Kiwi dream RIP

Written By: - Date published: 1:36 pm, February 7th, 2011 - 33 comments
Categories: housing, wages - Tags: , ,

We used to be the half gallon quarter acre pavlova paradise. Owning your own home was the foundation of the “Kiwi dream”. Now it seems that we’ve let that dream slip further out of reach than almost anywhere in the world.

Late last month there was plenty of coverage of the international survey that ranked New Zealand housing as severely unaffordable. Houses in some areas, such as Auckland, are less affordable than New York:

The ideal income-to-loan ratio is around three times an annual salary. But in New Zealand it takes 5.3 times the average annual salary to pay for a house. In Tauranga it takes 6.5 times the average annual salary and in Auckland 6.4 times. In New York, it’s 6.1.

When you can’t afford your own home renting becomes the only option. At the same time the recession has triggered a significant slowdown in the rental property supply. Inevitably, a crisis in the rental market is emerging, as this report on the Auckland situation describes:

Rental market madness

Demand for rental property in Auckland is at crisis point, with some houses now attracting as many as 200 would-be tenants.

Desperate tenants are often having to spend months searching for a place to live, and some even engage in bidding wars. Landlords are sitting pretty.

This site for Kiwi landlords sets it out bluntly:

Housing pressures change the face of rental market

The black clouds of widening house affordability look like having a silver lining for landlords as a whole new demographic, priced out of home ownership, moves into private rental accommodation.

How should the government be responding? Taking the advice of the Savings Working Group would be a good start — implement more significant tax changes to remove the distortions that favour housing as an investment. Stop beating about the bush and bring in a capital gains tax (beyond the family home). Expand the state house building program. These measures would help reduce the cost of housing. But the missing piece of the puzzle of course is to address the other component of the affordability ratio. Wages have got to rise. And we’re never going to get that from a National government.

33 comments on “Kiwi dream RIP”

  1. Landlords are indeed sitting pretty.

    As rental prices continue to increase, tenants have less disposable income to save for their own homes. Meanwhile the housing bubble continues, making home ownership an even more impossible dream. Tenants are rendered entirely vulnerable to the whims of their landlords – and should those whims include hiking their rent, or selling the house, there’s precious little they can do about it.

  2. Lanthanide 2

    Actually the real situation is probably even worse.

    New York might have a ratio of 6.1, but the absolute numbers also matter. For example, if the average wage is $150,000, the cost of the house would be $915,000. But most of the rest of cost of living does not scale as dramatically with house prices – food in New York probably isn’t much more expensive than food in Auckland, same with electricity and water etc. So this means that although you are on a higher income and your house cost is also higher, you will also have proportionally more of your income leftover as discretionary income after you’ve paid your basic costs of living which could go towards saving for a deposit or paying the mortgage off more quickly. Also consider that many New Yorkers don’t own cars and therefore don’t pay for petrol, which would go a ways towards lowering their cost of living compared to Aucklanders.

    Then also consider tax – if you end up paying more tax in Auckland, then it squeezes disposable income even further.

    It would nice to see the house unaffordability index based on after-tax after cost-of-living expenses, and we’d probably see Auckland even higher up the list – but other cities like Sydney might rise even faster. This would actually reflect reality a lot better than using a straight average salary does, but is (as usual) much more difficult to compute.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      Also consider that many New Yorkers don’t own cars and therefore don’t pay for petrol,

      No, they pay for public transport instead although that is likely to be cheaper than a car.

      • Lanthanide 2.1.1

        A lot of them simply walk for many trips, as well – very dense infrastructure.

        Mainly I was highlighting the petrol factor though – oil prices generally don’t affect the price of subway tickets in the same way they affect car usage.

  3. Shane Gallagher 3

    Funny – those are all Green policies… 🙂 What is Labour proposing?

    captcha: “desire” – appropriate.

    • George D 3.1

      Not a repeat of year after year of double figure house-price increases, like we saw for the last decade?

      We can live in hope.

  4. patriot_nz 4

    We need a capital gains tax asap. We also need to get the overseas speculators out of our housing market. We can never compete with people from China etc. This is also a problem in Australia- read the comments under this article in the Melbourne Age http://www.theage.com.au/business/property/developers-court-overseas-buyers-amid-fears-of-greater-urban-sprawl-20110206-1aihd.html

    Much anger and fear there.How far away is the revolution? Or will Australia and New Zealand quietly pass into Chinese ownership with no opposition at all.

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    Expand the state house building program.

    Into high rise apartment buildings. I suspect that there’s a lot of people who have no need nor want to own a house and so renting is a viable option for them. The problem is that people making a profit from renting is not a viable option for the country as it just results in a massive transfer of wealth into an unproductive sector.

    • clandestino 5.1

      Been saying this for years. NZers have got to get used to apartment living if we are going to have compact and sustainable cities. As the young people and single pro’s move into central areas they lower the cost of housing in suburbs by lowering rental demand and thus rental returns for landlords. This is good news for families who want the backyard for the kids.

      • Lanthanide 5.1.1

        The earthquake may be providing CHCH with a great opportunity to do this, as land is cleared in the central city. With the potential peak-oil future strongly encouraging dense population centres, this earthquake may have been a useful blessing for CHCH.

        • joe90 5.1.1.1

          NZers have got to get used to apartment living if we are going to have compact and sustainable cities.

          meh..!

          The architectural drafts for the public housing estates prepared by the distinguished Austrian architect Ernst Plischke make it clear that Auckland would have been no dreary replica of East Berlin, but an internationally celebrated model of sophisticated urban design.

          The Auckland That Never Was, with its collective lifestyle centred around sturdy, rent-controlled public apartments, and its efficient, publicly-owned rapid-rail networks, would have had a very different political and cultural complexion. Essentially, it would have been a social-democratic city.

  6. Jeremy Harris 6

    Capital Gains Taxes haven’t reduced house prices overseas and they won’t here…

    Increase in the supply of land and reduction of pointless Council regulations such as minimum parking requirements (that force sprawling development) are required…

    • Shane Gallagher 6.1

      That is not the aim – it is best to have the house prices flatten for about 10 years or so. That way you do not get negative equity and trap people.

      The principle aim is to move investment away from property which is non-productive into productive economic enterprises (eg. building windmills, electric vehicles, super efficient boilers – just to name a few Kiwi innovations). So you put your capital into developing the economy, rather than creating property price bubbles.

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.1

        Shane, house prices flattening for 10 years or so means that a NZ’er on the median working wage still has no show of buying a house for many many years, unless they have parents who can cough up a $30K deposit on their behalf.

        Better for house prices to deflate ~2% p.a. over that time year span.

        As for the negative equity situation, don’t worry about it. the regulation that should be undertaken is simple –

        1) Banks are not permitted to create a mortgage where the payments exceed the likely market rental of the property by more than say 1.5x.

        2) All mortgages are without recourse. The home owner can walk away from the mortgage by handing the keys to the bank. There is no such thing as an owner being trapped under water.

        That last point means if the bank has been idiotic enough to allow someone to buy a house for far more than its real worth – or the bank hasn’t done its due diligence on what the underlying value of the asset is, too bad, its screwed.

        NB all Govt bank guarantees shall cover depositers funds only. Not bad bank debts.

        In this environment, watch the debt selling behaviour of the banks turn around.

        • Lanthanide 6.1.1.1

          “1) Banks are not permitted to create a mortgage where the payments exceed the likely market rental of the property by more than say 1.5x.”
          Impossible to implement. Who decides what the rent for any specific house is? Is the process open to appeal? Some houses may be in poor living conditions and just need a lick of paint, or need some extensive remodelling and therefore may not be attractive for renting, but perfectly reasonable to buy for $x price that the bank won’t lend to you because of the bad rent prospect.

          Frankly #2 would be sufficient to solve the problem, but then everyone would simply go out and buy as many houses as possible because there’s no downside – they can’t lose.

          • RedLogix 6.1.1.1.1

            Who decides what the rent for any specific house is?

            Actually no. One of the things property valuers regularly do is appraise ‘imputed rental values’.

    • KJT 6.2

      No, probably not by much, but it would make the tax system fairer and help direct investment away from speculation..

      Jeremy may have to start paying tax.

      Increasing the supply of state housing is the proven and economical way of reducing house prices.

      So is increasing wages so relative prices are lower.

      Banning foreign ownership and adding transaction/land taxes will also help.

      • Colonial Viper 6.2.1

        A significant stamp duty on houses which are flipped will push speculators out of the market. That will cool pricing down significantly.

        Say 7.5% duty on any house sold within 12 months of purchase. One such duty free transaction allowed every five years.

        I’m not sure how people can say that a CGT will not reduce the rate of house price increases as it can significantly weaken the business case/ROI for investing in property.

        • Lanthanide 6.2.1.1

          If you are determined to be selling houses for a living, that is you’re a property trader, you’re already obliged to pay GST. IRD have been cracking down on it for the last couple of years.

          • Herodotus 6.2.1.1.1

            There are legislation already in place to catch manty traders in prop. There just is no urgency in ther IRD to chase or pollys to fix up the short commings in properity.
            e.g. Buy house and landfrom owner occupier for $500k as a rental, value house at $300 and land $200k. then at a later date Sell to another owner occupier for $600k. The new owner does not care about the split (as did original owner), so signs S&P agreeemnt specifing that house is $250k and land $350k. Speculator writes off $50k depn and pockets $100k capital gain. So in fact makes after tax $115k. This happens more than many here are aware. And this is just 1 fiddle, there are many others. Nat has achieved more than Lab in reducing the rorts.For me there is far more work to be done, and Nat did not go far enough, but they did venture further than Labour !!!
            A month or 2 on LINZ database would very quickly see trends of trading by cross ref names and addresses with frequency of land sold. Wrote to Cullen oin this and at the time got the stand ministers flob off, and that we(Lab) are doing something . Yeah we all know turning a blind eye.

      • Jeremy Harris 6.2.2

        Jeremy may have to start paying tax.

        I would if I was stupid enough to invest in real estate (and non-commercial real estate at that)…

        Already pay more than my fair share…

    • prism 6.3

      Jeremy Harris – The usual recipe, pity it doesn’t rise.

  7. Herodotus 7

    The house affordability index since Nat has become the govt improved. Mainly from the drop of interest rates 08 floating rate 10.4% today it is 6.1-6.8% depending on the institution
    http://commerce.massey.ac.nz/publications/property/115856HomeAffordSept2010.pdf
    So Rob I am confused as that this was of little concern when such stats were trending up pre 08? And that some in the industry were worried as far back as 04 that the housing bubble was of concern, then it continued unabated for another 3+ years, and the marginal correction in price had not really occurred to the extent as that of Great Britain and US.
    The greates road block within the uindustry is to get land zoned for development. Within the 99 ARC planned expansion of Auck, land designated for zoning still was taking 8-9 years to pass all the requirements. And for unzoned land to be granted zoning 10 years before a sod is moved. To the uninitiated 10 years of holding costs on the land + costs to attend hearings is extremely large, let alone development cont and the cost to construct stormwater quality ponds etc.
    No easy fix

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      No need to be too confused Herod. as I am sure you know. The answer is that LAB didn’t do very much to stop the inflation of the property asset bubble, nor the decline in home affordability.

      And frankly, why is no one asking if it makes any sense at all for NZ to have 40% of its population living within 50km of Queen St, AKL. Because that’s the way it is going.

  8. MrSmith 8

    Some random thoughts.

    So where to make cuts in the cost of housing.

    Labour? builders get shit money now for this back braking work, anyway it is only a small percentage of the overall cost of a house.

    Materials/ commodities ? the cost of Materials is and will only keep increasing especially as oil is going up.

    Land ? well in-case you haven’t noticed they stopped making this a while ago plus there are huge risks & costs involved in developing land, sewer/power/stormwater/roads/consents.

    Cheap money at 30 year fixed rates is what we need, bring the banks to heel now.

    P/s
    after thought:
    Also houses in new zealand are mostly cheap crap, they only have to last 50 years minimum so in true capitalist stile they start falling apart at 51 years.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      Now, why would you want to make cuts in the cost of building a new house?

      Better to have the state own and build a quality house which is going to last for 75 years, and to set a rental on it which breaks even, including depreciation/maintenance over a similar time.

      Agree with you re: cheap fixed rate mortgages but where the total sum which can be loaned has to be directly related to the likely rental value of the house (stops huge loans being given out for shit housing during property bubbles). KiwiBank would be the perfect conduit.

      • prism 8.1.1

        CV Really good point about having a stable rising cost – is it called amortisation? and concentrating on breaking even for rentals. The calculations of value of house would also be kept realistic. Much of the cost of housing is from numerous sales with each person taking a profit.

        I started off with a 5% mortgage, could have been 3% but we were working at second jobs so pushed our earnings up. Nice house. Was a good start. An excellent savings project. If we had rented we would have spent too much money on consumer stuff, alcohol etc. and found it hard to accumulate cash.

      • Tel 8.1.2

        I agree totally with the idea of a quality constructed state owned rental, especially if this were to be medium to high density development in the inner parts of our cities. I’m not confident we have the capability within the private sector architectural community to do high density development, certainly not to an acceptable standard to last 75 years. Funding would be easy enough for a couple of projects, simply by canning the Jkeyll Expressway to Puhoi.

        What is needed is for a state run group of architects similar to the old Ministry of Works to carry out the work. Relying on the private sector to carry out state work has been a miserable expensive failure of the highest order, and nothing has changed (regardless of all the talking up of The Licensed Building Practioner Scheme) that is going to make any difference. Look no further than the 1.5 billion dollar leaky school bill to understand this. I trained within the Education Board Architects division before they were all wound up, so I’m only too aware of how badly designed and constructed school buildings have been since the private sector took over. End result: Profit is put ahead of common sense and standards plummet.

        “Kiwi Dream RIP”… the reality is I don’t think it will rest peacefully.

  9. As the initiator and co author of the Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey (7th edition released 24 January) http://www.demographia.com , it is clear to me, the author of this article and the posters have not bothered to read it.

    Sadly – this is called the “Clark / Cullen Housing Bubble” because the previous government stood idly by, allowing it to happen unnecessarily. Pumped housing up from around the $300 billion mark to $640 billion late 2007, when it all started to tank. And its still tanking, wiping jobs out big time. And this is only the start of it.

    The last Labour Government loved the inflating housing bubble, so they could take Kiwis to the cleaners for another $30 billion a year in taxes as well. Have Government services improved by $30 billion?

    Do read Michael Lewis recent Vanity Fair article on Ireland “When Irish eyes are crying” – just so that you all know what you can look forward to, thanks to Clark and Cullen.

    Do read Leith van Onselen http://www.unconventionaleconomist.com article today “Disparate groups slam Australia’s housing affordability’. There is real fear in Australia now. Even the Greens and Church groups are waking up there.

    Hugh Pavletich
    Co author – Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey
    http://www.PerformanceUrbanPlanning.org
    Christchurch

  10. SPC 10

    When the private sector market is not working – is failing to meet housing demand rising with migration (actually slower emigration to Oz), the public sector is supposed to respond – to keep the market functional and to maintain an equibibrium in the building sector to protect jobs (and prevent future inflationary impact of shortages) and maintain economic activity to sustain its own tax revenue flows. It’s such an obvious win win, it’s scarecly credible that a government so incompetent as to fail to work this out could ever be electable in the first place.

    There needs to be government borrowing to build new homes in Auckland, once the homes are built they can be sold and the debt repaid. The revenue flows to government outweigh the cost of the loans. There is then no actual cost to this investment in retaining skilled workers and holding down house prices so that they remain affordable to local workers.

    • SPC 10.1

      I just realised, maybe an Auckland housing shortage is supposed to apply rising rent cost pressure on people to look for work in Oz – this is Keys employment programme transfer surplus workers across the Tasman …. No wonder he raises the issue of Australian growth being hit by adverse climate events in relation to our own (his governments) well-being.

  11. millsy 11

    It will get worse when the government brings in time limited tenances for state houses in July.

    Already it is near on impossible to even *get* a rental in the Auckland area, let alone afford rent, or even buy a house, with a land agent in the Herald yesterday admitting that finding a rental house is more or less like finding a job, process wise.

    With the rugby world cup coming up, combine with state housing tenants being pushed into the private market, its not going to be pretty.

  12. SPC 12

    I wonder if Housing Corp has been asked to profit from the lucrative World Cup market to increase their return on cpaital?

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Government to progress Control Orders for community safety
    The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill will have its first reading in Parliament today, Justice Minister Andrew Little says. “The control orders Bill will mean our community is better protected from the risks of the very small number of New Zealand citizens who have engaged in terrorism related activities overseas. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • World-first plan for farmers to reduce emissions
    The Government and farming sector leaders have agreed to a world-first partnership to reduce primary sector emissions in one of the most significant developments on climate action in New Zealand's history. Today farming leaders and the Government announced a plan to join forces to develop practical and cost-effective ways to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • More homes where they are needed
    More houses for homeless New Zealanders are being opened today in Tauranga by Associate Housing Minister Kris Faafoi. Six 2-bedroom quality units are being opened at 878 Cameron Road by Minister Faafoi and Accessible Properties, a local Community Housing Provider (CHP). Accessible Properties now provides more than 1,700 community housing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Minister of Finance and Sport and Recreation to visit Japan and Vietnam
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson departs tomorrow for events and meetings in Japan and Vietnam.  While in Japan, he will discuss economic and fiscal issues including meeting with the Minister of Finance, Taro Aso, and Minister of Economic and Fiscal Policy, Yasutoshi Nishimura. He will meet with the Minister of Education, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Dashboard tracks housing progress
    The Government’s Housing Dashboard released today confirms record numbers of state houses are under construction and shows the Government build programme is gaining momentum.  “After nine years of inaction, and a hands-off attitude from the previous government we’re starting to see things move in the right direction for housing,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Ministerial Statement on the International Convention Centre fire
    Mr Speaker, I wish to make a ministerial statement relating to the Auckland fire. The Government is closely monitoring the situation with the fire at the NZ International Convention Centre and is thankful that everyone is now safe. Firefighters are doing an incredible job managing the fire and bringing it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government invests in Te Reo, environmental data research
    The Government is investing in ambitious research that will digitise Te Reo, grow the low-carbon protein efficient aquaculture industry, help interpret environmental trends, and large data sets says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. The four projects range from teaching Siri to speak Te Reo to crunching large environmental ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government announces next steps as part of a comprehensive plan to fix skills gap
    A new education-to-employment brokerage service to strengthen connections between local employers and schools. Funding for more trades focused ‘speed-dating’ events to connect schools with employers. Promotional campaign to raise profile of vocational education. The Government is taking action to increase the number of young people taking up vocational education and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Corrections Amendment Bill passes third reading
    A Bill to improve prison security and ensure the fair, safe, and humane treatment of people in prison while upholding public safety has passed its third reading. Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says the Corrections Amendment Bill makes a number of changes to ensure the Corrections Act 2004 is fit for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Ngāi Tahu CEO appointed to NZ-China Council
    Minister for Māori Development, Nanaia Mahuta, has selected Arihia Bennett MNZM, Chief Executive Officer of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, as the Te Puni Kōkiri appointed representative on the New Zealand-China Council. The New Zealand-China Council (the Council) was established in 2012 as a New Zealand led and funded organisation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Southern Response claims move to EQC
    Responsibility for processing the small number of Southern Response claims still to be settled will be transferred to EQC by the end of the year. “As claim numbers reduce, it no longer makes sense for the Crown to have two organisations processing the remaining Canterbury claims,” Grant Robertson says. “Since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Bowel screening starts in Whanganui
    Health Minister David Clark is encouraging Whanganui residents to take up the opportunity for free bowel screening, which can detect cancer early when it’s easier to treat.   Over the next two years 12,000 Whanganui locals, aged 60 to 74 will be invited to participate in the National Bowel Screening ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Pacific Peoples Minister to attend Our Ocean Conference in Norway
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, heads to Oslo today to represent New Zealand at the sixth Our Ocean Conference, which is being hosted by the Norwegian Government from the 23-24 October. “The Our Ocean Conference mobilises real action on issues like marine plastic pollution and the impacts of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government announces 27 percent increase in Trades Academy places
    Two secondary-school initiatives are being expanded as part of the Government’s plan to see more young New Zealanders take up a trade to help close the skills gap.   This includes the largest single increase in Trades Academy places in recent years. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures Conference: Connection...
    Session 4: Pacific Connectivity – Youth, Media and New Opportunities   Kia ora tatou katoa and Warm Pacific greetings to one and all. Representatives of Tainui, the local people of the land, or manawhenua – the indigenous peoples of this area – have welcomed you this morning in accordance with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago