More questions on the Sensible Sentencing Trust

Written By: - Date published: 5:48 am, March 16th, 2009 - 52 comments
Categories: law and "order" - Tags:

Last week, Tane pointed out that the private prison industry had been involved in corrupting the political process in the US by funding ‘tough on crime’ groups that call for longer sentences (and bigger profits for private prisons). He wondered if the same could be happening here with the Sensible Sentencing Trust. This provoked a press release from Sensible Sentencing which frothed and threatened but did not deny that they receive money from GEO or other private prison companies looking to set up shop in New Zealand. You can’t help but think a nerve was hit.

In that press release, Garth McVicar exclaimed SST is a “registered charitable trust” and its website calls it a “charitable trust” but no-one can find them on the charities commission register. Here, mickysavage picks up the case:

I checked the incorporated societies website and came up with an application for registration of the trust under the Charitable Trusts Act 1957 and a trust deed. A certificate of incorporation exists and can be downloaded from the Societies website. There is nothing unusual here. The Charitable Trusts Act 1957 was the predecessor to the Charities Act 2005 and entities registered under the old Act do not have to be registered under the new Act.

However, section 37(1) of the Charities Act states clearly that ‘[a] person must not use a style or title including the words ‘registered charitable entity’. A ‘charitable entity’ is defined as including ‘ the trustees of a trust that is or are registered as a charitable entity under this Act’. It appears that this only includes entities under the new Act.

If an entity under the old Act did not wish to register under the new Act it did not have to. But it is clear that the aim of the new legislation was to achieve transparency around the receipt of donations and my reading of the section is that if a 1957 Act entity did not reregister then it could no longer advertise itself as being ‘charitable’. It could still exist, but not hold itself out to the public as being a charity.

If this is correct then the SST may have committed an offence. Section 38 states that ‘[e]very person who acts in contravention of section 37(1) commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $30,000’.

The SST has a significant say in the local law and order debate. Presumably if someone wanted the SST to comply with the Charities Disclosure law all they needed to do was to write to the Charities Commission and provide them with proof. If this happened then an investigation would be warranted.

Could this be strike one? If so should we lock the SST up and throw away the key?

[lprent: Fixed up the link to the press release, and put in the quote from it. Eddie – please link to relevant pages.]

52 comments on “More questions on the Sensible Sentencing Trust ”

  1. Tigger 1

    Kind of ironic that an organisation that claims to be about law and order can’t seem to operate with either.

    • QoT 1.1

      Well, obviously, Tigger, it’s not like fraud is a *real* crime. Just like speeding while white and middle-class, or killing people who are taggers.

  2. Graeme 2

    Also this one, of course: http://www.medialawjournal.co.nz/?p=119.

    [And now for the expected pedantry 🙂 – this could not be a strike – it’s not one of the offences listed in the Bill, and it couldn’t result in a five-year prison term…]

  3. DrakeNZ 3

    The prohibition is on referring to yourself as “registered” under the new charities act, not from simply referring to yourself as charitable.

    There is a distinction between being charitable in the coloquial or general sense under the old charities act, and been registered under the new act.

    As an aside, appliations with the charities commission currently take around 7-8 months, meaning that perhaps a third of all organisations that are clearly charitable have yet to go up on the website, despite making correct applications.

    From the description I’ve seen so far I can’t see any breach….

    • lprent 3.1

      Until they are registered they cannot claim to be a “registered charitable trust” if I understand the 2005 act correctly. So McVicar claiming (my bold)

      http://www.safe-nz.org.nz/Press/2009whackylefties.htm
      “The Sensible Sentencing Trust is a registered charitable trust with IRD approved donee status, which means our books are audited and every dollar is accounted for.’

      He is probably breaking the law.

      http://www.charities.govt.nz/news/updates/electronic-guide.htm

      The Charities Act 2005 (“the Act’) was passed in April 2005. The Act established the Charities Commission (“the Commission’) which came into being on 1 July 2005.

      So the SST has been really fast putting in the paper work and getting registration under the new act. Please get a grip and think of timing. If you put an application in, it does not mean that you are registered. It just means that you’re slow on paperwork.

    • It looks like the SST may have also lost it’s IRD status. I wonder if there is a repercussion for advertising that is has this status when it does not. The Charities Website states that “[c]harities have until 1 July 2008 to register before their tax exemptions are affected.”

      This link is at http://www.charities.govt.nz/news/updates/electronic-guide.htm

  4. vidiot 4

    And this is why the left lost in 2008.

    Does the Charities Act 2005 supersede the Charitable Trust Act 1957?
    No. They are separate Acts for separate purposes.

    If an organisation is already a Charitable Trust, it will still need to register with the Commission if it wishes to receive or maintain tax exempt status and become a registered charitable entity.

    The Charitable Trusts Act 1957 is still current law – http://www.societies.govt.nz/cms/charitable-trusts/learn-about-charitable-trusts/what-is-a-charitable-trust

    The info is out there, you just need to learn how to read. There is nothing that McVicar has said in his statement “The Sensible Sentencing Trust is strictly a non-political organisation; with IRD approved donee and charitable trust status.” that is either misleading or illegal.

    • lprent 4.1

      If you read the relevant act’s, the key word is “registered”.

      http://www.safe-nz.org.nz/Press/2009whackylefties.htm
      “The Sensible Sentencing Trust is a registered charitable trust with IRD approved donee status, which means our books are audited and every dollar is accounted for.’

      Please learn to read the posts before trying to make up your own law using quotes that were not the subject of the post

      This is why the right are too moronic to be in government – they have a loose interpretation of law. For some reason they only like the laws that favour them.. For instance look at the ministerial handling of employment law…

      http://www.thestandard.org.nz/a-bunch-of-clowns/

      • Tim Ellis 4.1.1

        LP my reading of the Act is that the key word is not “registered”. The relevant expression is “registered charitable entity”. This is very prescriptive. McVicar doesn’t use this expression.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.2

        Not a loose interpretation of the law – a very specific interpretation, one that allows them to break it.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      There is no way that the SST is a non-political organisation. There entire modus operandi is to influence the politics of the country.

  5. lprent 5

    Put the link to the related press release and the relevant quote from it.

    This could be the source of the confusion evident from DrakeNZ and vidiot.

  6. vidiot 6

    Lprent :

    From: http://www.societies.govt.nz

    Number 1188021
    Name THE SENSIBLE SENTENCING GROUP TRUST

    Incorporated 01-FEB-2002
    Current Status REGISTERED
    Organisation Type Charitable Trust

    So are they or are they not a REGISTERED CHARITABLE TRUST ?

    And the quote is from the front page on – http://www.safe-nz.org.nz/

  7. lprent 7

    Yes registered under the 1957 act.
    In the 2005 act

    However, section 37(1) of the Charities Act states clearly that “[a] person must not use a style or title including the words “registered charitable entity’. A “charitable entity’ is defined as including ” the trustees of a trust that is or are registered as a charitable entity under this Act’. It appears that this only includes entities under the new Act.

    So McVicar cannot claim that the SST is a registered charitable trust – he is not under the 2005 act. The significant difference is that the 2005 act requires far more transparency of donation sources. That is of course what we have been asking – has the sensible sentencing trust receive donations from GEO group?

  8. higherstandard 8

    Honestly who gives one ?

    McVicar must be pissing himself laughing that he’s getting this coverage.

    • lprent 8.1

      Not according to the rant in their press release. Seems quite upset about it. I wonder why? Perhaps they are operating as the procurement arm of GEO Group in getting more prisoners for longer. Helps with the profit margins. If so then that means they are hardly a charity

    • Tigger 8.2

      Yes, because people prodding around your charitable status on a left-wing blog is JUST the sort of coverage McVicar is after…

      • RedLogix 8.2.1

        hs,

        Of course no-one technically ‘gives one’ about SSt’s charity status, registered or otherwise. The real issue is that the 2005 Act requires an increased level of scutiny and transparency that SST seem to be keen on avoiding.

        It is one more element in a now established pattern of evasive and opaque behaviour that any overseas based activist would instantly red-flag as ‘astroturfers at work here’.

  9. ieuan 9

    Look this shouldn’t be too hard to sort out.

    Someone pick up the phone and ring the Charities Commission (number is 0508 242 748) and say, ‘I’d like to make a donation to The Sensible Sentencing Trust who say on their web site they are a ‘charitable trust’, I’d like to confirm that they are before making a donation’. The commission can check their records and let you know if they are registered or if they are in the process of being registered. They will also be able to tell you if they can use the term ‘charitable trust’ if they are not registered.

    I’ve done this for charities that ask for donations from my company, it is an easy way to check if they are a legitimate charity or not.

  10. BLiP 10

    I called – spoke to Vena in the call centre – she tells me that her records show that the Sensible Sentencing Group Trust is NOT registered, although an application was received in June 2008 and has not yet been approved. This means all donations are NOT subject to the tax rebate and won’t be until the application has been approved because the provision cannot be applied retrospectively. However, they are allowed to call themselves a charitable trust, but not a registered charitable trust.

    Good work The Standard – take a bow. Will anyone be following up with a complaint to the Commerce Commission for the Sensible (hahahaha) Sentencing Trust’s false advertising?

    • BLiP 10.1

      Thought I’d better double check – I’ve learned its not a good idea to rely on information provided by a CSR – as it turns out, the tax refund status will be backdated to the date of application which, in the case of the SST, is June 2008. This second opinion – I think her name was Saga – confirmed that the SST is NOT registered at this time. Perhaps we’re splitting hairs – they are NOT registered but, when they are finally registered, it will apply as from June 2008.

  11. ieuan 11

    I don’t want to upset the apple crate here but where do they say they are a ‘registered charity’?

    On their website they say they have ‘IRD approved donee and charitable trust status’ they don’t call themselves a registered charity.

    Still I am sure they are happy to give the impression they are a charity when people are making donations.

    • Tane 11.1

      The press release says: “The Sensible Sentencing Trust is a registered charitable trust”. According to the Charities Commission they’re not.

      I’m not a lawyer, but if anyone here has any expertise feel free to get in touch –

      thestandardnz AT gmail DOT com

    • lprent 11.2

      Check the press release in the post.

  12. Ianmac 12

    In any case, I wonder if GEO would make a donation to a registered Trust who in turn makes a donation to SST. An original idea?

    • Tane 12.1

      Seeing as they’re belatedly registering, I suspect if they are taking donations they’d rather not disclose they’ll be frontloading it so the money’s in the bank before they have to declare anything.

      Of course, in the absence of any hard information this only educated guesswork.

  13. George Darroch 13

    Who do you need to go to get a prosecution? If doing so forces them to open their accounts as is required under the law… could be very interesting.

  14. vidiot 14

    Educated Guesswork ?

    Rofl more like making shit up and hoping that it sticks.

  15. Tane 15

    No, it’s one of the basic principles of investigative journalism. You look at how an organisation operates, forumlate a hypothesis, ask some questions, see what the responses are, and use that information to ask even more questions until you’ve eventually uncovered some answers.

    We know SST is cagey about its funding. We know they’ve deliberately avoided disclosing it at every opportunity. We know that similar organisations overseas have been funded by the private prison industry, and we know that SST had studiously avoided denying the same is happening with them. And we now have information that suggests they may be in breach of the Charities Act.

    Any speculation should clearly be flagged as such, but there’s nothing outrageous or defamatory being discussed here.

    • Graeme 15.1

      Any speculation should clearly be flagged as such, but there’s nothing outrageous or defamatory being discussed here.

      Come on … statements like this:

      … the SST may have committed an offence. Section 38 states that “[e]very person who acts in contravention of section 37(1) commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $30,000′.

      Could this be strike one? If so should we lock the SST up and throw away the key?

      And especially this:

      Kind of ironic that an organisation that claims to be about law and order can’t seem to operate with either.

      Are clearly capable of being defamatory.

      • Ianmac 15.1.1

        Graeme: Defamatory? Huh? Seems to me, to be explanations about the possible outcomes.
        “If you rob a dairy with the help of a gun then these are the possible outcomes when you are caught. OK?”
        I wonder why you are trying to down-play this issue?

        • Graeme 15.1.1.1

          I’m not trying to downplay this issue. Indeed, just the opposite: I’m pointing out how serious these allegations are – so serious, that they might well be defamatory if untrue. In a comment near the top, I point to evidence of a a contempt of court by the SST.

          Why are you trying to downplay this issue? You don’t seem to think accusing the SST of hypocrisy and illegal behaviour is even serious enough to be defamatory if found to be untrue. I think they are at least that serious.

          Seriously, though, why do you think I’m trying to down-play this issue?

          This is my third post in this thread. The first linked to an allegation by a respected media lawyer arguing that in offering a monetary reward to someone for evidence leading to a conviction, the head of the SST may have committed a contempt of court. And the second pointed out that Tane’s understanding of the law of defamation may be a little deficient.

          • Tane 15.1.1.1.1

            Graeme, I’m aware you can construct a case for defamation out of nearly anything, but a successful case is something else entirely. I don’t think Garth McVicar would have much of a case with anything that’s been said here.

            Besides, I suspect that drawing attention to the SST’s finances through a long, expensive and ultimately failed defamation suit is the last thing he’d want.

  16. Simon-3 16

    It’s extremely satisfying to drop by The Standard [deleted].

    [lprent: It is always extremely satisfying to kick a banned troll (again) for trolling their lines yet again. Adding to auto-moderation]

    • BLiP 16.1

      Are you saying that the majority view in New Zealand is that it is okay for a charitable trust which wants people in jail for longer to play peek-a-boo with the law? Why don’t you scamper oiff and get back to your Truth jumbo-crossword and leave the blogging to the grown ups – there’s a good boy.

  17. Ianmac 17

    Graeme: And further to Tane, surely the answer to being defamed is to prove that no money was coming from GEO. Simple enough for a body who believes in accountibility.
    (Actually I wonder where Family First get their money from??)
    Are you really all that concerned for the welfare of the Standard? Doesn’t seem to fit your words????

    • Graeme 17.1

      I’m not at all concerned for the welfare of the Standard. I’m a lawyer, and one of the things I find myself doing on the Internet is correcting erroneous legal statements. I do it quite a bit. I didn’t do it because I think the Standard needs to be careful about being sued, I did it because I thought Tane was wrong.

      I don’t know much about charitable trusts law, and haven’t the time to do the type of due diligence I’d want to before offering an opinion on the the more direct matter at hand, but I know a bit about media law so made a reasonably straighforward response to an observation on that topic.

      As for Family First – are you concerned that they are secretly funded by the anti-prison lobby for their advocacy to ensure parents aren’t sent to prison for smacking? Or is Fisher & Paykel trying to sell more ovens by covertly funding the “What your kids really want for dinner … is you” campaign?

      • DeeDub 17.1.1

        You must be a really successful lawyer to have the time to take part in this discussion and go around ‘correcting erroneous legal statements’ online?

        All the lawyers I know are too busy working their asses off trying to keep their client base right now to be lurking on blogs and correcting people out of the kindness of their hearts . . .

        😉

      • Graeme 17.1.2

        Lawyer, but not law firm. No clients. But less pay too.

  18. Rex Widerstrom 18

    I was not well for most of last week so a belated congratulations to Tane for the original investigative work and to mickeysavage for the follow-up.

    I’ve also read with interest the debate above, including the wafer-thin parsing of “registered” and “charitable”.

    [As an aside, I’d have thought there was something slightly misleading about the form of words “…with IRD approved donee status”, too. Surely a potential donor could easily misinterpret this as meaning their donation was tax deductible? After all, that’s one of the two main reasons charities register with the IRD (the other being their wn tax status). Yet as BLiP has revealed above (and well done also for the investigative work) donations are not deductible].

    What immediately occurs to me, however, as a former journo and editor, is why this work is being handled solely by the unpaid contributors to a blog?

    With all due modesty if I were still working for a media outlet in NZ I’d have been on to it long ago. And if I’d been asleep at the keyboard till now I’d certainly be following these leads (and hopefully doing a better job than most media of acknowledging the source).

    A single interview (a doorstop, if necessary) with McVicar asking him to reveal the noble, community-minded donors to his fine and not-at-all-dodgy organisation would do the trick. Either there’d be an opening of the books, or a blanket refusal to do so. Either one would be edifying for the watching populace, I imagine.

    • Pascal's bookie 18.1

      A single interview (a doorstop, if necessary) with McVicar asking him to reveal the noble, community-minded donors to his fine and not-at-all-dodgy organisation would do the trick. Either there’d be an opening of the books, or a blanket refusal to do so. Either one would be edifying for the watching populace, I imagine.

      Good god Rex. Think about what you are saying. Your coming perilously close to advocating journalism here mate. The media’s job is to report what Garth McVicar has to say, when he wants them to. In return Garth gives reliably sensationalist copy on short notice. If the media start asking pesky questions of the sort people are talking about here, it puts the whole model at risk.

      • Rex Widerstrom 18.1.1

        Perhaps when he’s not busy (yes, I know…) Lynn could be persuaded to write the code for a McVicar quote generator? You know, one of those things which just spits random collection of phrases like “decades of soft liberalism”, “vicious animals” and “harsher penalties”. Oh, and “day of reckoning”… that one sounds all Charles Bronson-ish and has been known to make some hacks have just the teensiest orgasm.

        Or they could follow National’s model and tender it out. Sure McVicar gives it to them for nothing but there are others so desperate for a headline they’ve been known to capitalise on their own child’s suffering to get a Wimmins Daze double pager *cough*Michael Laws*cough*.

        Such people would probably pay to have their phlegmatic ranting published (provided it was accompanied by a suitably fetching portrait of themselves), thus partially compensating the meeja for the fact no one buys their hopeless rags anymore and everyone Tivos past the bloody commercials.

  19. QoT 19

    Here’s the big problem.

    The SST will say, with absolutely no irony, that “those who have nothing to hide have nothing to be afraid of”.

    They will say, “if you’re not a criminal, you don’t have to worry”.

    I don’t necessarily believe that an organisation *must* reveal its funding sources.

    But when it’s an organisation that constantly goes on and on and on about how Crime Is Bad and We Are Good and If You’re Not Doing Anything Wrong You Need Not Fear The Law … well, what the hell should they have to hide?

    • Draco T Bastard 19.1

      I don’t necessarily believe that an organisation *must* reveal its funding sources.

      When it’s a political organisation like the SST then it damn well should reveal its funding.

  20. Here’s a keeper from their press release archive!

    “But the National Spokesman for the SST, Garth McVicar, said “They seem to conveniently forget that these laws will only affect those who break the law…”

    I often think about the SST, one of the things I often wonder is how smart Garth McVicar is. There is two options really, he is either very smart playing a media savvy game, or a complete moron, bayed on by idiots (whom many of which should know better), and convinced he is the smartest man in the world. Quotes like the one above put him very firmly in the second catagory. Appealing to the moron in people indeed.

  21. William 21

    A “SINGLE VOICE PROJECT’ is the official name of the petition sponsored by: The National Public Service Council To Abolish Private Prisons (NPSCTAPP)

    THIS PETITION SEEKS TO ABOLISH ALL PRIVATE PRISONS IN THE UNITED STATES, (or any place subject to its jurisdiction)

    The National Public Service Council To Abolish Private Prisons (NPSCTAPP) is a grass roots organization driven by a single objective. We want the United States government to reclaim sole authority for state and federal prisons on US soil.
    We want the United States Congress to immediately rescind all state and federal contracts that permit private prisons “for profit’ to exist in the United States, or any place subject to its jurisdiction. We understand that the problems that currently plague our government, its criminal justice system and in particular, the state & federal bureau of prisons (and most correctional and rehabilitation facilities) are massive. However, it is our solemn belief that the solutions for prison reform will remain unattainable and virtually impossible as long as private prisons for profit are permitted to operate in America.

    Prior to the past month, and the fiasco of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, AIG, Lehman Brothers, and now the “Big Three’ American Automobile manufacturers, the NPSCTAPP has always felt compelled to highlight the “moral Bottom line’ when it comes to corrections and privatization. Although, we remain confounded by the reality that our government has allowed our justice system to be operated by private interests. The NPSCTAPP philosophy has always been “justice’ should not be for sale at any price. It is our belief that the inherent and most fundamental responsibility of the criminal justice system should not be shirked, or “jobbed-out.’ This is not the same as privatizing the post office or some trash pick up service in the community. There has to be a loss of meaning and purpose when an inmate looks at a guard’s uniform and instead of seeing an emblem that reads State Department of Corrections or Federal Bureau of Prisons, he sees one that says: “Atlas Prison Corporation.’

    Let’s assume that the real danger of privatization is not some innate inhumanity on the part of its practitioners but rather the added financial incentives that reward inhumanity. The same logic that motivates companies to operate prisons more efficiently also encourages them to cut corners at the expense of workers, prisoners and the public. Every penny they do not spend on food, medical care or training for guards is a dime they can pocket. What happens when the pennies pocketed are not enough for the shareholders? Who will bailout the private prison industry when they hold the government and the American people hostage with the threat of financial failure “bankruptcy?’ What was unimaginable a month ago merits serious consideration today. State and Federal prison programs originate from government design, and therefore, need to be maintained by the government. It’s time to restore the principles and the vacated promise of our judicial system.

    John F. Kennedy said, “The time to repair the roof is while the sun is shinning’. Well the sun may not be shinning but, it’s not a bad time to begin repair on a dangerous roof that is certain to fall . because, “Incarcerating people for profit is, in a word WRONG’

    There is an urgent need for the good people of this country to emerge from the shadows of cynicism, indifference, apathy and those other dark places that we migrate to when we are overwhelmed by frustration and the loss of hope.
    It is our hope that you will support the NPSCTAPP with a show of solidarity by signing our petition. We intend to assemble a collection of one million signatures, which will subsequently be attached to a proposition for consideration. This proposition will be presented to both, the Speaker Of The House Of Representatives (Nancy Pelosi) and the United States Congress.

    Please Help Us. We Need Your Support. Help Us Spread The Word About This Monumental And Courageous Challenge To Create Positive Change. Place The Link To The Petition On Your Website! Pass It On!

    The SINGLE VOICE PETITION and the effort to abolish private “for profit’ prisons is the sole intent of NPSCTAPP. Our project does not contain any additional agendas. We have no solutions or suggestions regarding prison reform. However, we are unyielding in our belief that the answers to the many problems which currently plague this nation’s criminal justice system and its penal system in particular, cannot and will not be found within or assisted by the private “for profit’ prison business. The private “for profit’ prison business has a stranglehold on our criminal justice system. Its vice-like grip continues to choke the possibility of justice, fairness, and responsibility from both state and federal systems.
    These new slave plantations are not the answer!

    For more information please visit: http://www.npsctapp.blogsppot.com or email: williamthomas@exconciliation.com
    To sign the petition please visit: http://www.petitiononline.com/gufree2/petition.html

    THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

    William Thomas
    National Community Outreach Facilitator
    The National Public Service Council To Abolish Private Prisons
    P.O. Box 156423
    San Francisco, California 94115

  22. Hi Graeme

    I appreciate your concern but I cannot see how the comments are defamatory. A few defences spring to mind:

    1. They are heavily conditional, there is an “if” and a “may” there. All that I was saying was that if the law is X then the SST is prima facie in breach of it. Truth is still a defence isn’t it?
    2. The statement contains a fair comment and debate about a public issue.
    3. Qualified privilege may apply. If politicians are fair go because of their public position then I do not see why the SST should not be in the same position. The Lange v Atkinson decision springs to mind.

    The last part of my statement is obviously a rhetorical flourish. The offence complained of is punishable by fine only and cannot be published by imprisonment nor constitute a “first strike” unless the most extreme amendments are made to the Bill. I was attempting to be ironic and engage in the same sort of over the top rhetoric that the SST engages in.

    If you are correct then Stephen Price, a respected media lawyer, may also be in trouble because of his allegation that the SST had committed contempt of court, a far more serious allegation than mine. Your initial comment links to his statement.

    Finally the SST proudly has a “Stop internet censorship, free speech online” badge on its website. It would not be a good look for it to try to use the law of defamation to stifle what is a legitimate debate about it’s funding.

    • Graeme 22.1

      It wasn’t concern 🙂

      1. Yes. Truth is a defence.
      2. My suggestion of defamatory words was more directed at Tigger’s comment than your quote.
      3. You might think that about qualified privilege, but I doubt very much it would be extended that far, that fast.

      I don’t really care about the SST, I doubt very much that they’ll do anything about it, my comment really was just directed at what I considered a too broad statement by Tane that “there’s nothing outrageous or defamatory being discussed here.”

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    Hi, we’re Greater Auckland. We’ve been a part of the landscape for over 15 years now. Over that time, we’ve provided informed commentary, evidence-based analysis, and inspiring visions for the future of Tāmaki Makaurau. You might know us from such hits as: The Congestion-Free Network 2013 (and its 2017 ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 day ago
  • Distractions and Inaction.
    Fancy, a fast carA bag full of lootI can nearly guaranteeYou'll end up with the bootThe Prime Minister arrived home, perhaps a bit surprised, maybe even secretly a little pleased at the diversion, to find the country falling apart. Things going more badly that even his c-list, self back-slapping, trip ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 day ago
  • KiwiRail aground while Government obfuscates
    The problems at KiwiRail go further and deeper than the maintenance issue, which caused the inter-island ferry Aratere to run aground on Saturday. The company is also the subject of a damning report published last week about the way it runs its rail operations from the Transport Accident Investigation Commission. ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 day ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #25
    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 16, 2024 thru Sat, June 22, 2024. Stories we promoted this week, by publication date: Before June 16 ‘Unprecedented mass coral bleaching’ expected in 2024, says expert, ...
    2 days ago
  • The Realm Of The Possible.
    The People’s House: What would it be like to live in a country where a single sermon could prick the conscience of the comfortable? Where a journalist could rouse a whole city to action? Where the government could be made to respond to the people’s concerns? Where real change was possible? And ...
    2 days ago
  • Public Service Day
    Good morn or evening friendsHere's your friendly announcerI have serious news to pass on to everybodyWhat I'm about to sayCould mean the world's disasterCould change your joy and laughter to tears and painIt's thatLove's in need of love todayDon't delaySend yours in right awayHate's goin' 'roundBreaking many heartsStop it pleaseBefore ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • When is a road of National significance not a road of National significance?
    I loved everything about my first Cook Strait ferry crossing: a day parked in the car in howling Wellington wind and driving Wellington rain, waiting to hear if they were going to sail or not; watching the huge black ministerial limousines come and go; listening to the adventures of Chicken ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 days ago
  • Fact Brief – Was the Medieval Warm Period a global event?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Was the Medieval Warm Period a global ...
    3 days ago
  • Aotearoa Runs Aground
    Your face has fallen sad nowFor you know the time is nighWhen I must remove your wingsAnd you, you must try to flyCome sail your ships around meAnd burn your bridges downWe make a little history, babyEvery time you come aroundWhen I went to bed last night I thought the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • Wagon keeps movin'
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    3 days ago
  • Mainstreaming Māori
    Mainstreaming need not be inherently anti-Māori. It will be if it is done badly because it will be anti-those-in need, and proportionally more of them are Māori.That the Coalition Government says it will deliver public services on the basis of need rather than, say, race deserves consideration, even though many ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    3 days ago
  • National says “fuck you”
    The Justice Committee has reported back on the government's racist bill to eliminate Māori representation in local government. The report duly notes the Waitangi Tribunal's finding that the bill breaches te Tiriti, and the bill's inconsistency with our international human rights obligations - and then proceeds to ignore both. Instead, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Christopher Luxon is – Big in Japan
    This week our Prime Minister Christopher Luxon… mmm, let’s take a moment to consider just how good that sounds. Hope you weren’t eating.Anyway that guy. Better? That bloke from the telly, he said - what I would say to you is… I’m big in Japan. My kind of people, hard ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 21-June-2024
    Tis the winter solstice! The shortest day and longest night of the year. The good news: we’re on our way back to summertime. Here’s another roundup of stories to brighten up your Friday. Our header image is from CRL and shows Waihorotiu Station lit up for Matariki 2024 The ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    4 days ago
  • Bernard’s mid-winter pick ‘n’ mix for Friday, June 21
    Our economic momentum remains anaemic, and it’s possible the tiny increase in GDP was a ‘dead cat bounce’. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Per-capita GDP has fallen 4.3% from its peak over the last 21 months, which is more than it it fell in the Global Financial Crisis recession ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Futility of Punishment
    Hi,I was in Texas recently and couldn’t stop thinking about how in some parts of America they really like to kill their prisoners. As a society we tend to agree murder is wrong, but somewhere along the way Texas figured it’s fine if it’s after 6pm and the killing is ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • The new Beehive approach to the environment
    A persistent theme has been weaving between the Committee rooms at Parliament all this so-called “Scrutiny” week as MPs have probed Ministers and agencies about their work and plans. The question has been simply what the environmental price might be if the country begins to accelerate its infrastructure building to ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #25 2024
    Open access notables Climate Change Is Leading to a Convergence of Global Climate Distribution, Li et al., Geophysical Research Letters: The impact of changes in global temperatures and precipitation on climate distribution remains unclear. Taking the annual global average temperatures and precipitation as the origin, this study determined the climate distribution with the ...
    5 days ago
  • You take nicer pictures when you’re not drunk
    Readers keeping count will know it's more than five years since I gave up booze. Some of you get worried on my behalf when I recount a possibly testing moment. Anxious readers: today I got well tested.All the way across France I've been enquiring in my very polite and well-meaning but ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Cancer
    Turn awayIf you could, get me a drinkOf water 'cause my lips are chapped and fadedCall my Aunt MarieHelp her gather all my thingsAnd bury me in all my favourite coloursMy sisters and my brothers, stillI will not kiss you'Cause the hardest part of this is leaving youI remember the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why we shouldn’t buy new planes for the PM
    Its not often that one has to agree with Judith Collins, but yes, it would indeed cost “hundreds of millions of dollars” (at least) to buy replacement aircraft to fly the Prime Minister on his overseas missions of diplomacy and trade. And yes, the public might well regard that spending ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    5 days ago
  • The Stadium Debate – What About the Transport Options?
    A few weeks ago, Auckland Council took another step in the long-running stadium saga, narrowing its shortlist down to two options for which they will now seek feasibility studies. The recommendation to move forward with a feasibility study was carried twenty to one by the council’s Governing Body for the ...
    5 days ago
  • Bernard’s mid-winter pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 20
    Social Development Minister Louise Upston has defended the Government’s decision to save money by dumping a programme which tops up the pay of disabled workers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: It has emerged the National-ACT-NZ First Government decided to cut wages for disabled workers from the minimum wage to $2 an hour ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Where the power really resides in Wellington
    The new Chief Executive of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) yesterday gave a Select Committee a brutally frank outline of the department’s role as the agency right at the centre of power in Wellington. Ben King, formerly a deputy Chief Executive at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Climate Adam: Why we're still losing the fight against Methane
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Carbon dioxide is the main culprit behind climate change. But in second place is methane: a greenhouse gas stronger than CO2, ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: More ETS failure
    A few weeks ago, I blogged about the (then) upcoming ETS auction, raising the prospect of it failing, leaving the government with a messy budget hole. The auction was today, and indeed, it failed. In fact, it was such a failure that no-one even bothered to bid. Its easy to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Return of Jacinda.
    Oh, take me, take me, take meTo the dreamer's ballI'll be right on time and I'll dress so fineYou're gonna love me when you see meI won't have to worryTake me, take mePromise not to wake me'Til it's morningIt's all been trueEarly morning yesterday, well before dawn, doom-scrolling.Not intentionally, that’s ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • How good is the interim NW busway?
    This is a guest post by Pshem Kowalczyk, a long-time follower of the blog. With great fanfare, just over six months ago (on 12 November 2023), AT launched its interim busway for the NorthWest region, with the new WX express service at the heart of the changes. I live ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    6 days ago
  • Consumer confidence collapses after Budget, in contrast with rest of world
    The first widespread survey of consumers and voters since the Budget on May 30 shows a collapse in confidence. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The belt-tightening and tax-cutting Budget delivered on May 30 has not delivered the boost to confidence in the economy the National-ACT-NZ First Government might have ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The end for the Air Force 757s
    The Air Force 757 that broke down with the Prime Minister on board in Port Moresby on Sunday is considered so unreliable that it carries a substantial stock of spare parts when it travels overseas. And the plane also carries an Air Force maintenance team on board ready to make ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • At a glance – Was 1934 the hottest year on record?
    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
  • It's not New Zealand they've never heard of, it's him
    Sometimes you’ll just be so dog-tired, you can only keep yourself awake with a short stab of self-inflicted pain.A quick bite of the lip, for instance.Maybe a slight bite on the tongue or a dig of the nails.But what if you’re needing something a bit more painful?The solution is as ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • Some “scrutiny” II
    Last month I blogged about the Ministry of Justice's Open Government Partnership commitment to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation", and how their existing efforts did not give much reason for confidence. As part of that, I mentioned that I had asked the Ministry for its ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why the Biden “peace plan” for Gaza is doomed
    After months and months of blocking every attempt by the UN and everyone else to achieve a Gaza ceasefire, US President Joe Biden is now marketing his own three-stage “peace plan” to end the conflict. Like every other contribution by the US since October 7, the Biden initiative is hobbled ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    7 days ago
  • Raised crossings: hearing the voice of vulnerable pedestrians
    This is a guest post by Vivian Naylor, who is the Barrier Free Advisor and Educator at CCS Disability Action, Northern Region, the largest disability support and advocacy organisation in Aotearoa New Zealand. She also advises on AT’s Public Transport and Capital Projects Accessibility Groups. Vivian has been advocating and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • Leaving on a Jet Plane
    So kiss me and smile for meTell me that you'll wait for meHold me like you'll never let me go'Cause I'm leavin' on a jet planeDon't know when I'll be back againOh babe, I hate to go“The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Tuesday, June 18
    The election promises of ‘better economic management’ are now ringing hollow, as NZ appears to be falling into a deeper recession, while other economies are turning the corner. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The economy and the housing market are slumping back into a deep recession this winter, contrasting ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Scrutiny week off to rocky start
    Parliament’s new “Scrutiny” process, which is supposed to allow Select Committees to interrogate Ministers and officials in much more depth, has got off to a rocky start. Yesterday was the first day of “Scrutiny Week” which is supposed to see the Government grilled on how it spends taxpayers’ money and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • The choice could not be more stark’: How Trump and Biden compare on climate change
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Barbara Grady Illustration by Samantha Harrington. Photo credits: Justin Lane-Pool/Getty Images, Win McNamee/Getty Images, European Space Agency. In an empty wind-swept field in Richmond, California, next to the county landfill, a company called RavenSr has plotted out land and won ...
    1 week ago
  • Differentiating between democracy and republic
    Although NZ readers may not be that interested in the subject and in lieu of US Fathers Day missives (not celebrated in NZ), I thought I would lay out some brief thoughts on a political subject being debated in the … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 17
    TL;DR: Chris Bishop talks up the use of value capture, congestion charging, PPPs, water meters, tolling and rebating GST on building materials to councils to ramp up infrastructure investment in the absence of the Government simply borrowing more to provide the capital.Meanwhile, Christopher Luxon wants to double the number of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • You do have the power to change things
    When I was invited to come aboard and help with Greater Auckland a few months ago (thanks to Patrick!), it was suggested it might be a good idea to write some sort of autobiographical post by way of an introduction. This post isn’t quite that – although I’m sure I’lll ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Turning Away – Who Cares If We Don't?
    On the turning awayFrom the pale and downtroddenAnd the words they say which we won't understandDon't accept that, what's happeningIs just a case of other's sufferingOr you'll find that you're joining inThe turning awayToday’s guest kōrero is from Author Catherine Lea. So without further ado, over to Catherine…I’m so honoured ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Dissecting Tickled
    Hi,Tickled was one of the craziest things that ever happened to me (and I feel like a lot of crazy things have happened to me).So ahead of the Webworm popup and Tickled screening in New Zealand on July 13, I thought I’d write about how we made that film and ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand Webworm Popup + Tickled!
    Hi,I’m doing a Webworm merch popup followed by a Tickled screening in Auckland, New Zealand on July 13th — and I’d love you to come. I got the urge to do this while writing this Webworm piece breaking down how we made Tickled, and talking to all the people who ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • What China wants from NZ business
    One simple statistic said it all: China Premier Li Qiang asked Fonterra CEO Miles Hurrell what percentage of the company’s overall sales were made in China. “Thirty per cent,” said Hurrell. In other words, New Zealand’s largest company is more or less dependent on the Chinese market. But Hurrell is ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Review: The Worm Ouroboros, by E.R. Eddison (1922)
    One occasionally runs into the question of what J.R.R. Tolkien would have thought of George R.R. Martin. For years, I had a go-to online answer: we could use a stand-in. Tolkien’s thoughts on E.R. Eddison – that he appreciated the invented world, but thought the invented names were silly, and ...
    1 week ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #24
    A listing of 35 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 9, 2024 thru Sat, June 15, 2024. Story of the week A glance at this week's inventory of what experts tell us is extreme weather mayhem juiced by ...
    1 week ago
  • Sunday Morning Chat
    After a busy week it’s a good day to relax. Clear blues skies here in Tamaki Makaurau, very peaceful but for my dogs sleeping heavily. In the absence of a full newsletter I thought I’d send out a brief update and share a couple of posts that popped up in ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The Book of Henry
    Now in the land of Angus beef and the mighty ABsWhere the steaks were juicy and the rivers did run foulIt would often be said,This meal is terrible,andNo, for real this is legit the worst thing I've ever eatenBut this was an thing said only to others at the table,not ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Fact Brief – Is ocean acidification from human activities enough to impact marine ecosystems?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by Sue Bin Park in collaboration with members from the Skeptical Science team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is ocean acidification from human ...
    1 week ago
  • Happiness is a Warm Gun
    She's not a girl who misses muchDo do do do do do, oh yeahShe's well-acquainted with the touch of the velvet handLike a lizard on a window paneI wouldn’t associate ACT with warmth, other than a certain fabled, notoriously hot, destination where surely they’re heading and many would like them ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Still doing a good 20
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Coalition of the Unwilling?
    What does Budget 2024 tell us about the current government? Muddle on?Coalition governments are not new. About 50 percent of the time since the first MMP election, there has been a minority government, usually with allied parties holding ministerial portfolios outside cabinets. For 10 percent of the time there was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • Of red flags and warning signs in comments on social media
    Somewhat surprisingly for what is regarded as a network of professionals, climate science misinformation is getting shared on LinkedIn, joining other channels where this is happening. Several of our recent posts published on LinkedIn have attracted the ire of various commenters who apparently are in denial about human-caused climate change. Based ...
    2 weeks ago
  • All good, still
    1. On what subject is Paul Henry even remotely worth giving the time of day?a. The state of our nationb. The state of the ACT partyc. How to freak out potential buyers of your gin palace by baking the remains of your deceased parent into its fittings2. Now that New ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 weeks ago
  • The looting is the point
    Last time National was in power, they looted the state, privatising public assets and signing hugely wasteful public-private partnership (PPP) contracts which saw foreign consortiums provide substandard infrastructure while gouging us for profits. You only have to look at the ongoing fiasco of Transmission Gully to see how it was ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Illusion of Power: How Local Government Bureaucrats Overawe Democratically-Elected Councillors..
    The Democratic Façade Of Local Government: Our district and city councillors are democratically elected to govern their communities on one very strict condition – that they never, ever, under any circumstances, attempt to do so.A DISINTEGRATION OF LOYALTIES on the Wellington City Council has left Mayor Tory Whanau without a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Lowlights & Bright Spots
    I can feel the lowlights coming over meI can feel the lowlights, from the state I’m inI can see the light now even thought it’s dimA little glow on the horizonAnother week of lowlights from our government, with the odd bright spot and a glow on the horizon. The light ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago
  • Weekly Roundup 14-June-2024
    Another week, another roundup of things that caught our eye on our favourite topics of transport, housing and how to make cities a little bit greater. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Connor wrote about Kāinga Ora’s role as an urban development agency Tuesday’s guest post by ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    2 weeks ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s moves this week to take farming out of the ETS and encourage more mining and oil and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate policy axed in broad daylight, while taxpayer liabilities grow in the dark
    In 2019, Shane Jones addressed the “50 Shades of Green” protest at Parliament: Now he is part of a government giving those farmers a pass on becoming part of the ETS, as well as threatening to lock in offshore oil exploration and mining for decades. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Rage Bait!
    Hi,Today’s newsletter is all about how easy it is to get sucked into “rage bait” online, and how easy it is to get played.But first I wanted to share something that elicited the exact opposite of rage in me — something that made me feel incredibly proud, whilst also making ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    2 weeks ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
    Photo by Mathias Elle on UnsplashIt’s that new day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for our chat about the week’s news with special guests:5.00 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    2 weeks ago

  • Transformative investment in cancer treatments and more new medicines
    The coalition Government is delivering up to 26 cancer treatments as part of an overall package of up to 54 more new medicines, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti and Associate Health Minister David Seymour announced today. “Pharmac estimates that around 175,000 people will benefit from the additional treatments in just ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • More support for drought-affected communities
    The coalition Government is providing more financial support to drought-stricken farmers and growers in many parts of the country to help with essential living costs. “Rural Assistance Payments have been made available in 38 districts affected by dry conditions to help eligible farmers and growers whose income has taken a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Job seekers to report on progress after six months from today
    A new requirement for people on Jobseeker Support benefits to meet with MSD after six months to assess how their job search is going gets underway today. About 20,000 Jobseeker beneficiaries with full-time work obligations are expected to attend MSD’s new ‘Work check-in’ seminars over the next 12 months, Social ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New cops means more Police on the beat
    The decision to deploy more Police on the beat in Auckland CBD has been welcomed by Police Minister Mark Mitchell and Associate Police Minister Casey Costello. Starting from 1 July, an additional 21 police officers will be redeployed in Auckland City, bringing the total number of beat police in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government takes action to address youth crime
    The Government is introducing a new declaration for young offenders to ensure they face tougher consequences and are better supported to turn their lives around, Children’s Minister Karen Chhour announced today. The establishment of a Young Serious Offender declaration delivers on a coalition Government commitment and supports the Government’s target ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Reserve Bank chair reappointed
    Professor Neil Quigley has been reappointed as Chair of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Board for a further term of two years, until 30 June 2026.  “Professor Quigley has played a key role in establishing the new Board after the commencement of the new RBNZ Act on 1 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • School attendance increases
    School attendance data released today shows an increase in the number of students regularly attending school to 61.7 per cent in term one. This compares to 59.5 per cent in term one last year and 53.6 per cent in term four. “It is encouraging to see more children getting to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Record investment in public transport services
    The Government has announced a record 41 per cent increase in indicative funding for public transport services and operations, and confirmed the rollout of the National Ticketing Solution (NTS) that will enable contactless debit and credit card payments starting this year in Auckland, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“This Government is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • GDP data shows need to strengthen and grow the economy
    GDP figures for the March quarter reinforce the importance of restoring fiscal discipline to public spending and driving more economic growth, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  Data released today by Stats NZ shows GDP has risen 0.2 per cent for the quarter to March.   “While today’s data is technically in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Women continue to make up over 50 per cent on public sector boards
    Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees has reached 50 per cent or above for the fourth consecutive year, with women holding 53.9 per cent of public sector board roles, Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston says. “This is a fantastic achievement, but the work is not done. To ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government supporting Māori business success
    The Coalition Government is supporting Māori to boost development and the Māori economy through investment in projects that benefit the regions, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka say. “As the Regional Development Minister, I am focused on supporting Māori to succeed. The Provincial Growth Fund ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Better solutions for earthquake-prone buildings
    Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk has announced that the review into better managing the risks of earthquake-prone buildings has commenced. “The terms of reference published today demonstrate the Government’s commitment to ensuring we get the balance right between public safety and costs to building owners,” Mr Penk says.  “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up visit to Japan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has just finished a successful three-day visit to Japan, where he strengthened political relationships and boosted business links. Mr Luxon’s visit culminated in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio followed by a state dinner. “It was important for me to meet Prime Minister Kishida in person ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Major business deals signed on PM’s Japan trip
    Significant business deals have been closed during the visit of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to Japan this week, including in the areas of space, renewable energy and investment.  “Commercial deals like this demonstrate that we don’t just export high-quality agricultural products to Japan, but also our world-class technology, expertise, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Strategic Security speech, Tokyo
    Minasan, konnichiwa, kia ora and good afternoon everyone. Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today and thank you to our friends at the Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies and NEC for making this event possible today.  It gives me great pleasure to be here today, speaking with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
    The National Infrastructure Pipeline, which provides a national view of current or planned infrastructure projects, from roads, to water infrastructure, to schools, and more, has climbed above $120 billion, Infrastructure Minister Chris Bishop says. “Our Government is investing a record amount in modern infrastructure that Kiwis can rely on as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Making it easier to build infrastructure
    The Government is modernising the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk announced today. An independent panel will undertake an eight-week review of the Act and advise on common sense changes to enable large scale public works to be built faster and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • NZ enhances North Korea sanctions monitoring
    New Zealand will enhance its defence contributions to monitoring violations of sanctions against North Korea, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced today.  The enhancement will see the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) increase its contributions to North Korea sanctions monitoring, operating out of Japan. “This increase reflects the importance New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Speech to Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference
    Good afternoon everyone. It’s great to be with you all today before we wrap up Day One of the annual Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference. Thank you to the organisers and sponsors of this conference, for the chance to talk to you about the upcoming health and safety consultation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Ōtaki to north of Levin alliance agreements signed
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed an important milestone for the Ōtaki to north of Levin Road of National Significance (RoNS), following the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) signing interim alliance agreements with two design and construction teams who will develop and ultimately build the new expressway.“The Government’s priority for transport ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Improvements to stopping Digital Child Exploitation
    The Department of Internal Affairs [Department] is making a significant upgrade to their Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, which blocks access to websites known to host child sexual abuse material, says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “The Department will incorporate the up-to-date lists of websites hosting child sexual ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New vaccine research aims to combat prevalent bovine disease
    A vaccine to prevent an infectious disease that costs New Zealand cattle farmers more than $190 million each year could radically improve the health of our cows and boost on-farm productivity, Associate Agriculture Minister Andrew Hoggard says. The Ministry for Primary Industries is backing a project that aims to develop ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago

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