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Labour’s infrastructure spend announcement

Written By: - Date published: 12:06 pm, December 1st, 2019 - 35 comments
Categories: Economy, grant robertson, infrastructure, labour, public transport, transport, treasury - Tags:

Is the commitment to the budget responsibility rules weakening?

Because at the Labour Party Conference Grant Robertson has indicated that the Government will shortly announce a big capital spend on infrastructure.

From his speech:

[W]e believe now is the right time to build on Labour’s legacy, and build on the record of this Coalition Government.

Right now, we can borrow at an interest rate of 1.3% for ten years. Just think about that for a minute. When we came in to office, this was up at 3%.

We have the lowest borrowing costs in New Zealand’s history, so it is time to invest.

In terms of where we are in the economic cycle, in terms of the good shape that the Government’s books are in; now is the time to take the next step forward in our legacy of building New Zealand.

I can announce today that the Government will significantly increase spending on infrastructure. 

Cabinet has agreed in recent weeks to a package of infrastructure projects that we will be bringing forward into our short and medium-term programme. 

I would like to acknowledge the input from our Coalition and Confidence and Supply partners as we bring this together.

We are currently finalising the specific projects that the package will fund but I can tell you this – it will be significant. It will have a direct impact on growth and it will create jobs, especially I hope for our young people. 

We are also listening to calls from the construction industry for greater certainty about the pipeline of transport projects from 18 months’ time. We will give that certainty.

I accept that I was being optimistic about the budget responsibility rules.  Lower interest rates mean that more can be borrowed with the same effect on the finances. 

No doubt the projects will be sprinkled around the country.  The Auckland Isthmus light rail is a likely announcement along with strengthening of the electricity delivery system.  And rail from Auckland to Whangarei in preparation for a possible move of Auckland port activities may also on the preferred list.

In getting ready for the future the only road projects that should be built are those that help public transport.  The North Western busway may be a starter.

This is good brave stuff from the Government.  National will struggle to find a way to respond.  Although there is already an early indication of what they will do.

35 comments on “Labour’s infrastructure spend announcement”

  1. Jenny How to get there 1

    I can announce today that the Government will significantly increase spending on infrastructure. 

    Cabinet has agreed in recent weeks to a package of infrastructure projects that we will be bringing forward into our short and medium-term programme. 

    Grant Robertson

    Very welcome news.

    The world is crying out for Green infrastructure, which really can only be the sort of infrastructure spending being considered.

    Let me be the first on this platform to congratulate the Government and the Cabinet for this momentous decision.

    • John Clover 1.1

      It would be a great long term goal but in the current climate and lack of workers it is pure election foolery/bribery for the short or medium as suggested by Robbo. 🙂

      I see the govt position as similar to my own and I am glad I currently spend only what I have and no longer borrow … despite only 1,3% interest,

      • greywarshark 1.1.1

        The government budget to provide for the country's needs and yours are so far apart as comparable economies that I can't believe you are coming to a political blog and prating on in this vein.     It's pettifogging and truth-shrouding National speak.

  2. Clive Macann 2

    Well,

    Simon, I think the Shane Jones spend up is a huge "investment" to NZ small business and small communities. Note I said Investment as opposed to your "wasting billions" comment.

  3. pat 3

    After committing to the debt ceiling in 2017 this was always going to happen in time for the next election .

    What will be informative will be the nature of the projects announced….will the action reinforce the rhetoric re transformation?…or will we continue to tie ourselves into the existing paradigm by producing more of the same

  4. Climaction 4

    What if some of it is spent on four laning state highways? Like between auckland and whangarei?

     

    asking for a friend

    • Ad 4.1

      I think they'll open Puhoi-Warkworth and measure the demand first. 

      There's plans in the drawer for the Brynderwyns.

      I'd see Whangarei-Marsden Point rail link as higher on the agenda of this kind of government.

      • Climaction 4.1.1

        The great sage lprent, who knows all about infrastructure amongst other things, continuously states that cars are like goldfish, they grow to fill the roads built for them. 
         

        so and given sh1 north of Puhoi is one of the most congested extra urban parts of the state highway network on a daily basis, the demand is existing and expected grow. Particularly if north port is developed futher

        • Ad 4.1.1.1

          NZTA will wait to see the evidence when it opens.

          • Climaction 4.1.1.1.1

            No they won’t. That’s after the next election. It’s going to happen, why not just commit and be done with it rather than waiting and seeing and being late to the party again?

            new Zealand’s infrastructure is 30years out of date and you think labour thinks it can just wait? 

            • Exkiwiforces 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Bring back the MoW as design and quality control Government Dept for all Government infrastructure projects as in some cases back in the if they didn’t the manpower or equipment at the time they subcontracted the project out and it was built to MoW specifications as the MoW had oversight of the project unlike the knuckle heads at NZTA etc where any project over budget or built so cheaply it’s falling apart within 5yrs after opening.

              • greywarshark

                Gordon Campbell refers to PPP comments that Robertson talked out some years ago.    What if the government is trying to have its surplus and nibble away at it too?    He has written a thoughtful article that if correct would aim hard facts into our pretty balloon and reduce it to a piece of coloured trash.

                https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1912/S00004/gordon-campbell-on-ppps-and-labours-infrastruture-plans.htm

                Could this be the summary:   The cowardly, timorous, unbusinesslike Labour government, and also the National jesters-in-waiting, are just putty in the hands of the steely eyed financial lot on the RW phalanx backed by the Treasury.  

                Or am I wrong, so wrong that I should eat my hat and go vegan for six months?     I won't of course whatever, because comment in this political era is just a lot of flamboyant flourishes, but it would do to entertain the spectators.

                 

            • Ad 4.1.1.1.1.2

              Election dates are important to politicians. The NZTA machine generally rolls on.

              Puhoi-Warkworth is what is known as an 'availability ppp'. With the comparisons coming up between the Puhoi-Warkworth and Transmission Gully, there's going to be a debate between NZTA and MoT that will take a while to settle about whether more ppp's in highways are a good idea. 

              The next stage from Warkworth to Wellsford will also get drawn into a broader discussion about repairing and further upgrading the North Auckland Rail Line at the same time. Then there's Auckland-Northland rail electrification. Then there's shifting the port. No part of the puzzle is separate, and absolutely none of it is inevitable. 

              Jobs this big require politicians to unequivocally say what they want and commit even if the benefits are weak or too distant to register in Treasury modeling. In my experience about 75% of a major job is getting everyone to agree that it should be done and getting the funding together. 25% is doing it. 

              • Climaction

                Yet strangely, opposing it as a holiday highway was labour in opposition. 
                 

                yet now, there might be a case for it and all the little acolytes have gone through a quick two hour media training session and are paving the way for it to happen, politically.

    • cleangreen 4.2

      Well done Grant Robinson;

      We need rail in all regions modernised to make it more user friendly ready for moving trucks off the roads and onto flat bed wagons like overseas do all the time as they drive the truck and trailer onto the rail wagon and ship it by clean energy with no tyres or heavy use of diesel.

      Then with rail using 'steel wheels on a steel track' with the advantage of a low friction coupled with low less than 20% diesel to move each tonne each km makes perfect sense for or goal to make transport carbon neutral.

      A win win plan Grant has actually figured it out ahead here..

      • greywarshark 4.2.1

        Better get the name right cleangreen whether he does the right thing by your region or not.    His name is Grant Robertson (call him Bert for short – (think of Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street who were a decent pair of blokes.    We could do with the same on real street.)

      • Bruce 4.2.2

        I think cars too on flat bed rolling stock, drive on, enjoy relaxed travel to as close as the rail goes to your destination, drive off and go do what you came to do. 

        Then there's always the Friday nite rail car to Opua wharf and water taxis about the Bay for a reasonably priced family weekend get away.

  5. Ad 5

    The big decade-scale projects like shifting Auckland's port to Whangarei are not the problem (although if he felt like it he could sell Devonport Naval Base and shift it at the same time, and the Devonport property prices would assist NZNavy's bill for shifting).

    Those big projects have their own momentum and take many years – often decades – to land as contracts that get done. It means the big contractors can plan their workforces and international partners well in advance.

    It's the medium-scale ones (in transport, water, and electricity) that the country and its regions need to simply keep going that are the real problem. 

    A little test for the new Infrastructure Commission: will the government respect them enough to listen to a rigorously-tested set of demands or will the pork-barrel politics of election year party politics jump on them? The NLTP and Kiwirail Asset Management Plan are in for a test.

    • Exkiwiforces 5.1

      I believe that RNZN Dockyard at Devonport will have to move at sometime in the near medium to long term as the proposed new ships for the RNZN in the 2019 NZDF Capability Plan will be to big for the existing graving dock (dry dock) at Devonport as they will be too wide, too long or a mixture of both.

      There has been talk to move most of Devonport to up Nth and a few vessels down to Dunedin namely the new proposed Southern Ocean Patrol Vessel along with a couple of minor vessel.

      I’ve seen a few articles from the ODT prior to the reopening of Hillside workshops that Ronnie was put a case to together involving the reopening of Hillside and the re-establishment of RNZN base Dunedin area as area for heavy to medium size engineering centre of excellence for training up tradies and conduct R/D as will. The same could apply for Northland as well in the same context as both regions have been hit hard over the 30 or 40yrs of this Neo- Con/ Neo-Lib BS.

      • Ad 5.1.1

        Devonport is part of the NZDF strategic property review they've got going at the moment.

        Port Chalmers for southern fisheries patrols and Marsden for the rest makes a lot of sense to me. 

      • Exkiwiforces 5.1.2

        I think the moving RNZN to Northland is almost a shoe in, as the only place is sounds along with RMA and a whole host of other issues. From a historical perspective the sounds while earmarked to be an Allied Naval Base during the WW2 if the Battle of the Coral Sea went in favour of the Japanese as would’ve all the other ports from Auckland and the from Brisbane northwards at the mercy of the Japanese Combined Fleet. 

        Its been interesting to see the Navy making Greater use of the Dunedin Region as a supply, resupply and for periods of self maintenance while the OPV’s and just recently of the Landing Support Ship L421 for their runs down Sth since this Government has been in office.

        I wouldn’t be surprised to a NZDF Joint Base being established in the Greater Dunedin Region in the near future for operations in the Southern parts of the South Island and further afield into the Southern Ocean Region in the coming decades. The Greater Dunedin Regional Airport is capable of P8 and Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) UAV operations once the appropriate infrastructure is or if built in the medium to long term.  I do recall in the 90’s that the Government of deployed an ANZAC Frigate (I think the old Type 12’s did a little better, but lack the range as they use FFO instead of Diesel fuel)down Sth, it copped a hiding from Mother Nature while on station and was out of commission for 3-6mths at the time for repairs.

        (note this post in reply Ad’s@half 2 as the iPad is playing up again)

  6. Peter 6

    Bridges is quite right to ask what they've been doing for the last two years.

    I think they've been giving him the opportunity to look a leader, an inspirational politician or a simple fool. I congratulate him for how he grasped the challenge in both hands and how he achieved so well with one of those.

    • Anne 6.1

      laugh I think the PM should bestow on him a bravery medal for having so successfully achieved one of those.

      The Gov. Gen. can pin it on the breast pocket of his best suit at the next medal ceremony. 

    • cleangreen 6.2

      Peter was National in power for the years 2008 – 2017?

      Was Simon Bridges there in the Government then also????

      Could they have then moved the naval-NZDF Joint Base there then perhaps?

  7. UncookedSelachimorpha 7

    " I can announce today that the Government will significantly increase spending on infrastructure.  "

    Unfortunately because of Labour's neoliberal blindness, most of this will be funnelled via private firms, with the wealthy owners clipping the ticket the whole way and workers on minimum wage wherever possible. Labour does not believe in direct implementation by the state (which would benefit the owners of state capital – i.e. all of us, instead of the owners of private capital – i.e. the 1%).

    I work in one of the industries benefitting from the PGF – the bulk of the benefit will go to the already very rich owners (in my industry, anyway).

    • Ad 7.1

      The Ministry of Works is never coming back. Nostalgia just ain't what it used to be.

      Even in large scale infrastructure, people are going to make money. Shock horror I know. On most jobs constructors don't make more than 6%, and quite often they lose money. 

      Even in light rail – the largest infrastructure project on the horizon – one arm of the state is proposing to make money for New Zealanders. 

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 7.1.1

        Nothing to do with nostalgia, just to do with what gives the most benefit to society.

        It is not just how infrastructure is created (with private companies clipping the ticket and driving down wages etc) – it is also a question of who owns it (and benefits from that ownership) after it is built. Labour is still fairly keen on public private partnerships – which is equivalent to state welfare for private capital owners.

  8. Ad 8

    I am really happy that the first chunk of infrastructure spend is on making schools better places to be. We need results delivered in 12 months, not more roads that take two or three years to get anywhere.

    • ScottGN 8.1

      I agree totally Ad. Piling money into schools and/or hospitals is a smart move from Ardern and Robertson. Parents heading to the polling booths next year will be reminded of the work Labour governments do every time they do the school run. Plus it’s hard for the Opposition to mount a counter argument against this sort of investment and National is really vulnerable to accusations of neglect in these areas.

      • Incognito 8.1.1

        It’s a cunning strategic move.

        Ms Ardern says this is also about jobs – especially in the trades.

        She's urging schools to engage local builders, plumbers, carpenters, roofers, and landscapers.

        https://home.nzcity.co.nz/news/article.aspx?id=302126

        With the money becoming available immediately, it could well be the talk over BBQs during Summer. Schools have only a few more weeks to go until the School Holidays. Brilliant!

        I think they blindsided National big time. Marvellous!

        • Sacha 8.1.1.1

          It’s a cunning strategic move.

          Yes! Sigh of relief here.

        • cleangreen 8.1.1.2

          It was a gem that Grant produced there that will ensure the next three years for the coalition gladly.

          I am elated at the sight of regional rail finally being lifted back into service again with a serious commitment he has shown to spend on infrastructure again to lower road truck gridlock that was killing us all.  

          • Herodotus 8.1.1.2.1

            So for those schools who have been waiting many years for the MOE to get moving to repair their leaking buildings, will they have to wait still, as this gift has a 2 year sunset clause ? 

            Whist as time moves on these buildings continue to deteriorate, and the cost to remedy increases.

            Still this achieved IMO its prime objective … Make a headline. Like Kiwibuild not a great deal of thought regarding implementation.  "Construction in Auckland relies on migrant workers to fill a labour shortage. Migrants are sold a dream but the reality can be under the table jobs that don't guarantee pay or safety, Harrison Christian writes."

            https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/117551892/death-of-a-migrant-under-the-table-workers-building-aucklands-multimillion-dollar-homes

             

             

  9. sumsuch 9

    These pricks will at least do the right thing after the next election or never expect another vote. Strange people.

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    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    7 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    7 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    7 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    7 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    7 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    1 week ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    1 week ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    1 week ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    1 week ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    1 week ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago

  • Decisions made on urgent turf maintenance
    The Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson has announced that urgent maintenance of turf and care for plants in non-plantation nurseries will soon be able to go ahead under Level 4 restrictions. “The Government has agreed that urgent upkeep and maintenance of biological assets will be able to go ahead ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Acknowledging an extraordinary te reo champion
    E tangi ana a Taranaki iwi, e tangi ana te ao Māori, otirā e tangi ana te motu. Mōu katoa ngā roimata e riringi whānui ana, mōu katoa ngā mihi.   E te kaikōkiri i te reo Māori, e Te Huirangi, takoto mai. Takoto mai me te mōhio ko ngā ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Prime Minister’s remarks halfway through Alert Level 4 lockdown
    Today is day 15 of Alert Level 4 lockdown. And at the halfway mark I have no hesitation in saying, that what New Zealanders have done over the last two weeks is huge. In the face of the greatest threat to human health we have seen in over a century, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Licenses, WoFs and regos extended under lockdown
    All driver licences, WoFs, CoFs, and some vehicle certifications, that expired on or after 1 January 2020 will be valid for up to six months from 10 April 2020, Transport Minister Phil Twyford has announced. “People shouldn’t have to worry about getting fined for having an expired document if driving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Inquiry report into EQC released
    The Government has today released the report from the Public Inquiry into the Earthquake Commission chaired by Dame Silvia Cartwright.  Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission Grant Robertson says the Government wants to learn from people’s experiences following the Canterbury earthquakes and other recent natural disasters. “Dame Silvia’s report documents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • More time for health workers and elderly to get flu vaccine
    The Government has extended by two weeks till April 27 the amount of time priority groups, such as health workers and those aged over 65, have to get their flu vaccine before it is made available to the wider public. This year’s vaccination campaign is a key component of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
    Communities stepping up to help New Zealanders stay at home to break the transmission of COVID-19 and save lives have received Government support, said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “Delivering groceries for the elderly who can’t shop online, providing data packs for low income families to keep them connected, and being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
    Across New Zealand 120 sites are taking samples to be tested for COVID-19.   68 community based assessment centres (CBACs) have been established to take samples from people with COVID-19 symptoms. Alongside this, 52 other centres including designated general practices, swabbing centres, and mobile clinics are now testing people for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
    The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government supports air services to offshore islands
    The Government has stepped in to support vital air links to our offshore islands, the Chatham Islands, Great Barrier Island and Motiti Island, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. “As part of our $600 million support package to minimise the impacts of COVID-19 on the aviation sector, the Government has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago