Life Without Mainstreet

Written By: - Date published: 11:28 am, February 15th, 2021 - 36 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, capitalism, supercity - Tags:

Most of us have grown up where at the end of the working week, you head down to your town’s main street and hang out.

What will become of our towns and cities without it?

There are still a few centres in New Zealand where main streets still work, like Thames for their redoubtable Saturday morning market, or on a city scale, Dunedin’s George Street, or indeed the refreshed Napier central network.

And others such as Invercargill will by 2022 recover from their comprehensive city centre reconstruction.

But they are now the exception.

A confluence of factors is removing that downtown experience from everyday life – and it’s hard to see it coming back.

Could Queen Street survive the closure of Smith and Caughey’s, just as the impending closure of David Jones is threatening central Wellington?

Promotional organisations such as Auckland’s Heart of the City work assiduously to bring more of that life back.

If you’ve been to the cinema in the last year, you are an increasingly rare being. Those theatres were marginal enterprises for malls given their floorplate scale, but they pulled in couples and families for dinner and shopping around it. They were a key part of retail viability for all main streets. Covid19 has been a big bang on nails into that coffin. Even those big cinema events like the latest James Bond

and Dune

are now so delayed that they will be the last of a final breed of tentpole wonders released to theatres before the home versions: their downtown impact is now very muted.

This shifting of activity from the Queen Street axis to  the waterfront axis is promoted by events that recolonise other spaces, such as this weekend’s ever-popular Round the Bays run, and next weekend’s great Chinese Lantern Festival, and of course the America’s Cup this weekend, which covers not Queen Street but the Wynyard Quarter precinct.

So it’s not as if the crowds aren’t there to be attracted for major events.

But all that civic boosterism is struggling against big commercial decisions such as the closure of David Jones in Wellington, and H&J Smith in the south.

Last evening, at what will shortly become New Zealand’s last reasonably high end department store, Smith and Caughey’s, I went to their sale.

What used to be a crowded and pretty competitive event was fairly easygoing, the piles of merchandise didn’t go down, and even the perfume sale wasn’t the usual heady scrum.

The effects of major construction in Auckland’s CBD have now gone on longer than World War One, and businesses have felt that hit for years.

Plans to remove cars from Auckland’s Queen Street are due to go into effect in just a few months.

Not unreasonably, advocacy groups like GreaterAuckland celebrate and support this.

And there are also plans to shut traffic out of Wellington’s main CBD streets, with pretty strong public approval.

People do not give up the potential of their CBD experience; they join groups and fight to improve it. And the radiating success of Cuba Street has since 1969 proved to be the most successful model that was never really advanced.

Except that, shutting cars down in one place means the malls in the suburbs with their free carparking gain a massive competitive advantage over the CBD.<

The same applies to that fighting city Christchurch, rebuilt once physically after the earthquakes and rebuilt spiritually after the massacre. But the crowds aren’t coming back. They have some exceptional bars if you’re in town and don’t need to drive home, such as the wayyyy-cool Austin Club.

Christchurch’s centre is still there held up with public services like courts and council and library and art gallery, and cool little things like the antique trams, but it is diminished.

In many of our cities and towns, civic authorities have poured billions and billions into physical regeneration.

But that regenerative spark is now found only with the big civic events.

Will we really miss Friday night down town? What is this melancholia?

Perhaps our main cities are too big for a single civic promenade, and that multicellular world of mall dominance is just the way it is.

Maybe we shouldn’t care that capitalism is just spatially evolving, landlords will survive fine, civic and retail nostalgia is tired futility, and for most of us online shopping is simply more precise and efficient.

I suspect what we are losing is greater than what we are gaining.

36 comments on “Life Without Mainstreet ”

  1. Visubversa 1

    When I was a kid it was a big thing to go to "town" on a Friday night. We were too young to get into the pub, but there were exciting places called "coffee bars" run mostly by Dutch migrants who knew about real coffee. You could get a toasted sandwich as well, and they played the latest music. However we all had to get to 11.30pm bus home to the suburbs.

  2. Sanctuary 2

    Here is a mini documentary on this from Novara Media. It relates to the British High Street but many of the issues touched on are the same.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_9oGkU0Iuw&ab_channel=NovaraMedia

  3. RedLogix 3

    My daughter reports that Martinborough and Greytown are absolutely booming from this effect. They've created two new courier runs in the South Wairarapa in the past four months just to keep up.

    While COVID is accelerating this trend – it was going to happen anyway as our populations aged. Young adults are drawn to cities, but their elders are typically quite over them and seek quieter more spacious surrounds if they can.

  4. woodart 4

    the big deal with city centres is car access and car parking. its all good for public transport users but the vast majority of kiwis want personal mobility and personal transport . overcharge them for parking of make them leave there cars and ride, and you immediatley loose a large number of customers.

    • Sabine 4.1

      most of the inner cities in Europe would disagree with you.

      you don't need cars to get there, you need good and cheap public transport, bicycle parking (fietsen bestalling as the dutchies call it) and park and ride option.

      • woodart 4.1.1

        thats the big elephant. we are NOT europe . they have a long history of low car ownership and high public transport use. we dont. check out our car ownership figure. one of the highest in the world, and that will NOT change in a hurry, whatever the powerplant under the bonnet. sure, car free zones are popular here with the public, but when they happen, those areas slowly die . they end up needing festivals etc to bring back the crowds. those crowds mostly arrive in private cars , funny eh?

        • McFlock 4.1.1.1

          But the only reason they can run festivals is if they lower the number of cars.

        • Sabine 4.1.1.2

          nonsense.

          the same stuff you said was said in europe in the late eighties and early nineties. The reason in NZ everyone and their kid plus dog needs a car is because people like you preach that in NZ if kiwis where to have to walk, or use a bus they would instantaneously combust. But they don't.

          the reason people arrive to festivals in cars is because of the utter failure of local and regional government to provide public transport to and from festivals. Maybe that is the problem.

          And fwiw, with all the cars that kiwis have, have a good look around, all the centres are dying, due to high cost of parking, high cost of doing business i.e. commercial leases, really crappy access to foot traffic and all the other crap.

          Funny ey?

          • woodart 4.1.1.2.1

            "people like you" what ? realists. living out here in the real world, and NOT trapped in a keyboard, I can tell you that europeans have never had a car culture . centres are dying mostly for two reasons, internet shopping and car parking problems. dont get me wrong, I hate malls with a passion, souless, overpriced, cookiecutter shops. if I am going out to spend, look for funky standalone shops with personality, and car parking. I dont want to have to carry my purchases hundreds of metres, possibly onto a short hop bus, then transfer possibly expensive purchases, and take chances of damage. who would? anather post on here has mentioned how small towns like martinborough are booming, one very big reason, and its NOT public transport. however, if you want to ride a bus, I am all in favour of that. means one less car on the road . given your history of continuely moaning, I pity the person in the seat next to you.

        • Incognito 4.1.1.3

          thats the big elephant. we are NOT europe .

          That’s as meaningful as saying that Kiwis don’t like garlic and spaghetti wink

          We don’t have to mimic or copy Europe but we and particularly our city planners can at least learn something from the good, the bad, and the ugly of other cities across the world.

  5. Incognito 5

    Except that, shutting cars down in one place means the malls in the suburbs with their free carparking gain a massive competitive advantage over the CBD.

    When you have a chance after Covid, visit Europe and tell us about the car-free city & town centres and how dead & deserted they are because everybody is in the malls in the burbs.

    Kiwis love the outdoors at their doorstep but they have no clue on how to make city life interesting and attractive. Tourists don’t come here either for our bustling cities, they come for caves and hobbits and long rubber strings and the great outdoors if you don’t mind the human turds & floaties.

    I do miss the life that once was and I do get your feeling of nostalgia and melancholy; certain music and a drink or two deepen it almost to a perversely pleasurable trip down memory lane. The next generation won’t miss it because they never experienced it here in NZ; no wonder so many young people are keen on their OE and then stay. But I cannot talk …

    • Sabine 5.1

      not sure this is truly the fault of 'kiwis'

      Kiwis love the outdoors at their doorstep but they have no clue on how to make city life interesting and attractive.

      the thing is you need cars to get to the outdoors too depending on where you live.

      And the sad inner cities can be laid straight at Councillors and their supporters. Thus you can't have outdoor seating, you can't have decent public transport that works for those that need, and anything older then 5 minutes needs to be destroyed because renovating and preservation is not something "kiwis' do.

      It is the mindset of the quarter acre back yard, something that most people in Europe don't have. But they have decent public transport, they have bicycle lanes that allow them to go even to other towns safely and not on the motorway, they have town centres that are public and not private property of a large business, etc.

      They have accessible areas called 'the commons'. Something NZ does not have in many places.

      And the more kiwis end up in little square boxes called 'dwellings' the more 'the commons' will become important. So i hope for the next generation who will not and in many cases never own a quarter acre or even just a handkerchief of land.

      • Incognito 5.1.1

        Yup, although laying fault & blame won’t undo what’s done. I can’t understand the new housing areas with their tiny surround strip of grass and 6-foot high wooden fences as it such a waste of good space to create an illusion of privacy. Kiwis seem to have an aversion to apartment-style flats and terraced houses. I can understand that to a degree with flimsy gib or wooden separating walls cheeky

        • Sabine 5.1.1.1

          not sure where there is laying fault and blame.

          In europe owning a house with garden as it was the nature in NZ is something akin to paradise. At best people rent a place in a nice enough area with parks, inner city close by via local transport and good schools easy by to either get there by foot or bike, or the tram/bus.

          In NZ at best people get to buy a house in a nice area with a garage and a drive way.

          And because of that, parks, access to public transport, car free cities to allow for free roaming etc have never been in the forefront of planning. If you look at images of old wellington/akl/chch you will see busy streets, and busses etc. People would make it a day to go to town for shopping, doctor visits etc. Now the downtowns the country over are dying, falling apart, and serve nothing more then land banking and speculation.

          • Incognito 5.1.1.1.1

            There’s nothing like a big city park or car-free square on a nice day. Or botanic gardens. If you ever visit Glasgow in Summer, I can recommend the Botanic Gardens there.

            • Sabine 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Have not been to Glasgow, but did Edinbourough and a several week long jump of jump on bus tour. Germany has some good gardens and one of my favorite place is the Le Chateau in Nice…just really lovely and an excellent venue for concerts. As are the open spaces in Juan les Pins for the Jazz festival.

  6. Honestly, who cares! Mainstreet/ Mall, they are all under pressure from the on-line stores that undercut them anyway. I am male and the last thing I would consider to be fun is shopping. I try very hard, when I need to buy something, to go to one shop, buy what I need and get out quickly.

  7. mpledger 7

    Banks hog a lot of space on main street and yet they are becoming less and less people-places as people do more of their banking online. They just create a desert between interesting places. Banks should be encouraged to hop off main street onto a secondary street – they are only on main street for the brand advertising anyway.

    If they close down Lambton Quay to traffic including buses then the new bus route will become the new Lambton Quay. People get off the bus and want stuff and, all other things being equal, they'd rather get it where they are then walk for it. First the small-sales shops will migrate, then the food places and then the fashion shops. Lambton Quay will just become like The Terrace as government depts move in to capture the plummeting rents and there is noone around except courier drivers running around to find the right building.

  8. Byd0nz 8

    The nature of dog eat dog Capitalism dictates what will be what and what's good for the people, it definitely is not.

  9. Tiger Mountain 10

    Queen St died for me first in the early 80s after a great and free “V8 70s” with one way streets and parking restrictions designed by ACC to end my kinds after dark four wheel fun. In the mid 80s the mirror glass developer vandals took over, His Majesty's Theatre, various arcades and special places literally crushed.

    Shame, Queen St and surrounds were alive in the 70s, Vulcan Lane, public art, Dealer and City Art Galleries, West Plaza building and Downtown development, new Library and cinemas, endless live music venues, free and “buck a head” concerts in parks, Auck University was fun, before bums on seats, new food styles and fashion, quaint now perhaps that analog world.

    People are prisoners of their times to some extent, and many seem fine now with their screens and online shopping.

    I guess diversity and “Events”, always branded events–those Event Management grads have to do something! is where “it” is at for 2021. We organised our own fun, recall one night in 1980 phoning Mayor Colin Kay up at 2am to complain about ACC traffic thugs having taken the steering wheel off my ’58 Ford Custom 300 car to immobilise it!

  10. Gosman 11

    The nature of retail needs to change. The retail stores should be focusing on what they offer over and above what the customers can get from shopping online. The landlords of retail shops also need to change their views on what benefits they get from renting to a retail shop. That could radically re-orientate retail shopping.

    • Incognito 11.1

      Agreed. My answer: experience and experience.

      • Sacha 11.1.1

        And instantly-available taste and expertise for some sorts of business like book shops.

        • Incognito 11.1.1.1

          Book shop and/or quiet (!!) coffee shop with seating area with comfortable (!!) chairs to read a magazine, or newspaper, or book …

          No mobile phones allowed, of course.

          An introvert’s dream.

  11. Sacha 12

    What I miss the most is having a place to hitch my horse outside the general store. And shoe-shine boys. Whatever happened to those cheeky urchins?

  12. McFlock 13

    Retail needs foot traffic that has disposable cash.

    The box stores take the lower income levels. The internet takes items people go looking for. But then the one that went under in Lampton Quay (David Jones?) seemed to be aimed at the significantly higher income bracket – wandered around there once when on a trip.

    So the retail sweet spot seems to be either tourists (if the locality has that market, especially cruises and package tours if you kickback to the operators) for 3-6months a year, or the middle to upper secure income class.

    That means putting "business" in the "CBD". The $5 coffee crowd.

    As well as splitting the trade between the shop and online sales (either delivery or pickup from the store).

    • Graeme 13.1

      Retail needs foot traffic that has disposable cash

      Got it in one.

      Partner has 50 years in retail, I've only been poking around the game for 30, best times are when Labour is government, hardest are later part of a National government. And it's right across the social spectrum.

      Being in a tourist area gives you a much broader market, you can be selling to people from all over the country, or world. Kind of like on online but tactile. But you have to have something they can’t get at home, or online. The sense of discovery is a great selling ploy.

      What killed retail was when all the shopping strips became the same with chains having a branch in every town, convenient, but bloody boring.

      • Sabine 13.1.1

        but this applies to online and meat space retail.

        no cash, no shopping. And shipping costs don't help with the retail therapy.

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    “Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” – Friedrich NietzscheTELEVISION NEW ZEALAND is to be congratulated for inviting Chloe Swarbrick onto its Q+A current affairs show. The Green MP for Auckland Central is the odds-on ...
    5 days ago
  • Dig this
    Resources Minister Shane Jones yesterday told a breakfast hosted by Energy Resources Aotearoa precisely what they wanted to hear. “We campaigned to rehabilitate relegitimise and stand up for working families who derive their income,  derive their hope and derive purpose in regional New Zealand through a flourishing, growing, forward-leaning energy ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #7 2024
    Open access notables Physics-based early warning signal shows that AMOC is on tipping course, van Westen et al., Science Advances: Here, we show results of the first tipping event in the Community Earth System Model, including the large climate impacts of the collapse. Using these results, we develop a physics-based and ...
    5 days ago
  • A rejection of the rule of law
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Shrugging-Off The Atlas Network.
    Upholding The Status-Quo: The Left’s election defeat is not the work of the Atlas Network. It is not even the work of David Seymour and Act. It is the work of ordinary citizens who liked the Right’s stories better than they liked the Left’s. If the Right’s stories were made ...
    5 days ago
  • BARRIE SAUNDERS: Treaty Principles – all rather problematic
    Barrie Saunders writes – When ACT’s leader said they wanted legislation to state what the Treaty principles mean, my first thought was this will be controversial and divisive.  Clearly it is. The first reference to the principles of the Treaty were contained in the 1975 Act establishing the Treaty of ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Luxon Rejects The “Rejection Election” At His Peril.
    Fitting Right In: National retailed a reactionary manifesto of right-wing, racially-charged policies to the electorate throughout 2023. No talk back then of ignoring the overwhelming political preferences of the voting public and making a strong stand on principle. If Luxon’s pollsters and focus-groups were telling him that the public was ...
    5 days ago
  • Valentine’s Day went unnoticed on the Beehive website – but it is not “baa, humbug” to celeb...
    Buzz from the Beehive None of our ministers – a quick check with the Beehive website suggests – found cause to mention, let along celebrate, Valentine’s Day. But two ministers – Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson – ensured that National Lamb Day did not pass ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • Are You A Leftist?
    Nothing To Lose But Our Chains: The emancipatory movement which the Left, understood correctly, has always been, cannot accommodate those who are only able to celebrate one group’s freedom by taking it from another. The expectation, always, among leftists, is that liberty enlarges us. That striking-off a person’s shackles not ...
    5 days ago
  • An unlawful directive
    An interesting question in the Parliamentary written questions feed today, from Jan Tinetti to the Minister of Education: Has she or her Office directed the Ministry of Education to not release Official Information Act material prior to the full twenty working days, if so, why? Given that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • I’ve been doing this all wrong
    Here are six words that are not easy to say but god it can feel good when you finally say them:I’ve been doing this all wrongFive years ago today I said to myself:What if I'm doing this all wrong?Five years ago today I said to Karren: I think I’m going to ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • New study suggests the Atlantic overturning circulation AMOC “is on tipping course”
    This is a re-post from RealClimate by Stefan Rahmstorf A new paper was published in Science Advances today. Its title says what it is about: “Physics-based early warning signal shows that AMOC is on tipping course.” The study follows one by Danish colleagues which made headlines last July, likewise looking for early warning signals ...
    5 days ago
  • Valentines from ACT.
    Some of us make a big deal out of Valentine’s Day. We’ll buy the flowers, eye watering though the price spike might be. Say the things we should be saying anyway, although diminished by being scheduled for delivery. Some of us will even write long free-form newsletters with declarations of ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Tax cuts paid for by 13k more kids in poverty
    MSD advised the government that the indexation change it passed under urgency last night is likely to put around 7,000 extra children (and potentially up to 13,000) into poverty. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The Government has reverted indexation for main beneficiaries to price inflation from wage inflation under ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Fuel Tax Fight and Rail Fail update
    The two stories we covered at the start of the week continue to be in the headlines so it’s worth looking at the latest for each of them. Regional Fuel Tax Mayor Wayne Brown promised some ‘argy-bargy’ over the government’s decision to cancel the Regional Fuel Tax and he’s ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Arsonists
    Today, a major fire broke out on the Port Hills in Ōtutahi. Like its 2017 predecessors, it is almost certainly exacerbated by climate change. And it is still burning. The present government did not start the fire. But they piled the tinder high last time they were in power, gutting ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • I don’t know!
    http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/73411 7 examples And who actually makes the decisions? Vladimir Putin: I don’t know. America is a complex country, conservative on the one hand, rapidly changing on the other. It’s not easy for us to sort it all out.   Tucker Carlson: Do you think Zelensky has the freedom to negotiate the settlement to this conflict? Vladimir Putin: I don’t know the details, of course it’s difficult for me to judge, but ...
    6 days ago
  • Fresh thinkers
    Fresh thinking will always give you hope.It might be the kind that makes you smite your brow, exclaiming: Why didn't we think of that! It's obvious!It might be the kind that makes you go: Dude you’re a genius.Sometimes it will simply be Wayne Brown handing Simeon Brown his weasel ass ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • It is not about age, it is about team.
    Much attention has been directed at Joe Biden’s mental lapses and physical frailty. Less attention has been spent on Donald Trump’s cognitive difficulties and physical limitations, with most focus being devoted to his insults and exaggerated claims (as if they … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • ROBERT MacCULLOCH: Fletcher Building – it is time to break up NZ’s most useless company.
    Robert MacCulloch writes –  Gosh, the CEO of Fletcher Building, Ross Taylor, says today’s announcement of a half-year loss of $120 million for the company is “disappointing” and was “heavily impacted” by the Convention Centre losses. He must be crying all the way to the bank (to quote Las ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Mortgage rates seen high for even longer
    Government and borrower hopes for early mortgage cost relief look likely to be thwarted. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Stronger-than-expected US inflation data out overnight is expected to delay the first US Federal Reserve rate cut into the second half of 2024, which in turn would hold mortgage rates ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, the first of the new Parliament. And to start the Parliament off, there's a bunch of first readings. A bunch of other bills have been postponed, so first up is Duncan Webb's District Court (Protecting Judgment Debtors on Main Benefit) Amendment Bill, followed by Katie ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Three Waters go down the legislative gurgler – but what should we make of Local Water Done Well?
    Buzz from the Beehive Local Government Minister Simeon Brown – it seems fair to suppose – was flushed with success after the repeal of Labour’s divisive and unpopular Three Waters legislation. As he explained, repealing this legislation is a necessary first step in implementing his government’s Local Water Done Well ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on five of Luxon’s Gaza absurdities
    Earlier this week, PM Christopher Luxon met with 48 public service CEOs to make sure they were on board with his plans to cut spending on public services so that National can proceed to give the revenue away to those New Zealanders least in need. This wasn’t the only absurdity ...
    6 days ago
  • Love and the Fairer Sex.
    This morning I woke early with many thoughts in my head of things said, events of the week, things that matter. I’m afraid none of them involved Seymour, Willis, or Luxon so if you’re looking for something political maybe take the day off and come back tomorrow. You won’t find ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • He stood up to Muldoon and Lange and the Fji army
    Gerald Hensley, who died aged 88 on Saturday, was the key official who presided over the tumultuous events that followed the election of the Lange Labour Government in 1984. He was also instrumental in helping a key Fijian official escape the country during one of the 1987 coups. A diplomat ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    7 days ago
  • At a glance – Has Arctic sea ice returned to normal?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    7 days ago
  • Halo dunia!
    Selamt datang di WordPress. Ini adalah pos pertama Anda. Sunting atau hapus, kemudian mulai menulis! ...
    1 week ago
  • The PM wants a turnaround
    As a treat today I have lined up a favourite in the music slot. I love Turnaround, I cannot hear it too often, and I feel in need of a treat when I make myself listen to the Prime Minister the way I did this morning.He too, has favourites that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • The PM wants a turnaround
    As a treat today I have lined up a favourite in the music slot. I love Turnaround, I cannot hear it too often, and I feel in need of a treat when I make myself listen to the Prime Minister the way I did this morning.He too, has favourites that ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • ELE LUDEMANN: Trusting locals
    Ele Ludemann writes- A government-knows-best and predilection for central control was another unfortunate feature of the 2017-2023 Labour governments. One of the worst polices as a result of that was what started as Three Waters and became several more. The National-led government is much more trusting of locals ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    1 week ago
  • Legislation to flush away Three Waters has become a certainty – but we must wait for details on th...
    Buzz from the Beehive A  three-day information drought was broken, just after Point of Order published yesterday’s Buzz from the Beehive, and two significant ministerial announcements were made. First, the Budget will be delivered on 30 May, telling us which genuine savings have been made by eliminating waste and which ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    1 week ago
  • Rise of the Lobbyists.
    An unpopular opinion, I love Auckland.Not so much the transport or the house prices - those are pretty dire. But there’s a lot to like. We’ve a vibrant, multicultural city in a beautiful location with, mostly, friendly locals. From the native bush of the Waitakeres to the Gulf islands, it’s ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The holes in National’s water reform pipes
    Young renters just have to watch on as pipes keep failing and the Government and councils point fingers at each other, because all the incentives are for ratepayers to block rates increases, water meters, water charges and the creation of new entities. File Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: The National-ACT-NZ First coalition ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • After years of stability, Antarctica is losing ice
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by SueEllen Campbell Until recently, Antarctica’s ice has seemed surprisingly stable. In contrast to the far north, the southern continent’s massive ice sheets, glaciers, ice shelves (ice that floats on the ocean), and seasonal ice appeared to be reliably frozen: Enough snow fell ...
    1 week ago
  • Auckland’s Persistent Rail Issues
    Over the last few weeks in our weekly roundup we’ve commented on the frequent delays and cancellations that have occurred on the rail network this year since the rail network went back into full operation on the 22-Jan – with Kiwirail proclaiming they had ‘successfully delivered summer holiday infrastructure upgrades ...
    1 week ago

  • Greater support for social workers
    The Coalition Government is enhancing the professionalism of the social work sector and supporting the vulnerable people who rely on them, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says.  The Social Workers Registration Legislation Amendment Bill passed its third reading in Parliament today. It amends the Social Workers Registration Legislation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Government delivers greater freedom and choice for sick New Zealanders
    The coalition government is delivering on its commitment to making principled decisions by getting rid of red tape that doesn’t make sense and allowing sick New Zealanders greater freedom and choice to purchase effective cold and flu medicines. A bill amending the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 is being introduced, and changes to the Medicines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Government begins reset of welfare system
    The Coalition Government is taking early action to curb the surge in welfare dependency that occurred under the previous government by setting out its expectations around employment and the use of benefit sanctions, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. In 2017, 60,588 sanctions were applied to beneficiaries who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • State of the Nation
    Ka nui te mihi kia koutou. Kia ora, good morning, talofa, malo e lelei, bula vinaka, da jia hao, namaste, sat sri akal, assalamu alaikum. Thank you for coming to my first State of the Nation as Prime Minister. Thank you for coming to a speech where I don’t just ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • West Coast tourism attractions officially open
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will attend the official opening of two highly anticipated tourism projects on the West Coast today – Pike29 Memorial Track, dedicated to the memory of the Pike River miners, and Pounamu Pathway. “The Pike29 Memorial Track is a way to remember and honour the men ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Independent ferry service advisory group in place
    Appointments to the Ministerial Advisory Group tasked with providing independent advice and assurance on the future of KiwiRail’s inter-island ferry service have been made, State Owned Enterprises Minister Paul Goldsmith says. “It’s important for New Zealand that KiwiRail is focused on ensuring safe, resilient, and reliable ferry services over the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Joint statement from the Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada, and New Zealand
    The Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada and New Zealand today issued the following statement on reports of Israel’s planned military operation in Rafah. We are gravely concerned by indications that Israel is planning a ground offensive into Rafah.   A military operation into Rafah would be catastrophic. About 1.5 million Palestinians ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt will deliver on expanded breast screening
    The coalition Government has made the first steps in delivering on its promise to  extend free breast screening to women aged 70-74, Health Minister Shane Reti says. “As part of the 100 day plan, the Government has now met with officials and discussed what is needed in order for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government announces woolshed roadshows in support of sheep farmers
    The Government celebrates National Lamb Day (15 February 24) and congratulates sheep farmers on the high-quality products they continue to produce. Agriculture Minister McClay hosted bipartisan celebrations of National Lamb Day with industry representatives at Parliament this week to mark the anniversary of the first frozen lamb exports that left ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech: Address to the NZ Economics Forum
    It’s great to be back at the New Zealand Economics Forum. I would like to acknowledge everyone here today for your expertise and contribution, especially the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Head of the Waikato Management School, economists, students and experts alike. A year has passed since I was last before you, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government tackling high construction costs
    The Government is focused on reducing sky-high construction costs to make it more affordable to build a home, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says.  Stats NZ data shows the cost of building a house has increased by 41 per cent since 2019, making housing even more unaffordable for Kiwi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Labour’s Three Waters legislation repealed
    The Coalition Government’s legislative plan to address longstanding issues with local water infrastructure and service delivery took an important step today, with the repeal of Labour’s divisive and unpopular Three Waters legislation, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “Repealing this legislation is a necessary first step in implementing our Local ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Cost of living support for beneficiary households
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its commitment to ease the cost-of-living by increasing main benefit rates in line with inflation and ensuring the Minimum Family Tax Credit threshold remains aligned with this change, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. The Social Security (Benefits Adjustment) and Income Tax ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government announces agriculture delegations to better support Primary sector
    The coalition Government has announced ministerial delegations to support key areas across the Primary sector to deliver for New Zealand’s food and fibre sector, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay announced today. “I will be supported in my roles as Minister of Agriculture, Trade, Forestry and Hunting and Fishing, by three Associate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Waikato MoU reinforces Govt’s commitment to increase NZ doctors
    The Government has taken an important step forward in addressing a critical shortage of New Zealand-trained doctors, with today’s signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for a third medical school, Minister of Health Dr Shane Reti has announced.  “Today’s signing by the Ministry of Health and the University of Waikato ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech – Lunar New Year 2024
    Annyeonghaseyo, greetings and welcome all. It is my pleasure as the Minister for Ethnic Communities to welcome you to the first Lunar New Year Event in Parliament. Thank you to our emcees for greeting us in the different languages that represent the many cultures that celebrate the Lunar New Year. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More funding to Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti
    Urgent work to clean-up cyclone-affected regions will continue, thanks to a $63 million boost from the Government for sediment and debris removal in Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti.                                                                                                   The funding will help local councils continue urgent work removing and disposing of sediment and debris left from Cyclone Gabrielle.   “This additional ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Budget will be delivered on 30 May
    Plans to deliver tax relief to hard-working New Zealanders, rebuild business confidence and restore the Crown’s finances to order will be unveiled on 30 May, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says. The plans will be announced in the Budget which is currently being developed by Ministers.  “The last government’s mismanagement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government advances Local Water Done Well
    The Coalition Government is continuing work to restore council ownership and control of water assets by repealing Three Waters and appointing a Technical Advisory Group to provide expert advice on the implementation of Local Water Done Well, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “The Government will pass a bill to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has today announced five new diplomatic appointments.  "Strong and effective diplomacy to protect and advance our interests in the world is needed now more than ever," Mr Peters says.  “We are delighted to appoint senior diplomats from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Committee for Auckland
    It is great to be here today at this event as Minister for Auckland and Minister ofTransport. Let me start by acknowledging each one of you and thanking the Committee forAuckland for hosting this event and inviting me to speak here today. The Committee for Auckland has been a symbol ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Getting Transport Back on Track in Auckland
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has today confirmed his high-level transport priorities for Auckland, in the lead up to releasing the draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport. “Our economic growth and productivity are underpinned by a transport network that enables people and freight to move around safely and efficiently. At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government to axe Auckland Regional Fuel Tax
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has confirmed that the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax will end on 30 June 2024. “Today, I can confirm that the Government has agreed to remove the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax in line with our coalition commitments, and legislation will be introduced to parliament to repeal the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Calls for Work to Tackle Kina Barrens
    Changes to fishing rules and a significant science programme are being undertaken to address kina barrens, says Minister for Oceans and Fisheries Shane Jones. “There has been tremendous interest from iwi, communities and recreational fishers who had raised concerns about such kina infestations being a major threat to Northland’s marine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government law and order crackdown begins
    The coalition Government is making good on its promise to restore law and order by removing government funding for Section 27 reports and abolishing the previous Labour Government’s prison reduction target, Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Corrections Minister Mark Mitchell say.  “In recent years, the development of Section 27 reports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Greater focus on getting people into work
    The coalition government will refocus employment efforts and the welfare system so that supporting people who can work into jobs is the number one priority, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “Of concern in the labour market statistics released by Stats NZ today was the number of youth not ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • One year on, NZ appeals for release of Phillip Mehrtens
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has appealed to those holding New Zealand pilot Phillip Mehrtens in remote Papua, Indonesia, to release him immediately.  Phillip Mehrtens was taken hostage a year ago on 7 February in Paro, Papua, while providing vital air links and supplies to remote communities. “We strongly urge those holding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministers reaffirm Pacific connections this week
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Health Minister and Minister for Pacific Peoples Dr Shane Reti are reaffirming the importance of New Zealand’s connections to the Pacific by visiting Tonga, Cook Islands and Samoa this week.  “New Zealand enjoys strong and long-standing relationships with our Pacific partners - especially in Polynesia, where we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Rt Hon Christopher Luxon – Waitangi speech
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, rau rangatira ma. Tēnā koutou katoa. He tino mihi ki te mana whenua o tēnei rohe.  Mihi mai, mihi mai, mihi mai. Te whare e tū nei, tēnā koe.                               He-wāhi whakahirahira tēnei mō Aotearoa. Ka huri nga whakaaro, ki nga mate. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government awards primary sector scholarships to students
    Six university students studying agriculture and science have been awarded scholarships as part of the coalition Government’s efforts to boost on-the-ground support for farmers and growers. “The coalition Government is committed to improving support and operating conditions for farmers and growers,” Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says. “We’re backing a range ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister Jason Scott McHerron as a High Court Judge. Justice McHerron graduated from the University of Otago with a BA in English literature in 1994 and an LLB in 1996. From 1996 to 1999 he worked as a solicitor in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand provides further humanitarian support to Gaza and the West Bank
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that New Zealand is providing a further $5 million to respond to the extreme humanitarian need in Gaza and the West Bank.  “The impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on civilians is absolutely appalling,” Mr Peters says.  “That is why New Zealand has contributed $15 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Government consults on expanding COVID-19 Inquiry terms of reference
    The Government is delivering on its commitment to enable public input into expanding the scope of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into COVID-19 Lessons, says Internal Affairs Minister Brooke van Velden. “As committed to in both the ACT-National and NZ First-National coalition agreements, the public will be given the opportunity ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Tai Tokerau Water Boost
    A further $5 million loan has been advanced to the Tai Tokerau Water Trust for Te Waihekeora Reservoir, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says.  “Water is a precious resource, Kānoa – Regional Development and Investment Unit at the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment have done amazing work in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Fast track consenting in the fast lane
    The Government is progressing changes to resource management laws as part of its 100 Day Action Plan, with the first steps taken to establish a new fast-track consenting one-stop shop regime. “This new regime, which forms part of National’s coalition agreement with New Zealand First, will improve the speed and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • JOINT STATEMENT ON AUSTRALIA-NEW ZEALAND MINISTERIAL CONSULTATIONS (ANZMIN) 2024
    Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence the Hon Richard Marles MP and Minister for Foreign Affairs Senator the Hon Penny Wong hosted New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Winston Peters MP and Minister of Defence Hon Judith Collins KC MP on 1 February ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Minimum wage set for cautious increase
    The adult minimum wage rate will increase by 2 per cent to $23.15 an hour from 1 April 2024, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden announced today. “This Government is committed to striking the right balance between protecting the incomes of our lowest paid workers and maintaining labour ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Increased security improves ED safety over summer
    Increasing the number of security staff in emergency departments (EDs) over the busy Christmas and New Year period improved the safety of both staff and patients, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says. 200 additional security staff (93 FTEs) were provided to 32 EDs in response to concerns raised by ED ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Step Closer for European Union Free Trade Agreement
    New Zealand has moved closer to ratifying the New Zealand – European Union Free Trade Agreement (FTA), with the First Reading of legislation to bring the Agreement into force being held in Parliament today.   “Almost a decade after preparatory talks first began on an FTA with the European Union, I’m pleased to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago

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