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Killing Them Softly With…

Written By: - Date published: 10:24 am, June 11th, 2018 - 48 comments
Categories: benefits, capitalism, child welfare, class, class war, food, welfare - Tags: , , , , , ,

The 1991 “Mother of All Budgets” led to welfare reforms that are responsible for Aotearoa New Zealand’s growing poverty and inequality.  The reverberations of those reforms are reflected in our current negative statistics and the numbers of families living in hardship.

That hardship began during Labour’s reforms of the 1980’s, escalating in 1991, when the National government slashed welfare benefits.  These cuts averaged a loss of $27 per week per beneficiary. While that figure may seem minuscule in today’s terms, back then it was a significant portion of one’s food budget but the real value escalates when one factors in other living cost variables (see this inflation calculator to compare).  Graham Riches provides a good analysis of the rationale and consequences of those welfare cuts.

When deciding the new benefit rate in 1991, the government relied on the Otago University Department of Human Nutrition Food Cost Survey to set benefit rates. However, when using the Food Cost Survey, the economists did not inform the Otago researchers why they wanted the information, which would have altered the information they provided to the government (for reason outlined in the above link).  Not only did the economists take the lowest food budget costings (which could not be sustained over a longer period, and was not adequate to provide a nutritionally viable diet), they then slashed the amount by 20 percent to set the baseline amount for people receiving welfare benefits.

Those benefit cuts were set at a rate that ensured that beneficiaries could not sustain a healthy diet and led to a flourishing food bank industry. An industry which some writers argue not only entrenches food poverty/food insecurity but also creates co-dependency between food banks and food bank users.

New Zealand’s growing poverty and inequality (see Rashbrooke 2013 for example),  means more and more people live with the effects of significant food insecurity and are reliant on food banks to survive and those numbers are increasing year in and year out according to stats coming from some of New Zealand’s major  food banks. Those most affected are  beneficiaries, women, children, Maori and Pasifika families.

With a large number of families now reliant on food banks to survive, it is concerning that food bank parcels do not guarantee a nutritious or adequate diet for families (both in terms of quality and quantity). This  has been noted in studies both overseas and in New Zealand, showing families often received nutritionally inadequate food from food banks.

There is considerable evidence available showing the impact that poor diet has on people’s physical and mental health. Some of these health issues include chronic health conditions, cancer, heart disease, obesity (this contradiction is explained here),  depression and suicide. For children, the picture is very grim indeed, with impacts including, behavioural problems, poor learning outcomes as well as a myriad of health issues all of which have negative long term consequences.

Given what is generally known about nutrition and health, it is not surprising that the now regular use of food banks, on top of inadequate financial support over the long term is compromising people’s health. In fact, those people, unable to access adequate nutrition over the long term, are slowly but surely dying before they ought to.

There is no doubt in my mind that food insecurity in New Zealand is a direct result of the earlier mentioned economic and welfare reforms and those reformists knowingly cut benefit rates to a level that they knew could not adequately sustain anyone reliant on welfare benefits. Successive governments (supposedly on opposites sides of the political spectrum), have done very little to alleviate the plight of New Zealand’s poorest families. Given what we know about the link between those reforms, poor diet and health outcomes, I do not think it is unreasonable to accuse those Governments of deliberate but surrepticious genocide of the poor.

Meanwhile, we have a flourishing and expanding food bank industry, no doubt trying their best to alleviate the worst impacts of poverty, but making no apparent difference in changing the systemic causes of the problems they see day in and day out. It is unfortunate that through their kindness they may even be responsible for entrenching food bank use and devolving the government of  its responsibilities to our most vulnerable citizens. Sadly, while the food bank may be alleviating the worst effects of food insecurity, they may, through their kindness, also be complicit in supporting a system that is slowly killing people living in poverty.

48 comments on “Killing Them Softly With…”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    If the effects of these policies were sped up, they would be seen more clearly for what they are: a civil war.

  2. Gosman 2

    Once again with this idea that NZ has had increasing poverty and inequality over the recent past (i.e last 20 years). Both the poverty rate and inequality have been largely flat since the early 2000’s. There was a blip in inequality after 2008 but it has largely come back to where it was.

    • AsleepWhileWalking 2.1

      Dunno where these figures are from but unless you factor housing in you cannot properly assess equality.

      • Gosman 2.1.1

        I agree that housing affordability is a massive issue and one that needs to be addressed. However I have yet to see anything on this front that will help here. Even giving more money to those suffering the impacts of the housing supply issues won’t resolve those same supply issues. You just make the cost of housing greater.

    • koreropono 2.2

      Interesting you seem to think you know more about inequality than people who actually do know about it – not sure where you get your info or which measures you choose to use. As with all stats they can be misleading, misused or abused (for example: https://i.stuff.co.nz/business/money/100211825/Unfair-wealth-divide-hurting-middle-NZ . Thankfully we have other sources of information available to inform our thinking http://www.inequality.org.nz/understand/ , perhaps you need to do some more research? Meanwhile, homelessness is on the rise, food banks are handing out more food parcels than ever before and even working families cannot afford basic living costs. So maybe you should go tell them families how inequality has flattened out since early 2000 besides the little blip in 2008, but not to worry “it has largely come back to where it was” and then come back and tell us what kind of response you get.

      • Gosman 2.2.1

        Ummm… I think you will find the graph in there detailing the GINI Coefficient backs my point up nicely. Thanks for that.

        • Carolyn_Nth 2.2.1.1

          You don’t seem to have fully understood the details in the links KP provided.

          Yes income inequality rose in the 1980s and 90s, then flattened out – but did not improve, especially not for the lowest 10% who flat lined since then, while the incomes of the highest 10% rose. So we now have the poorest who have been struggling without needed increases in equality, since the 1990s – basically locked into inter-generational poverty.

          Meanwhile, the income inequalities set in the 1990s, fed into increasing wealth inequalities – especially in relation to property ownership.

          From the second link:

          In New Zealand, income (and probably wealth) was being shared out more and more evenly from the 1950s up until the 1980s – but for the next two decades we had the developed world’s biggest increase in income inequality.

          As the graph (at left) shows, in that time, the average income of someone in the richest 1% has doubled, from just under $200,000 to nearly $400,000 (adjusting for inflation). In contrast, the average disposable income for someone in the poorest 10% is only slightly higher than it was in the 1980s. (More details and the source of this graph can be found in Wealth and New Zealand, published by BWB.) That means many New Zealanders struggle to pay their bills and lead a decent life.

          From the first link:

          Income inequality – the measure previous governments have preferred to talk about – increased rapidly in the 1980s and 1990s but then held steady, though income was narrowly defined and did not include wealth derived from rises in asset values like land, homes, businesses and buildings.

          But in a bid to restart economies after the GFC, governments around the world slashed borrowing rates, which boosted asset prices, driving house prices, commercial property, and business values up making the rich richer, Rashbrooke said.

          Wealth inequalities are harder to decrease than income inequalities. Costs of rents are far outweighing rises in incomes.

          • Gosman 2.2.1.1.1

            No, I understand exactly the details int he links provided by KP. They show exactly what I have claimed and do not support the view that poverty and inequality is increasing. Inequality has been broadly flat for the past 20 years and poverty before housing costs has not budged or even slightly improved. It is housing costs that make a big difference to poverty in NZ and that is because not enough houses are being allowed to be built.

      • Tamati Tautuhi 2.2.2

        Gossie is an authority on every subject who pays him to sit on this site everyday prattling his shit ?

  3. AsleepWhileWalking 3

    And those rates COULD be adjusted. But they are not.

    I’ve been watching videos on social housing in Ireland and the UK.

    Shocking to see so many in need and then realise we modeled our system of theirs! In other words they are exhibiting our future.

    I just watched a video where it was pointed out Housing Benefit (UK) was just subsiding the landlords (parallel to Accommodation Supplement).

    We absolutely must stop following the lemmings over the cliff.

    • Gosman 3.1

      We did not model our social housing on the UK model. Their social housing is largely provided by local authorities not the State.

  4. Gosman 4

    Why the use of the term genoicide? There is no indication that the poorer sections of society are being eliminated or even that their life expectancy has fallen since the early 1990’s.

    • koreropono 4.1

      “Why the use of the term genoicide [sic]”

      Because it’s apt and I can.

      “there is no indication that the poorer sections of society are being eliminated or even that their life expectancy has fallen since the early 1990’s”

      Well clearly you are relying on the wrong data, my data is specifically in relation to food insecurity and health and no amount of manipulation of information will negate that fact. If you think you know more than some of the worlds foremost experts, then I look forward to seeing you on the world stage spreading your expertise and knowledge. Meanwhile carry on.

      • Gosman 4.1.1

        You provide the links then that supports the claim that a genocide is taking place then. You do know what genocide means don’t you?

        • McFlock 4.1.1.1

          If you’d clicked on the link, you wouldn’t need to ask. It’s in the post, should you desire further information.

          • Gosman 4.1.1.1.1

            Do you really think genocide is an appropriate choice of word to use in relation to poverty in NZ McFlock?

            • McFlock 4.1.1.1.1.1

              I think that if one wishes to emphasise the deliberate nature of how policies over the last thirty years were intended to make poverty an unsurvivable situation, it’s strong but reasonable.

              Sure, it’s not conducive to dialogue with tories who like to think of themselves as “firm but fair”, using punitive measures to shove people into a more successful life (putting the “kick” in “kickstarter”). But as much as gritting one’s teeth and sitting down with them might deliver minimal advances for the little kiddies, the fact is that the unhealthy and terminal nature of poverty is a feature of capitalism, not a flaw.

              ISTR that the life expectancy for poor people was comparable to smoking – even controlling for smoking rates. Poverty kills, even in NZ.

              • In Vino

                Well said McFlock. Gooseman’s tendency to be punctilious about some simplified point will not help him to cope with your reply.

        • Orlando 4.1.1.2

          1080 Poison is classed as 1A extremely toxic by the World Health Organization. 1080 alias Agent Orange/ Sodium / Mono Fluoroacetate is rated as one of the highest poison in the world. It can kill all breathing animals, birds, insects and is now poisoning up to 1000 year old trees. 1080 Baits contain the Poison Fluoroacetate. Fluoroacetate does not leave the Environment. It is absorbed by the sap of plants and the soil into the water table. It poisons everything that breathes air!! Our Food and Water resources are at risk! 1080 has gone through our environment and is now hurting human beings! An average 1080 poison drop has the potential to kill at least 20 cows, per hectare! Scientists estimate over 20,000 deer are killed by 1080 poison every year in New Zealand! For over 15 years, the NZ servant settler govt has been systematically dropping massive amounts of 1080 laced food over our forests. The killing of Possums by 1080 poisoning is estimated to be a loss of $NZD100 million annually. 1 teaspoon full is enough to kill over 100 people. A Match head’s worth is sufficient to kill one person. NZ drops into its forests about 4000kg of pure 1080 per year enough to kill 20million people! On a per acre basis , that is 350 times more 1080 than Australia and 22,000 times the rest of the world. Since ERMA (Environmental Resource Management Act) approved the continued use of aerial 1080 in NZ, the quantities released into our environment have increased. 1080 has no Taste, 1080 has no Smell, 1080 has no Antidote! Wipe out the natural food chain and feed our people shit! Monsanto/Bayer set up camp in Taranaki and the South Island…genetically modified food chain on its way! Whats the baby gonna eat ? Whats the toddler gonna eat? Whats our kids gonna eat 2-4-years time? Genocide is 1080! 1080 is Genocide eat that one!…Many of US subsistent dwellers live and survive on our lands, forests, lakes, seas. UNDRIP Article, 29 Article 32….etc

  5. Antoine 5

    Powerful and heartfelt argument.

    Could be strengthened a bit by using more up-to-date references. For instance you say “more and more people live with the effects of significant food insecurity and are reliant on food banks to survive and those numbers are increasing“. I suppose when I read that I expected that ‘increasing’ would be a link to a reference from the last year or two, but in fact it goes back to 1995. In fact none of the references in that para are more recent than 2015.

    A.

    • Gosman 5.1

      Exactly. However apparently he knows experts in this area so all good.

    • koreropono 5.2

      Oh A. It’s always good to be kept on ones toes, but I did not think more recent links were necessary given the wide press that food banks have been getting over recent months, perhaps you don’t read, or watch the news then? Never the less here’s some stuff just for you: http://www.salvationarmy.org.nz/sites/default/files/uploads/20180126tsa_annualreport17.pdf Salvation Army’s 2017 Annual Report shows a 3% increase in food parcel distribution. I have no doubt that the ACM food bank will also show increases (as it has done year in and year out for a number of years). Or there have been quite a few recent articles about increased demand on food banks, for example https://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/98585763/rising-living-costs-seeing-more-families-turning-to-food-banks or https://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/99034498/rise-in-working-people-relying-on-charities-for-food-as-living-costs-soar or this http://www.salvationarmy.org.nz/research-media/media-centre/business-news/demand-helps-online-foodbank-expand, perhaps you like graphs, this may help you http://nzccss.org.nz/publications/vulnerability-report/ – though it may irk you that their last report was in 2016. It’s not that hard to find this information, I am surprised you couldn’t do this yourself, maybe next time you could give it a try.

      • Gosman 5.2.1

        So your entire argument for increased poverty and inequality relies on increased use of Food banks does it?

        • koreropono 5.2.1.1

          So your entire reading comprehension is not as developed as others? You are so silly Gosman, surely even you know that what you are suggesting above is not what I have said. Are you making shit up in your head again?

          • Gosman 5.2.1.1.1

            Where’s your links to actual poverty statistics rather than just anecdotal accounts of increased usage of charities? They do collect data in this area you know or do you rely on your ‘experts’ to tell you everything?

            [Your bullshit is crossing a line Gosman. If you disagree with the OP, then argue what you have issue with – preferably with some coherence and not just with pointless sloganesque statements, and either way, without the snide.] – Bill

            • Gosman 5.2.1.1.1.1

              I’d be more than happy to stick to discussing facts and figures rather than having to discuss anecdotal accounts. By all means let’s focus on them please and then I won’t have to try and counter other people’s opinions.

            • McFlock 5.2.1.1.1.2

              Did you not see the links where food bank use was mentioned?
              Or did you choose to not click on them?

              AFAIK, most of your stupid queries are at least partially addressed by the links in the post where those subjects were mentioned, yet your demands for evidence and queries on the nature of reality give no indication that you’ve bothered to look closer.

              The post itself is self-contained and concisely written, but should you wish to explore any issue more deeply, the author has supplyied a copious amount of links.

              • Gosman

                One of the links was basically stating that the demand to provide stuff TO foodbanks was higher than expected. It seems quite probable that KP just did a google search on Increased demand for Foodbanks and dumped the results here.

                • McFlock

                  The other two, if we’re talking about the same section, were to annual reports, with at least one of those reports containing five year statistics of food bank use including by type of food parcel. Exactly what you were whinging about, in other words.

                  So it seemed quite probable to me that you’d made little to no effort to look at any of the links in the post and were just trying to disrupt a thread with a Cartesian Canter (like the Gish Gallop, but with irrelevant epistemiological questions rather than irrelevant doc-dumping).

                  • Gosman

                    My problem with his statistics is that is all around Foodbank use and not about any other statistics that are collected around this topic most of which is actually more useful.

                    • McFlock

                      For a post substantively concerned food insecurity, this should not be a surprise.

                      Again, seems that you didn’t really read the post, and yet a lack of comprehension has not inhibited your ability to waste time and space.

                      Not so much “Dr Who” as “Dr WTF?”

                    • Tamati Tautuhi

                      Reading your comments yesterday by B/S meter here at home was alarming regularly during the day, perhaps you need to do some editing of your comments b4 posting as you are starting to piss some people off on this site.

                      Why don’t you, Alwyn, Puckish Rogue, & Baby Gaga f off and set up your own Bog Site ?

                • Tamati Tautuhi

                  Gossie is your main line of work economic analysis or nutrition and sociology ?

      • Antoine 5.2.2

        Hey KP

        Those are some better links.

        My perspective is that the change in the last few years is largely about rents going up so that there is not much left for food. Let’s hope that fixes to the housing market, will spill through to the rental market, making all low income people (whether working or on a benefit) better off.

        A.

        • koreropono 5.2.2.1

          Rising house costs are of course part of the problem (which has been included in poverty analysis for years), but all of these problems (including increased housing costs) were triggered by the economic reforms of the 80’s and 90’s. That said, I think if you were to watch Bryan Bruce’s documentary of the topic you may get some more insight re the current ‘fixes’ to the housing crisis being proposed by Government – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzSAmOQuyjU&feature=youtu.be

  6. Ad 6

    Korero you clearly live in a world of which I know little, and do honourable work within it.

    Your writing is always heartfelt and full of essentially humane and reasoned arguments.

    Keep at it. It’s great to feel people like you are defending the rights and needs of the powerless. This site is all the richer for it.

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    Poor People Have To Spend More On Toilet Paper Than The Rich: Study

    A study out of the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business found that poor people spend more on toilet paper than rich people do. But the reasons behind the trend extend to other household items, and further demonstrate how it’s actually expensive to be poor.

    Low-income households typically spend more on toilet paper because they don’t have the cash to fork over to buy in bulk, which would save money over time, the study noted. So, instead of spending $24 on 36 rolls of toilet paper, an underserved person is more likely to spend $7.50 for eight rolls, even though it actually costs more.

    Not being able to stock up also means having to buy toilet paper exactly when the need presents itself. These consumers, in turn, can’t time their purchases to coincide with a store’s sale.

    “Our findings suggest it’s not that poor households can’t do the math or are financially inept,” Orhun told CNN Money. “They can be frugal. They take the better deal, when they can afford to.”

    I remember when energy saving light bulbs came out and they cost nominally $20 each. They’d save more over their lifetime but there was absolutely no way that the poor could afford to buy them. The same pretty much applies now as well. Energy saving light bulbs cost dollars whereas the old type costs cents.

    The poor are, quite literally, forced into living more expensively.

    Meanwhile, we have a flourishing and expanding food bank industry, no doubt trying their best to alleviate the worst impacts of poverty, but making no apparent difference in changing the systemic causes of the problems they see day in and day out. It is unfortunate that through their kindness they may even be responsible for entrenching food bank use and devolving the government of its responsibilities to our most vulnerable citizens. Sadly, while the food bank may be alleviating the worst effects of food insecurity, they may, through their kindness, also be complicit in supporting a system that is slowly killing people living in poverty.

    Yes. All indications are that charity is bad for society and ends up costing more. Thing is, this what all the suggestions of the rich right-wing do. We get less for more. The rich get richer though as they skim that ‘more’.

    Our system is legalised theft and it’s the rich stealing from the rest of us.

    • McFlock 7.1

      There are a couple of good descriptions of situation of poverty being more expensive than wealth – there’s Vimes’ “Boots Theory” (as written by Terry Pratchett) where, over time, the poor person spends as much as or more on low-quality boots as the rich person, but for much of that time still has wet feet while the poor person has dry feet;

      and there was an old Andy Capp cartoon where Andy is trying to roll a large barrel of beer through the door, while Flo is pushing back on the other side saying “we can’t afford to ‘save’ that much!”.

      Hell, I hit a new level of ease when I could finally afford to pay my power bill on time – and regularly received a 15% discount for doing so. As soon as I could afford the higher costs, they got cheaper.

    • Andrea 7.2

      On the delicate subject of toilet paper:

      if you buy the budget rolls (2 ply) it is likely you will get through the roll much faster than if you bought a posher product simply because (ewww alert) you have to use more to avoid a bathroom embarrassment.

      The rolls of more expensive and thicker paper actually lasts much longer because you can use less each time.

      Based on personal experience… so no link can be provided. 🙂

      • Tamati Tautuhi 7.2.1

        Can you please supply some supporting data to support the above statements I go for the Budget 2 ply in either the 12/24 or 48 pack, I think you will find that works out to be more cost effective. I will run some spreadsheets today to support this otherwise Gossie will pull me up on these unsubstantiated claims ?

      • Draco T Bastard 7.2.2

        Worked that one out a long time ago when working for a contractor that did the city’s toilets. The contractor, of course, bought the cheapest, thinnest toilet paper available and it was obvious that anyone would need to use screeds of the stuff for it to work and thus not saving anything.

  8. soddenleaf 8

    One way to hide inflation is to lower quality. An attack on regulation lowers the standards of food. Heat treatment, use of chemicals to turn rancid meat…

    Neolibs hate the poor, if they deny it, it’s because they just too stupid to care. As society runs much more efficiently with well fed people. When the food industry demands to remove regulation, not only do introduce species decimate herds, shit from herds reduce water quality, but food stays longer and has less value. win win win for financial sector, lose lose lose for farmers, society, and tax payers. Yes the strange nonsense of the Nats is that they save taxpayers by cutting regulation and losing taxes.

    Farmers who vote nAtional now that’s dumb.

    • Gosman 8.1

      Do you have any evidence that food quality standards have decreased in the past 30 years?

  9. Belladonna 9

    I have heard the daily allowance for elderly in Rest Homes is around $1.60 per person.
    How is this amount adequate to feed anyone? Is anyone able to confirm this is correct?
    Just ridiculous if this is the case.

  10. Belladonna 10

    Does anyone know what the daily food allowance is? My understanding is that it is not adequate for a nutritious diet.

  11. DB 11

    Why do you folks even bother replying to Gosman. Save us all the wasted effort having to read replies to his eternal prattle. This whole thing is Gosman vs everyone. Ignore him the Standard is fast becoming crap and you keep feeding into his obviously asinine trolling. I’ll try log on and reading in future but if it’s what I’ve been getting lately, I’d rather not.

    There’s debate, then there’s this dickhead.

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    1 day ago
  • NZ’s trade aims advanced at Davos meetings
    A proposal to cut “trade and production-distorting subsidies” in the agricultural sector by 2030 has set out important measures to ensure a fair agricultural trading system.  Speaking after attending meetings of trade ministers in Davos, Switzerland, Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker welcomed the joint proposal from the ...
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    1 day ago
  • Great news for New Zealanders with cystic fibrosis
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says he is delighted that PHARMAC has struck a provisional deal to fund Kalydeco – a medicine which is set to improve the quality of life for about 30 New Zealand children and adults with cystic fibrosis. “While rare, cystic fibrosis is an awful inherited ...
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    1 day ago
  • New Zealand least corrupt country in the world
    New Zealand has regained its position as the least corrupt country in the world for the second time under this Coalition Government, says Justice Minister Andrew Little. “New Zealanders can be proud that our reputation as one of the least corrupt countries in the world has been restored,” says Andrew ...
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    2 days ago
  • Boost for Rēkohu/Wharekauri/Chatham Islands Community Conservation
    Community conservation in Rēkohu/Wharekauri/the Chatham Islands is receiving a boost, with grants to support local projects announced today by Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “Rēkohu/Wharekauri/ the Chatham Islands are home to 20 per cent of New Zealand’s threatened bird species and 11 per cent of New Zealand’s threatened plant species. ...
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    2 days ago
  • Rātana Pā goes high-tech with UFB
    Iwi, hapu and visitors to Rātana Pā near Whanganui now have access to ultra-fast broadband following its connection, completed in time for annual Rātana celebrations, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The connection and associated hardware were funded from the Provincial Growth Fund’s $21 million Marae Digital Connectivity programme, ...
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    2 days ago
  • Govt’s strong financial management acknowledged
    The Government’s strong financial management and plan to future proof the economy with new infrastructure investment has gained further recognition from an international ratings agency. Credit rating agency Fitch has upgraded one of its main metrics assessing the Government’s books, lifting its foreign currency AA rating outlook to ‘positive’ from ...
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    2 days ago
  • Boost in Whānau Ora funding to keep changing lives
    Whānau throughout New Zealand are set to benefit from an extra three million dollars that will go directly to Whānau Ora Commissioning Agencies, the Minister for Whānau Ora Peeni Henare announced today.  Including previous funding boosts, the Agencies will now receive $87 million this year between them.  In Budget 2019 ...
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    2 days ago
  • More people getting into work
    The December quarter benefit numbers released today show the Government’s plan to get people off the benefit and into work is starting to pay off,” Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni said.   “Nearly 19,000 people cancelled their benefit and went into work in the last few months of the year – ...
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    2 days ago
  • Wairoa gets up to $6.1m to rebuild heart of CBD
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing up to $6.1 million to revitalise business and tourism opportunities in Wairoa, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The PGF is funding: Up to $4.8 million for the Wairoa Integrated Business and Tourism Facility Up to $960,000 for the ...
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    3 days ago
  • Major Events support for creative and cultural events
    Creative and cultural events that highlight New Zealand’s diverse culture and build national pride are set to get a funding boost through the Major Events Fund, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. The new Creative and Cultural Events Incubator, which is funded through the Major Events Fund, will open ...
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    3 days ago
  • Classroom internet in hundreds of schools to get a boost
    The Government has begun a massive IT upgrade to provide more seamless internet access to 200 schools around the country. Te Mana Tūhono – Technology in Schools work programme will launch with a pilot of 10 smaller state schools early this year. IT equipment that gives students access to the ...
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    3 days ago
  • Construction workforce, apprenticeships hit record highs
    Working with industry and committing to rebuild New Zealand’s infrastructure has produced a record high number of Kiwis working in the construction industry and learning trades, says Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa. New figures available today from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Tertiary Education ...
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    3 days ago
  • NZ concludes digital economy trade talks with Singapore and Chile
    A new trade agreement concluded today helps New Zealand exporters and consumers take advantage of opportunities from digital trade.    Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker together with Chile’s Vice Minister of Trade Rodrigo Yañez and Singapore’s Minister of Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing, have announced conclusion of ...
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    4 days ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund to fund Waipukurau cultural development and tourism
    The Ngā Ara Tipuna -  Waipukurau Pā Site Interpretation project will receive $2.798 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to create an authentic cultural tourism experience, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today “The project will inform visitors about the history of six pā sites in Waipukurau with a combination ...
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    4 days ago
  • 21 new judges boost diversity, improve access to justice
    Twenty-one new District Court judges have been appointed in a move that will improve access to justice and boost diversity on the bench. The new judges include replacements for retirements and 10 new positions. Attorney-General David Parker today announced the 14 judges who can immediately be named, with the remainder ...
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    4 days ago
  • Puhinui to Auckland Airport in 10 minutes
    Aucklanders are another step closer to getting rapid transit to the airport, with the start of construction to upgrade State Highway 20B to the airport, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. SH20B will be upgraded with additional lanes in each direction, dedicated to bus and high-occupancy vehicles between Pukaki Creek ...
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    4 days ago
  • Advancing New Zealand’s trade agenda focus of Europe meetings
    World Trade Organisation reform, agricultural trade and a free trade agreement with the United Kingdom will be the focus of Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker’s visit to Europe this week. David Parker leaves on Tuesday for a series of meetings in the UK and Switzerland that aim ...
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    5 days ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit counterparts in US and Canada
    The Minister of Defence, Ron Mark, departed today for the United States and Canada where he will meet with his counterparts.  While in Canada Minister Mark will meet with his counterpart, Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan.  “New Zealand and Canada are close friends, and share an instinctive like-mindedness on ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government to deliver family carers $2000 pay rise, expand scheme to spouses this year
    The Coalition Government is delivering this year the changes to Funded Family Care the disability sector has long-asked for, says Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa. “Today we are announcing the details of our big changes to Funded Family Care, including an annual average pay boost of $2,246.40 for funded ...
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    6 days ago
  • Ko te reo kua mū: Piri Sciascia
    Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta joins te ao Māori in their sorrow as they learn of the loss of one of the great orators and spokespersons of a generation – Piri Sciascia.  “The son of Pōrangahau was a staunch advocate for Māori development and served his people for over ...
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    1 week ago
  • Minister opens new ecosanctuary at Cape Farewell
    A new ecosanctuary with a predator proof fence on Golden Bay’s Cape Farewell, which will restore a safe home for sea birds, rare native plants, giant snails, and geckos, was officially opened today by the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “There has been a fantastic community effort supported by the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Pacific partners work together to provide additional support to Australia
    The NZDF continues to support the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as it battles fires in Victoria and New South Wales, including by transporting Republic of Fiji Military engineers from Nadi to Australia, announced Defence Minister Ron Mark. On Saturday morning a NZDF Boeing 757 will depart New Zealand to uplift ...
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    1 week ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive PGF funding: A $9.88 million investment to begin the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Govt accounts in surplus, debt remains low
    The Government’s books are in good shape with the accounts in surplus and expenses close to forecast, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown accounts for the five months to November. The operating balance before gains and losses (OBEGAL) was above forecast by $0.7 billion resulting ...
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    1 week ago
  • Auckland focus for first Police graduation of 2020
    The number of Police on the Auckland frontline is increasing with the graduation today of a special locally-trained wing of new constables. Police Minister Stuart Nash says the graduation of eighteen officers from Recruit Wing 333-5 means that more than 1900 new Police have been deployed since the Coalition Government ...
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    1 week ago
  • Wairarapa gets $7.11m PGF water boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund is putting $7.11 million into creating a sustainable water supply for Wairarapa, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The following two projects will receive Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) funding: A $7 million investment in Wairarapa Water Limited for the pre-construction development of ...
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    1 week ago
  • Progress with new Police station in Mahia
    Community safety and crime prevention in the East Coast community of Mahia has moved forward with the opening of a new Police station to serve the growing coastal settlement. Police Minister Stuart Nash has officially opened the new station, which was relocated almost 20 kilometres along the coast from the nearby ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Plans to protect the future of whitebaiting announced
    With several native whitebait species in decline the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage has today released proposals to standardise and improve management of whitebait across New Zealand. “The need for action for a healthy whitebait fishery has never been greater,” Eugenie Sage said.  “Four of the six whitebait species are ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • New resource for schools to increase awareness and understanding of climate change
    A new Ministry of Education resource available for schools in 2020 will increase awareness and understanding of climate change, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The resource, Climate Change – prepare today, live well tomorrow, will help students understand the effects of climate change at a local, national and global ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Getting more out of our most productive firms
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has approved the terms of reference for an Inquiry into the economic contribution of New Zealand's frontier firms. Frontier firms are the most productive firms in the domestic economy within their own industry. “These firms are important as they diffuse new technologies and business practices into ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • NZDF sends more support to Australia
    The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is sending an Environmental Health Team, a Primary Health Care Team and a Chaplain to Australia, boosting New Zealand support for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as it battles bush fires in Victoria and New South Wales, Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. The ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand joins partners in calling for full investigation into air crash in Iran
    Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Winston Peters says that developments suggesting a surface-to-air missile is responsible for the downing of the Ukrainian International Airlines flight in Iran is disastrous news. “New Zealand offers its deepest sympathies to the families of the 176 victims. It is ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Staying connected to Australian agriculture
    Agriculture Minister, Damien O’Connor, says the Ministry for Primary Industries is continuing to stay connected to federal authorities in Australia as devastating fires affect the country.  “The Ministry is using an existing trans-Tasman forum for discussions on the agricultural impact of the fires and the future recovery phase,” says Damien ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Investment in schools – a commitment to communities
    Thousands of school-age children, their teachers and wider communities are benefiting from the Government’s multi-million dollar investment upgrading and renewing schools, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “We want New Zealand to be the best place to be a child and that means learning in warm, comfortable and modern classrooms,” ...
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    2 weeks ago