web analytics

Nats floundering on inequality

Written By: - Date published: 7:16 am, May 25th, 2010 - 35 comments
Categories: bill english, budget 2010, class war, dpf, equality, tax - Tags: , ,

Pointing out that a “rich get richer” budget is going to increase inequality in NZ seems to be making the Nats uncomfortable. Bill English:

Rich-poor gap basically same after Budget, English claims

A Budget that delivers thousands a week in tax cuts to the super wealthy and a few dollars to those on the minimum wage will leave the gap between rich and poor “about the same”, Finance Minister Bill English said yesterday.

“Basically” the same and “about” the same mean “not” the same don’t they Bill. The gap between rich and poor will increase – that’s what happens when you give big tax cuts to the rich (see the excellent No Right Turn). Why so evasive about it?

“We’ve achieved a shift in our tax system without making that problem significantly worse in a static sense.

Not “significantly” worse? “In a static sense”? Why the weasel words? Why not have the courage of your convictions, and just come right out and say it, like Michael Laws:

On Thursday, this Key/English administration decided to abandon the pretence that we are an egalitarian society, or that we should ever attempt to be so.

That’s what Bill wants to say too. Screw inequality – too bad. The reason he can’t is that inequality is so provably damaging to society. I wrote about this before the budget, here’s the take home message (from “The Spirit Level” by The Equality Trust):

Over a huge range of important social indicators, the more unequal a society is, the sicker it is. The facts are well known, and so post-budget inequality is becoming an issue. Bill’s only choice is to wave his arms about and try to deny the obvious.

But he isn’t the only one. Into the breach leaps the comically ill prepared National spinster DPF:

So I reject many measures of income equality as unsophisticated and even counter productive.

DPF would rather flee the issue and waffle about something else. Imagine my surprise.

The measure that I would like more emphasis placed on is social mobility.

Unfortunately for DPF, this topic isn’t going to work out very well for him either.

In a society with very low levels of social mobility, I can understand why reducing inequality is more important. But in a society which does have opportunities, I want the emphasis to go increasing social mobility, rather than merely the blunt instrument of inequality. If you take inequality to extreme measures, then you end up like the old USSR where cleaners and surgeons get paid much the same.

The data on social mobility in NZ is fairly sparse partly because you have to measure it over extended periods of time. But that is where I would like more focus to go.

Don’t worry DPF, there is NZ data and we’re here to tell you about it! Last year Marty G wrote about this Stats NZ data. Short version – not a lot of income mobility in NZ over recent 5 year snapshots. But you don’t have to read The Standard – even the business section of The Herald could have told you about the links between inequality and mobility in NZ:

Also, social mobility is lower in countries with high inequality, such as Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States. New Zealand comes in at number 6 on the list.

The picture is pretty consistent internationally. From the OECD:

Countries with a wide distribution of income tend to have more widespread income poverty. Also, social mobility is lower in countries with high inequality, such as Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States, and higher in the Nordic countries where income is distributed more evenly.

Or this study:

There is a strong positive relation in a cross-section of twelve OECD countries between the extent of intergenerational earnings mobility and income inequality (Figure 3). In general, the countries
with the most equal distribution of income at a given point in time exhibit the highest earnings mobility across generations.

There are any number of academic studies with the same message:

We investigate the relationship between inequality and intergenerational mobility. Proxying fathers’ earnings with using detailed occupational data, we find that sons who grew up in countries that were more unequal in the 1970s were less likely to have experienced social mobility by the late-1990s.

Or see The Economist, or hell, even Wikipedia.

So, Sorry Bill, but your half-assed denials don’t even begin to hide the truth. Your tax cuts for the rich will make this country a more unequal place, and inequality is hugely damaging to society. And sorry DPF, your lame attempt to shift the focus to social mobility instead only lands you in even deeper hot water, as inequality and social mobility are inexorably linked.

Nats – you’re floundering about with this issue because you can’t acknowledge the truth. The truth is that you don’t give a dried and salted rat’s anus about inequality. It isn’t on your radar. You don’t care. If you cared, you’d be making things better, not worse.

35 comments on “Nats floundering on inequality”

  1. an excellent piece r0b.

    The reality is that the Right is all about dividing up the economic pie more in favour of the wealthy. The truth is that the pie grows faster, with better social outcomes, when it is shared more equally.

    In fact, GDP growth has been an average of 1% a year higher under Labour governments than National ones.

  2. vto 2

    Have to admit r0b, you do put together some pretty good arguments backed up with evidence sometimes. Dunno about your fourth last sentence though – where on earth did that one come from??

    • r0b 2.1

      Have to admit r0b, you do put together some pretty good arguments backed up with evidence sometimes.

      It’s not so hard, because the evidence is on my side. It’s the other team that have a tough job arguing that black is white.

      Dunno about your fourth last sentence though where on earth did that one come from??

      Come on vto – I always link my sources.

    • Pete 2.2

      It just wouldn’t be the same if it wasn’t salted, I’m sure…

  3. lprent 3

    Great post. I will have a closer read of the links when I get on a bigger screen than my iPhone

  4. Pascal's bookie 4

    Good stuff r0b.

    I wonder what dpf would think about a stonking great ‘death tax’. That’d help the mobility.

  5. tc 5

    Great Post……full of those annoying things the NACT hate like facts and evidence based on research and historical observations……that’s unfair why don’t you stick with strawmen, illogical rhetoric and statements from your spinsters to make the argument like for like.

    Lets face it with the likes of DPF required to help sell the unpalatable you’ve got a uphill struggle on your hands…….gosh maybe Sideshow should go on RNZ to ‘balance it up’…..yeah right !

  6. PK 6

    ***Over a huge range of important social indicators, the more unequal a society is, the sicker it is.***

    If you look at that graph it also seems that the more ethnically homogenous a country the better it does on the health index?

    Interestingly, Hong Kong & Singapore are ranked 1 & 2 for income inequality amongst developed countries (ahead even of the US) but come last in terms of intentional killings.

    http://www.geoexpat.com/forum/thread59357.html

    Intentional homicide rate per year per 100,000 inhabitants these are the lowest ranked countries.

    Hong Kong [36][47][58] 0.56 0.73 0.63 0.49 0.49

    Japan [35][47][58][60] 0.50 0.53 0.59 0.64 0.44 0.44

    Singapore [35][36][47][58] 0.92 0.57 0.49 0.48 0.39 0.38 0.38

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate

    I’m not sure about their obesity levels etc, will check later.

    • PK: “If you look at that graph it also seems that the more ethnically homogenous a country the better it does on the health index?”

      Rather you might note that largely the countries colonised by the UK sit at the top, something poisonous about the what they did it which sets up counties which spew out toxic, selfish, disgusting filth like Michael Laws, Garth McVictim, David Farrar and most of kiwiblog.

      (or you could read the book and see why both of these arguments about discounted as insignificant)

      • PK 6.1.1

        *** Killinginthenameof wrote

        Rather you might note that largely the countries colonised by the UK sit at the top,***

        And where would they be if they hadn’t been colonised?

        ***(or you could read the book and see why both of these arguments about discounted as insignificant)***

        Seeing you’ve read it perhaps you could summarise?

    • PK 6.2

      Again, Singapore & Hong Kong are at the top of the list for low infant mortality rates despite having the highest income inequality. Does the book address this?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_infant_mortality_rate

  7. RedLogix 7

    Reading “The Spirit Level” gives the whole picture. For most of the data they present there are outlier cases which are often quite far from the regression lines. While it’s interesting to speculate on the underlying reasons for these outlier cases, overall the case for inequality being a root cause of social dysfunction is from a statistically perspective exceedingly sound.

    Buy the book and read it. I’m not being snarky, it’s a genuinely fascinating, indeed uplifting read.

    • Bunji 7.1

      Great post R0b.

      The Greens are doing some great stuff off “The Spirit Level“. Labour should do more too. I want it to be the book that changed New Zealand. Maybe we could send John Key a copy?

      captcha: opportunitys (I think captcha needs some education opportunities…)

      • Bill 7.1.1

        Does it really require international research to understand that people living in a ‘dog eat dog’ environment of competition will not flourish as well as those who are living in an environment of co-operation?

        Seriously. Why should/does it require the publication of a book to bring the blindingly obvious to the attention of chatterers and politicians? Do they have nose rings, I wonder?

        • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.1

          Apparently so – especially to the politicians who’ve spent the last few centuries promoting dog-eat-dog societies. Even after all the evidence is in there will be quite a few that will still promote the dog-eat-dog paradigm as being better. They exist mostly in National and ACT but I’m sure you’ll find some in the supposed left leaning parties as well.

        • RedLogix 7.1.1.2

          Bill

          The authors agree, that most of their case will be intuitively, blindingly obvious to most people.

          The point is that their research and methodology proves the intuition correct, and more importantly it points out wrong turnings we have taken and pitfalls to avoid.

          • Bill 7.1.1.2.1

            I kind of get all that Red, but this interminable bullshit of [insert ‘the obvious’ of your choice] ‘doesn’t count’ unless it is coming from a deference to academia is just really fucking…well, it’s time it was knocked on the head.

            The fact I can’t catch fish of the size and in the quantity I used to is all the proof I need that the seas don’t support the stocks of yesteryear. I do not need an academic to prove it for me. I do need them to maybe figure out why so that possible actions I take do not exacerbate the problem.

            Meanwhile, I do not want to be bound to polite and civilised interaction with fuckers who are saying there’s nothing wrong as they pour shit on top of shit into my sea and haul thousands upon thousands of tonnes of living creatures from my sea only to throw thousands of tonnes of dead or dying creatures back in.

            I don’t want nice safe liberal litigation and meetings and good faith and sniggering little idiots playing for time on the basis of a lack of ‘evidence’…ie academic proofs.

            I want baseball bats and little money grabbing bastards whimpering. Know what I mean?

  8. ianmac 8

    A great piece of research Rob.

    PK:” If you look at that graph it also seems that the more ethnically homogenous a country the better it does on the health index?”

    In those countries there is also a much smaller “failing tail” of Literacy and Numeracy. NZ has a very diverse ethnic community. (By the way the “tail” is about 7% and not Anne’s 20%.)

  9. ak 9

    Top job r0b, as per usual. Yep, the scales are slowly but surely falling from the public’s eyes. Not that long ago, no Nat politician would ever dare voice such subversive socialist concepts as “rich-poor gap”: that English has been forced to mount a flailing defence is a victory in itself.

    Funny thing is, it’s often the tories’ own gene-pool that is hit hardest by their own deliberate moves to concentrate wealth into fewer and fewer hands. Back in the day there was a glimmer of truth in the crusty notion that “anyone could do it if they just got off their arse”, but as even the sons and daughters of traditional inherited privilege find it impossible to compete with Big Money, retail chains and corporate agriculture – or even to aspire to owning a home – there’s a growing cynicism even within their own ranks for those old tory distortions of “aspiration” and “fairness”.

    Falling from height hurts bad: some of the saddest cases are those who pinned all their insecurities on Helen, but now find nowhere to loathe. Some will continue to recycle the usual targets – maori, women, gays, “communism” etc – but with every repeat, hatred yields a diminishing rush. As the targets run out, it’s the clear, clarion call of researched and rational argument such as your own that eventually prevail. Well done, and keep it up.

    • RedLogix 9.1

      Whenever I spot a rare comment from you ak I make a point of reading it carefully. I’m seldom dissapointed.

      • ak 9.1.1

        Thanks Red, love your stuff too, will try and find time to be less rare but the “standard” has risen so much round here it’s hard to just keep up witht he reading! Onya all Standardistas:)

    • ianmac 9.2

      When “they” make derogatory comments here about past Labour demeanors, they have to go back a long way into the 80s, skip the inequities of the 90’s and point to the miniscule negatives of the 2000s. A bit desperate ?

  10. r0b 10

    Thanks all for the kind words and encouragement!

    • The Baron 10.1

      i don’t think i’ve ever seen soooo many comment BJs being biffed around.

  11. Draco T Bastard 11

    So I reject many measures of income equality as unsophisticated and even counter productive.

    On Thursday, this Key/English administration decided to abandon the pretence that we are an egalitarian society, or that we should ever attempt to be so.

    Considering the clear indication that inequality causes pain and suffering such sentences as these, and the passing of a budget that increases such inequality by NACT+MP, are clear signs of psychopathy.

  12. PK 12

    ***Considering the clear indication that inequality causes pain and suffering such sentences as these, and the passing of a budget that increases such inequality by NACT+MP, are clear signs of psychopathy.***

    That’s a slightly extreme claim – pain and suffering? If you have a welfare safety net, health care & education etc – how is pain & suffering being inflicted?

    Also, in terms of health outcomes intelligence is a major factor which I’m not sure the Spirit Level controls for?

    “Our findings suggest that measured IQ does not completely
    account for observed inequalities in health, but, probably
    through a variety of mechanisms, may quite strongly contribute
    to them. This implies that efforts to reduce inequalities should continue
    to be broadly based, including educational opportunities and
    interventions directed at early life.7,41

    The latter may also elicit improvements in IQ, although results are mixed.42
    Given that the general learning and reasoning ability captured by IQ tests may be
    important in the successful management of a person’s health, it
    may be that individual cognition levels should be considered
    more carefully when preparing health promotion campaigns and
    in the health professionalclient interaction.12

    In conclusion, in this, the first study to examine the explanatory
    power of controlling for IQ on the socio-economic positionmortality
    gradient relative to adjustment for classic risk factors, IQ
    offered explanatory power above these traditional indices of risk.”

    http://eurheartj.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2009/07/14/eurheartj.ehp254.full?ijkey=67c476f65760629157c80fea8825464bf797c952

    “Implicitly, if not explicitly, the study of Batty et al.2 addresses itself to this second type of question: what, apart from these recognized risk factors, could account for social inequalities in mortality? Their answer is intelligence, a factor that involves the ability to reason, solve problems, and learn. This continues the impressive work by Deary showing, in numerous studies, that intelligence predicts death.6,7 Like any good answer it leads to more questions. If, indeed, intelligence is important, what does it tell us, to pick up the authors’ justification, about both understanding and potential interventions? ”

    http://eurheartj.oxfordjournals.org/content/30/15/1819.full

    • Puddleglum 12.1

      Detailed work in neurodevelopment puts an entirely different slant on the question of intelligence. To put it simply, intelligence develops, it is not ‘in the genes’. Inequality, that is, can be both cause and effect when it comes to all personality factors.

      As H. Clark Barrett (2006, p. 216) puts it in his chapter on ‘Modularity and Design Reincarnation’ in the book The Innate Mind: Culture and Cognition, “The modularity debate, as it currently stands, is frustrating because both sides should agree that innate structures, as our intuitive ontology construes them, do not exist. Gene-environment interactions always occur, by design, in the construction of phenotypes, and for good reason. The environment is an important source of information that one would expect evolved developmental system to exploit, not ignore.” The modularity debate he was referring to concerns the evolution of mind – mental modules, if you like.

      What this means is that it gets the argument nowhere to suggest that inequality is ’caused’ by intelligence.

      In addition, read Gladwell’s book ‘Outliers’, especially the chapters on ‘geniuses’ and why, after a threshold level, I.Q. just doesn’t predict success.

      • PK 12.1.1

        ***To put it simply, intelligence develops, it is not ‘in the genes’. Inequality, that is, can be both cause and effect when it comes to all personality factors.***

        Of course there’s an environmental interaction, but a substantial component of the variation between individuals is due to differences in their genes (this applies to siblings too -Nature Reviews Neuroscience 11, 201-211 (March 2010) ). The things that depress intelligence are environmental toxins such as alcohol in the in utero environment, lead, lack of iodine, physical trauma & poor nutrition. Inequality, per se, doesn’t cause those things. Unless the baseline of welfare etc doesn’t allow people to buy food, get healthcare or send people to school.

        ***In addition, read Gladwell’s book ‘Outliers’, especially the chapters on ‘geniuses’ and why, after a threshold level, I.Q. just doesn’t predict success***

        I’ll take the view of Harvard Psychology Professor Steven Pinker over that of Gladwell.

        “The common thread in Gladwell’s writing is a kind of populism, which seeks to undermine the ideals of talent, intelligence and analytical prowess in favor of luck, opportunity, experience and intuition. For an apolitical writer like Gladwell, this has the advantage of appealing both to the Horatio Alger right and to the egalitarian left. Unfortunately he wildly overstates his empirical case. It is simply not true that a quarter­back’s rank in the draft is uncorrelated with his success in the pros, that cognitive skills don’t predict a teacher’s effectiveness, that intelligence scores are poorly related to job performance or (the major claim in “Outliers’) that above a minimum I.Q. of 120, higher intelligence does not bring greater intellectual achievements.”

        http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/15/books/review/Pinker-t.html?_r=1&pagewanted=2

  13. Draco T Bastard 13

    how is pain & suffering being inflicted?

    Psychologically.

  14. Fisiani 14

    Hon BILL ENGLISH: The cost of lowering personal tax rates is estimated at just over $4 billion per year by 2014. About two-thirds of this cost was used to reduce tax rates in the lowest two tax brackets—that is, people earning up to $14,000 on the lowest tax rate, and people earning up to $48,000 on the next lowest tax rate. This distribution demonstrates the Government’s commitment to making tax cuts across the board. The reason for that is we believe that the incentives matter for people who are on the minimum wage as much as they do for people who are above the average wage.

    Today in parliament. Totally debunks the blinkered ideological premise of this post
    Slam Dunk.

    • Marty G 14.1

      no Fisiani. You see, the money he is talking about goes to the first $48,000 of everyone’s earnings, including the rich. And those that earn less than $48,000 (which is over 75% of taxpayers) don’t get a full share of that two thirds of four billion.

      then, you’ve got to take into account the GST increase.

      Basically, you need a 2% income tax cut to make up for a 2.5% GST increase. So, the million plus taxpayers with incomes below $14,000 nearly nothing because their income tax went from 12.5% to 10.%. The next million and a half (between $14,000 and $48,000) get a small amount (about 1.5% for every dollar over $14,000), less than $10 a week.

      The people over $48,000 and below $70,000 get that $10 or so plus 1 cent for each dollar over $48,0000. The people in the top tax bracket get all that and a net 3 cents for every dollar over $70,000.

      I’ll do the table for you.

    • Draco T Bastard 14.2

      No you idiot, it doesn’t.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • New Zealand First calls for tahr cull halt
    Mark Patterson MP, Spokesperson for Primary Industry New Zealand First is supporting calls by hunters and the New Zealand Tahr Foundation (NZTF) to halt a large scale cull of Himalayan Tahr by the Department of Conservation in National Parks. The calls are supported by a 40,000 strong petition and the ...
    19 hours ago
  • Response to Spin-off allegations
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand First leader Winston Peters today scoffed at suggestions that a team of six political operatives have been dispatched to New Zealand to assist his campaign. ‘As President Ronald Reagan once said, ‘there they go again.’ ‘The clickbait journos can’t ...
    20 hours ago
  • Jenny Marcroft MP to represent New Zealand First in Auckland Central
    New Zealand First is pleased to announce Jenny Marcroft as the party’s election 2020 candidate for the Auckland Central electorate. Jenny spent years working in Auckland Central, having spent a vast proportion of her broadcasting career there. She says she, "knows the place and knows the people." Ms Marcroft says ...
    2 days ago
  • Creating jobs and cleaning up our rivers
    New Zealanders deserve healthy rivers and lakes that are safe to swim in - but they have been getting worse for decades. That's why, with our latest announcement, we're investing in projects that will help clean up our rivers and lakes and restore them to health, within a generation. ...
    3 days ago
  • Jacinda Ardern: 2020 Labour Congress Speech
    Jacinda Ardern's speech to the 2020 Labour Party Congress. ...
    3 days ago
  • Kelvin Davis: 2020 Labour Congress Speech
    Kelvin Davis' speech to the 2020 Labour Party Congress. ...
    3 days ago
  • Week That Was: Another week of major progress
    This week we moved into the second half of 2020 - and our Government delivered another week of big changes and major progress for New Zealanders. Read below for a wrap of the key things moments from the week - from extending paid parental leave, to making major investments in ...
    5 days ago
  • Green Party opposes RMA fast-track bill that cut corners on environmental safeguards and public cons...
    The Green Party has opposed the COVID-19 Recovery Fast-track Consenting Bill which shortcuts normal consenting processes under the Resource Management Act (RMA), reduces public participation and narrows environmental considerations. ...
    6 days ago
  • Site of new freight hub revealed
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister of Regional Economic Development A regional freight hub for the lower North Island will be built just northeast of Palmerston North, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The Government is investing $40 million through the Provincial Growth Fund to designate and buy land and design ...
    6 days ago
  • Greens call for Guaranteed Minimum Income to alleviate skyrocketing debt with MSD
    Green Party Co-leader Marama Davidson is calling for the introduction of a Guaranteed Minimum Income to lift hundreds of thousands of people out of poverty and prevent more families entering into further debt with the Ministry of Social Development.  ...
    6 days ago
  • Winston Peters: Facts matter when taxpayer money is on the line
    There has been renewed focus on New Zealand First acting as a handbrake on the Government after our decision to not support Auckland light rail. We are a handbrake for bad ideas, that is true, but our track record since 2017 has seen New Zealand First constructively also serve as an ...
    6 days ago
  • Bill raising minimum residency requirement for NZ Super passes first reading
    Mark Patterson MP, New Zealand First List MP New Zealand First’s Fair Residency for Superannuation Bill passed its First Reading in Parliament today. The Bill makes a significant change to NZ Super by raising the minimum residency requirement from 10 to 20 years, after age 20. “Currently, a migrant of ...
    6 days ago
  • Harsher penalties for assaults on first responders one step closer
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Law and Order A New Zealand First member’s bill in the name of Darroch Ball introducing a six-month minimum prison sentence for assaults on first responders has passed its second reading in Parliament. The new offence of "injuring a first responder or corrections officer with ...
    7 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission delivers Coalition promise
    Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Deputy Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand First welcomes the launch of the new Criminal Cases Review Commission, gifted with the name from Waikato-Tainui - Te Kāhui Tātari Ture, announced in Hamilton today by Justice Minister Andrew Little. “New Zealand First has long believed in and ...
    7 days ago
  • Greens welcome huge new investment in sustainable projects
    The Green Party is celebrating over $800m in new funding for green projects, which will get people into jobs while solving New Zealand’s long-term challenges. ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand First demands answers from Meridian Energy
    Mark Patterson MP, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is appalled that Meridian seems to have been unnecessarily spilling water from its dams to drive up its profits."While New Zealanders have been coming together in some of our darkest hours, we don’t expect power gentailers to waste water and ...
    1 week ago
  • Getting New Zealand moving again: June 2020
    We wrapped up the first half of 2020 with a busy month, taking additional steps to support New Zealanders as we continue with our economic recovery. We rolled out targeted packages to support key industries like tourism and construction, helped create jobs in the environmental and agriculture sectors, and set ...
    1 week ago
  • Māori union leader appointed to Infrastructure Commission board
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Infrastructure Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones has welcomed the appointment of Maurice Davis and his deep infrastructure and construction experience to the board of the Infrastructure Commission. Mr Davis (Ngāti Maniapoto), is the seventh and final appointment to the board led by former Reserve Bank Governor ...
    1 week ago
  • Click-bait journalism at its worst
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand’s click bait journalism is taking a turn for the worse, with yet another example of sensationalist, wilful-misrepresentation of the facts. “New Zealand First has worked constructively with its Coalition partner on hundreds of pieces of legislation and policy, and ...
    1 week ago
  • Green Party proposes transformational Poverty Action Plan
    The Green Party is today unveiling its Poverty Action Plan, which includes a Guaranteed Minimum Income to ensure people have enough to live with dignity.     ...
    1 week ago
  • PGF accelerates Rotorua projects
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development The Rotorua Museum redevelopment and Whakarewarewa and Tokorangi Forest projects will be accelerated thanks to a $2.09 million Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) boost, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Getting people into jobs
    This week, we rolled out the next steps of our recovery plan, with new infrastructure investment, extra support for tourism operators, and a new programme to get Kiwis into agriculture careers. The global economic consequences of COVID-19 will continue to be a challenge, but we have a detailed plan to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Coalition commitment establishing Mental Health Commission delivered
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its final reading in Parliament today fulfilling a coalition agreement commitment. “This is an important step in saving the lives of New Zealanders and delivers a key coalition commitment ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whakatāne gets a $2.5m ‘turbo boost’
    Whakatāne has been given a $2.5 million boost to speed up previously funded projects and create more than 450 jobs in the next decade. Of those, the equivalent of 160 full-time jobs could be delivered in the next six weeks. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters is in town to make ...
    2 weeks ago
  • $2.5m PGF funding to speed up economic recovery in Whakatāne
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $2.5 million to accelerate three infrastructure projects in Whakatāne, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “This package is about ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Shane Jones calls out those holding drought-stricken Auckland ‘to ransom’ over water
    Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones is throwing his weight behind a bid by the Auckland Council to fast-track the more than doubling of the city's water allowance from the Waikato River. And he's coming out strongly against anyone who plans on getting in the way of this campaign. "It is my ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another Green win as climate change considerations inserted into the RMA
    The Green Party is thrilled to see changes to the Resource Management Act (RMA) that mean consents for large projects can be declined if they will have significant climate change implications that are inconsistent with the Zero Carbon Act and Aotearoa New Zealand’s Paris Agreement obligations.  ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Navy vessel Aotearoa to arrive in New Zealand
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence The Royal New Zealand Navy’s new ship, Aotearoa, set sail for New Zealand on 10 June from the Republic of Korea, and is due to arrive in Auckland tomorrow, announced Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “Aotearoa is the Royal New Zealand Navy’s new fleet ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Racing Industry Bill passes third reading
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters has today welcomed the Racing Industry Bill passing its third reading, creating the legislative framework for revitalising the racing industry while limiting the need for future government intervention. “For too long our domestic racing industry has ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party seek amendment to ensure all prisoners can vote
    The Green Party has today put forward an amendment to the Electoral (Registration of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Bill to ensure all people in prisons can vote in general elections. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party welcomes new approach to delivering light rail
    The Green Party welcomes the decision to not proceed with Public Public Investment (PPI) delivery of Auckland’s light rail project and to instead run the process through the public service. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First welcomes PGF investment in Wairarapa Water
    Hon Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in the Wairarapa New Zealand First List MP Hon Ron Mark welcomes the announcement of Provincial Growth Funding investment of $1.4 million to help secure the Wairarapa’s water supply. The funding boost will allow the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC), and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First MP Mark Patterson selected as candidate for Taieri
    New Zealand First list MP Mark Patterson has been selected to represent the party in the newly formed Taieri electorate at the upcoming election. Mr Patterson, his wife Jude and two daughters farm sheep and beef at Lawrence and Waitahuna. He previously stood in the Clutha-Southland electorate however boundary changes ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ground-breaking on NZ Post depot
    Hon Shane Jones, Associate Minister for State Owned Enterprises A new ‘super depot’ to be built for NZ Post in Wellington will create around 350 jobs during construction, Associate Minister for State Owned Enterprises Shane Jones says. Shane Jones today attended a ground-breaking and blessing ceremony for the parcel-processing depot ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Putting our economic plan into action
    Our strong economic management prior to COVID-19 - with surpluses, low debt and near-record-low unemployment - put us in a good position to weather the impact of the virus and start to rebuild our economy much earlier than many other countries. Now we're putting our plan to recover and rebuild ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fleeing drivers hit new record-high yet again
    Darroch Ball MP, New Zealand First Spokesperson for Law and Order Recently released Police fleeing driver statistics have shown yet another increase in incidents with another record-high in the latest quarter. “This new quarterly record-high is the latest in a string of record-high numbers since 2014.  The data shows incidents ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fletcher Tabuteau selected as candidate for Rotorua
    New Zealand First MP Fletcher Tabuteau is pleased to be confirmed today as the party’s candidate for the Rotorua electorate. Speaking at the Rotorua AGM for New Zealand First, Mr Tabuteau said this is an election that is incredibly important for the people of Rotorua. “The founding principles of New ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Greens call for Government office to address Rainbow issues following Human Rights Commission report
    The Human Rights Commission’s PRISM report on the issues impacting people based on their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC) provides an excellent programme of work for future governments to follow, say the Greens. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters continues push for trans-Tasman travel as military take control of operations
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters said the trans-Tasman bubble had not been jeopardised after a border botch-up resulted in New Zealand having two active cases of COVID-19. On Friday, Mr Peters told RNZ's Morning Report he had heard from Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison that borders for trans-Tasman travel would open by ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters on the Government’s Covid-19 border blunder
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters said today he was pleased the army was now running the quarantine and isolation process - up until now it has been the Ministry of Health. Peters told Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking that the army knew how to introduce and follow protocols and instil discipline. ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Relief for temporary migrants, employers and New Zealanders who need work
    The Government is making immediate short-term changes to visa settings to support temporary migrants already onshore in New Zealand and their employers, while also ensuring New Zealanders needing work are prioritised, Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. We are: Extending temporary work visas due to expire by the end of 2020 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Freshwater commissioners and fast-track consenting convenor appointed
    Professor Peter Skelton CNZM has been appointed as Chief Freshwater Commissioner and Alternate Environment Court Judge Craig James Thompson as Deputy Chief Freshwater Commissioner for the newly established Freshwater Planning Process (FPP). Environment Minister David Parker today also announced the appointment of Chief Environment Court Judge Laurie Newhook as the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Appointment of Judge of the High Court
    Auckland Queen’s Counsel Neil Campbell has been appointed a Judge of the High Court, Attorney‑General David Parker announced today. Justice Campbell graduated with a BCom and LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland in 1992. He spent two years with Bell Gully Buddle Weir in Auckland before travelling to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Feedback sought – Commercial Film and Video Production Facilities
    The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to better enable the development and operation of commercial film and video facilities in Christchurch. The Proposal, developed by Regenerate Christchurch in response to a request from Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Govt launches bold primary sector plan to boost economic recovery
    The Government has launched a bold plan to boost primary sector export earnings by $44 billion over the next decade, while protecting the environment and growing jobs. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today released Fit for a Better World – Accelerating our Economic Potential, a 10-year roadmap to unlock greater value ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Wellbeing of whanau at heart of new hub
    A new approach to prevent family harm that encourages greater collaboration across government and community groups is being celebrated at the opening of a new facility in Auckland. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today opened the Multi-Disciplinary Family Harm Prevention Hub Te Taanga Manawa in Lambie Road in Manukau. The facility ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Report on Auckland Port Relocation
    The Government has released a major new report on the options for relocating the Port of Auckland’s freight operations while deferring any decision on the issue. “That decision needs to be informed by policy analysis that is still to be completed. As a result it will be up to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Dual place names for Te Pātaka-o-Rākaihautū / Banks Peninsula features
    The history of Rāpaki is being restored through the inclusion of te reo in thirteen official place names on Te Pātaka-o-Rākaihautū / Banks Peninsula and around Lyttelton Harbour/Whakaraupō, the Minister for Land Information, Eugenie Sage, announced today.   “I am pleased to approve the proposals from Te Hapū o Ngāti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government and Air New Zealand agree to manage incoming bookings
    Bookings for seats on Air New Zealand flights into New Zealand will be managed in the short term to ensure the Government is able to safely place New Zealanders arriving home into a managed isolation or quarantine facility, says Housing Minister Megan Woods.  “Last week Air Commodore Darryn Webb and I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • $80 million for sport recovery at all levels
    Grant Robertson has today announced the first major release of funding from the $265 million Sport Recovery Package announced at Budget 2020.  “Today we’re setting out how $80 million will be invested, with $54 million of that over the 2020/2021 financial year for organisations from community level through to elite ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Keeping ACC levies steady until 2022
    The Government is maintaining current levy rates for the next 2 years, as part of a set of changes to help ease the financial pressures of COVID-19 providing certainty for businesses and New Zealanders, ACC Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. “New Zealanders and businesses are facing unprecedented financial pressures as a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Extended loan scheme keeps business afloat
    Small businesses are getting greater certainty about access to finance with an extension to the interest-free cashflow loan scheme to the end of the year. The Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme has already been extended once, to 24 July. Revenue and Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says it will be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New investment creates over 2000 jobs to clean up waterways
    A package of 23 projects across the country will clean up waterways and deliver over 2000 jobs Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Environment Minister David Parker announced today. The $162 million dollar package will see 22 water clean-up projects put forward by local councils receiving $62 million and the Kaipara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to Labour Party Congress 2020
    Tena koutou katoa  Nga tangata whenua o tenei rohe o Pōneke, tena koutou Nau mai, haere mai ki te hui a tau mo te roopu reipa Ko tatou!  Ko to tatou mana!  Ko to tatou kaupapa kei te kokiri whakamua  Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena tatou katoa   Welcome. I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • PGF top-up for QE Health in Rotorua
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $1.5 million to ensure QE Health in Rotorua can proceed with its world class health service and save 75 existing jobs, Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The PGF funding announced today is in addition to the $8 million ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Building a more sustainable construction sector
    A new programme, which sets a firm course for the Building and Construction sector to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, has been announced by the Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa. “A significant amount of New Zealand’s carbon emissions come from the building and construction sector.  If we’re serious ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • PGF funds tourism boost in Northland
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing more than $7.5 million in Northland ventures to combat the economic impact of the COVID-19 virus, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) investment is going to the Northern Adventure Experience and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Four new projects announced as part of the biggest ever national school rebuild programme
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced significant funding for Auckland’s Northcote College as part of the first wave of a new nationwide school redevelopment programme to upgrade schools over the next 10 years. The $48.5 million project brings the total investment in Northcote College to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19: Support to improve student attendance and wellbeing
    The Government has opened an urgent response fund to support schools and early learning services to get children and young people back on track after the Covid-19 lockdown. “While we are seeing improvements in attendance under Alert Level 1 Ministry of Education data shows that attendance rates in our schools ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Fast-track consenting law boosts jobs and economic recovery
    The law to boost the economic recovery from the impact of COVID-19 by speeding up resource consenting on selected projects has passed its second and third readings in the House today. “Accelerating nationwide projects and activities by government, iwi and the private sector will help deliver faster economic recovery and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Whanganui Port gets PGF boost
    Five port-related projects in Whanganui will receive a $26.75 million Provincial Growth Fund investment to support local economic recovery and create new opportunities for growth, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This is a significant investment that will support the redevelopment of the Whanganui Port, a project governed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More support for Sarjeant Gallery
    Whanganui’s Sarjeant Gallery will receive an investment of up to $12 million administered by the Provincial Growth Fund to support its redevelopment, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. The project is included in a $3 billion infrastructure pipeline announced by Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Shane Jones yesterday. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Funding for training and upskilling
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing nearly $2.5 million into three Te Ara Mahi programmes to support Manawatū-Whanganui jobseekers and employees to quickly train and upskill, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Up to 154 local people will be supported into employment within the first year by these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Statement from the Minister of Health Dr David Clark
      This morning I have formally tendered my resignation as Minister of Health, which was accepted by the Prime Minister. Serving as Minister of Health has been an absolute privilege – particularly through these extraordinary last few months. It’s no secret that Health is a challenging portfolio. I have given ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Scholarship placements for agricultural emissions scientists doubles
    Scholarships for 57 early-career agricultural emissions scientists from 20 developing countries is another example of New Zealand’s international leadership in primary sector sustainability, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. Mr O’Connor, announcing the scholarships today, says hundreds of applications were received for this fourth round of the CLIFF-GRADS programme (Climate, Food ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Funding for Foxton regeneration
    A project to help rejuvenate the Horowhenua town of Foxton will receive a Provincial Growth Fund investment of $3.86 million, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This funding for the Foxton Regeneration project will be used to make the well-known holiday town even more attractive for visitors and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Plan to improve protection of moa bones
    Moa bones and other sub-fossil remains of extinct species are set to have improved protection with proposals to prevent the trade in extinct species announced the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today. “We have lost too many of our native species, but these lost species, such as moa, remain an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Free lunches served up to thousands of school children in the South Island
    The Government’s free and healthy school lunches programme moves south for the first time creating jobs for around 30 people in Otago and Southland. “Eighteen schools with 3000 students are joining the programme – 11 have already begun serving lunches, and seven are preparing to start during Term 3. This is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Screen Sector recovery package protects jobs, boosts investment
    Thousands of Kiwi jobs and investment in New Zealand productions will be protected through a screen sector support package announced today by Associate Minister for Arts Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford and Minister for Broadcasting Kris Faafoi. The package also includes investment in broadcasting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New fund to help save local events and jobs
    The Government has established a new $10 million fund for the domestic events sector to help save jobs and protect incomes as it recovers from the impacts of COVID-19, Minister of Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. This funding from Budget 2020 follows talks with the event sector designed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Bill to improve fuel market competition
    The Government has taken another step in its commitment to making sure New Zealanders get a fairer deal at the petrol pump with the introduction of legislation to improve competition in the retail fuel market, says Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods. “The fuel market study that this Government ordered ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand joins global facility for pre-purchase of COVID-19 Vaccine
    New Zealand has joined a global initiative that aims to enable all countries to access a safe and effective Covid-19 vaccine, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. The COVAX Facility was recently launched by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. The Alliance includes the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Right to legal representation in Family Court restored today
    From today new legislation takes effect to both restore the right to legal representation at the start of a Care of Children (CoCA) dispute in the Family Court, and allow parties to those proceedings to access legal aid where eligible. During a visit to the Family Court in Auckland today, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Transitioning to a fully-qualified home-based ECE workforce
    Home-based early childhood education (ECE) subsidised by the government will transition to a fully qualified workforce by 2025 to ensure better and more consistent quality, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. “Quality early learning helps provide children with a strong foundation for their future,” Chris Hipkins said. From 1 January ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission gets to work
    The new Criminal Cases Review Commission | Te Kāhui Tātari Ture (CCRC) has started work and can now independently investigate claimed miscarriages of justice. “Even though we have appeal rights and safeguards against unsafe convictions, from time to time our justice system does get things wrong. The design of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech by the Minister of Defence to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā karangatanga maha, tēnā koutou Ki a koutou Te Āti Awa, Taranaki Whānui, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, ngā mana whenua o te rohe nei, tēnā koutou Ko Te Whare Wānanga o Aotearoa ki ngā take o te Ao (NZIIA), Ko te Rōpū Tohu Tono ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Six months with baby and $20 more a week for new parents
    The Government’s increase to paid parental leave kicks in today with another 4 weeks taking New Zealand up to a full 6 months (26 weeks, up from 22 weeks) leave for new parents, and the maximum weekly payment will increase by $20pw, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Infrastructure investment to create jobs, kick-start COVID rebuild
    A new package of infrastructure investments will help kick-start the post-COVID rebuild by creating more than 20,000 jobs and unlocking more than $5 billion of projects up and down New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones today outlined how the $3 billion infrastructure fund in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement on passage of national security law for Hong Kong
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today expressed the New Zealand Government’s deep disappointment at the passage by China’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee of a national security law for Hong Kong. “New Zealand has consistently emphasised its serious concern about the imposition of this legislation on Hong Kong without inclusive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • July 1 marks progress for workers, families
    More jobs and more family time with newborns are the centrepiece of a suite of Government initiatives coming into effect today. July 1 is a milestone day for the Government as a host of key policies take effect, demonstrating the critical areas where progress has been made. “The Coalition Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago