Kia kaha Sonny Bill Williams

Written By: - Date published: 11:45 am, April 17th, 2017 - 108 comments
Categories: business, capitalism, Media, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: , ,

Sonny Bill Williams is someone who has grown on me.  My initial impression of him was that he was an overpaid professional footballer who tore up contracts for more money and code jumped just because he could.  But he has changed dramatically and improved.

He converted to the faith of Islam in 2008 while playing in Toulon.  Up until then he had been involved in different incidents of low level inappropriate behaviour clearly fueled by alcohol.  But since converting to Islam he has been an exemplary citizen.

Think of his giving away his World Cup winner’s medal straight after the final of the Rugby World Cup in 2015.  A more generous gesture is hard to imagine.  If there is an All Black spirit then this action shound exemplify it.

He has recently courted controversy in some quarters because he has insisted on covering up BNZ advertisements on his Blue’s Rugby shirt.  The reason he did this is that promoting a bank that charges interest on loans is incompatiable with his Muslim faith.   The issue is covered in Mediawatch here.  From the article:

… Radio Sport’s Tony Veitch said last weekend SBW makes his own rules and is “the most controversial sportsman we’ve ever had”.

More than 5000 comments on his Facebook page proved it was a genuine story, he told listeners. Caller after caller to his Veitch on Sport show condemned SBW for “disrespecting team culture” and making himself “bigger than the game”.

On his Newstalk ZB show – which is, coincidentally , sponsored by BNZ – Mike Hosking said SBW was “potentially undermining all that sport stands for,” though even by Hosking’s own logic it could only be sponsored professional sport being challenged.

Hosking said SBW’s outstanding talent and profile gave him the clout to set his own terms and conditions – and Hosking knows all about special rules for special talent.

In 2012, TVNZ had to create a special policy to ensure he didn’t talk about Sky City on air, because he had a commercial relationship with the company TVNZ had been unaware of until The Herald on Sunday reported it.

Get that?  By not wanting to be a walking corporate billboard he is disrespecting team culture.  And clearly the game is all about the corporate sponsors and if you don’t accept this you are undermining what rugby stands for.  Have we really been that badly brainwashed that some of our population think that the national game is completely intertwined with and subservient to corporate interests?

You would think that BNZ would be up in arms about this.  But wait

Did SBW break any rules?

No. Most professional rugby players have had the same right of conscientious objection in their contracts for about ten years, and in any case BNZ said it wasn’t bothered by SBW covering up its logo. New Zealand Rugby general manager Neil Sorensen told Morning Report SBW had already opted out of promotional work for All Blacks sponsor AIG, and other top players had opted out of promoting fast-food maker KFC because of concerns about obesity in the community, or even their own whānau.

So Veitch and Hosking are both not only expousing strange views on the relationship between the national game and corporate sponsors  but they are also wrong about the legal situation.

They seem to think that the corportisation of sport is a good thing.  I am not so sure.  In terms of playing numbers rugby is but a shadow of its former self.  My impression is that there are now a few feeder teams delivering further talent to the professional sport.  At a grassroots level the sport now lacks the vibrancy and parochialism that soccer has.  If you said this 30 years ago people would have called you crazy.

Note to Veitchy and Hoskin even if your personal contractual arrangements are dominated by and dependent on corporate interests  there are a few areas of life that are not and should not be so dominated.  And this is actually a good thing.

108 comments on “Kia kaha Sonny Bill Williams”

  1. Ad 1

    Well observed Mickey.

    Far better as a person to be fluid across disciplines. Great moral principles stemming from religious conviction.

    And unlike McCaw, didn’t allow himself to be anointed national godhead with his own film, hometown statue, celeb wedding on Womens Day, and personal industry. Our own Ali.

    Williams and McCaw both outstanding dedicated athletes, with contrasting approaches.

    The test for Williams is how he transitions out of competition and into the next phase of his life.

    I wish him well.

  2. gsays 2

    Cheers Mickey, I have been loathe to comment on sbw here as often the reaction to positive rugby opinion can be over the top.

    Sbw has/is a freakishly talented athlete in both the rugby codes.
    He has grown up in the glare of media spotlight.

    I, too, find his stance around sponsorship to be refreshing and grounded in principle.
    All the nay-sayers opinions, are based on weak, money based attitudes therefore simply negated.

    Doesn’t hurt that he brings a few more bums on seats for pure eye candy purposes. (Cheeky wink here).

  3. Tuppence Shrewsbury 3

    I support SBW in his stand. It is his right to choose through freedom of association.

    I’d like to think however that his morals extended to his paycheck and he refused a percentage proportionate to what BNZ, IAG et al contribute. Sadly, knowing the avaricious nature of his manager Khoder Nasser, I doubt this is the case.

    So if he’s biting the hand that feeds him it’s probably more SBW attention seeking.

  4. Vaughn 4

    Vietch and Hosking… zzzzz

    • Once ..whatever 4.1

      …. and Garner and Richardson (that ex cricket guy, in case you’re wondering) too – both suggesting he should take a pay cut. Apparently on the basis that its all about sponsorship and money, rather than his abilities as a sportsman.
      Who’s more the ‘whore(s)’? (you must not bite the hand that feeds you, despite your beliefs and principles apparently).

      @Richardson and Garner: bow down, face Flowers Street and the corporate logo +hr=e – forget anything about the 4th Estate go-een forward.
      And when you do, can you show us a selfie of it?

  5. One Anonymous Bloke 5

    Hosking & Veitch worship the market. Williams, a sky fairy.

    Not exactly great foundations to build ethics on.

    • The problem is under some wide definition of worship where markets and sky fairys are in the same ring then, what do you worship? If you answer wiith truth or something then that it is as absurd as the other examples. If you say you worship nothing then we’ll classify that with not wanking ☺ crew.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1.1

        Lao Tsu said: “I trust in my senses”, and “dwell in the fruit, not the flower”.

        • Incognito

          I wonder whether Lao Tsu would have liked carrion flowers.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            He meant respect results, not rhetoric.

            • Incognito

              Of course, this seems to suggest a very narrow idea of what is rhetoric, which I find ironic given that his quotes are scattered everywhere and used and abused out of context on a daily basis.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Whereas this specific quote re: fruit and flowers comes from the chapter of the Tao te Ching concerning religion, so is entirely apt in this context.

                Thanks all the same.

                • Incognito

                  Who am I to argue about religion with a man who has been dead for a very long time? That said, I think that religion can provide an excellent ethical framework; the free-market ideology not so much. In fact, I go further and say that the slow and progressive loss of religious moral values goes hand-in-hand with the steady rise of neoliberalism. As Max Harris says: we need more values.

                  You’re welcome.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Religions are certainly very good at claiming the credit for existing ethical frameworks.

                    It was a problem in Lao Tsu’s time too.

                    • Incognito

                      Are you saying that ethical frameworks were subrogated by religions to suit their purpose? Do I hear heresy?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Technically it would be closer to apostasy, except I didn’t recognise their authority in the first place.

                      And yes, it is manifestly so, as any decent examination of the history of books and writing attests.

                    • Incognito

                      Technically, you’re correct, but you already knew that, of course.

                      Currently, we are presented with a moral/ethical vacuum that is filled with neoliberal surrogate ‘values’ and we need a re-evaluation of our values or lack thereof. If it is not to come from religion it begs the question where will it come from?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Humanism, as usual.

        • marty mars

          I trust in my senses therefore mistrust in my senses.

    • weka 5.2

      I don’t know. This sounds sensible to me,

      “According to Islamic law, you can’t use money to make money – it has to be from legitimate trade. It is prohibited to accept interest or fees for loans of money.”

      (from your link below).

      • One Anonymous Bloke 5.2.1

        Unfortunately it’ comes with a large helping of mumbo-pocus.

        Is it really “rent” as we understand the term? A landlord is responsible (or at least should be) for the upkeep of rented property. Do sharia banks come and fix the guttering?

        • weka

          One person’s mumbo-pocus is another person’s inspiration /shrug.

          I was meaning more the principle of money should come from actual useful things not simply from accruing money.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.2.2

        It is prohibited to accept interest or fees for loans of money.

        And yet there’s this thing called Islamic Banking that does, essentially, both of those.

  6. Neil 6

    Surely SBW has money in a interest paying bank account or interest paying investments??? now he wouldnt be earning interest if the banks didnt charge interest on loans???

  7. mauī 7

    You couldn’t hope for better cut through on the topic of bank interest and getting people thinking about all that automatic profit that is extracted from NZ.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1

      Once they discover that a sharia mortgage means you pay rent to the bank (on top of the capital repayments) while you pay it off, they might realise there’s nothing to be gained by it.

  8. BM 8

    Williams is a clown.

    Paying “rent” is no different than paying interest, the key point here though is no ones getting free money.

    • adam 8.1

      And here comes the corporate trolls. On ya BM. Always a beacon to the sycophants in these troubling times.

    • weka 8.2

      from OAB’s link above,

      “According to Islamic law, you can’t use money to make money – it has to be from legitimate trade. It is prohibited to accept interest or fees for loans of money.”

      Rent is paying money for legitimate trade (you get a house in return).

      • One Anonymous Bloke 8.2.1

        According to many, rentiers are as big a problem in this economy as banks.

        Couple (a) buys a house for $100k according to sharia law. They pay the bank $20k per year for five years plus $3k per year in rent.

        Couple (b) buys a house for $100k from the BNZ. They pay the bank $20k per year for five years plus $3k per year in interest.

        Looks like semantics to me.

  9. tinfoilhat 9

    i can remember similar mutterings when Michael Jones stopped playing on sundays.

    Storm in a teacup stuff that will pass as people find something else to moan about.

    • Red 9.1

      Big difference MJ actually sacrificed something for his religion, he forgo a number of tests by not playing Sunday’s, SBW is forgoing nothing. He is still been paid indirectly by his sponsors he boycotts and missing no rugby, irrespective of mumbo jumbo of religion jones stance was far more principaled

      • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1.1

        He is still been paid indirectly…

        Seen his contract have you? Neither have I, but it looks like BNZ have, and are happy with the situation.

        What he does with his money is between him and his sky fairy, ie: none of our business.

        • Red

          Agree just contrasting the Mj and Sbw stands re personal sacrifice to principals, no problem with sbw stand, up to blues bnz to protest, otherwise who really cares

  10. Ethica 10

    I don’t follow rugby but I have been impressed by SBW in recent years as someone with a mind of his own and ethics. Speaking up against corporates – great. He has done great work in his UNICEF ambassador role too.

  11. Guerilla Surgeon 11

    I don’t care what it is, if Hosking’s agin it – I’m for it.

  12. David Mac 12

    This has all gone rather well for the BNZ marketing dept and their agency. A vox pop question in the street 2 months ago…”The Auckland Blues play with a sponsor’s name on their collar, who is that sponsor?” Fast forward to today and ask the same question. I think Sonny Bill has multiplied the benefit of BNZ’s marketing investment x 10.

    Not because he thumped someone in a bar or up-ended 24 cans on the way to England. He has gained the exposure because he has integrity. Banks like to be seen associating with integrity.

    • McFlock 12.1

      BNZ have actually done a good PR job in a month of stunningly shit PR efforts around the globe.

      Having their logo replaced with plunket was a freaking brilliant idea from the “let’s be human and reach agreement” side as well as the purely mercenary “minimise PR damage” perspective.

      • newsense 12.1.1

        Yep- it is a massive win-win for all the parties involved in the club. Not so for those trying to throw 1950s angst.

  13. Skeptic 13

    As is usual for talking heads – Retch and fosking – neither of whom have a working brain cell between them – they’ve got it completely wrong. Even the Press – a paper that I only read to see what the enemy is thinking – got this one right.
    SBW has it written into his contract about who he wears and doesn’t wear on his sports uniforms. Apparently BNZ are actually supportive of his stance and his religious convictions.

  14. McFlock 14

    To be fair, a partner-bashing fuckwit knows all about controversy, and a so-called journalist with a massive conflict of interest knows all about potentially undermining what they stand for.

    And yet neither of them can recognise integrity, for some reason…

  15. newsense 15

    Veitch and Hosking can’t understand the idea that there might be things that make you turn down money.

    Both of them have a fairly chequered and controversial record.

    Another thing about this SBW, Blues and BNZ is the professionalism it has been handled with.

    Beat up jounros need BS to bleat about, and try and make something out of nothing.

    • Muttonbird 15.1

      Veitch and Hosking can’t understand the idea that there might be things that make you turn down money.

      This. As a result of earning your living from profile, sponsorship, and endorsement, those two are dumbfounded that anyone might question that authority.

  16. Draco T Bastard 16

    The reason he did this is that promoting a bank that charges interest on loans is incompatiable with his Muslim faith.

    Not compatible with Christianity either. I particularly like this one:If your brother becomes poor and cannot maintain himself with you, you shall support him as though he were a stranger and a sojourner, and he shall live with you. Take no interest from him or profit, but fear your God, that your brother may live beside you. You shall not lend him your money at interest, nor give him your food for profit.

    And yet, despite that, many National Party supporters and MPs call themselves Christians while cutting payments to beneficiaries and forcing students into debt to live.

    or Buddhism:

    The common translation seems to point to the phrase, ‘gain upon gain’.

    “One discerns wrong livelihood as wrong livelihood, and right livelihood as right livelihood. And what is wrong livelihood? Scheming, persuading, hinting, belittling, and charging interest. This is wrong livelihood.”

    So, that would be the three main religions of the world that hold that usury is bad.

    Capitalism is based entirely upon usury.

    Have we really been that badly brainwashed that some of our population think that the national game is completely intertwined with and subservient to corporate interests?

    Wouldn’t surprise me as it’s business that rules through the politicians and it’s business that censors what we see in the MSM.

    Note to Veitchy and Hoskin even if your personal contractual arrangements are dominated by and dependent on corporate interests there are a few areas of life that are not and should not be so dominated.

    No areas of life or society should be dominated by corporate interests. Corporate interests should always come secondary or even tertiary to life and society.

    It is by putting corporate interests first that has brought about climate change, the ongoing destruction of the ecosphere and the increasing poverty that we see around us and the world.

    • ropata 16.1

      +1 DTB, Veitch and Hosking are media whores who live and breathe to sell whatever shit their corporate sponsors are peddling. SBW is like a splinter in their minds, representing an alien and incomprehensible value system that’s not centred on Money.

    • mosa 16.2

      Superbly put Draco.

    • Gosman 16.3

      Ummm… that suggests someone who is poor shouldn’t be offered loans not that interest shouldn’t be charged on any loan to anyone.

      • Draco T Bastard 16.3.1

        You should go read the whole list:

        Withholds his hand from iniquity, takes no interest or profit, obeys my rules, and walks in my statutes; he shall not die for his father’s iniquity; he shall surely live.

        In other words, don’t be a RWNJ.

        • Gosman

          Ummm… that is from Ezekiel. If you are going to use OT verses to argue what should and shouldn’t be allowed then be prepared for the whole stoning adulterers and gays argument.

          • Draco T Bastard


            The New Testament embraces both Jew and Gentile. Id. at 3.

            The New Testament continued the prohibition of usury: “In the fullness of time the Messiah came, and no part of the moral law was abrogated. The prohibition of usury as to the Jew was extended, to include mankind, and the permit as to the stranger was declared inoperative and void. The Jew was taught to sympathize with strangers remembering that they were once strangers in Egypt.” Id. at 9-10.

            Jesus taught (Luke 6:34-35) “love ye your enemies, and do good and lend, hoping for nothing again.” Id. at 10. Usury was the basis for Jesus’s calling the money changers thieves: “The commerce of the world is conducted on principles as much at variance with the teachings of the master, as are the practices of a sneak thief or burglar. So the Master taught, as with whip of cords, he indignantly drove its representatives, from the sacred precincts of the Temple, denouncing them as thieves. Every well-informed mind knows that the money changers in the Temple, on that startling occasion, were at the very center of the Jewish Banking system, and of the pitiless and grinding commerce of Palestine.” Id. at 19.

            So, it seems that the New Testament also prohibits usury.

  17. He converted to the faith of Islam in 2008 while playing in Toulon. Up until then he had been involved in different incidents of low level inappropriate behaviour clearly fueled by alcohol. But since converting to Islam he has been an exemplary citizen.

    People always relate these “turned his life around” stories as though they were good news, inspirational in some way. I just find them annoying. Their subject is a person who can do the right thing only because he’s taken up an authoritarian ideology and is convinced a supernatural supervisor has commanded him to obey and is constantly watching to monitor his obedience. They describe someone who was a stranger to ethics and now proves himself a stranger to reason as well. The best you can say about these stories is that at least the schmuck is behaving himself now, but that’s a dispiritingly low bar to set for a human.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 17.1

      …and that’s discounting the possibility that the entire redemption narrative is bollocks from the get-go. Must we accept without question that he was a schmuck prior to the lobotomy?

      Anyhow, well said.

    • ropata 17.2

      I think you’ll find that in most cases a decent bloke is still a decent bloke with or without religion. Just like a religious arsehole would still be an arsehole without a theological metanarrative of the meaning of life the universe and everything.

      If SBW has aligned himself to Islam of his own free will because he admires its ethics then that’s OK isn’t it? As long as he doesn’t go for the nutty side of Islam, he’s a pretty good example of a ‘normal’ Muslim

      • Psycho Milt 17.2.1

        I personally find the idea of someone converting to Islam because they admire its ethics horrifying, but YMMV.

        • ropata

          Muslims, like Christians, have varying interpretations of the Scripture, and SBW’s ethics are probably more cultural and founded in a caring community rather than some inhuman ideology.

    • Incognito 17.3

      Your dualism creates an insoluble problem for you. Why the mockery and name-calling? Cheap words that achieve nothing but scorn & ridicule.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 17.3.1

        Mockery is a perfectly valid rhetorical response to false claims, especially now the church isn’t allowed to burn people alive any more.

        • Incognito

          Somebody’s faith is deeply personal but feel free to call it “false claims” to justify mockery if that’s the intent. True, mockery has its place & time in rhetoric when it adds to or aids the strength of the persuasive argument but it adds nothing when it is just mocking for the sake of it; this becomes anti-rhetoric and just displays contempt and intolerance often based on barefaced ignorance.

      • Psycho Milt 17.3.2

        There’s a problem I can’t solve? Actually, there are many, but none of them arise from that comment.

        There are two reasons for the mockery and name-calling:
        1. This is a blog comments thread, not afternoon tea at the vicarage.
        2. I find unreason and irrationalism fit subjects for mockery. On occasion I exhibit them myself, and mockery ensues. It’s all fair enough.

        • Incognito

          TBH I use mockery too but more often than not consider it unnecessary and infantile afterwards. I guess I am projecting this onto you for which I apologise.

  18. Cricklewood 18

    Good to see the NZRU are comfortable and make allowance for players not wishing to support certain sponsers.
    Seems to me its only news due to SBW not communicating his wishes and the covering the labels with tape. Im sure an alternate strip would have been provided had he asked prior to the game.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 18.1

      Since his wishes are in his contract, I can’t see how he failed to communicate them.

  19. timeforacupoftea 19

    ( One Anonymous Bloke rote 8.2.1
    17 April 2017 at 2:59 pm
    According to many, rentiers are as big a problem in this economy as banks.

    Couple (a) buys a house for $100k according to sharia law. They pay the bank $20k per year for five years plus $3k per year in rent.

    Couple (b) buys a house for $100k from the BNZ. They pay the bank $20k per year for five years plus $3k per year in interest.

    Looks like semantics to me. )

    I agree with what you say “One Anonymous Bloke”
    From a red blooded older womans point of veiw on SBW,
    I have always thought of him as Sissy Bill Williams kind and considerate.
    Willaims Sister has more testosterone than he.

    On Hoskisns,
    A jumped up short little twat,
    with not much between his ears,
    he makes our family spew on sight with a flick of the remote he is gone.

    On Veitch,
    A evil violent predator,
    Never listened to him since he was sentenced

  20. BM 20

    Is Islamic banking a fractional reserve banking system.

    Of course it is. At one end you have sellers of the Islamic Banking brand claiming that the Islamic system is so different from the conventional one and then you have poor little buyers of these products wondering what is so different aside from the Arabic names.

    Let me reiterate, the Islamic Banking System is a fractional reserve banking system where money is CREATED very much like in a conventional system

  21. peterlepaysan 21

    Once again veitch and hosking have drawn attention to their awesome intellects that attract advertisers. Sigh.

    In comparison both the NZRU and the BNZ look rather sensible

  22. tc 22

    Hoskins and Vietchy; shock jocks with highly questionable ethics and court proceedings to back that up.

    Ignore the media whores, it’s what annoys them most.

  23. Cinny 23

    Proud of you SBW. Last week I heard commentators saying… why has he just started doing this, he didn’t have a problem with logos last season and so on, those kind of comments really pissed me off, are people not allowed to change as they learn more.

    It’s called personal growth, maybe the commentators should try it some time.

    Hosking is nothing more than a has been who props up a gambling institution (Sky City). SBWs logo actions shines a light on Hoskings lack of morals.

    But SBW did not cover or change his collar logo for fame or fortune, no it’s deeper than that, it’s about setting a good example to others when you are in the spotlight. Kudos to him for supporting an organisation that is important to all NZer’s, Plunket

    • Gosman 23.1

      Would he be willing to take a pay cut for his religious beliefs?

      • mac1 23.1.1

        Adherents of religions tend to value other than material things, Gosman- giving, caring, you know, that sort of thing. Status is derived from things other than income or wealth. Doing good is different from doing better. And of course I’ll always win this argument because he who does not believe and act so is not a true adherent of a true religion……..

        • Gosman

          Except SBW has been known to ditch agreements in an attempt to get a better commercial deal for himself so he isn’t above following the money.

          • mickysavage

            That was pre Toulon days.

            • Gosman

              No, it was the Toulon days. He moved to Toulon after ditching his previous contract with the Caterbury Bulldogs. He did this with the full support of his manager Khodar Nasser who alongside Anthony Mundine (who also is managed by Nasser) was one of the reasons SBW converted to Islam.

              • Cinny

                How long ago was that Gosman? Around seven years ago maybe? People change as they learn, it’s called growth and it’s healthy, just in case you missed my point.

                • Gosman

                  SBW doesn’t think his motivation behind what he did back then was wrong, just the actions he took as a result.


                  • Cinny

                    Thanks for the link to an article from back in 2012.

                    SBW has grown so much in the last five years. Proud of him for his recent actions.

                    I wonder what personal growth you have achieved in the last five years Gosman? As for me I’m learning more and evolving everyday, just like SBW is 😀

                    Yay for personal growth, there will be much personal growth happening the day after the spring equinox.. standby NZ, it’s going to be all shades of awesome 😀

              • mickysavage

                My point exactly. The decision to go to Toulon occurred before he was actually at Toulon and when he decided to convert to Islam.

          • The New Student

            He didn’t ditch purely for commercial reasons, everybody knows that. It’s no secret.

          • mac1

            Gosman, you did specify religious beliefs and SBW’s salary. I responded to that query. Of course he can go chasing the best contract that such a talented and effective player can get.

            The two situations are different- what a player can get for his contract, and what a player will accept in line with his religious beliefs being affected in terms of his conscience.

            Don’t go moving the goal posts. It’s too easy to score an own goal that way……

    • The New Student 23.2

      Well-said cinny. SBW has raised but one important point for us all to ponder and he did so in a non-violent, non-confrontational manner. The public domain are all talking about it, both online and off. It’s great too see. I look forward to more of this.

  24. Tanz 24

    Considering he has been paid huge sums of money from the corporation, his behaviour is belligerent and ungrateful. He signed up to be an advertisement, and was paid much dosh for it, so if he has now changed his mind, why does he not return the big fat cheque? Not exactly acting in good faith.

    • ropata 24.1

      I doubt his contract states any requirement to be a walking billboard, his job is chasing a ball and smashing into people

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    15 hours ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    20 hours ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    22 hours ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    2 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    3 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    4 days ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    4 days ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    4 days ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    4 days ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
    4 days ago
  • Further details of Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visit to New Zealand
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed further details on the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s visit to New Zealand next month. Their Royal Highnesses will visit New Zealand from 17-23 November – their third joint visit to New Zealand and first in four years. They arrive in Auckland ...
    4 days ago
  • O’Connor in Thailand to push for RCEP deal
    Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth and Minister of Agriculture, Damien O’Connor, heads to Thailand today to attend the final Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial meeting, as negotiations enter their final stages. “The RCEP Agreement would anchor New Zealand in a regional agreement that covers 16 countries, ...
    4 days ago
  • Young Pacific people can access earning and learning opportunities in Hawke’s Bay, Otago and South...
    Pacific young people living in the Hawke’s Bay, Southland and Otago regions will have access to support services that have proved successful in helping young people find new earning and learning opportunities. “Tupu Aotearoa is about changing Pacific young peoples’ lives. Our young people are talented, they are smart, they ...
    5 days ago
  • Protecting wellbeing – ACC HQSC Trauma Forum
    Introduction As the Minister for ACC I thank you all for the work that you do supporting New Zealanders in their literally most vulnerable moments. From those who hold people’s lives in their hands, to the people who research technique, technology and trends, your work is highly valued. A special ...
    5 days ago
  • NZ economy in good shape – notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch
    Notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch – Wednesday 9 October 2019 Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There ...
    5 days ago
  • World Mental Health Day a reminder of the importance of mental health work
    Minister of Health Dr David Clark and Associate Minister of Health Peeni Henare say this year’s World Mental Health Day theme is a reminder of why the Government’s work on mental health is so important. “This year the World Federation for Mental Health has made suicide prevention the main theme ...
    5 days ago
  • Cultural Ministers Meeting
    Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni will represent the government at Australia’s Meeting of Cultural Ministers in Adelaide this week. “This year’s meeting is special because New Zealand is expected to become an International Member of the Meeting of Cultural Ministers at this Australian forum,” Carmel Sepuloni said. “The meeting is an opportunity to ...
    6 days ago
  • 608 claims resolved by GCCRS in first year
    The Greater Christchurch Claims Resolution Service has resolved 608 insurance and EQC claims in its first year in operation, Minister Megan Woods has announced. The government service, which celebrates its first birthday today, provides a one stop shop to help Cantabrians still battling to get their homes repaired or rebuilt ...
    6 days ago
  • NZ economy in good shape
    Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There has been an increasing amount of attention paid to the outlook ...
    6 days ago
  • NZTA to refocus on safety following review
    The Government is acting swiftly to strengthen NZTA’s regulatory role following a review into the Transport Agency, and Ministry of Transport’s performance as its monitor, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. An independent review by Martin Jenkins has found NZTA failed to properly regulate the transport sector under the previous ...
    6 days ago
  • Joint Cooperation Statement on Climate Change between the Netherlands and New Zealand
    The Netherlands and New Zealand have a long-standing and close relationship based on many shared interests and values. We value the rule of law, our democracies, and multilateralism.  And we value our environment – at home and globally. Right now there are major global challenges in all of these areas – ...
    7 days ago
  • Government putting right Holidays Act underpayment in Health
    The Government is putting right a decade’s worth of underpayment to nurses, doctors and other health workers, says Health Minister Dr David Clark.  Initial sampling of District Health Boards payroll records has found that around $550-$650 million is owed to DHB staff to comply with the Holidays Act. It’s expected ...
    7 days ago
  • Government accounts show strong economy
    A strong surplus and low debt show the economy is performing well, and means the Government is in a good position to meet the challenges of global economic uncertainty. “The surplus and low levels of debt show the economy is in good shape. This allows the Government to spend more ...
    7 days ago
  • Ministers approve application to expand Waihi mine
    New applications from mining company OceanaGold to purchase land in Waihi for new tailings ponds associated with its gold mines have been approved. Minister of Finance Grant Robertson and Associate Minister of Finance David Parker considered the applications under the Overseas Investment Act. Earlier this year, applications from OceanaGold to ...
    7 days ago
  • Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla launches with tribute to tangata whenua
    New Zealanders in Tūranganui-a-Kiwa / Poverty Bay will witness Māori, Pākehā and Pacific voyaging traditions come together today as the Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla assembles for the first time, Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti Minister Kelvin Davis says. “Tuia 250 is a national commemoration and an opportunity for honest conversations ...
    1 week ago
  • Visit to advance trade agenda with Europe and the Commonwealth
    Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker leaves tomorrow for Dubai, London and Berlin for a series of meetings to advance New Zealand’s trade interests.  In Dubai he will visit New Zealand’s Pavilion at Expo 2020 where construction is underway.  There he will meet Minister of State for International Cooperation, Her ...
    1 week ago
  • More cancer drugs confirmed – even more on horizon
    Confirmation that PHARMAC will fund two new cancer drugs is further evidence of the good progress the Government is making to improve the treatment of New Zealand’s leading cause of death, Health Minister David Clark says. From 1 December PHARMAC will fund alectinib (Alecensa) for ALK positive advanced non-small cell ...
    1 week ago
  • Boost for women in high performance sport
    An additional $2.7 million has been announced for the Government Strategy for Women and Girls in Sport and Active Recreation on the first anniversary of the strategy’s launch. Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson gave the opening address to the first Sport NZ Women + Girls Summit in Wellington today, ...
    1 week ago
  • Parent support to help retain skilled migrants
    As part of its work to ensure businesses can get the skilled workers they need, the Coalition Government is re-opening and re-setting the Parent Category visa programme, Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. The move will: support skilled migrants who help fill New Zealand’s skills gaps by providing a pathway for ...
    1 week ago
  • Senior NZDF Officer to lead Peacekeeping Mission in the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has today announced Major General Evan Williams of the New Zealand Defence Force has been selected as the commander of a significant, longstanding peacekeeping mission in the Middle East. In December, Major General Williams takes over as Force Commander for the Multinational Force and Observers ...
    1 week ago
  • Nurses star as Govt rebuilds health workforces
    A record number of nurses are now working to deliver health services to New Zealanders as the Government’s increased funding and new initiatives rebuild key workforces start to show results, Health Minister Dr David Clark says. •    1458 more DHB nurses since the Government took office •    106 more midwives ...
    1 week ago
  • New agricultural trade envoy appointed
    Farmer and former Nuffield scholar Mel Poulton has been appointed New Zealand’s Special Agricultural Trade Envoy, Minister for Trade and Export Growth, David Parker, and Minister of Agriculture, Damien O’Connor, announced today. The position supports key Government objectives, including raising the value of New Zealand agricultural goods and services. Mel is ...
    1 week ago
  • Pacific and Māori voyaging heritage celebrated for Tuia 250
    New Zealand’s Pacific and Māori voyaging heritage is acknowledged and celebrated today as waka of the Tuia 250 voyage flotilla arrive in Tūranga / Gisborne. “Today we celebrate Tangata Whenua, the first people of Aotearoa, and the triumphs of the voyaging tradition that brought our ancestors here from Polynesia 1000 ...
    1 week ago
  • Pacific languages are a root from which prosperity will grow
    “Fijian Language Week starts on Sunday and the theme reminds us how important it is that we each have something to anchor ourselves to, something that can help us pause and feel in control in a rapidly changing world,” says Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio. “Family, culture, faith, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • NZ Government establishes innovative, industry-focused Airspace Integration Trials Programme
    The Government is establishing an Airspace Integration Trials Programme to support the safe testing and development of advanced unmanned aircraft and accelerate their integration into the aviation system, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods announced today. The Government will work with leading, innovative aviation industry partners to test and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Safety upgrades and certainty for Ōtaki highway
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today welcomed the NZ Transport Agency’s decision to fund urgent safety improvements and confirm the designation of the Ōtaki to North of Levin highway. Safety upgrades will be made along 23.4km of the existing state highway, running along SH1 from the end of the Peka Peka ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Playing our part to support refugees in our region and the world
    New Zealand playing its part in Asia-Pacific and globally are behind changes announced today to the Coalition Government’s three year refugee quota policy, Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. “We are proud to be a welcoming and inclusive nation committed to supporting some of the world’s most vulnerable people to rebuild ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Supporting thriving inclusive communities
    Creating thriving regions and inclusive local communities is the aim of the Welcoming Communities programme being rolled out across the country, says Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway today. A successful pilot of the scheme ran over the last 2 years led by Immigration New Zealand and involved ten councils across five regions ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Takahē population flying high
    Takahē may be flightless but their population is flying high with the official count reaching 418 after a record breeding season that produced an estimated 65 juveniles, the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. “The population reaching a high of 418 is great news for takahē which were considered ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand makes further climate commitments
    New Zealand is today taking action to reduce the potent global warming hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) gases, Climate Minister James Shaw and Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage announced today. “The global agreement to reduce these potent greenhouse gases is another step in New Zealand’s commitment to reduce global warming. It is estimated ...
    2 weeks ago