Let’s avoid an expenses side-show

Written By: - Date published: 9:36 am, June 11th, 2009 - 30 comments
Categories: corruption, Parliament - Tags:

Most people with an interest in politics will have heard about the expenses scandal in the UK. Their system allowed rorts of all shapes and sizes to take place – MPs’ expenses were not questioned because they were Honourable Members. Intense scrutiny has proved quite a few of them otherwise.

Could this be happening here? Does it matter and should you and I be concerned? The total expenses bill is $14 million annually. We can’t get the details of this because spending is managed by Parliamentary Services, which is exempt from the Official Information Act. The upshot is we don’t know who spends what on taxis, flights, food and accommodation.

And I don’t want to. I can’t be certain that every cent is well spent, 100% in line with the intent of the law. But we have a robust system as Colin Espiner states “But fortunately in this country we have a system whereby all payments are only made upon receipts, all must be first checked by party whips before they are submitted, and there are a limited number of categories under which MPs can claim anything.”

Why not go more open, transparency’s always good right? Yeah, if the media wouldn’t act like children. Several mornings ago I had to listen to the inane, yet inevitable: a reporter asking Metiria Turei why she flew on aircraft since she was in the Greens. Equally stupid would be asking Boscawen why he used our National Carrier.

Can you imagine what it would be like all if MPs’ expenses were published? I would just about be happy to pay my share of the $14 million, even if I know some was misappropriated, if it would spare me from the interminable questioning that will result from expenses being released to the media. There would be no limit to the stories that would result every time expenses were explained: MP X spent $6,500 on flights in the last three months, but MP Y spent three times that! Scandal! Three weeks later it is pointed out MP X is based in Napier, MP Y has constituents in the Chatham islands.

How much time would our MPs spend defending themselves from these manufactured scandals? What would be missed because the media were focussed on the low-hanging fruit? You only need to look at how Worth has dominated the news while what Hide is proposing to do to councils across NZ slips under the radar to get an idea of what neverending expenses stories can deflect attention from.

Here’s a worrying thought: does this mean I trust MPs more than the media? Well, perhaps not – but I would rather see the media attend to the issues of substance, and avoid the sideshows.

30 comments on “Let’s avoid an expenses side-show”

  1. Graeme 1

    Do you want to know how much the CEO of NZ Post spends on accomodation, or the deputy assistant head of pen and pencil procurement for the Minister of Something spends on bics?

    Neither do I. But I’m entitled to ask under the OIA, and they have to have a good reason not to tell me. Should we amend the law so that spending of this sort isn’t subject to public scrutiny?

    • Maynard J 1.1

      Is there any way to amend the law in favour of disclosure from the Parliamentary service that would not lead to the obvious outcome?

      The CEO of NZ post can do their job in the circumstances – I am not sure that the same holds true for MPs, though I realise that is not justification to be excluded from the OIA in of itself.

      • Graeme 1.1.1

        Probably not.

        But I’m not sure it would be as bad as you think. The UK has had this for a couple of years. There were a few stories about flights and taxis a few years ago, but then people got over it. There were even questions about why MP X wasn’t spending money, wasn’t he doing his job properly, etc.

        For a year or two this will be something. People won’t be up in arms and then we’ll all get over it. And then, like the special dinner prisoners get at Christmas (the same as usual except with a Christmas mince pie) there will be a three or four paragraph story once a year about the big spenders. Unless something big happens. Personally, I’d like not to have to rely on leaks to find out that MPs are erroneously claiming the out-of-town allowance despite living in Wellington.

        • Rich 1.1.1.1

          I agree with Graeme. People will tire of it, unless there’s something exciting the MPs have been up to like visiting Hawaii five times a year.

          (Does Annette King get out to the Chathams much?)

          • Maynard J 1.1.1.1.1

            That is a lot of faith to put in the media – and a lot of people would enjoy these silly ‘scandals’. There is no ‘right’ amount of spending so whoever spent more than most would find themselves wasing a lot of time explaining.

            I also consider it akin to polls – somewhat interesting, but not news, yet they drive half the stories in the build up to an election at the expense of real news.

            There is probably no way around it though

          • Graeme 1.1.1.1.2

            I don’t need faith. If they run stupid stories, they run stupid stories. We shouldn’t ban them from running stupid stories.

            This is pretty much the argument being run: people are spending public money, but if we let people ask what they’re spending public money on, the media might be irresponsible with that information, and run articles which are shrill and over the top, and detract from real stories.

            You could almost make the same argument about bills. They’re proposing to pass a law that will affect is, but if we let people know what bills the government is proposing, then the might be irresponsible with that information, and run articles which are shrill and over the top, and detract from real stories…

  2. Tigger 2

    I agree, no more sideshows. I swear, it’s like watching TV while the house burns down around you… At some point the public will wake from this slumber and realise they’ve been utterly dorked – and that’s when they will punish those who did the dorking.

  3. I don’t necessarily think all parties should have to make a big song and dance about releasing the information, but it makes sense for it to not be exempt from the OIA.

  4. StephenR 4

    Why would anyone care that Boscawen was travelling Air NZ? It’s one airline company among many, provides a service in exchange for money like all the others…

  5. StephenR 5

    The Greens make a point of consuming less, that including flying, so it’s a legitimate question for Turei. ACT make a point of less state ownership of most things, especially explicitly commercial enterprises, but i hardly think that extends to discouraging use of state-owned services. Indeed he’d be mad not to use whatever provides the best prices…

    • felix 5.1

      “The Greens make a point of consuming less, that including flying, so it’s a legitimate question for Turei.”

      I think the point was that she was being asked why she travelled by air at all.

      So unless you seriously think Green mps should travel by horse and carriage (and just think of the methane emissions!) then it’s hardly legitimate. Certainly no more so than the Boscowan hypothetical. (Hint: they’re both absurd).

    • Rich 5.2

      Given that MPs are required to be physically around parliament and expected to visit the rest of the country, I can’t see how Green or any other MPs can avoid flying.

      Introducing video confererencing for parliament would be one solution, maybe.

  6. Maggie 6

    Oh, dear. Some people’s brains couldn’t be prised open using a pneumatic drill.
    Turei should, of course, walk everywhere. Boscawen should travel only with privately-operate companies, Shearer only with state run ones and Melissa Lee only in a chaffeur driven limo.

    • Maynard J 6.1

      The ALCP candidate would have to ride in the canni-bus, but Judy Turner would be in trouble – trying to go up the middle of the road every time. Presumably the Destiny candidate would rely on faith, and Tamaki’s Harley.

  7. VT aka daVince 7

    Here’s a worrying thought: does this mean I trust MPs more than the media? Well, perhaps not – but I would rather see the media attend to the issues of substance, and avoid the sideshows.

    Okay, so much for you then.. so now what about the steal deals..? The watchables, the omitted, the committed (on behalf)..

    Instance: under a public/private partnership (PPP) where someone for instance travels freebie to pick up a briefcase full o’ private ‘congregation’ cash at an airport someplace.

    Knowing who they’re meetin’ is pretty relevant in these cases I’d say… and no way is this sort of thing just on the movies.. hell those guys have gotten it from real.. from crime scenery of so many ilks these days..

  8. Maggie 8

    Before left the editor’s chair at the Dom Post to become head honcho of the Newspaper Publishers Association, Tim Pankhurst was quoted as describing producing a newspaper as “like being in show business.”

    Sez it all, really……

  9. burt 9

    Dear Guest post

    Please open your wallet for me to take what I want and please trust me that I have spent it well and in your best interests. On that note – in your best interests I won’t bother counting what I take or telling you what I spent it on because then I would have less to spend on myself your best interests.

    Lovely that you agree being accountable is a hassle – now go back to sleep.

  10. Anita 10

    Guest poster,

    Can you make any argument at all that MPs expenses should be protected from the OIA?

    You seem to be claiming that they should be, but your grounds have nothing to do with the rights or wrongs of releasing them, it’s simply a grizzle about the media’s behaviour. While that grizzle is justified it has nothing to do with the ethics or principles underpinning transparency. The fact that you’re arguing against transparency for entirely irrelevant and spurious grounds makes you sound like any member of the current National and ACT parties.

    BTW I am kinda disturbed about an argument against transparency being posted without attribution on a “labour movement” blog as, by not claiming the opinion as your own, you imply that it is the view of The Standard, and therefore the wider labour movement. I, for one, seriously doubt that there are many in the labour movement who are against transparency.

    • Eddie 10.1

      Anita, it’s clearly not the view of The Standard. Only articles published with “The Standard” as the author are the view of The Standard. This was a guest post sent in by a regular commenter here who preferred to remain anonymous so as to avoid abuse for expressing an unpopular opinion. We decided to respect that.

      The Standard is a forum for people to express their individual views, and that includes an increasing number of readers and commenters. It doesn’t claim to speak for the entire labour movement, it’s simply a forum for people with labour movement values to express their opinions. These will often differ.

      For the record, I’m in favour of making parliamentary services subject to the OIA. Just haven’t got round to writing anything about it yet as I find the whole issue kind of boring.

      I know you’ve got your own blog and all, but as always you or anyone else is welcome to write a counter piece as a guest post here.

      • Anita 10.1.1

        🙂 Yeah, I guess part of my problem is that this post doesn’t have a sign-off on it (which most gues post’s do) so it feels less OpEd and more TS-line. If that makes any sense as a distinction 🙂

  11. Bryce Edward’s very good post on this.

    We very much need to know their expenses. It begs the question are they spending our money to keep themselves in power? The fact that MP’s are reluctant to open up the expenses would suggest they have something to hide.

    • VT aka daVince 11.1

      I didn’t get BE’s blog yet.. your point is well-stated on power retention and ‘hide’.

      I would be terribly miffed, I would, if any such member was doing both.. as funding a strip-joint chain across the land.. for instance.. (just because they aint recession-proof stateside)…

  12. Maynard J 12

    Anita: there are precedents for privacy and confidentiality in law, when the cost of revealing information outweights society’s desire for openness and transparency (not a financial cost), and in other situations where privacy and confidentiality are a core requirement of maintaining the effectiveness of a service.

    Examples of the first type are evidence/witness supression and media censorship (as in ratings/banning of offensive material). Examples of the second type are lawyer/client, doctor/patient privilege, the activities of the GCSB/SAS.

    Interestingly enough (I read the Espiner article) the claim by MPs is that they need this confidentality in order to best represent their constituents:

    “The claim has always been that MPs need to protect their privacy and that of their constituents. And I guess it’s fair that not every single flight and hotel needs to be itemised.”

    That does not sit well with me. Knowing that my MP flew up to my electorate would not be a violation of that privacy.

    I doubt that MPs could openly argue that revealing their expenses would hinder their abilities to be MPs, but I think it could be the case – whether this is enough to justify an OIA exemption is the point, I guess (tying in your point about the complaint with the justifications).

    If there are serious doubts about MPs’ expenses, then the first problem must be with the validation of those expenses. The article leftrightout linked to was a good example of that at a glance.

    • Anita 12.1

      *nod*nods*

      The solution I have, however, is the OIA 🙂 The OIA as it stands has lots of protection for privacy, security, maintenance of law, commercial sensitivity and so on. So extend coverage of the OIA to MP’s expenses (and other parliamentary information) and let the usual protections take care of it. If the extension were to identify the need for a new class of protection, then create the new class.

      We should trust the OIA, we should believe in the principle of transparency.

  13. Eddie 13

    I see that following Anita’s comments No Right Turn’s now running a post called “The Standard vs Transparency”.

    A more accurate headline would be “The Standard publishes guest post”, but nevermind.

    Makes you wonder whether it’s worth publishing unpopular opinions if you’re going to be accused of crimes against transparency just for allowing the debate.

  14. jarbury 14

    I think it has been a good post in that it’s produced some very interesting discussion about the pros and cons of expenses disclosure, rather than everyone just jumping on the same bandwagon.

    While I am a big fan of disclosing expenses, I do also understand the potential for the media to jump on stuff that is actually pretty fair enough. We saw a little bit of that when the Greens disclosed their expenses.

    However, even though these concerns are legitimate I think that people would fairly quickly realise what expenses are normal and necessary, and what (if anything) is out of order. It will certainly ensure the MPs keep their houses in order. And if it makes them extra-cautious then that’s OK. It’s less of my tax dollars being spent after all.

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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “Surplus” again
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
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    1 week ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
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    1 week ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
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    1 week ago
  • Labour chickens out again
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
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    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘The Workshop’ – Report: Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Strategies that ...
    The Workshop is a charitable trust for public good. The Workshop undertake research to find ways of communicating that will build support for the solutions that work to solve complex social and environmental problems. See their Report on Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform below. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Exclusive language
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    1 week ago
  • April 2018 – Submission to the NZ Govt Tax Working Group
    You can read our submission HERE ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • 2018 – Submission to the NZ Government Tax Working Group
    Read our submission here ...
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  • Guardian: Poll shows DISASTER for Corbyn and the End of Times
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    1 week ago
  • How prostitution became the world’s most modern profession
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Clever legal fellow on Scottish challenge to Brexit
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    2 weeks ago
  • An Open Letter From Closed Minds.
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    2 weeks ago
  • Extinction Rebellion members want to “eat babies”
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    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    2 weeks ago
  • The government needs to tell people about the OIA
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Join the rebellion
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Jermey Corbyn, I don’t like GNU (sorry)
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    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • About time
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Legal Beagle: Vexation, or Something Too Long for Twitter
    Several people have asked me whether a particular repeat litigant could be declared a vexatious litigant, in light of their recent decision to appeal an adverse High Court ruling. My nascent tweet thread was getting ridiculously long, so it became this blog post instead.The short answer is: no. The particular ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Zealandia’s Lost Boys.
    Appealing To The Past: Action Zealandia, like so many of the organisations springing up on the far-Right, across what they call the “Anglosphere”, is born out of the profound confusion over what a man is supposed to be in the twenty-first century and, more importantly, what he is supposed to do.THE STATUE OF ...
    2 weeks ago
  • British trade union and political activists defend women’s right to speak, organise
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    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Turning their back on justice
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Further details of Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visit to New Zealand
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed further details on the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s visit to New Zealand next month. Their Royal Highnesses will visit New Zealand from 17-23 November – their third joint visit to New Zealand and first in four years. They arrive in Auckland ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • O’Connor in Thailand to push for RCEP deal
    Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth and Minister of Agriculture, Damien O’Connor, heads to Thailand today to attend the final Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial meeting, as negotiations enter their final stages. “The RCEP Agreement would anchor New Zealand in a regional agreement that covers 16 countries, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Young Pacific people can access earning and learning opportunities in Hawke’s Bay, Otago and South...
    Pacific young people living in the Hawke’s Bay, Southland and Otago regions will have access to support services that have proved successful in helping young people find new earning and learning opportunities. “Tupu Aotearoa is about changing Pacific young peoples’ lives. Our young people are talented, they are smart, they ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Protecting wellbeing – ACC HQSC Trauma Forum
    Introduction As the Minister for ACC I thank you all for the work that you do supporting New Zealanders in their literally most vulnerable moments. From those who hold people’s lives in their hands, to the people who research technique, technology and trends, your work is highly valued. A special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ economy in good shape – notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch
    Notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch – Wednesday 9 October 2019 Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • World Mental Health Day a reminder of the importance of mental health work
    Minister of Health Dr David Clark and Associate Minister of Health Peeni Henare say this year’s World Mental Health Day theme is a reminder of why the Government’s work on mental health is so important. “This year the World Federation for Mental Health has made suicide prevention the main theme ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Cultural Ministers Meeting
    Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni will represent the government at Australia’s Meeting of Cultural Ministers in Adelaide this week. “This year’s meeting is special because New Zealand is expected to become an International Member of the Meeting of Cultural Ministers at this Australian forum,” Carmel Sepuloni said. “The meeting is an opportunity to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 608 claims resolved by GCCRS in first year
    The Greater Christchurch Claims Resolution Service has resolved 608 insurance and EQC claims in its first year in operation, Minister Megan Woods has announced. The government service, which celebrates its first birthday today, provides a one stop shop to help Cantabrians still battling to get their homes repaired or rebuilt ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ economy in good shape
    Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There has been an increasing amount of attention paid to the outlook ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZTA to refocus on safety following review
    The Government is acting swiftly to strengthen NZTA’s regulatory role following a review into the Transport Agency, and Ministry of Transport’s performance as its monitor, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. An independent review by Martin Jenkins has found NZTA failed to properly regulate the transport sector under the previous ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Joint Cooperation Statement on Climate Change between the Netherlands and New Zealand
    The Netherlands and New Zealand have a long-standing and close relationship based on many shared interests and values. We value the rule of law, our democracies, and multilateralism.  And we value our environment – at home and globally. Right now there are major global challenges in all of these areas – ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government putting right Holidays Act underpayment in Health
    The Government is putting right a decade’s worth of underpayment to nurses, doctors and other health workers, says Health Minister Dr David Clark.  Initial sampling of District Health Boards payroll records has found that around $550-$650 million is owed to DHB staff to comply with the Holidays Act. It’s expected ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government accounts show strong economy
    A strong surplus and low debt show the economy is performing well, and means the Government is in a good position to meet the challenges of global economic uncertainty. “The surplus and low levels of debt show the economy is in good shape. This allows the Government to spend more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ministers approve application to expand Waihi mine
    New applications from mining company OceanaGold to purchase land in Waihi for new tailings ponds associated with its gold mines have been approved. Minister of Finance Grant Robertson and Associate Minister of Finance David Parker considered the applications under the Overseas Investment Act. Earlier this year, applications from OceanaGold to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla launches with tribute to tangata whenua
    New Zealanders in Tūranganui-a-Kiwa / Poverty Bay will witness Māori, Pākehā and Pacific voyaging traditions come together today as the Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla assembles for the first time, Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti Minister Kelvin Davis says. “Tuia 250 is a national commemoration and an opportunity for honest conversations ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Visit to advance trade agenda with Europe and the Commonwealth
    Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker leaves tomorrow for Dubai, London and Berlin for a series of meetings to advance New Zealand’s trade interests.  In Dubai he will visit New Zealand’s Pavilion at Expo 2020 where construction is underway.  There he will meet Minister of State for International Cooperation, Her ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More cancer drugs confirmed – even more on horizon
    Confirmation that PHARMAC will fund two new cancer drugs is further evidence of the good progress the Government is making to improve the treatment of New Zealand’s leading cause of death, Health Minister David Clark says. From 1 December PHARMAC will fund alectinib (Alecensa) for ALK positive advanced non-small cell ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago