No answers on the tough questions

Written By: - Date published: 9:48 am, May 17th, 2010 - 19 comments
Categories: john key - Tags: ,

Hmm, so another bad, bad week for the directionless Key Government. Lucky a major newspaper steps in with a chance to make the PM look cute and adorable. About one in five of the 50 questions put to John Key in the Sunday Star-Times yesterday are cutesy nonsense, which is the one area where Key shines these days.

I am once again disappointed by the quality of our business class. In the article, you’ve got a bunch of business people given the chance to ask one question on the record of the Prime Minister of their country and they’re mostly inane bull-crap.

Theresa Gattung once ran one of our largest companies and her best question is: who do you admire and what books do you like? Jesus, no wonder our companies fail to perform, look at the minds running them.

Anyhoo, let’s look at Key’s answers. It’s pretty telling that National Party pollster David Farrar chose to highlight a joke question from Valerie Vili and a joke answer; the answers to real questions are pretty weak:

5. Sir Stephen Tindall, philanthropist and founder of The Warehouse: If over the next 15 years overseas mining companies manage to extract say $5 billion worth of minerals from our conservation land, how many actual dollars will the citizens of NZ get back via the government in royalties after the remediation costs?

We are working on this. As I pointed out earlier, we are in a submission process. However, we are confident New Zealanders will retain enough of the value from mining to make this viable. The whole point of this exercise if it goes ahead is to lift New Zealand’s economic performance.

You weren’t asked that John, you were asked what share of the wealth New Zealand gets through royalties. The answer is 0.1%.

7. Oscar Kightley, film-maker and comedian: Pacific heroes Michael Jones and Inga Tuigamala gave you their support, and that of their supporters, because they thought that, under National, Pacific people would be owning factories and not just working in them. When do you think that will happen?

Lifting New Zealand’s economic performance will help all New Zealanders, and I know that is also what Inga and Michael believe. Michael has said publicly it was my aspiration to bring all New Zealanders forward, including Pacific people, which convinced him to support us. I know our strong commitment to economic growth in the Pacific nations, including business mentoring, is important to New Zealand’s Pacific people.

So, no timeline on that aspiration. But Key would have been happy to have another mention of Jones and Tuigamala – they will be National candidates next year to try to piggyback on the World Cup.

11. Keisha Castle-Hughes, actor: When are you going to show us your vision for how New Zealand can grow in a way that doesn’t irreversibly damage our environment and climate?

Balancing our environmental responsibilities with our economic opportunities is a cornerstone of all our policies. It guides what we have done in changing Labour’s emissions trading scheme. It has guided us in terms of changes to the RMA and government environmental agencies. Unfortunately, there’s been a lot of misinformation circulated about National’s environmental intentions by our political opponents.
All we can do is keep pointing to the fact that a cornerstone of our policies is balancing our environmental responsibilities with our economic opportunities. As minister of tourism, I am well aware of the need to be cognisant of these issues.

Funny how the ‘balance’ always seems to go in the direction of free-for-all exploitation of the environment. A smarter government would realise that what is good for the environment is ultimately good for the economy – the economy is built on the environment.

27. Ruth Lim, Sunday Star-Times reader, Christchurch: You went through the public school system and seem to have fond memories of your time there, as evidenced by your recent visit to Burnside High. You have also done very well in the business and political world since. What are your reasons for sending your own children to private schools?

I believe all New Zealanders should have the freedom to make choices, especially when it comes to issues like education and healthcare. New Zealand has excellent schools and one of the reasons for that is different schools are able to cater for students’ various needs. My children enjoy their schools they’re a good fit. As all parents know, if your children are happy at their school it makes a big impact on their all-round wellbeing.

Right, so it’s OK for the rich to have choice. Of course, that means a lot of good teachers go to private teaching for higher pay. If you’re rich, you get the better education, if you’re don’t you don’t – got to love that ‘choice’.

29. Robyn Malcolm, actor: The income disparity between New Zealanders is growing and there is an obvious correlation between low income and poor indices in society, ie, crime, family breakdown, family violence, low education etc. What are you going to do about this?

I want to see all New Zealanders reach their potential and succeed and that means getting things right from the very start of someone’s life. Lifting achievement in our schools helps build opportunities for young New Zealanders, which is why we’re focusing on getting more children into early childhood education, and rolling out National Standards. This emphasis on education continues to secondary and tertiary levels, and recognises the fact young New Zealanders will want to choose from a range of options. We’re addressing the drivers of crime, with a raft of new legislation being passed which is designed to give greater powers to the police and to protect Kiwi families. We are also reforming our social services, principally through Future Focus and Whanau Ora, to help people back into work and to take charge of their wellbeing.

There’s no one policy the government can use to solve society’s ills but we can do as much as we can to create an environment which helps all New Zealanders to live fulfilling lives.

Of course, we know that on every measure the Government has failed to deliver. Unemployment is up, wages are down, inequality is getting worse, crime is up, education is being cut. There are a few little pretenses at doing something, but this is basically a do nothing government when it comes to the things that matter.

34. Judy Bailey, former TV newsreader: Given that we know that our experiences and relationships in the first three years of life have a direct bearing on crime, family violence and physical and mental health, and given that we know we get dramatically better value for money by focusing our spending on the early years, how is your government shaping social policy to reflect that evidence?

For New Zealanders to have every chance of success, it’s vital we help every Kiwi child get the best possible start in life. We’re committed to making sure early childhood education is widely available to children from all areas of society, along with pre-school health care. At the same time, it’s important we instigate policies to make sure parents are supported to be able to give their children what they need. Our social policies aim to give parents the power to do just that.

The Government is cutting early childhood education funding and lowering standards.

36. Jonathan Temm, president, New Zealand Law Society: With prison musters rising and the “Three Strikes” initiative likely to increase them further, what strategies are planned to address the causes of crime and to reduce rates of imprisonment?

Drug and alcohol problems, coupled with a lack of life and work skills, can really put offenders on the back foot if they want to turn their lives around. We have a responsibility to helping those who want to helped, and this government is doing just that. We are fulfilling our promise to double the number of places for drug and alcohol rehabilitation and give employment, job skills and literacy training to an extra 1000 prisoners a year.

The path to prison usually starts well before adulthood, however. A significant portion of our policy efforts are focused on reforming sectors like education, state housing and justice. I believe reform in these and other areas will help in our goal of giving young people better opportunities.

Crime is up despite the Government’s policy of locking up everyone they can get their hands on for longer.

43. Gareth Morgan, economist and investor: What is the single most important policy advance, to your mind, if NZ is going to have any chance of closing the income gap with Australia?

I have always maintained there is no one silver bullet. It will be a raft of policies that lift New Zealand’s economic performance. Reforming our tax system in a fair and equitable way is one. Reducing red tape, boosting infrastructure such as broadband, electric rail and road networks, driving better performance in the public sector, and encouraging innovation, particularly in science, are others. This will be an ongoing programme, year-on-year.

The Tax Working Group never said that its tax reforms would boost growth. It never claimed that. It is merely a process of redistributing the wealth from poor to rich.

45. Helen Kelly, president, Council of Trade Unions: Why won’t the government do more in the job creation space when the small initiatives to date have been successful, are cost-effective, and benefit the country as a whole, and particularly when unemployment is higher now than it was when these initiatives were started? Why not, for instance, expand schemes like Community Max or Job Ops or similar schemes or invest in assisting people who are unemployed to gain the skills they need to re-enter the workforce?

You must remember we inherited an economy in recession it’s now been growing for nearly a year that’s a good start. To date, Job Ops has provided 4539 positions for young people with little or no qualifications, keeping them connected to the workplace and earning a wage. The scheme was designed to help young people through a recession by providing a subsidy to employers to take them on. It has been hugely successful. The Community Max scheme was designed also to assist young people into subsidised positions working with communities on local projects. This scheme has also been very popular with young people and the community; both have been a great success.

Both Job Ops and Community Max were designed as time-limited, targeted initiatives to mitigate the effects of a recession on young people who lack the skills, qualifications or experience to compete in a tight labour market. The government is giving consideration to the future of these schemes.

The government is also working with employers through industry partnerships to link beneficiaries with jobs with good results. Every week over a third of those who walk into Work and Income looking for a benefit don’t end up needing one because of an intense focus on matching jobs with people as fast as possible.

Job Ops is just a giant rort – employers just get paid for jobs they were creating anyway. That’s why Treasury described it as poor spending. The government actually cut money for training. It’s good that unemployment is finally coming down but there are quarter of a million jobless Kiwis and unemployment is higher than Australia for the first time in a decade.

19 comments on “No answers on the tough questions”

  1. gobsmacked 1

    A hat-tip to these guys, for some funny – and more honest – answers from John Key:

    http://www.absolutegeni.us/archives/359

  2. Tigger 2

    “6. Ken Burns, Sunday Star-Times reader, Auckland: Who cuts your hair styles your wig?”

    Fixed.

  3. randal 3

    the gnats seem to have a lock on the sunday star times.
    every week there is at least one photo and usually more of john keys plastered all over the rag and this weeekend he got a three page feature.
    this is embarrassing.
    in the interests of fairness and balance phill goff should at least be offered the same amount of exposure.

    • Anita 3.1

      Do you think that would be a positive or a negative for Labour?

    • Dead Right randal. Every week the SSTs has photos of Key and (of course) Banks. Its about time they were reminded that they are supposed to be a responsible independent paper. What a joke!

    • cal 3.3

      Well, the SST is owned by the lovley Rupert Murdoch after all, what else did you expect?

  4. Fisiani 4

    Thank you for highlighting above the great grasp that JK has on the economy and the solutions. It has been a tough 18 months handling the hospital pass of a decade of deficits delivered by Labour in 2008 but the ship has been turned away from the reef and further good news of recovery is expected on May 20th when we get a better, fairer tax system and a productive economy that rewards hard work.

    • kaplan 4.1

      That’s one of the best satirical piece I’ve read for ages.
      Keep it up. 🙂

    • Bored 4.2

      Disasterous inheritance from Labour, who in turn inheritted a disaster from Nats, who in turn….and the good ship captained by Jonkey ploughs on towards the iceberg, band on deck full of fanfair……and Labour inherits a disasterous situation…..see where this is going?

    • Maynard J 4.3

      Makes me feel more ill than when yank kiddies say “I love you mommy” in crap movies.

      Get a room.

    • Akldnut 4.4

      Fisiani you’ve said that enough over the past few months, I think now you honestly believe it!
      Self medicating???

  5. Bored 5

    God how excrable that “story” was, quick questions from dead enders to a dead ender….two stood out to me:
    1. Theresa Gattung was busy asking about heroes and “aspirational” types (sort of Randian questions)…what a vacuous waste of space she is…maybe she and Jonkey can get together and form an intellectual black hole.
    2. Keisha Castle Hughes…thank God for Keisha, she put her finger on the future of not only people but our whole environment. Stuff the Oscar, make her prime minister.

  6. It got me to thinking. If i had the chance to ask ‘clueless’ a question, what would it be ?
    It’d probably be something like this…

    Look John, you seem like a greasy two faced shit and i cant stand the sort of slimy ‘im an ordinary guy just like you crap’ you’re always trying to peddle in your photo ops and soundbites, so why don’t you pack your bullshit ‘man of the people hokum’ up and fuck of overseas never to be heard of again cos it’s fairly obvious you have no vision or plan for the ordinary NZ citizen, inclusive of Maori, Pasifikans and anyone else who isnt clocking mad dollars ?

    i wonder what his answer would be ?

    • Bored 6.1

      “And that attitude is precisely why you are not getting the Urewera national park back………..p.s Tame said the same to me…….now if you can please stand over here by me and smile at the camera.”

  7. ghostwhowalksnz 7

    Most of the questions would have been answered by his staff to keep on message. It could have a great if done face to face with the reporter, if hes the great communicator key should have jumped at the chance to be real. But written questions with written responses . Straight out of Pravada

  8. Draco T Bastard 8

    We are fulfilling our promise to double the number of places for drug and alcohol rehabilitation and give employment, job skills and literacy training to an extra 1000 prisoners a year.

    And yet, IIRC, NACT have cut successful rehabilitation schemes, cut funding and haven’t put anything in place to replace that which they’ve taken away.

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    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
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    1 week ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
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    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
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    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
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  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
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    2 weeks ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
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    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
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  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
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    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
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    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
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    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • No-one cares about local government
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • “Surplus” again
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
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    2 weeks ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
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    2 weeks ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
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    2 weeks ago
  • Labour chickens out again
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
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    3 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
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    3 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
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    4 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
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    5 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
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    5 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
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    5 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
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    5 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
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    5 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
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    6 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
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    6 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
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    6 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
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    7 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 ...
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    7 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago