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National’s view of disability

Written By: - Date published: 11:19 am, June 18th, 2017 - 50 comments
Categories: disability, national - Tags:

Nicky Wagner, the National government’s Minister for Disability Issues and Associate Minister Health, tweeted last week on what she’d rather be doing instead of her actual job,

Understandably many people are unimpressed. Twitter responses,

https://twitter.com/neelish/status/876174382422310912

Newshub have picked it up.

So Wagner tweeted thoughtlessly and just brought her party a start of the week public slap down, but what’s the big deal? As someone with a disability I’d say there are a range of intersecting issues here and three main things to look at. One is that NZ is not that great on disability issues. We do some good things, but we do some seriously bad things too, and many people with disabilities are struggling unnecessarily. That’s the context that the Minister tweeted in.

Another is that it’s a Minister’s job to show competency in her field, and competency in disability issues includes having enough social, cultural and political intelligence to understand what ableism is. In this case, Wagner wants to go boating. For many people with disabilities such a thing is impossible due to the nature of their disability, or to access issues, or due to them living with a disability in NZ and facing additional barriers like being able to financially afford recreation.

You just don’t say that shit when around people with disabilities when you have a huge amount of power in the system that directly impacts on those people. Not only is it rude and insensitive, but for the people that are working hard on disability issues whether that be in the sector or in their own lives, it comes across as ignorant. To make matters worse, her subsequent tweets are evasive of the problem with the original tweet, and come across as casual. Why should we trust someone in that position who lacked the social and cultural intelligence to manage the portfolio well?

Then there is National’s performance on disability issues. Austerity is always going to come down hard on people with vulnerabilities that aren’t well recognised or accepted by society. I’m not even going to link to back these up, because they are legion. The Bennett welfare reforms (including removal of Sickness Benefit), housing (including people with disabilities living in cars), ongoing attempts to privatise ACC and its culture of client bashing, serious lack of funding for mental health (including in high stress areas like Christchurch), underfunding for DHB’s and the flow on effect in accessing services, these are all broad-stroke areas that under National’s watch have directly harmed people with disabilities and that’s not even getting to areas of specific disabilities.

There is enough here for National to be ashamed of already, and so it’s that context that I see Wagner’s tweet in as well. In an ideal world where the government was actively on the side of people with disabilities, this would be a mistake that she apologised for and we moved on. National’s problem is that how they treat disabled people sucks, so mistakes like this loom much larger, and you really can’t apologise for that. She was no doubt being thoughtless, but her government’s policies are anything but, they are being implemented exactly as intended.

50 comments on “National’s view of disability”

  1. gonzo 1

    I’m pretty sure we all think stupid things.
    And from time to time (hopefully not too often) we say stupid things.
    But only really stupid people go through the effort to tweet them.
    And that should be enough to disqualify you from being a representative of any sort.

    • Wensleydale 1.1

      Given that she actually had to type that tweet out in full, you’d think she’d have realised at about the half-way mark, it wasn’t perhaps the most sensitive or appropriate thing to be tweeting. That’s generally one of the great things about typing. It gives you pause for thought.

      Unless you’re Nicky Wagner apparently.

  2. Incognito 2

    An excellent and well-considered Post weka that provided essential context.

    What came to mind is familiarity breeds contempt and once this pattern starts to form it’ll become stronger unless steps are taken to prevent this from happening.

    I hope Nicky Wagner has a sufficiently high EQ to realise this and take appropriate action.

  3. Cinny 3

    I don’t think she was being thoughtless, I think she was being outright selfish, her tweet is all about herself and her own wants. She was searching for self gratification, looking for likes whilst bragging about the view from her location.

    Wagner along with Coleman and Bridges would do well to remember that everyone is expendable, no one is indispensable. It might take them until the day after the spring equinox to figure it out, but sooner or later they will learn that lesson.

    Someone close to me works in the disability sector, am so hearing where you are coming from Weka.

  4. She should resign in disgrace and leave parliament too. We don’t want or need this horrible thoughtless person in parliament imo.

  5. Policy Parrot 5

    Third-termitis really beginning to bite now – just how arrogant are these people?

    BTW Nicky – I’m sure if Duncan has his way you’ll have a lot more time to peruse the harbour.

  6. Kay 6

    I’m not shocked, surprised, or batting an eyelid. Wouldn’t expect anything less.

    And too worn down to be offended by anything. After years of this crap you kind of tune out.

    • Wensleydale 6.1

      That’s what they want, Kay. They want you resigned, jaded, too worn down and dispirited to give a damn anymore. The peasantry must know their place, and recognise the natural order of things.

      That’s how they win, and the bicycle of misery is permitted to keep pedaling inexorably toward us. Don’t despair, Kay. By our powers combined, we can stop the bicycle of misery, and make Nicky Wagner walk to work.

      • Kay 6.1.1

        @Wensleydale- couldn’t have said it better 🙂

        Not totally despairing yet, I still vote (only just!) and do my utmost to encourage others in my peer group to and remind them why it’s vital. I still believe it’s impossible for any disability protest/activism to get anywhere until the government changes, so that’s got to be the first step.

  7. adam 7

    Well said Weka.

  8. Reality 8

    She is being well paid to do her job, and is not paid to go boating on the harbour.

  9. Philj 9

    Nicky,
    Top marks for honestly expressing your feelings. Really aspirational and helps the public know more about your personal qualities. Keep it up. The public deserves no less.

  10. Tony Veitch (not etc) 10

    Nicky may have, all on her own, just won the ChCh Central seat – for Duncan Webb!

  11. Ethica 11

    I commend her for her honesty. It is well known that she is not fond of this portfolio and she is often patronising to and about people with disabilities. People who come to meetings with her are often doing It in their own time and have taken considerable effort to get there. I hope she will be replaced soon by a Minister who cares about and actively advocates for the sector.

  12. It’s straightforward contempt. If Wagner were in the private sector she wouldn’t tweet from a meeting with her customers that she’d rather be somewhere else, for the excellent reason that the customers would be likely to see it and her company’s relationship with them seriously damaged to no purpose. There wouldn’t be any need for an apology because she just wouldn’t do it in the first place. That she did it in this case says a lot about Nat MPs’ attitudes to the people they supposedly serve.

  13. Keith 13

    A Freudian slip by another day dreaming rich wanker Nat.

    I think it’s the sheer honesty that shocks us most of all as we are not used to National Party MP’s being anything but well orchestrated liars.

    Her and Alfred are breaking the mould, such is their born to rule arrogance.

  14. Red 14

    i know where concrete pills are going cheap to help you all out, it’s a silly tweet, no context, get over it

    • Ethica 14.1

      Sorry Red. Disabled people are some of our most marginalised and discriminated against. For example, a recent study showed they are likely to have some of the worst housing situations. Wealthy landlord National Cabinet ministers have lives full of privilege. There is a lot more context to this and it is more than just a silly tweet.

  15. Muttonbird 15

    Not deliberate, just very careless.

    Like everything National does.

  16. Karen 16

    It is often the small things that show you what a person really thinks. Some are saying she made a careless tweet and apologised so let’s move on, but that ignores the fact that her “apology” only came three days later because the media had picked up the story. She gets paid $200,000 a year to do a job that she is clearly not interested in doing. She should resign.

    Scout Barbour- Evans has assembled some tweets from people with disabilities.

    https://twitter.com/i/moments/876196519728226304

  17. mary_a 17

    Natz mindset being revealed at a great rate of knots now … Ngaro and now Wagner.

    Any bets on who will be next to offend marginalised and vulnerable Kiwis?

    Disgraceful and shameful comments from a senior minister of the crown. Show her the door and quick please!

  18. Any MP deemed to have tweeted (or emailed or commented anywhere online) inappropriately by any MP from another party or any political activist should resign. That should ensure MPs take care about any possible misinterpretation of any communications.

    All parties should have teams scouring the Internet for any comment that could be ridiculed or if any offence could be taken from any interpretation.

    That might result in Parliamentary funkstille but most of what MPs say that’s not raked over in social media is boring anyway.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 18.1

      Shorter Peter: “nothing is political, everyone is bland. When you make waves I get anxious.”

    • Muttonbird 18.2

      It does show at a very human level where Nicky Wagner’s thoughts were on the day, and one presumes every other day in her job as Minister for Disabilities.

      Or, was she just having an off, want-to-go-sailing, day?

      Perhaps you think disabled people in New Zealand shouldn’t express their views on the Wagner’s very public tweet, just like you think the Pike River families should just give up on their need for closure for their lost loved ones?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 18.2.1

        Reacting in any way to Wagner’s tweet is Left Wing Dirty Politics.

      • Pete George 18.2.2

        “and one presumes”

        I presume that one’s presumptions are making things up to fit with one’s bias.

        • Muttonbird 18.2.2.1

          Just a stupid tweeting day then? Other days she just thinks this stuff but doesn’t go to social media.

          Good to know.

      • Stuart Munro 18.2.3

        In fact I expect she was trying to 3-way-handshake herself into a fraction of cup popularity – just didn’t think how the tweet would play outside her target audience.

    • marty mars 18.3

      “Parliamentary funkstille”

      what is this?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 18.3.1

        A German word – it means ‘radio-silence’.

        Peter means that right wingers centrists are snowflakes who can’t handle public criticism of their blurts, and might keep ‘silent’ if this ‘orrible oppression continues.

        What a tragedy that would be, so everyone else had better keep ‘silent’ instead.

      • Pete George 18.3.2

        funk=radio
        stille=silence

        If you don’t want MPs to communicate keep beating them up over trivial things (this applies across the spectrum).

        There’s a cry wolf syndrome involved too – serious mistakes and poor actions are easier to ignore if there’s a lot of noise over little of consequence.

        • Muttonbird 18.3.2.1

          Sorry, but none of the comments you’ve ever made show you know the difference between trivial things and serious mistakes.

          You accuse others of political bias but literally every single post you make is couched in conservative, don’t rock the authority boat, language.

          It makes it very difficult to take your claims of political bias in others seriously.

          As for wanting Nicky Wagner to communicate, as her employer I expect her to be communicating the details of how her cheap government is going to lift the outcomes for disabled people in this country, not what she sees out the window.

        • Incognito 18.3.2.2

          Warum sprechen Sie Deutsch Herr George?

          Anyway, it is Funkstille as all nouns are capitalised in German.

  19. Mojo Mathers has a disability; she is deaf. Mojo’s reaction to Wagner’s tweet has so much more validity than Pete George’s wan response.

  20. Anita 20

    I don’t much mind that she’d rather be out on the harbour, I mean I would too. I’d trade the couple of hours I spent at the after hours doctor this weekend for a harbour cruise, or even just a harbourside walk or cafe, actually for being at home and comfortably able to hang up the washing.

    The problem isn’t so much that she’s like to be doing something lovely on a lovely day, it’s that she’s doing precisely nothing to make it possible for those of us with disabilities.

  21. One Anonymous Bloke 21

    Just in case anyone thinks Wagner’s opinions are a simple brain-fart, here’s Double Dipton to make it worse.

    There’s no way it was meant to be offensive… Nicky Wagner is a strong advocate for the disability community. She has many friends there. No-one would believe that Nicky Wagner set out to be offensive to people with disabilities.

    “She’s a very hardworking, competent minister who made a mistake with her tweet, easily misunderstood, and she’s fixed that, which is appropriate.

    Centrists will see absolutely nothing wrong in Double Dipton’s statement. Is there a better illustration of the gulf between centrists and ethics?

    • Muttonbird 21.1

      Agree. Centrists are the worst kind of people because they will justify literally anything in pursuit of an ineffectual political stability and incrementalism, not recognising that ineffectual political stability itself, and incrementalism, is the enemy of positive social change.

    • Sacha 21.2

      “Easily misunderstood” – nah, easily understood, hence their problem. Wagner got caught out telling us how she really feels about her portfolio. Not a fuck given. We are sailing.

    • Ethica 21.3

      ‘She has many friends there”, says Bill. How does he know? People will be polite and friendly to a minister because she is the minister. And public servants have to be as its their job. But real friends?

  22. Wagner’s follow-up/cover up second tweet was a painfully transparent attempt to tidy up the initial mess. Better she’d said nothing more, bar, sorry.

  23. Macro 23

    I came across this this morning. Another instance of Tory inhumanity on the other side of the world. May’s response to the Tower Inferno .
    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jun/17/shes-adrift-tories-concerned-over-theresa-mays-grenfell-response
    “Concern is growing within the Conservative party over Theresa May’s handling of the Grenfell Tower fire, with some fearing it could become “her poll tax moment”.
    specifically it boils down to this:

    There is concern, however, among Tory MPs that the disaster has again placed the spotlight on May’s difficulties in demonstrating empathy and responding on her feet, weaknesses that were exposed during the election campaign.
    my bold

    I think that phrase “difficulties in demonstrating empathy” is it in a nutshell.
    People often confuse the words empathy and sympathy. Empathy means ‘the ability to understand and share the feelings of another’ , whereas sympathy means ‘feelings of pity and sorrow for someone else’s misfortune. The crux is in sharing the feelings of another. Most Tories MP by their very nature have no understanding of the situation for others less fortunate than themselves. How can you understand the feelings of someone who has been poor their whole life, when you have had the benefit of well to do parents, gone to a private school, and never had to want for anything in your life?

    I have no knowledge of Nicky Wagner’s background, but I thing the same criticism could be levelled .. “difficulties in demonstrating empathy”.

  24. Sacha 24

    If a Minister was at a chamber of commerce event about Sunday trading in a high-rise with a good view of the outdoors, who would decry a distracted tweet? Rather be at the beach. Rather be shopping. No power relationships involved.

    But she was meeting organisations working on disability matters, which are fundamentally underpinned by the ongoing social devaluing of disabled people. Not smart enough to think before blurting her wants. Unfit for the role.

  25. Mrs Brillo 25

    As a wheelchair user, I can at least empathise with her wishes. I too would like to be out on the harbour, or even just on a beach. But for wheelchair users these are scarcely practical options.
    So I suggest one useful thing she might do with her despised portfolio is to get together with the Tourism Minister, if we still have one, and plan for and fund some boardwalks on some of New Zealand’s nicest beaches so that all New Zealanders, including the wheelchair users, parents pushing prams, and elderly on mobility scooters, can have access to them.
    New Plymouth and Mt Maunganui have made a good start on theirs, with their own money, but some government money behind the scheme nationally would work wonders.

    • KJT 25.1

      Actually not quite true. There is an organisation “sailing for the disabled” that are happy to take wheelchair users, and other disabled people out on the water. It is free!
      Spirit of Adventure trust have voyages specifically for disabled youth. We, the supporters, sponser a large percentage of youth who are on the voyages.

  26. Venezia 26

    Nicky Wagner is a waste of space in Christchurch Central and come 23 September she will be history.

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  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    5 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
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    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    6 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    6 days ago
  • The police and public trust
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
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    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    6 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
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    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    7 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
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    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • A test of civil society.
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    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    1 week ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    1 week ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    1 week ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    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 ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    2 weeks ago

  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 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
    4 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago