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No Right Turn on GST policy changes.

Written By: - Date published: 4:18 pm, September 27th, 2010 - 112 comments
Categories: food, gst, labour, tax - Tags:

It looks like No Right Turn has covered the GST on fruit and vegetables. Reproduced with permission.

Labour’s GST policy

Today Phil Goff committed to axing GST on fresh fruit and vegetables if elected. Good. While originally against this idea, I’ve changed my mind after seeing the evidence. According to research from Otago University’s public health department, removing GST from fresh fruit and vegetables increased consumption by 11%. For a country facing an obesity epidemic and an explosion of lifestyle diseases caused by the modern, sugar-rich diet, that seems like a worthwhile goal.

Critics will say the shift is complex and unworkable. Bullshit. Labour has a solid definition of what counts (“unprocessed” and “fruit or vegetable” – no space for quibbling over salad rolls or tinned beans there), and they’ve committed to providing the necessary support through IRD to make it painless and risk-free for business. The Australians can manage this. Are critics really saying we’re stupider than them?

Which really only leaves cost. This policy will cost $250 million a year. Labour says that will be “repaid many times over” from health savings, but that remains to be seen (those savings will also be long-term rather than short-term). Its a hefty cost, but not one that will break the bank, and whether we want to effectively spend money this way is simply a question of priorities. As Goff asks:

If it’s appropriate to put up the price of cigarettes by $200 million a year in tax because you want to discourage smoking, why wouldn’t you spend the same amount to reduce the price of healthy fruit and vegetables to encourage people to eat what is good for them?

(Though I’d put this as “enable” rather than encourage, a removal of a price barrier to healthy eating).

Though if we’re looking at ways of paying for it, here’s an idea: restore the top tax rate of 39% on the 3% of income earners who earn more than $100,000 a year. This would net more than $550 million a year – more than enough to pay for this change. Plus, it would be a “tax switch” which benefits the poor rather than the rich. Seems like a good idea to me…

Why we should remove GST from fresh fruit and veges

The Otago Daily Times summarises the empirical evidence on the effects of removing GST from fresh fruit and vegetables:

Professors Tony Blakely of the University of Otago, and Cliona Ni Mhuchu of the University of Auckland, gave the proposal cautious support as a move to improve health and reduce inequalities. “Earlier this year we published research showing an 11 percent increase in purchasing of fruit and vegetables when 12.5% was taken off the price,” Professor Ni Mhurchu said.

The finding was from a large randomised trial of 1,100 New Zealand shoppers, and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

This increase equates to about half a kilo more fruits and vegetables per household each week, or about six extra servings.

That’s a pretty significant effect. As for those who doubt whether its worthwhile, it is worth noting that we already run a 5+ a day programme to encourage healthier eating. This goes beyond mere advocacy to enabling. It would mean the government is putting its money where its mouth is.

112 comments on “No Right Turn on GST policy changes.”

  1. roger nome 1

    Of course the right will say that it is an insult to the liberty of junk-food fans. If you take the GST of fruit and vegetables, why should people who love to eat crap not have the same treatment? and on and on and on.

    Come on Farrar – show us what pathetc trivialities your politics are made of!

    • Wait for repeated howls of “nanny state” to erupt any time soon.

      The only trouble is why shouldn’t Government do things to aid health? Why do some put dogma ahead of general health?

    • outofbed 1.2

      I agree whole heatedly with this policy although it falls short of the radical mold breaking shift that we need from Labour
      How about “we the labour party fully commit to Re Nationalizing the electricity generation sector
      and the resulting savings from the pseudo competition and company bureaucracies will be spent on keeping electricity prices down or for central planned investment in sustainable generation” (which would be better ;~) )
      Or, we are not going to subsidise the trucking industry to the same degree and instead of building white elephant roads we will invest heavily in coastal shipping and the infrastructure around that.
      I won’t hold my breath

      • Sigh 1.2.1

        Thing is they don’t actually have these ideas. Look at fibre to the home, a no brainer really for anyone who’d properly studied it, but Labour refused and refused and pursued expensive programme of unbundling and regulation and then refused and refused some more until finally National stole the ball. When it comes to smart ideas about transforming the economy they really have no original ideas whatsoever (that’s not saying that National do, they definitely don’t either, except for broadband they’ve shown to be a bunch of old fashioned fscking idiots on that front too).

        More young blood please. I want to see scientists, engineers, etc. in a New Zealand cabinet for once making educated decisions.

        • millsy

          Actually, Telecom offered to sell its fixed like network to the government, but for reasons only known to them, refused to buy it *rolls eyes*

          The broadband policy is the only thing that I think national is going a half-pie decent job on.

      • insider 1.2.2

        Have you not seen the paper today where the already nationalised monopoly transmission provider is wanting to heap hundreds of millions of extra $ on bills to pay for its engineering wet dreams.

        Is that the kind of example of keeping prices down by nationalised electricity companies?

        • BigSigh

          As someone with a bit of knowledge on that subject I have to defend Transpower. There has been a long (loooooong) period of underinvestment, and our grid is seriously stretched. (And my praise to the skills of the many employees there who’ve kept it running despite this.) We can spend money upgrading the grid, or we can simply to turn the lights out, I know what I want in this case. FWIW they’re not alone, this kind of mismanagement has been a problem worldwide.

          (That said, they do get some of their projects horribly wrong due to some seriously old fashioned thinking and dead wood in the wrong positions.)

  2. The Otago research provides empirical evidence only for the theory that publicising a discounted price encourages people to buy more product. This is a phenomenon not unknown to people who sell things for a living, but is not really relevant to the question of whether removing GST from particular products would encourage sales. Unfortunately, this kind of “evidence” is all too common in the social sciences.

    • bbfloyd 2.1

      i can tell you right now what an effect it has. having lived in australia under their gst regime. i was working sporadically as amusician, and receiving the dole when gigs dried up. i was able to afford to eat properly while on the dole.

      that is not something i would be able to do here. considering the crap wages payed here, eating properly has become an unaffordable luxury. even basic food items are getting too expensive for some, if not most beneficiaries here.

      having felt the effects of eating poor quality diets for a period, i can attest to the reality of the side effects. if the national government’s policy is to create massive health issues(cholesterol, blood pressure, digestion, bowel/intestinal problems,etc), then i would have to congratulate them on a job well done…

      and please, don’t anyone try the govt spin that food prices havn’t gone up to a ridiculous degree. every time i go into a supermarket, the prices have shifted. day by day, fruit and vegetables at times being almost out of range depending on the season. (ozzy tomatoes$14.00kg).

      it’s not far short of the point where we will start having the same diseases associated with malnutrition that we expect to hear from african countries. IN NZ!!! that is just so unnecessary, but the stanley(key) govt just don’t seem to give a stuff…

      • insider 2.1.1

        “fruit and vegetables at times being almost out of range depending on the season”

        Have you ever thought that the words ‘depending on the season’ may give a clue as to why prices vary?

        So how much should Australian tomatoes bought out of season in NZ cost?

        I remember a couple of years ago when Q’land bananas cost over $10kg in Melbourne. It was a crime against the people

        • bbfloyd

          australian tomatoes shouldn’t be imported fullstop. the time it takes to transport them means they are green when picked, and therefore have very little of the nutrient they would have if ripe.. we have hydroponic tomatoes grown here in mangere..we hav the capacity to produce all our own food. where is the investment in year long vegetable production? the point you have missed is that that price is beyond a hell of a lot of people to sustain. they may as well be$25.00kg for all the good it will do for those people.

          and that was simply one example… if you cared to check, the number of examples that would be just as relevant would be countless at present.

          and yes. for locally grown product to be that expensive is criminal greed at work. (bananas)

          • Jilly Bee

            Australian tomatoes look awful and artificial in the supermarket during the winter months, compared to what they look like at Aussie markets, I never purchase them. I buy heaps of fruit and veges – we don’t have the room to grow that many veges and will be happy with a small decrease in the cost. I also think that fat laden take-away meals could well do with an extra ‘fat tax’ – OMG nanny state, but probably the admin costs may outweigh the benefits.

            • Lanthanide

              “Australian tomatoes look awful and artificial in the supermarket during the winter months, compared to what they look like at Aussie markets”
              They probably have to export the varieties that keep the best, and often have worse taste as a result.

              I noticed for a while that strawberries you bought in stores were always huge, but flavourless. This last year however they seem to have woken up and have gone back to a smaller and much tastier variety.

  3. Lanthanide 3

    It seems to have struck a chord on stuff, with 48% in favour (on a normally right-leaning site).

    I’m unconvinced in that it seems like a very small amount that the average person is going to be saving, even with the rate going to 15%. It is also going to add costs for businesses, not from “determining which foods count and which don’t” as their definition is apparently solid, but accounting systems are now going to have to account for supplies bought and sold that do not have a GST portion attached to them. Currently almost everything has GST for which you get a refund from the government and in turn charge your customers, but now there will be a small class which is exempt, and that’ll require yet another software upgrade.

    • Vicky32 3.1

      My heart bleeds. Poor supermarket chains! Don’t be ridiculous. All supermarkets are owned by one of two multi-nationals. No software upgrade is going to kill them…

      • Roger 3.1.1

        It shouldn’t be too hard. Fruit and vegetables are sold in a department separate from others. The logistics chain is separate from other goods, and the management from head offices is done by people that focus primarily on that department, same as all others. It won’t be difficult.

      • Lanthanide 3.1.2

        Chain supermarkets aren’t the only ones that sell fresh fruit and vegetables, you know.

        • Vicky32

          Even so, your specialty shop or local dairy are not going to be broken by the costs of compliance with this change! (In fact, I can imagine the owners of my local convenience shop being quite happy about it, they’d sell more!) It’s simple enough that even people who have English as a second language, can grasp it, after all – unless they don’t want to understand!
          Are you sure you’re a lefty Lanth?

          • Lanthanide

            You seem to be mis-interpreting what I’ve said. I’ll put it in bullet points:
            1. The dollar cost of this is not going to be very significant for the average family, week to week
            2. It will cost companies more in compliance to move to software systems that can handle variable GST per product

            Nowhere did I say #2 was such a crippling cost as to make the whole idea unworkable. I just think the combination of 1 and 2 together overall mean this doesn’t strike me as a particularly good way to be spending $250m.

            Also, I think your local convenience shop are unlikely to drop their prices significantly. They trade on convenience and already charge higher prices, so there’s really no incentive for them to drop their prices much if you’re already going there and don’t mind the high prices to begin with.

            • felix

              I’ll bullet point it properly for you:

              *1. It will save people a little bit, the savings mainly helping the poorest
              *2. It will cost fuck all in compliance, the fuck all mainly imposed on the richest

              The rest of your comment is twaddle. My local vege shops will be able to drop all of their prices by 15%. You think they’ll suddenly lose interest in competing with each other?

              • Lanthanide

                Sorry, my definition of ‘convenience store’ is the corner dairy or mini-mart that charges through the nose, or the small regional supermarkets like 4-square and supervalue, not a green-grocery/growers market.

                “It will cost fuck all in compliance, the fuck all mainly imposed on the richest”
                Because businesses never pass on their increased costs to their customers?

                • jcuknz

                  People who use the f… word know sfa all and are quite stupid.
                  [That’s Fanny not f…]

                • felix


                  ah I see we were indeed talking about two very different types of shops.

                  Yes, the starmarts et al will keep gouging as always. Not so sure about the 4-squares and the like – out here in the provinces they tend to be pretty aware of the need to keep on side with their local communities.

                  jcuknz: go fuck yourself, I’ll use any language I like.

            • mcflock

              The average family might not notice it – but those on lower incomes will feel it.

              I know, it’s an alien concept these days for a government to do something that will help the poor more than the middle classes, even Labour find it difficult. But cutting GST has benefits that trickle up…

  4. tsmithfield 4

    The problems are:

    1. Minimal actual benefit in dollar terms.
    2. Higher cost of compliance and complexity for businesses.
    3. Businesses may not necessarily pass on the GST decrease.

    • bbfloyd 4.1

      how can you quantify dollar values in the short term? you can’t, because the payoff is long term. in ten years, how do you measure the net gains from people who don’t need medical care because their diet isn’t killing them?

      we have a very good model to follow already over the tasman… whinging aside, the system they have there is working well. most of the complaints were borne of laziness, greed, or ideology. which fizzled out once everything was debugged. all we need to do is check out what they did right and follow.

      public education went a long way to stopping profiteering in it’s tracks. the govt set up call centers so that members of the public could blow the whistle on that, and prosecutions followed. but by far more effective is giving the consumer the information required to make discerning choices.

      so if you are spending $150.00 per week feeding your family, then you would consider a $25-30.00 saving to be minimal? tell that to every solo mum, and family surviving on a benifit!! be prepared to be ridiculed..

      • felix 4.1.1

        Some of these guys don’t know you can get money in denominations of less than a c note.

        $25 isn’t a countable amount to them.

      • Lanthanide 4.1.2

        If you’re spending $150/week feeding a family and you’re going to get $25-30 back from this GST change alone, you must be eating a lot of salads.

        Another angle of attack on tsmithfield’s point should be considered, however: the average voter may say “$6 week saved on fresh fruit and vegetables? who cares? why would I vote Labour just for that?”.

        • Herodotus

          Lant – to get $6/week you have to have a household income greater than $132k p.a.. There are aloyt of voters on that income who will vote based on a $6/week savings from Lab. Especially as most on that income have mechamisms that, given thanks to Lab & Nat greater tax minimising vehicles. Remember 50 on the rich list who don’t even pay the top tax braket. the avg voter/household will benefit by $2/week. For a election bribe/promise it is min cost for the PR and media coverage it will get. If you want my vote either a bigger bribe (I sell my vote for far more that $2/week and no vision) or perhaps something radical and a stragety that may cost be in the pay packet BUT I can see something holistic benefiting the country and our future.

          No future for meeeeeeeeee 😉

        • felix

          Is this going to be labour’s only policy going into the next election? If not, what does the word “just” mean in your comment?

          • Lanthanide

            It means what people are thinking about today, now that Labour has announced their first big policy. It is hardly one that captures people’s imaginations, so I wouldn’t expect to see much, if any, poll bump from this.

            • felix


              • Lanthanide

                First impressions count. If people write this change off as being irrelevant, that impression may stick. Especially if they buy into National’s attack lines against it.

            • Blue

              I’m happy Labour has announced a policy. I’m happy that it’s one that will attract public attention and debate. I’m not totally sold on how much it might save the average family a week.

              But I am quite happy that it makes Bill English look like a penny pinching accountant with no grasp of anything other than pointy-headed number-crunching.

              The kind of thinking that this policy represents has been absent from NZ political discussion for so long now. It’s something that’s aimed at trying to help those who are struggling, not rewarding those who already have enough to get by comfortably. Something that’s not just about numbers on a spreadsheet but about a vision for transforming the quality of life in New Zealand in the future.

              I didn’t realise just how absent that’s been until now, and I think the public might just enjoy their first taste of something different too.

              • rosy

                Agree. For the ‘tax switch’ the rich are benefiting and the poor are getting only marginal benefits yet it’s being sold to them as better than nothing. On the otherhand this policy can potentially benefit the poor more than the rich (percentage of their spending) and it’s being denounced as underwhelming. $3/week can’t be both not worth it and worth it. In both cases these are indicators of intention – i.e to redistribute wealth to different sectors. The fruit and veg policy can however only be a start of redistributing for a more equitable society.

            • Vicky32

              Speak for yourself, Lanth! If you were one of the people living close to disaster every week, or even knew anyone who is, you wouldn’t be so dismissive.

      • tsmithfield 4.1.3

        Except not many families spend anything like $150 on fresh fruit and vegetables. A lot would spend $20 or less.

        • felix

          We should probably find ways to make them more affordable then.

          • factchecker

            People like eating shit mmkay, because they’re lazy fuckwits mmkay


          • tsmithfield

            If they spend $20 on F & V now, removing GST will save them $3. Hardly a huge incentive.
            The other problem is there is absolutely no guarantee that stores won’t just keep prices the same and pocket the difference.

            But why stop at fresh F & V? What about frozen ones that can be just as good?

            Why not take the GST off everything that can be potentially healthy? e.g. Gym memberships, bicycles, running shoes, nutritional supplements etc etc.

            • felix

              Probably no point doing anything much ever then ts. Can’t make everything perfect in one swoop so fuck it, just do nothing.

            • Vicky32

              “If they spend $20 on F & V now, removing GST will save them $3. ”
              Marie Antoinette got shafted for similar ignorance! (Yes, I know it wasn’t actually her who said it, but I don’t wanna havta do a long explanation, some times it’s just simpler to go with the common misconception, hey?)
              “The other problem is there is absolutely no guarantee that stores won’t just keep prices the same and pocket the difference. ”
              Stores, yes, shops may well be different…

    • Zeebop 4.2

      The problems are:

      1. Minimal actual benefit in dollar terms.

      Wrong. GST intake with jump 20%. Why not raise it to 20% or 50% GST?
      Because obviously its inflationary, which makes it more expensive to do business!
      Second, you hand to mouth benefit receiver is still going to have to pay more
      since businesses still have costs that will rise – its inflationary!

      2. Higher cost of compliance and complexity for businesses.

      This is a naff argument, all businesses pay heaps of taxes and a minefield
      of hazards, but worse! Not counting GST is actually a relaxation of taxation
      compilance. How can something you stop doing be an additional cost!

      3. Businesses may not necessarily pass on the GST decrease.
      Yes, businesses in fruit and vegies, competing against a man selling
      it off the back of a horse drawn wagon are going to price themselves
      out of the market.

      Sorry but I seriously wonder at the education of kiwis, they seem to just
      have been educated to come up with obstacles to change but never follow
      through on the consequences and take a first guess approach that keeps the
      status quo. Because one thing is for sure, they damn won’t change anything
      that might help their economy. Now if it harms it, sure, where do they sign up.

  5. Ari 5

    It’s also a bit less clear whether the increased consumption is from wider consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables, or simply increased consumption from those already buying them, which is currently mostly the richer segments of society, unfortunately.

  6. Herodotus 6

    As I have commented many time previously on thelack of benefit to a family $2/week. There also is the question how do we know if the 15% GST will be passed down or absorbed by the m,any layers of invovlement within the industry growers, transport, supermarkets etc.?
    On a more minor issue how also will we know if these exceptions to GSt will be the beginning, widdle and end?
    Say The Caledonia party hold power next election that part of their platform was GST removal from rolled oates/ porridge and single malt whisky 🙂 mmmm.
    A policy that has few exceptions (rent, fines, bank charges and interest) works well. If it is that those atthe lower level of income need assistance then act on the issue increase welfare, min wage etc.
    If it is health needs saving a couple of $ will not in my mind change eating habits. there neds an extensive health and budgeting education package. The horse and water come to mind.
    This is not the panacea for the cure of obesity and for this to have the following comment ” This policy will cost $250 million a year. Labour says that will be “repaid many times over” from health savings,” I agree with “The Standard” commentator as to being (more) skeptical (Anyone watch the video yet from previous post I wish to let the youtube clip reach 10,000 hits !!! 😉 regarding the payback in real terms not some Labour spokesman. saving $2 will not change eating or health outcomes. If Lab expects this then just continual with Nat and tinker not to address the REAL issues.

    • bbfloyd 6.1

      this is meaningless semantics… seems like every conspiracy theory rolled into one. the numbers you quote are insultingly inaccurate, and assuming everyone else would be as intractable as yourself given the opportunity to change their family’s eating habits is short sighted to say the least.

      word to the wise… the status quo is not immutable….

      • Herodotus 6.1.1

        For someone who has never put up any nos I find your trolling very shallow check dept of ststs to verify my nos, where is your links to behavioural changes by price???? 😉
        p.s Even invisible phil cannot read families saving $6/week to be on this yo would have to eanr greater than $132k. Nice to see Phil quoting how much the wealthiest will save to justify this policy, and who was it commenting re Nat tax policies for the few not the many heres looking back at you Phil, just priceless.

        • bbfloyd

          Hero.. YOU… calling me a troll…. that’s the funniest thing i’ve heard you say yet. and that is saying nothing yet.

          life is not all about numbers and money flyboy.. if you actually thought with your big head about what i said, then you would, possibly realise what my post was about.. don’t forget the old maxim….”there are lies, damn lies, and then there are statistics”.

          i live in the real world. and that qualifies me to comment on what i see every day. and what i experience. no amount of playing with numbers will convince me that black is white, or vise versa.

      • Herodotus 6.1.2

        bbf if my numbers are inaccurate then you have concerns regarding the Dept of Stats?
        As per the Dept of Stats (Many links I have already provided yet to see one of yours disproving our Govt dept) the average household spend on F&V IS $18.40 incl of 12.5% GST or $2.04 GST component. No how about put up regarding my/govt stats inaccurant numbers.
        Or are you Phil G quoting the top 5% household income to justify the $6/week savings that the likes of Eric Watson, Hitchens and coy will recieve from this, Labours policy?

        • bbfloyd

          laughably inaccurate figures… still relying on the numbers.. don’t you have any ideas outside the “bottom line”? govt stats show food prices going up less than 1% last year.. you’ll get a laugh with that one down at the local winz office..

          • Herodotus

            Wher else do you go. Other nos that may interest you
            Still if you are happy and taken in by Phils $6/week and think that this applies to you and most other NZ it may be beneficial to review weekly spend. Most will be taken back by how little they spend on Freash F&V. This is not about what is good for the public, this is all about politics and the win:loss game Lab and NAts play with us.
            You like myself are in the real world, but we are 1 of 4+m. So where else do we get numbers to question policy on, or do we just take it that “our” side are always telling us the truth with facts. These need to be tested, and sometimes we find that the mesages are WRONG!!! Just like how we are being oversold the benefit of this policy, and we are being oversold this in a big way.
            Increases in F&V over last 3 years CPI figures
            2007-08 23.4% increase
            2008-09 7.6% decrease
            2009.-10 2.3 increase

          • Herodotus

            You may be either correct and the nos are not telling the picture or an orstrich. Either way does not matter as these numbers contribute to the decision making of the reserve banks policy and Nat and LAbs policies and costings. So they do matter as the are integral in what does affect us directly e.g. as in interest rates, value of NZ dollar etc.

  7. insider 7

    It also ignores the research that ‘fresh’ fruit and vegetables are not always best. Why give favourable treatment to a non optimal product.

    AS for a “solid definition of what counts (“unprocessed” and “fruit or vegetable” – no space for quibbling over salad rolls or tinned beans there)”. Why does I/S have such little faith in lawyers? Has he never met one?

    I have no doubt this can be done technically, I’d expect its admin to cost to be far far less than $250m. But I can’t see the point in terms of fitting a policy need; and I think you can do an awful lot of health good to the bits of society that probably need diet help with a targeted $250m than with a scattergun approach. As a bonus for labour that would probably be their core constituency.

    • bbfloyd 7.1

      Insider..you have just demonstrated exactly, one of the issues brought up, and dealt with relatively easily in aust.

      i’m sure you understand that time never stands still. neither does human development. so we can assume that the issue of “definitions”, would be worked through over the time period that exists between now, and the beginning of the implementation process. and as we have an excellent set of examples to follow from australia’s implementation process, which highlighted it’s weaknesses early and clearly and allowed the govt to get a regime in place that, no liberal me, have to admit works reasonably well.

      our situation isn’t totally alike, but there is enough past experience to call on in avoiding the worst of the pitfalls early.

      to me the opportunity this presents is too important to reduce it to a money crunching lolly scramble. as a tool to augment education initiatives designed to “futureproof ” the health levels of the lower echelons of our society, this would be useful.

      it will be our grandchildren and great grandchildren who thank this generation. personally, i would rather that than having our names cursed for doing nothing when there was still time.

  8. gingercrush 8

    Sorry but where does this idea that online polls favour the right. Authors and commentators here consistently use that line to support anything where the poll tends to be evenly spread or tilts in favour of whatever the author/commentators opinion of the subject is. None of you have proof that actually takes place either, you just believe that to be the case.

    Anyway stupid pointless exercise. And that stuff poll is a stupid question anyway. It should simply be. “Do you support no GST on Fruit and Vegetables. Answer yes and no.

    Instead we get a seriously twisted and stupid question instead and the way to answer no is basically, “Nanny state social engineering”. I don’t see it as that. I just think its stupid. End of.

    And just as most studies around price increases on alcohol and tobacco have proved to be entirely stupid so too is a stupid study into the decrease of GST on Fruit and Vegetables.

    • felix 8.1

      Sorry but where does this idea that online polls favour the right.

      From looking at online poll results?

      • Roger 8.1.1

        Also the fact that people without access to the internet are mostly left leaning. Of the ones that do have access, considering the large numbers that participate during normal business hours, a higher proportion of left leaning people are likely to be in workplaces where they do not have access to the internet. They are too busy producing actual goods and services while the RWNJs are on the internet in their nice offices.

    • Maynard J 8.2

      Did you vote it as Nanny state blah blah anyway, as anyone who is opposed to the policy or is anti-Labour would vote?

    • bbfloyd 8.3

      GingerNut… was getting bored, so i read your post. disappointed, you only got six stupids in there.

      stupid computer, took me three goes to spell stupid,, stupid spellchecker,, stupid yanks, can’t spell.

  9. Zeebop 9

    UK, OZ both have CGT and GST off food, books, and baby stuff.

    NZ has no CGT, speculators running the country, and poverty, crime, inequality
    and exporting our skilled young adults because its more expensive here, to eat,
    to get educated and to bring up babies.

    Now MSM doesn’t want to make the connection for people, less the right
    look like the shrill liars they are. If you want a richer country you need a
    richer diverse population that doesn’t rely on one or two industries. That
    means building a first world nation not a third world free for all.

    The right doesn’t want to govern because the wealth are already making
    money enough for themselves. That is not government that is gridlock.

  10. Seti 10

    The problem is the seasonal price fluctuations that affect fruit and vegetables. A lettuce is circa $3.50 currently and around $1.50 when supplys a plenty. So a 13% reduction with gst excluded reduces the price to $3.06/$1.31. I hardly think such a difference will cause a revolution in nutrional eating habits when seasonality induces such wide variances.

    • bbfloyd 10.1

      if all you eat a week is one lettuce, then you would be perfectly right. very thin, but correct. so what else would you feed your kids during the week? maybe two lettuces?

      i think calling this a “revolution” in eating habits is an overreaction. therefore writing it off simply because it isn’t “dramatic” is misguided. the vast majority of people who got their tax cut will lose most, if not all with the corresponding raise in costs. do i hear people saying we shouldn’t have them?

      as a single plank in a complete platform of reform, this can be seen as an important, and necessary component in a realistic approach to public health.

  11. bbfloyd 11

    another aspect not canvassed her,as far as i’ve noted anyway, is that seasonal price fluctuations, at present mean that for a part of the year, fresh fruit and veg are out of reach for some.(a growing number). so am i to assume that people are arguing it is acceptable that good diet is something poor people can’t have for part of every year?

    so for four or five months you eat all the good stuff you can so that, with luck, the effects on your physiology from the substandard diet the rest of the year can somehow be negated? does anyone else see the weakness in this approach?

    • Herodotus 11.1

      In winter you tranfer your eating habits “generally” from fruit to veges. Broccoli, potatoes,leeks and the like. and bbf just for you a link 😉
      Also as times have toughened people are growingthere own, thus reducing the savings from this policy. Unless Lab gets the grand idea to remove GST from seeds and other garden assoc costs that assist in the cutlivating of food. Or would that be too deep for a Lab/nat/Govt policy to go more than skin deep and a good 20sec sound bite??

      • Vicky32 11.1.1

        “In winter you tranfer your eating habits “generally” from fruit to veges. Broccoli, potatoes,leeks and the like”
        What’s your point? Broccoli, potatoes and leeks (eeuuww!) are still veges, and still bl**dy expensive!

        • Herodotus

          My point was intended to be that we have to modify our eating habbits to be able to benefit from low cost price of F&V. Eating salads all year round has a high cost attributed to it over winter and spring. Coloured peppers are another example, if you buy on price the salad may not look pretty but still tatses the same. Red, Yellow, Orange over the year the different colours can cost 2-3 times as much as the cheaper ones at the same time.
          Broccoli is very inexpensive during the year, thought the cheese sauce is very quiking pricing itself out of the budget as it did 3 years ago. Then there is the suede or turnip. Unfortunately eating within a budget,healithily and in season has its limits on what the taste buds appreciate. many also forget that some are not as fiortunate to live in Jafaland with many supermarkets, F&V shops close buy and are dependant upon a single supermarket source for food. I have noticed even the weekend farmers markets are getting up there in price
          Bon Appetit

          • Lanthanide

            I’ve discovered a very nice drizzle you can put over steamed vegetables of any type to jazz them up a bit. Basically lemon or lime juice, butter, little salt and pepper. You only need 2 tablespoons each of butter and the juice and 1/4t salt/pepper (or to taste). Can throw in a little sugar too. It doesn’t seem like much volume at all, but it goes a long way. Stick it in a pot and heat till it boils, then take off and drizzle over the vegetables.

      • bbfloyd 11.1.2

        thanks for the pointless link Hero.. actually, my tastes don’t change over the course of the year on a cyclical basis. and indeed, with the wonders of modern technology we don’t need to become captive by the seasons.

        and how many people are ther living in auckland with A; the money to spend on setting up a kitchen garden? B; the ground space to plant it, and C; the knowledge to make it work continuously. how much would your average city dweller know about crop rotation?

        to make a twelve month garden work, you would need to set up a greenhouse at the least. they aren’t cheap. then you would have to be a homeowner, or have obtained permission from your landlord to use his property for that.

        hydroponics, or at least growing in soil under lights is an excellent alternative, and as long as you know what you’re doing, very efficient…. how many people have got the technical expertise to make that work?

        we musn’t forget, in the rush to critique, that this policy is obviously aimed at the urban centers where the bulk of the population dwell. space is at a ever higher premium year by year.

        we could always get a bit socialistic and look at cooperative endeavors.. (neighborhood allotments). turning small parks into little market gardens for the local areas. that would work as long as it was approached in a sensible manner.

        • felix

          It doesn’t have to be “teh awesomest garden in auckland” from day one.

          Gardening just isn’t like that. It’s a lifelong learning process. You won’t have every veg you desire right now just cos that’s what you feel like tonight.

          You learn to think about food in a different way. You learn to measure time in increments of seasons rather than meals. You learn an incredible amount of ways to cook the same veges again and again without getting bored (and you learn what other people near you are growing and swap with them). You learn an entirely new definition for the term “convenience food”.

          It takes time and effort to get to a point where you can eat substantial amounts from your own garden, but even a little bit is rewarding.

          Start small. Lettuces are easy. Read. Keep notes. Talk to the oldies in your street. Don’t expect it all to happen at once.

          But mostly, don’t be put off just because you can’t grow absolutely everything you want all year round.

    • Lanthanide 11.2

      Eating seasonally-priced foods doesn’t mean in winter that you can’t eat healthily. It just means you eat cabbage instead of lettuce, and broccoli instead of tomatoes. Or, if you really MUST have your particular vegetable, you get a small greenhouse (can be easily bought at The Warehouse) and grow your own small supply over winter.

      captcha: opportunity

      • bbfloyd 11.2.1

        L.. an idea i would love to implement.. unfortunately, i can’t where i live.. and the assumption that everyone can afford the outlay to set up a green house would be unrealistic. to say nothing of the skills and knowledge required to make it work properly.

        • Lanthanide

          Small greenhouse from the warehouse for $45: http://www.thewarehouse.co.nz/red/catalog/product/Westminster-2-Tier-Green-House-with-PE-Cover-97cm-x-69cm-x-49cm?SKU=1207294
          There’s a much more substantial one there fore $65, also.

          Sure, it’s not going to give you buckets of food, but I did say “small supply” there.

          As for skills and knowledge, yes, it’s entirely an opportunity cost. Take the time to develop the knowledge and grow your own and save $, or pay $$ at the shops when you insist on buying out of season produce.

          There is still nothing stopping someone from buying in-season produce at affordable prices. Some things, like potatoes, onions and carrots are pretty cheap year-round as well.

          • bbfloyd

            L … yes, i’ve seen them. good for hobby gardens and herbs, but pointless if you actually want to produce enough to count. i actually considered buying one a while ago, but the space just isn’t adequate. i decided that i could grow all the veges i wanted using an indoor setup. if only it wasn’t so risky going to hydroponic supply shops. i can see the headline now “police bust illicit capsicum plantation”..

            thing is though, i have knowledge gathered over years of experience. where does that leave a novice? making expensive mistakes untill they either get it right, or give up.
            I agree 100%that growing ones own vegetables and fruit is the best way to go. nutritionally as well as cost. it is the availability of usable land in the cities that is a major impediment. or should i say land that is not owned by private interests that would see no profit in allowing the ground to be used for these purposes.

          • bbfloyd

            small point L.. normally i would agree with you on the spuds, onions and carrots.. but this year has been an odd one for that. for the first time i have been having to shop around for even those basic items.. i’ve found that the chinese grocery stores are the best for that. i’m curious to know how they manage to undercut the supermarkets like that.

            don’t like to think our wonderful supermarket chains are gouging us..

            • Lanthanide

              Onions and carrots seem to have been about constant for me, and I do go through quite a lot of both. As for potatoes I normally only buy the 2.5kg roasting potatoes, probably what many would consider ‘gourmet’. They’re certainly more expensive per kg than buying a big 10kg bag of no-name ones, but I simply don’t eat potatoes often enough to get through 10kg before they go bad (sometimes I don’t even manage the 2.5kg bags). The price of those is pretty constant, too.

              As for the small greenhouses, yes, they aren’t going to provide a substantial proportion of your calory needs, especially for a family. But for a single or a couple they aren’t bad, especially if you go for vegetables that are pretty expensive, like spring onions and capsicum, or tomatoes (get the small cherry tomato or ‘bush’ varieties). This year I’ve set out to grow my own capsicums, so far I’ve thrown out 2 lots of seedlings as they died, but I think it’s ’cause I had the temperature up too high on the propagator. 3rd time might be my lucky one. From 10 plants I expect to get maybe 20 medium sized fruit, and that’ll make it worth it for me.

              • bbfloyd

                and they are gonna taste great! but i think you might be underestimating your yield. you can harvest capsicum for ages. two plants should give you plenty for a couple of months. giving yourself a small space between seedtray and heating pad should help with the seedling problem. if you can get hold of 20 litre buckets you can grow enough spuds in three or four to feed three or four people for months.

                i can already see the benifits of goff’s announcement. if we can have this conversation considering the relative disparity of our respective leanings, then how much of this is going on everywhere else? i can see it… two guys having a punch up in a ponsomby bar over a disagreement about the right fertilizer for courgettes..

                yea i know… silly, but you gotta admit it’s a goodness to get people really thinking about getting back to the soil, and getting the buzz from the good food. whatever else, it’s a nudge in a good direction.

  12. gobsmacked 12

    Policy, schmolicy.

    Folks, we’re living in New Keyland, where “explaining is losing”. It’s a headline-grabber, easy to understand, fills a political news vacuum in the recess, goes down well in Mana by-election, etc. So yes, it’s A Good Thing.

    Sure, I’d like all the details to stand up to rigorous scrutiny as well. Maybe they do, I dunno. But hang on, what did I say … “rigorous scrutiny”? It’s New Keyland, folks! The emptiest leader in history is also the most popular leader in history. Tragic, but true.

    What details did Key deliver in opposition? His policy on GST? “It won’t go up”. His policy on kids’ health? “Helen, hands off our pies!” His policy on low income families? “A ride in my car to Waitangi!”

    And nobody bothered to ask any more about it.

    Labour have spent far too long trying to play chess when the media can barely handle noughts and crosses. So give ’em the games they want.

    What was on the TV news tonight? A nice big picture of fruit and veges, some cute kids with apples and a couple of voters outside the supermarket saying they’d like cheaper shopping, please. Plus, Bill English … Labour’s best weapon.

    Well done, Phil.

    • bbfloyd 12.1

      G S… wouldn’t it be nice ……… if NZ’ers could actually debate important issues like real grownups..but then.. i’m not sure i’ve ever met a real grownup..

      • Herodotus 12.1.1

        Still awaiting some response re comment 6.1.2 or do I take the victory by default 🙂

        [lprent: It would be a bad idea. I wouldn’t like it – all of the most irritating flame-wars that I’ve had inflicted on my sensitive eyes tend to start that way. I find that making the perpetrator leave the places that I have to read tends to cheer me up. ]

    • pollywog 12.2

      It’s a headline-grabber, easy to understand, fills a political news vacuum in the recess, goes down well in Mana by-election, etc.

      Fa’afoi owes me a feed if he’s gonna pimp this policy and be damn sure i’m gonna upsize it to big boy status as well

      Goff still managed to look like a chump while he was delivering the good news though but did ya see those cold sores on Blinglishs bottom lip ?

      Stress gettin to ya Billy boy ? Be thankful you’re not pulling dead lambs outta the muck back ‘home’.

      • Loota 12.2.1

        Goff still managed to look like a chump while he was delivering the good news though but did ya see those cold sores on Blinglishs bottom lip ?

        Stress gettin to ya Billy boy ? Be thankful you’re not pulling dead lambs outta the muck back ‘home’.

        I think life is going to get more challenging for Bill as the months roll on by. For both Bill and John, actually.

        • pollywog


          if i was a rich white mofo politician, i’d prolly be trying to rape the economy and pocket as much loose change as i can from any dodgy dealings with big business, then quit soon as in a blaze of glory and push for a knighthood so i can retire to some tropical idyllic Pacific island and lord it over the natives in true colonial style…nah j/k

          Anyone else pickin as soon as Blinglish leaves the big house he’s gonna sell up the dipton estate and bail overseas before the inks dry on his resignation letter ?

  13. millsy 13

    Have to side with the right on this one boys and girls…

    Stupid policy.

    And the left lap it up like cats in a Christchurch dairy.

    Knowing that they can so sooo much better.

    I guess I am an honarary right winger today…

    Unions are evil, recriminalise homosexuality, etc…

  14. Herodotus 14

    Earlier this year we published research showing an 11 percent increase in purchasing of fruit and vegetables when 12.5% was taken off the price,” Professor Ni Mhurchu said.
    It would be interesting to know if Pro Ni Mhurchus conclusions were confirmed when his data is compared to the 2007-08 and 2008-09 June years as in those 2 years the change in price of F&V was 23% and -7.6% respectively for those years, just to see the model of his price elasticity to actual data. 😉

  15. bbfloyd 15

    refer 6.1, and add “assumption being the mother of all cock ups”

  16. Drakula 16

    GST. A RIPP OFF ! ! !

    I think that taking GST off fruit and vegitables is a very good idea but it does not go far enough; Do we pay GST on our RATES?????? like sewage, water and roading service?

    If so then that is a tax on a tax, and therefore is immoral!!!!!!!!!!

    I would like to see the end of GST period as it is a flat tax and totaly unjust; those who have a business can claim on their expences, those who don’t, can’t.

    Is that fair? Can workers claim on their bus ticket to work? shoes? cloths? etc.etc.

    With GST there are a lot of anomalies, I think it should be all, or nothing.

    I say get rid of it and replace it with a capital gains tax and to pump that money into building accommodation.

    NB Ijust looked up my council rates and we do pay GST on rates.

    • Vicky32 16.1

      I do agree with you Drakula – GST is inherently unfair and always has been. But no party will ever have the courage to even think about abolition of GST…

  17. peterlepaysan 17

    Fruit and vegetables are basically sugar and water.
    Why not take gst off soda pops and frut juices and “cordials”?

    Labour has done some very stupid things but this has got to be the stupidest.

    Trust the Standard to back it!

    • felix 17.1

      Wow that is so fail.

      They’re mostly carbon too peter. Should just take gst off everything with carbon in it.

      • factchecker 17.1.1

        Sugars simple and complex contain carbon mmmmmkay


        “Vegetables contain generally 90-96% water while for fruit normal water content is between 80 and 90%.

        Carbohydrates are the main component of fruit and vegetables and represent more than 90% of their dry matter. From an energy point of view carbohydrates represent the most valuable of the food components; daily adult intake should contain about 500 g carbohydrates.”


        • lprent

          …daily adult intake should contain about 500 g carbohydrates

          My daily intake is currently less than 20g on a high protein diet. I haven’t noticed much difference to my energy levels. I have noticed the drop in weight from 109kg to 93kg over the last 9 months. I’ve also noticed that my food bill increased quite a lot.

          I don’t think that I’ve ever been close to 500g carbs per day except when I was in the army or working on farms and I was burning energy as fast as I could eat. As a largely sedentary programmer I never went much above 300g and at that level I kept putting on weight.

    • lprent 17.2

      Read the post. Who was it written by?

      The Standard is the notices and features ‘author’. We use it to put up work that is not from one of our authors. I realize that this tends to confuse dribbling morons such as yourself – but that I’d say that is hardly surprising. I doubt that you have the wit to aim when peeing in the toilet based on your previous comments.

      I reposted these posts from no right turn because they cover the ‘for’ case better than anything else. However personally I am unsure if it is a good idea. The costs of complicating accounting systems with the rorting that loopholes creates is pretty damn high. I question if the benefits outweigh those

      • Lanthanide 17.2.1

        “The costs of complicating accounting systems with the rorting that loopholes creates is pretty damn high.”

        Funny, I said the same above, and felix didn’t agree:
        “It will cost fuck all in compliance”

        captcha: peculiar

        • lprent

          Well, I’m not felix. Opinions will differ based on previous experience.

          In my case I’m heavily influenced by installing accounting software in the late 80’s when GST got installed. It isn’t the software that is the issue really (although that will be a bit of a pain). It is getting the smaller organizations geared up for the changes in how they handle categories that is the really expensive part.

          Bearing in mind the way that the IRD has been cut back over the last few decades, I’d also worry about being able to monitor for rorting with inventive definitions. But at least Labour have gone for a very simple definition of what fruit and veges are in terms of GST rate.

          I still haven’t had time to look at the research to see the benefits – but I’ll get to it eventually.

  18. Joe Bloggs 18

    As usual the left wing nut jobs conveniently ignore the fact that fruit and vegetable prices have actually fallen by 11% since National took office, having jumped 54% under Labour.

    • Lanthanide 18.1

      And you conveniently ignore the fact that politics has little to do with global supply and demand for food (at least, as it affects NZ).

    • lprent 18.2

      Reflecting a temporary change in demand both locally and overseas. It is called being in a recession you numbskull. When the recession ends then the prices will almost certainly resume their upwards path in response to demand.

      Next I suppose you’ll be claiming that the fall in house prices as a result of the recession can be pinned on National as well?

      • Joe Bloggs 18.2.1

        putting your abusive personality to one side for a moment, where’s your evidence that there’s been a decline in demand so significant as to completely change the price trend from a 54% growth rate in 9 years to a decline of 11% in the two years immediately following?

        Have a look at the NZ organic report for 2010:


        There’s a segment that’s growing in demand despite global recessionary pressures that would otherwise encourage consumers to buy lower priced conventionally grown produce. No sign of a change in demand forcing prices down by over 10%.

        • lprent

          Where is your evidence that the government policies (by any government) have had any effect on fruit and vege prices over the last 20 years? As far as I’m aware there are no government policies that have any significant effect apart from overall inflation rates.

          Shouldn’t you establish that there is an effect first? What I’m saying is that there isn’t one – which in economics should always be the null hypothesis.

          If your asserted theory is correct then you should be able to point to a change in government policy with a subsequent effect on the prices above the inflation rate.

          Take your time – you will probably need it.

          At least Labour put this policy change up with some evidence that says a change in tax policy should cause an effect. But of course that hasn’t really happened in the last 20 years – the nearest effect would be the changes in company tax rates and that was pretty minor.

          And BTW: you really are a bit of an idiot who asserts things that you can’t prove. I always tend to honesty rather than politeness. If you don’t want to get the opinion then avoid doing things that make me form it.

  19. OleOlebiscuitBarrell 19

    Here is a contrary view but you might not like the source:

    7 reasons why cutting GST on food will not help

    • lprent 19.1

      This is a place for discussion – often of differing viewpoints even amongst the authors. I think that I’ve made it clear that my opinion tends more towards Sparkies view than I/S’s current opinion.

      I/S at NRT also started from that viewpoint as he links to in his posts. I have enough respect for both I/S and the NZLP to re-look at the question before forming my own opinion.

    • jbanks 19.2

      Hilarious! Nothing like some classic self-ownage by the dazed & confused.

  20. Frederick 20

    That is classic from OleOlebiscuitBarrell. Talk about a massive own goal.
    I think they should have inserted the comment earlier in the thread before it lost momentum and had some of the salient points in full rather than in a link. But still great stuff.

  21. Lats 21

    I’m probably more libertarian at heart than liberal, but have still always voted Labour and/or Greens because social and civil liberties are more important to me than economic liberties. However I have to say I don’t entirely support the call to drop GST from fresh fruit and veg. I applaud the cited reason why Labour has adopted the policy, there is certainly nothing wrong with wanting to increase the health of NZers. I’m just not convinced that fiddling around with GST is the best way to achieve this. GST currently is a very simple and straightforward, mostly all-inclusive tax (from memory I think a few transactions of a financial nature are the only ones not subject to GST, but am happy to be proven wrong.) Like it or not, introducing any complexity will invariably lead to slightly higher administrative costs, both for govt and for retailers. This will probably be minor compared to the loss of revenue for govt, and I’m not convinced this will be offset by the savings in health costs.
    I’m also not convinced that dropping the cost of fresh produce will even lead to the effects desired. Maybe prices in the supermarket are lower here in Chch than up north, but for me it is already cheaper to buy fresh produce and prepare meals at home than to live off takeaways. So if lots of people choose to eat takeaways, or buy unhealthy options at the supermarket, I suspect the reasons have little to do with cost. Again, I’m open-minded about this, and am prepared to be proven wrong.
    The more concerning aspect of this policy for me is the precedent it is likely to set. Upon seeing the benefits to fruit and veg retailers, how long will it be before Fonterra lobbies to drop GST on milk and other dairy products? Or for bread manufacturers to lobby for exemption for their line of products? How about red wine and dark chocolate? Taken in moderation they have proven health benefits. Shouldn’t they then be given GST exemptions? On the face of it exempting GST for “healthy” foods doesn’t sound too bad, but it is determining the cutoffs that becomes ever more complicated:
    I refer you to a specific case in Australia recently where a court case was held to determine if a particular imported product (mini ciabata “bread”) was in fact bread or was a cracker. You see, bread in Aussie is exempt from their GST because it is a staple food substance. Crackers however are seen as a luxury item, and are therefore not GST exempt. The importer even flew in an italian bread expert (Giampiero Muntoni) to testify that the product was in fact bread. Signor Muntoni holds an EU certificate that entitles him to certify whether a product is a bread or a non-bread item for value added tax purposes in Italy. In short, he is a bread-decider. For more, see here: http://www.cis.org.au/publications/ideasthecentre/article/1631
    Is this the sort of nonsense we really want going on here?

  22. Jeong Chun phuoc 22

    “Time for Green Fiscal Policy : The case of New Zealand”

    As at Oct 2010, New Zealand has increased it’s GST Tax from the previous 12.5% to the current 15% GST rate.

    This increase is a double whammy for all citizens taking into view the current national economy performance vis-à-vis global economic sentiment.

    Fiscal policy changes in New Zealand at this point in time does not in fact required an increase in the effective GST rate.

    New Zealand must alter her current economic performance to maintain the outdated social fabric that has stood the test of time for the past decades.

    Fiscal policy changes must take into view domestic economic performance with a view to chart a more effective economic performance in the global arena of economic achievement and sustainability. The green economy of New Zealand must be further explored, rejuvenated and revamped for international export and adoption within the Green Revolution paradigm framework.

    Jeong Chun phuoc
    and an advocate in Strategic Environment and Taxation Intelligence(SETI)
    He can be contacted at Jeongphu@yahoo.com

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    2 days ago
  • LabourActivistPunchedMattHancock’sSPADGate
    So, for a brief period of history, it was alleged that a protester had punched Matt Hancock's SPAD (not a euphemism; special adviser) when Hancock visited Leeds Hospital.This was reported by the likes of Robert Peston and Laura Keunssberg, as well as the less credible Guido Fawkes.  It also quickly ...
    2 days ago
  • France’s anti-Zionism is anti-liberté
    by Daphna Whitmore Last week France passed a law that equates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. It is based on a definition of anti-Semitism that includes criticism of Israel such as: “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Another bus lockout
    Over the past year we've seen major bus problems in Hamilton and Wellington, as drivers have sought better wages and an end to the bullshit of split shifts, which basicly see them "married to the job". And now its Auckland's turn. When NZBus's drivers planned low-level strike action of not ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Showing us how its done
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. But those targets are insufficient. Meanwhile, Denmark is showing us how its done:Denmark’s parliament adopted a new climate law on Friday, committing to reach 70% below its 1990 emissions in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Public sector dysfunction should not be allowed to undermine freedom of information
    Another day, another piece of legislation with a secrecy clause. This time its the innocuous-seeming Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill, which (after establishing a new body and making it subject to the OIA in three different ways) includes the rapidly-becoming-standard clauses enabling it to request information from other public ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • “This is England, this knife of Sheffield steel…”
    The state of the United Kingdom is fractured, torn up, shredded. The Empire is gone, it died a long time ago. And yet, the country is still tracking with a lead in favour of the ones who play to the ingrained, class-bound division for political gain. It is a disgrace ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    5 days ago
  • CORSIA, coming soon to an airport near you
    On 27 September, Greta Thunberg addressed a crowd of 500,000 at the School Strike for Climate in Montreal, saying: “You are a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And Sweden is also a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And in both cases, it means absolutely nothing. Because ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    5 days ago
  • Cloaking hate speech and fake news in the right to free expression.
    It should be obvious by now but let’s be clear: The same folk who regularly traffic in disinformation, misinformation and “fake news” are also those who most strongly claim that their freedom of expression rights are being violated when moves are made to curb hate speech (as opposed to protected ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • The Physics (and Economics, and Politics) of Wheelchairs on Planes
    Michael Schulson When Shane Burcaw flies on an airplane, he brings along a customized gel cushion, a car seat, and about 10 pieces of memory foam. The whole arsenal costs around $1,000, but for Burcaw it’s a necessity. The 27-year-old author and speaker — who, alongside his fiancée, Hannah ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • To Advance Civil Rights, Oppose Transgender Extremism
    We are very pleased to publish this submission is from Lucinda Stoan. She is a social justice activist, mother, and educator, based in Washington State in the  US.   This detailed and comprehensive source-linked overview of trans issues and what is at stake will be useful for many people, especially in ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Faafoi should be fired
    Newshub last night reported that Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi had apparently promised to help out a mate with an immigration issue. While its normal for people to approach MPs for assistance in this area, when you're a Minister, the rules are different: as the Cabinet Manual says, Ministers must "at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Adrian Orr – The Reserve Bank’s Revolutionary Governor?
    New Zealand's Underarm Banker: It bears recalling that the “independence” of the Reserve Bank Governor was for decades held up by neoliberal capitalists as the most compelling justification for passing the Reserve Bank Act. Interesting, is it not, how the ruling class’s support for the Bank’s independence lasted no longer than ...
    6 days ago
  • Driving Us Up The Poll.
    Rubbish In, Rubbish Out: Put all this together, and it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that anyone who responds positively to a pollster’s request to “answer a few questions” is just ever-so-slightly weird. Desperately lonely? Some sort of psephological train-spotter? Political party member primed to skew the poll for or against ...
    6 days ago
  • Jordan Williams, Colin Craig podcast series announced
    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    7 days ago
  • How plant-based meat is stretching New Zealand’s cultural and legal boundaries
    Samuel Becher, Victoria University of Wellington and Jessica C Lai, Victoria University of Wellington Earlier this year, the New Zealand-based pizza chain Hell Pizza offered a limited-edition “Burger Pizza”. Its customers weren’t told that the “meat” was plant-based. Some customers complained to the Commerce Commission, which enforces consumer law in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    7 days ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    7 days ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    1 week ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    1 week ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 week ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
    Professors Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall, Jude Ball, Dr Judith McCool, Anaru Waa, Dr Becky Freeman Recent media reports have presented conflicting evidence on youth vaping in NZ. While some NZ school principals report concerns about increasing vaping on school grounds and confiscating vapes, ASH Year ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • In pursuit of “Freedom and Democracy”: Forever Wars in “America’s backyard”.
    “America the Beautiful!”, staunch defender of democracy, freedom and… a whole lot of despotic tyrants that play nice with what is called “the Washington Consensus.” America is indeed capable of immense good, but like any Nation, and most assuredly any aspirant to the mantle of Empire, great, immense evil. All ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • November ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: The beginner’s guide to blogging 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 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whodunnit? Finding the mystery 1080 testing lab
    1080 is used to control pests in NZ. Its use is contested by a noisy few. A new report claims high levels of 1080 in rats washed up on a beach. Flora and Fauna of Aotearoa (F&F) won’t name the laboratory that did their testing. It has sparked a hunt ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Authoritarian Friends, Democratic Enemies.
    What Kind Of Empire? The thing for Kiwis to decide is what kind of empire they want to belong to. The kind that, while offering its own citizens democratic rights, demands absolute obedience from its “friends”? Or, the kind that, while authoritarian at home, takes a relaxed attitude to the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Boris Johnson Goes Down
    It hasn't been a good week for the Conservatives, pollwise.  All major recent polls are showing their lead shrinking.Comparing each pollster's current (between 29/11 and 22/11) and previous most recent poll.Com Res - Conservative lead down 3 points.You Gov - Conservative lead down 1 point.Kantar - Conservative lead down 4 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Interesting
    Within quick succession, Countdown maths wizard and twitterer Rachel Riley, alleged comedian David Baddiel and prominent lawyer Andrew Julius have all expressed very similar opinions / ideas:
    These #3billboards are going round London today, organised by ex-Labour people, horrified by what their party has become. Their principles haven’t changed, they’re ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Damn the Polls
    So, there have been a bunch of bad polls out for Labour, and even the Leftie's friend, Survation, have recently given the Conservatives a rip-snorting 11% lead.  You Gov's much vaunted MRP poll - which pretty much nailed the result in 2015 - is currently predicting a comfortable majority for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Europe declares an emergency
    The European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to declare a climate emergency:The European parliament has declared a global “climate and environmental emergency” as it urged all EU countries to commit to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The vote came as scientists warned that the world may have already crossed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Bi-Partisan Commitment To X-ing “P”.
    Pure Fear: Worse than Heroin, this drug’s addictive power was terrifying. People under its influence didn’t drift off to Elysium. Nor did it persuade inadequate individuals that they could conquer the world. No, this drug – pure crystal methamphetamine, “P” for short – unlocked the gates of Hell itself. It ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advice about measles: when ignorance is definitely not a virtue
    As the rate of measles infection, and of deaths, continues to climb in Samoa, antivaccination activists infectious disease proponents seem intent on doubling down on their claims about vaccination. (Check pretty much any news-media FB post about measles & you’ll see exactly what I mean.) Unfortunately, some of them have ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Samoa’s devastating measles epidemic – why and how bad?
    Samoa are experiencing a devastating measles epidemic. It is possible that 2-3% of the population will ultimately be infected by the time it is over. Hopefully the mass immunisation campaign currently under way can mitigate some of this, for many it is too late. The first question many people ask ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • “It’s basic rights we are defending”: the Meghan Murphy interview
    Meghan Murphy is a Canadian writer and journalist She runs the Feminist Current website which she founded in 2012.  She was a keynote speaker for the Feminism2020 conference in Wellington this month. When Massey University cancelled the original venue booking Feminism2020 was hosted in Parliament by MP David Seymour. Meghan ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • A week of protests in Colombia
    Text and photos by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh Colombia has lived through one week of protests against the economic measures taken by president Duque. What looked like a protest that would fizzle out after its first day on November 21st is still going strong. Part of the reason for the continuance ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Anti-neutrinos–When you are your own opposite
    Around a million billion pass through you each second, almost all originating from our sun, but few of them are likely to interact with you enroute. I was reading in a physics magazine earlier in the week about the nature of neutrinos. These are extremely numerous elementary particles, but only ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Exoplanets, life, and the danger of a single study
    By Pallab Ghosh There’s value in covering new research advances, even when the underlying science is unsettled. But there are also risks. The recent announcement that scientists discovered water on the planet K2-18b, 110 light years away, prompted a media swoon. News stories, including a piece written by me, billed ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The Intersex Continuum
    I wrote this review a couple of years ago when I was still in the process of getting my head around the politics of transgenderism, and specifically the claim that intersex conditions lend support to the notion that sex is ‘socially constructed’. Since writing this review I have come across ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Leaving us with the bill
    Two weeks ago, Malaysian-owned oil company Tamarind declared it was insolvent and went into administration after a failed offshore drilling campaign. Tamarind apparently specialises in buying oil fields at the end of their life and trying to squeeze out the last few drops of pollution. But part of their scam ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • NZ congratulates PNG and Autonomous Bougainville Government on referendum
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has congratulated the Government of Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Bougainville Government for completing a well-conducted referendum on the future political status of Bougainville. “New Zealand supported the referendum process by providing technical advice through the New Zealand Electoral Commission and leading a Regional Police ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 mins ago
  • Surgical mesh restorative justice report received
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter has received the report back from a surgical mesh restorative justice process undertaken by Victoria University. The process heard stories, either in person or online submission, from more than 600 people affected by surgical mesh. “The report made for heart-breaking and confronting reading,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai a milestone for drinking water safety
    The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai , introduced to Parliament today, is a milestone for drinking water safety in New Zealand and will help improve environmental outcomes for urban waterways, rivers and lakes.  “This is a breakthrough for New Zealanders in terms of providing safe drinking water throughout ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Speech to new direction for criminal justice reform announcement
    Kia ora koutouE ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā matā wakaTēnā koutou katoaHaere ngā, moe maiKoutou ma ngā Rangatira Ko Anaru ahauKo au te Minita mo ngā TureHe Honore tino nui kei roto I ahau No reira tena koutou katoa Today, we are releasing two reports that are the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • New direction for criminal justice reform
    The Government is looking to turn around the long-term challenges of criminal justice by taking a new approach to break the cycle of offending to ensure there are fewer victims of crime. Justice Minister Andrew Little released two reports today, Turuki! Turuki! from Te Uepū Hāpai I te Ora, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • New law sets up $300m Venture Capital Fund
    New Zealand firms expanding beyond the start-up phase are set for more support after today’s passage of the Venture Capital Fund Bill, Associate Finance Minister David Parker said. The Bill, which establishes a $300 million Venture Capital Fund, puts in place a key initiative of the Wellbeing Budget’s economic package. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • New Zealand’s National Statement to COP25
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira mā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Señora Presidenta, Excellencies, Delegates. International action A common thread that runs through the Paris Agreement is the commitment we have made to each other to do what we can to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • $12 billion in extra infrastructure investment
    The Government is lifting capital investment to the highest level in more than 20 years as it takes the next step to future-proof New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced $12 billion of new investment, with $8 billion for specific capital projects and $4 billion to be added to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Strong economy, careful spending gives $12bn of surpluses
    The Government is forecast to run $12 billion worth of surpluses across the four years to 2023/24 as the economy continues to grow. The surpluses will help fund day-to-day capital requirements each year. These include fixing leaky hospitals, building new classrooms to cover population growth and take pressure off class ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Priorities for 2020 Wellbeing Budget outlined
    Budget 2020 will continue the Coalition Government’s focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while also investing to future-proof the economy. When the Government took office in 2017 it was left with crumbling infrastructure, severe underinvestment in public services, degraded rivers and lakes, a housing crisis and rising ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Minister welcomes data-rich coastline mapping tool
    The Minister responsible for the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 (te Takutai Moana Act 2011), Andrew Little has welcomed the launch of an online geospatial tool that provides data-rich, dynamic coastline maps that will significantly boost research and evidence-gathering under the Act. Te Kete Kōrero a Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Chief Victims Advisor reappointed for a further two years
    The Chief Victims Advisor to Government Dr Kim McGregor, QSO, has been reappointed in her role for a further two years. Dr McGregor has held the role since it was established in November 2015. She provides independent advice to government on how to improve the criminal justice system for victims. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand tsunami monitoring and detection system to be established
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare have today announced the deployment of a network of DART (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami) buoys. “New Zealand and the Pacific region are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. It is vital we have adequate warning systems in place,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • DART Buoys Announcement
    DART Buoys Announcement Aotea Wharf, 9.30am 11 December 2019   Acknowledgements Acknowledgements to Minister for Civil Defence Hon Peeni Henare also here today. White Island It is with regret that this event shadows the tragic natural disaster two days ago. The volcanic eruptions on White Island have claimed 5 lives, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Final steps for racing industry reform
    Racing Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Racing Industry Bill in parliament today. This is the second of two Bills that have been introduced this year to revitalise New Zealand’s racing industry. “Our domestic racing industry has been in serious decline.  The Government is committed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding to promote New Zealand Sign Language initiatives
    Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni, is pleased to announce that $291,321 is to be awarded to national and local community initiatives to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). “New Zealand is one of the few countries  in the world where Sign Language is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • How New Zealand defines and recognises veterans
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced today the Coalition Government’s initial response to work completed by the independent statutory body, the Veterans’ Advisory Board. “When Professor Ron Paterson completed his review of the Veterans’ Support Act in 2018, he made a number of recommendations, including one which I referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government to fund lion’s share of Ohakea water scheme
    The Government will fund the bulk of the cost of a rural water supply for the Ohakea community affected by PFAS contamination, Environment Minister David Parker announced today at a meeting of local residents. This new water scheme will provide a reliable and clean source of drinking water to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister statement on White Island eruption
    I have had the opportunity to be briefed on the details of the volcanic eruption of Whakaari/White Island, off the coast of Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty.  The eruption happened at 2.11pm today.  It continues to be an evolving situation.  We know that there were a number of tourists ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt funds $100k for weather-hit communities
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare have today confirmed initial Government support of $100,000 for communities affected by the severe weather that swept across the South Island and lower North Island over the weekend. The contribution will be made to Mayoral relief funds across the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Death of NZ High Commissioner to Cook Islands
    New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, Tessa Temata, died in Palmerston North over the weekend, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today. Ms Temata, 52, had recently returned to New Zealand for medical treatment. "On behalf of the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we extend ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Wellington rail upgrade full steam ahead
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced construction is underway on Wellington commuter rail upgrades which will mean more frequent services and fewer breakdowns. The upgrades include converting the Trentham to Upper Hutt single track section to a double track, with a new signalling system, upgraded stations and level crossings, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Defence Climate Change Implementation Plan released
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark and Minister for Climate Change James Shaw have announced the release of a Defence Climate Change Implementation Work Plan, titled Responding to the Climate Crisis: An Implementation Plan.  The plan sets out a series of recommendations based on the 2018 New Zealand Defence Assessment, The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt releases funding to support South Canterbury
    A medium-scale adverse event has been declared for the South Canterbury district, which will see up to $50,000 in funding made available to support farming communities which have been significantly affected by recent heavy rain and flooding in the area, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two weeks of solid rain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech at launch of Rethinking Plastics Report
    Thank you Professor Juliet Gerrard and your team for the comprehensive and extremely helpful report and recommendations. Thank you too to all the stakeholders and interested parties who have contributed ideas and thinking to it. “Making best practice, standard practice” is a great framework for change and the action plan ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt pledges next steps on plastic waste
    The Government will phase out more single-use plastics following the success of its single-use plastic bag ban earlier this year and the release today of a pivotal report for dealing with waste. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed the Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealandreport, released by her Chief Science Advisor ...
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    4 days ago
  • International student enrolments grow in universities and the regions
    International education continues to thrive as the Government focuses on quality over quantity, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. The tuition revenue from international education increased to $1.16 billion last year with the average tuition fee per student increasing by $960. The total number of international students enrolled in New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to Government Economics Network 2019 Conference
    I want to talk about one of the most pressing issues in our national life: the housing crisis and the poor performance of our cities. The argument I want to make to you is that generations of urban land use policy have lacked a decent grounding in economics. The consequences ...
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    5 days ago
  • DHB leadership renewed and strengthened
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says new appointments to DHBs represent a significant changing of the guard, with 13 new chairs including four Māori chairs. Today 76 appointments have been announced to complement elected board members, as well as eight elected members appointed as either chair or deputy chair.  Four ...
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    5 days ago
  • Tabuteau to advance New Zealand’s trade and political interests with European partners
    Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Fletcher Tabuteau, is travelling to Germany, Poland, Austria, and Spain next week to bolster New Zealand’s political and trade relationships in Europe. While in Spain, Mr Tabuteau will represent New Zealand at the 14th Asia-Europe (ASEM) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Madrid. “New Zealand strongly supports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Kris Faafoi
    “I’ve spoken to Minister Faafoi, who has apologised for his poor handling of this issue,” Jacinda Ardern said. “I have confidence in Kris as a hardworking and effective Minister, but this should have been dealt with in a much clearer manner, and I’ve made my views on that very clear ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tonga-New Zealand Joint Ministerial Forum
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters met with Tongan Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa in Wellington today. The pair signed a Statement of Partnership setting out joint priorities for cooperation out to 2023.  “We welcomed Prime Minister Tu'i'onetoa on his first visit to New Zealand as Prime Minister. Tonga ...
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    6 days ago
  • Shooting in Kurow
    The Minister of Police Stuart Nash says his sympathies are with the family of a man who died after being shot by Police in Kurow. “Initial reports are that Police were called by a family member to help the man who was threatening to harm himself,” Mr Nash says. “However ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government delivers funding boost for ethnic communities
    Ethnic communities will be able to plan and deliver more community initiatives thanks to an increase in Government funding, Minister for Ethnic Communities Hon Jenny Salesa said today. “Ensuring Aotearoa New Zealand is a place we can all be proud to call home has been a key priority of our ...
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    6 days ago
  • Govt supports Southland farmers in sustainability
    Healthier waterways, better productivity and farmer wellbeing are front and centre in a new project involving more than 1000 Southland farmers and growers. Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor today announced that the Thriving Southland Change and Innovation Project is the first region-wide extension programme supported by the $229 million Sustainable ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Flood of support for Top of the South catchment
    Work to look after nature and restore freshwater quality in Te Hoiere/Pelorus River catchment is getting a significant boost, thanks to new Government funding support Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage announced in Canvastown today. “Every New Zealander should be able to swim in their local river without getting sick, and ...
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    6 days ago
  • Eight Queen’s Counsel appointed under new criterion
    Eight Queen’s Counsel have been appointed under a process that includes the new criterion of a commitment to improving access to justice, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. “The new criterion was included this year. It emphasises that excellence and leadership in the profession can be seen through a wider, community ...
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    7 days ago
  • Major expansion for Wellington’s Onslow College
    Onslow College in Wellington will get 20 new classrooms for more than 400 students, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. The much-needed investment will relieve growth pressure the school has been experiencing for some time. Seven existing classrooms which have deteriorated over time will also be replaced, bringing the total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Talented young Kiwis awarded PM’s Scholarships to Asia and Latin America
    More than 250 young New Zealanders will add international experience to their education, thanks to the latest Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia (PMSA) and Latin America (PMSLA), Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This round of scholarships supports 252 recent graduates or current students to undertake study, research or internships ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government to improve competitiveness and transparency in the retail fuel market
    Consumers will benefit from a more competitive, transparent retail fuel market as a result of changes the Government will be making in response to the findings of the Commerce Commission’s study of the fuel sector. “We accept the Commission’s findings and, as the Prime Minister has said, we’re ready to ...
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    1 week ago