Nats break into your piggy-bank

Written By: - Date published: 3:42 pm, October 8th, 2008 - 58 comments
Categories: economy, election 2008, national, wages, workers' rights - Tags:

John Key has announced that Kiwisaver would be slashed along with National’s tax cuts for the rich (and they are tax cuts for the rich, while most people would get less than under Labour’s plan, under National’s plan by 2011 around half a billion a year more than under Labour’s plan would be going to the 7% of tax payers on incomes over $80,000).

National would reduce employee and employer contributions to 2% each. Anyone on an income below $52,000 won’t be contributing more than $20 a week at 2%, so the Government won’t have to give them the full $20 matching contribution. Currently, everyone earning over $26,000 gets the full $20 a week. They would also abolish the tax credit for employers. For most employers, that would not cost them any money because they are already saving by only being required to make 2%, not 4%, contributions.

So, what does this mean for you? Bad news for your savings. Take a worker on the average wage of $45,000 with 40 years of working life ahead of her. She would lose about $90,000 in today’s money from the reduced employer contributions alone. She would lose another $10,000 from lost government contributions. So far she’s $100,000 in the red.

Oh, and your employer contributions would be coming out of your wages too (while your boss pockets the tax reduction). National would change the law that prevents employers taking employer contributions out of your wages. So, say our worker can say bye to another $90,000 in lost wages and lost interest on that.

All up, our 25 year old worker stands to loss about $190,000 by the time she retires as a result of National’s changes. But why stick with a fictional worker? Let’s all work out what we stand to lose. Work out 4% of your income (2% from lost employer contributions, 2% from having your wages reduced to cover the remaining 2% from your boss), if you earn under $52K a year add the sum of $1040 minus 2% of your income(lost government payments), multiply that 4% by 3.5% per year until you retire (average pay increase) and then add compounding interest of 3%each year (average net real return).

Or, for a more rough and ready estimate, calculate your Kiwisaver nest egg here, then halve it. That’s what voting National would cost you. And remember, unless you’re on a high income, you get little or no additional tax cut in return.

58 comments on “Nats break into your piggy-bank”

  1. milo 1

    And that is exactly why Kiwisaver is unaffordable in the current economic climate. If cutting it in half loses the average worker $190,000, where was that $380,000 coming from in the first place? The tooth fairy?

    Read the PREFU. See what Labour’s loose fiscal policy, inefficient policies and incompetent management have delivered. The only way we can afford Kiwisaver is by making National Super means-tested. If that’s your policy, you should have the courage to say so.

  2. Pat 2

    As Farrar incorrectly claims, the CTU support the idea of a 2% employer contribution.

    The CTU now have the chance to earn their money on behalf of their members, by negotiating a better employer contribution as part of their wage rounds.

    Smaller employers can use the incentive of a larger employer contribution to attract/retain valuable employees.

    So – more people can afford to join KiwiSaver. And more room for employers to use KiwiSaver contributions as a key differential to attract and retain employees.

  3. Tane 3

    Pat, Farrar is lying again. Here’s what the CTU actually says:

    “We have supported 2+2 arrangements as a starting point but under the current scheme, this attracts the full value of member tax credits and employer tax credits. Under the National Party proposal there would be enormous pressure on workers to pay for the employer contribution by forgoing a wage increase. And for those who joined expecting a 4 per cent employer contribution, this is a major reduction.’

  4. Disengaged 4

    Steve I guess you missed the part of the policy that says “National will also amend the KiwiSaver Act to make it clear that no employee can have their gross taxable pay reduced as a consequence of joining KiwiSaver”.

    Also I fail to see what is so horrible about lowering the threshold to 2%. This way it will encourage people who previously couldn’t afford to lose 4% of their gross pay to at least save a little bit. Hopefully, once they see their balance increasing they will be encouraged to increase their contributions as circumstances allow.

    [I read the part that said they would repeal the recent law changes that prevent employers holding back pay increases from Kiwisavers to cover their employer contributions so that the gross wages of a Kiwisaver end up being less than the gross wages of a non-Kiwisaver in the same job. We all know what that means – if you’re a Kiwisaver you will get smaller pay increases so you basically end up paying for your own employer contributions. You guys really think you can get away with pulling these sly tricks, eh? SP]

  5. Hamish 5

    Many low income workers at the moment are not signing up for kiwisaver because they simply can’t affort to pay the 4% employee contribution. In this sort of economic climate, 4% is far above what your normal worker on 45K can commit themselves to.

    But the policy also has a goal to return to 3% when economic conditions strengthen. Simply, it’s a realistic and responsible policy in this sort of economic environment.

    [over 800,000 Kiwis have signed up so far, many of them on low incomes (no stats yet unfortunately but the unions have encouraged their members to get in), that’s over 500,000 more than Treasury expected. Doesn’t seem 4% has been much of a barrier. Or do you have some actual evidence to back up your claim? SP]

  6. dave 6

    OK if the kiwisaver contribution is reduced to 2% to pay for someone on say, $35k, a $10 tax cut, isn’t that the same amount of money currently gained in Kiwi Saver by that person should that $10 be invested into Kiwi saver over and above current contributions?

    Also it may encourage more to sign up to Kiwi aver if 2% is the contribution….

    [lprent: Looks like your month is up – dropping the moderation]

  7. r0b 7

    Read the PREFU. See what Labour’s loose fiscal policy, inefficient policies and incompetent management have delivered.

    Milo is hoping that by repeating this lie often enough it will become “true”. From Armstrong in The Herald today:

    The ugly numbers are down to international circumstances. They are not the finance minister’s fault. But the update is so full of bad news that National is punting it will hang around Cullen’s neck through this campaign like the albatross around the neck of the Ancient Mariner.

    So expect plenty more nonsense about the economy from the ill informed or manipulative. Carry on milo.

  8. Pat 8

    Nationals policy actually helps those low to middle income earners join KiwiSaver, and triple their money. So far 4% has locked them out of the scheme.

    As someone who sells KiwiSaver products, the updake from lower paid factory workers (fo example) has been low due to their tight budgets. 2% will encourage them to start their savings.

    Most employers I have met have seen KiwiSaver as a positive thing for their employees, and have not resented the employer contribution. I think many would look favourably on incrementing increases in the employer contributions, and this could be done progressively e.g. 2.5%, 3%, 3.5% etc

  9. Tane 9

    Also, Pat, the CTU don’t do wage negotiations. They’re the union movement’s peak body, which means they do things like policy, research, education and advocacy.

  10. Disengaged 10

    “You guys really think you can get away with pulling these sly tricks, eh?” Who is this mythical “you guys” you are lumping me in with Steve?

    I don’t actually see what is wrong with viewing salary and superannuation as a total remuneration package. It allows greater flexibility for the employee. Do you really think that employers are going to get away with paying someone less in total because they are a member of Kiwisaver? Also why is ok to penalise someone because for whatever reason they choose not to join Kiwisaver?

  11. randal 11

    lets face it..if employers give the workers a decent shake then they wont be able to wander round the south of france playing big noters when they are really antipodean simon legrees.

  12. milo 12

    r0b, rather than rely on your assertions, I prefer to rely on the Executive Summary of the PREFU from the Treasury website. It cites four causes of the forecast problems:

    – Sharper than expected domestic slowdown;
    – Cost pressures (electricity, interest rates, fuel & food);
    – Weakening housing market;
    – International financial crisis.

    The Executive Summary also states that the forecasts were made on 28 August, and the numbers hadn’t been updated since then. So they do not reflect the recent banking crisis.

    So there’s a recession, cost inflation, and a property crash. Gee, if Michael Cullen isn’t responsible for managing the economy, who is?

    So it’s not a lie, you rude person. It’s simply the view of treasury. The lie is to try to blame the dismal forecasts on the events of the last few weeks. They were finalized well before then.

  13. Matthew Pilott 13

    I’m going to say something nice about a National policy.

    I reckon the 2% thing is a good idea – 4% of gross did lock low earners out of Kiwisaver. Unfortunalely this is more than counteracted by the rest of National’s plan, but being able to get kiwisaver for 2% might be a good thing – people might find it more sustainable and take fewer contributions holidays. Eventually you’d want to kick it up, but having a rate of 2% for the first 5 of 10 years might not be a bad thing.

    Stop looking at me like that.

  14. Paul 14

    In one foul swoop they have destroyed my parents retirement, having only in the last couple of months switched to Kiwisaver. Pwoff- gone. Assholes.

  15. Monty 15

    I am so pleased – under National, my family (wife and I both work) will be $6,004 per annum better off under National – (I have a great income and my wife’s income is not too bad either. About time we got some well deserved relief given the amount of tax we pay (I will pay more tax this year than 80% of the population pay)

    That makes me happy – but what really makes me happy is hearing Cullen whine.

    I expect as conditions allow National will do what they can to give even more tax cuts, and since Cullen will retire soon after the election (there is no way he will be able to stomach a long stint in opposition) then we will not have to hear any more of his whiing.

    I am pleased the debate is now about the economy – Cullen’s mismanagement of the economy has been exposed. Move aside Labour – you are the weakest link – good-bye!

  16. Monty. vote in your personal financial self-interest if you will. Vote for bigger tax cuts for you at the cost of less for the rest of us and a gutted Kiwisaver. But don’t expect the rest of us to vote for it too.

  17. r0b 17

    r0b, rather than rely on your assertions, I prefer to rely on the Executive Summary of the PREFU from the Treasury website.

    Fine Milo, you’re moving towards a much more rational foundation for a debate. I remind you that your original claim, to which I responded, was: See what Labour’s loose fiscal policy, inefficient policies and incompetent management have delivered . This claim is clearly nonsense, with both Treasury and the Reserve Bank stating that the economy is robust and well placed to meet the international crisis. We have had the longest period of sustained growth since WW2, historically low inflation, we have paid off a lot of debt, and so on.

    It cites four causes of the forecast problems

    – Sharper than expected domestic slowdown;
    – Cost pressures (electricity, interest rates, fuel & food);
    – Weakening housing market;
    – International financial crisis.

    Excellent, now, exercise for the reader – to what extent are the first three causes caused or influenced by the fourth? We are in the middle of the worst global financial meltdown since the 1930s. The American banking system has just received an injection of $700 Billion of tax payer’s money (actually borrowed Chinese money). Strange days indeed. The NZ economy is a small ship in these stormy seas.

    So how to disentangle the relationships among the four factors listed above? Armstrong as quoted above is pretty clear bout it: The ugly numbers are down to international circumstances. They are not the finance minister’s fault . If you can find economists who are arguing hat the PREFU situation is the governments fault, then please do link to them so we can have a look.

    The Executive Summary also states that the forecasts were made on 28 August, and the numbers hadn’t been updated since then. So they do not reflect the recent banking crisis.

    Ahh milo the current banking crisis and its impact on the world economy has been unfolding all during 2008, and arguably for some time before that.

    So it’s not a lie, you rude person. It’s simply the view of treasury. The lie is to try to blame the dismal forecasts on the events of the last few weeks. They were finalized well before then.

    I gave you the benefit of the doubt milo – a lie or misinformed. Maybe you are the latter. You clearly don’t understand how long the current crisis has been in progress.

  18. r0b 18

    I’m going to say something nice about a National policy. I reckon the 2% thing is a good idea … Stop looking at me like that.

    Nah MP, I agree. 4% is a high hurdle for low income earners. 2% is a good idea, just not all the gutting of KiwiSaver that comes along with it.

  19. lprent 19

    milo: Actually the Reserve Bank runs a big part of the local economy. They’re responsible for handling inflation and given the tool of interest rates to wield.

    The finance minister (who Cullen is) is responsible for the government finances. Despite the claims of some of the more illiterate commentators, the government sector does not dominate the economy.

    Effectively Bollard runs more of the economy than Cullen does. Oh and before Bollard there was Brash….

    It’d be really cool if some people were given a mandatory re-education about the separation of responsibilities in government. We can detirmine if people need it by asking a simple question.

    “Is the gummint responsible for the weather?” If you answer yes, then it is back to Year 8 social studies.

  20. milo 20

    r0b. I disagree with Armstrong. I do give Dr Cullen credit for a bit of necessary Keynesian economics in 2000, and I think the Cullen Fund, Kiwisaver, and the general debt reduction are all very good policies. So yes, kudos to him for that.

    But the expenditure and tax policy side has, in my view, been appalling, and has contributed to low productivity and investment distortions that we now are bearing the brunt of. Yes, there were international difficulties earlier in the year, but they had a minor effect on the NZ economy compared to what has happened in the last month or so. I think Dr Cullen is trying to hide behind recent events, when they are not connected to the PREFU forecasts.

    Note that I am not against support for less well off. In fact, I am strongly in favour. But programs like WFF are incredibly inefficient ways of delivering it.

    In fact this is an exact repeat of David Caygill’s budget in 1990 – when there was a forecast $5 billion deficit. At least he had the grace to be ashamed of it. It was due to similar fiscal looseness after Douglas was sacked.

    What was it that Santayana is reputed to have said … “History repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.”

    Are we in the tragedy phase, or the farce phase?

  21. Jon 21

    Take a look at a worker employed in Aged Care who works part-time hours at close to minimum wage. The NZIER tax calculator shows a caregiver in Aged Care receiving $12.55 an hour will pay $5.72 a week more in tax in 2010 and $8.65 more in tax in 2011 under National.

    Why is that fair?

  22. r0b 22

    For those like milo unaware of the scope and time scale of the current financial crisis then the wikipedia summary is actually very good. depressing reading though.

    This largely has its roots in the earlier American “sub prime” crisis which has been unfolding for a long time:

    International events affecting the prices of oil and food haven’t helped at all either. We live in interesting times. (Bye for now).

  23. milo 23

    lprent: Um, the Prime Minister does seem to think she is responsible for the climate! 🙂 But I guess that’s not weather.

    But there is more to government interaction with the economy than government finances. There is also policy. Wasn’t Dr Cullen taking credit for growth? Shouldn’t he also then take credit for the recession?

    But the more important argument to me is productivity growth. If the government sector is (say) 40% of the economy, it’s impossible to get serious productivity growth in the economy without serious productivity growth in the government sector as well.

  24. r0b 24

    The spam trap ate my homework – but in brief milo (I’m away) – you seem to be under the false impression that the current financial crisis is a recent event. This is very far from true, it’s effects have been destabilising the world economy durign all of 2008 and even before. See this good summary. Have a good read, interesting but depressing stuff. Then pop back and explain again how it’s all Cullen’s fault.

  25. Paul 25

    “I will pay more tax this year than 80% of the population pay”

    I hear the sound of one hand clapping (your other hand is occupied) and the sound of the smallest violin playing just for you.

    You quite possibly don’t enjoy the poverty and other economic hardships that the other 80% riff raff exposed to. So in the next few years instead of moving from Central Otago Pinot to Marlborough Pinot, as should be the case in these economic times, you’ll be upgrading to Cellar Door and exclusive sales – we all cry for you.

    Cullen’s mismanagement??? Sorry sunshine by reducing our overseas debt levels (smaller than other western economies) we are in fact less exposed to the foreign shite going on at the moment. And one last disingenuous point to rebuke – this crap at the moment sweeping some economies isn’t Cullens fault, that’s the exclusive domain of a right wing village idiot from Texas – a champion of the rich.

  26. milo 26

    Yes, r0b, Labour showed themselves incapable of managing difficult times after the 1987 sharemarket crash as well. The fact is, Labour has loose and stimulatory fiscal policy when that was the wrong setting, and failed to promote productivity when we needed it.

  27. milo 27

    Sorry: should read “Labour had loose and ….”. rather than “has”

  28. Go The Right 28

    Good result for the nats in the latest polls The left in further decline.

  29. higherstandard 29

    Paul to say that Bush is solely responsible for the current economic climate is crap – he certainly hasn’t helped with his actions during his time in office but the seeds for the current debacle were sown before he was on the scene.

    Ps if you haven’t run into Monty before there’s nothing he enjoys more than winding people up along with a number of the other people commenting here.

  30. Monty 30

    I love Leftards talk about the right voting for their own self interest – That is exactly how Labour got itself re-elected in 2005 by offering welfare for the so called rich (WFF) and then the bribe for interest free loans. Those two items got Labour over the line. Leftards always acuse the right of their own worst sins.

    In fact with my earnings, $6000 less in tax makes virtually no impact on me nor will it change my life one bit. I am however pleased that those on between $45,000 and $80,000 will get a bigger tax cut than they would have received under Labour. For too long this group of income earners have been made poorer and poorer by Cullen’s theft by over taxation. This is the first of many bold moves that National will make over the next nine years to actually improve NZs standard of living and productivity and wage growth. People under a National Government will be more self reliant, and will look less to the government for handouts because those days are going to finish one month today.

  31. monty. fiscal drag cannot make you poorer in real terms unless your income increases slower than inflation

  32. DeeDub 32

    Well, Moonty is obviously just a cock!

  33. randal 33

    how can monty wind anything up when his spring is broken already?
    no tax cut for two years
    what sort of tax cut is that?

  34. DeeDub 34

    Sorry if that was offensive to Moonty.

    I of course meant that MONTY is a cock!

    [lprent: whatever – but was there a point to that comment? If you’re going to abuse then make a point for others to chew on at the same time. Otherwise it is just flaming. Read the policy.]

  35. Go The Right 35

    Since 1999, incomes have increased for every income decile. The biggest increases have been for Kiwis on lower incomes.

  36. appleboy 36

    Stuff national, if I hear correctly, the average earner after 3 years gets $47 versus Labour’s $32 – the difference is $15 a week – which is a block of cheese…(sound familiar…and taht’s before we calculate the loss of kiwisaver…what a bunch of $$(*&#@!!

  37. I don’t know what John Key you listened to, but the one I listened to, didn’t say he was slashing kiwisaver?

    [Brett, I suggest you look at the policies, rather than just taking what people tell you at face value. Oh, and question marks are used at the end of questions. ‘I don’t know’ is a statement of your ignorance. Also, that’s not how you use commas. SP]

  38. Paul Robeson 38

    TV3 says that you will still get the $20 a week from the government under the Nats scheme.

    [that’s what the post says, you still will get $20 a week, if you earn over $52K. It’s a matching contribution. If you’re not making enough to put in $20 at 2% of your income a week, you won’t get the full $20. SP]

  39. In my current situation as a part time worker still in varsity John Key’s decision is going to make me ~150k worse off by retirement. He’s essentially robbing me and giving the takings to the rich!

    Fuck you John!

  40. Con 40


    I think you overestimate the contribution of the govt’s fiscal policy to their deficit position, both in 1990 and in 2008. Sure, history has repeated itself, but actually in both these cases the role of external (international, global) factors was more crucial.

    By the way your quote about history repeating itself, first as tragedy and then as farce, is misattributed. You’re thinking of Karl Marx, who was actually commenting and extending on an idea of Hegel’s.


  41. randal 41

    as a social service tv3 is running 3 versions of the fast and furious. I would not believe a word they say about anything

  42. Dan 42

    The whole ‘dropping KiwiSaver to 2% helps low income workers’ is bollocks. I don’t know a single person who hasn’t jumped on Kiwisaver, and no one I know can be classified as a high-income earner (especially not by National’s standards!)

    I was a full-time student last year, in central Auckland, working only part time, and still managed to sign up to Kiwisaver and survive. Why wouldn’t I? Almost everyone in retail is on minimum wage, and almost all of them in my experience signed up no problem. Why? Because it can be diverted towards buying a house – none of us are under any impression what we’re saving now will be used for retirement.

  43. Pat 43

    Dan said “I don’t know a single person who hasn’t jumped on Kiwisaver”

    $3.4M people, at last count.

  44. Pat 44

    SP said “If you’re not making enough to put in $20 at 2% of your income a week, you won’t get the full $20”.

    If you use the right KiwiSaver provider, you can get around this.

    Say you earn $30K then your contribution at 2% is $600 p.a. You could make an additional lump sum payment into your KiwiSaver account (in this case $110 a quarter) and you will end up getting the full $1,040 rebate from the Govt.

    Catchpa: balance please

  45. Pat – that kinda sounds like you’re makin a contribution of more than 2%. Or are you counting money found down the side of the sofa as not-income…?

  46. milo — re “productivity”

    enjoyed your cop-out quip for Santayana tho I wouldna endorse it. The further remark on Dr. Cullen ‘claiming recession’ as an accolade after allegedly claiming “growth” for the same looks rather weird.

    BUT tis your view on productivity as stated above that draws interest. Perhaps to aid my compris you would be so kind as to tell what productivity is most capable of improvement NOW – viz in today’s or a current context.

  47. Pat 47

    Sod – 2% is collected with your PAYE, via IRD. The lump sums are paid directly by you into your KiwiSaver account.

    This is not theory. I have clients who do it now (who earn less than $26K).

  48. oh yes, Milo — the climate is what you expect, the weather is what you get..

    so much simpler to accept than expressions around all supposed property rights and/or obligations

  49. Scribe 49


    that’s what the post says, you still will get $20 a week, if you earn over $52K.

    To quote you back at yourself, “that’s not how you use commas”.

  50. Um but Pat – it’s all the same money… Unless of course your clients earn less than $26K due to financial sophistry. In which case they are stealing from me and every other tax payer…

    You’re not like a money launderer are you pat?

  51. Tony Norriss 51

    National has now laid down the gauntlet. They have produced a tax package without having to borrow for it.

    Labour will either have to rearrange existing money, or go further into deficit to fund their promises. If they take the second option, then National will be all over them like a rash, since Labour made a big song and dance about borrowing for tax cuts.

  52. National has now laid down the gauntlet. They have produced a tax package without having to borrow for it.

    Oh. My. God. A tax package without borrowing! And all they had to do was root Kiwisaver, R&D and anyone earning less than the average wage…

    Well I gotta give it to you Tones – they’ve really pulled out the stops on this one! I guess we sure done misunderestimated team blue…

  53. milo 53

    Jo Zinny: good question. Where would I look for productivity increases?

    – Collapsing all district health boards into a single agency
    – Cutting policy advisors in poorly performing ministries
    – Cutting spin doctors in government
    – Reduction in red-tape for government grants (this cost often outweighs the value of the grant)
    – Reduction in council charges for compliances
    – Setting caps on rates increases for councils
    – Creating incentives in the tax system to encourage entrepreneurship
    – Aligning the company, trust and personal top tax rates
    – Attacking oligopolistic profits in electricity
    – Attacking oligopolistic and monopoly profits in other sectors, including airports
    – Investing in broadband
    – Generally reallocating of public funds from providers with low payoffs to providers with high payoffs (no more twilight golf)
    – Trialling IWI based delivery of social services
    – Also trialling church based delivery, although personally I don’t like religion at all. But civic virtue is more efficient than public virtue.
    – Using more private providers when there is “government” failure (eg. heart surgery,)
    – Undertaking more workforce planning, as the market is inefficient in skills allocation in a small economy. In particular, capping University participation and funding more apprenticeships.
    – Less generous depreciation on property investments, to reduce investment distortions in this sector.
    – Socialising the costs of “political correctness”. These have been privatised, and discourage investment.
    – Making overseas investments tax neutral (which will improve the balance of payments over time).

    … well, there’s a start.

  54. marco 54

    All labour have to do is amend kiwisaver to offer a 2% option alongside the 4% and Nationals policy is shot to bits.
    I’m leaning toward National and the policy did’nt turn me off them. I can understand why they have done this, but surely creating a tax free threshold AKA New Zealand first would be more beneficial to low income earners in the current environment. It would also keep money in the local economy to support small businesses who ultimately employ the largest percentage of the workforce in New Zealand. High income earners are less likely to spend the tax cuts at the local store, which at the end of the day is what tax cuts in the current environment should achieve.

  55. All labour have to do is amend kiwisaver to offer a 2% option alongside the 4% and Nationals policy is shot to bits.

    They have but it only lasts a few year before shifting to 4% (a mistake in my opinion)

    creating a tax free threshold AKA New Zealand first would be more beneficial to low income

    It would cost a fortune unless top thresholds were moved down/introduced to recoup the loss (check out the % of population in the bottom bracket in Steve’s graph) – thing is it would be political suicide in the environment Labour’s appalling PR has allowed the right to create…

    High income earners are less likely to spend the tax cuts at the local store, which at the end of the day is what tax cuts in the current environment should achieve.

    Absolutely agree with you. A better way to do it would have been to introduce a 100% rebate to anyone that didn’t reach a particular income point (say 10,000) and then ease the rebate out to hit zero at say, $45,000, in 10% increments but again Labour’s crappy PR and generally timidness never created an environment in which such a system would be politically viable…

  56. milo 56

    Jo Zinny – I tried to answer, but I think the spam filter ate it. Sorry. I won’t reply otherwise – Robinsod can have the last word. G’night all.

    Capture: TEHERAN not

  57. Robinsod can have the last word

    And I will. Good night…

  58. Quoth the Raven 58

    Yes, r0b, Labour showed themselves incapable of managing difficult times after the 1987 sharemarket crash as well.

    It’s more than Lab/Nat. The fourth labour government were a bunch of neo-liberal idiots, just like National. Not this one, though.

    Milo, you forgot to add incentivisng research and development to your list – oh shit, you can’t.

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    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    2 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    2 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    2 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    3 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    4 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    5 days ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    5 days ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    5 days ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    5 days ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
    5 days ago
  • Further details of Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visit to New Zealand
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed further details on the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s visit to New Zealand next month. Their Royal Highnesses will visit New Zealand from 17-23 November – their third joint visit to New Zealand and first in four years. They arrive in Auckland ...
    5 days ago
  • O’Connor in Thailand to push for RCEP deal
    Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth and Minister of Agriculture, Damien O’Connor, heads to Thailand today to attend the final Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial meeting, as negotiations enter their final stages. “The RCEP Agreement would anchor New Zealand in a regional agreement that covers 16 countries, ...
    5 days ago
  • Young Pacific people can access earning and learning opportunities in Hawke’s Bay, Otago and South...
    Pacific young people living in the Hawke’s Bay, Southland and Otago regions will have access to support services that have proved successful in helping young people find new earning and learning opportunities. “Tupu Aotearoa is about changing Pacific young peoples’ lives. Our young people are talented, they are smart, they ...
    6 days ago
  • Protecting wellbeing – ACC HQSC Trauma Forum
    Introduction As the Minister for ACC I thank you all for the work that you do supporting New Zealanders in their literally most vulnerable moments. From those who hold people’s lives in their hands, to the people who research technique, technology and trends, your work is highly valued. A special ...
    6 days ago
  • NZ economy in good shape – notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch
    Notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch – Wednesday 9 October 2019 Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There ...
    6 days ago
  • World Mental Health Day a reminder of the importance of mental health work
    Minister of Health Dr David Clark and Associate Minister of Health Peeni Henare say this year’s World Mental Health Day theme is a reminder of why the Government’s work on mental health is so important. “This year the World Federation for Mental Health has made suicide prevention the main theme ...
    6 days ago
  • Cultural Ministers Meeting
    Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni will represent the government at Australia’s Meeting of Cultural Ministers in Adelaide this week. “This year’s meeting is special because New Zealand is expected to become an International Member of the Meeting of Cultural Ministers at this Australian forum,” Carmel Sepuloni said. “The meeting is an opportunity to ...
    6 days ago
  • 608 claims resolved by GCCRS in first year
    The Greater Christchurch Claims Resolution Service has resolved 608 insurance and EQC claims in its first year in operation, Minister Megan Woods has announced. The government service, which celebrates its first birthday today, provides a one stop shop to help Cantabrians still battling to get their homes repaired or rebuilt ...
    7 days ago
  • NZ economy in good shape
    Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There has been an increasing amount of attention paid to the outlook ...
    7 days ago
  • NZTA to refocus on safety following review
    The Government is acting swiftly to strengthen NZTA’s regulatory role following a review into the Transport Agency, and Ministry of Transport’s performance as its monitor, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. An independent review by Martin Jenkins has found NZTA failed to properly regulate the transport sector under the previous ...
    7 days ago
  • Joint Cooperation Statement on Climate Change between the Netherlands and New Zealand
    The Netherlands and New Zealand have a long-standing and close relationship based on many shared interests and values. We value the rule of law, our democracies, and multilateralism.  And we value our environment – at home and globally. Right now there are major global challenges in all of these areas – ...
    1 week ago
  • Government putting right Holidays Act underpayment in Health
    The Government is putting right a decade’s worth of underpayment to nurses, doctors and other health workers, says Health Minister Dr David Clark.  Initial sampling of District Health Boards payroll records has found that around $550-$650 million is owed to DHB staff to comply with the Holidays Act. It’s expected ...
    1 week ago
  • Government accounts show strong economy
    A strong surplus and low debt show the economy is performing well, and means the Government is in a good position to meet the challenges of global economic uncertainty. “The surplus and low levels of debt show the economy is in good shape. This allows the Government to spend more ...
    1 week ago
  • Ministers approve application to expand Waihi mine
    New applications from mining company OceanaGold to purchase land in Waihi for new tailings ponds associated with its gold mines have been approved. Minister of Finance Grant Robertson and Associate Minister of Finance David Parker considered the applications under the Overseas Investment Act. Earlier this year, applications from OceanaGold to ...
    1 week ago
  • Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla launches with tribute to tangata whenua
    New Zealanders in Tūranganui-a-Kiwa / Poverty Bay will witness Māori, Pākehā and Pacific voyaging traditions come together today as the Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla assembles for the first time, Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti Minister Kelvin Davis says. “Tuia 250 is a national commemoration and an opportunity for honest conversations ...
    1 week ago
  • Visit to advance trade agenda with Europe and the Commonwealth
    Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker leaves tomorrow for Dubai, London and Berlin for a series of meetings to advance New Zealand’s trade interests.  In Dubai he will visit New Zealand’s Pavilion at Expo 2020 where construction is underway.  There he will meet Minister of State for International Cooperation, Her ...
    1 week ago
  • More cancer drugs confirmed – even more on horizon
    Confirmation that PHARMAC will fund two new cancer drugs is further evidence of the good progress the Government is making to improve the treatment of New Zealand’s leading cause of death, Health Minister David Clark says. From 1 December PHARMAC will fund alectinib (Alecensa) for ALK positive advanced non-small cell ...
    1 week ago
  • Boost for women in high performance sport
    An additional $2.7 million has been announced for the Government Strategy for Women and Girls in Sport and Active Recreation on the first anniversary of the strategy’s launch. Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson gave the opening address to the first Sport NZ Women + Girls Summit in Wellington today, ...
    1 week ago
  • Parent support to help retain skilled migrants
    As part of its work to ensure businesses can get the skilled workers they need, the Coalition Government is re-opening and re-setting the Parent Category visa programme, Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. The move will: support skilled migrants who help fill New Zealand’s skills gaps by providing a pathway for ...
    1 week ago
  • Senior NZDF Officer to lead Peacekeeping Mission in the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has today announced Major General Evan Williams of the New Zealand Defence Force has been selected as the commander of a significant, longstanding peacekeeping mission in the Middle East. In December, Major General Williams takes over as Force Commander for the Multinational Force and Observers ...
    1 week ago
  • Nurses star as Govt rebuilds health workforces
    A record number of nurses are now working to deliver health services to New Zealanders as the Government’s increased funding and new initiatives rebuild key workforces start to show results, Health Minister Dr David Clark says. •    1458 more DHB nurses since the Government took office •    106 more midwives ...
    1 week ago
  • New agricultural trade envoy appointed
    Farmer and former Nuffield scholar Mel Poulton has been appointed New Zealand’s Special Agricultural Trade Envoy, Minister for Trade and Export Growth, David Parker, and Minister of Agriculture, Damien O’Connor, announced today. The position supports key Government objectives, including raising the value of New Zealand agricultural goods and services. Mel is ...
    1 week ago
  • Pacific and Māori voyaging heritage celebrated for Tuia 250
    New Zealand’s Pacific and Māori voyaging heritage is acknowledged and celebrated today as waka of the Tuia 250 voyage flotilla arrive in Tūranga / Gisborne. “Today we celebrate Tangata Whenua, the first people of Aotearoa, and the triumphs of the voyaging tradition that brought our ancestors here from Polynesia 1000 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Pacific languages are a root from which prosperity will grow
    “Fijian Language Week starts on Sunday and the theme reminds us how important it is that we each have something to anchor ourselves to, something that can help us pause and feel in control in a rapidly changing world,” says Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio. “Family, culture, faith, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • NZ Government establishes innovative, industry-focused Airspace Integration Trials Programme
    The Government is establishing an Airspace Integration Trials Programme to support the safe testing and development of advanced unmanned aircraft and accelerate their integration into the aviation system, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods announced today. The Government will work with leading, innovative aviation industry partners to test and ...
    2 weeks ago