don’t see why that would be a problem.

        BTW, I assume you meant anti MMP.

        So long as the pro MMP people get the same treatment if they ask. Have they asked?

    • outofbed 13.2

      Er because big money is going to be used on an anti mmp ad campaign perhaps

      • tsmithfield 13.2.1

        Maybe. But that’s still a long way from corruption.

        I imagine they would be funding a big money campaign against MMP regardless of the views of the PM anyway. So I don’t see why it makes any difference at all.

        • Redlogix 13.2.1.1

          Corruption? Not in a strictly legalistic sense, but you only have to consider the almost total capture of the US Federal govt by corportate power to understand where that sort of thing leads you.

        • Draco T Bastard 13.2.1.2

          So I don’t see why it makes any difference at all.

          Considering the drive for profit of the MSM it means that the people who don’t have big money can’t get their message out. Ergo, we don’t have a level playing field for the campaigns.

        • Tanz 13.2.1.3

          It’s so typical of the Left to resort to name-calling tactics as soon as somone disagrees with their wonky views. So glad I sit on the right side of the fence, the more honest side. Grow up.

          • fraser 13.2.1.3.1

            “name-calling tactics”

            where? – all i see is a discussion where there are differing opinions.

            could you help us all out by identifying said name calling?

  14. Tanz 14

    MMP got voted in by a hair’s whisper, and I bet, it’ll get voted out again., but by a landslide. What a dog of a system it has been, with small parties having far too much say and sway, to say the very least. When a new system finally prevails, it can only be good for the country, and democracy in general. Bring it on, the champaigne is on ice.

    • the sprout 14.1

      I bet, it’ll get voted out again

      i’m keen to take you up on that bet Tanz

      • Tanz 14.1.1

        Okay, wanna bet five hundrend dollars? You’ll lose, though.

        • NickS 14.1.1.1

          $500? That’s a mite delusional in these economic times, but I guess you need more money for what ever hobbies you have. Or you could just be trying to be smart and make the other side drop teh ball by betting such a figure. Which given previous fun and games here, We’re somewhat sceptical that you’re good for it.

          Also, there’s more than enough people who remember the bullshit that went with FPP, and the subsequent lack of representation for anything outside the views of the two main parties. Which while we may have ended up with ACT and NZ first having a greater presence in Parliament, with all the subsequent fun and drama those two parties generate, the only reason they’re in there is because people voted for them for them in the first place. It isn’t perfect, some tweaking of thresholds might be an idea, but even then the over-representation of minority views does mean they can’t as easily be ignored by Parliament. Even if that means we get to see some horrible ideas come to the surface.

          Although in saying that, with some of the badly written legislation brought forward by ACT, the only reason it’s getting through is with help from National, despite rather large gapping goatse-like flaws in it. Or in the case of the student union bill, massive feedback from affect parties not in favour of it.

        • tea 14.1.1.2

          Dunno if you were watching. MMP was extremely popular. Then Shirtcliffe ran a Guantanamo paper bag MPs campaign and funnily enough introduced doubt.

          But hey so do the anti-climate change lobby.

  15. Tanz 15

    Plenty of mps were rejected and not elected, Pascal’s bookie. List MP’s may well be chosen by their party membership etc, but they were often not chosen by the wider electorate on election day. You would call white black, and black white, as the Left is known to do.

    • Redlogix 15.1

      Sorry Tanz but you’re living in total denial.

      Electoral MP’s are selected by the party…just the same as List MP’s. Under FPP you get less choice, because if you don’t like a candidate your only options are to vote for another candidate selected by another party…. or not vote at all.

      But you’re not fooling anyone here …democracy isn’t what you are interested in.

    • Pascal's bookie 15.2

      Real slow.

      If they are in parliament it is because they were elected. That is how people get into parliament. List mps are elected mps. Elected off the list. That’s what your list vote does.

      They were, in fact, precisely “chosen by the wider electorate”. They may not have won an electorate seat in a narrow geographic race, but they were elected by the broader electorate, the nation at large, via the list vote.

    • felix 15.3

      Fuck me sideways. What’s Brett Dale up to these days?

  16. AndrewK 16

    I would favour an MMP system with more electorates and more MPs and a lower threshold for allowing a party in without an electorate MP (at least .5% of the party vote would be ideal).

    So, say 200 MPs elected through the list and a further 200 MPs elected through an increase in electorate seats then cap all MP’s salaries at the national average wage, regardless of whether they sit in cabinet or not.

    With so many MPs it would be a lot more difficult for the domestic wealthy and foreign corporations to buy influence, representation would be more widely distributed. This is what a truly representative democratic system would look like.

    • Draco T Bastard 16.1

      That’s actually been bugging me. Electorate seats have gone up but the list seats have gone down to keep the 120 cap. The number of list seats should equal the number of electorate seats to help maintain proportionality.

  17. Irascible 17

    Key has already signalled that he and his party favour FPP over MMP. His comments about the Hide-Garrett-ACT fiasco clearly indicate that Key would rather be quit of the thorn of ACT and sees FFP as being the mechanism to do so.
    Key’s natural inclination is towards authoritarianism over democratic process because that’s how you manage the sort of business he has been involved with and understands.
    The alliance between National and Shirtcliffe is simply the obvious manifestation of his attitude.

  18. Bruce 18

    I like MMP and support it…I voted for it in the 90s due to being frustrated with major parties dictating to the population and it felt like there were only two parties to vote for. I feel it could use some tweaking to ensure that minor parties must cross a certain line more through their own popularity with voters. ACT hypocrites are not very popular and shouldn’t be part of the current government as a result (the party threshhold could be set lower than it is, and perhaps stop them from getting in through local politicians winning electorates) – I lean to the left and I’m saying that this should apply to both left, right, and the middle.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Budget 2020: Five things to know
    Budget 2020 is about rebuilding together, supporting jobs, getting business moving and the books back into the black. It’s an integral part of our COVID-19 economic response, and our plan to grow our economy and get New Zealand moving again. Here’s a quick look at the five top things you ...
    14 hours ago
  • Coalition Government approves essential upgrades on Ōhakea Air Base
    The Coalition Government has approved $206 million in essential upgrades at Ōhakea Air Base.  Defence Minister Ron Mark said the money would be spent on improving old infrastructure. He said safety issues would be addressed, as well as upgrades to taxiways, accommodation and fresh, storm and waste water systems. "This ...
    4 days ago
  • Attributable to the Rt Hon Winston Peters
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First “I am not persisting with this case just for myself, but for all people who have had their privacy breached. Privacy of information is a cornerstone of our country’s democracy. Without it our society truly faces a bleak future. We now ...
    6 days ago
  • Forestry Minister Shane Jones moves to protect sawmills
    Forestry Minister Shane Jones has introduced a Bill to Parliament that he says will "force more transparency, integrity and respect" for the domestic wood-processing sector through the registration of log traders and practice standards. The Forests (Regulation of Log Traders and Forestry Advisers) Amendment Bill had its first reading in ...
    1 week ago
  • Green MP joins international call to cancel developing countries’ debt
    Green MP Golriz Ghahraman is joining over 300 lawmakers from around the world in calling on the big banks and the IMF to forgive the debt of developing countries, in the wake of the COVID crisis. ...
    1 week ago
  • Forestry Minister Shane Jones swipes back at billion trees critics
    Forestry Minister Shane Jones says concerns that carbon foresters are planting pine trees that will never be harvested are the result of "misinformation". "The billion tree strategy is an excellent idea, unfortunately from time to time it's tainted by misinformation spread by the National Party or their grandees, hiding in scattered ...
    1 week ago
  • Budget boost for refugee families a win for compassion
    The Green Party welcomes funding in the budget to reunite more refugees with their families, ensuring they have the best chance at a new life in Aotearoa New Zealand. ...
    1 week ago
  • How Budget 2020 is supporting jobs
    This year’s Budget is about rebuilding New Zealand together in the face of COVID-19. Jobs are central to how we’re going to do that.There’s a lot of targeted investment for employment in this year’s Budget, with announcements on creating new jobs, training people for the jobs we have, and supporting ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters says China didn’t want NZ to go into lockdown
    Speaking to Stuff's Coronavirus NZ podcast, Foreign Minister Winston Peters revealed China tried to dissuade New Zealand from going into lockdown. “Without speaking out of turn, they wanted a discussion as to why we were doing it, because they thought it was an overreaction,” Mr Peters told Stuff’s Coronavirus NZ podcast. He also ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Changes made to Overseas Investment Act to protect New Zealand assets
    The Coalition Government is making changes to the Overseas Investment Act to ensure New Zealand assets don't fall into the hands of foreign ownership in the economic aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Associate Minister of Finance David Parker announced the Act will be amended to bring forward a national interest ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters: Trans-Tasman bubble to help tourism industry make swift recovery
    A quick start to a trans-Tasman bubble could see the tourism industry make a swift recovery, according to Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters. "I believe tourism will turn around dramatically faster than people think," Mr Peters told reporters after Thursday's Budget. "Why? Because I think the Tasman bubble is [going ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rt. Hon Winston Peters: Budget Speech
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First   Please check against delivery https://vimeo.com/418303651 Budget 2020: Jobs, Business and Balance   Introduction Acknowledgements to all Cabinet colleagues, and party ministers Tracey Martin, Shane Jones and Ron Mark, Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau and to caucus colleagues. Thank you for your support, your ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Jacinda Ardern’s 2020 Budget Speech
    Read Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's Budget 2020 Speech. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Budget 2020: Next steps to end family and sexual violence
    The 2020 Budget includes significant support to stabilise New Zealand’s family violence services, whose work has been shown to be so essential throughout the COVID-19 lockdown. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Investment in housing gives more people access to the home they deserve
    The Green Party says huge new investment in public and transitional housing will get thousands more families into the warm, safe homes they deserve.  ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Budget 2020: Huge investment in green nature based jobs jump starts sustainable COVID recovery
    The Green Party says the $1.1 billion environmental investment in this year’s budget to create thousands of green jobs will help jump start a sustainable recovery from the COVID crisis. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Grant Robertson’s 2020 Budget Speech
    Read Minister of Finance Grant Robertson's Budget 2020 Speech. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters tells struggling migrant workers ‘you should probably go home’
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters said today the Coalition Government told foreigners at the start of the Covid-19 crisis that if their circumstances had changed dramatically, they should go home. "And 50,000 did," Mr Peters said. Official advice to Cabinet revealed there is potentially 380,000 foreigners and migrant workers in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First welcomes today’s Alert Level 2 announcement
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand First welcomes the decision today to go to Alert Level 2 from midnight Wednesday, says Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters. Alert Level 2 will mean a return to work for the vast majority of New Zealand’s businesses. A return ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nurses to be protected after amendment to First Responders Bill
    Nurses now look set to get more protection from violence at work, under a proposed new law. This after NZ First MP Darroch Ball's "Protection for First Responders Bill", which introduces a six-month minimum sentence for assaults on first responders, will now also cover emergency department healthcare workers. The ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nurses to get more protection, added to ‘First Responders’ legislation
    Darroch Ball MP, New Zealand First Law and Order Spokesperson An amendment to the ‘Protection of First Responders Bill’ is being tabled which will see emergency department healthcare workers included in the legislation. “During this COVID-19 crisis we have seen reports of violence and specifically increased incidents of spitting towards ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Shane Jones: Northland port could be economic haven
    Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones is breathing new life into the proposal to move Auckland's port to Whangārei to help in the economic recovery post Covid-19 pandemic. If New Zealand First was returned in the September general election, Minister Jones said a priority would be development of an "economic haven" at Northport, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF grant for Ventnor memorial
    The plan to build a memorial to the SS Ventnor, and those who were lost when it sank off the Hokianga coast in 1902, has been granted $100,000 from the Provincial Growth Fund. Originally planned for a site near Rāwene cemetery, the memorial will now be built at the new Manea ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 75th anniversary of V.E Day
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader Leader of New Zealand First, Rt Hon Winston Peters said: “Today is the 75th anniversary of VE Day – marking the end of World War II in Europe." Millions died in the six years of war, and families were torn apart. 75 years ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Getting the job done
    From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, our Government has committed to providing calm, clear, and consistent communication, including regular press conference updates from the Prime Minister. While New Zealand is at Alert Level 3, we're making sure that New Zealanders are kept informed and up-to-date with all the latest ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters responds to Simon Bridges’ ‘my sweetheart’ comment
    New Zealand First leader Winston Peters spoke to The Country's Jamie Mackay. A day earlier, National Party leader Simon Bridges was on the radio show and referred to the Deputy Prime Minister as, "my sweetheart Winston". Mr Peters swiftly dismissed the question of whether Bridges had changed his mind about ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Time to pay essential heroes a decent wage, says Green Party
    The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed just how much we rely on our essential workers. The Green Party are proposing a package that ensures they are paid a dignified wage so they do not live in poverty. ...
    3 weeks ago

  • New payment to support Kiwis through COVID
    Further support for New Zealanders affected by 1-in-100 year global economic shock 12-week payment will support people searching for new work or retraining Work programme on employment insurance to support workers and businesses The Government today announced a new temporary payment to support New Zealanders who lose their jobs due ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • PGF reset helps regional economies
    The Provincial Growth Fund will play a vital role in New Zealand’s post-COVID-19 recovery by creating jobs in shorter timeframes through at least $600 million being refocused on projects with more immediate economic benefits, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The funding is comprised of repurposed Provincial Growth ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government exempts some home improvements from costly consents
    Government exempts some home improvements from costly consents Homeowners, builders and DIYers will soon have an easier time making basic home improvements as the Government scraps the need for consents for low-risk building work such as sleep-outs, sheds and carports – allowing the construction sector to fire back up quicker ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Concern at introduction of national security legislation for Hong Kong
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says the New Zealand Government has reacted with concern at the introduction of legislation in China’s National People’s Congress relating to national security in Hong Kong.  “We have a strong interest in seeing confidence maintained in the ‘one country, two systems’ principle under which Hong ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Samoa Language Week theme is perfect for the post-COVID-19 journey
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, says the theme for the 2020 Samoa Language Week is a perfect fit for helping our Pacific communities cope with the unfolding COVID-19 crisis, and to prepare now for the journey ahead as New Zealand focuses on recovery plans and rebuilding New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Adult kakī/black stilt numbers soar
    A nearly 40-year programme to protect one of New Zealand’s most critically endangered birds is paying off, with a record number of adult kakī/black stilt recently recorded living in the wild, the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. “Thanks to the team effort involved in the Department of Conservation’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Waikato-Tainui settlement story launched on 25th anniversary of Treaty signing
    The story of the Waikato-Tainui Treaty process and its enduring impact on the community is being told with a five-part web story launched today on the 25th anniversary of settlement, announced Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “I am grateful to Waikato-Tainui for allowing us to help capture ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Taita College to benefit from $32 million school redevelopment
    Taita College in the Hutt Valley will be redeveloped to upgrade its ageing classrooms and leaky roofs, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. “The work is long overdue and will make a lasting difference to the school for generations to come,” Chris Hipkins said. “Too many of our schools are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Redeployment for workers in hard-hit regions
    The Government is allocating $36.72 million to projects in regions hard hit economically by COVID-19 to keep people working, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Projects in Hawke’s Bay, Northland, Rotorua and Queenstown will be funded from the Government’s $100 million worker ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • $35m to build financial resilience for New Zealanders
    A $35m boost to financial capability service providers funded by MSD will help New Zealanders manage their money better both day to day and through periods of financial difficulty, announced Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “It’s always been our position to increase support to key groups experiencing or at risk ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New District Court Judge appointed
    Dunedin barrister Melinda Broek has been appointed as a District Court Judge with Family Court jurisdiction to be based in Rotorua, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. Ms Broek has iwi affiliations to Ngai Tai. She commenced her employment in 1996 with Scholefield Cockroft Lloyd in Invercargill specialising in family and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • $206 million investment in upgrades at Ohakea Air Force Base
    The Coalition Government has approved a business case for $206 million in upgrades to critical infrastructure at Royal New Zealand Air Force Base Ohakea, with the first phase starting later this year, Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. The investment will be made in three phases over five years, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Review of CAA organisational culture released
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today released the Ministry of Transport’s review of the organisational culture at the Civil Aviation Authority. Phil Twyford says all employees are entitled to a safe work environment. “I commissioned this independent review due to the concerns I had about the culture within the CAA, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Board appointed at Stats NZ
    Ensuring that Stats NZ’s direction and strategy best supports government policy decisions will be a key focus for a new Governance Advisory Board announced today by the Minister for Statistics, James Shaw. The new Governance Advisory Board will provide strategic advice to Stats NZ to ensure it is meeting New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Principal Environment Judge
    Environment Judge David Kirkpatrick of Auckland has been appointed as the Principal Environment Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  Judge Kirkpatrick was appointed an Environment Judge in February 2014. From December 2013 to July 2016 he was Chair of the Auckland Unitary Plan Independent Hearings Panel. Prior to appointment he ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Digital connectivity boost for urban marae
    A programme to connect marae around the country to the internet has received $1.4 million to expand to include urban marae in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister Kris Faafoi and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. The funding for the Marae Connectivity Programme ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt increases assistance to drought-stricken Hawke’s Bay farmers
    The Government will provide $500,000 to the Hawke’s Bay Mayoral Drought Relief Fund to help farmers facing one of the worst droughts in living memory, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Yesterday afternoon I received a letter from Hawke's Bay's five local Government leaders asking me to contribute to the Fund. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Investment in New Zealand’s history
    Budget 2020 provides a major investment in New Zealand’s documentary heritage sector, with a commitment to leasing a new Archives Wellington facility and an increase in funding for Archives and National Library work. “Last year I released plans for a new Archives Wellington building – a purpose-built facility physically connected ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Driving prompt payments to small businesses
    Government Ministers are asking significant private enterprises to adopt prompt payment practices in line with the state sector, as a way to improve cashflow for small businesses. The Ministers of Finance, Small Business, Commerce and Consumer Affairs have written to more than 40 significant enterprises and banking industry representatives to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Rotorua tourist icon to be safeguarded
    Maori Arts and Crafts will continue to underpin the heart of the tourism sector says Minister for Maori Development Nanaia Mahuta.  “That’s why we are making a core investment of $7.6 million to Te Puia New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute, over two years, as part of the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • $14.7m for jobs training and education
    The Government is funding more pathways to jobs through training and education programmes in regional New Zealand to support the provinces’ recovery from the economic impacts of COVID-19, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Employment Minister Willie Jackson have announced. “New Zealand’s economic recovery will be largely driven by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Is it time to further recognise those who serve in our military?
     Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced the launch of a national conversation that aims to find out whether New Zealanders think there should be a formal agreement between service people, the Government, and the people of New Zealand. “This year marks the 75th anniversary of the end of World ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Paving the way for a fully qualified early learning workforce
    The Government’s drive to improve the quality of early childhood education (ECE) is taking another step forward with the reintroduction of a higher funding rate for services that employ fully qualified and registered teachers, Education Minister Chris Hipkins has announced. “Research shows that high-quality ECE can improve young people’s learning ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Sport Recovery Package announced
    The Sport and Recreation sector will receive a multi-million dollar boost as part of the COVID-19 response funded at Budget 2020.  Grant Robertson says the Sport and Recreation Sector contributes about $5 billion a year to New Zealand’s GDP and employs more than 53,000 people. “Sport plays a significant role ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Major boost in support for caregivers and children
    A major increase in funding and availability of support will improve the incomes and reduce the pressure on 14,000 caregivers looking after more than 22,000 children. Children’s Minister Tracey Martin says that caregivers – all those looking after someone else’s children both in and outside the state care system – ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Great Walks recovery on track for summer
    Vital conservation and visitor infrastructure destroyed by a severe flood event in Fiordland earlier this year is being rebuilt through a $13.7 million Budget 2020 investment, announced Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage.   “This investment will mean iconic Great Walks such as the Routeburn track and the full length of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Māori – Government partnership gives whānau a new housing deal
    The Government is investing  $40 million in a partnership with Māori to get more whānau into warm, dry and secure accommodation, Associate Minister for Housing (Māori Housing) Hon Nanaia Mahuta says.. “We are partnering with Māori and iwi to respond to the growing housing crisis in the wake of COVID-19. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders Safe In The Water
    Keeping New Zealanders safe in the water Our lifeguards and coastguards who keep New Zealanders safe in the water have been given a funding boost thanks to the 2020 Budget, Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector Poto Williams has announced. The water safety sector will receive $63 million over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Legal framework for COVID-19 Alert Level referred to select committee
    The COVID-19 Public Health Response Act 2020, which set a sound legal framework ahead of the move to Alert level 2, has been referred to a parliamentary select committee for review.  Attorney-General David Parker said the review of the operation of the COVID-19 specific law would be reported back to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand condemns shocking attacks on hospital and funeral in Afghanistan
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand condemns the targeting of civilians in two terrorist attacks in Afghanistan earlier this week. “The terrorist attacks on a hospital in Kabul and a funeral in Nangarhar province are deeply shocking. The attacks were deliberate and heinous acts of extreme violence targeting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government to close tobacco tax loophole
    The Government will close a loophole that allowed some people to import cigarettes and loose leaf tobacco for manufacturing cigarettes and ‘roll your owns’ for sale on the black market without excise tax being paid, says Minister of Customs Jenny Salesa. The legislation, which doesn’t affect duty free allowances for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • $62 million package to support families through the Family Court
    The Coalition Government has made a significant $62 million investment from the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund to start the reform of the Family Court and enable it to respond effectively to the increased backlog caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Today Justice Minister Andrew Little introduced the Family Court (Supporting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Tailored help supports new type of job seeker – report
    The Government’s expanded services to support people into jobs will help an emerging cohort of New Zealanders impacted by COVID-19. The impacted group are relatively younger, have a proportionately low benefit history and have comparatively higher incomes than most who seek support, as captured in a report published today from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • A modern approach to night classes
    New funding to boost Government-funded Adult and Community Education (ACE) will give more than 11,000 New Zealanders more opportunities to learn, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “This includes a modern approach to rebuilding night classes, which were slashed in the middle of our last economic crisis in 2010,” Chris Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Christchurch Call makes significant progress
    Significant progress has been delivered in the year since the Christchurch Call to Action brought governments and tech companies together in Paris with a single goal to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardent says. On its first anniversary, Ardern and French President Emmanuel Macron as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Christchurch Call: One year Anniversary
    Joint statement: the Right Honourable Jacinda Ardern Prime Minister of New Zealand and His Excellency Emmanuel Macron President of the French Republic. One year since we launched, in Paris, the Christchurch Call to Action, New Zealand and France stand proud of the progress we have made toward our goal to eliminate terrorist ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Budget 2020: Jobs and opportunities for the primary sector
    $19.3 million to help attract and train recently unemployed New Zealanders and grow the primary sector workforce by 10,000 people. $128 million for wilding pine and wallaby control, providing hundreds of jobs. $45.3m over four years to help horticulture seize opportunities for future growth. $14.9 million to reduce food waste ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New registration system for forestry advisers and log traders
    A new log registration scheme and practice standards will bring us one step closer to achieving ‘value over volume’ in our forestry sector, Forestry Minister Shane Jones says. New legislation introduced as part of Budget 2020 will require forestry advisers, log traders and exporters to register and work to nationally ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Finance Minister’s Budget 2020 s Budget Speech
    Mr Speaker, I move that the Appropriation (2020/21 Estimates) Bill be now read a second time. From its very beginning this Coalition Government has committed to putting the wellbeing of current and future generations of New Zealanders at the heart of everything we do. There is no time in New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Finance Minister’s Budget 2020 Budget Speech
    Mr Speaker, I move that the Appropriation (2020/21 Estimates) Bill be now read a second time. From its very beginning this Coalition Government has committed to putting the wellbeing of current and future generations of New Zealanders at the heart of everything we do. There is no time in New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago