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Ministers’ housing claims up 17% as rorts continue

Written By: - Date published: 12:22 am, November 4th, 2010 - 45 comments
Categories: corruption, national/act government - Tags:

Weren’t Bill ‘Double Dipton’ English and other  ministers caught rorting the housing allowance system last year? Didn’t the Government revamp the system by giving ministers capped allowances, supposedly to save money and stop rorts? Why then are we, as I predicted, paying more than ever while ministers blatantly rip us off?

Bill ‘Double Dipton’ English’s landlord obviously took pity on him after his housing scandal because he’s no longer claiming $914 a week rent. He claims zero now. Jonathan Coleman, too has suddenly discovered he doesn’t have any housing costs to claim either, despite claiming $477 a week in the first six months of last year. The fact that their claims have evaporated after the rort scandal is more evidence they were never legitimate at all.

Other ministers have also been able to magically reduce their rent claims, which is really lucky: Judith Collins from $886 a week to $775, Anne Tolley from $847 a week to $719, Wayne Mapp from $726 to $500, Paula Bennett from $719, Rodney Hide from $732 to $719, (hmm, that’s a popular rent, eh? We’ll come back to that), Philip Heatley from $946 to $575. Isn’t it awfully convenient that these ministers are able to cut the amount they’re claiming after an expenses scandal. But does the new amount they’re claiming bear any relation to reality? Again, the suspicion has to be they were claiming illegitimate expenses under the old system and are claiming the most they can now, regardless of their actual costs.

Meanwhile, eight ministers have actually increased their housing cost claim: Murray McCully from $495 a week to $719, Tim Groser from $344 to $719, Steven Joyce from nothing to $719, Georgina te Heuheu from $306 to $719, Pansy Wong from $676 to $719, Kate Wilkinson from $694 to $719, John Carter from $607 to $719, Nathan Guy from nothing to $575.

Hmm, I think we’ve found what Lockwood Smith didn’t want us to see. All those ministers claiming $719 a week are claiming precisely the maximum that they can under the new rules. It seems highly doubtful that all that second group of ministers suddenly had huge rent increases, or that the first group had big rent cuts. No, this looks the ministers are simply claiming as much as they can, no doubt for most of them their actual housing costs are much lower.

The same applies for the four ministers all claiming $575 a week each, which bears no resemblance to what they were claiming before. They are clearly claiming as much taxpayer dosh as they can within the new rules, regardless of their actual housing costs.

You can count on two fingers the ministers who aren’t Wellington-based or in Crown-owned houses and haven’t maxed out their housing claim: Wayne Mapp and Jonathan Coleman. I’ll leave you to decide which fingers.

As a result of this mass rorting, the cost of Wellington housing for ministers has ballooned from $9782 a week in the first six months of last year to $11,484 – a huge 17% increase in just over a year.

We were promised that this new system would save us $200,000 a year while preventing Double Dipton-style rip offs. I warned that this new system would be ripped off and would cost us more. I haven’t been proved wrong; the ministers are clearly rorting us still and it will cost us over $60,000 more this year than last.

What we need is a PM with standards and the backbone to bring this gaggle of rorting ministers to account. They’ve been on notice and their behaviour has actually got worse. Now heads should roll.

Just don’t hold your breath waiting on John Key to act.

PS. how much was being claimed under Labour in 2008? $7923 a week.

45 comments on “Ministers’ housing claims up 17% as rorts continue”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    Good on Double Dipton for coming clean at last. Sort of. Any idea how many tax payers dollars he got for his Karori “rent” over the years? Would three hundy $K work as a first guess?

    • Sean 1.1

      Last year Trevor Mallard postedJohn Armstrong’s article on the subject. Armstrong put the cost at $24 K per year before his big blow out when he got back on the ministerial benches.

      Given the Member for Wallace 1990-1996, and then Clutha Southland would have been claiming that allowance from day one – it would all add up to near half a million. Which is a fair bit of money to pay Bill English to live in his own house.

      Then there is the whole setting up of his family trust, so he didn’t have an interest in it, which, perhaps coincidentally, meant he could claim more allowance around living in his own home. Article linked here.

      Bill English never explained why that move was necessary. On the Right, Cactus Kate thought this move was a vehicle for rorting. Quote linked here.

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        Thanks Sean, appreciated.

        BTW I can’t seem to get your last two links to come up…any chance you could check them?

  2. Irascible 2

    “I’m perfectly relaxed about these claims.” says John Key, smiling & waving to passing tourists, interviewed today at his holiday home in Hawaii. “My ministers are following the Cabinet manual so I’m not worried about the cost to the taxpayer after all my Hobbits are in need of subsidies just like the country’s new owners, Warner Bros.”

  3. jcuknz 3

    This seems a common result of all the nit-pickers trying to save the taxpayer a few dollars … this pre-occupation with saving actually costs and helps to destroy the systems effectiveness.
    As a friend told me the other day .. he could use $25,000 for a machine to assist him to cure people in our public system but no the bean counters would rather take on another of their ilk to count every cent and meanwhile sick people suffer longer for lack of proper treatment.
    So what I’m saying is that if people had not cried about DD’s perks of old we would have saved more in the long run.
    I would prefer to see some waste or rorts rather than the failure of the system through excessive accounting.

    • Marty G 3.1

      or, they could just stop ripping us off.

      If National’s policy is ‘let us get away with rorts or we will change the rules and rort even more’ that’s pretty sad.

      • jcuknz 3.1.1

        It is human nature and I’m sure most would react in a similar way except for paragons of virtue and altruism such as yourself Marty 🙂

        In any case I never considered they were ripping us off but rather accepting the perks of a highly stressful and difficult job. We apparently have now set a limit and they are claiming to that limit. So challenge the limit but not the claimants.

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1

          In any case I never considered they were ripping us off but rather accepting the perks of a highly stressful and difficult job.

          Yep. Sounds like the rationale Richard Fuld used after he walked away with US$484M in accumulated pay and bonuses after destroying Lehman Bros and tens of billions of global value.

          Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that MPs are particularly well paid, no siree. But taking the piss like Karori based Double Dipton, claiming for living in Southland when he hasn’t lived there forever? That’s bad.

        • Marty G 3.1.1.2

          or, they could just stop ripping us off.

          A 17% increase in housing allowance claims when the new system was meant to save money shows that they’re rorting us.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.3

          It is human nature…

          Actually, it’s not. Most people (~80% IIRC) are actually honest and would most likely claim the proper amount (linky to quick and nasty study but I’ve also read proper research that says the same thing). The people who claim more than they should are not the norm and are, at the very least, mildy psychopathic.

  4. Craig Glen Eden 4

    Bluddgers the lot of them lowest of the low, taking from us hard working tax payers to line their own pockets, they sit around all day doing nothing, eating food that I cant put on my table, I bet they have sky TV to. Getting fatter and fatter drinking alcohol bloody disgusting bluddgers.

    Don’t get me started on their lack of parenting skills either what do they do with those snotty nosed kids that they produce, send them off to boarding schools that we subsidize . Bluddgers low life scum sucking of you and me.It makes me so mad aye. I bet they claim everything they can to really max the system out, cars, food, travel, accommodation bloody scum.

    Man Im gonna vote National cos they cant stand low life bluddgers, they stand for personal responsibility, oh hang on??????????????????

    • Nice one CGE.

      This story has that stench of hypocracy about it.

      Capcha, “steal”. How does the computer do this?

      • Spy vs Spy 4.1.1

        i’ve figured it out Mr Savage,
        Project Ecehelon has a warped humour circuit that pre-jacks the servers’ capcha tags when its predictive algorithms have already seen what you are going to write

      • Bright Red 4.1.2

        plus, Irish watches you while you sleep.

    • Anne 4.2

      Well put CGE. The following may not be directly related, but I learnt recently that the Nats run a “candidates college” where potential politicians are “trained”. That explains a lot doesn’t it. Brain-washed robots!

      They learn how to spin the facts and believe what they are saying (Hekia Parata on Back-benches last night was a good example). They are imbued with a sense of superiority and entitlement which enables them to rort the systems with no feelings of guilt or remorse. They think it’s their right. And when the rest of us complain we’re told it’s our own fault.

      Perhaps the saddest aspect is that so many, many people still can’t see through them.

  5. kriswgtn 5

    Cos to them

    ITs all about the mooloah and how much they can rip us off

    they dont give 2 f***king stuffs- theyre in it for the $$$$$

  6. Carol 6

    They shouldn’t be rorting and trying to avoid being noticed, and they should be held accountable under transparency. However, it isn’t the biggest political issue we have.

    The hypocrisy of many on the right is staggering though. There were constant howls about the little misdimeanours of the last Labour-led government, and escalation of its relevance to claims of the Clark government being an undemocratic dicatorship. So many on the right are silent about the widespread ways in which this NACT government is undermining democracy, ACTUALLY putting though laws that make dictatorship ACTUALLY possible, as well as relative silence about the NACT spending rorts. It shows how much they relie on spin and distortion & don’t give a s***t for democracy and transparency.

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    Still say the best thing we could do is build an apartment complex that the MPs who live outside Wellington can stay in while in Wellington. Stop giving them actual money as it becomes a vehicle that they can then rip us off through.

    • Jim Nald 7.1

      Mmm good idea

      But “apartment complex”?
      What say put them in a kind of multi-tenant state housing?
      And we’re not talking about Buckingham Palace please.

      • Craig Glen Eden 7.1.1

        Apartment complex? Good Idea how many nice warm shipping containers do you think they would need DTB?

        • Jim Nald 7.1.1.1

          Ah, double-bunking the current lot of cabinet MPs.
          Wotta suggestion!

          • Craig Glen Eden 7.1.1.1.1

            I was not thinking double bunking but now that you have suggested it the mind boggles. Jim you are awful but I do like you as Dick Emery use to say.Ha we need a good political satire show its sadly lacking at present.

  8. KJT 8

    Time we dismissed the lot. Follow the Swiss and actually have democracy.

  9. Jared 9

    Remember Phil Goff and his apartment that he owned while living in another the government paid for?
    He told us he would be selling it off shortly.
    Earlier this year I asked on Red Alert whether he had sold it like he promised, after his criticism of other National MP’s for the same abuse. I was subsequently banned from Red Alert for even asking.
    Turns out he still owns the apartment (Look it up on Companies Office under Mansfield Towers)
    Hypocritical much?

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      Meh, links please if it ever happened at all that is.

      • Jared 9.1.1

        http://tvnz.co.nz/politics-news/mps-housing-perks-cause-controversy-2887032

        “Phil Goff also rents out his Wellington flat whilst living elsewhere in the capital on the public purse. When asked by ONE News why he doesn’t just live in the flat and not claim public money, Goff said “Because the flat is currently tenanted and I plan to sell it.” August 2009

        Still listed as holding shares in the Mansfield Apartment Building in Thorndon.

        • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.1

          I wonder how Bill English’ double dipton scheme compared.

          • Jared 9.1.1.1.1

            So its ok for Phil to do as he has criticised others for doing?

            • Pascal's bookie 9.1.1.1.1.1

              So how about that 17% increase since the system was fixed Jared?

              Did you read the post, or is it because you read it that you are dragging up irrelevant nonsense?

              Even if it was relevant to the post, you haven’t provided a link to Goff criticising people for doing what he was doing. Maybe he did, there are plenty doing what he is doing afterall, but English got the most flack, and he was doing something completely different.

              So even if Goff is a hypocrite, which you haven’t shown, why does that matter? Goff isn’t here, and he didn’t write the post. Goff didn’t rewrite the rules and oversee a 17% increase, which is what the post is about.

        • Bright Red 9.1.1.2

          there’s nothing wrong with owning a rental property, whether in wellington or elsewhere. If Goff is planning to sell the apartment he owns sometime, then bully for him.

          The problem with Double Dipton was he was getting his family trust to ‘rent’ the home to his family and asking us, the taxpayers, to pick up this fictive bill he had created.

    • KJT 9.2

      I fail to see how the ownership of other properties anywhere affects his costs in Wellington.
      Double dip was pretending to live in elsewhere so he got paid twice.

      I could own 15 flats in Wellington. My boss would still pay for me to stay there if I had to relocate temporarily from my normal house.

  10. Vicky32 10

    Those who think MPs are not well paid – well, I can’t see that myself! You could say “It’s all relative innit, but does anyone actually *need* any more than $65 000 pa? Want however, is another thing…

    • KJT 10.1

      Well. I am a bit baffled as to how anyone survives on a family income under 60k.
      We never seem to have any left over on a lot more than that.

    • KJT 10.2

      Definitely sympathise with anyone on a benefit the way groceries, power and housing are going up.

      • budgetbob 10.2.1

        a lot more than 60 000 and nothing left over? what – over 2000 a week? baffles me too
        we could try and work out where all your money goes ay?
        any holidays overseas in the course of the year? investment portfolio?
        meals out?
        shows, concerts?
        high tech toys? pricey hobbies like offroading, boating?
        guest wings in yr palace, I mean house. Private schooling, horse riding? skiing trips?
        bach at the beach?
        eight kids? sponsors of a hospital ward in Vanuatu.
        meat five night a week, leisurely cafe brunches on the weekend

        some or none of the above? c’mon we can do this – expensive drug habit? gambling? addiction to prada?

        nice to have you sympathise with beneficiaries tho’, shows class

        • KJT 10.2.1.1

          60k is about the median family income. More like $900 a week after tax.

          Not much room for ski trips etc after feeding 3 kids etc etc.

          Shows how much real income has dropped in NZ.

      • Vicky32 10.2.2

        I brought up one and a half children on a DPB, which came to under $20 000 a year. (What I mean by one and a half is that I got “paid” to bring up one of them, but had the other one with me occasionally. Looking back, I don’t know how I managed but I did!

        • KJT 10.2.2.1

          Spent two years at varsity recently while paying for a mortgage and the 3 kids. Still seemed to find money for coffees though.
          Now back being paid and seem to have less money. Go figure?

          • Jim Nald 10.2.2.1.1

            Dear Vicky32 and KJT
            Rest assured – it may not be obvious to some yet but Jonkey is doing everything he can to ensure you are raising your kids to be well groomed to cross over the ditch to earn better Aussie salaries and have a better future than you.

            • Vicky32 10.2.2.1.1.1

              My youngest son is planning to go to the UK next year to nurse, because he has friends and ex-colleagues there… However he has definitely chosen the wrong time to do that!

        • Colonial Viper 10.2.2.2

          Ah, the good old days, right before a block of cheddar hit $14.

  11. PC Brigadier 11

    This makes me tea party-like mad.

  12. Drakula 12

    Id give the buggers nuthin but tea chest at bottom of garden so my cousin Draco is right give them accomodation with naught cash, but I wouldn’t get too flash like I said maybe two tu a tea chest!!!

  13. Chris73 13

    Yeah thats right Labour, keep scrambling around for something, anything to gain some traction

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    . . 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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 ...
    7 days 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
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    1 week ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    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 mins 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
    45 mins 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
    3 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
    6 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
    6 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
    9 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
    24 hours 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    6 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
    6 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
    7 days 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