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Key folds on pay rises

Written By: - Date published: 4:41 pm, March 2nd, 2015 - 82 comments
Categories: Parliament, wages - Tags: ,

It has been an annual ritual, Key reluctantly claiming that he can’t do anything about MP’s pay rises (which significantly outpace those of most other workers). It was never true of course:

This year, with times harder than ever for far too many Kiwis, the scrutiny that the proposed pay rise received was intense:

Key must be feeling the pressure of this, and other recent events, because he has gone populist. Vernon Small and others are covering events on Twitter.

Interesting.

82 comments on “Key folds on pay rises”

  1. Anne 1

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11410456

    Massive negative reaction from their own supporters? Phone calls, emails and text messages to Nat MPs go into meltdown?

    I was in the local chemist earlier today and the anger displayed from shoppers/clients and staff alike was telling.

  2. Lanthanide 2

    “Given that they’re already contemplating a clawback, urgency seems unnecessary”

    Which is pretty stupid on the face of it. The accounting and payroll system will be calculating the backpay, and gearing up for whenever the next pay round is. Who knows when that happens, but it’s probably monthly. Could be the 20th of the month.

    Makes sense to pass legislation under urgency to freeze this, than it does to let it go forward and then have to either organise for the MPs to pay the money back, or dock it from future pay etc.

    Could it be dealt with without legislation? Possibly, but the pay-rise was set by the independent Remuneration Authority, so that might be a little dicey for admin staff to say “we aren’t doing that ’cause John Key told us not to”.

  3. Ed 3

    Key claims to have written to the Authority to ask for a zero increase (well knowing of course that it could not have any effect). If he was honest that is what he would put forward now, so that there could be more time to establish a new basis. It would be easy for accounting systems to process a zero increase for a month or so!

    National know that the reason the increase was high is because it reflects the reality that higher earners have been getting higher increases – National prefers to only talk averages and pretend inequality is not growing. In proposing using the average increase for the public sector (why not the whole country?), they must know that this will be an increase at a higher percentage than the majority of New Zealanders. I hope there is debate about using the median earnings of whatever group is chosen – only by moving earnings for all New Zealanders will the median move; dividing the pool with an increasing share to the wealthy would leave out MPs!

    In the long term the pay for MPs and Ministers does need to be at a level that does not exclude too many people – or be a windfall gain for too many. – a review every say 5 years would be reasonable.

  4. infused 4

    Halarious. Everyone saying Key wont do anything. Does something and everyone shits on it.

    • Murray Rawshark 4.1

      Is halarious something that Muslims find funny? Halal humour?

      Key is obviously panicking because of some poll his pet penguin has done. He knew the criteria the authority had to use, and knew his letter could have no effect. He’s finding out that Kiwis are not believing him any more. Happens to every con artist, but they usually have the good sense to move on and look for new marks.

      • Clemgeopin 4.1.1

        “He’s finding out that Kiwis are not believing him any more’

        Not all Kiwis, but you are correct. Many are.

        I think a good chunk of Kiwis who have been voting Key and National seem Little by Little to be slowly becoming aware of the lies, dishonesty, dodgy goings on, spin and bull shit that is being peddled by Key, National and its very expensive local and foreign based PR machine that has been trying very hard over the last seven years to pull lots of soft silky wool over our collective eyes.

        But, as sure as the day follows the night, they can not fool most of the people all of the time.

    • McFlock 4.2

      does something after claiming he couldn’t do anything. Yeah, pretty funny.

    • Skinny 4.3

      Umm No Infused, this 5 year old back flip shows that internal pollings by the snake oil merchants within the National Party are absolutely panicked by third term blues.

      What happened to the statement by finance minister that workers have weathered the effects of the gobal financial crisis and can now expect sizeable pay increases?

      I’m afraid 1.2 % does not cut it for public and state sector workers. Surely you free market merchants prescrbe to market rates. So 5% is a fair call and its the others that have been left behind in the National Governments ‘Rockstar economy’.

      It is obviously clear the billions of dollars of debit we are in are now coming home to roost. This is not about reasonable pay rises for MP’s (chump change) but screwing every other New Zealand worker below CEO’s and executives. While Key is trimming the fat where is the same under urgency slashing of public and state sector executives payrises?

      Some people laugh when their nervous, are you nervous cobbah?

      • Sacha 4.3.1

        “What happened to the statement by finance minister that workers have weathered the effects of the gobal financial crisis and can now expect sizeable pay increases?”

        Link? I’ve only seen him say workers should restrain themselves indefinitely while dividends for owners flourish unabated.

        • Skinny 4.3.1.1

          Google it I read it on stuff last year and he did say the same on RNZ.

          • Ben Clark 4.3.1.1.1

            It was just before the election to tell voters – don’t worry, the good times are around the corner!

            • Skinny 4.3.1.1.1.1

              Yes Ben I hope this is rubbed into Key’s smug face during question time. Rather than people bemoaning the 5℅ rise the issue should be where are the
              Workers reasonable (5%) all things considered rise. Flip the issue around to Nationals hand picked CEO’s and public servants, actually include Bolger & Shipley and their ilk ( yeah Cullen etc too) who are put on board of directors with plumb earning numbers.

        • Tracey 4.3.1.2

          I agree with Skinny, he (English) absolutely said it was time for businesses to look at giving workers pay rises (it was when he was trumpeting the rock star economy).

          a quick google showed this

          “Bill English repeated his call for employers to reward workers with more substantial pay increases. He says people have had a tough time since the global financial crisis but now the economy is recovering workers should benefit from that.” RNZ

          • Skinny 4.3.1.2.1

            Thanks Tracy for finding that statement.

            Of course when I heard Key was calling a press conference to outline his popularity contest, I knew the idiot media shrills would choose to ignore this fact, instead choosing to heap praise on Key’s strong leadership decision. A decision made by the spin/damage control department in the snake oil manufacturing office of the National party.

      • Clemgeopin 4.3.2

        +1

        Give the low paid the living wage. Cut all CEO’s pays by half under URGENCY to start with. The fat cats will NOT starve, I can assure you. Peg all the TOP pays to not more than 10 times (TEN TIMES) the median wage.

        The median income from wages and salaries across ALL jobs in June 2014 was about $45,000 a year (or $865 a week) before tax, according to a Statistics New Zealand income survey.

        So, legislate to make the TOP salary in any paid job ANY WHERE should NOT be over $45,000×10=$450,000 per year.

        Change the STAGGERED TOP income tax rate to 39% above 5 times the medium income, ie, on the portion that is above $ 225,000.

        What is UNFAIR about that? You tell me!

        • Macro 4.3.2.1

          yep! I’ve been thinking along the same lines – but added to that would be a non tax bracket up to the minimum wage. and then progressively increase so that hitting over $450,000 would be 100% taxed.
          The problem is there would be all sorts of dodges to avoid the super-tax. These people aren’t known for their citizenship.
          The other problem is international corporates who ship profits made in NZ overseas and declare minuscule profits. That nonsense has to be stopped immediately. Either they pay the taxes earned on profits in NZ or they don’t trade here. Yes Apple is one of the worst offenders in this regard – and I would miss my mac, but corporates have to learn to be responsible members of society just like everyone else.

          • Clemgeopin 4.3.2.1.1

            +1
            Fair Comment, though the rich privileged bastards may not like that.

          • Colonial Rawshark 4.3.2.1.2

            Setting all income tax thresholds at a multiple of the median wage is a great idea. As is an income tax free zone – which could be co-ordinated with a UBI.

            I would go with the standard the US set in the 1950s and 1960s, setting the top tax rate at 89% or 91%. This avoids the prospect of the government applying pure wealth confiscation and for people paid millions of dollars a year, prevents their income tax from closing in on 100%.

            People who structure at least some of their income to be received from overseas – and a lot of people at the top end do this – would need to be discouraged from doing so in future, or taxed using an alternative regime.

            The real issue is that a focus on higher top rate income tax is quite deficient and continues to hit workers (albeit the top 1%), but totally misses those true capitalists living off a massive amount of financial asset wealth. This is the real issue. The IRD already knows that hundreds of NZs richest people report less than $70K pa of income.

            That’s where things like an FTT and a wealth tax become relevant.

            BTW let’s just remember that the government does not need taxes to fund its spending. Taxes are best used to channel activities and behaviour in ways required by a country to progress the nation and its society.

            and I would miss my mac, but corporates have to learn to be responsible members of society just like everyone else.

            This is just the kind of thing that the TPPA’s investor/state dispute resolution i.e. corporatocracy sovereignty clauses is designed to stop in its tracks.

    • Ed 4.4

      Key made a request, in writing, that the rise be zero. Now he plans to put through an increase that is higher than he claims he wanted. When he knew it would have no effect he cynically spun a story that he has been caught out on – the reality is that the National MPs want a bigger increase than most New Zealanders got.

      Pushing it though under urgency is also typically arrogant – they can easily delay any increase while the basis is reviewed. Instead they will try to limit the time to reduce embarassment as much as possible.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.5

      Claims he can’t do anything for years despite having changed the rules once which ensured just as much, if not a greater, pay rise for MPs and then suddenly finds that he can do something urgently?

      Yeah, see, that’s called manipulation and you fell for it.

    • Clemgeopin 4.6

      Here is a thought for you to think about:

      If KEY was not a multi-million dollar rich dude, for whom a few thousand dollar pay increase wouldn’t really make much of a difference to his living or to his blind trusts, do you honestly think he would have wanted to do this and in such unusual urgency? I think he is just trying to earn some brownie points because of his often beige behaviour and bad policies and bad internal polling. He had seven years to do this. Why now? Has he suddenly become a non hypocritical catholic saint or has he gutlessly panicked? What do you HONESTLY think? Tell us.

    • Tracey 4.7

      He hasnt actually done anything about it yet infused. He has been saying he will for about 5 years though. Lets wait and see…

      As for enshrining something for 50 years… he really does not yet quite understand democracy.

  5. Colonial Rawshark 5

    An interesting back down from Key, you are right about that, and also to wonder where the real pressure points were.

  6. Karen 6

    Obviously Farrar’s polling was showing a drop in popularity for Key, and the pay rise for MPs was one of the reasons.
    Key must be desperate for something to lift his ratings before the next public poll.

  7. I’m gonna reserve judgement till I read the legislation.

    There’ll be some dodge in there for sure – otherwise, why urgency?

    Or, it’ll be a poorly written piece that contains an unintended conseqence which bites them in a few months.

  8. Jay 8

    The increase in pay set by the remuneration authority (who are independent of politicians) was an outrage. John Key said so straight away, and now he’s doing something about it.

    Why does this even piss people off? It demonstrates that no matter what John Key does, some people will either oppose his actions, his motivation, or both.

    In my view people have allowed their hatred of John Key to cloud their judgement to the point that everything he does or says is bad, and it’s actually getting a bit ridiculous.

    This isn’t election year. Keys popularity is as universal as ever. The next election won’t turn on this issue. He spoke out against this pay rise since the beginning, and is now looking to reverse it. Could it be that he believes that it’s just plain wrong?

    Doesn’t putting negative spin on this just expose the extreme bias of many commentators? Doesn’t it make them look a bit foolish? Wouldn’t it improve their credibility if they simply said, “good on you John Key for doing the right thing, we agree with what you’ve done”.

    But those words would just stick in the craw though right?

    • Anne 8.1

      John Key has been saying much the same thing after each MP pay rise for the past 5 years. Yet he never did anything about it. And the only reason he’s doing something now is because internal polling has shown a huge and exasperated backlash against the government and no doubt their phones/emails have been running hot.

      In my view you have allowed your besotted admiration for John Key to cloud your judgement to the point you can’t see the reality of his, and his government’s, cynical manipulation of the political system, exclusively for their own benefit, and regardless of the damage it does to the populace as a whole.

      • Economix 8.1.1

        And Labour/Greens etc have done what about this whilst in opposition? Let’s not kid ourselves that for years there has been a feeding frenzy at the bottomless trough that is the politicians payroll. Hundreds of politicians right across the political spectrum have dropped the odd line into the press that they are uncomfortable with this and haven’t done anything about it. Good to see them being brought back into the real world on this one issue. Plenty more issues that they still have their heads so far up….but that is for another thread.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1.1.1

          What a great way to demonstrate your ignorance: the National Party changed the rules.

          This is their doing. Now reject the facts and cling to your false beliefs like a frightened infant.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 8.2

      John Key was PM when the National Party changed the rules. He’s a hypocrite for pretending it was out of his hands, and you’re ignorant at best and dishonest at worst, and either way you’re his good little dupe.

      John Key was PM when the National Party changed the rules. Get out of that one, dupe.

    • infused 8.3

      Well you now know why the left gain no traction.

    • Atiawa 8.4

      Its concerning when the “Jay’s” of the world attempt to defend their esteemed leader without acknowledging the hypocrisy of his decision making, and then accuse the dissenters of foolishness and bias.
      It seems that the old adage of ” my minds made up, don’t baffle me with the facts” remains the preserve of the disciples of ignorance.

    • Clemgeopin 8.5

      You are mentioning the word, ‘spin’ but you are spinning exactly like Joyce and C Textor!

      I’ll tell you what you want me to say:

      It is the poor, the low waged and ordinary people that ALWAYS get screwed no matter what. It is the common people that get sucked in and vote you bastards in anyway.

      Try thinking of them FIRST before you think of the wealthy, the CEOs, the banks, the landlords, the corporates or the capitalist crooks.

    • Tracey 8.6

      this was a party political broadcast on behalf of the Rose Tinted Glasses Society

  9. kiwigunner 9

    Teachers and nurses have got almost nothing in the last five years (except a whole lot of crap policy). Whilst I applaud this announcement – there is catching up to do. They should not be expecting 1-2% in their negotiations this year. Indeed the money saved today should be shunted straight to them and health and care workers too – those minimum wage angels who this govt has taken to the appeal court.

  10. Michael 10

    No doubt the National party’s slush funds will make up the difference between what they get from taxpayers and what they expect to get in total. A bit rough on the other pollies, who don’t have party slush funds at their disposal, though. I expect we’ll see National Party MPs outclassing all the others before long.

  11. It would have been nice if Labour MPs contacted for comment had highlighted the fact that the big pay increase was because the RA was tasked with maintaining relativity between MP’s pay and that of other high earners, and that workers might usefully bear that rate of increase for high earners in mind when considering the minimal or nonexistent pay increases those high earners offer their workers.

  12. Sable 12

    The system of government we have in this country is a failure. Its a crappy Brit based system that lets governments do as they like. We need to revise how we govern and apply independent watchdogs to ensure these political parasites do as they are told not as they like.

    As to Keys antics, in my opinion he’s just trying to take the sting out of his US toadying efforts to send our people to Iraq. Nice try but no cigar, asshole.

  13. mary_a 13

    Has Key picked up on a revolutionary groundswell of discontent amongst the masses?

  14. fisiani 14

    So as usual another pathetic attempted diatribe against Honest John. The misleading title Key Folds on Pay Rises starts the rot. What part of firm decisive action is folding? John Key spent years as a market trader and has a keener sense of public mood than perhaps any other politician. He is not rooted to any position no matter what happens. He is always ready to take the right move. Already the morning tea talk I hear is all complimentary about John Key taking the correct action and laying down the law. His direction is popular.
    Desperately trying to spin this as John Key folding is certainly good for a laugh but everyone knows that Honest John is doing the right thing and their estimation of him is surely enhanced.

    • Sable 14.1

      Its amazing you can support this creature after everything he has done. Back to the MSM with you. Its where you belong.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 14.2

      There is probably no one left on the planet who does not know him as a statesman and as a remarkable popular leader. Only a few, however, have the pleasure of seeing him as a man each day from close up, to experience him, and as I might add, to come as a result to a deeper understanding and love for him. These few wonder how it is possible that a man who only three years ago was opposed by half of the nation stands today above any doubt and every criticism.

      Comical Fisiani jumps the shark.

    • Skinny 14.3

      Enjoy your ‘tea break’ fisiani dishonest Johns petty removal of workers tea break becomes law this week. You might be forced to shuffle paper all day long.

      • fisiani 14.3.1

        There is no removal of tea breaks and you already know that. Why repeat such a ridiculous canard? You and I and every poster here will have a tea break next week and next month and next year. john Key has once again taken the wind out of opposition sails with his decisive action. No wonder he is set for as many terms as he wants till he chooses to retire. No opposition leader comes close to him. We are watching a political phenomenon which is only half way through.

        • crashcart 14.3.1.1

          Just to be clear Fisi you think all employers are good people who only want the best for their employee’s and that there will not be any cases of abuse of the law change?

          I am sure most are because they would rather keep their emplyee’s around. I know I will still have my break period. However if all you are doing is using low wage workers for maximum profit then that is not a concern as there are thousands more waiting in line to work like dogs so they can feed themselves and their families.

        • Clemgeopin 14.3.1.2

          Hey, fisiani,

          You being such a devoted supporter of the corporates, employers, Key, National, ACT and shit, I want to know what is your opinion about the Zero hour contracts?

    • thatguynz 14.4

      And Fizzyanus screws the pooch yet again.. 🙄

    • framu 14.5

      what part of “moaned about it for 5 years then acted once polling went against him = decisive action”?

      the only desperate one here is you fisti – desperately sitting by the phone hoping john will ask you out

    • Clemgeopin 14.6

      “Comical Fisiani jumps the shark’

      You just reminded me of Comical Ali! Wonder what he is up to now?

      • McFlock 14.6.1

        Apparently terminally ill in the UAE

        • Clemgeopin 14.6.1.1

          Thanks for that. Poor guy. He was quite a lovable rogue, a little like our oen dear fisiani in some ways.

          Replace Ali with fisiani and make other appropriate changes such as Key, National party etc in the write up from your link:

          Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf (Arabic: محمد سعيد الصحاف‎ Muḥammad Saʿīd Al-Ṣaḥḥāf; born 1940) was the Iraqi Information Minister under Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, acting as the spokesperson for the Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party and Saddam’s regime.

          He is best known for his grandiose and grossly unrealistic propaganda broadcasts extolling the invincibility and the permanence of Saddam’s popular lie-straight-then-smile-and-wave, rule. His announcements were intended for an Iraqi domestic audience subject to Saddam’s cult of personality and state control of well greased MSM but were met with widespread growing derision, amusement and distrust by others with access to better information from other reliable sources, intelligent commentators and serious leaks from whistle blowers of integrity from the inside.

          In the US he was popularly known as Lapdog Johnny, in the UK as Silly-Walk-Ali, in Italy as Alì-il-Comico and in some quarters of New Zealand, as the Piss-Take-Ali.

  15. Ray 15

    So Sable
    Who appoints these Independent watch dogs?
    The Party?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 15.1

      Is that the only solution you can imagine? Go on, try a little harder. See if you can suggest a better idea than your first attempt.

  16. Planet Earth 16

    So – John Key introducing legislation to limit MPs’ pay rises – good thing or bad thing?

    So – John Key introducing legislation to limit MPs’ pay rises – good thing or bad thing?

    (Sorry, terrible echo in here)

    • Enough is Enough 16.1

      Bad Thing

      He is a cynical arrogant out of touch rich bastard that is only doing this because Crosby textor told him.

      • Planet Earth 16.1.1

        So he’s doing a good thing with bad motives? Or he’s doing a bad thing?

    • crashcart 16.2

      It’s a good thing as long as it is done correctly. I don’t think anyone has argued anything different. What is synical is bemoaning pay rises for years saying you can do nothing to change the rules and it is out of your control when:

      1) You set those rules in the first place, and
      2) You decide you can just up and change the rules under urgency when it becomes apparent no one is buying that bull shit any more.

      **edit** OK people are saying it is a bad thing. That I don’t get. Yes hammer him on being synical but don’t cut off your nose to spite your face by saying actally changing things is bad.

      • Economix 16.2.1

        “I don’t think anyone has argued anything different”

        You would hope not, however when you wear glasses so deeply tinted with any colour other than blue it becomes difficult to see the obvious until it smacks you right in the face.

    • Economix 16.3

      Great question PE, and looking forward to the responses.

      Obviously a good thing. But handled in a way so typical of politicians i.e. everything is done for political point scoring.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 16.3.1

        Why do you think this will be a “good thing” when the National Party failed so badly last time they had a chance?

        All the evidence tells us it’ll be yet another clusterfuck, because that’s all you’re good for.

        • Economix 16.3.1.1

          You don’t think that aligning politicians pay increases to that received by the rest of the public sector is a good thing? My preference would be for politicians pay to only be reassessed every 3 years following general elections. If voter turnout declines then all politicians should have their salaries cut.

          “because that’s all you’re good for”…who me? I’m not part of the Nat Party. Moron.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 16.3.1.1.1

            If it keeps public sector wages artificially low then yes, bad thing. I say link it to the median wage.

            I was talking about right wingers in general: the shit you believe renders you incompetent.

            Take your favoured proposal, for example. Dirty politics is all about lowering voter turn-out: National Party MPs will be accepting directorship bribes (as detailed by Loose Lips Lusk) whether or not their salary decreases.

            • Economix 16.3.1.1.1.1

              “public sector wages artificially low”…you are kidding right? Not many people in the public sector earning less than median wage OAB.

              OAB you really need to stop lecturing people about what to think/believe, it is becoming tiresome.

              Well, you validate my point. Nat politicians would be receiving a pay cut.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                🙄

                That’s so bad it’s not even wrong.

                I’ll see if I can find a way to explain it that you can grasp.

                Once upon a time, there was a public sector employee, and they were admired by all (except rabid Objectivists) and well paid as a result.

                Then along came an incompetent Tory, for whom no-one had any respect whatsoever, and linked their wage increases. That put downward pressure on the well-respected public sector employee’s wages, which made it harder to retain good staff.

                Soon, the public sector was full of incompetent Tories, taking bribes, missing performance targets, embezzling, and hiring prostitutes.

            • Planet Earth 16.3.1.1.1.2

              How would aligning MPs’ salaries to public sector wages keep the latter “artificially low”?

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Because nurses (for example) get respect and Tory politicians don’t. This proposal makes it harder to give nurses decent payrises.

                • Planet Earth

                  How so?

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Can’t you work it out on your own?

                    Imagine the public response to that rotten gimp Patrick Gower squealing that MPs get 3% payrise, because he thinks his opinions have value.

                    Then imagine the complete lack of any Patrick Gower-inspired gobshite regarding nurses’ pay increases.

                    Penny, meet drop?

                    • Planet Earth

                      Non sequitur

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      A direct connection, in fact. That’s the proposal – link MPs pay rises to public servants’.

                      It’s nice that you’ve learnt a new Latin phrase: the next step is to use it appropriately and in context.

                    • Planet Earth

                      OAB – reply to your comment of 7.55 am today (reply function no go) – you are correct, “That’s the proposal – link MPs pay rises to public servants’.” Not the other way around – you should worry more about your English comprehension than your Latin.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      🙄

                      Yes, Patrick Gower and Bloke From The Pub are sure to make that distinction when MPs get a payrise /sarc

                      Why didn’t I realise that before? All hail Utopia.

  17. Ray 17

    I would have thought having an election every three years would be the easiest way to have some oversight
    But it was Sable who is suggesting some other way of having watchdogs
    Just wondering how they were to be appointed and by whom

    • One Anonymous Bloke 17.1

      …and “by the party” was the best you could manage.

      Your proposal* to scrap the ombudsman and human rights commissioner etc, did you think it through or are you just typing any old contrary random shite?

      *elections as the only form of oversight.

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  • Winston Peters: If protests condoned ‘why are we not at level 1?’
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters says alert level 2 restrictions have to be discussed during today's Cabinet meeting. Thousands gathered across the country, including at Parliament, yesterday for Black Lives Matter marches where social distancing and mass gathering rules were flouted. Mr Peters said the breaching of Alert Level 2 rules at ...
    4 days ago
  • Northland rail work to help create regional jobs
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of State Owned Enterprises KiwiRail’s Northland rail upgrade steps up another gear today and will help Northland recover from the impacts of COVID-19, State Owned Enterprises Minister Winston Peters says. The Government is investing $204.5 million through the Provincial Growth Fund to ...
    5 days ago
  • Green Party statement on the death of George Floyd
    “Today and every day we stand in solidarity with George Floyd’s family, friends and community who feel pain and fear about his untimely death at the hands of Minneapolis police”, said Green Party Co-leader and Māori Development spokesperson Marama Davidson. ...
    5 days ago
  • Lake Brunner’s Mount Te Kinga to go Predator Free
    Fletcher Tabuteau, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Hon Eugenie Sage, Minister of Conservation The West Coast forests of Mount Te Kinga at Kotuku Whakaoho/Lake Brunner are the latest predator free project to receive Government funding, announced Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage and Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher ...
    1 week ago
  • Green Party welcomes crucial financial support for creatives
    The Green Party says new government support for creatives and artists is a vital lifeline for a sector struggling to survive the COVID crisis. ...
    1 week ago
  • Strongest ever water reforms mean swimmable rivers within a generation
    The Green Party says major freshwater reforms announced today provide the strongest ever protections of our waterways, to help ensure the next generation can swim in the rivers of Aotearoa. ...
    1 week ago
  • Greens work to secure inquiry into Wild West student accommodation sector
    The Green Party has begun the process for a Select Committee inquiry into student accommodation, which has been exposed during COVID-19 as an under-regulated sector that straddles students with unfair debt. ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand joins global search for COVID-19 vaccine
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon Megan Woods, Minister of Research, Science and Innovation Hon Dr David Clark, Minister of Health Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods,  and Health Minister David Clark today announced a COVID-19 vaccine strategy, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 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 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party unveils its candidate list for the 2020 election
    The Green Party is pleased to reveal its candidate list for the upcoming election. With a mix of familiar faces and fresh new talent, this exceptional group of candidates are ready to lead the Greens back into Government. ...
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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 ...
    3 weeks 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. ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Great Walks bookings open next week
    This summer presents a great opportunity for New Zealanders to get out into nature with bookings on Great Walks for 2020/21 set to open next week, says Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage.  Bookings for the Great Walks will open between 9 and 11 June, excluding Milford and Routeburn tracks which ...
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    2 hours ago
  • Ministerial Diary April 2020
    ...
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    16 hours ago
  • Govt extends support schemes for businesses
    Extra 40,000 businesses to be eligible for wage subsidy extension Small business cashflow support application period extended The Government is today announcing further support for businesses that continue to be affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic, as the broader economy becomes one of the most open in the world following ...
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    17 hours ago
  • Five new Super Hercules to join Air Force fleet
    The Coalition Government has confirmed five Lockheed Martin C-130J-30 Super Hercules transport aircraft will be purchased to replace the existing fleet, Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today.  “Last year, Cabinet selected these aircraft as the preferred option to replace the current Hercules fleet. Procurement of the Super Hercules has been ...
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    18 hours ago
  • Wairarapa Moana seeks international recognition as vital wetland
    The Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage is celebrating World Environment Day with an announcement of a major step towards Wairarapa Moana being recognised as an internationally significant wetland. “Wairarapa Moana is an ecosystem of 10,000 hectares of wetland and open water that provides a home for indigenous fish, birds and ...
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    21 hours ago
  • New public housing sets standard for future
    New public housing that will save tenants money in energy bills, and provide warmer, healthier and more comfortable homes, is setting the standard for the Government’s future public housing programme, Housing Minister Megan Woods said. Dr Woods opened the new Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities complex, which has a ...
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    21 hours ago
  • First Police wing to complete training post lockdown
    A new-look Police graduation ceremony to take account of COVID19 health rules has marked the completion of training for 57 new constables. Police Minister Stuart Nash attended this afternoon's ceremony, where officers of Recruit Wing 337 were formally sworn in at the Royal New Zealand Police College without the normal support of ...
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    2 days ago
  • Government makes further inroads on predatory lenders
    Mobile traders and truck shops must adhere to responsible lending requirements Interest rate cap on high-cost loans Lenders prohibited from offering further credit to an applicant who has taken two high-cost loans in the past 90 days The Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Kris Faafoi, has signalled an end ...
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    2 days ago
  • New survey shows wage subsidy a “lifeline” for businesses, saved jobs
    94% of firms say wage subsidy had positive impact on cashflow 62% of firms say support helped to manage non-wage costs like rent A survey of business that have received the Government’s wage subsidy show it has played a significant role in saving jobs, and freed up cash flow to ...
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    2 days ago
  • Tax changes support economic recovery
    New legislation introduced to Parliament today will support growth and assist businesses on the road to economic recovery, said Revenue Minister Stuart Nash. “The Taxation (Annual Rates for 2020-21, Feasibility Expenditure, and Remedial Matters) Bill proposes that businesses can get tax deductions for ‘feasibility expenditure’ on new investments,” said Mr ...
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    2 days ago
  • $4.6 million financial relief for professional sports
    Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson has welcomed the first release of funds from the $265 million Sport Recovery Package announced as part of Budget 2020. Sport NZ has announced that $4.6 million in funding will go to the Wellington Phoenix, NZ Warriors, Super Rugby teams and the ANZ Premiership ...
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    2 days ago
  • Critical support for strategic tourism assets
    An iconic New Zealand tourism attraction and the country’s 31 Regional Tourism Organisations are the first recipients of support from the $400 million Tourism Sector Recovery Plan, to help position the sector for recovery from COVID-19, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. The plan includes a Strategic Tourism Assets Protection ...
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    2 days ago
  • Supporting Kiwi businesses to resolve commercial rent disputes
    The Government will legislate to ensure businesses that suffered as a result of the COVID-19 response will get help to resolve disputes over commercial rent issues, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. A temporary amendment to the Property Law Act will insert a clause in commercial leases requiring a fair ...
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    2 days ago
  • Prompt payments to SMEs even more urgent
    The Minister for Small Business says new data from Xero highlights the urgency of prompt payment practices to small and medium enterprises as we move into economic recovery. Last month Government ministers wrote to significant private enterprises and the banking industry to request they join efforts by government agencies to ...
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    2 days ago
  • Free period products in schools to combat poverty
    Young people in Waikato will be the first to have free access to period products in schools in another step to support children and young people in poverty,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.  During term 3, the Ministry of Education will begin providing free period products to schools following the ...
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    3 days ago
  • Response to charges in New Plymouth
    The Minister of Police Stuart Nash has issued the following statement in response to charges filed against three Police officers this morning in the New Plymouth District Court. “Any incident involving a loss of life in Police custody is taken very seriously. The charges today reflect the gravity of the ...
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    3 days ago
  • Govt boosts innovation, R&D for economic rebuild
    $196 million for Crown Research Institutes $150 million for R&D loan scheme $33 million for Māori research and development opportunities $12 million for the Nationally Significant Collections and Databases $10 million to help maintain in-house capability at Callaghan Innovation New Zealand’s entrepreneurs, innovators and crown researchers will benefit from a ...
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    3 days ago
  • Temporary changes to NCEA and University Entrance this year
    Further temporary changes to NCEA and University Entrance (UE) will support senior secondary school students whose teaching and learning have been disrupted by COVID-19. “The wellbeing of students and teachers is a priority. As we are all aware, COVID-19 has created massive disruption to the school system, and the Government ...
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    3 days ago
  • Extended terms for the directors of the Racing Industry Transition Agency
    Minister for Racing Winston Peters today announced that the terms for the directors of the Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) have been extended to 30 June 2021. Due to the COVID-19 crisis the transition period has been extended to ensure that the Racing Industry Bill can complete its progress through ...
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    3 days ago
  • Healthy Homes Standards statement of compliance deadline extended
    The deadline for landlords to include detailed information in their tenancy agreements about how their property meets the Healthy Homes Standards, so tenants can see the home they are renting is compliant, has been extended from 1 July 2020 to 1 December 2020.  The Healthy Homes Standards became law on 1 July 2019. The Standards are ...
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    4 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission board appointments announced
    Justice Minister Andrew Little today announced details of further appointments to the Criminal Cases Review Commission. “I am pleased to announce Paula Rose QSO OStJ as Deputy Chief Commissioner for a term of five years commencing on 15 June 2020,” said Andrew Little. “I am also pleased to announce the ...
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    4 days ago
  • Release of initial list of supported training to aid COVID-19 recovery
    The Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund (TTAF) will pay costs of learners of all ages to undertake vocational education and training The fund will target support for areas of study and training that will give learners better employment prospects as New Zealand recovers from COVID-19 Apprentices working in all industries ...
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    4 days ago
  • Emission trading reforms another step to meeting climate targets
    The Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will finally start to cut New Zealand’s greenhouse gas pollution as it was originally intended to, because of changes announced today by the Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw. The changes include a limit on the total emissions allowed within the ETS, rules to ensure ...
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    4 days ago
  • Queen’s Birthday Honours highlights Pacific leadership capability in Aotearoa
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says the Queen’s Birthday 2020 Honours List provides an abundance of examples that Pacific people’s leadership capability is unquestionable in Aotearoa. “The work and the individuals we acknowledge this year highlights the kind of visionary examples and dedicated community leadership that we need ...
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    5 days ago
  • Govt backing horticulture to succeed
    The Government is backing a new $27 million project aimed at boosting sustainable horticulture production and New Zealand’s COVID-19 recovery efforts, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our economy. During and ...
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    5 days ago
  • Applications open for forestry scholarships
    Applications have opened for 2021 Ngā Karahipi Uru Rākau – Forestry Scholarships, which will support more Māori and women to pursue careers in forestry science, says Forestry Minister Shane Jones. “I’m delighted Te Uru Rākau is offering Ngā Karahipi Uru Rākau – Forestry Scholarships for the third year running. These ...
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    5 days ago
  • Excellent service to nature recognised
    The Queen’s Birthday 2020 Honours List once again highlights the dedication by many to looking after our native plants and wildlife, including incredible work to restore the populations of critically endangered birds says Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. Anne Richardson of Hororata has been made an Officer of the New ...
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    5 days ago
  • Wetlands and waterways gain from 1BT funding
    The Government will invest $10 million from the One Billion Trees Fund for large-scale planting to provide jobs in communities and improve the environment, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Forestry Minister Shane Jones have announced. New, more flexible funding criteria for applications will help up to 10 catchment groups plant ...
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    6 days ago
  • New fund for women now open
    Organisations that support women are invited to apply to a new $1,000,000 fund as part of the Government’s COVID-19 response. “We know women, and organisations that support women, have been affected by COVID-19. This new money will ensure funding for groups that support women and women’s rights,” said Minister for ...
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    6 days ago
  • Govt supports King Country farmers to lift freshwater quality
    Healthier waterways are front and centre in a new project involving more than 300 King Country sheep, beef and dairy farmers. The Government is investing $844,000 in King Country River Care, a group that helps farmers to lift freshwater quality and farming practice, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. “Yesterday ...
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    1 week ago
  • Libraries to help with jobs and community recovery
    A major funding package for libraries will allow them to play a far greater role in supporting their communities and people seeking jobs as part of the economic recovery from COVID-19. “Budget 2020 contains over $60 million of funding to protect library services and to protect jobs,” says Internal Affairs ...
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    1 week ago
  • Support for arts and music sector recovery
    A jobseekers programme for the creative sector and four new funds have been set up by the Government to help our arts and music industry recover from the blow of COVID-19. Thousands of jobs will be supported through today’s $175 million package in a crucial economic boost to support the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Legislative changes to support the wellbeing of veterans and their families
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has welcomed the First Reading of a Bill that will make legislative changes to further improve the veterans’ support system.  The Veterans’ Support Amendment Bill No 2, which will amend the Veterans’ Support Act 2014, passed First Reading today. The bill addresses a number of ...
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    1 week ago
  • Christ Church Cathedral – Order in Council
    Views sought on Order in Council to help fast track the reinstatement of the Christ Church Cathedral  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Hon Poto Williams, will be seeking public written comment, following Cabinet approving the drafting of an Order in Council aimed at fast-tracking the reinstatement of the ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealanders’ human rights better protected in new Bill
    The law setting out New Zealanders’ basic civil and human rights is today one step towards being strengthened following the first reading of a Bill that requires Parliament to take action if a court says a statute undermines those rights. At present, a senior court can issue a ‘declaration of ...
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    1 week ago
  • Deep concern at Hong Kong national security legislation
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today reiterated the deep concern of the New Zealand Government following confirmation by China’s National People’s Congress of national security legislation relating to Hong Kong. “New Zealand shares the international community’s significant and long-standing stake in Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability,” Mr Peters said. “New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government invests in New Zealand’s cultural recovery
    Thousands of artists and creatives at hundreds of cultural and heritage organisations have been given much-needed support to recover from the impact of COVID-19, Prime Minister and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Jacinda Ardern announced today. “The cultural sector was amongst the worst hit by the global pandemic,” Jacinda ...
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    1 week ago
  • Better protection for New Zealand assets during COVID-19 crisis
    Key New Zealand assets will be better protected from being sold to overseas owners in a way contrary to the national interest, with the passage of the Overseas Investment (Urgent Measures) Bill. The Bill, which passed its third reading in Parliament today, also cuts unnecessary red tape to help attract ...
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    1 week ago
  • Cleaning up our rivers and lakes
    Setting higher health standards at swimming spots Requiring urban waterways to be cleaned up and new protections for urban streams Putting controls on higher-risk farm practices such as winter grazing and feed lots Setting stricter controls on nitrogen pollution and new bottom lines on other measures of waterway health Ensuring ...
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    1 week ago
  • Record year for diversity on Govt boards
    The Government is on the verge of reaching its target of state sector boards and committees made up of at least 50 percent women, says Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter and Minister for Ethnic Communities Jenny Salesa. For the first time, the Government stocktake measures the number of Māori, ...
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    1 week ago