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Nats attack workers’ right to protest

Written By: - Date published: 11:59 am, July 1st, 2009 - 55 comments
Categories: activism, democracy under attack, democratic participation, national/act government, public services, sexism, workers' rights - Tags:

democracy-under-attack
I am outraged to learn that the Department of Labour told its employees they were not allowed attend the pay equity rally at Parliament yesterday.

A leaked email from the department to its staff said:

“Attendance at such a demonstration may well be perceived as crossing the line by criticising a decision of the Government. The attendance of Departmental staff at the rally in whatever capacity, may therefore call into question our role as public servants serving the Government of the day.”

That is absolutely disgraceful and a clear breach of the Bill of Rights and the manager who approved it should resign. Unfortunately, it is a result of a public service management that is afraid of the new Government. The Nats have attacked an undermined public service neutrality from the start (‘purchase advisors’, interfering in independent bodies like Pharmac).

Let’s get this straight: this is a democracy. You have the right to protest. That is guaranteed under the Bill of Rights Act. If you want to protest you bloody well should and you shouldn’t ask permission.

But be smart about it to0. Join the union. Then the bosses won’t dare come after you. And if they do, your co-workers will be behind you to help you stand up for your rights.

55 comments on “Nats attack workers’ right to protest ”

  1. Mark M 1

    “If you want to protest you bloody well should and you shouldn’t ask permission.”

    Really?

    Are you saying that workers are entitled to miss work without even telling the boss , while presumably still expecting to be paid.

    No wonder the countrys going down the gurgler.

    Incidentally I support equal pay but I also support workers obligations which come with having rights

    • Lew 1.1

      Mark M,

      You probably haven’t niticed that most protests in Wellington take place during the traditional lunch hour, to avoid this very problem. There’s no implication that people should skive off – just that, in their own time, they should be reasonably allowed to do as they like.

      L

  2. Rubbish Mark – the protest was in the lunchtime. No one is missing work.

  3. NubbleTrubble 3

    Hah, “No wonder the countrys going down the gurgler.” yeah no wonder when knee-jerks like you and the Nats are in power.

    Please get informed before opening ya gob…

  4. Mark M 4

    sorry dont live in Wellington

  5. Anita 5

    The same restrictions were placed on workers during the last Labour led government, and were equally wrong then. For example many government departments either banned all staff, or all staff above a certain level, from joining the Seabed and Foreshore Hikoi.

    It is wrong, and it does need to be fixed, but I’m not sure we can hold National responsible for creating the restrictions.

    • Tim Ellis 5.1

      That’s right, Anita.

      There isn’t any evidence that I can see that it was a Ministerial intervention. The email suggests that the Labour Department sought advice from the SSC on the appropriateness of staff attending protests. The SSC guideline was drawn up in 2004 during the Hikoi.

    • Eddie 5.2

      Anita. you know as well as anyone the climate of fear and intimidation that National has brought to the public sector. People are being scared into toeing the line because they know it could cost them their jobs.

      In that context, sending that email was clearly meant to send a message to public servants (keep your heads down, don’t give us trouble with the govt) and a message to the government (‘see, we’re not biased against you, we’ll play along, we’ll be good, yes massa’).

      Fortunately, many public servants are braver than that.

      captcha: 42,000 pliant

      • Tigger 5.2.1

        I agree, National aren’t doing anything new here – just it does point out the hypocrisy of a government who claimed they were the protectors of free speech (Electoral Finance Act etc) but who have made it very clear in disucssions behind closed doors that the public sector should shut the hell up .

      • Anita 5.2.2

        Eddie,

        Sure more public servants are more afraid for their jobs now than since the job cuts of the fourth Labour government, but I’m not sure they’re more afraid of undue political pressure than they were under the fifth Labour government.

        Under the old regime friends were shouted at, sworn at and threatened (“don’t expect to work in the public sector again if…”), others lost jobs when their teams were disestablished for unwaveringly providing unpopular advice, others lost jobs when their teams were disestablished for having been spun onto the front page of the paper by the opposition.

        Many public servants I know have felt barred from overt political participation for years now.

        Do you really think National has made those parts any worse? IMO the job cuts have scared everyone, but the political heavying and silencing is no worse.

    • George Darroch 5.3

      You’re right. Lower level public servants should have the restrictions on their ability to act as private citizens relaxed significantly.

      What’s Labour going to do about it?

      • Maynard J 5.3.1

        I do not know. Have you asked them?

        Perhaps you could offer a suggestion or two here, or over at Red Alert, if you have any good ideas and think the current SSC guidelines are overly restrictive.

        • George Darroch 5.3.1.1

          I asked them. I used to think that time in opposition would soften Labour. I now think it’s only making them more arrogant, as they become assured of their righteousness compared to the Government.

          There are some genuine attempts at listening from particular MPs, but for the most part it seems token.

  6. insider 6

    this is not a new edict. I remember similar issues with TPK on the foreshore bill. IT’s just a restatement of SSC guidelines. No drama here.

    http://www.ssc.govt.nz/display/document.asp?docid=6665&pageno=2#P54_7814

    In fact I can see no hint of a ban on general staff here, just a reminder to staff to think about how their actions may be perceived. Sensible and good management IMO within the wooly bounds of the SSC guidelines on political neurtrality.

    captcha dissent when

  7. Is this different than not allowing Rankin to protest about S59?

    • Eddie 7.1

      She is allowed to attend rallies. She’s not allowed to lead a protest campaign. Same for any public servant. There’s a difference between being a voice of opposition to the Government while also working for the government and attending a public rally as a member of the public and but not being a voice or face of that rally. It’s been long-established.

  8. indiana 8

    how long are wellington lunches?

    • Eddie 8.1

      The rally lasted about half an hour, designed to fit with people’s lunch hours. Stop trying to justify your opposition to people having the right to protest with this weak rubbish.

      The real reason you are against them protesting is because they’re criticising your precious John Key. Just admit that you don’t think people should be allowed to criticise him.

      Don’t expect us to be sucked in by the rest.

      • Tim Ellis 8.1.1

        What a load of tosh, Eddie. There is no evidence that there was any ministerial intervention, quite contrary to the claim you’ve made in this post, and quite contrary to the claim made by Grant Robertson.

        The SSC guideline was drawn up in 2004, before the hikoi protest against the labour government. The policy was never amended. It was, in fact, last updated on the SSC website mid-way through 2008, under a Labour government. The department of labour is simply applying SSC’s guidelines.

        There was no blanket ban on junior public servants, either from the Department of Labour, or elsewhere, from attending the protest. It is just dishonest to claim otherwise.

        • Maynard J 8.1.1.1

          So no one sees any contradiction between SSC guidelines

          “What is appropriate in any situation will depend on the extent of the participation, the nature of the issue, and the position the person holds. The more senior the State servant, the more constrained he or she needs to be in their personal conduct. For example, most junior State servants can take part in a political demonstration provided their participation is not connected to their work (e.g. wearing an agency uniform). However, it would breach political neutrality if their chief executive, or a senior State servant who works closely with Ministers, were to do so.”

          which call for care and emphasising this as seniority increases, with the memo which states that:

          “it would not be appropriate for Departmental officials to make public comment on the closure of the Pay and Employment Equity Unit. Senior officials, including those closely associated with particular functions and policies (such as Pay and Employment Equity in this case) need to pay specific attention to such situations and actively avoid them.
          The situation for other staff in respect to Wednesday’s rally also requires careful attention. Attendance at such a demonstration may well be perceived as crossing the line by criticising a decision of the Government. The attendance of Departmental staff at the rally in whatever capacity, may therefore call into question our role as public servants serving the Government of the day.”

          Seems to be taking it much too far there. I think eddie is right.

          • insider 8.1.1.1.1

            if you look at the SSC guide it implies concentric circles of caution. So the closer you are to an issue the more caution you need to show. DOL employees have to be more cautious on this issue than say Health or Education employees because it directly affects their work and the disestablishment of the unit is a key focus for Labour party and union protests.

            All the email does to me is stress that need for caution which is no more than restate the SSC guidelines.

            • Maynard J 8.1.1.1.1.1

              Labour party and union protests? Was that why cafes were offering 10% off for women? Did not know the left were into the coffee trade.

              Caution yes, implicit blanket ban, no.

          • Tim Ellis 8.1.1.1.2

            Maynard J, where in the correspondence is there any indication of ministerial interference in this matter, which is what Eddie is alleging, rather than the Department simply applying the SSC’s guideline?

            Yet again, it looks to me as if Eddie is just parroting Labour Party talking points. There is no additional analysis in this post. Its only reference is a Labour Party press release, with no further information to support the wobbly contention that Ministers are attacking public service neutrality.

            From a Party that sacked a PR woman who was going to lead the last government’s hallmark advertising campaign on carbon neutrality and sustainability, simply on the basis of her connection to a National Party staffer, rather than her own political views, it is a bit rich to claim National is impinging on the neutrality of the public service.

            • Eddie 8.1.1.1.2.1

              Again it’s the ‘but they did it too’ defence (and Benson-Pope was rightly sacked… and we were told why).

              I thought we were meant to be ambitious for New Zealand now.

            • Maynard J 8.1.1.1.2.2

              So eddie implies something, explains his rationale behind it, and then suggests a course of action and you accuse him of parroting talking points? That is a bit confused.

              That the department has gone so far past the SSC guideline is indicative.

              Oh, the ‘you did it too’ defence. Usually you get further than one comment before resorting to that capitulatory defence Tim.

              Was this not one of Key’s top 13 promises? Do we disregard all the promises he made if someone has done the opposite before?

              edit: snap eddie, well 7 minutes out, a slow typer!

            • Tim Ellis 8.1.1.1.2.3

              Care to recall why David Benson-Pope was sacked, Eddie? It was because he hadn’t told the full story. The story is well summed up here at http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10454804

              Unlike the Benson-Pope affair, there is no evidence that any minister interfered with the right of public servants to protest. It looks to pretty much anybody that the DoL is applying the SSC guidelines.

              If you want the SSC guidelines to change, then fair enough. Put up a proposal to have the guidelines changed. It might spark accusations of hypocrisy, given you were pretty mute on the subject for the five years they were in place under a Labour government, but at least you would be putting up an honest proposal.

              Your allegation of Ministerial intervention doesn’t stack up.

            • Maynard J 8.1.1.1.2.4

              Look at that, there is a newspaper story saying why a minister was sacked. I thought such matters were not in the public interest.

  9. indiana 9

    I have better ways of protesting than painting banners and waving flags. You’ve made an ass of yourself if you think I’m against people’s right to protest.

    As far as criticising Key or any other politician, last time I checked NZer’s were number 1 at doing this, so why would I be so precious about that?

    Your a Union man aren’t you Eddie…I hope none of the people that went to these protests are on their last warnings from not coming back to work on time after their breaks.

    • Eddie 9.1

      Again, trying to scare the workers… if they’re late back they deserve to be sacked? this isn’t the 19th century dork. Nearly everyone in the public service is on flexitime and managers have better things to do than stand by the door with a stopwatch at lunchtime.

      • indiana 9.1.1

        You and Mallard must be mates as you both like to flex your muscles.

        If an employer follows due process, you know like how the EPMU did with that Tan fellow, then I do expect a person to get sacked if they are late for work and have history of lateness and everything was done to try and correct that problem. I also expect union reps to know when they are being fooled too by the people they are respresenting.

        But this all means nothing to you, because all employers are bad and all employees are good.

  10. Last time I worked in the public service (10 years ago now) it involved signing some kind of declaration that I wouldn’t publicly criticise the dept or govt policy. I ended up warned a couple of times for breaching it, both times involving email listservs rather than protests, but the principle’s the same. I don’t see anything specific to National in this.

  11. Eddie 11

    I think it’s worth reading Grant Robertson’s post on this, wherein he mentions his own experience with being involved in politics while a public servant, so I’ll take the unusual step of reproducing it below http://blog.labour.org.nz/index.php/2009/06/30/the-right-to-rally/ :

    When I was working at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade I found myself as the campaign manager for the local body election campaign of my friend who was the Labour candidate. It was one of those things. You go to a meeting (always a big mistake) and walk out with a job to do. I recognised it was something that might see my name out and about, so I went to see my boss. He was a staunch National supporter, I think a member. He listened to my case, and said that it was fine, and despite our differences he said would always defend my right to participate in the political process.

    Public servants are ever conscious of their role to serve the government of the day, and of the restrictions placed on them by the Code of Conduct. That is what makes the Department of Labour decision to effectively tell its staff that they could not participate in the rally at Parliament today on Pay Equity very disturbing. There may well be questions about the involvement of some senior staff or perhaps those directly connected with the work, but the wider staff of the Department of Labour should in my opinion have had the right to go to the rally if they chose to.

    In recent election campaigns I have noticed that public servants seemed to be getting inconsistent and inaccurate advice about how involved they can be in campaigns, including whether they could have hoardings on fences, deliver pamphlets or even be seen with a candidate.

    I believe that the rights of public servants to participate in the political process as private citizens need to be protected, and if necessary clarified. Of course their should be guidance as to how to ensure they can continue to serve the government of the day and avoid compromising their ability to provide quality advice and support, but the interpretation of that guidance should respect the professionalism of public servants and give them their hard won democratic rights

    • Tim Ellis 11.1

      Eddie, like I said, your argument is weak and you haven’t come up with anything new to support the original contention that National is attempting to muzzle public servants. The email was from a senior DoL manager pointing out the SSC guidelines. There is no ministerial connection. It is not a new guideline. It existed, and was applied, for several years prior to this event.

      Tellingly, the period Mr Robertson spoke of, of greater freedom for public servants, was under the last National government. The edict from the SSC was drawn up in 2004, under a Labour government, and has remained in place since then.

      At the moment, Eddie, all you are doing is parroting Grant Robertson’s line on this, and particularly unsuccessfully.

      • Eddie 11.1.1

        I have never been aware of public servants being warned off attending rallies in the past. This government has created a climate of fear in the public service and this email is a result of it.

        • Tim Ellis 11.1.1.1

          Eddie, if you haven’t been aware of it in the past, then I am afraid you are just ignorant. The SSC guideline was drafted just before the hikoi against the Labour government over the foreshore and seabed issue in 2004. The guideline was used widely within the public service to discourage Maori public servants from participating in the hikoi.

          Simply repeating unsubstantiated rhetoric while ignoring the facts doesn’t improve your argument.

          This email is a response to the SSC’s guideline, drafted in 2004 under a Labour Government.

          You have no evidence of a “climate of fear in the public service”, and this issue does not add weight to your shoddy argument.

          • Pascal's bookie 11.1.1.1.1

            Were you in Wellington then Tim? I remember there being more than a few civil servants on the hikoi. I also remember quite a stink about Senior Civil servants getting told off for making submissions and public comments.

            Many were caught between a rock and a hard place.

            Tthere was all sorts of hefty rhetoric flying around. Nick Smith was going on about ‘beaches’, and what not. Tensions were high. Some senior civil servants were being asked by their family members back home to make some very strong feelings felt. The words ‘civil war’ were used at one point I think, by a civil servant describing those feelings. That caused some ructions. marching on the hikoi in a lunch break? Not so much.

            That’s what I remember.

  12. craig 12

    I don’t get why “you did it too” is such a bad defense…

    Surely the more things National does like the last Labour government, the happier you’ll be???

    Furthermore you guys didn’t like what National said at the last election, and you didn’t vote for National. So surely as far as you’re concerned, the less things they do that they said they were going to do, the better?

    • Maynard J 12.1

      I would accept that Labour were not perfect, and that I would rather not see National repeat those errors. So your reasoning falls flat on its face, unless you want to posit that Labour were perfect.

      It is also a bad defence because it seeks to detract from the current issue at hand – Tim clearly does not want this to be looked into, so he brings up the Setchell affair.

      This leaves someone countering with two avenues – argue that they are different, or accept the point and say that it is not good enough in both cases. I did the latter out of apathy – I did not want to argue the point with Tim. Either Labour were bad, and National should not repeat that mistake, or Labour were not bad, it is a false equivalence, and National should not do what they are doing.

      However you look at it, it is a hollow argument unless you think two wrongs equal a right, or that neither actions were wrong, or that you wish to argue that the previous action was a real example of wrong, and the current issue is right.

      Without accepting one of the above, it is basically trolling.

      • Tim Ellis 12.1.1

        Oh, the examples are very different, Maynard J.

        In the Labour example, there was actual Ministerial interference in a public service activity, which did not just end when Mr Benson-Pope got Ms Setchell fired. There was further involvement from Mr Anderton to ensure Ms Setchell did not get a job from MAF.

        Yes, that was actual Ministerial interference and intimidation of officials.

        Compare this to the current scenario: a DoL executive sending an email to DoL staff pointing out an SSC directive, which was drawn up five years ago under a Labour Government, with no indication of any Ministerial involvement.

        • Maynard J 12.1.1.1

          You see what I mean craig? Now I have to try and argue a historic point and I am sure I could waste hours relitigating that one, or agree that it was bad by Labour, and argue that this is also bad.

          • Tim Ellis 12.1.1.1.1

            Maynard, can you not see that one is an example of ministerial intervention in the public service, and the other most recent example is not an example of ministerial intervention, since it is clearly an official applying a state services commission guideline?

            Here’s a clue. Where in the correspondence from the DoL deputy secretary is there any indication that he was asked by the Minister to clarify this issue for staff?

            Oh, that’s right. Absolutely none.

            So Eddie’s claim of National ministers intimidating the public service fall to zero through lack of evidence.

            • Eddie 12.1.1.1.1.1

              when you’ve really got them cowed, as National has, you don’t need to tell people to toe the line, they do it automatically. National has created a climate of fear in the public service – this email is an expression of that.

            • Maynard J 12.1.1.1.1.2

              How can we tell Tim – I am pretty sure it is not in the public’s interest here to find out if there is anything more to it. But just to pander to your silly little sideshow, Tim, here is what eddie said – I repost because you have forgotten it or come up with something far worse in your mind:

              “That is absolutely disgraceful and a clear breach of the Bill of Rights and the manager who approved it should resign. Unfortunately, it is a result of a public service management that is afraid of the new Government. The Nats have attacked an undermined public service neutrality from the start.”

              Management afraid of government. Tick.
              Undermind public service neutrality. Tick.

              Two ticks National. Tell me when you are done with that straw man that you started playing with at 12:47.

            • Eddie 12.1.1.1.1.3

              That’s a little unfair MJ. That strawman’s been Tim’s faithful companion many a year. What else would he have if he gave it up?

            • Tim Ellis 12.1.1.1.1.4

              That strawman’s been Tim’s faithful companion many a year. What else would he have if he gave it up?

              So this is your standard of evidence, then.

              I haven’t yet seen a request from any Labour MP to put the email in front of the State Services Commissioner to assess whether it is goes beyond the SSC’s guideline on political activity by public servants. But then again, if Mr Robertson did do that, he might find that the SSC responded that the email is precisely within the guideline that the previous commissioner wrote in 2004, under a Labour government. That would be embarrassing.

              Eddie doesn’t have any evidence that National has the public service “cowed”, and this email does nothing of the sort.

              The PSA is critical of the DoL’s ruling, as they have a right to be, but not even they make the claim that the public service has been cowed by the Government.

  13. iheartmjs 13

    “Attendance at such a demonstration may well be perceived as crossing the line by criticising a decision of the Government. The attendance of Departmental staff at the rally in whatever capacity, may therefore call into question our role as public servants serving the Government of the day.”

    To me that fairly strongly discourages participation by department staff. “In whatever capacity” is what especially concerns me: in their capacity as private citizens of NZ during their lunch break, I feel it is entirely appropriate that staff should be able to choose to attend (or not attend) such a rally. This is not just re-stating the SSC guidelines, it is interpreting them (somewhat incorrectly). I am a junior public servant, but that I can (and do) speak out against govt policies in my own time, in my capacity as human being. The email comes across as a scare tactic, I don’t necessarily think that it was an attack by the Nats but it shows extremely poor judgement by a senior public servant. Shame on you, Mr Sage!!!

  14. Nick 14

    Let’s get this straight: this is a democracy. You have the right to protest. That is guaranteed under the Bill of Rights Act.

    Perhaps you’d like to explain where in the NZBORA this right exists.

    I’m not against your general thesis, but this statement needs challenging.

  15. deemac 15

    the only public servants who should be constrained by the regs are those at a senior level where they are formulating or expounding policy. There is no justification for the lower ranks being gagged about what they say or do in their own time.

  16. Oliver 16

    I’ve been a Public Servant since 2004 and have always been told that I should not attend protests that address policy directly related to the dept I work for. Equally I was always told that it was perfectly okay to protest on any other issue.

    I was also told that if I support National I should never let anyone in Govt know as the Labour Govt was considered to be vengeful.

    • indiana 16.1

      In Eddies world, your employer has you shaking in your boots or cowed as he refers to.

  17. Nick 17

    Fair enough of you to use those sections Eddie. However those rights don’t explicitly include “protests”. Is a peaceful assembly a protest? By its very nature, a protest is often not considered peaceful. I’m being pedantic because I argued the same as you did in a law essay some years back and got the “raised eyebrows” from the marker.

    • Anita 17.1

      Why do you think protests “often not considered peaceful”? They’re disruptive or contentious, but not peaceful seems an odd way of viewing them.

    • Eddie 17.2

      Sorry Nick, don’t take this as an insult but ask a lawyer if you know one. The right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression protect the right of people to protest on political issues all over the world. They don’t mention protests explicitly because they’re broader than just protests.

  18. Swampy 18

    Public servants are not allowed to engage in political activism, this has been an expectation of their terms of employment for many years, it has nothing to do with the National Party.

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    Tom Rippeth, Bangor University Arctic sea ice today (white) is covering a much smaller area than in 1980-2010 (orange line). National Snow and Ice Data Center, University of Colorado, Boulder, CC BY-SA Each September, scientists like me look out for the point when the Arctic’s meagre summer fizzles out and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 day ago
  • The long-term health burden of COVID-19: further justification for NZ’s elimination strategy
    Prof John D. Potter* This blog briefly surveys the emerging scientific evidence on the longer-term burden of symptoms and disease in survivors of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of these symptoms point to damage in the brain and heart. These long-term harms add to the wide range of other reasons for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 day ago
  • Going High, Going Low: An Assessment Of The First Leaders’ Debate.
    Uncrushed: Jacinda Ardern knew exactly what was expected of her in the first Leaders' Debate. Labour’s dominant position, three weeks out from the general election, is constructed out of the admiration and gratitude of hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders who, more often than not, vote National.  Nothing she said ...
    1 day ago
  • The smokefree policies of political parties: Do they care about people who smoke?
    George Thomson*, Nick Wilson, Janet Hoek, Andrew Waa, Richard Edwards In this time of Covid-19, helping people who smoke to quit their addiction has an even greater importance. Smokers are more vulnerable to many harmful health effects, including severe effects from the virus. Policies that support people who smoke to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 day ago
  • The Fog Of Economic Policy Is Starting To Clear…
    Bryan Bruce, https://www.facebook.com/www.redsky.tv, 19 September 2020 National’s economic policy of temporary tax cuts yesterday proved, if proof be needed, that they are unapologetic neoliberals. While their claim that with more money in their pockets people will spend more might sound attractive, the reality is that tax cuts always benefit the ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #38, 2020
    Highlighted article: Carbon pricing and planetary boundaries  Engström et al take what might be called a systems approach to evaluating carbon pricing, taking into a account various economic sectors affected by and affecting paying for emissions. The conclusions are overall a rare pleasant surprise— a feature predicated on cooperation.  Abstract: ...
    2 days ago
  • Humans ignite almost every wildfire that threatens homes
    Nathan Mietkiewicz, National Ecological Observatory Network and Jennifer Balch, University of Colorado Boulder CC BY-ND Summer and fall are wildfire season across the western U.S. In recent years, wildfires have destroyed thousands of homes, forced hundreds of thousands of people to evacuate and exposed tens of millions to harmful ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: China steps up
    China has increased its climate change ambition, and set a target to be carbon-neutral by 2060: China will reach carbon neutrality before 2060 and ensure its greenhouse gas emissions peak in the next decade, Xi Jinping has told the UN general assembly. “China will scale up its intended nationally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Humans have dealt with plenty of climate variability
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz How much climate variability have humans dealt with since we ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 days ago
  • Indigenous perspectives on unrestricted access to genomic data
    By Genomics Aotearoa researcher Maui Hudson, University of Waikato It is vital that genomics research respects genomic data and genetic heritage from indigenous communities. Genomics research is a rapidly growing field of study, and there is a strong push to make the huge amount of data being produced open ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    2 days ago
  • Terrible luck: lockdowns on learning and youth job prospects
    What is bad luck? Bad luck is spilling spaghetti sauce down your shirt right before an important meeting. When the person in front of you gets the last seat on the bus, that’s bad luck. Bad luck is when it’s sunny outside, so you leave the house without a coat, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 days ago
  • Ian Powell: Does private healthcare threaten public healthcare in New Zealand?
    Is the private health system impacting negatively on the public health system? Health commentator Ian Powell evaluates a recent NZ Herald article by Natalie Akoorie (“Public v private healthcare: Moonlighting, skimming, duplication – should NZ do better”), and looks at how the dual system works, and concludes that the answer ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    2 days ago
  • A rabbit-hole election debate: So do you want more avocado orchards?
    We live in strange and unusual times. It’s been a century since we’ve endured a global pandemic like this, more than half a century since we’ve had economic woes like this. So maybe we got an opening election debate for the times - because that was a strange and unusual ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    3 days ago
  • LIVE: Jacinda Ardern vs. Judith Collins, First Debate
    Tonight, The Civilian will be live-blogging the first of too many debates between Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and National Party leader Judith Collins, and also the last fifteen minutes of the news. Be sure to tune in from 6:45pm for regular updates, which can be accessed by refreshing this page ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • Hundreds of Aucklanders arrested after illegal mass gathering on Harbour Bridge
    An enormous drive-in party, shown here, was held this morning on Auckland’s Harbour Bridge, where police were forced to intervene. Hundreds of Aucklanders were arrested this morning on public health grounds, after an apparent illegal mass gathering on the city’s Harbour Bridge. Police say hundreds of Aucklanders gathered in their ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • The Looming Fight.
    Social Distancing Be Damned - It's Jacinda! Shortly after ascending to Labour’s leadership, Jacinda described herself as a “pragmatic idealist”. It was an inspired oxymoron – packing into just two words the essence of the social-democrat’s dilemma. It was good to know that she knew what lay ahead of her. ...
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Moving faster
    Back in 2017, the UK announced that it would ban the sale of new fossil fuel vehicles by 2040. Its a basic climate change measure, aimed at reducing emissions by shifting the vehicle fleet to cleaner technologies. Now, in the wake of the pandemic, they're planning to bring it forward ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • The Australian courts have had enough of refugee detention
    For the past decade, Australia has had a racist, anti-refugee policy. Those claiming refugee status are imprisoned without trial and left to rot in the hope they would "voluntarily" return to be tortured and murdered. When the courts have granted them visas, the government has immediately revoked them on racial ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Friction and the Anti-lock Braking System
    Yesterday afternoon I had to call on my car’s anti-lock braking system (ABS). For reasons best known to its driver, a car pulled out of a side road right in front of me while I was driving home after work, and I needed to stop in a hurry. I rather ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    3 days ago
  • The Inside Word: New Zealand Quarantine
    There are a fair few misconceptions about conditions within New Zealand’s Quarantine Hotels. Madeline Grant’s misplaced accusations being one prominent example, though she is not alone. Today, I thought I’d share the inside word, so to speak. A friend of mine has recently returned to New Zealand from overseas, and ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: ASA: Let’s not talk about this
    Last week, major newspapers carried a full-page ad as part of the campaign for a "No" vote to the referendum question about supporting the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill. The ad was authorised by the SAM NZ Coalition, which takes its name from a controversial American anti-cannabis group and includes ...
    3 days ago
  • This is not kind
    New Zealand has a serious homelessness problem, due to skyrocketing rents and a lack of state houses. One of the ways we stick a band-aid on it is to put people up in motels. Previously, they were charged full commercial rates, saddled with odious debt due to the government's failure ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Wokies are the establishment
    by Ani O’Brien In the absence of a better word with which to refer to the rabid activists who claim progressivism while demanding adherence to an increasingly prescriptive set of political beliefs, I call them “woke”. With its roots in Black American slang, the term originally denoted a person or ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • How to strengthen the post-isolation Covid rules
    Over the weekend, the Ministry of Health reported a case of Covid-19 in Auckland that is not related to the current Auckland cluster. Before we start to panic, here’s how I think the case happened and how we can strengthen our current border controls. The new Covid-19 case is someone ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    4 days ago
  • Neuralink and You: A Human-AI Symbiosis
    Becky Casale Elon Musk reckons his Neuralink brain implant is much more than a medical device–that one day it will drive a symbiosis between humans and artificial intelligence. “Good morning! I’m Dr Benedict Egg and I’ll be supervising your Neuralink insertion today. Do you have any questions?” “Yes, Doc. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • Liam Hehir: Our obsession with American politics
    Many New Zealanders take a strong interest in US politics, with the death of Supreme Court Judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg being the latest example. Liam Hehir wonders if it very wise for New Zealanders to get so worked about it.   Many politically engaged New Zealanders are now furiously ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • COVID: Back to Level 1
    After stamping the Coronavirus out via strict lockdown between March and May, New Zealand went through a good three months without any community cases. Then a local outbreak in Auckland rather buggered things up last month. Auckland’s been in level 3 and level 2.5 for the past six weeks. ...
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Climate injustice
    Who's causing our skyrocketing emissions? As with most of our other problems, It's the rich: The wealthiest 1% of the world’s population were responsible for the emission of more than twice as much carbon dioxide as the poorer half of the world from 1990 to 2015, according to new ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Good riddance
    The border closure and resulting lack of foreign slave-workers is driving the fishing industry out of business: One fishing company is effectively out of business while others are bracing for large financial hits as the deepwater New Zealand industry, unable to get skilled foreign workers into the country, have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #38
    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... The tipping points at the heart of the climate crisis Many parts of the Earth’s climate system have been destabilised by ...
    4 days ago
  • Anyone for Collins?
    In the absence of national public opinion polls, we have had to make do in recent weeks with other guides to voter intentions. Those guides, such as the Auckland Central poll, the incidence of google enquiries and the responses to Vote Compass questions, have suggested, not unexpectedly, that Labour is ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • Crusher’s fiscal malfunction
    Crusher Collins - National Party leaderWe all know that the National Party is desperate to gain some traction during this election campaign and have been throwing pretty much everything at the Labour Party in order to try and undermine Jacinda Ardern and what the Coalition Government has achieved. But unfortunately ...
    4 days ago
  • Much of the commentariat’s reporting of the most recent GDP figure was misleading and unhelpful. The prize for the stupidest remark about the GDP figure for second quarter 2020 (2020Q2) released on Thursday (17 Sept) goes to Judith Collins, whose response to Grant Robertson’s comments indicated she did not ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    5 days ago
  • Love and Hate as Complementary Revolutionary Acts
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh goloing@gmail.com (19/09/2020) Che Guevara said that a true revolutionary is motivated by love i.e. love of the oppressed, the poor, the children dying from preventable illnesses. This phrase of his is true but has been used by reformists and their more hippy wing have taken advantage ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #38
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Sep 13, 2020 through Sat, Sep 19, 2020 Editor's Choice Get to Net-Zero by Mid-Century? Even Some Global Oil and Gas Giants Think it Can Be Done A report by a ...
    5 days ago
  • Tax cuts for all!!! (except you, you, and you)
    With the National Party this week announcing a new policy of tax cuts to spice up the election campagin. MyThinks went along to the launch and afterwards we spoke to the party’s finance spokesperson Paul “Golden Touch” Goldsmith. MT: Thanks for speaking to us Mr Goldsmith. PG: No. Thank you. ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    6 days ago
  • Great Waves Washing Over New Zealand
    Always to islanders danger Is what comes over the seas ‘Landfall in Unknown Seas’ (Allen Curnow)Six economic issues external to New Zealand, which will greatly impact upon us. 1.         The Diminishing Global Dominance of the US. Since 1941 America has dominated the world economically and politically. Probably it could ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand has role to play in resolving crisis on ‘geopolitical fault line’, Helen Clark says
    By Geoffrey Miller New Zealand should continue to champion human rights in Belarus amidst an ongoing crackdown on protests by the country’s regime, former Prime Minister Helen Clark says. Protests in the country often referred to as ‘Europe’s last dictatorship’ erupted after the country’s disputed presidential elections on August 9 ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    1 week ago
  • Euthanasia referendum: How to cut through the emotions
    Jacqui Maguire, registered clinical psychologist This podcast episode highlights how difficult it is to have effective conversations about euthanasia due to how polarised people’s views are. I’m a clinical psychologist, with a passion for science communication. In early 2020 I founded the podcast Mind Brew, with an aim to make psychological ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Why we need cameras on boats
    In case anyone needed further convincing, there's another example today of why we need cameras on fishing boats: reported seabird bycatch doubled during a camera trial: Commercial fishers operating off Auckland's coast around vulnerable seabirds are twice as likely to report accidentally capturing them when cameras are on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Graham Adams: The religious right’s campaign to spike the euthanasia referendum
    In the leadup to the euthanasia referendum, an array of conservative Christian political organisations is running an expensive campaign to sow doubt about the safety of assisted dying. Graham Adams argues that these religious forces know that Christian arguments aren’t convincing the public, but that it is in the public ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Opportunistic looting
    The National Party has spent the last six months acting horrified at the cost of supporting people through the pandemic and banging on about how the debt must be repaid. So what was their economic policy released today? Massive tax-cuts for the rich, of course! National has walked back ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Uncomfortable Choices.
    Dangerous Times: This will be the choice confronting those coming of age in the 2020s. Embrace Neoliberalism’s belief in racial and sexual equality; adopt its secular and scientific world view; and cultivate the technocratic, multicultural, global outlook required of those who keep the machinery of hyper-capitalism humming. Or, throw your ...
    1 week ago
  • Tony Burton: Covid and benefit payments
    It would be a great time to reform the benefit system, according to former Deputy Chief Economic Advisor at the Treasury, Tony Burton. He argues the complexity of benefit system means that it’s failing to achieve its difficult three core objectives, which form an “iron triangle”.   New Zealand’s benefit ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Talking tax: How to win support for taxing wealth
    Tax Justice UK, September 2020 Serious tax reform is on the political agenda for the first time in decades due to the coronavirus crisis. As this debate hots up it is important to understand what people think about public spending, wealth and tax. Tax Justice UK, along with Survation and ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Getting Tough.
    Not Mucking Around: With upwards of 800 dead from the virus’s resurgence in the Australian state of Victoria, leniency is not on Premier Daniel Andrews’ agenda. The Victorian Police are cracking down hard on the protesters the Australian press has labelled "Covidiots".IMAGES OF POLICE, some in riot gear, others on ...
    1 week ago
  • Media Link: Nuclear strategy, then and now.
    Although I had the fortune of being a graduate student of some of the foremost US nuclear strategists of the day (1970s) and later rubbed shoulders with Air Force and Naval officers who were entrusted with parts of the US nuclear arsenal, I seldom get to write or speak about ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • The Chinese List.
    News that Zhenhua Data, an arm of China Zhenhua Electronics Group, a subsidiary of the military-connected China Electronic Information Industry Group (CETC), maintains a list of 800 New Zealanders on a “Overseas Key Information Database” that contains personal information on more than 2.4 million foreign individuals, has caused some consternation ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Things that grow fast, and things that surprise us
    Marie Becdelievre January 2020. The number of news article mentioning coronavirus exploded and anxious voices whispered about a global pandemic. Whisper? To me, it was only a whisper. I tend to learn about the world through non-fiction books, conferences, and academic research rather than news and social media, so ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #37, 2020
    2,082,476,000,000,000 Viability of greenhouse gas removal via the artificial addition of volcanic ash to the ocean  (not open access, unfortunately) walks us through the numbers on a particular means of CO2 removal, addition of volcanic tephra to the ocean. The mechanism is straight chemistry and the cost is fully an order of ...
    1 week ago
  • Barbados to become a republic
    Barbados is planning to remove the queen as head of state and become a republic in time for the 55th anniversary of its independence in 2021: Barbados has announced its intention to remove the Queen as its head of state and become a republic by November 2021. [...] Reading ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Party Like It’s 1989: Bait and Switch is a Bad Look, Mr Hipkins
    At the 2017 election, the New Zealand Labour Party promised a Fees Free Policy for tertiary students. Basically, it would make the first year of university education free in 2018, with a second year in 2021, and a third in 2024. It also promised to restore Post-Graduate access to the ...
    1 week ago
  • Will the tropics eventually become uninhabitable?
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz What is the impact of temperature increases in the tropics? ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • A first-hand look: What it’s like to live in a 2020 California wildfire evacuation zone
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Daisy Simmons It felt like 100 degrees in my in-laws’ Grass Valley, California, kitchen, but at least the lights were on and for the moment we were safely “distanced” from the Jones Fire. We’d just finished dessert, after pizza and a movie ...
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 is not the only infectious disease New Zealand wants to eliminate, and genome sequencing is...
    Nigel French, Massey University Genome sequencing — the mapping of the genetic sequences of an organism — has helped track the spread of COVID-19 cases in Auckland, but it also plays an important role in the control of other infectious diseases in New Zealand. One example is Mycoplasma bovis, a ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • A flaw in our electoral transparency regime
    A key part of our electoral funding regime is a requirement for some transparency around donations, on the basis that if we can find out who has bought our politicians (typically after we have voted for them) then everything is alright. There are a lot of problems with that regime ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Don’t Steal This Book
    On “In Defense of Looting” Matt Taibibi takes an entertaining look at this generation of woke activists and how they compare with Abbie Hoffman the iconic anti-Vietnam war counter-culture figure of the 1960s On Thursday, August 27th, the same day Donald Trump formally accepted the Republican nomination, National Public Radio ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Carbon prices must rise
    When Parliament introduced the Emissions Trading Scheme, it was worried that carbon prices might get too high. So it introduced a "fixed price option", allowing polluters to pay the government $25 in the place of surrendering credits. The result was predictable: after we were thrown out of international carbon markets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Disclosure
    The government will finally be requiring large New Zealand companies to disclose their climate change risks: New Zealand finance companies will be made to report on climate change risk, Climate Change Minister James Shaw has announced. The policy will force around 200 large financial organisations in New Zealand to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago

  • Minister of Foreign Affairs makes two diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced two new diplomatic appointments: •         Michael Appleton as New Zealand’s first resident High Commissioner to Sri Lanka. •        Tredene Dobson as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Viet Nam.  Sri Lanka “New Zealand is opening a post in Colombo in 2021 because we are ready ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • NZ’s most prestigious conservation award – Loder Cup presented to Graeme Atkins
    The Minister of Conservation Minister, Eugenie Sage, today presented Aotearoa New Zealand’s most prestigious conservation award, the Loder Cup, to the 2020 winner Graeme Atkins while in Gisborne/Tūranga-nui-a-Kiwa. “Graeme Atkins of Ngāti Porou is a Department of Conservation ranger whose contribution to conservation goes well above and beyond his employment,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Parliament to install solar and cut carbon
    Parliament is leading by example by taking action to cut its carbon footprint by installing solar and improving energy efficiency, the Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw said today. The Minister confirmed that Parliamentary Services will receive support through the Clean-Powered Public Service Fund to install solar PV and LED ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Tuvalu Language Week theme promotes community resilience in the face of COVID-19
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says the 2020 Tuvalu Language Week theme of “Fakatili Te Kiloga Fou” which means “Navigating the changing environment” is a call on all Pacific peoples to be strong and resilient in the face of COVID-19. “This theme is a reminder to us ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • International sport back up and running in New Zealand
    The Government is welcoming today’s announcement that the West Indies and Pakistan cricket teams will tour New Zealand this summer.  “A lot of hard work has been undertaken by sports officials including New Zealand Cricket, Netball New Zealand and government officials to ensure that international sport can return safely to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • 1BT funds for Northland forest taonga
    Northland’s indigenous tree canopy is set to grow for the benefit of mana whenua and the wider community thanks to nearly $2 million in One Billion Trees funding, Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Komanga Marae Trust has received more than $1.54 million to restore and enhance the native ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Better health care for West Coasters as Te Nikau Hospital officially opened
    The Government has delivered a new hospital for Greymouth and is starting work on a much needed new health centre in Westport, ensuring local communities will benefit from better access to high quality integrated health services. Today, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Health Minister Peeni Henare officially open Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Government backing local with PGF loan
    A West Coast distillery will benefit from a Provincial Growth Fund investment that will enable it to expand its operations and create jobs in the town of Reefton, Rural Communities Minister Damien O’Connor and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. The Reefton Distilling Co will receive a $928,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Primary sector exports and jobs up again
    Primary sector exports and jobs are up again, demonstrating the sector’s underlying strength amid the COVID-19 global pandemic and US-China trade war, and supporting New Zealand’s economic recovery. Stats NZ today reported New Zealand’s merchandise exports in August were up 8.6% on a year ago, driven by an increase in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Clean energy future for more schools
    Schools across Aotearoa New Zealand will be supported by the Government to upgrade to run on clean energy, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. The Minister has allocated $50 million from the Clean Powered Public Service Fund to replace, or convert, coal boilers in schools with clean ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Building business strength with digital tools
    New training and tools for digital commerce will give small businesses, especially in the tourism sector, the support they need to adapt and innovate in a COVID world. Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis and Small Business Minister Stuart Nash have announced details of how $20 million digital capability funding set aside ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New pest lures to protect nature
    The Department of Conservation (DOC) is investing $1.4 million to develop new predator lures that would be game-changers for trapping and surveillance towards a predator-free Aotearoa, the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage, announced in Christchurch today. The proposal is to develop long-life lures attractive to a range of predators—rats, mustelids ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Support for innovative Pacific education responses to COVID-19 needs
    Supporting new and creative Pacific education practices as part of our COVID-19 response and recovery is the focus of a new $28.5 million Pacific Education Innovation Fund announced today by Associate Minister of Education Jenny Salesa.  “There is already an incredible amount of innovative and creative work going on in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Eligibility expanded for COVID-19 leave support
    The expanded scheme will cover: People who have COVID-19 like symptoms and meet the Ministry of Health’s criteria, and need to self-isolate while awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test. People who are directed to self-isolate by a Medical Officer of Health or their delegate or on advice of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Seasonal work visa available to more people
    The Government is putting in place a range of immigration policy changes to help fill labour shortages in key industries while ensuring New Zealanders, who have lost jobs due to COVID-19, have the chance to find new employment. “Two key sectors we are moving to help are horticulture and wine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • More border exceptions for critical roles
    The Government has established class exceptions for border entry for a limited number of veterinarians, deep sea fishing crew, as well as agricultural and horticultural machinery operators. “Tight border restrictions remain the backbone of the Government’s border strategy to protect New Zealand against COVID-19 and ensure New Zealand citizens and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Crown will not appeal Dodds v Southern Response decision
    The Crown will not appeal the Court of Appeal decision in the Dodds v Southern Response case, Grant Robertson announced today. “Southern Response will be paying the damages awarded by the Court to Mr and Mrs Dodds shortly. The Crown was already meeting their legal costs for this appeal. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Crucial PGF investments for Northland
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing nearly $30 million in a diverse range of projects that will create immediate and long-term jobs and lift economic and social outcomes for Northland and its people. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones made the announcement today in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • $27million investment in global vaccine facility
    The Coalition Government has committed to invest $27 million in COVID-19 vaccine development through the global COVAX Facility, Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The COVAX Facility is a key part of our COVID-19 Vaccine Strategy to obtain safe and effective vaccines. It allows us to invest in a high-quality, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government backing Māori landowners
    The Government will provide up to $1.69 million through the One Billion Trees programme to Māori landowners to make their whenua more productive through the planting of forests, both native and exotic, and improve economic and environmental outcomes, Forestry Minister Shane Jones has announced. “Around 1.5 million ha of land ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New tools to make nature more accessible
    People planning to head outdoors now have a resource that lets them know how accessible an area is for people with varying levels of mobility, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. The Halberg Foundation, Sensibel, and the Department of Conservation (DOC) have launched Accessibel, a new tool which helps ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PGF makes Māori history more accessible
    One of the most significant battle sites of the 1860s Land Wars will receive $2.96 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to improve the site and help tell the New Zealand story to visitors, Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. Nanaia Mahuta ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Making it official: The journey of te reo Māori | Kia whakapūmautia: Ngā piki me ngā heke o te r...
    The journey towards recognising Māori as an official language and taonga has been captured as a web series and launched today during Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, announced Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “Te reo Māori is a living language, and understanding its significance, and pathways to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Better-than-forecast GDP reflects decision to protect New Zealand
    Today’s better-than-forecast GDP figures show the expected impact of the decision to act quickly to protect New Zealanders from the global COVID-19 pandemic. GDP fell 12.2% in the June quarter from March, reflecting decisions to close New Zealand’s borders and enter Alert Level 4. “This result was better than the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Boost for COVID-19 related Pacific education needs
    The Government is investing $39.7 Million over four years to support the educational needs of Pacific learners and families in the regions hardest hit by COVID-19, with Auckland getting an immediate boost, Associate Minister of Education Jenny Salesa says.   “Like all New Zealanders Pacific families want learners to do well ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More resources for kiwi conservation
    New Zealand’s goal of 100,000 kiwi by 2030 is being helped by an extra $19.7 million in funding to accelerate iwi and community efforts to protect kiwi, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced. “$19.7 million of Jobs for Nature funding is being invested in kiwi conservation activities including increased predator ...
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    1 week ago
  • Improving access to affordable electricity
    Ensuring New Zealanders can get the best deal on their electricity takes a step in the right direction today with the South Island launch of the EnergyMate pilot run by the Electricity Retailers’ Association, says Minister of Energy and Resources, Dr Megan Woods. EnergyMate is an industry-led programme providing coaching ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government achieves 50 percent women on state boards
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter announced today that the Government has reached its target of 50 percent on women on state sector board and committees – setting a new record level of women on state sector boards. “This Government is committed to having more women in leadership roles - ...
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    1 week ago
  • Record transport investment to help economic recovery and save lives
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford released today the final Government Policy Statement on land transport (GPS) 2021 which outlines the planned $48 billion investment in services and infrastructure over the next decade. “The final GPS supports our Government’s five-point plan for economic recovery by confirming our record investments in transport infrastructure ...
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    1 week ago
  • Advancing clean energy technology
    Three ambitious and cutting-edge research programmes that will lift New Zealand’s advanced energy technology research capability over seven years, have been supported by Government today, says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. The projects will each receive a share of $40.7 million investment from the Strategic Science Investment Fund. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Major milestone reached in Pike River Re-entry
    The critical area for forensic examination known as Pit Bottom in Stone has been reached in what is a major milestone for the Pike River re-entry project, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little announced. “The infrastructure located in Pit Bottom in Stone is of very significant interest in ...
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    1 week ago
  • Economic recovery guides Govt response to retirement income policy review
    The Government is working on how New Zealand’s retirement income policies and settings can best support Kiwis in light of the COVID-19 economic recovery, with the help of the Retirement Commissioner’s latest review, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said. “The Retirement Commissioner’s three-yearly review into New Zealand’s retirement ...
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    1 week ago
  • Iwi community hub opens in Murupara
    A new digital hub and development centre in Murupara will be instrumental in growing the region’s productivity, said Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau at the official opening of two community initiatives today. “I’m pleased to be here celebrating a significant milestone for two projects set to make a ...
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    1 week ago
  • PREFU shows economy doing better than forecast
    PREFU shows economy doing better than forecast Unemployment to peak at 7.8%, down from 9.8% forecast in the Budget Year-to-June accounts show tax revenue, debt and OBEGAL better than forecast Global forecast downgraded as COVID-19 second waves and uncertainty grows Balanced plan to support critical public services, manage debt and ...
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    1 week ago
  • Spruce-up for Ōtaki community facilities
    The Kāpiti Coast town of Ōtaki will receive $1.4 million in Government funding for two projects providing scores of jobs for locals while improving community facilities, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The Māoriland Charitable Trust will receive a $900,000 Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) grant to upgrade the ...
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    1 week ago
  • PGF funding for Jobs for Nature programme
    The Provincial Growth Fund will provide $11.88 million to fund fencing and waterway projects nationwide that will improve the environment and create jobs in their communities, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. “These projects will create more than 100 jobs nationwide with work starting within the next couple ...
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    1 week ago
  • Procurement to promote jobs, Māori and Pasifika businesses and sustainability
    As part of the COVID-19 recovery, the Government has strengthened its procurement rules to ensure its annual $42 billion spend creates more jobs, uses more sustainable construction practices and results in better outcomes for Māori and Pasifika, Government Ministers announced today.   Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford says the $42 ...
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    1 week ago
  • Timaru’s Theatre Royal to be upgraded and new heritage facility built
    The Government is supporting a major upgrade of Timaru’s iconic Theatre Royal and the construction of a new connected Heritage Facility museum and exhibition space with $11.6 million from the Government’s Infrastructure Fund, Jacinda Ardern announced today. “We heard the call from the community and the council. The Theatre Royal ...
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    1 week ago
  • District Court judge appointed
    Chrissy Montague (formerly Armstrong), barrister of Auckland has been appointed as a District Court Judge with Family Court jurisdiction to be based in Wellington, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. Ms Montague commenced practice in Auckland in 1987 and went into general practice dealing with Wills, Estates, Trusts, Conveyancing, Relationship Property ...
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    1 week ago
  • Approval given to Commercial Film and Video Production Proposal
      A Proposal to provide for the development and operation of commercial film and video production facilities in areas of Christchurch has been given the go ahead. Hon Poto Williams, Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, has approved the Proposal, which was prepared and submitted by Regenerate Christchurch. Minister Williams ...
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    1 week ago