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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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  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    1 week ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    1 week ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    1 week ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    1 week ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    1 week ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    1 week ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago

  • Decisions made on urgent turf maintenance
    The Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson has announced that urgent maintenance of turf and care for plants in non-plantation nurseries will soon be able to go ahead under Level 4 restrictions. “The Government has agreed that urgent upkeep and maintenance of biological assets will be able to go ahead ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Acknowledging an extraordinary te reo champion
    E tangi ana a Taranaki iwi, e tangi ana te ao Māori, otirā e tangi ana te motu. Mōu katoa ngā roimata e riringi whānui ana, mōu katoa ngā mihi.   E te kaikōkiri i te reo Māori, e Te Huirangi, takoto mai. Takoto mai me te mōhio ko ngā ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Prime Minister’s remarks halfway through Alert Level 4 lockdown
    Today is day 15 of Alert Level 4 lockdown. And at the halfway mark I have no hesitation in saying, that what New Zealanders have done over the last two weeks is huge. In the face of the greatest threat to human health we have seen in over a century, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Licenses, WoFs and regos extended under lockdown
    All driver licences, WoFs, CoFs, and some vehicle certifications, that expired on or after 1 January 2020 will be valid for up to six months from 10 April 2020, Transport Minister Phil Twyford has announced. “People shouldn’t have to worry about getting fined for having an expired document if driving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Inquiry report into EQC released
    The Government has today released the report from the Public Inquiry into the Earthquake Commission chaired by Dame Silvia Cartwright.  Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission Grant Robertson says the Government wants to learn from people’s experiences following the Canterbury earthquakes and other recent natural disasters. “Dame Silvia’s report documents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • More time for health workers and elderly to get flu vaccine
    The Government has extended by two weeks till April 27 the amount of time priority groups, such as health workers and those aged over 65, have to get their flu vaccine before it is made available to the wider public. This year’s vaccination campaign is a key component of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
    Communities stepping up to help New Zealanders stay at home to break the transmission of COVID-19 and save lives have received Government support, said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “Delivering groceries for the elderly who can’t shop online, providing data packs for low income families to keep them connected, and being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
    Across New Zealand 120 sites are taking samples to be tested for COVID-19.   68 community based assessment centres (CBACs) have been established to take samples from people with COVID-19 symptoms. Alongside this, 52 other centres including designated general practices, swabbing centres, and mobile clinics are now testing people for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
    The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    1 week ago
  • Government supports air services to offshore islands
    The Government has stepped in to support vital air links to our offshore islands, the Chatham Islands, Great Barrier Island and Motiti Island, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. “As part of our $600 million support package to minimise the impacts of COVID-19 on the aviation sector, the Government has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago