web analytics

No Right Turn: Police State

Written By: - Date published: 1:17 pm, December 14th, 2008 - 35 comments
Categories: activism, police - Tags: ,

No Right Turn has written in his cogent style on the police spy issue. With the kind permission of No Right Turn, I’ve quoted it in full below.

Because the police operate independently of the government at the operational level (as they should), the “mission” creep is always going to be a issue. Unfortunately the police themselves seem to have an apparent inability to look at and assess the need for their own operations in the political intelligence sphere. Instead they have been using peaceful activist groups as target practice and training exercises.

No Right Turn writes:-

When you ask people to name countries where the police infiltrate and spy on democratic protest groups, they will name places like China, Cuba, Iran and Burma. Now, we can add New Zealand to the list. In a piece in the Sunday Star-Times today, Nicky Hager and Anthony Hubbard expose a major police operation to spy on protestors under the guise of fighting “terrorism”. The groups targeted include Auckland Animal Action, GE-Free New Zealand, Peace Action Wellington, SAFE, and Greenpeace. These groups are the conscience of our society. While they engage in (occasionally disruptive) protest action, they are not in any sense of the word “terrorists”.

The problem here seems to be “mission creep”. In 2004, the government set up a police Special Investigation Group to investigate “national security-related crime including terrorism”. But the problem is that there isn’t any terrorism in New Zealand, and we are well off international terrorist networks. So the police did what bureaucracies do, and turned their attention to the closest thing they could find in order to justify their budget: protestors. And finding no evidence of crime, let alone terrorism, they then started collecting personal dirt instead – anything rather than admit that their task was basically pointless. It would be laughable, if it wasn’t so sinister. People’s lives and relationships have been ruined because of this, and it will impose a significant chilling effect which may prevent people from speaking out on issues that matter to them. But its quite clear that the police don’t care about freedom of expression or the right to protest; they don’t care about the Bill of Rights they supposedly exist to protect.

This has to stop, and it has to stop now. If the SIG can’t tell the difference between protestors and terrorists, and is engaging in this sort of anti-democratic activity, it needs to be shut down. I’m sure its members could be usefully employed collecting speeding tickets or something. But more, there needs to be a full investigation of the police’s activities to find out where else they’ve been spreading their anti-democratic tentacles. In the mid-70’s, the Ombudsman investigated the SIS over allegations that they had been spying on politicians and using the information for political gain; the same clearly needs to happen to the police. Until that happens, they will remain a clear and present danger to our democracy.

35 comments on “No Right Turn: Police State ”

  1. ieuan 1

    Isn’t the fact that the minister of police is called a ‘complete idiot’ on this blog and the blog has not been shut down and no one has been put in jail proof that unlike Burma, Iran, China, Cuba etc New Zealand is not a police state?

  2. Lynn, while I agree with the general thrust of your post I do take issue with NRT’s claim that these groups are the conscience of our society.
    That is utter piffle.
    And again, why weren’t you jumping up and down about “mission creep” prior to the election. None of these articles have revealed anything new.

  3. lprent 3

    i: Not really. You have to distinguish between the police and the state. There are a number of states where the police or paramilitary groups operate independently as a internal state largely independent from the political system. Because of the para-military genesis of our police, in broad terms they fit closer to that than anything else.

    Besides, it has only been a few hours 🙂 However there are a number of contingency plans in the event of people doing something stupid.

    Fortunately the judiciary are usually pretty independent here, especially since the definition of the defamation laws in  Lange vs Atkinson case about politicians. So it is unlikely to have any effective response from the political side.

    ieuan: Are you worried about getting the daily fix? Don’t be.

  4. lprent 4

    bb: I was. Read the comments either as lprent, or earlier as AncientGeek related to the police. I’ve been aware of it for a long time.

    However there hasn’t any real ‘hook’ to hang a post on since I got vaguely competent at writing posts. The closest this year was JK’s recollections about the springbok tour. Not really suitable as it’d involve talking about police practices from 25 years ago.

    Besides the election was on most of this year. I regard this as a largely being a problem with the police force and only tangentially as a political issue.

    Umm I should pen a post about the NZ Police and its separation from the political system. It is pretty obvious that some people are unaware exactly how both the police and armed forces operate for operational purposes. I’ve always been aware since I was in the territorials and did some law afterwards.

    For instance, I remember hooten jumping up and down about the hollow men e-mails and trying to spin the police as political. It was pretty obvious that he had no idea what he was talking about.

  5. Where were the police spies when “terrorists” were using their trucks to wreak economic havoc and inflict traffic chaos around the country earlier this year?

    Compared to this major disruption, a few greenies ripping up GE plants in a paddock somewhere is barely worth mentioning. Yet the greenies got the spies.

  6. rave 6

    Well the whole point of a secret police is to infiltrate those groups who want to change society and who therefore pose a threat to those with private property and power.
    No truckdriver wants to change anything more than his gears.

    Idiot Savant has this humanitarian thing that makes a point of making obviously non-democratic states the biggest threats to democracy. But Burma, China, Cuba and Iran all have the distinction of having a history of Western domination and/or occupation. If they are anti-democratic you know who they learned it from.

    NZ’s secret police have a long history from at least the 1930s drawing on the Brits and US secret police and the holy war on the SU and reds under the bed at a time when Cuba, China, Iran and Burma were decolonising and running foul of Western coups and invasions. If we want to trace the history of NZ secret police that’s where we should start – MI5 and the CIA.

    Its no accident that our vicious “anti-terror” laws were inspired by 9/11 and the Anglo/US imperialist ‘war on terror’, and that our right to trial has been abandoned to protect the secret sources of foreign intelligence agencies in the ‘war on terror’. If you want to clean up the SIS/SIG you have to get rid of capitalist/imperialism.

  7. Ari 7

    So why exactly aren’t we trying to get this before the ombudsman as well, just out of curiosity?

  8. lprent 8

    ari: Only got released today, although I’ve known for a while – but been under a vow to Rochelle.

    I don’t think that there is an ombudsman for this,
    just the independent complaints authority – which can’t look at police operational policy – just individual police,
    the privacy commissioner – doesn’t really fit in the brief,
    the police minister (who appears to have ruled herself out and could only ask general questions anyway – it is an operational matter),
    the police commissioner (who perforce will probably have to be in neither confirm or deny mode (and hopes it goes away))….
    who else?

    Probably suing the police in civil action, or doing a private criminal action against the whole organization may work in 10 years after the appeals and costs.

    In other words I don’t think that there is no real ‘court’ apart from making it as public as possible and stirring the police into actually making changes. We rely on the police to monitor themselves.

    An interesting problem is it not…

  9. Billy 9

    Lprent,

    Are you AncientGeek?

  10. lprent 10

    Yes. I was using that pseudonym early on here. That allowed me to separate my BOFH personality from my writing comments personality.

    Eventually it was too much hassle maintaining the separate logins. It was a polite fiction because people who knew me picked it straight away 🙂

    BTW: My partner prefers my AncientGeek side. Says that she’d never go out with lprent – but personally I think she is stirring.

  11. deemac 11

    there is no guarantee international terrorism won’t arrive in NZ sometime (Rainbow Warrior… ) but the fact is the present police tactics won’t help prevent it

  12. Rex Widerstrom 12

    I think NRT’s analysis lets the Police off far too lightly. It’s not about budget (as it might be in another government organisation) it’s about power.

    Politicians and the police have a nice self-perpetuating circle going:

    Politicians: The world is a dangerous place, you need more laws to keep you safe. It’s a pity these laws will impact on perfectly innocent activities, but the price of your safety is the erosion of your freedom.

    Public: Umm, we’re a little dubious, frankly.

    Police: Look! Terrorists!! Crime!! You’re not safe in the streets!! You need those laws, and we’re just the people to enforce them. Of course we might have to indulge in a bit of entrapment, perjury, intimidation and the like. But the price of… oh, we see you’ve heard that already.

    Public: Well… my mate’s sister’s boyfriend got punched at the pub last weekend… and Garth McVicar keeps scaring the beejazus out of us on the telly every night… okay then… but you will use these new powers judiciously, and only when necessary, right?

    Police: *snigger* Uh, yeah, sure. What was your name again, sunshine?

    A few months later…

    Police: Look! Terrorists!! Crime!! You’re not safe in the streets!! These politicians have our hands tied!! We need guns / tasers / covert surveillance powers / tanks / detention without trial / searches without warrants…

    Politicians: Soft on crime?! Us?! Look, here’s a shiny new Unbridled Police Powers Bill!! We’re tougher on lawnorder than that lot!! (pointing at opponents).

    Public: Well they did uncover all those eco-terrorists. And some of them were even planning on liberating bunny rabbits!! We like parties who are tough on lawnorder. But you will use these powers judiciously, right….?

    Politicians and the police have the same agenda… more power, for them, over us. And if you don’t agree with that, well… you’re probably one of them terrorists!!

  13. burt 13

    Because the police operate independently of the government at the operational level

    That was funny, really funny.

    [lprent: Ok – so you’ve now explained that you don’t understand the position of the police in the structure of the NZ state. Perhaps you should read up about it before making too much of a fool of yourself]

  14. burt 14

    lprent

    I’d accept “Because, according to constitutional convention, the police operate independently of the government at the operational level.

  15. Rex Widerstrom 15

    Whether he knows something or is just speculating, burt happens to be right.

    Anyone who believes the Police aren’t used as a blunt instrument against people whom politicians don’t like wants to have a chat to Damian Green – the UK MP detained by Police for asking perfectly proper questions of the government. Police used an informant to gather “evidence” against him.

    One day – perhaps when I’m someplace that doesn’t have a cosy extradition relationship with NZ – I’ll publish some of the things that I found out when I looked into my own situation.

    I truly hope no one blogging at The Standard – or anywhere else – is subject to the kind of police harrassment you linked to on another post to which “unco-operative” journalists are subjected (another UK story, this one closely mirroring some aspects of my own history) but as blogging grows in influence, it’s possible.

    I wonder whether your touching certainty about the unbridgeable divide between politicians and police will survive such an experience if it does happen?

  16. lprent 16

    burt: It goes a lot deeper than a mere convention.

    It is deeply embedded in the 1958 Police Act, and also in the consultation documents for the new act that went effective from Oct 1 2008 – Police Act 2008?

    Look at
    http://www.policeact.govt.nz/
    The material there is extremely interesting.

    That isn’t to say that there isn’t influence, but it tends to be at the level of individuals rather than the institution.

  17. Tim Ellis 17

    I don’t have a problem in principle with the police infiltrating organisations and gathering information through informants. I don’t have any knowledge about the individual organisations named, but if there was criminal activity or conspiracy to commit criminal acts or even terrorism, isn’t it appropriate for the police to have information on them in advance? Why should Organisation X be immune from police scrutiny just because their outward appearance may be a peaceful protest?

  18. Fisher 18

    “Politicians: The world is a dangerous place, you need more laws to keep you safe. It’s a pity these laws will impact on perfectly innocent activities, but the price of your safety is the erosion of your freedom.”

    Rex. I couldn’t agree more with your comments. 911 has been used by countries all over the world to frighten us all into letting go of the freedoms our forbears died for. Have you seen the BBC documentary The Power of Nightmares.
    This Documentary Chronicles the origins and development of both the Neocons and Al Qaeda.
    I encourage everyone to watch this ground-breaking documentary. It’s 3 parts each 1 hour long but is a must see.

    There’s also a short 10 min excerpt from this BBC documentary entitled “The Origin And Myth Of Al Qaeda” which you can watch here.
    http://notcorporatetv-terror.blogspot.com/2008/11/origin-and-myth-of-al-qaeda-excerpt.html

    You can watch the entire documentary at the following link.
    http://notcorporatetv-terror.blogspot.com/2008/11/politics-power-of-nightmares-part-13.html

  19. lprent 19

    Tim: What would think about the following for crimes requiring infiltration of protest groups.

    1. trespass to film illegal chicken coops and conditions. The SPCA is unable to force a visit unless they have evidence. (ie the current law is an ass)

    2. blocking a rail line in a case where safety wasn’t involved.

    3. doing an arthur dent

    4. protesting outside a store selling factory farmed fur, noisily, but without blocking access or footpaths.

    5. spreading hay at tegel offices during the day with a letter saying this is what tegels cages required (that one resulted in a charge of burglary for the letter delivery person, who didn’t even spread hay)

    6. filming animal cages while collecting chicken crap

    7. Using a megaphone during a daylight protest

    8. lifting a hand-written cardboard sigh saying that no factory farmed fur was being sold as a store when there was. That resulted in a charge of theft

    etc – others could probably do describe more. But those are on the ‘active’ end of the activist spectrum.

    In almost all of the cases what is done is civil disobedience. If charges are laid, then they should be appropriate rather than upscaled from summary offenses to obtain search warrants. For instance one case where protesters got too close to a storekeeper was upscaled to intimidation under the crimes act purely to obtain search warrants.

    About the only actual illegal thing (ie not civil disobedience) I’ve heard about has been covert ‘chicken liberations’, and graffitti / posters.

    Why do you think that most people who know anything about actual activist activities in NZ think that the police are massively over-reacting.

    I’d also say that the police over-reactions are having (un)intended side effects. Active activists in NZ are well on the way towards cell type structures, RF emission control, need to know basis, just in time organizing, routinely using encryption, external equipment dumps, etc. In other words, the police are in effect starting to create the type of organized resistance that they are hunting for because of their own tactics in hunting for it. As far as I can tell the police are within a target of forcing all activist groups underground within the next decade. It is hard to tell if that is what they’re after or not.

    The only thing that is probably holding activist groups up from being much more effective is that they are doggedly maintaining their overt and above ground basis. It means they spend more time in court, but it also means that they run generally public campaigns. Most activists I run across believe in a democratic system. Most of the police work I’m observing with activists seems to operate on a “ends justifying the means” basis.

    Remember I’m an outside observer for all of this. But I wouldn’t have the patience that the activists are showing. I think that the police are just being stupid in tactically in terms of what should be their objectives

  20. Rex Widerstrom 20

    lprent:

    3. doing an arthur dent

    Well if you were a Vogon, you’d be pretty angry if a bloke in a dressing gown attempted to destroy your Constructor 😀

    Actually, the Guide describes Vogons as “bureaucratic, officious and callous”… and of course their battle cry is “resistance is usless”… perhaps that’s why the Police identify so closely with them.

    Fisher:

    That is indeed a salient and clever documentary. Yes, I have seen it and would recommend it to anyone else with an interest in how governments manipulate fear to gain power, using the police as their willing accomplices.

  21. Ray 21

    What is the diference between your girlfriend snoopping through your computer’s files(I am just cleaning it up so it works faster!!) and the police keepng an eye on activists some of whom are not past taking the law into their own hands

    Not a lot in my eyes and no harm done if you are squeeky clean

  22. ieuan 22

    Iprent: The problem with most of these protest groups is they actually achieve exactly the opposite of what they are trying to achieve. Their actions alienate the public by breaking laws and disrupting the lives of ordinary people going about their everyday jobs.

    Jamie Oliver has done more for the plight of battery hens than any ‘Animal Action’ group.

    Likewise Al Gore has done a lot more for promoting Climate Change than Greenpeace ever has.

    What your Niece and No Right Turn fail to realise is that change only happens when it becomes main stream, when people who are respected actually stand up and say the things that need to be say. Change does not come about because a bunch of pimple faced ideologists spread hay in the foyer of Tegel.

  23. Anita 23

    ieuan,

    What your Niece and No Right Turn fail to realise is that change only happens when it becomes main stream, when people who are respected actually stand up and say the things that need to be say. Change does not come about because a bunch of pimple faced ideologists spread hay in the foyer of Tegel.

    Every social movement starts on the outside; change starts outside the “mainsteam”.

    It takes time, persistence, energy and courage to move an issue into the public arena, then into public discussion, then the mainstream. By picking on the edge players, the people starting that process, the state can prevent change ever coming to the mainstream.

  24. toad 24

    ieuan said: Jamie Oliver has done more for the plight of battery hens than any ‘Animal Action’ group. Likewise Al Gore has done a lot more for promoting Climate Change than Greenpeace ever has.

    True, ieuan, but the activist groups are necessary to raise public consiousness of the issues to the extent that the Jamie Olivers and the Al Gore’s will speak out.

    BTW there is nothing new in this, apart from the fact that there is a computer hard drive to prove it. I was aware first hand of police infiltration of HART in the 1980s and the Unemployed & Beneficiaries’ movement in the 1990s.

    One attempt at infiltrating HART was particularly short-lived. A young woman whom I had gone to school with turned up at a HART meeting. I happened to know that she had intended joining the Police when she left school, so asked her what she did. She mumbled something about being between jobs, and that was the last we saw of her – until a few months later when she turned up at Court to give evidence against a group of people charged with offences arising from protest activity during the Springbok Tour.

    One that survived a somewhat longer was a police officer or informant who infiltrated the Auckland Unemployed Workers’ Rights Centre. Suspicions were aroused by her living in an apartment by herself, having an extensive wardrobe of rather expensive clothes (neither of which seemed particularly compatable with being long-term unemployed) and the fact that from shortly after her arrival the Police always seemed to know in advance about protest activities that were planned. When confronted about whether she was a Police informant, she promptly disappeared.

  25. Tim Ellis 25

    LP, I don’t have a view on those examples, because I don’t know at what point a plan to commit civil disobedience has the potential to threaten security of person or property.

    This guy Gilchrist sounds like a prize A wanker. It makes you wonder if there are any others like him within these protest organisations. But you can hardly blame the Police for making use of him.

  26. lprent 26

    Ray: You get the impression that the police always suspect that there is more to see than there actually is. Rob was reporting at what was probably a pretty unreliable level on many groups including the groups Rochelle was involved in.

    In AAA which Rochelle was and is active in, this police suspicion took the form of search warrants after they ramped charges up into the crimes act. This involved the police not finding anything significant in the searches. However they proceeded to run the case against Rochelle for “intimidation by loitering” for close to two years until it was thrown out by the high court.

    Harm –  $30k in defense costs, excessive amounts of time for my family, disruption of a peaceful protest group, and I make bloody sure that I express my opinion of the police abusing their powers in that case at every available opportunity. I hate to think what the whole case cost the police in both money and mana.

    I’d say that there is some harm.

  27. lprent 27

    Tim: Sure. The question really is why exactly are the police bothering.

    Since the springbok tour when I first got active, I don’t think that I’ve heard of the police getting any real results. I think that the weapon charges they are currently proceeding with are the most severe. However from what I’ve heard from the deposition hearings, they’re going to lose a lot of these as well. So why are they wasting this level of resources when they have more severe issues to deal with.

    Sure they need to monitor protest groups – the question is what is the appropriate level. You get the distinct impression that they rather like doing this kind of work because it is easy.

    toad: it was kind of funny in 85 when the organizing was going on for the planned tour. My partner and I were immediately under suspicion because I was ex-terries, doing an MBA, and didn’t look ‘right’. Had to slow down on the way home so that the tail could figure out where I lived.

    ieuan: Anita explained that, so I don’t have to

  28. Tim Ellis 28

    LP, I think there is a fine line between the police pursuing legitimate lines of inquiry and harassment. I’m pretty uneasy with some of the stuff that’s come out over the last two days. On the one hand I’d hate to see the police mis-using their authority; on the other I don’t think protest groups should be immune from investigation. The outcome of that would be every potential terrorist or criminal organisation setting itself up as a political protest organisation.

    I do find it interesting that Rochelle and a couple of others appear to be slating most of the blame at the Police rather than Gilchrist himself. Gilchrist seems like a total weasel and while I appreciate the personal tensions involved I think his actions have been utterly loathsome.

    I think the comments you made, trying to politicise these issues, were unfortunate LP. All of these activities took place under a Labour government. John Key and Judith Collins’ response has been that they are concerned and will be asking questions of the police commissioner, with the possibility of a formal inquiry. It is legitimate to question what former police ministers knew about these activities–that seems to be an issue that you have overlooked in your analysis. You seem to be far more interested in hurling abuse at National ministers than asking what Labour Ministers knew, what questions they asked, and why action wasn’t taken earlier.

  29. One of the basic rules for spying is secrecy. Allowing his girlfriend to look at his computer indicates that his spying ability is dubious at best. If we taxpayers were paying him, we should be demanding a refund. I wonder whether his employment contract has a performance clause in it?

    [lprent: You have to understand that (IMO) Rochelle is rapidly heading to guru level as a programmer. The things she’d notice are not what most people would notice. ]

  30. lprent 30

    TE: I only slagged Judith Collins because in her role of Minister of Police, it was clear that she hadn’t understood the role. If she’d persisted in that stance then there would have been no legitimate channel to ask the police what in the hell they were doing.

    I couldn’t care less about Labour / National for this – IMO – it is a problem within the police. Any damage that Judith Collins took from this is purely collateral damage, and came directly from her own statement. She was acting as a blockage on the only normal channel that is able to ask the police questions.

    If you look through the posts and comments I’ve made, that has been my position.

    I don’t think that protest groups should be exempt to the police attention either. However I think that there has to be a reason to start using the extent of the state powers. To date I haven’t seen those reasons. What I’ve seen is offenses that could and should have been handled using normal processes.

    Unlike Judith Collins I’d expect the police to be able to justify their actions because I have little trust in some parts of the police to do it in a balanced and judicious fashion. What I see them doing is attempting to suppress open protest and activist actions. That is really dangerous because it will result in that kind of activity going underground and probably going septic. That is something that I don’t want to see happening. At present I see the ‘anti-terrorism’ police as being the problem because they sure as hell seem to be out of control on any reasonable basis.

  31. toad 31

    lprent said: Had to slow down on the way home so that the tail could figure out where I lived.

    Yep, some of the surveillance was pretty amateurish. Like during the planned 85 tour organising the chap who used to frequently sit in his car a bit up my street “reading” his newspaper – and on one occasion actually had it upside down. There were two other anti-tour activist households living within a few houses of mine, and we never managed to work our which of us he was watching, or whether our close proximity just made surveillance in our street value for money.

  32. lprent 32

    Interesting JK is taking the right approach.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/4792819a11.html

  33. the sprout 33

    “appear to be slating most of the blame at the Police rather than Gilchrist himself”

    until that point I’d considered you quite a clever commentator TE.

    Nice to see Key has a few more brains, or at least better advisors, than his Minister for Police.

  34. Tim Ellis 34

    I agree LP that if the Police is attempting to suppress legitimate protest, then that is a serious issue. I don’t see what Judith Collins has said condones that. In fact her comments this morning suggest she will be asking questions.

    A couple of points I would make: if the allegations are true, then they have been taking place for some time. If the allegations are true then an inquiry should be held to determine who authorised this activity, at what level, and who knew about it. If it was just a couple of rogue detectives playing Maxwell Smart, then they should be disciplined. If the Commissioner and former Police Minister knew about it, then that goes beyond just simple police operational matters to a quite massive scandal in my view.

    A number of Labour Party people who were quite happy to blindly variously repeat Police statistics showing decreasing reported crime, repeat Police rationale for no change in crime statistics, and repeat police management rationale welcoming worsening crime statistics appear to be much more vocal now than they were when Labour was in Government.

    I personally have some quite grave concerns about the performance of police management. I do fear that they sail too close to the political wind, fail to exercise proper competency where issues have a political leaning (ranging from prosecution of politically sensitive electoral cases to intervention in protests) and are too subservient to the politicians in power. I just did not accept police excuses of “better reporting” for increased violent crime statistics rather than actual increasing violent crime. That was a cop-out in my opinion.

  35. NeillR 35

    So you’re quite happy with people infiltrating a National party conference and releasing details of private conversations, but you jump up and down when the same things done to your own groups? Sheesh, the hypocrisy is stunning.

    [lprent: it becomes quite different when the state (through its arm of the police) does it as a matter of policy to when an individual (Kees) does it. If you don’t understand that, then I suggest you do some reading on what the difference is and the implications for any group saying that the state policies are incorrect]

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Quarantine Free Travel from New South Wales to New Zealand to pause
    New Zealand’s Quarantine Free Travel from New South Wales to New Zealand will be paused while the source of infection of new cases announced in Sydney is investigated, says COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins. There are 10 new community cases of COVID-19 today in New South Wales, taking the Australian ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Ngāti Rangitihi Claims Settlement Bill passes first reading
    Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Andrew Little welcomed Ngāti Rangitihi to Parliament today to witness the first reading of The Ngāti Rangitihi Claims Settlement Bill. “I know it took a lot of hard work, time and patience by all parties involved to reach this significant milestone. I am honoured to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Speech to the Sustainable Healthcare and Climate Health Conference Aotearoa
    Mihi Tēnā tātou katoa Kei ngā pou o te whare hauora ki Aotearoa, kei te mihi. Tēnā koutou i tā koutou pōwhiri mai i ahau. E mihi ana ki ngā taura tangata e hono ana i a tātou katoa, ko te kaupapa o te rā tērā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Infrastructure Acceleration Fund opening for business
    Criteria to access at least $1 billion of the $3.8 billion Housing Acceleration Fund (HAF), announced in March, is now available, and an invitation for expressions of interest will be released on 30 June, Housing Minister Megan Woods has announced.  “This is a key milestone in our plan to accelerate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Bringing back the health of Hauraki Gulf
    New marine protection areas and restrictions on fishing are among a raft of changes being put in place to protect the Hauraki Gulf for future generations. The new strategy, Revitalising the Gulf – Government action on the Sea Change Plan, released today, draws on input from mana whenua, local communities, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Speech to AI Forum – Autonomous Weapons Systems
    AI Forum New Zealand, Auckland Good evening and thank you so much for joining me this evening. I’d like to start with a thank you to the AI Forum Executive for getting this event off the ground and for all their work and support to date. The prospect of autonomous ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand boosts support to Fiji for COVID-19 impact
    Aotearoa New Zealand is providing additional support to Fiji to mitigate the effects of the current COVID-19 outbreak on vulnerable households, Foreign Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta announced today. “Recognising the increasingly challenging situation in Fiji, Aotearoa will provide an additional package of assistance to support the Government of Fiji and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Round 2 of successful energy education fund now open
    $1.65 million available in Support for Energy Education in Communities funding round two Insights from SEEC to inform future energy hardship programmes Community organisations that can deliver energy education to households in need are being invited to apply for the second funding round of the Support for Energy Education in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Ngarimu scholarships to target vocational training
    Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis today announced three new scholarships for students in vocational education and training (VET) are to be added to the suite of prestigious Ngarimu scholarships. “VET learners have less access to study support than university students and this is a way to tautoko their learning dreams ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Recognising the volunteers who support our health system
    Nominations have opened today for the 2021 Minister of Health Volunteer Awards, as part of National Volunteer Week. “We know that New Zealanders donate at least 159 million hours of volunteer labour every year,” Minister of Health Andrew Little said in launching this year’s awards in Wellington. “These people play ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Drug Free Sport supported to deal with new doping challenges
    Drug Free Sport New Zealand will receive a funding boost to respond to some of the emerging doping challenges across international sport. The additional $4.3 million over three years comes from the Sport Recovery Fund announced last year. It will help DFSNZ improve athletes’ understanding of the risks of doping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government support for South Auckland community hit by tornado
    The Government is contributing $100,000 to a Mayoral Relief Fund to support Auckland communities impacted by the Papatoetoe tornado, Acting Minister for Emergency Management Kris Faafoi says. “My heart goes out to the family and friends who have lost a loved one, and to those who have been injured. I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Celebrating World Refugee Day
    World Refugee Day today is an opportunity to celebrate the proud record New Zealanders have supporting and protecting refugees and acknowledge the contribution these new New Zealanders make to our country, the Minister of Immigration Kris Faafoi said. “World Refugee Day is also a chance to think about the journey ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Face to face meeting delivers significant progress on NZ-UK FTA
    New Zealand and the UK have committed to accelerating their free trade agreement negotiations with the aim of reaching an agreement in principle this August, Trade Minister Damien O’Connor announced. “We’ve held constructive and productive discussions towards the conclusion of a high-quality and comprehensive FTA that will support sustainable and inclusive trade, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government taking action to protect albatross
    New population figures for the critically endangered Antipodean albatross showing a 5 percent decline per year highlights the importance of reducing all threats to these very special birds, Acting Minister of Conservation Dr Ayesha Verrall says. The latest population modelling, carried out by Dragonfly Data Science, shows the Antipodean albatross ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Adoption laws under review
    New Zealand’s 66-year-old adoption laws are being reviewed, with public engagement beginning today.  Justice Minister Kris Faafoi said the Government is seeking views on options for change to our adoption laws and system. “The Adoption Act has remained largely the same since 1955. We need our adoption laws to reflect ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Wider roll-out of cameras on boats to support sustainability and protect marine life
    Up to 300 inshore commercial fishing vessels will be fitted with on-board cameras by 2024 as part of the Government’s commitment to protect the natural marine environment for future generations.  Minister for Oceans and Fisheries David Parker today announced the funding is now in place for the wider roll out ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Plan for vaccine rollout for general population announced
    New Zealanders over 60 will be offered a vaccination from July 28 and those over 55 from August 11, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. The rollout of the vaccine to the general population will be done in age groups as is the approach commonly used overseas, with those over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand introduces Belarus travel bans
    New Zealand has imposed travel bans on selected individuals associated with the Lukashenko regime, following ongoing concerns about election fraud and human rights abuses after the 2020 Belarus elections, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta has announced. The ban covers more than fifty individuals, including the President and key members of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ economy grows driven by households, construction and business investment
    The Government’s efforts to secure the recovery have been reflected in the robust rebound of GDP figures released today which show the economy remains resilient despite the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Grant Robertson said. GDP increased 1.6 percent in the first three months of 2021. The Treasury had ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Milestone 250th tower continues to improve rural connectivity
    The Government has welcomed the completion of the 250th 4G mobile tower, as part of its push for better rural connectivity. Waikato’s Wiltsdown, which is roughly 80 kilometres south of Hamilton, is home to the new tower, deployed by the Rural Connectivity Group to enable improved service to 70 homes ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Quarantine Free Travel pause with Victoria to lift on Tuesday
    Following a further public health assessment of the COVID-19 outbreak in greater Melbourne, New Zealand’s Quarantine Free Travel pause with Victoria has been extended to 11.59pm on Tuesday 22 June, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. It has been determined that the risk to public health in New Zealand continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister mourns passing of Dr Sir Ian Hassall
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is mourning the passing of Dr Sir Ian Hassall, New Zealand’s first Children’s Commissioner and lifelong champion for children and children’s health. As a paediatrician Sir Ian contributed to a major world-first cot death study that has been directly credited with reducing cot deaths in New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • APEC structural reform meeting a success
    APEC ministers have agreed working together will be crucial to ensure economies recover from the impact of COVID-19. Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs David Clark, chaired the virtual APEC Structural Reform Ministerial Meeting today which revolved around the overarching theme of promoting balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative and secure growth ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Digital hub to boost investment in forestry
    A new website has been launched at Fieldays to support the forestry sector find the information it needs to plant, grow and manage trees, and to encourage investment across the wider industry. Forestry Minister Stuart Nash says the new Canopy website is tailored for farmers, iwi and other forestry interests, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government continues support for rangatahi to get into employment, education and training
    Over 230 rangatahi are set to benefit from further funding through four new He Poutama Rangatahi programmes, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “We’re continuing to secure our economic recovery from COVID by investing in opportunities for rangatahi to get into meaningful employment, education or training ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • NCEA subjects up for consultation
    The education sector, students, their parents, whānau and communities are invited to share their thoughts on a list of proposed NCEA subjects released today, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says. This is a significant part of the Government’s NCEA Change Programme that commenced in 2020 and will be largely implemented by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Major investment in plantain forage programme aims to improve freshwater quality
    The Government is backing a major programme investigating plantain’s potential to help farmers protect waterways and improve freshwater quality, Acting Agriculture Minister Meka Whaitiri announced at Fieldays today. The Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures (SFFF) fund is contributing $8.98 million to the $22.23 million seven-year programme, which aims to deliver ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • America’s Cup decision
    The Minister responsible for the America’s Cup has confirmed the joint Crown-Auckland Council offer to host the next regatta has been declined by the Board of Team New Zealand. “The exclusive period of negotiation between the Crown, Auckland Council, and Team New Zealand ends tomorrow, 17 June,” said Stuart Nash. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Food and fibres sector making significant strides towards New Zealand’s economic recovery
    The Government is backing the food and fibres sector to lead New Zealand's economic recovery from COVID-19 with targeted investments as part of its Fit for a Better World roadmap, Forestry Minister Stuart Nash said. “To drive New Zealand’s recovery, we launched the Fit for a Better World – Accelerating ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Speech to He Whenua Taurikura – New Zealand’s annual hui on countering terrorism and violent...
    Check against delivery Can I begin by acknowledging the 51 shuhada, their families and the Muslim community. It is because of the atrocious violent act that was done to them which has led ultimately to this, the start of a dialogue and a conversation about how we as a nation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Cost of Government Southern Response proactive package released
    The Government has announced the proactive package for some Southern Response policyholders could cost $313 million if all those eligible apply. In December, the Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission, David Clark announced a proactive package for SRES claimants who settled their claims before October 2014. It trailed the judgment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • First period products delivered to schools
    The first period products funded as part of the Government’s nationwide rollout are being delivered to schools and kura this week, as part of wider efforts to combat child poverty, help increase school attendance, and make a positive impact on children’s wellbeing. “We know that nearly 95,000 9-to-18 year olds ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New support to reduce emissions from public building and construction projects
    Government agencies are getting new support to reduce carbon emissions generated by construction of new buildings, with the release of practical guidance to shape decisions on public projects. The Ministers for Building and Construction and for Economic Development say a new Procurement Guide will help government agencies, private sector suppliers, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • He Whenua Taurikura: New Zealand’s first Hui on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism
    The Prime Minister has opened New Zealand’s first hui on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism, which is being held in Christchurch over the next two days. The hui delivers on one of the recommendations from the report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch masjidain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to inaugural Countering Terrorism Hui
    E aku nui, e aku rahi, Te whaka-kanohi mai o rātou mā, Ru-ruku-tia i runga i te ngākau whakapono, Ru-ruku-tia i runga i te ngākau aroha, Waitaha, Ngāti Mamoe, Ngai Tahu, nāu rā te reo pohiri. Tena tātou katoa. Ki te kotahi te kakaho ka whati, ki te kapuia, e ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Campaign shines a light on elder abuse
    A new campaign is shining a spotlight on elder abuse, and urging people to protect older New Zealanders. Launched on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, the Office for Seniors’ campaign encourages friends, whānau and neighbours to look for the signs of abuse, which is often hidden in plain sight. “Research suggests ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Farewelling sports administrator and philanthropist Sir Eion Edgar
    Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson today expressed his sorrow at the passing of Sir Eion Edgar – a leading sports administrator and celebrated philanthropist who has made a significant impact both within and beyond the sport sector. “Sir Eion’s energy, drive and generosity has been truly immense. He leaves ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to apologise for Dawn Raids
    The Government will make a formal apology for the wrongs committed during the Dawn Raids of the 1970’s. Between 1974 and 1976, a series of rigorous immigration enforcement policies were carried out that resulted in targeted raids on the homes of Pacific families. The raids to find, convict and deport overstayers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Humanitarian support for Bangladesh and Myanmar
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced that New Zealand is providing NZ $8.25 million in humanitarian assistance to support refugees and their host populations in Bangladesh and to support humanitarian need of internally displaced and conflict affected people in Myanmar.  “Nearly four years after 900,000 Rohingya crossed the border ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago