Labour and rural voters

Written By: - Date published: 7:30 am, November 6th, 2017 - 94 comments
Categories: Conservation, Deep stuff, democratic participation, Economy, elections, Environment, farming, farming, jacinda ardern, labour, national, Shane Jones, vote smart - Tags: ,

What would it take for Labour to win back rural support?

Even at this Jacindamania peak, Labour got pasted in the regions. Again.

The Democrats are having to face the same question, particularly with the Virgina election coming up in a couple of days:

Yes, Red State Wins Are Possible

Beyond the seats of Hawkes Bay and the West Coast, Labour no longer has a meaningful rural component.

Invercargill and East Coast have been won occasionally, both with a large rural hinterland.  New Plymouth used to be pretty even, same with Whanganui.

Then slim pickings.

Well, Labour doesn’t have a meaningful rural component, except for the Maori seats.

Three of those are largely rural: Hauraki-Waikato, Ikaroa-Rawhiti, Waiariki.

Far be it from me to detect a common pattern of attractiveness in Labour’s Maori members to rural voters there.  But there’s a big rural component, which they win.

The Labour Party must be able to maintain its strong base with women, ethnic minorities in South Auckland and northern Wellington, and inner city electorates, while simultaneously creating a successful rural strategy.

Yet we have to go a long, long way back in history to find progressive politicians who have really inspired the provinces.
Let’s start with Prime Minister Richard Seddon.

This guy came out of the hard core of the west coast. He was mocked in parliament for his provincial accent, and had no formal education.

So what did he do that the whole people of the west coast so loved him for?

He became the nation’s king of mining operations and regulation. He also railed against all elites. But his signature policy was the formation of old age pensions.

It was incredibly hard to get through parliament, such that it undermined his health. This policy was the foundation of our welfare state. He was a guy with fire in his belly, an expansionist and confident view of the future of New Zealand, and he stood up for the west coast as a real hard-ass fighter, and was adored for it.

The first Labour government thought and acted in the interests of rural people.

They established a country library service and a horseback allowance, they expanded the correspondence school, increased boarding and travel allowances for rural children, strengthened rural schools, enabled returning servicemen to get farms, and guaranteed prices for farmers’ produce. That and a whole bunch more, despite abolishing the country quota of electorates. Ministers of Agriculture were hard working farmers themselves, including Lee Martin, James Barclay, and Edward Cullen.

This current Labour-led government is the first to have positive policies aimed straight for the rural sector in a long, long time. $1 billion to rural projects. Scrapping the water tax. Encouraging organic farming. Supporting the rural riparian margins. Supporting free trade particularly for rural exports (despite the Canadians and Japanese) against global subsidies and protections.

Time to attempt to reverse this trend to losing the rural vote.

There are a few possible inroads, which may turn a few votes their way next time if it’s highly focussed.

  • Labour needs to find a way to throw full-throated support behind dairy farmers. You heard me. They are too big a part of our country to be implied enemies. They could start by reviewing the legislation that formed Fonterra, and hold them to account on behalf of dairy farmers: more value, greater payouts, less mess, more trade access.
  • Defend rural land from foreign buyers, just as they are intending to do.
  • They need more actual farmers in its ranks. Not lifestylers. People that show generations of commitment to turning up, not sounding too smart-arse educated, people that really work hard. Check the way Liz Craig ate away into the national vote in Invercargill this time, after multiple terms working that electorate. Respect.
  • Their rural Maori MPs need to do crossover work into Pakeha rural enclaves: Parliamentary ghettoization is corrosive.
  • Their credibility with rural people will be enhanced by scaling back on more direct regulation and scaling up support for shrinking rural towns. Building up regional government with funding, and supporting rural roads through greater NZTA funding would help.
  • Make sure that $1 billion actually gets spent within one parliamentary term by holding Shane Jones to account. Make a difference Shane.
  • Target rural media with surprising stories: regional rail, horticultural growth, regional airports, regional roads, organic farm successes, Country Life as RNZ tv.
  • Build their farm workers houses. Thousands of them. Just as they are promising to do. Then shift the furniture in themselves.
  • Turn up to rural events until they trust you again. The A&P Shows, autumn festivals, harvest festivals, district plan change hearings, church fetes, smaller school prizegivings, and farmers markets.

I sure ain’t saying it’s going to be easy to reverse generations of growing district of Labour. It’s going to be hard, tough, repetitive political work.

Above all, sound like you have a positive and optimistic view of the whole of New Zealand that explicitly includes rural life. It’s not some sickly-sweet chocolate box of tasseled boganettes rolling in rich tall green hayseed grass popping out babies, or some wastrel paradise of P production where cows roll around lighting their farts on a Friday night doped to their fat eyelashes, nor some knuckle-ragging squad of f-grade provincial Rugby teams smacking down all effete university-trained opposition like a running yelling line of Braveheart highlanders. They are committed people who work hard on the land and for our land. Labour could do worse than to be and be seen to be the same. One word: respect.

The alternative is increasingly to let National have it all – a fully blue New Zealand set of electorates – without resistance.

94 comments on “Labour and rural voters ”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    I think that if the coalition with NZ First works out then it is worth asking if it is a good idea for Labour to try and win back the provincial blue collar vote, or to cede them to it’s coalition partner as part of the quid pro quo of a long term governing arrangement. After all, National’s failure has been it’s inability to construct governing partners, a failure obscured by the 44% brigades insistance that National is somehow dominant because it ate all its partners.

    An alliance of a party that represents the socially conservative but potentially economically radical provincial vote with a more urban party like Labour potentially removes many internal pressure ponits and cause of division, whilst in MMP offering a good chance of forming a governing coalition along with the Greens.

    • Antoine 1.1

      Sanc, this is a good strategy in the short term but fails when Peters leaves politics and NZ1st vote evaporates…

      A.

      • Why do people always assume that NZ1st will evaporate when Peters leaves politics?

        NZ1st seems to be part of our political landscape now and I, for one, think it will still be there after Peters. I think Peters is good enough to understand that there does need to be a replacement for him.

        • lprent 1.1.1.1

          It is part of the landscape and has all to the hallmarks of a real party. I think that hoping it will disappear with Peters is.just deluged. There are quite a few personalities in there and some formidable political talent that can’t be expressed fully until Peters leaves.

          • Matthew Whitehead 1.1.1.1.1

            I think it will definitely always have voters, the question is will it still have a path to Parliament after Peters. It’s hilarious they’re opposed to lowering the threshold because there’s a very real chance that it will kill them off without a powerful personality that can pull media attention like Peters at the helm.

            That said, I think it’s absolutely possible it will hang in there long enough that the understudies will learn their lines and turn it into a permanent political vehicle. It is the only unashamedly conservative party in our Parliament, after all, both Labour and National are liberal-conservative coalitions, effectively.

            • Antoine 1.1.1.1.1.1

              > I think it’s absolutely possible it will hang in there long enough that the understudies will learn their lines and turn it into a permanent political vehicle

              Possible but seems unlikely to me.

              1. If you take their current popularity (7%?) and subtract whatever Peters brings to the table, you don’t have much left, surely not 5%

              2. Labour is stealing their oxygen. Much of NZ 1st’s support was xenophobes and they should be reasonably happy to vote Labour now that the Labs support immigration cutbacks. Throw a few freebies to the elderly and what else has NZ 1st got?

              A.

    • Peter 1.2

      Now that coalition Governments are fully understood to be the name of the game, what might National’s strategy be to develop new coalition partners? For instance, do they have anything in common with TOP?

  2. Tiger Mountain 2

    good topic for discussion

    there are electorates like Northland that on demographics should not vote tory–ever–but voting National up here has become like a bad habit, one that surely needs to be broken, there was an aberration over the Sabin affair, but even Winston could not hold on when the Labour vote went back to Willow Jean

    the reason “we’re blue around here mate” persists, is due substantially to the reactionary conservatives long time capture of leadership, such as it is, and more particularly “gatekeeping”, of rural society; this means that your acceptance into the community, employment, social activity, and even potentially very life, can depend on “fitting in” and basically being compliant to the prevailing political culture, the provinces are often not the multicultural mix of the cities either, sometimes being almost ‘apartheid’ in feel with Pākehā and Māori running parallel existences

    from the school BOTs, to “calf day”, horse eventing, the Police stations and rural Fire “Party” stations, the lodges, societies, sports clubs, business associations, rural servicing companies, district councils, Regional Councils, community boards and district planning, to power supply, DHBs and Civil Defence–it is 98% tied up by active (think about that word) National Party members and supporters–go through the lists of people in your area and see if I am correct…

    this will obviously take many years to seriously turn around, but yes, real attention to rural development that is transformational–like rejuvenated rail links in Northland/Whangarei will sure help gain support for Labour/Green/NZ First

    • DH 2.1

      That’s an excellent summary TM, you’ve encapsulated near everything I thought but wouldn’t have been able to express.

      Adding an anecdote to that….

      I looked to transfer the business out of Auckland and couldn’t believe the price of commercial property up North. It should be way, way cheaper to rent or buy commercial premises but it ain’t. I walked away from the idea with the impression the landed gentry are very happy with strangling the supply of commercial property and collecting high rents from their own holdings.

      • Tiger Mountain 2.1.1

        perennial problem in the North, lot of empty commercial buildings in Whangarei and Kaitaia and other parts–the idea of “incubators” etc., or lower rents to encourage new business is rare up here

        an anecdote for you–Northtec wants to cut staff at its various campuses due to the “bums on seats” model when it comes down to it, and one of the first areas will be Visual and Digital Arts! luckily the students have been out and about getting support and have appointments scheduled with relevant MPs in the new Govt.

        • DH 2.1.1.1

          Doesn’t make a lot of sense does it, but the property owner knows that reducing rents to fill empty buildings has a flow on effect to already filled buildings. They don’t want to give up their gravy train.

          I’ve been spending more time up North and I’m constantly bemused by the high prices for goods. Even the simple bakeries are charging Auckland prices. It’s a myth that high transport costs are the culprit, it costs bugger-all to freight goods and lower rents should more than compensate for that. I’m convinced you pay too much because commercial rents are too high.

          • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.1.1

            Doesn’t make a lot of sense does it, but the property owner knows that reducing rents to fill empty buildings has a flow on effect to already filled buildings. They don’t want to give up their gravy train.

            And if they’re free-hold on those premises, which many probably are, then even having an empty building probably isn’t that much of an issue.

            I’m convinced you pay too much because commercial rents are too high.

            People in a position to charge excessive rents will do so.

            But think of all the whinging that we’d hear if the government moved in, grabbed a heap of land and started an actually thriving business hub with reasonable rents.

            • In Vino 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Good point. When I was young, State Insurance was called so because it was state-owned, and its role was to compete in the market just aiming at a moderate profit, thereby easily undercutting the private profit-gougers.
              To keep them honest… It worked to my mind. I was appalled at the cost of motor insurance in England and France 1977-80, where they had no such company. But our beloved Rogernomes under Labour quickly put an end to that: State Insurance kept its name but was sold off to private hands.
              Up went costs of motor insurance, as if by magic.
              So what we now need is a state company to buy and rent out commercial premises at a moderate profit. That would really undercut the stinking profit-gougers who for so long have extorted far too much from our productive people who need premises. Profit-gouging, unproductive middle-men, the whole lot of them. Starting with names like Brierly and Jones.

              Why should they not have to compete on a level playing-field with non-gougers like the state?

      • Shona 2.1.2

        Spot on DH. The landed gentry of Northland have had so much land and money for so long whilst breeding with their relatives that they are incapable of forward thinking. They like being stuck in the 1950’s. Our kids mostly have all fled overseas and do not intend to return despite solid community connections here. It is so backward in rural NZ.
        Combined Willow Jean Winston vote was well over 20,000 in Northland. No reason why a combined effort wouldn’t take the seat back for either party. Ms Prime is very popular and the right policy mix targeting women would get the Green/Maori vote too.

        • Tiger Mountain 2.1.2.1

          the future of the North is most likely ‘young and brown’–it is tantalisingly close but not just yet, the “tory coots in suits” are nearing their end of days

          Willow Jean should be the natural pick for Northland seat

          • AB 2.1.2.1.1

            Old tory coots in suits are some of the dullest, dumbest and least imaginative people you will encounter in these places – the very last people who should be in charge. And probably not even in business – though that said, they are very good at protecting what they have.

      • Sabine 2.1.3

        not only Northland. there are a lot of businesses not created because commercial properties, even run down ones, are the same price of an equivalent property in AKL.

        lots of empty properties in Taupo, Rotorua, Tokoroa, Whakamaru!!, Te Kuiti, Turangi, Taumaranui etc because people just can’t afford to spend 20 + grand for an ‘office’ space ex GST and outgoings, and funny all commercial properties seem to be ‘office spaces’.

        Is the tax write of for empty properties that good an incentive to keep real estate empty?

        And is Labour gonna do something about it?

  3. Labour needs to find a way to throw full-throated support behind dairy farmers. You heard me. They are too big a part of our country to be implied enemies.

    So are employers. And, like employers, dairy farmers already have a party that offers them full-throated support, a level of support that Labour couldn’t hope to compete with. Trying to go after your competitor’s core customer base when you have less to offer that customer base than your competitor is a recipe for disaster.

    • Puckish Rogue 3.1

      It can be done, National is doing well in South Auckland for example, it just needs to be done correctly

      Like water surcharges

      • Psycho Milt 3.1.1

        National has a way in to South Auckland via being able to fake sympathy for socially conservative viewpoints. Labour’s only potential market among dairy farmers is among those who’d like to adopt a less-damaging mode of operation, which is a pretty small part of an already-small group of voters.

        • Puckish Rogue 3.1.1.1

          Not true, I’ll bet theres a large number of people in the regions that care quite a bit about the environment, that see the economic benefits of having a pristine environment whether it be via farming, adventure tourism, hunting etc etc

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.1.1

            Of course there are – that’s why we get huge amounts of whinging from the rural sectors when we seek to clean up our rivers and waterways from the damage done by farming…

            Oh, wait…

          • Psycho Milt 3.1.1.1.2

            Not true, I’ll bet theres a large number of people in the regions that care quite a bit about the environment…

            I expect there are. However, the point was about the value of targeting dairy farmers, who are a small subset of people in the regions.

            I’d suggest the government starts by working with, not alienating, the farmers

            Both Labour and the Greens have said they’ll be happy to work with farmers on reducing farming’s environmental impact. It’s the “reducing farming’s environmental impact” part that’s alienating the farmers, not Labour Party hostility.

            • Puckish Rogue 3.1.1.1.2.1

              It’s the “reducing farming’s environmental impact” part that’s alienating the farmers, not Labour Party hostility

              Sure so the water charge fiasco didn’t start out as trying to make farmers the scapegoats

        • Aaron 3.1.1.2

          Farming is changing, there are fewer and fewer people owning more and more of the land these days, most of the young farmers are either working for them or struggling share milkers being screwed over by landowners. There is huge potential – and more importantly a huge need – to do something in those communities.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.2.1

            I find it amazing that people can write stuff like that and not realise the problem.

            You identified the problem – the solution is to get rid of that problem.

      • swordfish 3.1.2

        Puckers

        It can be done, National is doing well in South Auckland for example

        Not all that well, Puckers

        2017 National Party-Vote %

        Māngere 17%
        Manukau East 23%
        Manurewa 29%

        It’s true that they did manage to withstand the nationwide swing in South Auckland – I’ll give you that … (though the broader Right Bloc vote was still down – the Nats gobbling up their little helpers as elsewhere)

        • Puckish Rogue 3.1.2.1

          Well ok then fair enough, maybe I should have used Chris Bishop as an example. Hutt South (thanks Wikipedia) replaced Pencarrow which replaced Petone so stretching back to 1946 the electorate was Labour but this election National won the seat

          Basically it can be done was my point

  4. Keith 4

    It’s hard to see how.

    National were all too willing to wipe out elected boards like Ecan to suit vested interests for irrigation
    Change the definition of polluted waterways to quickly and cheaply deal with the nasty effects of sloppy farming practices,
    Delete livestock farming from climate change regulation,
    Remove higher risk farming from health and safety laws
    Pour millions of taxpayer dollars into other fanciful schemes that bore no fruit,
    Ensure irrigation won over the environment,
    Supply cheap exploitable migrant labour for what would otherwise be a failed business model,
    And basically ensure no enquiry would touch farm life.

    To Federarated Farmers, the National Party were an extension of their organisation.

    Quite how any other party corrupts themselves to anything approaching the same level for rural NZ is a question Labour or any other ethical party will struggle with.

    9 years of this kind of partisan shit has left some quite damaging after effects!

    • garibaldi 4.1

      Nine years? It has been more like 150 years and is now part of their DNA. They will never accept Labour, having been bred to believe Labour=Communism.

      • timeforacupoftea 4.1.1

        I would believe the farmers who vote for The National Party if they read the article Written By: ADVANTAGE – Date published: 7:30 am, November 6th, 2017.
        Labour and rural voters.
        They would Automatically think Armageddon, Labour want us to turn into Amish Farmers.

        http://amishamerica.com/a-visit-to-an-amish-ghost-town/

        Aye ! Great idea Advantage on wrecking the Natz Farmers.
        This could work I suppose.

        Would be good for us Labourites for Xmas holidays at home wouldn’t.

        A TOURISM bonus, excellent for our visiting Freedom Campers.

        http://amishamerica.com/tourism/

        Lets do this.
        Copy to Jacina Adern.

    • Quite how any other party corrupts themselves to anything approaching the same level for rural NZ is a question Labour or any other ethical party will struggle with.

      Te solution to that is to make such corruption illegal. Difficult but possible.

  5. Zorb6 5

    Yes try and please everyone.That is a sure recipe for failure.Dairy farmers themselves are not a large group.The small business sector however is worth devoting time to,as is boosting regional development.Corporates and the big cities have had all the attention and the resources in recent times.This Govt better have broad shoulders-the expectations are unbelievable.

  6. cleangreen 6

    Yes advantage; you are so correct here.

    We ran a good campaign in Napier and gisborne.

    Luckily we got Stuart Nash re-elected but Gisborne was left to the ‘persuation’ of a very tory right wing editor of the gisborne herald and Labour failed there and stayed tory.
    Gisborne previous to 2008 went to Labour back during the Helen Clark era.

    So our community issues of having no rail, (National stole the rail mainaintence funds and allowed the rail along one km to get washed out) so these issues along with other environmental issues never were aired properly effectively during the election.

    This time while Labour has the numbers the labour coalition must bring forwared the public media plan to have their own media again to present in a wide range of meaningful ways all their planed changes they are about to make using their new RNZ/TVone non commercial platforms and leave the right wing ‘baised media’ to spin their wheels ineffectively while a new positrive Labour coalition media tell the real positive side of the story.

    By the next election we will have a clear ‘responsive’ media trhat is prepared to cover community provincial issues as we had back in the helen Clark era.

    If anyone thinks the media is fair now redad the respose we got from RNZ CEO’s office after we filed an OIA for details about him providing us with no HB reporter now, as the OIA asked him why we had no HB/Gisborne regional reporter now.

    His OIA ‘co-ordinator Mr George Bignell replied simply that they had no HB reporter now (as they used to have during the Clark Government,) and he was un-apologetic about it at the same time.

    read his letter below.

    Here is a copy of the request for information as to why no reporting service for HB/Gisborne is not available any more now.
    ===========================================================
    October 13, 2017
    Mr ——————-
    Napier 4140

    Dear Mr ———-
    I write in response to your request “how the regional reporting structure of the Radio NZ broadcasting services now are different to the way the operations serviced the regions formerly.”
    I can advise that RNZ does not hold any specific information in this regard that we can supply to you. To answer your question, apart from the relocation of one reporting position from our Queenstown office to our Dunedin office, there has been no recent changes to our regional reporting structure.
    The Hawkes Bay regional reporting position is currently vacant and Radio New Zealand will look to fill that position in the near future.

    We trust this of assistance to you.
    Yours sincerely
    George Bignell
    OIA Inquiries Coordinator
    GEORGE BIGNELL | OIA INQUIRIES COORDINATOR
    RADIO NEW ZEALAND | LEVEL 2 | 155 THE TERRACE
    PO BOX 123 | WELLINGTON | NEW ZEALAND 6140 | http://www.radionz.co.nz
    DDI +64 4 474 1424 | Mobile 027 491 2246

    Labour must restore thew regional reportig of all community issues brought before them for ‘fair balanced’ media coverage for the best interests of the local commmuities in tha regions where L:abour need to get the points accross and appeal to those voters Labour is on the right track. (in HB/Gisbone’s case it should widely xcover the lost “rail track”.)

  7. Gristle 7

    One of my in laws, who runs a Southland sheep farm, surprised me over the weekend.

    They commented that they hadn’t seen much from the Key and English Governments and that having a Labour led Government was not that bad a thing. While not voting for any of the Government parties, they were not seeing this as an inherently antagonistic relationship.

    The objective must be to build on this view by showing regional development, and showing that water, nitrates, CO2, workplace health and safety all are capable of being addressed for a sustainable rural life.

    • Robert Guyton 7.1

      True, Gristle and I note your comment, “While not voting for any of the Government parties…” – therein lies the rub!

  8. Puckish Rogue 8

    Always a good idea for parties to reach out (John Key did it very well) but its not just National Labour will be up against but rather NZFirst

    To me it looks like NZFirst is making a big play into rural NZ voting so Labour will have to counter that or make sure Winston doesn’t claim all the credit for whatever positive happens in the regions

    Still if you don’t try then you’ll never know

    • Tamati Tautuhi 8.1

      Labour/NZF/Greens need to demonstrate to the NZ Public that they can function as a decisive and proactive MMP Government otherwise they will not last long and people will gravitate back to the main parties ?

  9. red-blooded 9

    It’s good to see discussions about policy and things like attending rural events Thinking about this issue another way, though, Labour don’t have to win rural electorates in order to increase their party vote in rural areas. Down here in the lower South we ran a very integrated campaign this time, with Dunedin activists giving a lot of practical support in the wider area. There was active mentoring of candidates. The vote percentage went up substantially throughout the area and while we didn’t win any of the rural electorates we now have more active branches dotted about and MPs who will have offices in Invercargill and Timaru. That in itself should start to build more profile and sense of connection.

    If we can do it, so can other regions.

  10. Im in tasman and damien is well likd even though my particular area has the highest green vote. What is working here?
    The candidate is the main reason.
    Policy is okay and a good candidate can make the connections between policy and people.

    Main problem is gnat lies and greedy dairy farmers.

    • gsays 10.1

      I am in rangitikei electorate, an essentially safe Tory seat, Bruce Beetham being a notable exception.

      I have looked back through the list (thanks Wikipedia) and there is a new Labour candidate every election. Heather Warren,Deborah Russell, Josie Pagani, Jill Angus Burney.
      The % vote share has slowly shrunk from around 30% to 27% and change.

      So I agree with getting out there to all the meetings, A&P shows etc, but it is a long term plan if there are to be inroads here.

  11. Antoine 11

    I think it safe to say that you cannot reconcile getting the support of the farming sector, with making them clean up their act at their own expense. It’s one or other.

    (Of course the regions are much more than just farming!)

    A.

  12. Supporting free trade particularly for rural exports (despite the Canadians and Japanese) against global subsidies and protections.

    So, you’re saying that the government should encourage more damage to our environment just because a few people will get richer?

    Defend rural land from foreign buyers, just as they are intending to do.

    But then what will the capital gains farmers retire on?

    Their credibility with rural people will be enhanced by scaling back on more direct regulation and scaling up support for shrinking rural towns. Building up regional government with funding, and supporting rural roads through greater NZTA funding would help.

    It’s the lack of regulation that’s the problem as it allows the farmers to destroy the environment with no consequences.

    The only way to build up the regions is to turn them into cities and that means factories and universities. Building up the necessary infrastructure to make those cities high tech hubs.

    This would probably be good for our extraction and processing industry as all those factories are going to need the raw resources to make stuff like CPUs, motherboards, graphic cards etcetera.

    It’s not farms that will get the regions developed. Higher productivity on farms has always resulted in less people needed in the regions because there’s no more land and there’s limits to intensification.

    • Jimmy 12.1

      So the best way too stop farmers destroying the environment, is too turn farms into cities with factories and universities.
      Yeah it’s not like cities and factories are the epitome of human environmental destruction.
      And if you think farming is unregulated, think again.

      • So the best way too stop farmers destroying the environment, is too turn farms into cities with factories and universities.

        That’s not what I said.

        Due to productivity increases rural areas have a declining demand for people. To maintain that demand for people the regions have to increase services and that’s going to mean actually building cities with factories, universities and all the other infrastructure needed for a high-tech hub.

        The future of the regions is not farming. This is something that the regions simply don’t want to accept.

        Yeah it’s not like cities and factories are the epitome of human environmental destruction.

        They’re a hell of a lot better than present farming practices. They have to be else no one would be able to live in them.

        Actually, it’s now getting to the point where no one can live in the country because the farmers have poisoned it.

        And if you think farming is unregulated, think again.

        They’re poisoning our land without consequence. This screams that they’re not regulated enough.

        • Jimmy 12.1.1.1

          “Actually, it now getting to the point where no one can live in the country because the farmers have poisoned it”

          Unreal comment/opinion right there my man.

          I better tell all my country neighbours, they might get a laugh I guess.

          Maybe you should get out of the 50k zone sometime.

          • Draco T Bastard 12.1.1.1.1

            Unreal comment/opinion right there my man.

            Unreal?

            That’s what they’ve been doing for the last 150+ years.

            I better tell all my country neighbours, they might get a laugh I guess.

            That would make them as delusional as you. This is not a recommendation on their sanity.

            • Jimmy 12.1.1.1.1.1

              Which regional/rural area in NZ can people, plants or animals not live in?
              Due to 150 years plus of farming?

          • Foreign waka 12.1.1.1.2

            Jimmy, the capacity of rural NZ does not support the millions of cows, this is a fact. To say otherwise is being ignorant. Sorry o be so blunt.
            I do belief that a number of farmers have over capitalized and if they don’t stick with these unrealistic cattle numbers, they will go broke. This is where the real hook is.
            Perhaps, just perhaps Fonterra as a commercial entity is too big and has outgrown its usefulness for farmers to get any benefit and return? Just my impression – but if the CEO gets 8 mil, which is way more than the farmer hauling them selfs out if bed at 4 am, than something is seriously wrong. Don’t you think?
            So NZ is getting more and more cows on the paddock to get more millions to the CEO?
            And yes, the environment has and will further deteriorate and in the end the next generation has to be content with farmland that has become unusable and tourist will certainly not want to swim in a poo soup. Meanwhile, on the sunshine coast, with a martini in hand…..
            Good luck, I am really hoping that you guys can see things for what they are.

  13. Southern Man 13

    Labour targeting rural NZ will largely be a waste of time and resources. Farms and provincial towns are dominated directly and indirectly by rural conservatives who will continue to vote for National, even though it’s often against their best interests.

  14. Michael 14

    Why bother? More voters live in the cities than in the sticks so that’s where elections are won or lost these days. It’s not as though farmers have much economic power anymore; they’re all owned by corporations anyway. Let them grumble away (although it might be worth encouraging whatever progressives there are in rural areas).

    • Puckish Rogue 14.1

      The reason you bother is because you’re supposed to govern for all NZ not just those sectors that vote for you

      • Robert Guyton 14.1.1

        Yes, well, The Government will govern for the National Front members but that doesn’t mean doing as they demand. The best Government governs with The Greater Good in mind 🙂

        • Puckish Rogue 14.1.1.1

          Last time I checked the National Front endorsed NZFirst so the present government already has that covered 🙂

          But seriously do you really think ignoring the rural sector is the way to go for Labour?

          • Michael 14.1.1.1.1

            Yes, because the “rural sector” are economically and politically marginalised and it’s all their own doing. Labour needs to rebuild the trust of its base – non-rich city-dwellers.

            • Puckish Rogue 14.1.1.1.1.1

              Labours in power so it already has a level of trust, so now it can look to building bridges with the rural community

  15. Puckish Rogue 15

    I think a good, first step for the left would be to realise that the rural community is made up of individuals

    Like the left always seem to forget the whatever group they’re denigrating are made up of people, its always something like “all farmers vote National and hate the environment”, “the military just want to kill everyone”, “the police are just uniformed thugs”, “landlords are all rich pricks (exaggeration for effect)

    People with families that may have similarities but also many, many differences

    • Siobhan 15.1

      “all farmers vote National and hate the environment”…and similarly its funny how people talk as though the countryside is full of of farmers and orchardists…when in fact there are far more workers than landowners.

      When the Little and Ardern road show came to the Hawkes Bay there was not one single picker/packer in the room, and the talk was all about congratulating the Orchardists on their successes and philanthropic endeavours, and offering ways to further help their industry, including bringing in more RSE workers

      ….but its the LABOUR Party..shouldn’t the room have been full of pickers being told how they would benefit from their hard work, how it would no longer be acceptable to still be on the same bin rate as 25 years ago, how we shouldn’t be struggling with a devastating lack of housing in these areas….we sure as eggs shouldn’t have had to listen to our Labour Party bemoan the so called drop in productivity…

      The Labour Party needs to look at who actually lives rurally, not just at who holds the reigns of power, the Labour Party and rural dwellers are actually (should actually) be a perfect fit.

      • Grey Area 15.1.2

        “When the Little and Ardern road show came to the Hawkes Bay there was not one single picker/packer in the room, and the talk was all about congratulating the Orchardists on their successes and philanthropic endeavours, and offering ways to further help their industry, including bringing in more RSE workers”

        Was this the Little/Ardern meeting at the Clive Hall? Because Andrew Little was challenged there about the bin rate being unchanged for so long and how the rates paid for picking did not provide enough for locals to live on. It was about here and in response to another challenging question the wheels fell off as he basically talked (to me unconvincingly) about growing the pie so everyone got a slice.

    • I think a good, first step for the left would be to realise that the rural community is made up of individuals who are all authoritarian group-thinkers who follow National from a deep seated sense of being told to.

      FTFY

  16. patricia bremner 16

    Labour should learn from National’s mistakes. (National no mates)

    By allowing our natural partners to have a point of difference to attract voters we stay viable.

    What is needed is overarching values which resonate with all three parties which are the glue.

    People often rationalise after an event, giving acceptable reasons for their behaviour.

    “We didn’t vote for them, but we think it is ok they won” Given a reason they may support next time.

    Part of Jacinda’s kindness/empathy is finding common ground to begin the conversation.

    She has chosen children’s welfare.

    Other common points of common interest could be rural radio, internet, rail transport, health services, apprenticeships underpinned by Govt, green initiatives for insulation solar panels and wind farming and tree planting. Not forgetting Research and Development.

    We have to wax clever by improving lives and the environment and communication.

  17. swordfish 17

    5 problems, Ad

    (1) You seem to be conflating (or at least not clearly distinguishing between) Candidate & Party Votes

    (2) You seem to be conflating (or at least not clearly distinguishing between) quite large Provincial Cities, smaller Provincial Centres, minor service Towns & purely Rural-farmer areas

    (3) Farmers & Rural areas have always comprised the backbone of National support – Blue as a New Tattoo … Hell, I mean Bill Massey established his Reform Party specifically as an electoral vehicle for Dairy Farmers

    (4) Provincial Cities, smaller Centres, minor Towns are another matter – but, as Sanc & others have already suggested, NZ First is shaping up to be Labour’s (morally conservative) Provincial arm. Provincial Cities -yes – but smaller towns shouldn’t be a priority.

    (5) Labour needs to focus first & foremost on making major in-roads within your neck of the woods = esp West Auckland

    • swordfish 17.1

      Problem Number 6
      (already touched on by Psycho Milt)

      (6) We’re talking about a relatively small number of Voters in Rural & Small Town NZ

      Aim all those precious campaign resources at that big old recalcitrant Carbuncle in the North

    • Fred H 17.2

      Too true, the following provincial cities are blue: Hamilton(both sides), Tauranga, Nelson, Rotorua, Whangarei, Hastings, New Plymouth, Whanganui, Invercargill, Oamaru and Timaru. Going after the small businesses, working voter, students, unemployed and retired there with practical infrastructure, r&d funding and decent social services would obliterate the Nat vote without having to kneel to the dairy gods…

      • DS 17.2.1

        Oamaru and Invercargill are red cities surrounded by ultra-violet farmland. The Invercargill electorate is only winnable if Labour is winning the party vote nationwide, and Waitaki is only winnable if Labour is winning the party vote nationwide by double digits.

        Timaru is currently gerrymandered. It also didn’t help a few years back that the Labour candidate was an anti-semitic loony (and the only other options on the ballot paper were National, ACT, and Conservative).

        Tauranga and Whangarei are safe Nat (not having been won by Labour since 1935 and 1972 respectively), but Hastings, New Plymouth, and Whanganui were held by Labour in Opposition (as was Invercargill) from 1993 to 1999.

  18. Keepcalmcarryon 18

    Incentivize the move from larger intensive dairy herds with mass produced lower value product, to smaller herds with localized value ad production – niche local butter cheese employing locals etc with government help to move back to local co-ops , small factory set ups and more government help marketing overseas.
    This makes dairy more environmentally sustainable and returns jobs to the regions.

  19. Labour needs to organize the dairy workers and get them helping the farming people among them. We certainly need to make sure farm workers are given a fair deal. Because farm workers also vote and they need to understand that their working conditions would be improved by having a Labour Government.Labour certainly need included farmers and farm workers in their policies.

  20. Sparky 20

    That’s easy pass the TPP11 and all the cockies will LOVE them……

    Of course that said that seat is taken by National so poor old Labour could still be out of luck…….

    Hmmm maybe they should be more concerned about keeping left leaning middle and working class voters…..?

  21. mac1 21

    People need to realise that in rural electorates there are still large numbers of workers, professionals, teachers, who vote Labour.

    Some years ago I stood in a rural seat. The electorate was divided into two geographical areas.The larger area I won by some 400 votes on election night, but the smaller and more rural southern area voted traditionally and so I lost. The larger area had been severely affected by electricity ‘reforms’ under Max Bradford and voted accordingly. Some 3000 voters stayed away altogether.

    The government of the time was also suffering from third-termitis. The Green vote was double the winner’s majority. That Green candidate was a farmer.

    The point of this is to show that local issues can be massive in rural areas, and that vote levels do fluctuate. Also, even if the Tory candidate gets re-elected, the party vote, the more important one, is still paramount. Labour voters in two electorates like mine will elect one list MP.

    Parties of the Left can also cooperate more with strategic voting to get rural MPs elected. Coromandel is an example.

    Strong candidates, and organisations, can also help keep Labour presence and message high.

    Labour can also look to ensuring more rurally focussed list MPs. That would require a change in thinking and practice, but is possible.

    Strong action on local issues would help. For example, can we have our community owned electrical generation back?

    In my electorate there are thousands of workers who are not NZ voters but are guest workers. The more that such labourers are Kiwi voters, the more Labour votes and also greater the union presence with its message.

    All of this can help Labour and rural voters.

  22. Robert Guyton 22

    Farmers are tribal Nats, by and large and tribesmen and women stay loyal to the tribe, no matter what. Labour can work with tribal Nats, but never get their votes, imo.

  23. Ian 23

    Dream on folks. The lefts hate campaign against farmers this century has left a scar that will take generations to fade. I read all the bile and misinformation and are now resigned to being under attack from misinformed,envious socialists.
    Cindy has brought it on and I now know what we are up against.
    A left wing Government is not good for NZ,let alone rural NZ. Christmas is coming and I can’t wait for the turkeys to start wailing when they realised they voted for it .

    • Sam aka clump 23.1

      It’s disingenuous to label “the lefts hate campaign” as such. When Labour hold all of the Māori seats. Working with, instead of against might heal the rift.

    • Keepcalmcarryon 23.2

      Nailed it Ian, being petulant and childish is the way forward.
      It’s worked a treat for the Feds and dairy NZ so far.

      • Ian 23.2.1

        I am over it to be honest. I play by the rules,pay my taxes and live a good life.I avoid anyone associated with Fish and game,the labour party ,greenpeace and outlaw motorcycle gangs.
        I have friends in the green party and we laugh alot over the issues of the day.
        Do you have any understanding of how dairy NZ has evolved,how they are governed and what they do ?
        Where is winston the whore ?

        • Keepcalmcarryon 23.2.1.1

          Some of my best friends are farmers

        • One Anonymous Bloke 23.2.1.2

          Not quite over it then.

          The sky is going to fall on your head any day now. Just after Nibiru.

          • Ian 23.2.1.2.1

            comet jacinda looks like dust and hot air. She will have whooshed thru before you can say ” The Honourable Winston Peters “

            • Sam aka clump 23.2.1.2.1.1

              Farmers say it’s to hard. You are pushing us to hard. I can kind of understand what happened. The last government incentivised dairy intensification. Now New Zealand has 3 million to many diary cows. Shame really now that butchery as a career has largely disappeared. I mean honestly Ian. What are you angry about? And what can we do about it?

  24. Tamati Tautuhi 24

    Labour/NZF/Greens need to demonstrate to the NZ Public that they can function as a decisive and proactive MMP Government otherwise they will not last long and people will gravitate back to the main parties ?

  25. Gavin 25

    I like your turn of phrase towards the end, Ad.

    There are some provincial townships where the ideal end of a night on the town is a regular bare-knuckle fight outside a local pub, a sort of a fight club with other ex-patrons watching. They make their own entertainment. Yes, they work hard, and they play hard too. Most urban dwellers won’t recognise this behaviour.

    Can Labour make inroads in the blue seats? You’re right about the amount of effort it will take, several years of work by many members, it won’t be easy. At the moment the feedback from the provinces is that Labour will overspend, and the whole economy will be stuffed in short order.

    Of course Labour will probably be able to grow the economy, and not superficially, just like last time, so the tax take increase will be pretty phenomenal. I think we’ll be OK.

  26. CHCOff 26

    Economically, the rural sectors and associated primary industries being given options to move away from the speculative pricing and interest rates dominated model of supply and demand, thus safe guarding them from the agri. business model taking over.

    Components of that would be govt. framework of a guaranteed stable local market (that being NZ) for it’s products that allows such industries to have high standards in how they conduct their livelihoods and the quality of their product – thus enabling the primary sector to see itself in a partnership with the urban centres as more of a mutually beneficial state of affairs to uphold.

    Secondly setting up a framework where their own independent associations of their own choosing are enabled to use the apparatus of the state on an international level for the excess remaining from the local market systems to making trade deals directly either via other international states or trading associations within those states.

    An updated approach of economic integration that has worked very beneficially for all in other periods of civilisation generally speaking then. !

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    This post was originally published on Linked In by Nicolas Reid. It is republished here with permission. Here’s the thing: the City Rail Link is almost certainly going to be overcapacity from day one, with crowding on the trains at peak times. In the simple terms of popular transport ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    5 days ago
  • You can’t always get what you want
    Grant Robertson is leaving Parliament for two new careers, having been frustrated and blocked from achieving some of his biggest political ambitions. So, he is returning to Dunedin, and, unusually for a former finance minister, with seemingly no ambitions to enter the business world. Instead, he will become Vice Chancellor ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • At a glance – Was Greenland really green in the past?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    5 days ago
  • Sharp-elbowed and loving it
    It doesn't seem to take a lot to persuade someone who feels they work their guts out that in fact no one is working as hard as me.It doesn't seem to take a lot to persuade someone who knows somebody taking the welfare system for a ride that they’re all ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Sharp-elbowed and loving it
    It doesn't seem to take a lot to persuade someone who feels they work their guts out that in fact no one is working as hard as me.It doesn't seem to take a lot to persuade someone who knows somebody taking the welfare system for a ride that they’re all ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Then why did she do it?
    Earlier in the month, Cancer Minister Casey Costello was caught lying to the media about whether or not she had requested advice on cutting tobacco excise tax to benefit the cancer industry. She repeated her lies in Parliament. But today, she stood up and pretended to apologise for "causing confusion" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Is Applying “Tough Love” To A “Fragile” Nation The Right Answer?
    The Question Christopher Luxon Needs To Ask –  And Answer: How was it possible for a nation of barely three million citizens to create and maintain an infrastructure that functioned, schools and universities that turned out well-educated and enterprising citizens, a health system that kept its people healthy, and a workforce ...
    6 days ago
  • The limits to realism.
    Realism is a school of thought in the field of international relations (IR). It provides a theoretical framework for analysing the behaviour of States in the world political system. Like other theories (which in the IR literature include idealism, liberalism, … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • UNSOCIAL MEDIA – Following the Trolls
    From TODAY FM archives — Wilhelmina Shrimpton and Simon Morrow take a deep dive into trolling and cyberbullying. From the high profile to the general public, Kiwis across all walks of life are being targeted, and some are paying the ultimate price. So what drives us to troll, who is ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    6 days ago
  • Govt prescribes stiff medicine for some beneficiaries while easing access to drugs containing pseudo...
    Buzz from the Beehive One of two new announcements on the government’s official website  – given plenty of publicity by the mainstream media over the past 24 hours – has been pitched as the first steps in a “reset” of the welfare system.  Stiff medicine for beneficiaries, in effect. The ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    6 days ago
  • We’re not as fragile or as lazy as Luxon says
    Luxon says his government is one that is “prepared to make those hard decisions”. File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has adopted the language of Ruth Richardson before her 1991 ‘Mother of All Budgets’ in arguing for benefit sanctions to bolster the Government finances, which ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Talking over the Silence.
    Please open the doorNothing is different, we've been here beforePacing these hallsTrying to talk over the silenceIf I was to describe what I do, or at least the way it sometimes feels, then talking over the silence wouldn’t be a bad way to do so.Not that there aren’t other voices ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • LINDSAY MITCHELL: National needs to go further
    Lindsay Mitchell writes – In today’s State of the Nation speech Christopher Luxon talked repeatedly about getting young people off welfare. It seems that National has devised a traffic light system which will use increasing levels of sanctions – welfare deductions – when beneficiaries fail to meet their ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on National spreading panic about the economy
    It is a political strategy as old as time. Scare the public with tales of disaster and stampede them into supporting your ideological agenda because they believe There Is No Alternative. Yet, if the NZ economy truly is as “fragile” as PM Christopher Luxon says it is… Then how come ...
    6 days ago
  • The promise of passive house design
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Sarah Wesseler Imagine a home so efficient that it could be heated with a hair dryer. That’s the promise of a passive house, a design standard that’s becoming increasingly popular in the architecture community for its benefits to occupants and the climate. ...
    6 days ago
  • Deep in the Uncanny Valley of AI
    Hi,Before we get started, some very big fun Webworm news. I am launching a new journalism fund called Big Worm Farm!A really great thing that’s happened with Webworm over the last four years is that it’s grown. That’s great for a few reasons.Firstly — it means the work here gets ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Introducing: Big Worm Farm
    Hi,I’m excited to tell you about Big Worm Farm.Put simply, the main aim of Big Worm Farm is to support investigative journalists from around the world to be able to devote dedicated time to research and report on a specific story, to be published on Webworm.The stories will capture the ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Why Massey is broke
    The Tertiary Education Commission has named the two universities it says are at high risk financially. They are Massey and Victoria. The Commission appeared before Parliament’s Education Select Committee yesterday and offered a revealing and rare insight into the complex world of university economics. Its Briefing to the Incoming Minister ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • You keep Luxin' when you oughta be thruthin'
    Christopher Luxon’s campaign to win last year's election continued yesterday with a speech.Channelling possibly Bruce Willis in Die Hard, he was all, I'm not going to dress it up, I'm going to level with you guys: the state of the nation is fragile.The thing he’s maybe missing is that it ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • The PM spoke of the need for tough choices – and then opted to beat a retreat when gays and Gaza a...
    Buzz from the Beehive The PM’s State of the Nation speech – according to a Newshub headline – was a ‘buffet of buzzwords’ and full of ‘nonsense’. Fair to say, the quoted words were attributed to Opposition politicians, who were unlikely to say the speech was visionary and inspiring: PM ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    7 days ago
  • Keynesian Wisdom.
    When the facts change, I change my mind - what do you do, sir?John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946)This posting is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    7 days ago
  • BRIAN EASTON: Puffing policy
    Public policy towards tobacco consumption remains politically sensitive. Brian Easton writes – In 1983, a young researcher was told by a medium-level Treasury official that Treasury policy was to abandon excise duties on tobacco. The senior Treasury economist that I consulted, famed for his commonsense, snorted ‘we ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    7 days ago
  • Is 2.8% per year population growth too much?
    TL;DR: The Government is reviewing migration settings that produced 2.8% population growth last year and is looking at a longer-term strategy of matching population growth to the ‘absorbtive capacity’ of Aotearoa-NZ’s infrastructure.Our population grew last year at its fastest rate since 1947, when large numbers of troops returning from World ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Tough Choices & Tough Love.
    I've been trying to hurt youI've been holding you tightI've been learning to love youAm I doing it right?How are you still breathingWith my hands all over your heart?How do we start healingIf we can't keep out the dark?Yesterday the Prime Minister delivered his State of the Nation, for no ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Will the 2024 RLTP be yet another debacle?
    A couple of years ago, Auckland Council and Auckland Transport found themselves in court over the 2021 Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP). A non-profit alliance for transport decarbonisation, All Aboard Aotearoa, argued that among other factors, the RLTP was unlawful because it failed to give effect to the 2021 Government ...
    1 week ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #07
    A listing of 31 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, Feb 11, 2024 thru Sat, Feb 17, 2024. Story of the week Based on mission alignment, our Story of the Week is certainly Can we be inoculated against climate ...
    1 week ago
  • Immigration Issues.
    Help is comingI heard a whisperWhite caps turningThe breath of summerA distant drummingAnd liar birds callingEscape the anguish of our pastAnd prayOne of the major challenges of the the 21st century will be the mass migration of human beings around our globe.Some seeking economic opportunities, others fleeing repressive regimes, war ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Trust us, we know what we’re doing
    The best trick the National Party ever pulled was to fabricate their reputation as the responsible ones.This would be the National Party that denied us the New Zealand Superannuation Scheme that—Brian Gaynor wrote back in 2007would be worth more than $240 billion today and would have transformed the New Zealand ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • The Left’s Timidity
    It is not just Karl Marx – even the most enthusiastic supporters of the market economy (not least Adam Smith) will concede that its normal operation inevitably leads to a concentration of wealth in relatively few hands. Some, at least, of these enthusiasts will accept that such a concentration is ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago

  • Government backs police to crackdown on gangs
    The coalition Government is restoring law and order by providing police new tools to crack down on criminal gangs, says Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Police Minister Mark Mitchell.  “Over the last five years gangs have recruited more than 3000 members, a 51 per cent increase. At the same time, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Northland’s new Kāeo Bridge officially open
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed the official opening of the new State Highway 10 (SH10) Kāeo Bridge, which will improve safety and traffic flow for people heading to and from the Far North. “This is an important piece of infrastructure for the Northland region that will help members of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Dry weather triggers extra support for farmers and growers across the top of the South Island
    The coalition Government is providing support for farmers and growers as dry conditions worsen across the top of the South Island. “Conditions on the ground across the Marlborough, Tasman, and Nelson districts are now extremely dry and likely to get worse in the coming months,” Agriculture Minister Todd McClay said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Trade Minister heads to Abu Dhabi for key WTO negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay travels to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates for the 13th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) today, to take up his role as Vice Chair of the negotiations. The Ministerial Conference is the highest decision-making body within the WTO and meets every ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Appointment round for King’s Counsel announced
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced an appointment round for King’s Counsel will take place in 2024. Appointments of King’s Counsel are made by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Attorney-General and with the concurrence of the Chief Justice. The Governor-General retains the discretion to appoint King’s Counsel in recognition ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Retiring Chief of Navy thanked for his service
    Defence Minister Judith Collins has thanked the Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral David Proctor, for his service as he retires from the Royal New Zealand Navy after 37 years. Rear Admiral Proctor will retire on 16 May to take up an employment opportunity in Australia.  “I would like to thank ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Indonesian Vice President to visit New Zealand
    Indonesia’s Vice President Ma’ruf Amin will visit New Zealand next week, the first here by an Indonesian leader since 2018, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters has announced. “New Zealand and Indonesia have a strong partnership,” Mr Peters says.  “The Vice President’s visit is an opportunity to discuss how we can strengthen ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government boost to fight against caulerpa
    The battle to contain the fast-spreading exotic caulerpa seaweed has today received a $5 million boost to accelerate the development of removal techniques, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The time is now to really lean in and build on the work of Biosecurity New Zealand, mana whenua, communities and local ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Minister attending Australian data, digital meeting
    Minister for Digitising Government Judith Collins is in Sydney to attend the first Data and Digital Ministers’ Meeting of 2024.  “This is a great opportunity to connect with our Australian counterparts and identify how we can work together on digital transformation,” Ms Collins says.   “Both our nations are looking into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Appointments to Antarctica New Zealand Board
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has appointed Leon Grice and Heather Simpson to serve on the Antarctica New Zealand board.  “Since taking office, the Coalition Government has become concerned about the direction of the Scott Base Redevelopment Project,” Mr Peters says.  “It is vital that Antarctica New Zealand has the right ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Strengthening the Single Economic Market
    Finance Minister Nicola Willis has met with Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers to discuss the opportunities to lower business costs and increase the ease with which businesses and people can operate across the Tasman.     “I have met with Treasurer Chalmers and shared our new Government’s ambitious economic goals, our plans ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government to address business payment practices
    The Government will repeal the Business Payment Practices Act 2023, Small Business and Manufacturing Minister Andrew Bayly announced today. “There is a major problem with large market players imposing long payment terms and routinely paying invoices late. “However, the Business Payment Practices Act is not an effective solution and would ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Greater focus on work will reduce child poverty
    Worsening child poverty rates support the Coalition Government’s focus on reducing the cost of living and getting people into work, Child Poverty Reduction Minister Louise Upston says. Figures released by Stats NZ today show child poverty rates have increased, with the rising cost of living, driven by inflation, making it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ announces new support for Ukraine
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Judith Collins have marked two years since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by announcing further support and sanctions, and extending our military assistance. “Russia launched its illegal, full-scale invasion of Ukraine, in blatant violation of international law, including the UN Charter,” Mr Peters says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Finance Minister to meet Australian Treasurer
    Finance Minister Nicola Willis will travel to Australia today to meet her Australian counterpart, Treasurer Jim Chalmers.    “New Zealand and Australia have an incredibly strong trade and investment relationship. The Closer Economic Relations and Single Economic Market are powerful engines for growth on both sides of the Tasman.     “I will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • PM shocked and saddened at death of Efeso Collins
    “I am truly shocked and saddened at the news of Efeso Collins’ sudden death,” Prime Minister Christopher Luxon says. “Efeso was a good man, always friendly and kind, and a true champion and advocate for his Samoan and South Auckland communities. “Our thoughts and deepest sympathies go to his family, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Greater support for social workers
    The Coalition Government is enhancing the professionalism of the social work sector and supporting the vulnerable people who rely on them, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says.  The Social Workers Registration Legislation Amendment Bill passed its third reading in Parliament today. It amends the Social Workers Registration Legislation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government delivers greater freedom and choice for sick New Zealanders
    The coalition government is delivering on its commitment to making principled decisions by getting rid of red tape that doesn’t make sense and allowing sick New Zealanders greater freedom and choice to purchase effective cold and flu medicines. A bill amending the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 is being introduced, and changes to the Medicines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government begins reset of welfare system
    The Coalition Government is taking early action to curb the surge in welfare dependency that occurred under the previous government by setting out its expectations around employment and the use of benefit sanctions, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. In 2017, 60,588 sanctions were applied to beneficiaries who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • State of the Nation
    Ka nui te mihi kia koutou. Kia ora, good morning, talofa, malo e lelei, bula vinaka, da jia hao, namaste, sat sri akal, assalamu alaikum. Thank you for coming to my first State of the Nation as Prime Minister. Thank you for coming to a speech where I don’t just ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • West Coast tourism attractions officially open
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will attend the official opening of two highly anticipated tourism projects on the West Coast today – Pike29 Memorial Track, dedicated to the memory of the Pike River miners, and Pounamu Pathway. “The Pike29 Memorial Track is a way to remember and honour the men ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Independent ferry service advisory group in place
    Appointments to the Ministerial Advisory Group tasked with providing independent advice and assurance on the future of KiwiRail’s inter-island ferry service have been made, State Owned Enterprises Minister Paul Goldsmith says. “It’s important for New Zealand that KiwiRail is focused on ensuring safe, resilient, and reliable ferry services over the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Joint statement from the Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada, and New Zealand
    The Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada and New Zealand today issued the following statement on reports of Israel’s planned military operation in Rafah. We are gravely concerned by indications that Israel is planning a ground offensive into Rafah.   A military operation into Rafah would be catastrophic. About 1.5 million Palestinians ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt will deliver on expanded breast screening
    The coalition Government has made the first steps in delivering on its promise to  extend free breast screening to women aged 70-74, Health Minister Shane Reti says. “As part of the 100 day plan, the Government has now met with officials and discussed what is needed in order for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government announces woolshed roadshows in support of sheep farmers
    The Government celebrates National Lamb Day (15 February 24) and congratulates sheep farmers on the high-quality products they continue to produce. Agriculture Minister McClay hosted bipartisan celebrations of National Lamb Day with industry representatives at Parliament this week to mark the anniversary of the first frozen lamb exports that left ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech: Address to the NZ Economics Forum
    It’s great to be back at the New Zealand Economics Forum. I would like to acknowledge everyone here today for your expertise and contribution, especially the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Head of the Waikato Management School, economists, students and experts alike. A year has passed since I was last before you, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government tackling high construction costs
    The Government is focused on reducing sky-high construction costs to make it more affordable to build a home, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says.  Stats NZ data shows the cost of building a house has increased by 41 per cent since 2019, making housing even more unaffordable for Kiwi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s Three Waters legislation repealed
    The Coalition Government’s legislative plan to address longstanding issues with local water infrastructure and service delivery took an important step today, with the repeal of Labour’s divisive and unpopular Three Waters legislation, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “Repealing this legislation is a necessary first step in implementing our Local ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Cost of living support for beneficiary households
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its commitment to ease the cost-of-living by increasing main benefit rates in line with inflation and ensuring the Minimum Family Tax Credit threshold remains aligned with this change, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. The Social Security (Benefits Adjustment) and Income Tax ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government announces agriculture delegations to better support Primary sector
    The coalition Government has announced ministerial delegations to support key areas across the Primary sector to deliver for New Zealand’s food and fibre sector, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay announced today. “I will be supported in my roles as Minister of Agriculture, Trade, Forestry and Hunting and Fishing, by three Associate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Waikato MoU reinforces Govt’s commitment to increase NZ doctors
    The Government has taken an important step forward in addressing a critical shortage of New Zealand-trained doctors, with today’s signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for a third medical school, Minister of Health Dr Shane Reti has announced.  “Today’s signing by the Ministry of Health and the University of Waikato ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech – Lunar New Year 2024
    Annyeonghaseyo, greetings and welcome all. It is my pleasure as the Minister for Ethnic Communities to welcome you to the first Lunar New Year Event in Parliament. Thank you to our emcees for greeting us in the different languages that represent the many cultures that celebrate the Lunar New Year. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • More funding to Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti
    Urgent work to clean-up cyclone-affected regions will continue, thanks to a $63 million boost from the Government for sediment and debris removal in Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti.                                                                                                   The funding will help local councils continue urgent work removing and disposing of sediment and debris left from Cyclone Gabrielle.   “This additional ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Budget will be delivered on 30 May
    Plans to deliver tax relief to hard-working New Zealanders, rebuild business confidence and restore the Crown’s finances to order will be unveiled on 30 May, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says. The plans will be announced in the Budget which is currently being developed by Ministers.  “The last government’s mismanagement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government advances Local Water Done Well
    The Coalition Government is continuing work to restore council ownership and control of water assets by repealing Three Waters and appointing a Technical Advisory Group to provide expert advice on the implementation of Local Water Done Well, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “The Government will pass a bill to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister congratulates NZQA Top Scholars
    Education Minister Erica Stanford congratulates the New Zealand Scholarship recipients from 2023 announced today.  “Receiving a New Zealand Scholarship is a fantastic achievement and is a testament to the hard work and dedication the recipients have put in throughout the year,” says Ms Stanford.  “New Zealand Scholarship tests not only ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has today announced five new diplomatic appointments.  "Strong and effective diplomacy to protect and advance our interests in the world is needed now more than ever," Mr Peters says.  “We are delighted to appoint senior diplomats from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Committee for Auckland
    It is great to be here today at this event as Minister for Auckland and Minister ofTransport. Let me start by acknowledging each one of you and thanking the Committee forAuckland for hosting this event and inviting me to speak here today. The Committee for Auckland has been a symbol ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Getting Transport Back on Track in Auckland
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has today confirmed his high-level transport priorities for Auckland, in the lead up to releasing the draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport. “Our economic growth and productivity are underpinned by a transport network that enables people and freight to move around safely and efficiently. At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government to axe Auckland Regional Fuel Tax
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has confirmed that the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax will end on 30 June 2024. “Today, I can confirm that the Government has agreed to remove the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax in line with our coalition commitments, and legislation will be introduced to parliament to repeal the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago

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