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No mystery over Waitakere votes

Written By: - Date published: 10:49 am, December 20th, 2011 - 48 comments
Categories: elections - Tags:

There was some pretty low-grade reporting on the Waitakere race that suggested some kind of organised voter fraud may have taken place. Under the title Questions over Waitakere vote, the Herald reporter said 9 dual votes had been found and 393 special votes had been cast by people not enrolled to vote. But that’s not evidence of foul play: it’s par for the course.

Being registered to vote in New Zealand is compulsory but about 5% of people aren’t registered. Most of these people are pretty disconnected from the political sphere. Some genuinely don’t know that they need to be registered before voting.

When a person shows up on election day wanting to vote but doesn’t appear in the printed electoral roll, they are given a special vote to complete because a) they might have enrolled after the printed rolls were printed or b) they might be registered in a different electorate (your party vote still counts if you vote in the wrong electorate like this, but not your candidate vote – 25,520 people did that in 2008).

After election day, the validity of every single one of the quarter of a million special votes is checked (what did you think they were doing for two weeks between the preliminary and final count?). There are technical requirements (it has to be witnessed, signed by the voter etc) and the voter has to appear on some electorate’s roll. In 2008, 16,396 special votes (6.6%) were disallowed because the voter was not on any roll. So, 393 instances in Waitakere is nothing surprising. In fact, 329 people did the same thing in Waitakere in 2008.

This isn’t fraud, it’s individuals who screwed up by not being enrolled – usually young people recently turned 18 and immigrants who don’t know the system. Trying to get people who are not enrolled to cast votes would be a pointless attempt at voter fraud because no vote from someone who isn’t enrolled is ever going to be counted.

As for dual voting, well that happens too – 55 times just involving special votes in 2008. It occurs for two innocent reasons: old people who forget that they’ve already voted early when electoral staff visit rest homes before polling day and are then taken to the polling place by their families on election day, and polling staff crossing out the wrong line when they mark off a vote in the electoral roll.

Every instance of apparent double voting discovered, by the simple act of physically compiling all the polling booths’ rolls and the special votes roll into a master roll and looking for double-ups (again, why it takes two weeks to get the final count), is investigated. Returning Officers must undertake some amateur sleuthing to discover whether the apparent double vote was a clerical error (For instance, the rolls may show Arthur B Wilson voting once at the same place as a woman with the same surname and address – most couples vote together – and then, apparently, again at a different polling place, the same polling place as the wife of Arthur S Wilson voted, and there is no record of Arthur S Wilson voting anywhere – a couple of phone calls will confirm that Arthur S voted with his wife). If no clerical explanation can be found then, by law, the dual votes must be removed* and reported to the Police, who investigate. Very rarely do they prosecute.

No-one seeking to commit voter fraud would get 9 of their mates to vote twice because a) dual votes get caught and both their votes removed so it would be counter-productive and b) who would ever imagine that 9 votes would matter either way in an election?

If the Herald’s reporter had bothered to ring someone who knew, like the Electoral Commission or, presumably, one of her senior colleagues, an embarrassingly ill-informed and misleading piece need not have appeared in the Herald, which has led a number of people to erroneously think there was an organised attempt to steal an election in Waitakere. And it wouldn’t have given an excuse for people who know better take advantage of the public’s ignorance and smear the Labour candidate.

Richard D

* It’s a little known fact that your vote is traceable. Ballots have serial numbers on them, covered by black stickers, with matching numbers on the ballot stub. When you get your vote, the page and line number of your name in the roll is recorded on the stub. It’s a tedious process but dual votes can be found and removed from the count.

updated: Fixed changed duel to dual.

48 comments on “No mystery over Waitakere votes”

  1. Adrian 1

    Why are the rolls not on line, all most everything else is? It is the easiest way to check if one is or is not enrolled. Even if there are privacy or other concerns, i.e fraud ( though I can’t see how), why can’t the complete database be accessed only by the polling booth manager or workers , it would save a huge amount of time and half a forest in paper rolls.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      Sometimes slowing down the system, although somewhat inconvenient, makes it better not worse.

    • Carol 1.2

      Makes it harder for spammers etc to use the electoral roll if it’s not online. I prefer it that way.

      • Colonial Viper 1.2.1

        Also on e-day, paper rolls do not suffer from:

        – hard disk failures
        – internet connection failures
        – power failures
        – database failures
        – server failures
        – overloading

        As a society we need to start thinking power down, resiliency and redundancy, not increasing interlinking systems complexity.

        • lprent 1.2.1.1

          Same reason that I have always resisted trying to do page and line numbers at the booths using 3G phones. Church halls are a bit short on power points.

        • aerobubble 1.2.1.2

          Given the practice of targetting voter groups by the right, putting some off voting, in very specific areas that skew the whole election. Why would we want a system that can dynamically hack voter intent as the election proceeds? Some accessing a paper ballot needs to rub out and remark every ballot, all a esystem needs is to flip a bit.

        • PW 1.2.1.3

          I’m always a fan of paper-based voting systems for the elections that really matter. They are simple, and everyone can understand them. There is a degree of transparency and reliability in paper that you just can’t get with anything digital.

          There is also another aspect – paper systems require a lot of people to organise and maintain them, but I see that as an investment in democracy. All of those people, whether employed full time, or just on the day with their special tax code, will go on to tell others about their time behind the polls, and thus build confidence in the most important institution we have.

          Nothing is really going to stop a paper system after it starts on polling day, but a single (and as yet, undetermined) failure at Huntly could give us all black screens on those new fancy voting computers.

      • Vicky32 1.2.2

        I prefer it that way.

        As do I!

    • insider 1.3

      It’s also against the law to photocopy them and use them for commercial purposes. The exception is that MPs get electronic rolls which they can use to generate mailing lists.

      • lprent 1.3.1

        And phone canvassing, door canvass, analysing the electorate(s), etc… Who just does snail mail with them?

        So old school, relatively ineffective, and dependent on finding money for the postage out of limited campaign budgets.

        But the actual purpose is so that MP’s can check the roll.

    • lprent 1.4

      It is the easiest way to check if one is or is not enrolled.

      They are for that. https://secure.elections.org.nz/app/enrol/

      There are bugger all power points in most polling places, and frequently there isn’t any data access even with 3G. Even in Auckland, I swear that they site schools halls and churches in cell shadows.

      • McFlock 1.4.1

        Even in Auckland, I swear that they site schools halls and churches in cell shadows

        Well, I seem to recall a number of complaints about cell towers being within a stone’s throw of kiddies.
        Not commenting on the validity of complaints, just pointing out a possible cause of the coverage issues.

  2. Uturn 2

    Duel votes hold a certain fascination, don’t you think? Permanent markers at fifty paces. The first to scribble a vote on their opponent’s face wins.

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    It’s a little known fact that your vote is traceable.

    That’s because they need to be. If they weren’t then anyone could vote and voter fraud would be rampant. It was my realisation of this several years ago that allowed me to realise that online voting could be just as secure as the traditional paper trail.

    • insider 3.1

      I think turning up and physically having to vote is a nice discipline on the election process that probably reduces attempts at fraud. I know it is not really an issue in NZ, but I suspect there would be a higher level of attempted fraud the more remote the voting becomes. It’s sort of a Caesar’s Wife thing to me. I also like the ritual of taking the children – provides the opportunity for a mini civics lesson and complements their school work, as they tend to study elections at election time.

  4. Ant 4

    Wish we did have duel voting though, could be interesting.

  5. Enzo 5

    Another all too common innocent reason dual voting exists is when someone faxes off an overseas vote and mistakenly thinks it hasn’t gone through so faxes it again to be certain – unfortunately this voids both votes.

    • Lanthanide 5.1

      This seems so terribly obvious that I wonder why the electoral commission don’t have a specific process in place.

      So the first time you fax it, you just fax as-is. The second (or third) times you add some special note to the fax to indicate that it is a backup vote incase of transmission failure. They’d receive both votes, but as long as the votes were identical, they’d simply discard the backup vote and count the first one.

  6. Akldnut 6

    The permanent marker needs to be changed, they’re useless.

  7. Craig Glen Eden 7

    Bennett needs to be challenged about her statements to about illegal activity. The allegations of illegality she made and then examples given of legal activity are quite shocking surely both her and her spokes people know that its legal to door knock on election day for the purposes of mobilizing vote as opposed to influencing vote. I suspect however National don’t have the Party numbers to man such an activity on election day. Personally I am sick of Bennett’s blatant hypocrisy given her breach of a certain womans privacy for her own political advantage.

    • Fotran 7.1

      Am waiting for Labour to mount a challenge against Bennett. To do so is expensive – last one in Tauranga by Winston cost $200,000. Huo is a Chinese supporter money getter for Labour who now returns to Parliament. Sorry but Sepuloni will have to return to her union job for now and seek reselection in 2014.

    • Anne 7.2

      …surely both her and her spokes people know that its legal to door knock on election day for the purposes of mobilizing vote…

      Probably not. You’ve got to remember your average run of the mill Nat. isn’t all that bright (cunning yes, but not bright) and when their MP is no better, then ignorance rules the day.

  8. Matthew Hooton 8

    It is certainly par for the course in an election in which Labour has a candidate and Mike Williams is an electorate official

    • Craig Glen Eden 8.1

      What is par for the coarse Matthew?

    • Yes please answer Craig’s question and can you advise what position Mike Williams holds?
       

      • Anne 8.2.1

        I don’t think Mike Williams is on Matty’s Xmas card list any more. He bested Matty on Radio NZ’s Monday political spot during the campaign. I seem to recall MH getting quite upset about it on one occasion. 🙂

        • ghostwhowalksnz 8.2.1.1

          Hooton doesnt get upset , its his plan B when he looses the argument

          • Anne 8.2.1.1.1

            You’re right gwwnz, but MH definitely momentarily lost the plot. I could just hear some muffled giggling which had to be coming from Mike Williams. It was an enjoyable moment.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 8.2.2

        Labours official scrutineer at the Waitakere recount

    • rustle19 8.3

      ah, Matthew having another dig at Mike Williams, happens on their Nine to Noon radio slots as well

  9. Ross Miller 9

    So then, how the f**k did you guys loose?

    • chris73 9.1

      The voters wanted Bennett, which is a concept those on the left are having trouble coming to terms with.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 9.2

      Lose ?

      Its hardly a smashing victory when National + friends is -5 seats down from last time.

      Its MMP stupid.

    • jingyang 9.3

      They didn’t “loose” at all.

    • fender 9.4

      Those with a screw loose would have voted Bennett.
      It’s a pity that Sepuloni only just managed to lose. But she will be back in 2014 hopefully, and by then the “loose” in Waitakere will be kicking themselves for their 2011 mistake.

    • bbfloyd 9.5

      who lost?……… bennett…… an area ripe for becoming a tory stronghold was nearly given up….. bennet now has to carry the taint of having disaffection and disgust with her ministries behavior lose her whole majority… waitakerie is now a marginal seat…….if she wasn’t just an overinflated nothing with a taste for persecution the seat would now be regarded as a safe one for national….

      WOO WOO!!!! PAULA WON!!!!…….yea right……

      • Mark 9.5.1

        Correct me if I’m wrong, but the fact that Waitakere is now marginal should be credit to the Nats, because isn’t Paula the first Nat to hold the seat? Waitakere should be a safe Labour seat, and my suspicion is that in 2014, Labour will win it, not because Carmel is better but because of the probable swing to them.

  10. jingyang 10

    If Labour want to set up a fund for their electoral petition, I’ll quite cheerfully donate to it if it means there is a chance of Paula Bennett getting another smackdown. I can’t stand the woman.

    She’s just another example of a woman being used by the Nats’ clique of wealthy white men as a catspaw for regressive social policies that end up hurting women possibly more than they hurt men. Shipley, Richardson, Tolley; National have a history…

  11. gingercrush 11

    http://publicaddress.net/legalbeagle/14-pages-of-democracy/

    Graham Edgeler has a link to the judicial outcome of Waitakere if anyone is interested. Quite a good read.

  12. james111 12

    Seeems rather strange that all of the Dual Voters voted for one party and not the other is that an Education problem!

    • bbfloyd 12.1

      no… it’s a perception problem on your part…… as in open both eyes and ears and listen to yourself for once… maybe the bigoted reactionary drivel will dry up once and for all…(or until you have exceeded your attention span.)…

    • ghostwhowalksnz 12.2

      Not true, one of the dual voters used the internet to download and the mail in a special vote. They didnt open the envelope , as was the case for all disallowed special votes. No one knows who they voted for

  13. rustle19 13

    interesting well informed piece Richard. Sooner or later voting will need to drag itself away from draughty community halls and pen and paper and enter the internet age, provided security concerns are addressed. Would no doubt increase participation by the young. Could have a dual system, vote online or vote in person.
    Interesting how advance voting has become so popular, and normal, all for the good.
    Also it seems that the Electoral Commission has done an excellent job, is anyone going to congratulate them. Clearly their Russian counterpart can take some lessons.

    And speaking of old ways of doing things, anyone watching the opening of Parliament must have wondered what the hell were three judges doing there, adorned with robes and wigs talking like something out of the 17thC . And there goes Lockwood Smith recalling some Speaker from Charles I time. Is this Aotearoa in 2012. Hone has the right idea.

  14. Grant 14

    Special elections are a funny old thing.

    The nz herald article mentions that a fair number of special votes were rejected due to marks that weren’t ticks, but were in the correct box.

    “Auckland lawyer Peter Kiely was recount scrutineer for the National Party
    and said some changes came about because votes allowed on election night might have had a mark in the box rather than a tick.”

    So they only allow ticks? is this widely known and why is the voters clear intend disallowed?
    As long as a mark is in the confines of the box for the candidate, then it should be allowed. If not, then the rule needs to be changed. It isn’t something that is reinforced in voters minds constantly now is it?

    Also polling stations should post the count visible to all on a board, and this can then have pics taken and send to media and online.

    Exit ballots should also be employed.

    The reason more steps need to be taken is places like corromandel is a close National / Greens electorate that the Greens can’t afford to lose.

    Common election mistakes need to be spelled out verbally and on paper to allow as many votes to be counted as possible. More could be done.

    Better physical controls to stop double marking then disqualification of ballots.

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    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    7 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    7 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    7 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    7 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    7 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    1 week ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    1 week ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    1 week ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    1 week ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    1 week ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago

  • Decisions made on urgent turf maintenance
    The Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson has announced that urgent maintenance of turf and care for plants in non-plantation nurseries will soon be able to go ahead under Level 4 restrictions. “The Government has agreed that urgent upkeep and maintenance of biological assets will be able to go ahead ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Acknowledging an extraordinary te reo champion
    E tangi ana a Taranaki iwi, e tangi ana te ao Māori, otirā e tangi ana te motu. Mōu katoa ngā roimata e riringi whānui ana, mōu katoa ngā mihi.   E te kaikōkiri i te reo Māori, e Te Huirangi, takoto mai. Takoto mai me te mōhio ko ngā ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Prime Minister’s remarks halfway through Alert Level 4 lockdown
    Today is day 15 of Alert Level 4 lockdown. And at the halfway mark I have no hesitation in saying, that what New Zealanders have done over the last two weeks is huge. In the face of the greatest threat to human health we have seen in over a century, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Licenses, WoFs and regos extended under lockdown
    All driver licences, WoFs, CoFs, and some vehicle certifications, that expired on or after 1 January 2020 will be valid for up to six months from 10 April 2020, Transport Minister Phil Twyford has announced. “People shouldn’t have to worry about getting fined for having an expired document if driving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Inquiry report into EQC released
    The Government has today released the report from the Public Inquiry into the Earthquake Commission chaired by Dame Silvia Cartwright.  Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission Grant Robertson says the Government wants to learn from people’s experiences following the Canterbury earthquakes and other recent natural disasters. “Dame Silvia’s report documents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • More time for health workers and elderly to get flu vaccine
    The Government has extended by two weeks till April 27 the amount of time priority groups, such as health workers and those aged over 65, have to get their flu vaccine before it is made available to the wider public. This year’s vaccination campaign is a key component of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
    Communities stepping up to help New Zealanders stay at home to break the transmission of COVID-19 and save lives have received Government support, said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “Delivering groceries for the elderly who can’t shop online, providing data packs for low income families to keep them connected, and being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
    Across New Zealand 120 sites are taking samples to be tested for COVID-19.   68 community based assessment centres (CBACs) have been established to take samples from people with COVID-19 symptoms. Alongside this, 52 other centres including designated general practices, swabbing centres, and mobile clinics are now testing people for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
    The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government supports air services to offshore islands
    The Government has stepped in to support vital air links to our offshore islands, the Chatham Islands, Great Barrier Island and Motiti Island, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. “As part of our $600 million support package to minimise the impacts of COVID-19 on the aviation sector, the Government has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago