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Key fiddles while dairy industry burns

Written By: - Date published: 9:27 am, March 16th, 2016 - 46 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, business, climate change, economy, Economy, Environment, global warming, john key, labour, national, political parties, Politics, same old national, sustainability - Tags:

gumboot key2

Another day and more bad news for the dairy industry.  International prices for milk have fallen a further 2.9% to US$2190 per metric tonne.  National’s policy of increasing dairy production through increased irrigation and dairy conversion is looking pretty sick now.  The world is awash with cheap milk and New Zealand’s dairy industry is under major pressure.

Clearly this is a failure of National’s economic policy.  It shows how bereft they are of ideas in that increasing milk supply was the one significant policy they had.  It was bad enough that our rivers and streams were being destroyed and our greenhouse gas production was skyrocketing.  But the increased production is adding to the glut that threatens the viability of many farms.

So how does National handle this crisis?  It has gone into full attack mode on Andrew Little with the word “ignorant” being used repeatedly.  I bet you that pretty well every quote that Key has given in the past day about the crisis has used this word.

What has Little done to deserve this?  He has pointed out the extent of the crisis and the long term implications.  Many farms are insolvent.  If the banks trigger a sell off then it is likely that farm prices will plummet.  Overseas interests with access to cheap credit will be licking their lips.  The US$21 trillion in bank accounts in China is looking for any sort of return.  Cheap credit puts them at a distinct advantage to local purchasers.  That lower interest rate makes the business model for an overseas purchaser more viable than a local equivalent.

The country is facing a potential crisis.  Even Key concedes that one in ten farms could fail.  Andrew Little realises this.  This article from Stuff sets out his thoughts on the matter:

Labour leader Andrew Little has stepped up his attacks on the big banks, threatening to force them to cut interest rates if they don’t pass on cuts by the Reserve Bank.

Little said he would not rule out legislating to force them to pass on reduction, though if he did it would be “with great reluctance and a heavy heart”.

The big banks last week refused to match the full 25 basis point cut by the Reserve Bank, with cuts of 10-20 basis points on mortgages and even no cut by the BNZ.

Little said he would start with “pretty serious talking, you might say ‘stiff-arming'”.

“If they are not responsive to that I guess you’ve got to look at your options.

“When you’re in government you have the power to legislate but I think you’ve got to have a pretty serious talk to the banks about expectations,” Little said.

“If the Government’s expectation is that the banks will pass on – certainly in this case drops in the OCR [Official Cash Rate] – to lenders from banks then the Government should state that and be very firm about it and remind banks it does have powers banks don’t have.”

It is not as if the Australian Banks are going broke.  They hauled out of New Zealand a combined record profit of $4.59 billion last year.  That is $1,000 for every man woman and child in the country.

So is it such a bad thing to talk about regulating the banking industry?  Only if you believe unquestionably in a free market.  And if you are prepared to stand aside and let the threats facing the dairy industry become a full blown crisis.

Governments are meant to lead, not stand aside and wring their hands and say there is nothing they can do.  Good on Andrew Little for expressing a willingness to use the levers of power to address a crisis of this Government’s making.

46 comments on “Key fiddles while dairy industry burns”

  1. Ad 1

    Little will need to keep up the attack. You’re either fully banker-neolib in banking or you’re not.

    Plus, he needs to quote the Reserve Bank systemic risk quotes over and over. They will give him the cover he needs. Little should also call out Wheeler on his over-focus on inflation rather than the broader economy.

    Can’t go back Leader: big ideas not Little ideas.

  2. Stuart Munro 2

    I think the focus needs to be kept squarely on Key and his inadequate government.

    Dairy farms are being decimated on his watch – he needs to get off his gluteus and do something for once in his trivial life.

    Never mind what Little plans – it is Key’s gross and sustained incompetence that is the issue here. Little’s plans can only come into effect once we’ve thrown the lying reptile out.

    • saveNZ 2.1

      Agree with both Ad & Stuart Munro.

      Little should keep up the attack on banks profits ripping off Kiwis as well as how ex banker Key and his inadequate government.

      National are destroying Dairy by not diversifying and making Dairy political by interfering in councils, pushing dairy intensification and pushing TPP and globalism instead of focusing on core issues, safe products, risk control and innovation.

      Dairy will come back, but will it be under NZ ownership?

  3. NACT’s economic direction is pretty dependent on Fonterra and the Chch rebuild. Under Key, we’re the land of milk and insurance money.

    With Fonterra stuck in bulk supply mode, it could be years before dairy farming becomes profitable again. And the rebuild is well under way and probably approaching its financial half life.

    So what’s National’s alternative?

    • mickysavage 3.1

      Under Key, we’re the land of milk and insurance money.

      Well put.

    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 3.2

      Why does National need an alternative? The government is just not responsible for deciding what we produce and who we sell it to.

      • McFlock 3.2.1

        It is responsible for the welfare of its citizens, maximising public good, and minimising public bad.

        The collapse of 10% of one of our key industries will have far-reaching repercussions. This is a public bad. What is the government going to do about it?

        • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 3.2.1.1

          Hopefully, nothing.

          Why so keen to be enslaved by politicians, and John Key in particular? Odd.

          • McFlock 3.2.1.1.1

            Well, even if “enslaved” were an accurate term, you can’t eat liberty.

            But if the role of government is to not give a shit about crises facing the nation, what the fuck are they there for? Are you against the existence of things like EQC or the police as well?

            • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 3.2.1.1.1.1

              If this were a crisis (and I suspect it’s not) what could the government have done about it anyway? Forbidden people from being dairy farmers? Forbidden people from lending to people who want to be dairy farmers?

              I don’t like the sound of a government that thinks that’s its job. Once they start forbidding there’s no end to where they’ll stop.

              • McFlock

                🙄

                The idea that the only way a government can encourage economic diversity and regional development is through “forbidding” is simply an example of your typical tory’s failure of imagination.

                Hey, you know what would have been a good move by government? Closely monitoring developments in one of our key industries.

                You know what would have been another good move by government? Researching other, better, cleaner things to do with the same land, so less farmers jump on the milk bandwagon.

                You know what would have been another good move by government? Actually letting regional environmental agencies make dairy farmers pay the costs of their resource use and preventing their pollution, rather than giving them blanket irrigation consents and doing fuck all when their cows shit in our waterways.

                But no, all you can imagine is someone being told by government “we have enough dairy farms, you’re not allowed to create one”.

                • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                  No. That all sounds dreadful.

                  • McFlock

                    All of it?

                    Even the bit about stopping cows from shitting in our rivers?

                    I mean, not wanting the government to simply fund a private benefit is at least ideologically consistent, but allowing carte blanche negative externalities like turning into sewers the rivers that don’t get dried up by theft for irrigation?

                • Brutus Iscariot

                  “You know what would have been another good move by government? Researching other, better, cleaner things to do with the same land, so less farmers jump on the milk bandwagon.”

                  Or the hicks could have done it themselves.

                  But totally agree re: environmental regulation. Thankfully now a lot of these dairy conversions will go back to forestry and other agriculture/horticulture, so to some extent the problem will self mitigate. Maybe we look at some kind of biofuel programme with the marginal land, though that’s a lot harder to make economical with oil cheap again.

                  • McFlock

                    The “hicks” can do a bit, but think about Agresearch, Zespri developing new fruit, that level of thing.

                    Longer term, more “blue skies” research, rather than being restricted to current knowledge.

              • Stuart Munro

                So you oppose the fisheries management system too? Or are you just FOS.

                • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                  I’m not sure that’s the same thing.

                • Brutus Iscariot

                  Fisheries management is about preservation of a finite resource that exists in the public domain. Because fish exist in the public domain, there is no natural disincentive to take as much as you can.

                  Dairy is done on private land and you pay for the acquisition and propagation of your own flock.

                  Your analogy would be comparable if we had massive nature reserves of wandering bovines that anyone could help themselves to at any given time.

                  • Stuart Munro

                    And yet they consume finite public resources – water and biological waste dispersal capacity. In a sparsely dairy farmed country your argument would be true, but with intensification problematic impacts need to be considered.

                    The well-run farms I know are not monocultures – they have three or more profit centres – sheep beef agroforestry deer farmstays – which reduce their vulnerability to market volatility as well as their environmental footprint.

                    Government discouragement of dairy monocultures or CAFOs could be achieved by incentives – but diversification grants might not be inappropriate at this time since the object is to save not just the farmers but the rural communities.

                    • Brutus Iscariot

                      Biofuel…

                    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrel

                      I agree we should put a price on water and that polluters should pay.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Biofuel is a little problematic to date – with the exception of the Brazilian ethanol & bagasse systems none break even from an energy perspective at present. NZ with superior UV might compete using butanol https://www.technologyreview.com/s/423373/bug-creates-butanol-directly-from-cellulose/
                      which is the superior biofuel at present because it works in existing engines & reticulation infrastructure. Long term algal biodiesal is probably better but neither are sufficiently developed locally to resolve the current problem.

                      Temperate fruits and horticulture crops can coexist constructively with dairy and these require less development and could feed existing marketing structures. Hemp would be ideal, tank farmed fish enjoy superior protein conversion rates (& prawns if warming continues apace). Bamboo for fibre would be a superior waste remediation planting with local industrial benefits.

                      And of course camels grow quickly and tolerate arid conditions.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Incorrect.

                    The water the farmers us is public.
                    The resources that they consume from the land are public.
                    The pollution they cause is public.
                    The GHGs they emit are public.

                    There is, quite simply, nothing that a farmer can do that isn’t public in some way or another. Which means to say that the rest of us have a say in what they do and how they do it.

                    And by the pollution of our water ways and other damage caused by farmers it’s time we did.

  4. Kevin 4

    And I am sure the European farmers are crying into their milk.

    I wonder how much of this has been orchestrated from Europe in order to break Fonterra. If it is, they are doing a pretty good job of it.

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    “When you’re in government you have the power to legislate but I think you’ve got to have a pretty serious talk to the banks about expectations,” Little said.

    The expectations are already well known so, no, you really don’t. You have to act in the best interests of the country and if that means pissing off a few banks then so be it.

    Besides, it’s time to do some Real Monetary Reform and stop messing about with the present failed model. No matter what you do, it’s still not going to work for the country as a whole.

  6. linda 6

    Well the down side of interest rate cut is savers those us who aren’t reckless are subsidizeing. The debtors. Since 2008 intestrates need to rise its not right that savers are being used. To bailout. Reckless. Debtors

    • mickysavage 6.1

      People with deposits have been doing very well. And it tends to be an old v young thing.

      • Kiwiri 6.1.1

        Can someone confirm that the deposit rates are dropping very quickly on the heels of the RB’s announcement but, in contrast, the lending/mortgage rates are obstinately still holding up with no indication they are trending down at the same time?

      • whateva next? 6.1.2

        aye, dividing a ruling, more and more I hear comments about us “baby boomers” causing the plight of the next generation, as opposed to John Key driving a wedge between us and our children. Shameful, especially as his offspring want for nothing.(financially speaking)

  7. weka 7

    So what’s the point of the RB making changes to the OCR if the trading banks don’t follow? Why isn’t it already legislated for? And have the banks done this a lot?

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      So what’s the point of the RB making changes to the OCR if the trading banks don’t follow? Why isn’t it already legislated for?

      It’s pure ideology. Competition is supposed to force them to act but it never really does. What we see instead is something very similar to cartel behaviour.

      And have the banks done this a lot?

      I recall a time or two since the GFC.

      • weka 7.1.1

        Ok, so like a ‘Gentlemen’s’ agreement, where the RB indicates what they should do.

    • Kiwiri 7.2

      Along the lines of what I asked above, and in slightly different words now, it seems like the trading banks are not hesitating at all in passing down the rates as far as deposit/savings rates are concerned, but they are stalling and making excuses when it comes to passing on the lower rates for mortgage/lending rates??

    • Expat 7.3

      The only interest rates likely to fall are floating and new loans, those on fixed rates will have to wait till the end of the agreement or refinance, usually incurring a penalty.

  8. Chooky 8

    ‘Low dairy payouts could cost NZ banks billions, Reserve Bank stress tests show’

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/77948349/Low-dairy-payouts-could-cost-NZ-banks-billions-Reserve-Bank-stress-tests-show

    “Banks could face billions in write-offs, and may have to go to their owners for extra cash, under a grim scenario for the dairy sector.

    On Wednesday the Reserve Bank revealed its stress tests for New Zealand’s major rural lenders about the impact of dairy prices staying low for years to come…

  9. Keith 9

    “Only if you believe unquestionably in a free market”. Well the National Party only do when it suits them. Just one of many examples of National Party interference is with immigration. They love to interfere in that area as it does a sterling job of keeping wage growth supressed and ensures all the labour laws in the world are pointless! So to hell with free market pressures on wages!

    Standard Dirty Politics deflection from Key. “Ignorant” must be a focus group approved term.

  10. Don't worry. Be happy 10

    There will be a lot of very hungry suffering cows this winter with farmers unable to buy in enough feed. What will animal welfare organisations do? Anything? Nothing

  11. whateva next? 11

    I have commented on another thread, but it’s relevant here too.
    It’s a shame Andrew Little’s speech today wasn’t shown on 6 o clock news.
    http://www.inthehouse.co.nz/date/2016-03-16

  12. Reddelusion 12

    Labours so called prescription has been tried in the 70s and 80s, farm SMP , pick winners, think big, wage freeze, price freeze, tariffs, rigid workforce conditions, state preferred monopolies etc etc did not work then, won’t work now, na can’t cocoon itself from the world

    • Stuart Munro 12.1

      Maybe – but Key’s recipe is worse – poverty idleness vice corruption and debt slavery to foreign banks – this lazy thriftless vicious and unprincipled fake government needs to help the people ruined by their frankly stupid dairy plan or gtfo of my country.

  13. linda 13

    2008 gfc was warning shot about the perils of debt debtors should have taken notice and used the short window to eliminate debt they didn’t debtors are re-possible for there own actions farmers farmed land values and capital gain through speculation debtors can only blame themselves fools even be-leaved a cult leader know as john key

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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    5 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
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    5 days ago
  • The police and public trust
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
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    5 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
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    5 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    6 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
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    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    7 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
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    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    1 week ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    1 week ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
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    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    1 week ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
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    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago

  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago