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KiwiSaver – what if…

Written By: - Date published: 4:56 pm, February 7th, 2008 - 25 comments
Categories: flip-flop, john key, national - Tags: , ,

Kiwis are showing their canny side in the way we’ve been flocking to sign up to KiwiSaver – now over 400,000 strong and still growing.

It’s another dead rat that John Key has swallowed to make National an electable brand but let’s not forget that in 1975 National abolished Labour’s universal superannuation scheme.

Bryan Gaynor describes a dreadful political decision that…

transformed New Zealand from the potential Switzerland of the Southern Hemisphere into a low-ranking OECD economy.

Without this decision we would now be called “The Antipodean Tiger” and be the envy of the rest of the world. We would have a current account surplus, one of the lowest interest-rate structures in the world and would probably rank as one of the top five OECD economies.

We would still own ASB Bank, Bank of New Zealand and most of the other major companies now overseas-owned. Our entrepreneurs would have a plentiful supply of risk capital and would probably own a large number of Australian companies.

Most New Zealanders would face a comfortable retirement and would be the envy of their Australian peers. The Government would have a substantial Budget surplus and we would have one of the best educational and healthcare systems in the world.

He says the fund would be worth more than $240 billion today and would have transformed the New Zealand economy into a world beater over the past 30 years.

Ouch!

25 comments on “KiwiSaver – what if…”

  1. Gooner 1

    Yeah, and if Labour Prime Minister David Lange didn’t have his ‘cup of tea’ in 1988? we would be in a similar position.

  2. Billy 2

    People get to choose between accepting a bribe of their own money… or not. Most choose accepting the bribe. Bugger me. With a pig.

  3. James Kearney 3

    Yeah, and if Labour Prime Minister David Lange didn’t have his ‘cup of tea’ in 1988? we would be in a similar position.

    No, we’d be Argentina.

  4. Dean 4

    The longer you insist on blaming past National governments for current problems, the more you make your statements just look stupid.

    Because of course, theres nothing Labour governments have ever done that could have contributed, right? Or do you still insist on blaming that on “renegades” while refusing to give National the same leeway?

    Your post is nothing but sad, empty rhetoric.

  5. Leftie 5

    Yup, and its Gooner’s, Billy’s, and Dean’s attitudes that have got us where we are today, starting our Kiwisaver 30 years later.

  6. AncientGeek 6

    I think that the point people are making about the national party in or out of government is that they seem to have an inherent internal contradiction.

    If the free market could do everything as some of the right-wing comments appear to suggest, then we wouldn’t need a government at all. This is exactly what some of the anarchist’s say as well. I’ve never noticed that happening in practice.

    Government is there, in my opinion, to handle the areas that the market does not perform well in. In particular to handle disasters of various types, and to deal with long-term structural issues.

    National in government seems to be too lazy to do the work, preferring to always try to and leave it up to the market. Consequently they have let our society drift towards structural disasters.

    The superannuation issue is a classic example. Muldoon put in a system as a response to the Kirk scheme.

    The Kirk scheme was maintainable over the long-term, as people put money aside for their own retirement on an involuntary basis. Therefore they became less of a burden on the taxpayer when they stopped working.

    The Muldoon scheme transferred the liability of superannuation to future generations. That was inherently unmaintainable of the age structure of the population changed, which it did, and was known it would when the scheme was put into place. It was totally irresponsible for a government to do that, and appears to have been done purely for short-term electoral advantage.

    Similarly the welfare budget cuts by national in 1991 were done to solve a short-term financial issue, and lead inevitably to a long-term problem – generational unemployment and dysfunctional families.

    The same national government at the time didn’t look at the long-term issue of how to increase the number of sustainable high-paying jobs in the economy. They tried to simply let the market do it by playing with the employment laws. Consequently our economy started dropping even faster compared to the rest of the OECD because the market preferred to use low-cost workers from a high unemployment pool, rather putting in the capital investment to increase productivity.

    You can look back to the national governments in the 50’s and 60’s to see the same tendency to drift towards disaster.

    For all of their faults, labour has tended to change things in government looking forward into the 20 year time horizon.

    National governments just ineptly drift into structural disasters, living for today and who cares about tommorrow.

    Of course that is just my opinion…… But it is what I vote on.

  7. The Double Standard 7

    Similarly the welfare budget cuts by national in 1991 were done to solve a short-term financial issue, and lead inevitably to a long-term problem – generational unemployment and dysfunctional families.

    Hmmm, and which party created the financial issue that you now describe as short term?

  8. Aj 8

    We beleive gooners, billy, or deans interpretation of events or believe the consensus views of many of New Zealands most repsected economists. The gulf is very, very wide.

    Capcha – typing with – lol

  9. AncientGeek 9

    TDS: From wikipedia on Ruthanasia.

    Upon winning the 1990 election, Bolger and Richardson quickly became aware of two unrelated financial crises: firstly, that the Bank of New Zealand required an immediate injection of capital to avoid insolvency as a result of the poor performance of a NZ$2.8bn loan portfolio in Australia, and secondly that the outgoing finance minister David Caygill’s projection of a modest fiscal surplus was inaccurate, and that the country instead faced a fiscal deficit of NZ$5.2bn if action were not taken immediately.

    That is pretty accurate from what I remember. The BNZ was an issue because it was guaranteed by the NZ government. The variation in the fiscal surplus was pretty common from the late 70’s to the mid-90’s and wasn’t massively different from the previous 5 years (I’d love to dig out numbers – but it seems to be too old for the web). It is really hard to predict revenue when a country is going through massive long-delayed structural change.

    The question for me is – were the actions taken at the time by the government appropriate? The government did an across the board reduction in benefit payments.

    Having lived, worked and paid taxes through that time I would emphatically say that they were not just inappropriate, they were close to the worst thing that could have been done.

    I was in the retail sector at the time, and everyone in the sector had a massive fall in sales immediately after the budget was announced. That caused business confidence to plummet, and every employer started battening down the hatches. Unemployment rose very very fast. It caused a viscous spiral. We had a nasty long recession that lasted for about 5 years. Have a look at table 3.04 at the rise in long duration unemployment in here

    From memory, the fiscal deficit due to revenue drops in the following years were far larger that the original problem.

    I’d say that the Ruthanasia turned a short-term financial problem into a longer term one. They’d have been better off not reducing government spending, borrowing to cover the deficit. Then concentrating on how to increase revenue while reducing expenditure more slowly. Then they wouldn’t have spooked the business sector into a panic reaction.

    But that would have been pragmatic and against doctrine.

  10. AncientGeek 10

    And I forgot to mention – the total government expenditure rose in the following years as a result of Ruthanasia – all those unemployed cost, even when you are paying them less, if their numbers increase dramatically.

  11. Mike 11

    But KiwiSaver is not the same as the old compulsory superannuation scheme.
    It’s voluntary for a start.

  12. AncientGeek 12

    On a bit of a side issue, but on the general topic of government decisions affecting economies. Have a look at this article from the economist Of internet cafés and power cuts from their series on “Technology in emerging economies”.

    The World Bank has been doing some work –

    The results, laid out last month in the bank’s annual Global Economic Prospects report, measure technological progress in its broadest sense: as the spread of ideas, techniques and new forms of business organisation.

    As you’d expect, lead technologies over time have been adopted faster into developing economies

    The upshot is that technology is spreading to emerging markets faster than it has ever done anywhere. The World Bank looked at how much time elapsed between the invention of something and its widespread adoption (defined as when 80% of countries that use a technology first report it; see chart 1). For 19th-century technologies the gap was long: 120 years for trains and open-hearth steel furnaces, 100 years for the telephone. For aviation and radio, invented in the early 20th century, the lag was 60 years. But for the PC and CAT scans the gap was around 20 years and for mobile phones just 16. In most countries, most technologies are available in some degree.

    But then the economist looks at how widespread the technology is. The story gets different. It tends to concentrate. Looking at where it concentrates looks to me like an infrastructure issue. If there isn’t reliable power or telecommunications, it is hard to build an IT industry.

    As a result, technology use in developing countries is highly concentrated. Almost three-quarters of China’s high-tech trade comes from just four regions on the coast. More than two-thirds of the stock of foreign investment in Russia in 2000 was in Moscow and its surroundings. Whereas half of India’s city-dwellers have telephones, little more than one-twentieth of people in the countryside do.

    There are also big differences between comparable countries.

    When they look at duffusion of technology by regions, it becomes pretty clear that it is related to government policies. Their comparison between Latin America and Eastern Europe shows the EE following Western Europes rate of technology adoption across income groups. But LA has completely different curve with far less overall intrusion.

    Broadly, two sets of obstacles stand in the way of technological progress in emerging economies. The first is their technological inheritance. Most advances are based on the labours of previous generations: you need electricity to run computers and reliable communications for modern health care, for instance. So countries that failed to adopt old technologies are at a disadvantage when it comes to new ones. Mobile phones, which require no wires, are a prominent exception.

    The other set of problems has to do with the intangible things that affect a country’s capacity to absorb technology: education; R&D; financial systems; the quality of government.

    If the government does not do its job in what I call infrastructure, physical, human, and legal – then the free market cannot do its job and spread technology. This then causes problems using later technologies because there is little to grow on.

    The economist concludes with

    Yet it would be wrong to be gloomy about the technological outlook of emerging economies. The channels of technology transfer have widened enormously over the past ten years. Technological literacy has risen, especially among the young. But all this has helped emerging economies mainly in the first stage: absorption. The second stage—diffusion—has so far proved much more testing.

    I’d disagree with that. Early adoption isn’t all that useful without the diffusion into the economy from what I’ve seen.

  13. AncientGeek 13

    My point about this for NZ is that while the economist is looking at developing economies, it isn’t that much different for developed economies. Developing economies just show the same economic factors in starker relief.

    A government to do its job on infrastructure has to look at least 20 odd years ahead to prepare for new tech. If they don’t, then an economy gets crippled. Doing things in trhe short-term like I have seen the Nats do so often is just a recipe for disaster for your kids.

  14. AncientGeek 14

    Mike:

    It’s voluntary for a start.

    Almost all of the other details are the same.

    Problem is that we already have a compulsory super system in place that runs on a completely different basis – it is on “pay for your parents and grandparents, and get your kids and grandkids to pay for you”. People are relying on that so it is difficult to impossible to change over.

    I think that the poster and Gaynor are arguing that the decision in 1975 was a classic case of an long-term structural opportunity lost to short-term political expediency. At least that is what I believe.

  15. outofbed 15

    Which makes sense completely as right wing politics are the politics of the self. Just read Billy. Monty et al ,

    They can’t really help it, It’s all to do with their dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.

    But luckily there are people around whose dorsolateral prefrontal cortex has fully developed and therefore DON”t want to use Somalia as their model for society

    Captcha bill doh

  16. Phil 16

    “Kiwisaver; Saviour of New Zealand’s OECD ranking”

    Gosh, that would be lovely if it weren’t such a fantasy.

    The biggest problem with bandying about the 400,000 members, is that we dont actually know where they’ve come from. That is; are they ‘green’ retirement savers, or have they simply switched from their existing scheme into Kiwisaver? I believe that the vast majority of members are the latter.

    The Reserve Bank publishes quarterly figures on the value of employment related super, so over the coming year(s) it will be interesting to see if that series shows a structural deviation from it’s normal growth rate.

  17. insider 17

    Phil

    Good point re movement of private employer schemes. I certainly know of companies and the government that are encouraging people out of in house schemes and into kiwisaver. Some are closing schemes to new entrants and using kS as the new provider.

    It’s weird people criticisng Muldoon yet I read of other authorities saying that our Nat Super is a fantastic and very affordable scheme that is the envy of the world.

    20-20 hindsignt is wonderful. How do we know the Lange govt wouldn;t have changed the scheme in the 80s or the nats in the 90s? We know both parties have hidden major financial issues in the past and these funds could have been used to bail them out.

  18. AncientGeek 18

    Good point Phil…

    There are no numbers on transfers that I’m aware of. I’m aware of people shifting from super schemes to KS, people going on KS as only super scheme, and people having their old super scheme KS.

    So in the event that it does show that the investment in all super schemes including KiwiSaver increasing quite a lot faster than the previous super velocity – what will you say then?

  19. andy 19

    Phil,

    It is a good point.

    I have started KS and had no other specific retirement savings scheme, this has just shifted some of my general savings to a specific type via less disposable income.

    In my mind KS offers a more stable savings environment for employees who will change jobs many times over working life. Private schemes are becoming more rare and are problematic for employers especially if a company restructures/changes hands. In that instance they tend to end and become personal and the employer drops its obligations.

  20. BeShakey 20

    I haven’t looked at Treasury’s predictions, but I’d be pretty shocked if they didn’t factor in a degree of cross over from existing schemes to KS. Even if a significant amount of the extra growth is from existing savers, that isn’t a bad thing, and would be difficult to avoid even if it was.

    It seems tough to debate the fact that a significant number of non-savers have been (and will continue) to enrol, even if existing savers also enrol. The benefits of this seem to have been acknowledged across the entire political spectrum.

  21. Phil 21

    AG,
    I’m not saying Kiwisaver’s a bad thing (quite the contrary, especially with the free cash being ladled out in association with it) all I’m pointing out is that the membership number is likely to be significantly over-inflated if we look at ‘real’ growth in the level of retirement savings.

    andy,
    I don’t accept that private schemes are becoming rare. I used to work on Stats NZ’s Annual Non-Wage Labour Cost Survey, and the number of corporates/companies and even SME’s running them (and providing contributions… or else they wouldn’t be in the survey) is astonishingly large.
    They also usually run in parallel with fairly sophisticated IT at the fund magagers, so moving employees from one to another is not a problem at all.

  22. andy 22

    Phil,

    Fair call, my evidence is anecdotal, i asked most of my peers and none has a work based scheme available, to the under 30 ish set. I think its still around for older more entrenched workers, and the payments go up over time as the wages increase. Basically newer employees are not invited…

    captcha: excellent controller

  23. Dean 23

    AJ said: “We beleive gooners, billy, or deans interpretation of events or believe the consensus views of many of New Zealands most repsected economists. The gulf is very, very wide.”

    Right. So, because I have a problem with every problem currently experienced in this country being blamed on previous National governments I’m somehow out of step with economists? And previous Labour governments, including the one in 84, did nothing to contribute?

    Get a grip, AJ.

  24. AncientGeek 24

    Sure the 84-90 government made a *lot* of screwups, too fast, too far, too little, too late, and not enough all in one. It was almost having to rebuild the economic structure while having virtually no resources to do it.

    But in the end they actually made changes, and almost all of them stuck. Most of those changes benefited the succeeding generations. But the stasis that happened for the 30 years prior to that government is something devotedly to be avoided, at least if you want to avoid the maelstrom from about 78 to 90.

    Problem I see is that I can’t see anything in the nats policy apart from heading back to stasis. Punctuated stasis and chaos is a lot less comfortable than having to put up with continuous change.

  25. AncientGeek 25

    Perhaps we should look for anything that the nats have ever done in government that benefited people 20 years down the track?

    Offhand the only one I can think of is the Fiscal Responsibility Act. And they dumped the author.

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    5 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    5 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    5 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    5 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    6 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    7 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    7 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    1 week ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    1 week ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago

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