web analytics

Labour’s flag strategy

Written By: - Date published: 2:48 pm, December 15th, 2009 - 44 comments
Categories: labour, Media - Tags: , , ,

Colin Espiner:

After making inroads in the latest TV3 poll, Goff has clearly taken fright after the reaction to his nationhood speech. How else to explain his perplexing decision not to comment on the announcement by Prime Minister John Key that the Maori tino rangatiratanga flag will fly on Waitangi Day?

This decision by Key will be controversial, and it was a gift for Goff to get stuck into. Instead he’s run and hid, saying only there are more important things to worry about. That left the door wide open for leadership aspirant Shane Jones to go on radio this morning and slate the flag as the “flag of division, of protest…it’s Hone’s flag”.

Espiner, and others in the media, seem to think Jones is barging through a gap left by Goff to further leadership aspirations. Nup. This isn’t Goff being weak. Nor Jones leap-frogging him. Doesn’t show internal ructions. It shows internal cohesion and strategy. Let me explain.

Legitimate criticisms coming from Goff are going to be mired in race issues and accusations of dogwhistling. Particularly after his Nationhood speech, which had dogwhistles. Going to risk further pissing off Maori Labourites. Labour, including Goff, are genuinely unhappy to have caused that justified reaction.

Jones doesn’t have that problem. Simple truth – he’s Maori. He’s also got a defter hand on race relations.

Labour’s strategy is simple. Jones leads criticism of poor policies that concern Maori like the flag. Goff restricts his comments to stuff that isn’t racially sensitive and dismisses the flag as a sign of a government that’s doing nothing on the big issues.

Criticism made. No perception of dogwhistling. No fear of backlash. Labour gets the win without the toll. Basic politics.

44 comments on “Labour’s flag strategy”

  1. IrishBill 1

    Is this like national’s strategy where the frontbench do the dirty work while Key sits back with clean hands and says he’s relaxed unless it goes really wrong in which case he steps in as the great consensus-maker?

    • snoozer 1.1

      hehe, could be.

      I don’t see anyone claiming Key’s leadership is under threat when that happens.

      • Tim Ellis 1.1.1

        Maybe the reason why nobody (seriously) claims that Mr Key’s leadership is under threat is because he is the preferred prime minister by a historically record margin. It doesn’t seem to stop some people here at the Standard speculating on him though.

    • Dean 1.2

      [Give it up Dean. And take a three month ban while you’re at it.]

  2. al 2

    Phil could have, and should have, opposed the flag. Backing down now is a weak look I’m afraid and this will do Labour no favours. In the end he buckled to the media machinations of the right (and sadly from the left as well ). He was scared off with all the talk of dog whistling and dirty politics. He had one chance and absolutely blew it. The right will be thrilled.

  3. al 3

    Phil backed down from the start he made giving voice to the large number of New Zealanders who have no time for racism or for the maori separatist movement. Allowing the flying of a flag, that is a symbol of maori separatism, to fly from government buildings is really offensive to many.Phil could have consolidated his leadership. Instead he gave in. It will show in the next round of polls- I predict Labour will be back where it was and will stay there indefinitely.

    • Lew 3.1

      Backing down from the disastrous strategy of alienating one of the few voter bases who (against much of their better judgement) remain generally loyal to Labour, in exchange for a possible bounce among National’s core demographic, then? Sounds like he’s taken some good advice.

      L

  4. Tigger 4

    I just assumed that Goff was letting one of the most senior Maori MPs take point given the issue here. And gotta say, Jones has scored some great points.

  5. Neil 5

    “Legitimate criticisms”?

    If Labour and/or Jones had legitimate criticisms they could have taken those concerns to the consultative hui run by TPK.

    To now claim that this has been suddenly foisted on them by Hone is exremely dishonest and can only see it as part of Labour’s broader strategy on race issues.

    • gobsmacked 5.1

      Neil, which of these positions do you favour?

      1) National opposing Maori seats, in Auckland, and elsewhere, including Parliament (their policy has not changed)
      .
      2) Labour supporting Maori seats, in Auckland, and elsewhere, including Parliament (their policy has not changed)

      And if your answer is 2), a follow-up:

      Do you believe a flag on a couple of buildings one day a year is an issue that is about one-thousandth as important as Maori seats, giving access to real power, or are you so blinded by hatred of the Labour Party that you cannot see this charade for what it is?

      • Neil 5.1.1

        I gave my party and electoral vote to Helen Clark’s Labour govt three elections in a row and even after get concerned about where they were heading gave Labour my party vote in the last election.

        Read that as “hatred” if you want, that’s the typical reaction from Labour people these days to any form of criticism.

        I support Maori representaion on councils and wonder why labour never managed to do that in the 9 years they were in power but all of a sudden it’s such an issue for them.

        And really, I doubt they would really make such a change given where Goff is leading them.

        And yes write off the flag issue as hollow symbolism. Just like the Seabed and Foreshore Acttthlough, others might have a different view.

        • gobsmacked 5.1.1.1

          But Neil, it is hatred. It’s an obsession (just read your own posts, they are only on one theme, repeated ad nauseam). Like a guy going on (and on) about his ex-wife. People often get more angry about those they did vote for, than the ones they objectively think are worse.

          The F & S Act? What has John Key done? What law has changed? None. Do you not see the game?

          It is amazing to see smart people (which you presumably are) getting duped like this. If Labour are not good, National can only be worse. Logically. Rationally (but not, alas, emotionally).

          • Neil 5.1.1.1.1

            I’m more inclined to call it “feeling betrayed”. I’ve spent considerable energy defending Labour on race relations issues over the past few years to members of my family.

            So, yeah, there’s an element of emotional involvement.

          • Lew 5.1.1.1.2

            GS,

            If Labour are not good, National can only be worse.

            Do you hear yourself? Four legs good, two legs bad.

            Reasoning like this gave Labour a mandate to betray tangata whenua with the Foreshore and Seabed Act: whatever we do, National will do worse. It was true in the time of Brash, but indications are it’s not so true now. The government has all but stated that the Foreshore and Seabed Act will be repealed and replaced with a scheme drafted and implement by the consent of those who were disenfranchised by the FSA. If they don’t follow through, then they will be rightly pilloried — but all indications are that they intend to follow through.

            What we’ve learned over the past year is that past behaviour is not an ironclad indicator of future behaviour. Faced with the alternative of a Labour party which began to see sense but has since decided that the task of being in opposition is to oppose the government, regardless of the quality of its agenda, and has shown indications it might recant on its undertaking to work constructively on the repeal and replacement, the National party’s record on race relations suddenly doesn’t look so bad. That’s Labour’s shame more than it is National’s triumph.

            Unlike Neil (although I understand his position) I’m not emotionally attached to Labour — I’m rationally attached to them regaining office. I’m confident that, in the long run, you’re right. But that doesn’t mean folk should go easy on them, as you suggest, giving them a free ride because they’re ‘the good guys’ in a big cloth caps v bowler hats battle. They shouldn’t be punished for their betrayals and rewarded for their loyalty, because such breeds in loyalty and breeds out betrayal. If they can’t win those disenchanted voters back fair and square, they don’t deserve ’em.

            L

      • Lew 5.1.2

        GS, two can play at the single-policy winner-takes-all game.

        Which of these positions do you favour?

        1) Labour opposing the right of tangata whenua to possession of their lands & resources as guaranteed under the Treaty and upheld in the courts of the land (their policy has not changed).

        2) National supporting the right of tangata whenua to possession of their lands & resources as guaranteed under the Treaty and upheld in the courts of the land (their policy has changed).

        If 1, a follow-up:

        Do you believe that a government reneging on an ages-old agreement and overriding the rule of law in order to rob Pita and pay Paul is any way to run a country? Are you so blinded by your starry-eyed love of Labour that you can’t see that betrayal for what it is?

        The reality, of course, is that the FSA, mana whenua seats, and so on are single (important) issues in a wider democratic policy mix. So is the flag, and although you might decry it as an irrelevancy, symbolism matters; identity matters. On the topic of race relations, Labour has a great track record over the medium and long term, and a very poor track record indeed over the short term; worse than almost any other government in living memory. That counts — it’s important, and it’s important that their intransigence not go unrewarded, because if it did, they’d have no damned reason not to do it again.

        If Goff maintains and strengthens his race-baiting then the Labour party* deserves nothing more than a long spell in the political wilderness, and that will be a crying shame for this country.

        L

        * Happily, indications are that he might not: he hasn’t followed up on his Nationhood speech; Words Have Been Had in the caucus room; and he has delegated the point role on this issue to Shane Jones, who has a stronger mandate to speak on the topic since he’s from the Tai Tokerau and has grown up with this tribal politicking. But there’s still the worrying matter of a possible lack of bipartisan agreement on the FSA repeal. The whole world’s watching.

        • gobsmacked 5.1.2.1

          Lew, you’re right that parties should be judged by what they do in power.

          So your Option 2) is not true. National have not upheld any such right, at all. Yet.

          You may choose to be generous and give them a free pass based on what you hope they will do, at some indeterminate point in the future. I’m afraid I don’t.

          It has never been easier for a Prime Minister – of either party – than in the past year. Soft media, weak opposition, clear majority in Parliament, very high poll ratings. If ever a PM and government was going to lead from the front and take “middle NZ” (or whatever term you prefer) forward on race/Treaty issues, then it was in 2009.

          Key has done nothing. And the word is done. Not promised to “have a look at”, blah blah.

          Even without passing a law, he could have made a defining speech, laid out a vision, led the debate, something. But he hasn’t.

          If he ever does, I’ll commend him. Everything I’ve seen in his political persona thus far, tells me he never will. I see no depth, no vision, no inner core.

          Hope he proves me wrong.

          • Neil 5.1.2.1.1

            “Key has done nothing.”

            I think that having a Maori flag flying next Waitangi Day isn’t nothing.

            But on the central issue of the Seabed and Foreshore Act we have Goff now saying (after a few u-turns) he’s fine with it. I don’t know what Key will do. But I do know that Key is fine with a Maori flag and has said he’ll revist the FSA.

            Labour has had many fine politicians who have done right by Maori. But National have had a few as well. Goff has chosen to emulate Brash rather than Bolger.

            • gobsmacked 5.1.2.1.1.1

              Bolger never had anything like Key’s popularity. He was disliked by most of the country. He had three parties attacking him, and Richardson’s followers inside his own. But still, he showed leadership (with Doug Graham). In far, far more difficult times.

              Key could have done far more. If you want to believe he’ll do more in the future, fine (a pointless debate until he does, obviously). I just ask: If not now, when? At 70% in the polls?

              We’ll see.

              • Neil

                I see your point.

                As far as I can see National are keeping pretty much to the same Treaty settlement process that was happening under Labour.

                perhaps they are squandering their poll position by not shifting Pakeha opinion a bit more towards reconcilliation.

                but Labour aren’t actually putting that argument across.

          • Lew 5.1.2.1.2

            GS, but you’re wrong. The government appointed an indigenist review panel with genuine credibility to review the FSA, who proceeded to deliver a damning indictment of it and propose a suite of solutions which, a few years ago, would have been unthinkably radical. That’s something: it’s progress. It’s more than tangata whenua got in terms of cultural recognition in nine long years of the Fifth Labour Government.

            You’re judging things on the basis only of concrete outcomes. Like the guy who doesn’t think it counts as sex until he gets his end away.

            It ignores the reality of those whose preferred policy positions aren’t able to be delivered by fiat in simple terms. These things take time. Time is one thing those of us on this side of the indigenism fence have got plenty of.

            L

            • gobsmacked 5.1.2.1.2.1

              Lew, I disagree, but no point us going on until there’s action.

              You believe (I guess) that there will be major changes to the F & S Act. I believe it will be Cullen’s law, with glossier packaging, and superb spin.

              Sorry, but it always comes down to two things: having to, or wanting to. The Prime Minister doesn’t have to (in terms of Parliament’s numbers, and political consequences), and so he has to want to. That has to come from within. Can’t see it.

              • Lew

                He doesn’t have to now, but he’s a pragmatist, and sees that governing without being on side with the natives is going to get harder and harder, so he’d be a fool to squander this relationship. I agree with you that he’ll only do the minimum — but while Labour’s off in the delusional redneck wastelands, that’ll be enough. If Labour wants to do right by Māori, it needs to come back to the table and start participating in the bidding war.

                L

            • Zetetic 5.1.2.1.2.2

              “You’re judging things on the basis only of concrete outcomes.”

              Outcomes are all that matters. Everything else is talk and words on paper. Doesn’t change the real world in the slightest.

              “Like the guy who doesn’t think it counts as sex until he gets his end away.”

              Mate. Your analogy’s off. At this point all you’ve got is the girl saying ‘yeah, I asked some people about you and they said you’re hot’. Haven’t even got a promise to act. Let alone the action that you want.

              • Lew

                Zetetic,

                Outcomes don’t get to being outcomes without a series of progressive steps along the way.

                And there is a promise as far as the FSA goes — and more than a promise, the establishment of a framework to dismantle it and replace it with something that works. That’s an outcome, in itself.

                L

              • Zetetic

                “That’s an outcome, in itself”

                No it’s not.

                There is no “establishment of a framework to dismantle it and replace it with something that works”. There is not even a promise to do that.

                Key has said the FSA might be repealed. He has made no indication as to what the replacement will be or whether it will differ substantial in outcomes. He has made no indication as to timeframe.

                In fact he has previously said Maori are getting already is too much and has promised nothing more even if there the FSA is repealed. And most importantly of all no guarantee that if he does eventually do something it’ll be what Maori want and not worse than nothing

                Following your analogy – you seem to think that Key has promised Maori a date with a root later on. In fact all he’s said is he’ll think about going out with them at some time. No guarantees of sex. He might just end up stealing their wallet instead for all you know.

              • Lew

                Key has said the FSA might be repealed. He has made no indication as to what the replacement will be or whether it will differ substantial in outcomes. He has made no indication as to timeframe.

                What the government’s done is paint itself into a corner such that if nothing is done by 2011 election time, tangata whenua will be able to punish it. If Labour had not redoubled its attempts to alienate Māori, they could stand to gain some support (back), forcing the government to follow through or risk the election.

                L

        • Neil 5.1.2.2

          happily?

          Jones is enmeshed in internecine warfare and Mallard spins the old diviseness line –

          http://blog.labour.org.nz/index.php/2009/12/15/flags/

          “Their mates died’. Can Labour get any more repulsive.

          • gobsmacked 5.1.2.2.1

            But isn’t that exactly the point, Neil?

            Think what this could be. A debate about the nation’s flag, and its constitutional follow-on. Role of Treaty, head of state, republic, etc.

            Instead we get Prince William over for a barbie, and John Key, the classic conservative, is thrilled. Meet the future King!

            No, the flag must only ever be a sop. Never a symbol. Because that might mean a real debate about meaning and substance. Key has no interest in that at all.

            That’s why it was only worth “five minutes”.

            Please see through him. It’s painful to see the self-delusion going on here, just because he is … Not labour.

            • Neil 5.1.2.2.1.1

              all good points. I think Labour could do better by stickng to core beliefs.but thanks for the exchange. I’m going to raise a toast to the Maori flag come new year just in recognition of our history.

              It’s all a bit difficult but as long as we’re not shooting each other then what the fuck.

        • sk 5.1.2.3

          This is all very complicated, that in part reflects the respective upbringing of Helen Clark and John Key. Labour’s recent history reflects that Helen Clark was from a Waikato farming family, and grew up on confiscated land. Very few Waikato Pakeha mixed with Tainui in the 1950’s and 1960’s, and she had zero exposure. JK is the son of a European Jewish matriarch who escaped the Shoah, who would have been brought up with a natural inclusiveness to minorities.

          So JK is to happy to provide symbols. But on issues of substance, he is not there for Maori. This a bait and switch.

          Goff is being judged in a way HC never was, but her natural instincts were worse – as the F&S illustrates. Goff’s speech title was wrong, and the audience wrong, but the UMNO-isation of Maori politics is fair game.

          That is what commentators like Lew and Eddie are missing, with all due respect. To compare Goff with Brash is absurd. But right now, recent history prevents a more objective reading.

          • Lew 5.1.2.3.1

            sk,

            So JK is to happy to provide symbols. But on issues of substance, he is not there for Maori. This a bait and switch.

            You lot keep saying there’s no substance to his commitments to iwi. There hasn’t been time for such, yet. Race politics takes time; it runs generation to generation, not budget to budget.

            Goff is being judged in a way HC never was

            I agree with this. Goff is being judged for Clark’s failings in 2004. That’s not entirely fair — but not entirely unfair also, since he was a senior member of that policy team.

            To compare Goff with Brash is absurd.

            To compare him with Brash is absurd, I’ll grant you that. To compare his political strategy with that undertaken by Brash is not. Although things seem to have been changing.

            L

  6. Ministers and Shadow Ministers should comment on matters within their purview and any old MP can comment on whatever he or she likes, but on matters that concern the Nation the only views that matter are those of the Prime Minister and the would-be Prime Minister.

    Goff should have commented on this. If he doesn’t he will appear indecisive or weak, or even worse will be seen to be the sort who applies to a heart-and-mind matter the kind of “what do I want people to think I think” political scheming and connivance several commentators on this blog have applauded him for.

  7. BLiP 7

    Heh! You gotta chuckle when even that wonderful alternative thinker Tim Ellis can provide a better effort at wedge comments than Espiner.

  8. Lanthanide 8

    Perhaps Shane Jones should take the leadership of Labour, then our next election can parallel the US’ last election – rolling a no-brains rich white guy to be replaced with a leftwing brown-skinned guy.

  9. I think he probably should have commented but I myself am really not sure how I stand on this issue. I don’t think Maori are this one united group like a nation that should have it’s own flag. It also does promote separatism. However many of them don’t feel represented by the New Zealand flag. Maybe we just need a new flag.

    • Neil 9.1

      In one sense Maori aren’t one united group – there’s still very strong iwi idenitification which is the basic social identification pre-dating European arrival.

      But on the otherhand “Maori” are a Treaty partner and this flag is for The Treaty of Waitangi day. So if we are to celebrate the Treaty I think that two flags are appropriate.

      There is not uninanimity within Maori as to what flag that should be but there was a consultation precess where a very large % favoured one option. I can understand would be upsetting to those who did not get their prefered flag. But how else do we decide such things?

      I do wonder why people such as Jones choose now to make all sorts of allegations about the tino rangitiratanga flag when it was never any secret what the four options were. And of those four options there was one that is indeed very much associated with a particular Maori grouping – the United Tribes flag. Which I assume was included, when others such as Tuhoe’s was not, out of respect for the role that flag has played.

      There was a well advertised process for choosing this flag. There were no complaints at the time about that process or about the range of choice. If we are to now turn around and reject this on the say so of people who have a particular political agenda then there’s not much chance of altering our present national flag.

  10. Daveski 10

    Ahh, logic dictates that either Zet is 20 something or he wrings his hands or quite possibly both!

  11. Lindsey 11

    Do go and look at the Imperator Fish take on the Flag contraversy.

  12. gobsmacked 12

    A small footnote, before bedtime. It’s not about flags, but Maori in education (as if that mattered!). From Parliament, this evening:

    “The Maori Party has withdrawn its support for a government bill after its bid to have Maori members on polytechnic councils failed. …

    The Maori Party put up an amendment which would have ensured that councils had at least three Maori members.

    The Government didn’t accept the amendment and it was defeated.

    The Maori Party told ministers before the vote that if the amendment was unsuccessful, it would withdraw its support for the bill.

    The Government still has a majority for it to be passed and will rely on the ACT Party’s votes.

    Labour strongly opposes the bill, and said after the committee stage debate that it stripped away guaranteed representation for Maori, students, staff, industry and community representatives.” (NZPA)

    Yes, as usual, Labour vote with the Maori Party, for Maori representation and National vote it down.

    But remember, kids, National are the good guys …

  13. Rodel 13

    What Espiner can’t or probably won’t acknowledge is that National has a figurehead ‘leader’ where the PR focus is deliberately kept on Key while behind the scene decision makers work in stealth, hoping that the public won’t notice the dirty dealings.

    Unlike Key, Goff is not just a celebrity leader and is happy for the real decision makers, in Labour to be seen and heard in public as a team and not hide behind a glossy cardboard image of a leader.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Week That Was: Another week of major progress
    This week we moved into the second half of 2020 - and our Government delivered another week of big changes and major progress for New Zealanders. Read below for a wrap of the key things moments from the week - from extending paid parental leave, to making major investments in ...
    2 days ago
  • Green Party opposes RMA fast-track bill that cut corners on environmental safeguards and public cons...
    The Green Party has opposed the COVID-19 Recovery Fast-track Consenting Bill which shortcuts normal consenting processes under the Resource Management Act (RMA), reduces public participation and narrows environmental considerations. ...
    2 days ago
  • Site of new freight hub revealed
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister of Regional Economic Development A regional freight hub for the lower North Island will be built just northeast of Palmerston North, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The Government is investing $40 million through the Provincial Growth Fund to designate and buy land and design ...
    3 days ago
  • Greens call for Guaranteed Minimum Income to alleviate skyrocketing debt with MSD
    Green Party Co-leader Marama Davidson is calling for the introduction of a Guaranteed Minimum Income to lift hundreds of thousands of people out of poverty and prevent more families entering into further debt with the Ministry of Social Development.  ...
    3 days ago
  • Winston Peters: Facts matter when taxpayer money is on the line
    There has been renewed focus on New Zealand First acting as a handbrake on the Government after our decision to not support Auckland light rail. We are a handbrake for bad ideas, that is true, but our track record since 2017 has seen New Zealand First constructively also serve as an ...
    3 days ago
  • Bill raising minimum residency requirement for NZ Super passes first reading
    Mark Patterson MP, New Zealand First List MP New Zealand First’s Fair Residency for Superannuation Bill passed its First Reading in Parliament today. The Bill makes a significant change to NZ Super by raising the minimum residency requirement from 10 to 20 years, after age 20. “Currently, a migrant of ...
    3 days ago
  • Harsher penalties for assaults on first responders one step closer
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Law and Order A New Zealand First member’s bill in the name of Darroch Ball introducing a six-month minimum prison sentence for assaults on first responders has passed its second reading in Parliament. The new offence of "injuring a first responder or corrections officer with ...
    3 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission delivers Coalition promise
    Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Deputy Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand First welcomes the launch of the new Criminal Cases Review Commission, gifted with the name from Waikato-Tainui - Te Kāhui Tātari Ture, announced in Hamilton today by Justice Minister Andrew Little. “New Zealand First has long believed in and ...
    4 days ago
  • Greens welcome huge new investment in sustainable projects
    The Green Party is celebrating over $800m in new funding for green projects, which will get people into jobs while solving New Zealand’s long-term challenges. ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand First demands answers from Meridian Energy
    Mark Patterson MP, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is appalled that Meridian seems to have been unnecessarily spilling water from its dams to drive up its profits."While New Zealanders have been coming together in some of our darkest hours, we don’t expect power gentailers to waste water and ...
    5 days ago
  • Getting New Zealand moving again: June 2020
    We wrapped up the first half of 2020 with a busy month, taking additional steps to support New Zealanders as we continue with our economic recovery. We rolled out targeted packages to support key industries like tourism and construction, helped create jobs in the environmental and agriculture sectors, and set ...
    5 days ago
  • Māori union leader appointed to Infrastructure Commission board
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Infrastructure Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones has welcomed the appointment of Maurice Davis and his deep infrastructure and construction experience to the board of the Infrastructure Commission. Mr Davis (Ngāti Maniapoto), is the seventh and final appointment to the board led by former Reserve Bank Governor ...
    5 days ago
  • Click-bait journalism at its worst
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand’s click bait journalism is taking a turn for the worse, with yet another example of sensationalist, wilful-misrepresentation of the facts. “New Zealand First has worked constructively with its Coalition partner on hundreds of pieces of legislation and policy, and ...
    5 days ago
  • Green Party proposes transformational Poverty Action Plan
    The Green Party is today unveiling its Poverty Action Plan, which includes a Guaranteed Minimum Income to ensure people have enough to live with dignity.     ...
    7 days ago
  • PGF accelerates Rotorua projects
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development The Rotorua Museum redevelopment and Whakarewarewa and Tokorangi Forest projects will be accelerated thanks to a $2.09 million Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) boost, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: Getting people into jobs
    This week, we rolled out the next steps of our recovery plan, with new infrastructure investment, extra support for tourism operators, and a new programme to get Kiwis into agriculture careers. The global economic consequences of COVID-19 will continue to be a challenge, but we have a detailed plan to ...
    1 week ago
  • Coalition commitment establishing Mental Health Commission delivered
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its final reading in Parliament today fulfilling a coalition agreement commitment. “This is an important step in saving the lives of New Zealanders and delivers a key coalition commitment ...
    1 week ago
  • Whakatāne gets a $2.5m ‘turbo boost’
    Whakatāne has been given a $2.5 million boost to speed up previously funded projects and create more than 450 jobs in the next decade. Of those, the equivalent of 160 full-time jobs could be delivered in the next six weeks. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters is in town to make ...
    1 week ago
  • $2.5m PGF funding to speed up economic recovery in Whakatāne
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $2.5 million to accelerate three infrastructure projects in Whakatāne, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “This package is about ...
    1 week ago
  • Shane Jones calls out those holding drought-stricken Auckland ‘to ransom’ over water
    Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones is throwing his weight behind a bid by the Auckland Council to fast-track the more than doubling of the city's water allowance from the Waikato River. And he's coming out strongly against anyone who plans on getting in the way of this campaign. "It is my ...
    1 week ago
  • Another Green win as climate change considerations inserted into the RMA
    The Green Party is thrilled to see changes to the Resource Management Act (RMA) that mean consents for large projects can be declined if they will have significant climate change implications that are inconsistent with the Zero Carbon Act and Aotearoa New Zealand’s Paris Agreement obligations.  ...
    1 week ago
  • New Navy vessel Aotearoa to arrive in New Zealand
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence The Royal New Zealand Navy’s new ship, Aotearoa, set sail for New Zealand on 10 June from the Republic of Korea, and is due to arrive in Auckland tomorrow, announced Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “Aotearoa is the Royal New Zealand Navy’s new fleet ...
    1 week ago
  • Racing Industry Bill passes third reading
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters has today welcomed the Racing Industry Bill passing its third reading, creating the legislative framework for revitalising the racing industry while limiting the need for future government intervention. “For too long our domestic racing industry has ...
    1 week ago
  • Green Party seek amendment to ensure all prisoners can vote
    The Green Party has today put forward an amendment to the Electoral (Registration of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Bill to ensure all people in prisons can vote in general elections. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party welcomes new approach to delivering light rail
    The Green Party welcomes the decision to not proceed with Public Public Investment (PPI) delivery of Auckland’s light rail project and to instead run the process through the public service. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First welcomes PGF investment in Wairarapa Water
    Hon Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in the Wairarapa New Zealand First List MP Hon Ron Mark welcomes the announcement of Provincial Growth Funding investment of $1.4 million to help secure the Wairarapa’s water supply. The funding boost will allow the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC), and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First MP Mark Patterson selected as candidate for Taieri
    New Zealand First list MP Mark Patterson has been selected to represent the party in the newly formed Taieri electorate at the upcoming election. Mr Patterson, his wife Jude and two daughters farm sheep and beef at Lawrence and Waitahuna. He previously stood in the Clutha-Southland electorate however boundary changes ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ground-breaking on NZ Post depot
    Hon Shane Jones, Associate Minister for State Owned Enterprises A new ‘super depot’ to be built for NZ Post in Wellington will create around 350 jobs during construction, Associate Minister for State Owned Enterprises Shane Jones says. Shane Jones today attended a ground-breaking and blessing ceremony for the parcel-processing depot ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Putting our economic plan into action
    Our strong economic management prior to COVID-19 - with surpluses, low debt and near-record-low unemployment - put us in a good position to weather the impact of the virus and start to rebuild our economy much earlier than many other countries. Now we're putting our plan to recover and rebuild ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fleeing drivers hit new record-high yet again
    Darroch Ball MP, New Zealand First Spokesperson for Law and Order Recently released Police fleeing driver statistics have shown yet another increase in incidents with another record-high in the latest quarter. “This new quarterly record-high is the latest in a string of record-high numbers since 2014.  The data shows incidents ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fletcher Tabuteau selected as candidate for Rotorua
    New Zealand First MP Fletcher Tabuteau is pleased to be confirmed today as the party’s candidate for the Rotorua electorate. Speaking at the Rotorua AGM for New Zealand First, Mr Tabuteau said this is an election that is incredibly important for the people of Rotorua. “The founding principles of New ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Greens call for Government office to address Rainbow issues following Human Rights Commission report
    The Human Rights Commission’s PRISM report on the issues impacting people based on their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC) provides an excellent programme of work for future governments to follow, say the Greens. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters continues push for trans-Tasman travel as military take control of operations
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters said the trans-Tasman bubble had not been jeopardised after a border botch-up resulted in New Zealand having two active cases of COVID-19. On Friday, Mr Peters told RNZ's Morning Report he had heard from Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison that borders for trans-Tasman travel would open by ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters on the Government’s Covid-19 border blunder
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters said today he was pleased the army was now running the quarantine and isolation process - up until now it has been the Ministry of Health. Peters told Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking that the army knew how to introduce and follow protocols and instil discipline. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First’s Ron Mark confirms bid for the Wairarapa seat
    Hon Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in the Wairarapa New Zealand First MP and Minister for Defence and Veteran’s Affairs Ron Mark has confirmed his bid for the Wairarapa seat.“The Coalition Government has done a lot of good work throughout the Wairarapa, but many constituents have told ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First welcomes second tranche of candidates
    New Zealand First is pleased to release the names of its next tranche of candidates for the 2020 election. We’re proud to announce these hardworking New Zealanders that have put their hand up to fight for a commonsense and resilient future.Jamie Arbuckle – Kaikoura Mark Arneil – Christchurch Central Jackie ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Joint effort under way to repatriate stranded Vanuatu nationals
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence A massive joint effort between New Zealand Government agencies, employers, and the Vanuatu Government is underway to repatriate over 1000 Vanuatu nationals stranded in New Zealand, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron ...
    2 weeks ago
  • $40m for regional apprenticeships
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister of Regional Economic Development Reprioritised funding of $40 million from the Provincial Growth Fund will support up to 1000 regional apprenticeships, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones said today. The Regional Apprenticeship Initiative is part of the wider Apprenticeship Boost announced by Education Minister Chris Hipkins ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Greens welcome new ACC zero carbon plans, call for ruling out any future fossil fuel investment
    The Green Party welcomes the ACC’s announcement to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 but emphasises the need to go further, and faster to truly meet the climate change challenge. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Farmers pleased with NZ First amendments to firearms bill
    Farmers are rejoicing after Labour agreed to an amendment pushed by New Zealand First in the firearms bill that will allow the use of restricted guns for pest control.  Concessions on gun control mean farmers will be able to apply for a licence to use restricted firearms for pest control. ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Building a more sustainable construction sector
    A new programme, which sets a firm course for the Building and Construction sector to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, has been announced by the Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa. “A significant amount of New Zealand’s carbon emissions come from the building and construction sector.  If we’re serious ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • PGF funds tourism boost in Northland
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing more than $7.5 million in Northland ventures to combat the economic impact of the COVID-19 virus, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) investment is going to the Northern Adventure Experience and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Four new projects announced as part of the biggest ever national school rebuild programme
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced significant funding for Auckland’s Northcote College as part of the first wave of a new nationwide school redevelopment programme to upgrade schools over the next 10 years. The $48.5 million project brings the total investment in Northcote College to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19: Support to improve student attendance and wellbeing
    The Government has opened an urgent response fund to support schools and early learning services to get children and young people back on track after the Covid-19 lockdown. “While we are seeing improvements in attendance under Alert Level 1 Ministry of Education data shows that attendance rates in our schools ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Fast-track consenting law boosts jobs and economic recovery
    The law to boost the economic recovery from the impact of COVID-19 by speeding up resource consenting on selected projects has passed its second and third readings in the House today. “Accelerating nationwide projects and activities by government, iwi and the private sector will help deliver faster economic recovery and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Whanganui Port gets PGF boost
    Five port-related projects in Whanganui will receive a $26.75 million Provincial Growth Fund investment to support local economic recovery and create new opportunities for growth, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This is a significant investment that will support the redevelopment of the Whanganui Port, a project governed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • More support for Sarjeant Gallery
    Whanganui’s Sarjeant Gallery will receive an investment of up to $12 million administered by the Provincial Growth Fund to support its redevelopment, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. The project is included in a $3 billion infrastructure pipeline announced by Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Shane Jones yesterday. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Funding for training and upskilling
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing nearly $2.5 million into three Te Ara Mahi programmes to support Manawatū-Whanganui jobseekers and employees to quickly train and upskill, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Up to 154 local people will be supported into employment within the first year by these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Statement from the Minister of Health Dr David Clark
      This morning I have formally tendered my resignation as Minister of Health, which was accepted by the Prime Minister. Serving as Minister of Health has been an absolute privilege – particularly through these extraordinary last few months. It’s no secret that Health is a challenging portfolio. I have given ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Scholarship placements for agricultural emissions scientists doubles
    Scholarships for 57 early-career agricultural emissions scientists from 20 developing countries is another example of New Zealand’s international leadership in primary sector sustainability, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. Mr O’Connor, announcing the scholarships today, says hundreds of applications were received for this fourth round of the CLIFF-GRADS programme (Climate, Food ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Funding for Foxton regeneration
    A project to help rejuvenate the Horowhenua town of Foxton will receive a Provincial Growth Fund investment of $3.86 million, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This funding for the Foxton Regeneration project will be used to make the well-known holiday town even more attractive for visitors and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Plan to improve protection of moa bones
    Moa bones and other sub-fossil remains of extinct species are set to have improved protection with proposals to prevent the trade in extinct species announced the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today. “We have lost too many of our native species, but these lost species, such as moa, remain an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Free lunches served up to thousands of school children in the South Island
    The Government’s free and healthy school lunches programme moves south for the first time creating jobs for around 30 people in Otago and Southland. “Eighteen schools with 3000 students are joining the programme – 11 have already begun serving lunches, and seven are preparing to start during Term 3. This is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Screen Sector recovery package protects jobs, boosts investment
    Thousands of Kiwi jobs and investment in New Zealand productions will be protected through a screen sector support package announced today by Associate Minister for Arts Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford and Minister for Broadcasting Kris Faafoi. The package also includes investment in broadcasting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New fund to help save local events and jobs
    The Government has established a new $10 million fund for the domestic events sector to help save jobs and protect incomes as it recovers from the impacts of COVID-19, Minister of Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. This funding from Budget 2020 follows talks with the event sector designed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Bill to improve fuel market competition
    The Government has taken another step in its commitment to making sure New Zealanders get a fairer deal at the petrol pump with the introduction of legislation to improve competition in the retail fuel market, says Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods. “The fuel market study that this Government ordered ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand joins global facility for pre-purchase of COVID-19 Vaccine
    New Zealand has joined a global initiative that aims to enable all countries to access a safe and effective Covid-19 vaccine, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. The COVAX Facility was recently launched by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. The Alliance includes the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Right to legal representation in Family Court restored today
    From today new legislation takes effect to both restore the right to legal representation at the start of a Care of Children (CoCA) dispute in the Family Court, and allow parties to those proceedings to access legal aid where eligible. During a visit to the Family Court in Auckland today, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Transitioning to a fully-qualified home-based ECE workforce
    Home-based early childhood education (ECE) subsidised by the government will transition to a fully qualified workforce by 2025 to ensure better and more consistent quality, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. “Quality early learning helps provide children with a strong foundation for their future,” Chris Hipkins said. From 1 January ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission gets to work
    The new Criminal Cases Review Commission | Te Kāhui Tātari Ture (CCRC) has started work and can now independently investigate claimed miscarriages of justice. “Even though we have appeal rights and safeguards against unsafe convictions, from time to time our justice system does get things wrong. The design of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech by the Minister of Defence to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā karangatanga maha, tēnā koutou Ki a koutou Te Āti Awa, Taranaki Whānui, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, ngā mana whenua o te rohe nei, tēnā koutou Ko Te Whare Wānanga o Aotearoa ki ngā take o te Ao (NZIIA), Ko te Rōpū Tohu Tono ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Six months with baby and $20 more a week for new parents
    The Government’s increase to paid parental leave kicks in today with another 4 weeks taking New Zealand up to a full 6 months (26 weeks, up from 22 weeks) leave for new parents, and the maximum weekly payment will increase by $20pw, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Infrastructure investment to create jobs, kick-start COVID rebuild
    A new package of infrastructure investments will help kick-start the post-COVID rebuild by creating more than 20,000 jobs and unlocking more than $5 billion of projects up and down New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones today outlined how the $3 billion infrastructure fund in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Statement on passage of national security law for Hong Kong
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today expressed the New Zealand Government’s deep disappointment at the passage by China’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee of a national security law for Hong Kong. “New Zealand has consistently emphasised its serious concern about the imposition of this legislation on Hong Kong without inclusive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • July 1 marks progress for workers, families
    More jobs and more family time with newborns are the centrepiece of a suite of Government initiatives coming into effect today. July 1 is a milestone day for the Government as a host of key policies take effect, demonstrating the critical areas where progress has been made. “The Coalition Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Auckland water consent referred to Board of Inquiry
    Environment Minister David Parker has today “called in” Auckland’s application to the Waikato Regional Council to take an extra 200 million litres of water a day from the lower reaches of the Waikato River for Auckland drinking water and other municipal uses.  The call-in means the application has been referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand to host virtual APEC in 2021
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker announced today that New Zealand’s hosting of APEC in 2021 will go ahead using virtual digital platforms. Mr Peters said the global disruption caused by COVID-19, including resultant border restrictions, had been the major factor in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Matakana Link Road construction kicks off and drives jobs
    The start of construction on a new link road between Matakana Road and State Highway 1 will create jobs and support the significant population growth expected in the Warkworth area, Transport Minister Phil Twyford and Mayor Phil Goff announced today. Transport Minister Phil Twyford said construction of the Matakana Link ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • PPE supplies secured as COVID-19 response focuses on border
    The Government is prioritising its latest investment in PPE for frontline health workers, including staff at managed isolation and quarantine facilities, Health Minister David Clark says. “With no community transmission of COVID-19 our response now has a firm focus on keeping our border safe and secure. “We must ensure that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • PGF funding for Parihaka settlement
    The Parihaka Papakāinga Trust in Taranaki will receive up to $14 million for a new visitor centre and other improvements at the historic settlement that will boost the local economy and provide much-needed jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Protections for workers in triangular employment
    Protections for workers who are employees of one employer but working under the direction of another business or organisation have come into force, closing a gap in legislation that  made the personal grievance process inaccessible for some workers, says Workplace Relations Minister Iain Lees-Galloway. “This Government is working hard to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government strengthens managed isolation system
    A range of improvements are already underway to address issues identified in the rapid review of the Managed Isolation and Quarantine system released today, Housing Minister Megan Woods said. The review was commissioned just over a week ago to identify and understand current and emerging risks to ensure the end-to-end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Whakatāne to go predator free with Government backing Ngāti Awa led efforts
    The important brown kiwi habitat around Whakatāne will receive added protection through an Iwi-led predator free project announced by Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage and Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau. “The Government is investing nearly $5 million into Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa’s environmental projects with $2.5 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Growing Goodwood: Expanding wood waste recycling plant in Bay of Plenty, Waikato
    An extra 4,000 tonnes of offcuts and scraps of untreated wood per year will soon be able to be recycled into useful products such as horticultural and garden mulch, playground safety surfacing and animal bedding as a result of a $660,000 investment from the Waste Minimisation Fund, Associate Environment Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Scott Watson’s convictions to be referred to Court of Appeal
    The Governor-General has referred Scott Watson’s convictions for murder back to the Court of Appeal, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. Mr Watson was convicted in 1999 of the murders of Ben Smart and Olivia Hope. His appeal to the Court of Appeal in 2000 was unsuccessful, as was his ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Protecting Kiwis with stronger financial supervision
    A new five-year funding agreement for the Reserve Bank will mean it can boost its work to protect New Zealanders’ finances, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand has a strong and stable financial system. Financial stability is an area that we are not prepared to cut corners for, particularly ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Forgotten funds and missing money
    A law change has been introduced to make it easier for forgotten funds in institutional accounts to be returned more easily to their rightful owners. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash has introduced an amendment to the Unclaimed Money Act 1971. It will update the rules controlling forgotten sums of money held ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers on mental health commitment
    The Government is delivering on election commitments and a key recommendation of He Ara Oranga: Report of the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction with the establishment of a permanent independent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission, Health Minister Dr David Clark says. Legislation enabling the establishment of the fully ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand privacy law modernised
    A Bill to replace New Zealand’s Privacy Act passed its third reading in Parliament today, Justice Minister Andrew Little has announced. “The protections in the Privacy Bill are vitally important. The key purpose of the reforms is to promote and protect people’s privacy and give them confidence that their personal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tourism operators provided extra support
    Extra support is being provided to tourism businesses operating on public conservation land announced Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage today.  The Government is providing $25m worth of support to tourism operators impacted by COVID-19, with a decision to waive most Department of Conservation tourism related concession ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago