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Nat U-turn on immigration must include protection from exploitation

Written By: - Date published: 7:02 am, July 24th, 2017 - 24 comments
Categories: accountability, class war, im/migration, national, workers' rights - Tags: , ,

As reported last night:

Government may back down on immigration changes

The Government seems likely to back down on changes to immigration law due to come into effect next month.

Several regional employers and the Canterbury Mayoral Forum have pleaded with the government to reconsider the changes, and they seem to have made some ground.

Sources have told Stuff the Government are now actively considering not implementing the new rules after negative feedback from the regions.

Prime Minister Bill English didn’t rule out making changes to the proposed new rules when asked on Sunday afternoon.  …

See also: Regional revolt prompts Government rethink on immigration. Update: Now confirmed: Government backdown on immigration changes.

The Nats must now enforce better protection for migrant workers. Headlines like these are far too easy to find:
Uncovered: Exploitation of migrant workers rife in NZ
New Zealand Herald in-depth report on human trafficking
Immigrant workers felt helpless during exploitation
Mainfreight banned from hiring migrant workers
Exploited students ‘sleeping in cars’ – Immigration staff
Farm owners fined $21k for under-paying migrant workers
Abuse of young and migrant workers uncovered
Report finds migrant worker exploitation
Filipino national fined $10,000 for exploiting migrant workers
Migrant workers underpaid $70,000-plus
Kiwifruit industry sting reveals workers ripped off
Authorities accuse beauty salons of breaching employees’ rights, as migrant workers complain of long hours and abuse

On and on and on it goes. (Meanwhile 90,000 young Kiwis have no job, no training to go to).

Giving in to employer pressure for high immigration without taking effective steps to protect migrant workers is just participating in the exploitation. I can’t say it any better than this excellent piece by Tom O’Connor (last year in the Waikato Times):

Shameful exploitation of migrant workers must end

How can the economy be booming when we have children going to school hungry, homeless people, beggars in the streets of some of our bigger cities and some old people living in poverty? The problem is so large that our over-worked and under-resourced social agencies have no possibility of dealing with it.

Now, it has been revealed, to our international shame, that the exploitation of migrant workers by their own countrymen living here, as well as New Zealanders, is also a major factor in creating the wealth of a select few.

Dr Christina Stringer, an associate professor with the Faculty of Business and Economics at the University of Auckland found, after a two-year study, widespread exploitation of migrant workers mostly, but not exclusively, in agricultural industries.

New Zealand is one of the few countries in the world with an almost open door to temporary migrant workers, clearly to keep wages down, and permanent residency for migrants with wealth. Some of these temporary migrant workers, from prostitutes to restaurant staff, have been held as virtual slaves under the threat of deportation if they complained to authorities.

Her work makes sad and shameful reading and while it is something we might expect of some Asian countries, it is totally alien to the generally accepted New Zealand tradition of treating all people with decency and respect.

The cases she found cannot be shrugged off as isolated instances by a few rogue operators. They reveal what appears to be a covert and shameful element of our economic prosperity which has all the elements which led to Brexit in Europe and Donald Trump in the United States.

While most employers treat and pay their staff as the law requires, Dr Stringer has revealed that there are enough employers acting illegally to create a very serious issue of human trafficking and exploitation as bad as anywhere in the world.

This must be addressed at the highest level and with some urgency. Anything less is a crime against humanity for which we should be held internationally accountable.

It will be the first real test of our new Prime Minister’s willingness and ability to be the leader of the nation for all its people, not just the wealthy few. Failure will be unforgivable.

24 comments on “Nat U-turn on immigration must include protection from exploitation”

  1. Incognito 1

    Resistance is futile, you will be exploited.

    I reckon Bill English will cave in and soften the new rules but just enough to please National’s constituency and not too much to lose (more) votes to NZ1. In other words, it will be as vanilla as always.

  2. Keith 2

    Look at it like this; the previously announced “changes” to immigration were simply a hollow gesture to take the negative publicity and ramifications of their shitty policy off the front pages. Then you understand exactly why this faux back down from a policy that never really changed is even happening

    It’s like their various funding announcements that take money from elsewhere, that never ends up being spent because the hurdles they put up means it never was intended to be spent.

    Nationals rockstar economy can only function with cheap exploitable and might I add indentured migrant labour. There was no way they would ever change that!

    More National Party smoke and mirrors and entirely predictable!

  3. Cinny 3

    Supplying immigrant workers with accommodation should not mean locals are kicked out of rentals and told to find somewhere else to live.

    Supplying immigrant workers with accommodation should not mean jamming 20 workers into a house around the corner and charging them $120 each per week for housing, while a local family is forced to live in a tent.

    We’ve many RSE workers in our region, they are beautiful people, but they sure get exploited by some orchard owners.

    Government is falling apart if a few months out from the election they are backing down from policies they proudly announced a couple of months ago. It appears they don’t think things through, or are freaking out that they will lose the election and are desperately doing anything to prevent that happening.

    • Rae 3.1

      It is really the contractors who manage these seasonal workers who are the rip offs, orchard owners are complicit in that there really isn’t even plausible deniability in this, though. These contractors, you will often find, are actually migrants themselves. Migrants all over are being exploited, often by other migrants, often those migrants are from the same country as the people they are exploiting.
      On farms, many of the owners are corporations or investors who probably hardly ever step foot onto farms. In the past, people who worked on, particularly, dairy farms, did so with the aim of eventually owning their own farm by first working as an employee, moving on to share milking and then on the farm ownership. That path, by and large, is no longer there, why would you want to commit to the rubbish hours with no hope of the larger reward at the end of it? I am damned sure it would no longer attract me if I were a young person today. Fewer and fewer people are required for dry stock farming due to conversions to dairying, though that is by far, in my experiences from years ago, a far better lifestyle than dairying, although it was probably just an excuse for me to be on a horse.
      Back to people from the islands coming here to do seasonal work, I actually think this is a win-win (in need of improvement) as we, with the best will in the world, no longer have the people to draw on for this work. Back in my day, stay at home mums would take up a lot of this work for a bit of extra, those people are no longer available, they pretty much filled packing sheds back then. We could be offering this seasonal work as part of an aid package to the islands, offer training before they even leave home to come here, but make sure the organisation of these people is run properly once they are here, so they are not ripped off.

      • Cinny 3.1.1

        Immigrants exploiting immigrants, yes that sure is common, especially prevalent within the Indian caste system and they should be ashamed of themselves for such self importance.

        I like your ideas Rae re seasonal work as an aid package. I know a group of islanders here, who have organised a shipping container, they have been purchasing cheap 2nd hand furniture, beds etc, building materials, clothing etc and filling it up to go back to the islands for their families.

        Back in the day there were also ‘parenting’ hours at pack houses, a day shift during school hours. Shame more industries don’t do the same, 9 to 5 hours are now archaic and often unworkable for many with children.

        Heard of another pack house who had great difficulty getting workers locally, until they put on a bus and appropriate hours.
        They would pick parents up at the school just after nine and return them via bus back to the school in time to pick up their kids. It was a win/win for everyone involved.

        • Siobhan 3.1.1.1

          Then again…when was the last time bin rates went up?.
          Same rate for 25 years…yet picking standards are higher.
          Not to mention the carry on around notice given for no work in the rain, and the toing and froing on a row by row basis, between bin rates and basic pay rate as a way to minimise earnings….the list goes on….and no way to fight this when RSE workers are in no position to join a union or ask for better wages, which they would if they were actually forced to live in NZ year permanently.
          (ps..I am not blaming the RSE workers, they are being used to undermine NZ workers, and to top it off, they are being exploited too, I know some old hands will not be back next year as wages are higher in Australia)

          • Rae 3.1.1.1.1

            I just do not think there are the number of people available for this seasonal work now. Where, when my kids were young, a lot of us mums did not really have careers so we did this sort of work. I worked in kiwifruit orchards and did everything from thinning, to summer pruning, to picking, to packing, to quality control. People like me are just not that available any more, people need full time work, so I will stick to my idea of this work being part of an aid package, rather than just firing money at these places that need it. We do have to get better at it, though, where exploitation goes, but I do not think it is irretrievable.

            • savenz 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Yes there is plenty of people who can do this work. Had a relative who went down to do fruit picking, was told not only that there was no accomodation supplied as it was full of migrant workers and they were frightened for a young women to be living near them. So the only accomodation was a tent in a campground (she had to buy the tent and camping supplies). Then WINZ refused to give her the unemployment benefit back as she had somehow ‘left’ her job. Clearly anyone who encounters this carry on is not going to be doing seasonal work.

              Farms need to provide accomodation and they do not now as it’s easier just to have migrant men filling accommodation as they are stronger and work harder than locals and can’t speak much English to complain about conditions and question if they are earning the minimum wages. Not sure what happens when they get sick, NZ health system, or do they ship them back? Either way it’s not really a good look or beneficial to society long term and those that miss out on those jobs are left demoralised as yet again, they are rejected for jobs that 15 years ago, anyone could do.

      • In the past, people who worked on, particularly, dairy farms, did so with the aim of eventually owning their own farm by first working as an employee, moving on to share milking and then on the farm ownership. That path, by and large, is no longer there why would you want to commit to the rubbish hours with no hope of the larger reward at the end of it?

        Of course it’s no longer there – there’s no land left for such a system to expand into. This is the inevitable result of private ownership and limited resources.

        Back to people from the islands coming here to do seasonal work, I actually think this is a win-win (in need of improvement) as we, with the best will in the world, no longer have the people to draw on for this work.

        There’s about 100,000 people out of work and looking for it.

        The RSE scheme is there to keep people unemployed so as to keep wages down.

  4. Ad 4

    Good work Anthony.

    The quandary at the base of it is our horticultural and viticultural industries are highly dependent upon cheap labour.

    Can we still have our horticultural and viticultural industries without cheap and unregulated labour? I think it would be preferable to have all harvesting done by machine rather than see these growers put out of business.

    I wouldn’t wish such cheap and unregulated jobs on New Zealand citizens.

    • Heather Grimwood 4.1

      To Ad at 4: ” I wouldn’t wish such cheap and unregulated jobs on New Zealand citizens”.
      Ad, I wouldn’t wish such jobs on anyone. The squeals from employers are reminiscent of those from early Australian settlers wanting free convict labour….I.e. from same mindset.
      I met an immigrant couple recently, both with professional qualifications who had moved as quickly as possible from the conditions of a Southland dairy farm. They were too polite to say they’d experienced something akin to slavery, but these lovely gentle folk said enough to indicate it was much removed from what they’d expected.

    • The question is why? Why are they dependent upon cheap labour.

      Maximise profits.
      The industry has always had relatively low payments for workers hasn’t it?
      There is a gap and disconnect between what they want to pay and what is livable for workers. THAT is the key – the gap. And that is created because of profit AND the policies keeping wages low – another mechanism of capitalism.

      • Cinny 4.2.1

        Absolutely re maximise profits, made even easier if they own rental properties to house the workers, charging them per head instead of per property.

        Deductions are part of the exploit/profit

    • Siobhan 4.3

      The growers are not at risk of being put out of business.

      “Golden apple industry on its way to $1 billion target”
      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11591842

      “In the 2015 season, apple exports reached a record $630 million; this year Pipfruit NZ expects exports to reach 19.5 million cartons, with returns exceeding $700 million. If it’s achieved, that export tally will be more than double the $341 million worth of apple exports in 2012.”

      not to mention we have gone from 1500 growers to 300 or 400 today..so greater efficiencies in costs and overheads…an industry on steroids…but wages and conditions of employment..nah.

  5. CLEANGREEN 5

    Yet even more evidence that this administration is floundering around while our young are not being trained for the future, so we will reap what we sow with this useless government, if it wins a forth term come September.

    Best we vote them out of causing us any more damage.

    Most of the other parties have some form of more policies to upskill our young that would fix the problem without allowing yet more poor low skilled into the country.

    NACTIONAL = LOW WAGE ECONOMY – USING LOW PAID AND LOW SKILLED POOR OVERSEAS LABOUR.

    • Sara Matthews 5.1

      We really need to invest in tertiary education and apprenticeship schemes.

  6. Enough is Enough 6

    I am very glad that they have a done a U turn here, but as you rightly point out they must also ensure that the this is coupled with tougher laws to ensure there is no exploitation.

  7. Stuart Munro 7

    10 000 low wage migrant workers = 10 000 long term unemployed NZers + 2-3000 occupied houses. Work permits are not something a NZ government should be handing out like sweeties to their dodgy mates.

  8. savenz 8

    If you can’t afford to pay $49k for a migrant worker which is only $1000 a week less taxes, and a family in Auckland is not able to even live on without further welfare, maybe look to the 93,000 unemployed Kiwis and the 100,000 on benefits.

    Industry has got too fat and reliant on cheap labour, the no 8 wire mentality of Kiwis has gone into, a kinda fast food industry mentality, of cheap, fast, unhealthy, cos it feels good when you are time poor. Don’t worry the taxpayers will pick up the health bill on your behalf!

    Didn’t we get rid of farming subsidies, it’s cheaper to bring that old chestnut back from the 1970’s than legalised people trafficking on the tax payer dime with most of the profits going offshore.

  9. savenz 9

    That fast, cheap, unhealthy habits of low wage economy is why we have both low productivity, burgeoning government debt and a Ponzi scheme economy, that relies on cheap workers coming in to keep unprofitable and poorly run businesses going and to buy up houses, consumer items etc. The flip side is that it is direct completion with local workers for housing, transport, land, wages and food – keeps the prices up – win win if you are selling that, not so much if you are buying it.

  10. Bill 10

    So what specific changes to Employment Law are any given political parties putting forward that would end rampant exploitation of (usually) seasonal immigrant labour?

    And why is a ‘row back’ on skilled immigration criteria being criticised by reference to unskilled immigrant labour?

    From NZ Labour –

    We will investigate ways to ensure that the Pacific Access Quota and Samoan Quota which are currently underutilised are fully met. However, there will be greater enforcement to ensure workers are not exploited.

    What does “greater enforcement” in the above actually mean?

    All I can find in NZ Labour’s election stuff is the following under a 12 month heading

    Investigate measures that improve job security for people in precarious forms of employment (for example, labour hire, casual, seasonal, contracted or sub-contracted workers).

    Meanwhile, the Greens (in relation to temporary migrants) will

    Require employers to give temporary migrant workers at least the same pay and working conditions as local workers.

    But again. No mention of specific measures to ensure compliance.

    Maybe specific measures would result from the Green Party’s intention to –

    Support a complete review of the Employments Relations Act.

    Now that’s way overdue.

    • Craig H 10.1

      Fair points Bill. Labour’s policy of doubling the Labour Inspectorate would help significantly, but totally agree that more work can be done.

  11. Visubversa 11

    It is not just farm and produce workers who are being exploited. I regularly see applications for NZ residency from people with good qualifications who are being paid ratshit wages for professional jobs. A NZ trained Quantity Surveyor on $40,000pa, someone with a Pharmacy degree being paid 30cents above the minimum wage for relevant work, store managers on under $40,000, a chef on $36,000pa and a Head Chef on $48,800pa. No penal rates, no overtime pay, and minimum rights contracts.

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  • Letter to a friend
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
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    6 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
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    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
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  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
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    6 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
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    6 days ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
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    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    7 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
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    7 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
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    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • We are not America
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
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    1 week ago
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  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
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    1 week ago
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    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
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  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
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  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
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  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
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    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
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    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
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    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
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  • Transparency and the pandemic
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
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    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week 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
    5 hours 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
    16 hours 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
    19 hours 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
    19 hours 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
    19 hours 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
    19 hours ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days 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
    3 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago