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National’s water problem

Written By: - Date published: 8:03 am, March 21st, 2017 - 48 comments
Categories: bill english, Conservation, Economy, Environment, farming, Maori Issues, national, Politics, same old national, treaty settlements, water - Tags:

The focus groups must be speaking loudly and clearly. The Government is slowly changing its previously stated position that no one owns water to maybe foreign corporations should be charged if they extract water for private sale. Although it has put the issue off until after the election no doubt in the hope it can then cobble together a majority and continue to let farmers and foreign corporations pillage our water supplies.

From Radio New Zealand:

Prime Minister Bill English may be open about charging companies for bottling water, but told Morning Report today that nothing would change before the election.

Mr English said there were a lot of difficult questions to be answered before there were any changes made to whether companies are charged for water.

Mr English told Morning Report the government had focused on the top priority, which was raising the quality of water.

“But the business of how you actually overturn a century or so, or more, of the law that no-one owns the water and no-one actually pays for the water – they might pay for the use of it or the facilities or the infrastructure – there are a lot of questions there that have to be answered.”

Mr English said that after decades of talk about the ownership of the country’s water, a “systematic way of dealing with it” was needed, and that would not happen before the country went to the polls.

“Our common law has been ‘no-one owns the water’, it’s been pretty critical to New Zealanders’ perception of how they can use it, access it, and so on, and then the tricky bit of who pays for what.”

The government’s position is bizarre.  It claims that water is not owned by anyone but only so that it can maximise private use of it by farmers and export companies such as Oravida which has strong links to National and is a generous donor to National’s coffers.  The analysis neatly sidesteps the issue of water allocation as well as water quality.

And the Government has already investigated the issue.  It published a discussion paper in 2012 and the answer was that the issue was too difficult.  Again from Radio New Zealand:

The government’s Land and Water Forum discussed the question of taxing water in 2012, but no resolution was reached and no recommendations made.

In a report it said “some members strenuously opposed any concept of charging or taxing for the use of fresh water”, while others maintained “there were valid reasons for charging because of the community benefits, and for efficiency reasons.”

Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty said the forum did not reach a consensus, and nothing would change with the advisory group investigation.

“I’m all for consultation etcetera, but if it’s not working then it is time for leadership and I think the reason the prime minister has passed the buck is that it doesn’t want to deal with the Treaty of Waitangi issues around what happens to water and who owns it,” she said.

The water issue is multi faceted and raises all sorts of interesting issues and potential pitfalls for the Government.

There is the issue of water rights under the Treaty of Waitangi.  In my mind it is clear that water is a taonga that should have been protected by article two of the Treaty of Waitangi.  The Waitangi Tribunal seems to think so.  I always thought the claim was very sound.  The Government refused to accept this however.

There is also the issue surrounding the cleanliness of our rivers.  They are in an appalling state and Nick Smith’s sleight of hand in trying to suggest that a long term plan to improve water quality that relied in the acceptable quality being degraded has gone down like a proverbial cup of Canterbury water.  Saying that a river should be “wadeable” as opposed to “swimmable” and then refining “wadeable” to mean “swimmable” takes a great amount of chutzpah.

And there is the issue that overseas corporations like Oravida are paying peanuts for local fresh water and selling it at considerable profit.  Some of those profits have ended up in donations made to the National Party.  And Judith Collins links to Oravida provides an extra amount of unavoidable eyebrow raising.

All these issues intersect and the unfortunate thing for the Government is that it is on the wrong side of each of them.  To improve water quality and the health of waterways some sort of regulation of water use will be required.  And foreign corporations should pay a fair price for the ability to profit from what remains of our clean and green waterways.

This Government is usually keen for the invisible hand of the market to provide the necessary discipline.  But this time things are different.  Bill English thinks that it is too hard to work out who owns water, therefore nothing will be done.

Is this government bereft of intellectual grunt to work out a solution to the problem of allocation, afraid to offend its corporate and farming supporters by either pricing the use of water or taking steps to stop our rivers from being used as open sewers, or indifferent to rights of Maori under the Treaty of Waitangi to clearly what is a Taonga.

Or is it all three?

The Government’s timidity/indifference/lack of intellectual firepower means that this issue is going to hurt it.  As it should.

48 comments on “National’s water problem”

  1. The amount of water provided to a household is regulated, by a clever mechanism called a tap. The water available to agencies wishing to sell water overseas should also be regulated by a clever mechanism; price. A consent to extract is not a tap. It’s a license to exploit.

  2. dv 2

    Oravita are already paying $50,000 for the water they take!!!

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1

      [citation needed]

      Oravida pays about $500 a year to draw up to 400,000 litres of water a day from the Otakiri Aquifer in Bay of Plenty…sales of $233 million a year.

    • Cinny 2.2

      A $50k donation to the National Party lolz

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.3

      Ah, I was forgetting Cabinet Club 🙂

    • greywarshark 2.4

      dv short for divvy?

    • Sooooo…. a bit like paying a few blankets and rifles to the Sioux for being able to mine millions of dollars worth of gold in the Black hills. And the US govt had made a treaty that that area was elusively the land of the Sioux and no white settlers could ever buy land there.

      Skip forward to 2017 , and we have the same sort of situation , just exchange the Sioux for the NZ public.

      • greywarshark 2.5.1

        Wild Katipo
        I liked your typo. Very classy.
        And the US govt had made a treaty that that area was elusively the land of the Sioux and no white settlers could ever buy land there.

        I’m guessing that was meant to be exclusively but instead you put an apt Freudian slip.

  3. Ad 3

    +100 Mickey. I sketched a couple of these points yesterday.

    It’s a really interesting set of policy quandaries for a future Labour-Greens-NZFirst government as well.

    Inclusion of a NZFirst coalition partner will rule out any specific carve-outs for Treaty of Waitangi rights to water.

    But this is one area where it would be foolish for the prospective coalition partners to try and come to a united position before the election; way, way too tricky.

    Personally so long as there was a pricing regime that benefited locals, I’m fine with water being exported.

    There are plenty of our beer companies and milk companies who could look again at the costs, capital, commercial and legal and trade risks, supply chain, producer risks, environmental constraints, regulations, labour, and effort at adding value to water through their many water value-adds, only to go way back to basics and find that it’s simply better sense to forget all of that and export the raw material: water.

    • mickysavage 3.1

      Thanks.

      I mention the treaty issues because they are important for MP National relationships not to mention deeply upsetting to National’s redneck sector.

      Not easily resolved …

      • WILD KATIPO 3.1.2

        Is it not that the NZ govt , thus the NZ public , … owns all mineral rights above / under the earth and as far out as the 200 K exclusion zone from our shores?

        Do we not have a method where citizens are billed for water – particularly in our city’s?

        They’re called councils and we pay a water bill for maintenance and upkeep. It used to be the ARA / Auckland council was the administer of water . Now as far as I know private company’s are involved in doing the charging for water use.

        And if that be so , … that ultimately the NZ citizen owns the water and that ownership is represented by our govt , … then where is the issue?

        We can do as we please in how we decide to allocate / deny access to or sell that water to foreign company’s – or indeed any other NZ company that wishes to sell off our resources offshore.

        We are talking commercial use and extraction of our natural resources . And because it is commercial use , – this or any other govt has it in their power to place a surcharge on any extraction of that natural resource for commercial gain. Particularly by foreign owned company’s.

        And this govt knows it.

        Foreign company’s don’t get to have a say in how we decide to allocate our natural resources – we do .

        Not them.

        It would be simple enough that ANY natural resources being extracted by a foreign company or a NZ company / consortium onselling those resources offshore is subject to an immediate surcharge.

        And as for genuine NZ farmers – we still make the rules – and can have concessionary rates if they comply with environmental specifications. And if they are a foreign owned company then we can shamelessly charge em more for the privilege of doing so.

        And that’s how a responsible govt would act.

        Unlike the current one that only has their rich company buddies getting away scot free with pillaging our natural resources.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2.1

          +111

          Exactly. This government is just making up excuses to continue to allow the country to be ripped off by business including the farmers.

  4. halfcrown 4

    DV @ 8.41 am

    Enlighten me. What makes up the $50000 Oravita has to pay, and how many litres do they extract?

  5. roy cartland 5

    Simple. Water extraction has a minimum $1 per litre levy for commercial purposes.

    That would fund all the costs of river cleaning and maintenance, and more.

    And if it costs $40 for a litre of milk, farmers can get a return of 90c for every litre of measurably pristine water they return to the waterways after it has irrigated the field and passed through the cow. Farmers who generate more, get more back. Farmers who purely just take the piss, lose out. (The missing 10c in the equation funds the cost of water testing.)

    Wine growers, milk producers, cola bottlers should all pay. If they go bust, tough. They had their chance.

    • Tricldrown 5.1

      If it is a reasonable charge per litre and money went into cleaning up our waterways no one would complain.
      Outlandish charges suggested by some are playing into Nationals spin doctors hands.

      • roy cartland 5.1.1

        What’s unreasonable? You get it back if you give it back. ‘Spin’ is as a tax on looters.

        • Wayne 5.1.1.1

          roy

          $1.00 per litre is surely in jest. It would mean the cost of virtually every beverage increases by a $1.00 for the water in the beverage alone, much less used in the general process, cleaning, rinsing etc, etc.

          You need to spend more time thinking the issue through.

          • roy cartland 5.1.1.1.1

            And you might spend more time thinking about the actual cost of what you’re drinking when you buy something you actually don’t need.
            Imagine if there actually was a tax that high – it’s not above the brilliant minds of farmers to invent another way to harvest water that isn’t just looting.

            As for cleaning and rinsing, is it really beyond kiwi intelligence to invent a way to purify waste-water to return to the river and gain the kickback?

          • greywarshark 5.1.1.1.2

            Wayne
            I think that would reflect the true value of water which actually is priceless.
            But we have to try to put a price that shows we understand the basis of our economy and human and all life.

            • roy cartland 5.1.1.1.2.1

              Even simpler Wayne – prove you’re sustainable and you get your fee waived. Perhaps you’ve developed a rainwater trap somewhere to offset your extraction cost. It’s not like I like this situation – it has to happen sooner or later.

              • greywarshark

                Is it true that in a crisis people could trap condensation runoff from putting clear plastic over containers of urine standing in the sun? It might be useful to know this trick, it it works.

                • roy cartland

                  Why? Is water really at that crisis level down there? If so, it’s worse than we thought. Try it, I’m sure the animals wouldn’t mind much.

                  • greywarshark

                    I am thinking of humans actually. And it would be pure, enough to drink. And better quality than the bore water many NZ farmers are having to put up with. Don’t fancy it myself, the smell for instance, but thought if you are interested in potable water, you may have heard of it being used by trampers, refugees, Mexicans in the desert etc.

                    • roy cartland

                      But why rush straight to an unpalatable method as if there aren’t several others? Such as purification machines, riparian/wetland filters, monsoon hillside traps etc.

                      Refined greywater would be fine for pastures and the animals. If it can’t be refined, they pay. And those who need to drink bottled water for ‘lifestyle’ reasons can pay too.

                      As I said simple.

    • Spectator 5.2

      “Simple. Water extraction has a minimum $1 per litre levy for commercial purposes.”

      There are about 30 billion m3 of water extracted each year.

      A buck a liter would be $30,000,000,000,000 per year in revenue.

      Winner!

      • roy cartland 5.2.1

        And those smart and unscrupulous enough, like Oravida, are taking full advantage.

  6. greywarshark 6

    Who are the people in the image? I can recognise Collins looking happy, who is the old white guy next to her, and the tanned one on the right with the blue tie? And are the others Chinese, and who are resident NZs or citizens and who are visiting business people soaking up our water not yet filthied?

  7. Ad 7

    OMG Federated Farmers just came out saying that large purchases of water rights from foreigners should go through the Overseas Investment Office:

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU1703/S00636/feds-says-get-oio-approval-for-foreign-water-buyers.htm

    Not that the OIO does that much under its current formation.

    Still, from the Feds, nearly fell off my chair.

    • greywarshark 7.1

      Watch out, I don’t know if ACC would cover that.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 7.2

      Combine a dogwhistle against “foreigners” with the implication that farmers want the government to do something about water, and a shot across National’s bows with support for NZ1st.

      Clever politics. Now Minister, I’ve paid to talk to you and I want a dam.

  8. greywarshark 8

    Radionz this morning – this has probably been fully covered above in the topic summary but I am just adding this to be sure.

    RadioNZ
    business environment
    9:09 am today
    NZ reaching environmental limits: OECD report
    From Nine To Noon, 9:09 am today Listen duration 10′ :13″
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player?audio_id=201837386

    A new OECD report says New Zealand has maxed out economic growth from its natural resources. The Environmental Performance Review suggests the government’s business growth agenda, which is to double exports to 40% of GDP by 2025, is at odds with the limits on natural resources. Kathryn Ryan talks with environmental analyst and author, Dr Marie Brown.

    And in the same morning slot is an example of our overweening ambitions, our inability to attend to rational behaviour limits, our constant desire to expand beyond reasonable limits, our curiosity, and our unconcern with stark reality even when we know that we face hugely damaging results from our behaviour: –
    Obsession with Mars and outer space.

    science
    10:13 am today
    Mathematical probability of water on Mars
    From Nine To Noon, 10:13 am today
    Listen duration 28′ :13″
    If you are curious, look up the link yourself!)

    Gabor Domokos is the pioneering Hungarian mathematician and engineer who calculated that water must once have flowed on Mars. He is a Professor of Mechanics Materials and Structures at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics.He is currently in New Zealand and he will give a public lecture at the University of Auckland later today about Pebbles on Mars, and also about the new shape he discovered, the Gomboc.

  9. SpaceMonkey 9

    As usual with any major issues, looks like National will leave this one to a Labour-led Government to sort out. Then, should the day come that National are back in Government, they won’t change a thing… ok, well maybe they’ll tinker just to fuck it up enough.

  10. Lara 10

    We are told that this National government is better for the country because they understand business, and they’ll run the government like a business. Which is supposed to be a good thing.

    Yet here they are completely and utterly asleep at the wheel making the WORST business decision for NZ Inc they could possibly make.

    Water is the new Oil. We happen to be in the enviable position of having lots of it, and the cleanest too. It’s incredibly valuable, and will only become more valuable.

    Yet this idiot government is letting foreign owned corporations come and take it for peanuts. For almost nothing. For the cost of a little paperwork.

    This is what a good business approach for NZ Inc would be:

    Halt the sale of ALL water immediately to non NZ citizens or non NZ owned companies. All water is owned by NZ government. Remove all foreign companies who take our water from NZ.

    Set up bottling plants employing NZers, bottle and sell our water overseas*. Limit the amount we’re selling and exporting to ensure a sustainable supply. Profits all go into the consolidated fund.

    There’s your comfortable UBI folks. We could all retire tomorrow and be one of the richest people on the face of the planet. We could all be paid via this water like the Saudi’s pay their citizens, or Brunei pay theirs via oil profits.

    To let this opportunity slip away is amazingly stupid, incompetent, criminal. This lot have no clue about business. They need to go.

    *I’m aware this is a horrible idea for the environment; plastic bottles, oil consumption in transport… but I’m looking at it from a business perspective not an environmental one.

  11. patricia 11

    If nobody owns the water and nobody in NZ pays for water (according to Mr English) why does Watercare send me a monthly bill for all the water I have used ? Not to mention the wastewater which is even dearer than the water coming in.

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    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    6 days ago
  • We are all socialists now
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    6 days ago
  • Enlightenment when?
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    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    6 days ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
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    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    7 days ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
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    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    7 days ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
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    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    7 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
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    7 days ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
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    1 week ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Only Way Through This Crisis Is Together.
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    1 week ago
  • GFC vs Covid-19
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    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Left Behind.
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    1 week ago
  • Rebuilding a truly “Democratic” counter, or a “moderate Republican” bolt-hol...
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    1 week ago
  • Abortion law reform a win for women
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • How to spot bogus science stories and read the news like a scientist
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Why New Zealand needs to continue decisive action to contain coronavirus
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    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the pandemic II
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When a virus goes viral: pros and cons to the coronavirus spread on social media
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • How to survive 14 days of self-isolation
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    1 week ago
  • Abortion Legislation Bill passes third reading
    Some fave speeches:     ...
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  • Why Leadership Matters – More Than Anything.
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    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #11, 2020
    1 week ago
  • 68-51
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The ‘herd immunity’ route to fighting coronavirus is unethical and potentially dangerous
    As most of the world tries to suppress the coronavirus spread, some countries are going it alone – trying to manage the pandemic through so-called “herd immunity”. Herd immunity means letting a large number of people catch a disease, and hence develop immunity to it, to stop the virus spreading. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Eight new COVID-19 cases today. It’s no surprise when you look at some numbers
    So, as I sit at home with a very, very slight headache (i.e. not at work when I would otherwise be so), the now familiar figure of Ashley Bloomfield reports eight new confirmed cases of COVID-19  including two in Waikato. A surprise, given that we had just twelve yesterday? No. ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • The WINZ Paradox versus the new COVID-19 Reality: Get real people, seriously…
    Many who advocated for, and voted for, the current Coalition – particularly those who voted Labour and the Green Party – expected to see a sea change in the reality of social services. A real, deep change of attitude, approach of process through which the system negotiates the difficult and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • The Air New Zealand bailout
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why NZ’s tough coronavirus travel rules are crucial to protecting lives at home and across the Pac...
    New Zealand’s border restrictions will come with significant job and business losses in the tourism sector, both at home and in the Pacific. But the new travel rules are absolutely necessary to protect the health of New Zealanders and people right across Pacific Islands, because New Zealand is a gateway ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The tiniest of teeth
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • One simple, common factor to success against COVID-19
    Professor Philip Hill and Associate Professor James Ussher Most infectious diseases have an Achilles heel, the secret is to find it. The question is if we don’t have a drug or a vaccine for COVID-19, is there something else we can do to beat it? Some people estimate that, without ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • National should isolate Simon Bridges
    The Coalition Governments $12.1 billion economic package to help combat the financial effects of COVID-19 was generally well received across the board, even amongst many business leaders who would normally be critical of a Labour led Government.However there was one glaringly obvious exception, Simon Bridges. The so-called leader of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How testing for Covid-19 works
    With confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand up to 12, many influential people are writing open letters and opinion pieces and doing press conferences asking why we aren’t pulling out all the stops and testing thousands of people a day like they are in South Korea. The thing is, ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 weeks ago
  • The COVID-19 package and the limits of capitalism
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Black April, May and June?
    Worldwide, the 1918 influenza epidemic – wrongly called ‘Spanish’ flu – lasted about two years. However, it lasted about six weeks in New Zealand (remembered as ‘Black November’, because the dead turned a purplish-black). It is thought about 7000 Pakeha died and 2,500 Maori. The population mortality rate was about ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID 19 has struck… as has a lot of terrible ineptitude from far too many
    In a world and a time when the worst off and most vulnerable have been asked, time and again, to foot the bill for the complete subjugating to the will of the 1% thanks to the GFC, at a point where the world as a whole is now seeing quite ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • What’s in the Coronavirus Package?
    With the economy already reeling from a crisis that’s barely begun, the Government today sought to provide reassurance to workers and businesses in the form of a massive phallic pun to insert much-needed cash into the private sector and help fight the looming pandemic. Here are the key components: $5.1 ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • I just had my benefit suspended during a fucking pandemic
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    PosseBy chloeanneking
    2 weeks ago
  • A good first step
    Today the government announced a financial package to deal with the effects of the pandemic. So far, it looks good: an initial $500 million for health to deal with immediate priorities, wage subsidies for affected businesses, $585 a week from WINZ for people self-isolating who can't work from home, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: COVID-19 Alert Level 4
    The COVID-19 situation in New Zealand is moving fast - and to avoid what we've seen overseas - the Government's response must be to move fast too. We're committed to keeping New Zealanders safe and well-informed every step of the way. ...
    12 hours ago
  • SPEECH: Green Party Co-leader James Shaw – Ministerial statement on State of National Emergency an...
    Thank you, Mr. Speaker.  The scale of what we face right now is unlike anything we have ever seen before. Overcoming it is our common purpose. ...
    3 days ago
  • Winston Peters urging New Zealanders overseas to stay put
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    4 days ago
  • New Zealanders overseas encouraged to shelter in place
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters is encouraging the tens of thousands of New Zealanders travelling overseas to consider sheltering in place, in light of COVID-19.  “Since 18 March, we have been warning New Zealanders offshore that the window for flying ...
    4 days ago
  • Ground-breaking abortion law passes, giving NZers compassionate healthcare
    Ground-breaking law has passed that will decriminalise abortion and ensure women and pregnant people seeking abortions have compassionate healthcare. ...
    1 week ago
  • Package supports Kiwis to put collective health first
    The Green Party says that the measures announced by the Government today will help families and businesses to prioritise our collective health and wellbeing in the response to COVID-19. ...
    1 week ago
  • Winston Peters: COVID-19 rescue package ‘more significant’ than any worldwide
    As New Zealanders brace for a global downturn due to Covid-19, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters says his Coalition Government’s rescue package "more significant" than any other he's seen around the world. The Coalition is to reveal a multi-billion-dollar stimulus plan on Tuesday afternoon designed to cushion the economic blow ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Our response to COVID-19
    We know some people are feeling anxious about COVID-19. While the situation is serious, New Zealand has a world-class health system and we’re well-prepared to keep New Zealanders safe. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Demerit Points System’ will address youth crime
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    2 weeks ago
  • Investment in kingfish farming
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    2 weeks ago
  • 1BT grants for Northland planting
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    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand reaffirms support for Flight MH17 judicial process
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    2 weeks ago
  • PGF investment in green hydrogen
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    2 weeks ago
  • Coronavirus support for Pacific
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    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party passes landmark law to ensure deaf and disabled voices heard equally in democracy
    Chlöe Swarbrick's Members Bill to support disabled general election candidates has passed into law. ...
    2 weeks 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
    11 hours ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours 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 day 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 day 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
    2 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
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    2 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days 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 ...
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    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
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    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
    Associate Health and Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare has today announced the Government’s plan to support Māori communities and businesses in the face of COVID-19. “Our Government’s $12.1 billion economic package will help many Māori whānau, workers and businesses, whether it’s through wage subsidies, income support and worker redeployment, or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
    The Government and the hospitality industry have worked together to produce guidelines to assist with managing and reducing transmission of COVID-19, Health Minister David Clark announced today.  The guidelines developed between the Government, Hospitality New Zealand and SkyCity Entertainment Group, set out how the new restrictions on physical distancing and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
    Four stage Alert System for COVID-19 announced New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 – Reduce Contact New Zealanders over 70 and those with certain medical conditions told to stay at home as much as they can to reduce risk of contact with the virus Workplaces to implement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PM Address – Covid-19 Update
    Kia ora koutou katoa I’m speaking directly to all New Zealanders today to give you as much certainty and clarity as we can as we fight Covid-19. Over the past few weeks, the world has changed. And it has changed very quickly. In February it would have seemed unimaginable to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ and Singapore commit to keeping supply and trade links open, including on essential goods and med...
    New Zealand and Singapore have jointly committed to keep supply chains open and to 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 welcomed the commitment. “This is an important collective response, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Joint Ministerial Statement by Singapore and New Zealand -Covid-19 situation
    JOINT MINISTERIAL STATEMENT BY SINGAPORE AND NEW ZEALAND AFFIRMING COMMITMENT TO ENSURING SUPPLY CHAIN CONNECTIVITY AMIDST THE COVID-19 SITUATION  The COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis.  As part of our collective response to combat COVID-19, Singapore and New Zealand are committed to maintaining open and connected supply chains. We ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Transit between Australia and New Zealand
    Travel restrictions, closing our border to almost all travelers came into force from 23:59 on Thursday 19 March 2020 (NZDT).  All airlines were informed of these restrictions before they came into force. Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says “The transit of passengers between Australia and New Zealand has been agreed upon and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $100 million to redeploy workers
    The Government has allocated $100 million to help redeploy workers affected by the economic impact of COVID-19, with the hard-hit region of Gisborne-Tairāwhiti to be the first helped, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford, Forestry and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Employment Minister Willie Jackson announced today. Phil Twyford ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More support for wood processing
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is ramping up support for Tairāwhiti’s wood processing sector to bolster the region’s economy at a time of heightened uncertainty, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Following earlier announcements today of a regional support package for Tairāwhiti, Minister Jones has also announced a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt steps in to protect Air New Zealand
    The Coalition Government has stepped in to protect Air New Zealand with a significant financial deal that protects essential routes and allows the company to keep operating. The Government and Air New Zealand have agreed a debt funding agreement through commercial 24-month loan facilities of up to $900 million*. The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Stronger border measures to protect NZers from COVID-19
    The Government has taken further measures to protect New Zealanders from the COVID-19 virus, effectively stopping all people from boarding a plane to New Zealand from 11:59pm today, except for returning New Zealanders, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today.  New Zealanders’ partners, legal guardians or any dependent children travelling with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Action on indoor gatherings and events to protect public health
    The Government has reinforced its commitment to protecting the health of New Zealanders from COVID-19 through the cancellation of indoor events with more than 100 people.  “Protecting the health of New Zealanders is our number one priority, and that means we need to reduce the risks associated with large gatherings,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealanders advised not to travel overseas
    The New Zealand Government is advising New Zealanders not to travel overseas due to COVID-19, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced. “We are raising our travel advice to the highest level: do not travel,” Mr Peters said. “This is the first time the New Zealand Government has advised New Zealanders ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt announces aviation relief package
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today outlined the first tranche of the $600 million aviation sector relief package announced earlier this week as part of the Government’s $12.1 billion COVID-19 economic response. The initial part of the aviation package aims to secure the operators of New Zealand’s aviation security system, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago