web analytics

OIA confirms: No reason to cut Cullen Fund contributions

Written By: - Date published: 12:02 pm, July 6th, 2009 - 71 comments
Categories: budget 2009, national/act government - Tags: , , ,

Well, we told you so. The Nats lied for weeks that a credit rating downgrade would be imposed on us if we didn’t cut contributions to the SuperFund. We didn’t fall for that for a minute.

Even before the Budget, we pointed out that, except for the extraordinary conditions of the last two years, managed funds provide better returns than risk-free government debt. We pointed out that if ever there was a time for a long-term investor like the government to be buying assets, it’s now. It’s grown 16% since February.

Papers released under the OIA to Radio New Zealand show Treasury agreed with us all along:

“It would not help strengthen the overall fiscal position and therefore shouldn’t be seen as a measure to help the credit rating.”

These Treasury papers confirm what the earlier Treasury leak said: keeping the contributions would increase gross debt but would increase assets by more, resulting in lower net debt.

[btw, it would be great to be able to see OIA papers like these rather than rely on a journo’s interpretation of them. OIAs aren’t made available to the general public on a website or something after being given to the requester, are they? If not, they should be.]

71 comments on “OIA confirms: No reason to cut Cullen Fund contributions”

  1. Ianmac 1

    “keeping the contributions would increase gross debt but would increase assets by more, resulting in lower net debt.”
    In a nutshell that I can understand! Ta

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    Well then, all we need is for the fact that NACT have been lying through their teeth to be shouted from the rooftops. Oh, and the fact that they’re actively making our economy worse.

    • gingercrush 2.1

      How?

      I don’t see unemployment at 9.5%. I don’t see banks struggling. I don’t see huge mortgagee sales (a slight increase isn’t itself huge). I don’t see high government debt. Indeed lets see what is happening. An increase in business confidence, an increase in consumer confidence. House prices on the rise. Commodity prices returning. Of course it’d be great to see NZ’s dollar go lower but when you have other markets struggling (Europe and North America). What do you expect.

      I know you would love to paint our economy as horrible. Certainly there are questions about our economy in the long-term such as a horrific current account deficit. But on the whole, our economy holds up well compared to many other economies.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1

        Well, lets see, how about by having it $8 billion worse off than it would be if we didn’t stop payments into the super fund?

        PS. Worse != crashed (yet).

        • gingercrush 2.1.1.1

          For someone that believes the capitalist system is broken. It makes you look like an idiot that you would welcome the government investing in that capitalist system. Since the sharemarket is very much built on the idea on capitalistism. Perhaps you should stop believing your pathetic view of the capitalist system?

          • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.1.1

            I may not like it but that doesn’t blind me to present reality.

        • sausage fingers 2.1.1.2

          How’s that maths workin’ for you Draco? Treasury’s very point is: borrow $8b (debit on the left: $8b) invest $8b (credit on the right: $8b). Therefore, on day one you are neither better nor worse off and your credit rating cannot be affected.

          So in no way are you $8b worse off by failing to invest in the Cullen fund.

          • cocamc 2.1.1.2.1

            SF
            provided the interest that is charged from day 1 is not more than the returns from the investments made via the super fund. The interest payments will be constant – the returns are not. One day we have to pay that $8b back and that can only be from any growth in what we invested the $8b into.

            • sausage fingers 2.1.1.2.1.1

              Understood. The point I was making is that we are not as Draco would have us believe, suddenly $8b worse off. We had to borrow that so the borrowing balances up the investment, We will be better off if the return is greatee than the interest and worse off otherwise.

          • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.2.2

            My maths is fine – yours seems to be lacking.

  3. So you mean except for when it didn’t, the superfund outperformed Govt. debt? That’s hardly inspiring.

    As I’ve said before, it’s pretty dubious that skilled investors can actually consistently beat the market. E.g.
    http://www.dimensional.com/famafrench/2009/06/luck-versus-skill-in-mutual-fund-performance.html

  4. Anita 4

    I will check, but my memory of the OIA guidelines is that release under the OIA is considered public release. So you should be able to ask Treasury for the papers and get them immediately (rather than it going through their delaying process again).

    Try ringing Treasury and asking for the same set of papers, they’ll probably ask for it in writing but it should be a very fast turnaround.

    • Anita 4.1

      Try the last five documents linked to on this page. The page contains the documents about Budget 2009 which are most frequently requested under OIA.

      • Anita 4.1.1

        Actually, the whole list is worth a read, there are some really ugly policy possibilities being calculated.

  5. sweetd 5

    This from the same Treasury that couldn’t report correctly a simple thing like MP’s travel costs?

    • Pascal's bookie 5.1

      Yeah that’s them, the same one’s that said Cullen should have cut taxes, deregulation is a good idea, privatisation has merits, neo liberalism isn’t completely stupid etc.

      You know ideological burpers, fucking morons; and even they reckon English is full of it.

  6. burt 6

    Hopefully National will not apply Labour party logic and call for supression of any information that they would rather people did not know about.

    • Anita 6.1

      My impression is that it’s at least as hard to get politically sensitive information from departments as it was last year, probably harder.

      • Maynard J 6.1.1

        Coleman ordered an internal investigation into why the OIA was complied with in one instance, so there is a good indication of what they think of it.

    • Pascal's bookie 6.2

      Why was Worth sacked?

      I’m shocked that ACT can serve in such a secretive govt.

      • burt 6.2.1

        Why wasn’t Taito sacked before he said he might stand as an independent – see two can play at being partisan hacks.

        But you are learning to question what govt do rather than just say move on so I should not discourage you.

        • Pascal's bookie 6.2.1.1

          Are shocked too then burt, like me, about ACT serving in such a secretive govt? After all their talk.

          And I”m sure you’ve got a cite for me saying “move on” about taito, so front with it, cause I don’t remember that..

  7. gingercrush 7

    Can I just say regardless of what Treasury and others say. I am very comfortable that this government has suspended payments into Superannuation. Though they haven’t completely suspended contributions since they did put in another 250 million dollars. I am opposed to borrowing money to put into an investment scheme that won’t pay our for another 20 years or so. I remained opposed prior to the budget, well before credit issues were coming about. I still remain opposed.

    That you lot remain convinced the Cullen Fund is the magic bullet to keep Superannuation payments and levels where they currently are is quite frankly absurd.

  8. gingercrush 8

    You also have a unique case of “pick and choose”.

    For instance you don’t include this piece:
    “Stopping contributions was needed to stop the government going further and further into debt, there was a thought that would put upward pressure on interest rates”.

    Treasury also didn’t believe Orr’s advice that freeze contributions would make people question the Super Fund.

    And in the end Treasury decided on March 25th
    “That the contributions holiday would be a good proposal.”

    —-

    OMG I love the function that if you forget to put in the spam word it goes to an error message suggesting you copy your contents before trying again. As someone whose done that many times, such a function is very welcome.

  9. Tim Ellis 9

    What intrigues me is why, if it is appropriate for the government to borrow for the Super Fund, the last government never did?

    If there is economic value in borrowing $2 billion a year to put into the super fund, why is there not ten times the economic value in borrowing $20 billion a year for the super fund? Why not $200 billion?

    If there is so much faith in the markets to deliver consistently better returns than the cost of debt servicing, why did Labour never do it?

    • Maynard J 9.1

      I can answer that all for you, Tim, but just to make sure I am not wasting my time, would you be able to answer one question: Are you familiar with the concept of ‘risk’? Even if you are only familiar with it in general terms, you can probably apply it to your question and answer it for yourself.

    • r0b 9.2

      Come on Tim, you’re a high flying banker, you know the answers to your own questions, you’re just playing dumb.

      The other side of your question is, if there is no economic value in borrowing a billion (or whatever) for the April tax cuts (oh – sorry – for “infrastructure”) then why is the government doing it? Why budget for a decade of deficits? Why not $0 borrowing?

      Debt is not always good, debt is not always bad because sometimes it improves your long term position, and sometimes it doesn’t. It’s a case by case basis with proper cost benefit analysis. Since Labour was the government the economic circumstances have changed, and the fund’s very recent growth is excellent…

      • Maynard J 9.2.1

        Tim, I decided to do some research for you since I had read a relevant article. It gratifies me to see Vernon Small label your argument ‘spurious.’ (rob figure you will like this too)

        “There have also been some spurious arguments advanced – including by the prime minister who ought to know better (and no doubt does) – that if it is a good idea to borrow to save, why not borrow huge numbers, $50b or more?

        Well, there is a big difference between borrowing prudently and reduction to absurdity. Borrowing $50b creates a risk out of all proportion to the Government’s balance sheet; borrowing $2b a year to keep the fund growing and on track till surpluses return does not.

        Mr Key and Mr English must also know that the fund has been enormously successful, has suffered a bad patch along with the rest of the world in the current recession and is now growing again as markets rebound.

        They also know that in the long term – and there is not much around in an investment sense that is more long-term than the Cullen fund – the fund is virtually certain to outperform the cost of borrowing, and leave us better off.”

        The rest is well worth a read, if you want a cogent analysis that would help you avoid further spuriosity.
        article

    • Draco T Bastard 9.3

      Because, as you’re quite aware, such borrowing would push up the cost of financial capital so that the returns would be less rather than more.

      PS, yeah, I copy/pasted it from my reply to tim over on Red Alert.

  10. gingercrush 10

    Exactly.

    Indeed if the Cullen Fund is so great. Why don’t we set up another fund for future health funding. Something that is going to impact us more than Superannuation,

    Why not set up a fund for future infrastructure spending. Why not set up a fund in the future to cover all future spending by governments.

    Lets go borrow 10 billion dollars every year put them into various investment funds and we’ll have a great future.

    Of course they won’t answer you TE. Because deep down, they know how absurd it all is.

    • Maynard J 10.1

      Er, because we can just fund health directly. And infrastructure.

      Your arguments are absurd because if the government is making any expenditure while it has any debt, you must think that the expenditure should be cut, you have no provision for debt at all.

      Got super savings? And a mortgage? Absurd. Just absurd.

      Unlike your view, the position taken here is not black and white and thoroughly rigid. In some cases, it makes sense to take on debt. That is all there is to it.

      • cocamc 10.1.1

        Maynard J
        I do have super savings and mortgage debt – but I have to live within my means, just cannot have debt from the bank over and above the assets. That’s just crazy – but hey the left just wants to spend spend spend till nothing left

        • Maynard J 10.1.1.1

          And how much do you think the Government of New Zealand has in assets? I do not know off the top of my head but suspect it is a fair bit and that your statemnt would not be made true even if super contributions were continued..

          “but hey the left just wants to spend spend spend till nothing left”

          If by ‘spend’ you mean ‘save’ then yes, although that would make the second part of your sentence a bit flawed.

          • snoozer 10.1.1.1.1

            Maynard’s right. the Crown has $219 billion in total assets. $123 billion in liablities. Net total assts of $96 billion.

            That’s different from the financial assets and debt that we talk about when we say ‘government net debt is whatever %’. This includes the value of land and buildings and other assets the government owns and other liabilities.

            So cocmac, the government isn’t living off “debt from the bank over and above the assets”

            • vto 10.1.1.1.1.1

              snoozer, you are perhaps well named.

              if you are to rely on such assets to get you out of a debt hole then you must have buyers for those assets.

              do you know of some investors who are going to buy these assets at these prices? or maybe even someone with half at, say $100billion? Or 50bill? or even 5billion?

              seriously …

            • Maynard J 10.1.1.1.1.2

              Eh vto? I (& subsequently snoozer) just pointing out that debts do and would not exceed assets. No one is saying there is an instant need to flog them all off.

              Remember the govt is not like a household and their debt does not need collateral that can be realised in the same fashion. No repo men will come and take our dams if you see what I mean.

            • vto 10.1.1.1.1.3

              exactly MJ, hence the uselessness of the asset position of the govt in this debate. which was my point to snoozer. Hence we have no assets and only debt. A govt’s only assets are its taxpayers (and whatever else it can legislate away from people).

            • Maynard J 10.1.1.1.1.4

              Ok. Does not look like that was the point either, that we can ‘use’ those assets. Then again, there are people who call for getting rid of these funds entirely, but that is not for economic reasons but a political ones.

  11. vto 11

    I agree with Tim and Ginger. The sentiment which pervades Standard discussions on this issue, namely that the Fund will always outperform its cost of borrowing, is EXACTLY the sentiment which has brought about the E N T I R E global financial meltdown.

    Wake up folks. Its bollocks.

    I think most of the world has learnt the lesson that asset values and investments do not always keep going up. It seems that many standard posters have not, which is surprising given the vile bile which has been heaped on bankers and speculators and investors and businessmen and capitalists. (does this mean that standardistas brainprints are exactly the same as everyone elses and include a healthy dose of capitalism and consumerism?)

  12. BLiP 12

    More proof – as if any was needed – that the John Key National Government Inc is unfit to hold the reins, and its born-to-rule cavalier dictate has made the situation far worse than it needs to be.

    The NACTS have been having fantasising about getting their grubby hands on the Cullen Fund since its inception – not for any good reason other than it was a good idea that they didn’t/couldn’t come up with. The decision to slice and dice our future is a manifestation of the nastiest level of politics, that driven by petty jealousy obscured by long disproved “free market” magic-nomics pumped out word for word by the indolent media.

    $8 Billion, you say – is there even one person who voted for John Key in despair at this stage, I wonder.

  13. snoozer 13

    no-one says assets always go up but over the long-run managed assets over-perform the risk-free rate of return…. unless the world economy permanently collapses, and maybe even then.

    Tim’s a banker isn’t he? Does he tell all his customers they would be better off putting their money in bonds than in the bank or in shares or into investing in a business? No? Well then, we know he doesn’t really believe what he’s saying.

    • vto 13.1

      well they are on here snoozer, through the constant suggestion that it is worth borrowing to invest.

      • snoozer 13.1.1

        No. The post refers to long-term investors… no-one denies that markets sometimes go down and the suggestion that it’s worth contributing even if it means more debt doesn’t deny that fact. It’s the long-run that counts for a fund that’s going to still be paying out money in 50 years.

        vto. do you honestly believe that bonds will be the top performing class of assets over the coming decades?

        Tim, how about you?

        If you answer no, then congratulations. You’re on the same side as the Treasury and everyone else who can count… and that means the return for the government will exceed the cost of borrowing over the long-run.

        Incidentally, if the Superfund made 16% since Feb, that’s over 14% more than the return on bonds over the same period.

        • Tim Ellis 13.1.1.1

          snoozer, were you making predictions about bond performance back in February? I don’t know much about bond performance, but it you would have been a very bold person to be throwing large chunks of money at the markets six months ago. You would have been downright insane to be mortgaging your house to do it.

        • vto 13.1.1.2

          No snoozer, the issue in this post is not whether or not someone (the govt) is a long term investor, the issue is whether it is prudent to borrow to invest (as that is the reason the investing was stopped).

          Which is quite distinct to borrowing to buy a home or car and those relevant analogies.

          It has never been prudent to borrow to invest.

          But go to it personally if you wish. Just don’t force my wallet open to indulge its ridiculousciousness.

          • Pascal's bookie 13.1.1.2.1

            Actually v, this post is about whether or not English was right to stop payments to prevent a credit downgrade. Which was his stated reason. This post is about Treasury saying that doesn’t make sense.

            • vto 13.1.1.2.1.1

              ah. So it is, he he. Anyway, it has transmovedon since. And further anyway, what would anyone expect of English – he is a politician of the highest order and truth is one of the last cabs off the rank when it comes to what to say next..

            • gingercrush 13.1.1.2.1.2

              Bullshit PB. This post’s title is “OIA Confirms: No Reason to cut Cullen Fund contributions”. Eddie basically lies, because had he/she listened to the radio report properly you would find that Treasury did give reasons to suspend contributions.

    • Tim Ellis 13.2

      No, snoozer, I’m not a banker. I don’t have clients and I don’t offer investment advice.

  14. Tim Ellis 14

    Come on Tim, you’re a high flying banker, you know the answers to your own questions, you’re just playing dumb.

    rob, for an anonymous poster, you do seem to have a strange obsession with what I do for a living. I’ve never held myself out as a high flying banker or a specialist in economic issues. I am neither. I work as an internal audit manager for a retail bank. This is a technical role that has little to do with economics. I post my own opinions on here under my real name. I don’t try to out you or question the integrity of your opinions. You might want to lay off the trolling slightly and be a bit more respectful.

    The other side of your question is, if there is no economic value in borrowing a billion (or whatever) for the April tax cuts (oh sorry for “infrastructure’) then why is the government doing it? Why budget for a decade of deficits? Why not $0 borrowing?

    Debt is not always good, debt is not always bad because sometimes it improves your long term position, and sometimes it doesn’t. It’s a case by case basis with proper cost benefit analysis. Since Labour was the government the economic circumstances have changed, and the fund’s very recent growth is excellent

    I largely agree with your first point. Government should incur debt in some cases, like in infrastructure, for example to transfer the cost of a road over its entire life, rather than making the current generation of taxpayers foot the whole bill. In ACC, levy-payers should be funding the full cost of their future entitlements at the point that they are incurred, rather than dragging the costs onto future levy-payers for benefits they will never see (the exact opposite of Labour Party policy).

    I think there is an argument for partial pre-funding of superannuation, to smoothe the future costs. The same can be said of health, when there will be a major cost bubble in about 25 years. I don’t care what mechanism is used for this, whether it is reducing debt or increasing tax or partial pre-funding or changing expectations of entitlements, but the economics suggest that if we don’t do something then we will hit a very serious crunch in about twenty years time.

    There are risks associated with funding future superannuation with debt. The risks were so high that the previous government didn’t contemplate it.

    If borrowing for the super fund was the answer to our economic problems, then previous governments would have done it and we would be very wealthy.

    • snoozer 14.1

      “If borrowing for the super fund was the answer to our economic problems, then previous governments would have done it and we would be very wealthy.”

      danger of falling into a logical hole here – ‘if X was good it would already have been done, therefore X must be bad’

    • felix 14.2

      Tim, we’ve been over this “anonymous” nonsense before.

      You’re just as anonymous as r0b or anyone else. No-one knows or cares who you are. Whether you use your real name is irrelevant.

      Please drop the petty attacks on “anonymity”, you do it all the time and it’s boring.

      • Pascal's bookie 14.2.1

        And ‘anonymous’ doesn’t mean ‘pseudonymous’.

        Which is why they have a different word for it.

    • r0b 14.3

      rob, for an anonymous poster, you do seem to have a strange obsession with what I do for a living.

      Tim – say rather that you have a strange obsession for telling us what you do for a living, about all your political contacts and connections, and about your longstanding political involvement. So why the faux outrage when people mention any of it back to you?

      I largely agree with your first point. Government should incur debt in some cases

      And so on. Reasonable enough, and showing that your original comment here was deliberately dumb and trolling. You make arguments here that you know to be dishonest Tim. Why?

      • Tim Ellis 14.3.1

        Oh, here we go again. Rob making stuff up and accusing me of lying.

        Play another record.

        • r0b 14.3.1.1

          Not making anything up Tim, but yes I am accusing you of lying I guess, in that sense that making dumb arguments that you know to be dishonest is lying.

        • felix 14.3.1.2

          If you don’t like being called out for lying, Tim, the solution should be fairly obvious.

  15. tsmithfield 15

    One thing that is very clear is that the people managing the fund have done a piss-poor job of it. Sure, they made plenty of money getting the fund to its peak. However, they obviously did nothing to protect their gains.

    This can be done very simply by purchasing very cheap OTM (out of the money) Put options. Put options earn money when the market is falling. For any given stock, OTM put options can often be purchased for a few cents each, and control 100 shares. Although technically OTM, when it comes to a fall that was experienced last year, they very quickly become in the money, and would have protected most of the gains.

    Here is a Wiki article on Put options if anyone wants to find out more?

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

    This is a very common strategy for managing risk in stocks and shares. It is unbelievable that the managers of the fund were not conservative in this respect, especially given that it is other peoples money that is being used.

    There is no way I would fund speculating on these markets out of a deficit, especially when there are people with the knowledge that should have done better, but obviously did not.

    • snoozer 15.1

      tsmithfield. The Superfund has outperformed the financial markets it is invested in each year, including on the way down.

      • tsmithfield 15.1.1

        That is a bit of a spurious argument, snoozer. There are a lot of people dabbling in the market who have no idea of market strategy whatsoever. So, I would expect a fund managed by professional people to outperform the general market.

        The fact remains that if they had covered their position they would have avoided most of the losses.

  16. Ianmac 16

    Today I received my letter from John Key justifying why “MY Government is committed to keeping Super entitlements.” He doesn’t say how Super will be funded however.
    And given the fuss Helen edured for signing a painting that she did not paint, how about John signing this document that I am sure he didn’t write! Ha Ha! (I know he didn’t because it was in clear basic English.) 🙂

    • Daveski 16.1

      Agreed, it it was English then Bill should sign up. Unless the GG signs it and then Bill becomes ACT??

    • Anita 16.2

      Whose crest was on the letter? I’m curious about whether it’s taxpayer or National party funded.

      • Maynard J 16.2.1

        There is a scanned copy up on Red Alert now Anita.

      • Ianmac 16.2.2

        House of Representatives (Crown)
        Hon John Key
        MP for Helensville
        Prime Minister
        and signed (?)
        J Key
        Govt expense i guess.

  17. mike 17

    “Papers released under the OIA to Radio New Zealand show Treasury agreed with us all along”

    Treasury smeasury – Can we just ask that they look at the numbers once more and then totally contradict themselves, eg Nats travel bills fiasco…

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Govt supports King Country farmers to lift freshwater quality
    Healthier waterways are front and centre in a new project involving more than 300 King Country sheep, beef and dairy farmers. The Government is investing $844,000 in King Country River Care, a group that helps farmers to lift freshwater quality and farming practice, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. “Yesterday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Support for arts and music sector recovery
    A jobseekers programme for the creative sector and four new funds have been set up by the Government to help our arts and music industry recover from the blow of COVID-19. Thousands of jobs will be supported through today’s $175 million package in a crucial economic boost to support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Legislative changes to support the wellbeing of veterans and their families
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has welcomed the First Reading of a Bill that will make legislative changes to further improve the veterans’ support system.  The Veterans’ Support Amendment Bill No 2, which will amend the Veterans’ Support Act 2014, passed First Reading today. The bill addresses a number of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Christ Church Cathedral – Order in Council
    Views sought on Order in Council to help fast track the reinstatement of the Christ Church Cathedral  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Hon Poto Williams, will be seeking public written comment, following Cabinet approving the drafting of an Order in Council aimed at fast-tracking the reinstatement of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealanders’ human rights better protected in new Bill
    The law setting out New Zealanders’ basic civil and human rights is today one step towards being strengthened following the first reading of a Bill that requires Parliament to take action if a court says a statute undermines those rights. At present, a senior court can issue a ‘declaration of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Deep concern at Hong Kong national security legislation
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today reiterated the deep concern of the New Zealand Government following confirmation by China’s National People’s Congress of national security legislation relating to Hong Kong. “New Zealand shares the international community’s significant and long-standing stake in Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability,” Mr Peters said. “New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government invests in New Zealand’s cultural recovery
    Thousands of artists and creatives at hundreds of cultural and heritage organisations have been given much-needed support to recover from the impact of COVID-19, Prime Minister and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Jacinda Ardern announced today. “The cultural sector was amongst the worst hit by the global pandemic,” Jacinda ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Better protection for New Zealand assets during COVID-19 crisis
    Key New Zealand assets will be better protected from being sold to overseas owners in a way contrary to the national interest, with the passage of the Overseas Investment (Urgent Measures) Bill. The Bill, which passed its third reading in Parliament today, also cuts unnecessary red tape to help attract ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Cleaning up our rivers and lakes
    Setting higher health standards at swimming spots Requiring urban waterways to be cleaned up and new protections for urban streams Putting controls on higher-risk farm practices such as winter grazing and feed lots Setting stricter controls on nitrogen pollution and new bottom lines on other measures of waterway health Ensuring ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Record year for diversity on Govt boards
    The Government is on the verge of reaching its target of state sector boards and committees made up of at least 50 percent women, says Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter and Minister for Ethnic Communities Jenny Salesa. For the first time, the Government stocktake measures the number of Māori, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New appointments to the Commerce Commission
    The Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister and Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister, Kris Faafoi, has today announced the appointment of Tristan Gilbertson as the new Telecommunications Commissioner and member of the Commerce Commission. “Mr Gilbertson has considerable experience in the telecommunications industry and a strong reputation amongst his peers,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Historic pay equity settlement imminent for teacher aides
    The Ministry of Education and NZEI Te Riu Roa have agreed to settle the pay equity claim for teacher aides, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This will see more than 22,000 teacher aides, mostly women, being valued and paid fairly for the work they do. “Teacher aides are frontline ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt delivers security for construction subcontractors
    Subcontractors will have greater certainty, more cashflow support and job security with new changes to retention payments under the Construction Contracts Act says Minister for Building and Construction, Jenny Salesa. A recent review of the retentions money regime showed that most of the building and construction sector is complying with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand and Singapore reaffirm ties
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong have marked the first anniversary of the New Zealand-Singapore Enhanced Partnership with a virtual Leaders’ Meeting today. The Enhanced Partnership, signed on 17 May 2019, provides the framework for cooperation across the four main areas of trade, defence and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • JOINT STATEMENT BY THE PRIME MINISTERS OF NEW ZEALAND AND THE REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE ON THE FIRST AN...
    On 17 May 2019, New Zealand and Singapore established an Enhanced Partnership to elevate our relations. The Enhanced Partnership – based on the four pillars of trade and economics, security and defence, science, technology and innovation, and people-to-people links – has seen the long-standing relationship between our countries strengthen over the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government investment supports the acquisition of new Interislander ferries
    State-Owned Enterprises Minister Winston Peters has welcomed KiwiRail’s announcement that it is seeking a preferred shipyard to build two new rail-enabled ferries for the Cook Strait crossing. “This Government is committed to restoring rail to its rightful place in New Zealand. Bigger, better ships, with new technology are yet another ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Better protection for seabirds
    Better protection for seabirds is being put in place with a new National Plan of Action to reduce fishing-related captures, Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage announced today.   The National Plan of Action for Seabirds 2020 outlines our commitment to reduce fishing-related captures and associated seabird ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Milestone in cash flow support to SMEs
    Almost $1 billion in interest-free loans for small businesses More than 55,000 businesses have applied; 95% approved Average loan approx. $17,300 90% of applications from firms with ten or fewer staff A wide cross-section of businesses have applied, the most common are the construction industry, accommodation providers, professional firms, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government protects kids as smoking in cars ban becomes law
    Thousands of children will have healthier lungs after the Government’s ban on smoking in cars with kids becomes law, says Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa. This comes after the third reading of Smoke-free Environments (Prohibiting Smoking in Motor Vehicles Carrying Children) Amendment Bill earlier today. “This law makes it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Parliament returns to a safe normal
    The special Epidemic Response Committee (ERC) has successfully concluded its role, Leader of the House Chris Hipkins said today. The committee was set up on 25 March by the agreement of Parliament to scrutinise the Government and its actions while keeping people safe during levels 4 and 3 of lockdown. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Foreign Minister makes four diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced four diplomatic appointments: New Zealand’s Ambassador to Belgium, High Commissioners to Nauru and Niue, and Ambassador for Counter-Terrorism. “As the world seeks to manage and then recover from COVID-19, our diplomatic and trade networks are more important than ever,” Mr Peters said. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Bill to counter violent extremism online
    New Zealanders will be better protected from online harm through a Bill introduced to Parliament today, says Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin. “The internet brings many benefits to society but can also be used as a weapon to spread harmful and illegal content and that is what this legislation targets,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Mycoplasma bovis eradication reaches two year milestone in good shape
    New Zealand’s world-first plan to eradicate the cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis is on track the latest technical data shows, says Agriculture and Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two years ago the Government, DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb New Zealand and industry partners made a bold decision to go hard and commit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New payment to support Kiwis through COVID
    Further support for New Zealanders affected by 1-in-100 year global economic shock 12-week payment will support people searching for new work or retraining Work programme on employment insurance to support workers and businesses The Government today announced a new temporary payment to support New Zealanders who lose their jobs due ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • PGF reset helps regional economies
    The Provincial Growth Fund will play a vital role in New Zealand’s post-COVID-19 recovery by creating jobs in shorter timeframes through at least $600 million being refocused on projects with more immediate economic benefits, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The funding is comprised of repurposed Provincial Growth ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government exempts some home improvements from costly consents
    Government exempts some home improvements from costly consents Homeowners, builders and DIYers will soon have an easier time making basic home improvements as the Government scraps the need for consents for low-risk building work such as sleep-outs, sheds and carports – allowing the construction sector to fire back up quicker ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Concern at introduction of national security legislation for Hong Kong
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says the New Zealand Government has reacted with concern at the introduction of legislation in China’s National People’s Congress relating to national security in Hong Kong.  “We have a strong interest in seeing confidence maintained in the ‘one country, two systems’ principle under which Hong ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Samoa Language Week theme is perfect for the post-COVID-19 journey
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, says the theme for the 2020 Samoa Language Week is a perfect fit for helping our Pacific communities cope with the unfolding COVID-19 crisis, and to prepare now for the journey ahead as New Zealand focuses on recovery plans and rebuilding New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Adult kakī/black stilt numbers soar
    A nearly 40-year programme to protect one of New Zealand’s most critically endangered birds is paying off, with a record number of adult kakī/black stilt recently recorded living in the wild, the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. “Thanks to the team effort involved in the Department of Conservation’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Waikato-Tainui settlement story launched on 25th anniversary of Treaty signing
    The story of the Waikato-Tainui Treaty process and its enduring impact on the community is being told with a five-part web story launched today on the 25th anniversary of settlement, announced Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “I am grateful to Waikato-Tainui for allowing us to help capture ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Taita College to benefit from $32 million school redevelopment
    Taita College in the Hutt Valley will be redeveloped to upgrade its ageing classrooms and leaky roofs, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. “The work is long overdue and will make a lasting difference to the school for generations to come,” Chris Hipkins said. “Too many of our schools are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Redeployment for workers in hard-hit regions
    The Government is allocating $36.72 million to projects in regions hard hit economically by COVID-19 to keep people working, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Projects in Hawke’s Bay, Northland, Rotorua and Queenstown will be funded from the Government’s $100 million worker ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $35m to build financial resilience for New Zealanders
    A $35m boost to financial capability service providers funded by MSD will help New Zealanders manage their money better both day to day and through periods of financial difficulty, announced Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “It’s always been our position to increase support to key groups experiencing or at risk ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New District Court Judge appointed
    Dunedin barrister Melinda Broek has been appointed as a District Court Judge with Family Court jurisdiction to be based in Rotorua, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. Ms Broek has iwi affiliations to Ngai Tai. She commenced her employment in 1996 with Scholefield Cockroft Lloyd in Invercargill specialising in family and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $206 million investment in upgrades at Ohakea Air Force Base
    The Coalition Government has approved a business case for $206 million in upgrades to critical infrastructure at Royal New Zealand Air Force Base Ohakea, with the first phase starting later this year, Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. The investment will be made in three phases over five years, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Review of CAA organisational culture released
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today released the Ministry of Transport’s review of the organisational culture at the Civil Aviation Authority. Phil Twyford says all employees are entitled to a safe work environment. “I commissioned this independent review due to the concerns I had about the culture within the CAA, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Board appointed at Stats NZ
    Ensuring that Stats NZ’s direction and strategy best supports government policy decisions will be a key focus for a new Governance Advisory Board announced today by the Minister for Statistics, James Shaw. The new Governance Advisory Board will provide strategic advice to Stats NZ to ensure it is meeting New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Principal Environment Judge
    Environment Judge David Kirkpatrick of Auckland has been appointed as the Principal Environment Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  Judge Kirkpatrick was appointed an Environment Judge in February 2014. From December 2013 to July 2016 he was Chair of the Auckland Unitary Plan Independent Hearings Panel. Prior to appointment he ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Digital connectivity boost for urban marae
    A programme to connect marae around the country to the internet has received $1.4 million to expand to include urban marae in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister Kris Faafoi and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. The funding for the Marae Connectivity Programme ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt increases assistance to drought-stricken Hawke’s Bay farmers
    The Government will provide $500,000 to the Hawke’s Bay Mayoral Drought Relief Fund to help farmers facing one of the worst droughts in living memory, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Yesterday afternoon I received a letter from Hawke's Bay's five local Government leaders asking me to contribute to the Fund. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago