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National forced to support meal breaks

Written By: - Date published: 11:55 am, April 10th, 2008 - 28 comments
Categories: national, workers' rights - Tags: ,

National has found itself politically unable to oppose the amendment to the Employment Relations Act that will ensure workers are entitled to meal breaks and to breastfeed at work. But they will be offering only ‘cautious‘ support to a Bill that protects such basic rights, and only to select committee stage.

Kate Wilkinson, National’s labour spokesperson, says she’s not even sure of the point of the law. Yet, her party is voting for it because they can’t be seen to be so completely anti-worker, especially over a law that will pass anyway.

Rest assured; National hasn’t seen the light. This is a party that is hesitant even to support meal breaks and only has one piece of labour legislation planned, the 90-day Bill to remove employees’ rights in their first 90 days of employment. If they were to get into power, National would be as anti-worker as ever: they would let the minimum wage erode like they’ve always done, they would work to see that wages drop, and New Zealanders would see no more improvements in their working conditions.

A National Government would never enact a meal breaks law.

28 comments on “National forced to support meal breaks”

  1. Daveo 1

    Remember as well it was National that scrapped the right to meal breaks in the first place.

  2. Sam Dixon 2

    Personally, I’m terrified of what a 90-day law would do our work rights. Bosses will have 3 months to fire you for no reason – imagine the ways that will be used to keep conditions and wages down. And it is the only, ONLY, piece of legislation that National has ready to enact if it gets into power.

    I also reckon it would have the unintended consequence of making people a whole lot less willing to change jobs, creating a rigid labour market that would be unable to adapt to changing economic conditions.

  3. Dancer 3

    Workers right are on the agenda in South Australia too – I just saw that “A Parliamentary committee in South Australia says the State should have its own paid maternity leave scheme. The Select Committee on Balancing Work and Life Responsibilities says the scheme would address the skills shortage and attract more workers.” http://www.abc.net.au/news/audio/. We know National voted against the introduction of PPL in NZ – hard to see why they’d behave any differently on meal breaks once it comes back from select committee.

  4. Daveo

    I hear the National party eat babies as well.

    Nevermind the Director General of Health will soon have the power to ban meal breaks as well to combat the obesity epidemic in NZ.

  5. Daveo 5

    hs- it’s a fact that National scrapped the right to meal breaks in the 1990s.

    I don’t see the Director General of Health banning meal breaks to combat obesity. Have you been reading Kiwiblog again?

  6. Steve Pierson 6

    “I hear the National party eat babies as well.”

    misplaced irony. National did remove statutory protection of meal breaks, as well as weakening the unions, letting wages fall, and running a high unemployment economy.

  7. Really HS – I expected better of you than KBR talking points.

  8. hmm 8

    This hysteria about being able to be fired for anything is demeaning to you guys. Surely you should be able to argue against a policy on its actual grounds without resorting to EPMU spun myths … (Maybe that’s wishful thinking around here).

    Have any of you actually gone and read the Bill proposed by Mapp. It specifically maintains the power to seek redress should you be fired on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination under the Human Rights Act.

  9. Tane 9

    hmmm: Mapp did introduce an amendment to his bill for the later readings after its implications became clear, but this was only after serious questions were raised about it.

    And the fact remains, under National’s proposed law your boss could fire you at a whim and without reason. Where’s the natural justice in that?

    As Chris Trotter noted at the time, that’s not an employment relationship, it’s a master/serf relationship.

  10. randal 10

    nats belong to that class or set of persons who derive psychological satisfaction from dominating others for sadistic pleasure at what ever cost to the economy or the individual as long as their unconscious desires are met. If they are sufficiently well insulated from economic repercussions then so much the better. i.e. if they are WINNERS then what better fun than bashing losers?

  11. Scribe 11

    randal,

    if they are WINNERS then what better fun than bashing losers?

    Kind of like when Cullen said, “We won, you lost, eat that’, you mean?

  12. Bill 12

    hmmm “…the power to seek redress should you be fired on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination under the Human Rights Act”

    Which covers…not a lot. Almost all unjustified sackings do not come under discrimination as prescribed in the Human Rights Act.

    Anyway. That proviso would only have been put in because it was a legal necessity. No other reason.

  13. Tim 13

    Hmmm: You could still bring a claim for sexual or racial harassment/discrimination under the Human Rights Act 1993 under Mapp’s bill, but you could be sacked for joining a union, asking for a pay rise, refusing a pay decrease, turning up to work 1 minute late, complaining about incorrect holiday pay, being overweight, having pimples or any other “reason”.

    You could also be employed on an endless succession of 3 month probationary agreements.

    National’s rationale for the bill was that it would help employers hire “risky” employees, like those who were “too old, too young or too brown”. That is actually what Don Brash said. It was an inane bill.

    Don’t forget National will not increase the minimum wage and will repeal provisions in the ERA, most significantly the protections for low paid workers in contracting out situations.

  14. Leftie 14

    On the 90 day probationary employment thing….

    Imagine trying to get a loan while on probation, particularly a home loan. Imagine the reaction of the lender, as naturally they would look at the risk aspect. It makes a mockery of the National Party and its campaign of making it easier to get into your own home.

  15. Razorlight 15

    I have sat through mindless job interviews answering questions about my strengths and weaknesses. How I would deal with a fellow employee I have a personality clash with, and describing one thing I am very proud of in my work life etc etc.

    When in relaity all I wanted from the employer was for them to give me the chance. Let me show I am up to the job and me sitting in this seat describing myself with cliches isnt doing that.

    Give me the chance. If I am no good, then fine move me on.

    I have always thought a trial period is a perfect way for both employers and employees to work out whether they are compatible. I would think 45 days is enough but the principle is very sound.

    This isnt a conspiracy to destroy workers rights. If any of you have gone through the exhausting and often fruitless job of finding employees you will know employers don’t do it for fun.

    You are scaremongering by saying people will be sacked on day 89 of their employment. The reality is employers need employees. (As some of you Unionists remind us regularly). They are not in the business of sacking them. It does not make economic sence.

  16. Leftie 16

    Razorlight
    Maybe in an ideal world we could pretend that all employers are fair and reasonable. Its a fact that not all employers value their employees as their most valuable asset. It’s not an exaggeration to say that companies like “Spotless” would exploit National’s proposed 90 day probationary employment law as they currently push the boundaries and/or step over the line.

  17. Matthew Pilott 17

    Razorlight, been there and done that! And I fully sympathise with you, because you know in your mind that if you got the job you’d kick ass – but you have to get that break. If you were in my position, you weren’t talking about a low- to minimum-wage job back there. It is this sort of employment that worries people when workplace legislation such as the 90-day bill is brought up.

    For the kind of interviews I was going through, they would be no more likely to hire me with a 90-day probationary period – a typical round of interviews for a professional job must cost thousands and be a right arse to arrange. So they will still go for the best every time; they won’t take the first half-decent candidate because they know they can turf them easily if it doesn’t work out.

    When you have high turnover as it is, and are always getting vulnerable people through the door looking for largely unskilled work (where training isn’t a big drain on company resources), then the problems can occur. Interviews there are cheap (no psychometrics, no Hays job skill assessing), and employees would become even cheaper…

  18. Macro 18

    HS
    I take it from your previous posts that you are from a medical background. I would refer you to the higher incidence of renal failure in shop workers, truck drivers, etc who are forbade by there employers to take necessary toilet breaks. I would have thought that from a purely medical point of view you would have welcomed this legislation. You may not be aware – in fact you are probably too much preoccupied with thoughts on a higher plane – but shop workers and especially those in the hospitality industry – cafe staff etc are the matchstick girls of the modern era. Many of these young women serving you your cup of coffee have no employment contract as such, and no entitlement to a break whatever and are paid the minimum wage. DESPITE THE PROTESTATIONS OF THE NATIONAL PARTY TO THE CONTRARY. If you don’t believe me – just ask a few of the young people serving you next time if they are on a contract and do they have planned breaks – you may be surprised with the answer. Now they will at least be entitled to have a couple of short breaks during their weekend stint of 12 hours when they serve the “well off” their so essential latte. This is a great leap forward in worker rights – remember it was just 100 years ago that the blackball workers went on strike for a decent lunch break.

  19. But it takes the present Labour Government to ‘joke’ that hungry kids are “dieting”. Of course they are; they’re not eating cake.

  20. higherstandard 20

    Macro

    No I’m afraid I’m not aware of the high incidence of renal failure in shop workers, truck drivers, etc who are forbade by there employers to take necessary toilet breaks.

    Renal failure is more likely due to issues such as poorly controlled long term Type II diabetes and hypertension.

    PS I support all employees rights to meal breaks but your medical analogy is as fatuous as Parakura’s recent efforts in the house.

  21. Macro 21

    HS
    Well perhaps you might like to look it up!
    I gather it is in fact the case.
    I know of at least 5 people who work in the cafe trade and at times do not have a meal or toilet break for up to 12 hours. Truck drivers on earthmoving sites for instance are similarly affected.
    I listened to Parakura’s reply. He was replying to the question “why are 70,000 children going to school without eating breakfast?”
    I would think that any person faced with this question, yourself included would have replied that there are many reasons – one being that of self image among teenage girls and their dieting, a sad enough situation in itself. The spin placed on his answer – which he still stands by – by the Maori party, the media, and yourself is unbecoming of anyone seeking the truth.

  22. higherstandard 22

    I bow to our superior knowledge of medicine. Perhaps you could quote me the relevant statistics to back up your claim the higher incidence of renal failure in the groups you point out.

    You defence of Parekura is bizarre..

    from Hansard

    Hon Tariana Turia: Tēnā koe, Madam Speaker. Has the Minister seen reports that almost 20,000 schoolchildren a week nationwide need feeding during their school day because of empty cupboards at home; and what actions can the Ministry of Education take to respond to the educational disadvantage that more and more New Zealanders are experiencing as a result of escalating child poverty?

    Hon PAREKURA HOROMIA: There are a host of reasons why students and pupils do not have breakfast. They are trying to stay trim, or else there may be poverty in the house. Over and above all those issues, it is the community reply that is important.

    A demonstrably stupid comment right up there with Clarkson’s effort

  23. Macro 23

    ok! demonstrate that it is stupid.
    what is stupid about saying that there are a host of reasons why students and children do not have breakfast?
    he acknowledges that some may be as the result of poverty – but to say that it is all because of poverty is stupid!

  24. Tane 24

    Parekura’s comments were unwise, but I think it’s pretty clear what he meant was that students skip breakfast for a variety of reasons, one of which is poverty. This is in fact true – as the Principal of Wellington High said on RNZ the other day, lots of teenagers come to school without breakfast because they’re just not hungry in the mornings. This was my experience back when I was at school.

    I think Parekura should perhaps be a little more careful with his words in future. Clarkson, on the other hand, is a buffoon and a bigot, and the sooner he’s kicked out of Parliament the better.

  25. higherstandard 25

    Macro, Tane

    We are not talking about vain high school students.

    My apologies I thought this information was in the public arena as attached.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0804/S00186.htm

    I would encourage everyone to donate to Kidscan – I’ve been a member for a while now, they do some great work.

    http://www.kidscan.org.nz/

  26. Tane 26

    HS, I agree there is real poverty and kids going to school hungry, I’ve seen this first hand myself. But I don’t think Parekura was denying that. He probably should have chosen his words better though, and been a bit less flippant about such a serious issue.

  27. Macro 27

    Tane and HS
    I’ve been a social worker and a teacher for nearly 40 years. I have worked in the poorest and also the wealthiest schools in the country. I can recall of only one instance where I could honesty say a child went to school hungry every day because there was no food in the house. (And that was because the father drank every cent he was given.)
    In my experience, there were numerous instances of students arriving at school every day without breakfast – but seldom because of a lack of food in the home. To have suggested otherwise would have been insulting. Most students arrive without breakfast because they are late getting up, or they think that this is the best way to gain a slim figure.
    In 1999 there were 161,000 official unemployed – today 19,000. I agree that there are young people living in what one might term “poverty” situations (in many cases exacerbated by poor spending decisions made by their parents or caregivers), but I find it hard to believe that the situation is getting worse. It reached its peak in the mid to late 1990’s after the “mother” of budgets, and the employer friendly labour laws held wages at a fixed level for a decade while food prices continued to rise.
    As for the higher instance of renal failure in shop workers etc, this was given as a factor for introducing the legislation in the first instance. I have also checked this out with my nephew who is a specialist in this area in London.

  28. higherstandard 28

    Macro

    Guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree as my previous post has been eaten by the server for some reason.

    Suffice to say I weigh the evidence of kidscan services where there certainly does appear to be a poverty issue against your own personal experiences.

    Similarly I would be delighted to see evidence of the higher incidence of acute or chronic renal failure in the groups you have identified.

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    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released their annual report today, and I've been busy reading through it. In amongst the usual review of what they've been doing all year, there's a few interesting bits. For example, a discussion on "agency retention and disposal of information", which points out that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why municipal waste-to-energy incineration is not the answer to NZ’s plastic waste crisis
    Trisia Farrelly, Massey University New Zealand is ranked the third-most-wasteful country in the OECD. New Zealanders produce five times the global daily average of waste per person – and they are getting more wasteful, producing 35% more than a decade ago. These statistics are likely to get worse following China’s ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Irony
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An age of protest.
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    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Another captured agency
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    2 weeks ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
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    2 weeks ago
  • Asking for it …
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    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: Tackling child poverty
    It's been a great week of progress: we've celebrated Children's Day, we've made communities safer with 1800 new police, and we've seen almost 90% of eligible schools take up Government funding to scrap school donations - taking pressure off the families of more than 416,000 students. ...
    20 hours ago
  • New measures for wood processing boost
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister of Forestry The Government will further strengthen New Zealand’s wood processing sector as part of our focus on ‘value over volume’ in our forestry industry, Forestry Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones will today meet with forestry representatives in Northland to signal new measures to help the ...
    22 hours ago
  • New high tech traps will reduce the need for 1080 poison
    New Zealand First are celebrating the announcement of an investment of $3.5 million into five new trapping devices. These are a range of bait and trap devices, all designed to be left unattended for long periods of time. NZ First conservation spokesperson Jenny Marcroft says that this latest development will ...
    2 days ago
  • Cowboy clampers will be stymied
    Clayton Mitchell, Spokesperson for Consumer Affairs The ‘wheel clamping’ Bill that will cap clamper fees to $100 passed its third reading in Parliament today. New Zealand First welcomes The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill to combat predatory wheel clamping behaviour in what is currently a largely unregulated business. Cowboy clampers are: gouging ...
    3 days ago
  • Mental Health Commission back on track
    Jenny Marcroft, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its first reading in Parliament. “Today’s progress takes serious action on the mental health and addiction crisis the country is facing,” says New Zealand First Health Spokesperson Jenny Marcroft. “The re-establishment ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand’s key assets are not for sale: national interest test delivered
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries Today the Government announced the delivery of the promise to protect New Zealand interests by applying a new National Interest Test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. This further strengthening of the Overseas Investment Act will ...
    4 days ago
  • National interest test added to protect New Zealanders’ interests
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high-risk assets to overseas buyers. Under current Overseas Investment Act (OIA) rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and ...
    4 days ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
    Rt Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years. Declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission. Our ...
    4 days ago
  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    5 days ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    5 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    1 week ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Trade, business and investment focus for visit to South Korea
    Advancing New Zealand’s trade and economic interests will be the main focus of Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker’s four day visit to the Republic of Korea this week.  “South Korea is one of our most significant trading partners,” David Parker said.    “We enjoy a strong friendship that ...
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    50 mins ago
  • $80 million for Lincoln University rebuild
    The Government has approved $80 million to help Lincoln University rebuild its earthquake-damaged science facilities, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. “The funding will assist Lincoln’s recovery by replacing damaged buildings with teaching and research spaces that are safe, modern, flexible and future-proofed, and which are attractive to students, staff, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    58 mins ago
  • PGF approves wind turbines funding for Stewart Island
    Stewart Island/Rakiura has been granted $3.16 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to help build two wind turbines, putting the island on a path to sustainable electricity generation, Environment Minister David Parker announced today. “Stewart Island is our third largest island, after the North and South Islands, and it is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ economy in good shape amid global headwinds
    A major new report on the global economy shows New Zealand is in good shape amid increased global headwinds. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has just released its latest Economic Outlook. It shows the OECD group of economies is forecast to grow between 1.6% and 1.7% across ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Milestone of 1800 new Police officers
    The Coalition commitment to add 1800 new Police officers to frontline policing has been achieved with the graduation of 59 constables from the Royal New Zealand Police College today. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters say today’s graduation means 1825 new Police have been deployed all ...
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    2 days ago
  • PM appoints business leaders to APEC Business Advisory Council
    Ensuring APEC work gets input from diverse New Zealand business and trade interests is behind three new appointments to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. Rachel Taulelei, Malcolm Johns and Toni Moyes have been appointed to represent New Zealand on the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ...
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    2 days ago
  • PM speech notes for Trans-Tasman Business Circle
    Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tatou katoa. Thank you for having me to speak today. To start, I’d like to acknowledge Sharron Lloyd, the General Manager of the Trans–Tasman Business Circle, the partners for this event Westpac’s  David McLean, and Derek McCormack from  AUT, and, of course ...
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    2 days ago
  • Otago Regional Council given deadline for freshwater management plan
    A four-month investigation by former Environment Court judge Professor Peter Skelton found that Otago’s freshwater planning system is not fit for purpose to manage the region’s rivers, lakes and aquifers and that the Council has inadequate rules for the taking of water and the discharge of nutrients.   “Existing planning provisions ...
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    2 days ago
  • LGNZ Rural and Provincial Sector Speech
      Introduction Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This is the first opportunity I’ve had to speak to an LGNZ meeting since the local elections, and I’m delighted to see the fresh faces of newly elected mayors. To returning mayors here today, as well as chief ...
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    2 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Japan
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters departs New Zealand today to attend the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Nagoya at the invitation of this year’s G20 President, Japan. “This is the first time New Zealand will attend a G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and we are deeply honoured that it is at ...
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    2 days ago
  • Ambassador to the European Union announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of diplomat Carl Reaich as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to the European Union. “The Ambassador to the EU is one of the most important and senior roles in New Zealand’s foreign service, advocating for New Zealand’s interests with the EU institutions,” Mr ...
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  • New inventions boost Predator Free 2050 effort
        Innovation and technology are behind five new tools to give nature a helping hand by helping eliminate predators, funded through the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage and Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “The new tools will be trialled in ...
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    2 days ago
  • APEC 2021 Bill passes first reading
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation 2021 (APEC 2021) Bill in Parliament today. The temporary bill supports New Zealand’s security preparations for hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in 2021. “APEC is the leading economic and trade forum ...
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    3 days ago
  • Making progress for our kids
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    3 days ago
  • Māori women in business contribute to our economy, whānau and communities
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter has released a new report celebrating the contribution of Māori women in business across Aotearoa New Zealand. “Māori women are leaders in our communities, they employ many people and support our economy and our communities,” Julie Anne Genter said. The report, Ngā wāhine kaipakihi: ...
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    3 days ago
  • Two schools on the way for Omokoroa
    Four parcels of land have been bought in Omokoroa, in the Western Bay of Plenty District, for an education facility that will accommodate both a primary and secondary school on a campus-like facility, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Two parcels were acquired from private land owners and two were ...
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    3 days ago
  • Families Package helps over 1 million New Zealanders in first year
    1 million New Zealanders warmed by the Winter Energy Payment 36,000 families bank the Best Start Payment in first year 6,000 more families received the Family Tax Credit, 220,600 in total   They receive an increase too – from an average of $117 to $157 a week for Inland Revenue clients, ...
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    3 days ago
  • Clamp down on wheel clamping passes third reading
    New rules to clamp down on overzealous wheel clamping and extortionate fees charged in order to release a vehicle have passed their final stage in Parliament today. The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill has now passed its third reading. “These changes mean $100 will be the maximum wheel clamping ...
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    4 days ago
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill passes first hurdle
    An independent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission is a step closer after it unanimously passed its first vote in Parliament today.  The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill lays the groundwork for establishing the Commission as a fully independent crown entity – delivering on a key recommendation of He Ara ...
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  • Boosting border security with electronic travel authority – now over 500,000 issued
    We’ve improved border security with the NZeTA, New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority, which helps us to screen travellers for border and immigration risks off-shore before they travel to New Zealand. It was launched in August and became mandatory on 1 October 2019. More than 500,000 NZeTAs have been issued since ...
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    4 days ago
  • Plan of action to protect seabirds
    A proposed national plan of action to reduce the number of seabirds caught in fisheries is being circulated for public feedback. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage say New Zealand is a global centre of seabird diversity with about 145 species in our waters. It has more ...
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    4 days ago
  • National interest test added to overseas investment rules
    The Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. Associate Finance Minister David Parker said under current Overseas Investment Act rules, assets such as ports and ...
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    4 days ago
  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
    The Government is building special housing to accommodate one of Aotearoa’s greatest taonga- our kaumātua, says the Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Speaking at a National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference in Rotorua today, the Minister reinforced the importance kaumātua play in maintaining and passing on mātauranga Māori, knowledge, ...
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    4 days ago
  • Forestry helps prisoners into jobs
    Eleven men from a pilot forestry training programme for prisoners in Northland now have full time jobs or job offers upon release, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis and Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. The ‘release to work’ programme was a collaboration between Te Uru Rākau and the Department of Corrections, ...
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    4 days ago
  • Reform of public service a step closer
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    5 days ago
  • Donations scheme to relieve pressure on families
    The families of more than 416,000 students will be better off next year as their schools have signed up to the Government’s donations scheme, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. The scheme will see almost $62.5 million in additional Government funding go to schools nationwide next year. “I’m really pleased ...
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  • Further support for Samoan measles outbreak
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  • Speech to the Child Poverty Action Group 2019 Summit
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    5 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Annual Conference
    ***Please check against delivery*** Good morning everyone. It is a pleasure to be with you this morning to open this year’s New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Conference and AGM. Firstly, thank you Dr Alan Jackson, NZTR Chair for your introduction. And let us acknowledge also: The NZTR Board; Dean McKenzie, Chair ...
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  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
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    6 days ago
  • Two decades of marine protection celebrated at Te Tapuwae o Rongokako in Tairawhiti
    A marine conservation milestone - the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve - is being celebrated today at a community event in Tairāwhiti/East Coast attended by the Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “The creation of this marine reserve in November 1999 was a game ...
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    7 days ago
  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
         The Government is asking the food industry to step up work to tackle obesity including reducing sugar, fat and salt in their products, better information for consumers, and tighter restrictions on advertising to children. Health Minister David Clark and Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor have responded to a ...
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    1 week ago
  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
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    1 week ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
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    1 week ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
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    1 week ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
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    1 week ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
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