Labour takes bull by the horns, Nats left standing

Written By: - Date published: 10:14 am, October 13th, 2008 - 25 comments
Categories: economy, election 2008, helen clark, john key, labour, national - Tags:

One of the first rules of politics is don’t set yourself up to be snookered; don’t position yourself in a way that your opposition can and will undercut, don’t run attack lines that your opposition can and will invalidate.

National has repeatedly done this. They ran on tax cuts as their sole platform when it was blindingly obvious that Labour would not only cut taxes but would do so in a way that benefits low-income workers leaving National’s eventual policy not only looking underwhelming but also creating situation where they are taking money off vulnerable Kiwis to give tax cuts to the wealthy. They ran an attack line that Labour has no policy or no strategy to deal with the emerging world financial crisis when they have (as any fool should assume) been working their arses off creating a serious response. Now, it is National that looks flat-footed. Their ‘economic package’ is exactly the same vague, pro-rich, tinkering as it has been for at least a year, unaltered by recent events, while Labour is proposing a genuine strategy for dealing with a long-term recession.

In my varied work-life, I’ve been a speechwriter. One of the first things a speechwriter has to keep in mind is the content must not be out of date when it is delivered – it makes your speaker look overwhelmed by events, out of the loop, naive. That’s exactly how Key and English looked yesterday as they lambasted Labour for having no strategy for dealing with the crisis while offering none themselves even as, a few blocks away, Clark was detailing a program of infrastructure construction, labour up-skilling, and idle capacity utilisation akin to the policies that got the world out of the Great Depression*.

It is Labour that has shown it understands the situation we face, that the outlook for the world economy has altered dramatically over the last few weeks. It is Labour that has shown has both the will and the tools to deal with it. It is National that is out of touch and bereft of ideas.

*(it is these policies, not the deposit insurance, a confidence-building exercise than anything, that will make the real difference, more on that later)

25 comments on “Labour takes bull by the horns, Nats left standing”

  1. Spot on. It was interesting to see the two campaign launches yesterday. Labour’s was about substantive solusions to the crisis.

  2. IrishBill 2

    “*(it is these policies, not the deposit insurance, a confidence-building exercise than anything, that will make the real difference, more on that later)”

    Agreed, I was surprised that there hasn’t been more made of this in the media.

  3. randal 3

    natoinal is full of talk…all they want is a high dollar so their mainstreet mates can make enough money to go to the south of france every year. they dont give a hoot about anyhting else.

  4. Greg 4

    SP – “creating situation where they are taking money off vulnerable Kiwis to give tax cuts to the wealthy.”

    I think it is important to remember that unless you have a flat tax system this is not the case. With a progreessive tax system you’re making higher earners pay more than their fair share of tax. The idea is that the more you earn the more you use the goods and services that the government provides (drive more etc etc) so therefore if you earn twice as much as someone else you should pay twice as much tax. But with a progreesive tax system you pay more than that, maybe up to 4 or 5 times as much tax (very roughly). Now this is unfair, but it will depend on your political philosophy as to whether you think its right or not. But the notion that National is “taking money off vulnerable Kiwi’s” is untrue. They are simply redistributing wealth less. The wealthy still get taxed by a lot more than they should if we were to live in a ‘fair’ country.

  5. randal 5

    hey greg you can only drive one car at a time and live inone house at a time. If higher earners have received more than their fare share of the boutny of the earth then it is fair that they pay more tax. I mean what do you need all that money for? bribing grandkids to love you…browbeating the bank manager…come on greg…tell us all.

  6. Chris 6

    randal i support progressive tax but greg makes a point and it’s unfair to spin it so simplistically

  7. Greg. We live in a real world, not some theoritical one (which itself is not ‘natural’ but also a legal construct). Any change in the tax system is a change from a status quo. Under National’s proposed changes from the status quo (ie the current legislation), the wealthy get more money at the expense of those on lower incomes

  8. Paul 8

    but we don’t live in a ‘fair’ country in that sense – we live in one where we believe in social justice, that we should look after those in our society who are less well off – not some culty Randian sink-or-swim world

    On the other hand I do have issues with the deposit insurance announcement – I understand that short term they can’t ‘do it right’ because parliament is not in session. But I’d rather have a US style system with caps on insurance amounts (a max amount per bank – if you have $2M in the bank you should need to spread it around and diversify to pick up govt insurance on all of it) and associated oversight of bank’s operating practices – the US FDIC requires insured banks to keep to minimum liquidity requirements and particular banking practices (doesn’t help much in the current situation but stops banks going crazy with our money because whatever they do the govt will pay up) – if a bank steps outside these rules the FDIC will step in and take over

  9. Pascal's bookie 9

    Greg’s point:

    1)assume the fairness of flat taxation,

    2)use that assumption to declare that progressive tax is therefore an abberation,

    3)therefore policy comparisons should be made with the non existent flat tax regime, rather than with the system a new policy would be changing.

    I’m not convinced.

  10. rave 10

    Labour sedates bear, Nats covered in bull….

    Greg its not philosophy but reality. High income people are not living off their own labour but that of others. I would have thought you’d prefer having some of taxed back than having the lot taken back, no?

  11. Pat 11

    Isn’t the Deposit Insurance Scheme effectively another tax?

    We have been told how safe the main 4 Aussie Banks are (all ranked in the world top 20) so the chances of deposits being at risk is minimal. But the 5 main Banks in NZ would all have deposits well in excess of $5B, for which they will pay 0.10% to Government coffers, so effectively the Kiwi investor will now pay 0.10% extra on deposit rates. Disguised as an insurance, but really a tax.

    The government stands to rake in a huge windfall under this scheme.

  12. higherstandard 12

    Rave

    I am a high income earner living off the back of my own labour.

    I don’t begrudge paying tax – why do you want to take all of my earnings ?

  13. higherstandard 13

    Pat

    The DIS is in reaction to other banks doing the same thing overseas – it would be a poor look to not do it when Australia has and might give the wrong impression despite there being little to no chance of the banks in Australia or NZ failing.

    The reality is if things get so bad that the major banks in NZ and Australia fall over it’s game over and the DIS would be close to meaningless anyway.

  14. Daveski 14

    To a certain extent, I think there is an element of truth in the fact that Labour have responded more coherently.

    Partly, this is due to the fact that the Nats were stymied by having focussed on tax cuts for so long that they had to at least follow through or get laughed out of the election race.

    However, what’s more interesting is the similarity between the parties – SP is spinning the differences like it’s chalk and cheese when the reality is quite different.

    Weeks ago, this site was spinning BS about National’s infrastructure plans and how irresponsible it was to increase debt levels to 22%. Infrastructure spending is now good.

    On the other hand, Labour introduce an envy tax (so SP can change the status quo) and the Nats barely tinker with it.

    Also of interest is that you have overlooked the breach of convention – Labour should have discussed the bank guarantee rather than using it as an election pledge but I doubt that we can expect any criticism of Labour from SP 🙂

  15. Pat 15

    HS – I understand that. But watch this space for the deposit insurance to become legislated as compulsory, and as economic conditions improve, another tax has crept in without us really understanding the long term implications.

    For most Kiwi Mums and Dads the horse has bolted. Where was the deposit insurance regime when the finance companies were running rampant. The government can introduce it now, safe in the knowledge that the chances of them having to pay out is minimal.

  16. Greg 16

    Randal – “If higher earners have received more than their fare share of the boutny of the earth then it is fair that they pay more tax.”

    Fair share of bounty? Sometimes people work hard to get that bounty. Life ain’t all luck my friend.

    Pascal – “Greg’s point:

    1)assume the fairness of flat taxation,

    2)use that assumption to declare that progressive tax is therefore an abberation,

    3)therefore policy comparisons should be made with the non existent flat tax regime, rather than with the system a new policy would be changing.”

    That wasn’t my point. Progressive tax is not an aboration. I did assume the ‘fairness’ (making the point that fair and morally right can be considered to be two different things) of flat taxation – and justified it. My point was that SP’s argument is simplistic and emotive.

    Rave – “Greg its not philosophy but reality. High income people are not living off their own labour but that of others.”

    Thats not true. The majority of high income earners work hard to get there. Its not some game of luck. Ever noticed that the harder you work the luckier you seem to get? You seem to be suggesting that high income earners exploit those working for them to get into that position. Thats sounds like an argument of envy to me.

  17. randal 17

    how can aflat tax be fair when the more one earns the less one pays?

  18. randal, the “flat tax” normally refers to a fixed %ge of income, versus progressive where the lower portions of your income are taxed at a lower rate.

    Greg, to bring this back on topic, consider the current wealthy elite who received their money through stupidly overpaid jobs in financial institutions which are now collapsing through an extended period of poor management and decisions motivated by short term financial gain.

    They are lucky, because the set those pay rates before everyone knew that the pay rates being dished out were unsustainable.

    It’s certainly true that if someone is on a high income, that the person employing them considers their value added to be worth it. However given that we can observe large discrepancies between profitable (or, profit-leeching) sectors of the economy, and considering that there is a high barrier for individuals moving between sectors (ie, re-training time – and the associated risk factors), there can be little chance for horizontal parity between sectors. So, these people are “lucky”, and perhaps the market does eventually correct that – but I’d wager much more slowly than, say, competing manufacturers improve their products or lower their prices.

    So your comment about the “fair share of bounty” is correct within a field; people often work hard for higher salaries, harder than others in their industry. But there is an element of luck, too – the factors that decide whether the industry you’re in is highly paid or lowly paid is largely out of your individual control.

    High income earners end up paying more tax, but to balance that, they’re getting more money, too. Both things they should be proud of; that they have the skills and dedication to take home a big salary, and that they can support the infrastructure of the country at the same time despite paying one of the lowest overall tax rates in the OECD.

  19. Matthew Pilott 19

    Pat, you say for most kiwi mums and dads the horse has bolted. While it is true than many people have lost not insignificant savings through investment in high-return/high-risk finance companies, the horse has not come close to bolting. Think about what happened with the finance companies, and then imagine if it were a run on the main banks of New Zealand. No comparison, not close.

    The DIS merely assures people they needen’t worry about such a prospect – whether the banks choose to use it is another story. That it exists probably means they won’t actually do so… Think about it and I’m sure you’ll see why!

    And for the record, if you think a progressive tax rate is socialist then you should think a flat tax is as well. It’s pretty obvious why this is the case.

  20. Pascal's bookie 20

    “Oh Poll tax, how I loves ya, how I loves ya
    my dear ol’ poll tax”

  21. rave 21

    If high paid people are employers their high income comes from the people they employ. That’s why they are called employers. They can borrow from the banks, rent plant and machinery, but if they cannot get people willing to work long enough to return a profit on their investment, they make a loss. The debate is over whether they perform any socially useful role or not. I would say not, that when workers own and control enterprises they make better and more socially useful decisions on what to produce.

    If high paid people are self-employed, then some of their income is due to their own labour, but I would suggest that the “high” component of it is due to a privatising of social investment and spending redirected into their pockets, whether its farmers, public servants or tradespeople. Usually this redirection process refers to ‘rent’ or the premium gained from being able to exploit a monopoly in resources, services etc. eg medical doctors.

    I think its fair for society to recoup this social investment from individuals and its a fair cop for those who have illusions in their entitlement and no sense of their social obligations.

  22. Flat taxes are bad for the economy, and the country. 5 reasons:

    1. They shift the tax burden from the rich to the middle class, which has to pay disproportionately higher taxes than they would under a progressive tax regime.

    2. Sales taxes are by nature regressive, because tax eats up a larger percentage of income for those who have to spend a higher percentage of their income on necessities.

    3. Results in cuts in social spending and prompts moves towards user-pays. Despite rhetoric, user pays in some areas is not the best method for control of a finite resource, especially when such resource use is life-vital rather than through choice consumption.

    4. User-pays inevitably leads to further hardship for those on lowest incomes. Their spending is restricted, and those industries who rely on their spending also lose out. The 1991 benefit cuts for example cost the economy an estimated $2 bn.

    5. There are many resources paid for by the state that are disproportionately used more by those who are well off, i.e. public marinas, state highways, national parks. Middle class and rich people generally enjoy better use of government funded recreations services like parks etc. because they are more likely to have time to enjoy them.

  23. Daveski. Labour isn’t proposing more borrowing for it’s infrastructure spending. A few weeks ago it didn’t look like there was going to be a capacity for more infrastructure building, as this internaitonal crisis continues it is looking like there will be.

  24. randal 24

    no one has answered the question what do they want all that money for?

  25. Draco T Bastard 25

    You seem to be suggesting that high income earners exploit those working for them to get into that position. Thats sounds like an argument of envy to me.

    Greg, it’s got nothing to do with envy and everything to do with reality. As one multi-millionaire said to me “You’ll never get rich working”. You can certainly become well off but you’ll never get the same sort of income as you can get when you have others working for you.

    Sam Vilain:

    randal, the “flat tax’ normally refers to a fixed %ge of income, versus progressive where the lower portions of your income are taxed at a lower rate.

    No it doesn’t other wise the people who go on about the fairness of flat tax would be trumpeting the fact that we already have one. Once GST is taken into effect we all pay about 30% tax.

    rave:

    ..that when workers own and control enterprises they make better and more socially useful decisions on what to produce.

    And how to produce it as well. Chances are, when left to the workers who have to live in the community, pollution will be more of an issue and so less polluting methods would be used.

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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    1 week ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    1 week ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    1 week ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    1 week ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘The Workshop’ – Report: Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Strategies that ...
    The Workshop is a charitable trust for public good. The Workshop undertake research to find ways of communicating that will build support for the solutions that work to solve complex social and environmental problems. See their Report on Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform below. ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Exclusive language
    What is language? We generally assume that it a facility unique to humans, allowing us to share what’s in and on our minds. We can tell of our plans, our past exploits, our knowledge. It also allows us to lie. And yet there are vast numbers of people we can’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    2 weeks ago
  • April 2018 – Submission to the NZ Govt Tax Working Group
    You can read our submission HERE ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • 2018 – Submission to the NZ Government Tax Working Group
    Read our submission here ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Guardian: Poll shows DISASTER for Corbyn and the End of Times
    The Guardian - ever eager to forewarn of doom and disaster on the left - are leading with a new poll from Opinium, which puts the Conservatives 15% clear of Labour.Con 38% +2Lab 23% -1Lib Dem 15% -5Brexit 12% +1Green 4% +2This isn't good news, and it would be very ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How prostitution became the world’s most modern profession
    Being and Being Bought (Spinifex Press, 2013) by Kajsa Ekis Ekman  A synopsis and commentary of Chapters 1-2 by Daphna Whitmore Ekman, a Swedish journalist and critic, brings together a Marxist and feminist analysis of prostitution and surrogacy in this groundbreaking book She opens the discussion with a definition of ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Clever legal fellow on Scottish challenge to Brexit
    I make no claims to having much legal knowledge,  so I defer to those trained in this area.I am very much enjoying this twitter stream from m'learned friend in Edinburgh, deciphering the legal arguments around the Scottish court challenge to Boris Johnson, based on the charmingly obscure principle of Nobile ...
    2 weeks ago
  • An Open Letter From Closed Minds.
    Ivory Folly? The University of Auckland’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart McCutcheon, upheld the right of the radical nationalist group, Action Zealandia to exercise their freedom of speech – not matter how distasteful that speech might be. A wiser community of students and scholars would have nodded their agreement and moved on. ...
    2 weeks ago

  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Further details of Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visit to New Zealand
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed further details on the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s visit to New Zealand next month. Their Royal Highnesses will visit New Zealand from 17-23 November – their third joint visit to New Zealand and first in four years. They arrive in Auckland ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • O’Connor in Thailand to push for RCEP deal
    Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth and Minister of Agriculture, Damien O’Connor, heads to Thailand today to attend the final Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial meeting, as negotiations enter their final stages. “The RCEP Agreement would anchor New Zealand in a regional agreement that covers 16 countries, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Young Pacific people can access earning and learning opportunities in Hawke’s Bay, Otago and South...
    Pacific young people living in the Hawke’s Bay, Southland and Otago regions will have access to support services that have proved successful in helping young people find new earning and learning opportunities. “Tupu Aotearoa is about changing Pacific young peoples’ lives. Our young people are talented, they are smart, they ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Protecting wellbeing – ACC HQSC Trauma Forum
    Introduction As the Minister for ACC I thank you all for the work that you do supporting New Zealanders in their literally most vulnerable moments. From those who hold people’s lives in their hands, to the people who research technique, technology and trends, your work is highly valued. A special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ economy in good shape – notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch
    Notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch – Wednesday 9 October 2019 Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • World Mental Health Day a reminder of the importance of mental health work
    Minister of Health Dr David Clark and Associate Minister of Health Peeni Henare say this year’s World Mental Health Day theme is a reminder of why the Government’s work on mental health is so important. “This year the World Federation for Mental Health has made suicide prevention the main theme ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Cultural Ministers Meeting
    Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni will represent the government at Australia’s Meeting of Cultural Ministers in Adelaide this week. “This year’s meeting is special because New Zealand is expected to become an International Member of the Meeting of Cultural Ministers at this Australian forum,” Carmel Sepuloni said. “The meeting is an opportunity to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago