web analytics

No spark in Nats’ power reforms

Written By: - Date published: 4:34 pm, December 9th, 2009 - 39 comments
Categories: energy, national/act government - Tags: , ,

sexycoal220A friend just texted: “Brownlee’s power reforms look relatively benign, what’s the catch?”

It’s true, Brownlee’s reforms are just minor tinkering. The only thing of note is the needless little kick in the guts for environmentalists by making Meridian take on Whirinaki.

And that tells us something. For all National’s bluster in opposition about power prices and the rest, they have no answers.

Of course, we know that if National had free reign they would just privatise and deregulate the power companies and we would soon be facing Enron-style disasters. But they were forced to promise not to sell any assets.

If a decent leftwing government were in power, it would be looking to treat electricity as a public service, not an ordinary good. The power system should be brought together under public control (rather than the silly system of government-owned companies competing against each other) and tasked with providing green, sustainable electricity, cheaply and reliably. But that’s never going to be an option for ‘Sexy Coal’ Brownlee and National.

So, instead, they’ve made some minor reforms and promised that power prices will come down. They won’t, of course. It’s more over-promise and under-deliver from National.

39 comments on “No spark in Nats’ power reforms”

  1. Clarke 1

    The big effect from my point of view is that I can no longer buy carbon-free electricity simply by signing up with Meridian – I’ll have to jump through all sorts of hoops to achieve the same goal. So the power bill will remain the same, the carbon content will increase, and I’ll have higher administrative costs.

    Thanks a bundle, Gerry.

    • gitmo 1.1

      What the fuck is carbon free electricity is it related to carbon free sugar

      http://www.dominosugar.com/CarbonFree/

      .. to quote viz ..It sounds like a load of old wank.

      • Clarke 1.1.1

        Meridian produces certified zero-carbon electricity … or at least it used to, right up until Gerry Browncoal mandated that they take on a fossil fueled plant at Whirinaki.

        Try and keep up, gitmo.

        • gitmo 1.1.1.1

          Is this zero carbon electricity cheaper than non zero carbon electricity ?

          Does it get used to produce naughty CO2 ?

          When will they start employing zero carbon employees ?

          Has the world gone fucking barmy ?

          • Macro 1.1.1.1.1

            “Has the world gone fucking barmy”
            Its stupid people like you with your stupid comments who are making it so.
            By having an energy supplier who produces ALL their energy from renewable sources, consumers had a choice to go with that supplier (Meridian). Now that choice has been removed.
            I thought that was what you free marketeers were all about? Choice in the market place.
            Of course Brownlie doesn’t give a stuff about promoting sustainable energy, despite the fact that he is the current minister. He is little more than an environmental hazard and the sooner he is gone the better.

            • gitmo 1.1.1.1.1.1

              What if the non zero carbon electricity is used in the production environmentally friendly products and services and the zero carbon electricity is used in the production of non environmentally friendly products and services oh noes oh noes won’t anyone think of the children.

              • felix

                Yeah that’s exactly how it works, gitmo.

                Exactly.

              • Marty G

                For god’s sake gitmo. One of the major sources of carbon dioxide emissions is the production of electricity by burning fossil fuels.

                Carbon-free or renewable electricity is generated without emitting carbon. Of course, that electricity may be used in carbon emitting activities (like aluminium smelting) or, as in the case of someone like Clarke, they’re just using it for consumption at home.

                You must, must, by now understand about renewable electricity

                captcha: unreasonable (how does it do that?)

              • gitmo

                I don’t give a toss where my electricity comes from as long as it’s cheap.

          • Galeandra 1.1.1.1.2

            Wake up and smell the roses. Luddite

  2. tc 2

    Of course he’s not proposed anything significant…..that takes intellect/vision/motivation and committment.

    The bust up of the old ECNZ into what we have know is a disgrace all parties can take some blame for…..we all get ripped off and the shareholders just bank it.

    Cullen/Clark had one of the best chance but labor are never aggressive enough in pulling the SOE’s in and lack the top corporate talent connections to parachute them in to get what they want……that’s not necessarily a bad thing as that ‘talent’ is a moral vacum of greedy sorts like the bloke Smith chucked into ACC.

    Brownlee’s probably looking to follow the likes of Jim and Jenny and score a comfy board seat or 3 when he’s finished screwing up the sustainablitly initiatives.

  3. ben 3

    Marty, it’s all very well to dismiss the set of initiatives from National with a wholesale “no ideas”, but the fact is I count fewer ideas in your post than from National. In fact I count just one idea in your post: public control.

    So I’ll see your one idea and raise you another. Yours is the same idea repeated again and again. No matter how many times you say it, it will always be crap. It defies just about every bit of experience and evidence going. No, Marty, politicians do not make good controllers of technical assets. They don’t even make good owners of them, as the economic literature has tested and tested and tested and shown conclusively if not quite unanimously.

    I do not know what the solution to NZ’s electricity problems are, but putting politicians in charge of their operations is about the worst idea one could imagine. Has that ever worked? Anywhere? Ever? Is there even a single reason to think it possibly could?

    • Clarke 3.1

      No matter how many times you say it, it will always be crap. It defies just about every bit of experience and evidence going.

      Yes Ben, you’re entirely correct. No matter how National governments try and “reform” the electricity sector and introduce entirely mythical “competition”, electricity prices always rise faster than inflation and security of supply falls.

      That was what you meant, I presume.

      • ben 3.1.1

        Nope. Not what I meant. What I meant was what I said: putting politicians in charge of their operations is about the worst idea one could imagine.

        • Clarke 3.1.1.1

          Wow, you’re right! That private-sector company Contact haven’t raped and pillaged their customers at all!

          • ben 3.1.1.1.1

            Number of people who are forced to deal with Contact in the current market: zero. And they’ve been losing market share. And they operate about the same way as the state owned operators, give or take. What’s your point?

            Putting politicians in charge of their operations is about the worst idea one could imagine.

    • Armchair Critic 3.2

      So your idea is that an oligopoly is better than a monopoly? Even in just economic terms, I don’t agree.
      The generation, transmission and distribution of electricity in NZ is in a poor state, and the announcement from National is pretty pathetic. Even if this is just about lowering prices, or keeping price rises down, how will anything announced today help achieve that? What did they announce?
      1. The transfer of ownership of a couple of power stations from one company to another. That won’t have a big effect.
      2. Virtual asset swaps. No big effect there.
      3. A hedge market. To transfer costs backward and forward in time, rather than actually reducing costs.
      4. Allowing lines companies to retail electricity. No extra generation there, just duplication of an existing service (the retailing), so no cost saving.
      5. Establishing a fund to promote switching companies. So by spending money on advertising we save money on electricity? Sounds like the dumb kind of recommendation the productivity commission might make.
      It looks a lot to me like National have settled for placing their faith in the market to deliver, against all the evidence of the last fifteen years or so, and spinning the same old dogmatic lines. I’ll believe it when I see it, and I expect I won’t see it.
      So let’s see the economic literature you refer to – put some links up. Nothing from South or Central America, please, and nothing that requires a subscription to get into.
      In New Zealand the market approach has failed to deliver the required increase in generation or transmission and the competition between retailers is a joke. The difference in annual power costs is not worth the time or effort required to work out who has the best plan, then arranging to swap over. Especially given the uncertainty about how much electricity I will use, and when I will use it.
      Personally I’m in favour of a single operator for all the big generation plants, and the transmission, and a small number of distributors. Give them the task of covering their costs to produce, transmit and distribute the electricity, while ensuring that the cost to the user is minimised and affordable, there is always sufficient capacity and redundancy within the networks, the network/supply is accessible and the effect on the environment is minimised. Just off the top of my head.
      I also favour full public ownership, with some form of representative democracy to direct the technocrats managing the utility. The first reason that springs to mind can be summed up with one word – Enron.
      Because it is not only about the money.
      Finally, do you have any concerns that the government is doing the opposite of what you suggest in Auckland, with the water supply and sewerage? There’s no plan for competition at all there, and a significant degree of public ownership. Don’t you think that’s a bit inconsistent?

      • Lanthanide 3.2.1

        “In New Zealand the market approach has failed to deliver the required increase in generation or transmission”

        Actually, if this were the case, we’d be having rolling blackouts.

        I also saw some stats in a stuff article several months ago indicating that for the next 5 years they were bringing on more capacity than required to meet growth over the next 5 years.

        • Armchair Critic 3.2.1.1

          “Actually, if this were the case, we’d be having rolling blackouts”
          That’s a worst case scenario. Before then we would have high spot prices at peak demand times, then businesses shutting down production lines, then a campaign to save electricity. Sound familiar? Nothing in this latest announcement will change this, or address the problems in the electricity sector.
          My point was that since the market reforms were introduced the ability of the system to meet peak demand has decreased, and generation capacity has not grown at the same rate as demand. Feel free to show otherwise. Fantastic that stuff reports that generation growth will exceed growth in demand for the next five years. The assets being built will last tens to hundreds of years, so five years is a pretty short timeframe.
          Because the sole focus is on making money from selling electricity as a commodity, the incentive to do other stuff, like planning ahead, is reduced. And there is an incentive to asset strip, underfund maintenance etc.

          • Lanthanide 3.2.1.1.1

            When such a large propotion of our electricity supply relies on hydro power, there really isn’t much that can be done when there is a drought.

            You can say things like “we should have enough power capacity to whether any drought” but of course the only way to do that would be to have extra capacity equal to 100% of the existing hydropower capacity, and of course that costs money….

            • Armchair Critic 3.2.1.1.1.1

              Yeah, but I wouldn’t say that.
              I quite like the idea of distributed generation, lots of small generation near the demand. At present it costs heaps, too.
              And I haven’t worked out what I think the ownership structure should be, although my inclination is to favour local ownership for local generation.

      • ben 3.2.2

        So your idea is that an oligopoly is better than a monopoly?

        Nope. Not what I meant. What I meant was what I said: putting politicians in charge of their operations is about the worst idea one could imagine.

        I don’t have a view on the rest of your analysis (an important omission from your list is that the package includes increasing supply of electricity, which really should lower prices other things being equal.)

        My only point is that Marty’s idea of putting politicians back in charge of electricity operations is about the worst idea one could imagine.

        • Clarke 3.2.2.1

          You keep repeating this phrases over and over again:

          Putting politicians in charge of their operations is about the worst idea one could imagine

          … like some schoolyard mantra or a particularly spurious talking-point from the Brash 2025 taskforce report. Yet nowhere in this entire thread have you provided a single rationalisation for your position, nor any evidence to support it.

          The majority of New Zealanders would doubtlessly agree with the position that the electricity companies have deliberately gamed the system put in place by Max Bradford a decade ago, and our power prices have risen well beyond what is required to sustain ongoing investment in generation and transmission capacity as a result. The same people would also agree that Contact (the private enterprise) have been as ruthlessly efficient at price-gouging as any SOE.

          So we can conclude that the problem is the way the electricity market in New Zealand is constructed and operated, which seems to provide an incentive to business managers of all stripes to generate windfall profits by gouging captive consumers. This is clearly the problem designed and implemented by Max Bradford, ignored by the Clark government, and left largely unchanged by Gerry Brownlee.

          The trouble is, complete deregulation of the electricity market tends to lead to Enron.

          So what are your bright ideas? Or do they solely consist of repeating “putting politicians in charge of their operations is about the worst idea one could imagine” endlessly?

    • Marty G 3.3

      In ben’s mind, the test is the number of ideas you have, not how good they are

      • ben 3.3.1

        No Marty. No. That was simply a response to your criticism of National for being short of ideas, while you yourself propose even less. You’ll find the carping stops when your one idea is good and you stop being a hypocrite.

  4. tsmithfield 4

    Under Labour power prices increased at three times the rate of inflation. Its a bit rich to try and criticise National for trying to do something about it.

    • Clarke 4.1

      “They did it too!” – a defence unworthy of a 12 year old. So where’e the vision from National, then?

      • gitmo 4.1.1

        Yes I suggest everyone plays partisan politics and ignores the fact the Labour and National haven’t got a clue about the best model for power generation now and into the future.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      Yes, the last government kept the same policies and they didn’t work then either. So, it would be nice if the new government did something different. The fact is, they haven’t worked at anywhere in the world.

    • Marty G 4.3

      ts. they’re not doing anything about it. That’s the point

  5. Rich 5

    Yup, the system is stupid and Brownlee’s done almost nothing to change the stupid. Mind you, nor did Labour in nine years.

    Why do we have three SOE generators? Just one would do.

    Why do we persist with a “market model” that just causes fluctuations in price? The cost of making electricity is a function of cost of capital employed, price of fuel for fossil stations, and operating costs. Public policy suggests that carbon emission should be minimised, so fossil fuel power stations (Huntly and various gas units) should only be used when renewable power is insufficient. A scientifically designed model could optimise this without a need for a pseudo-market.

    Why do we have a game of trying to buy the cheapest electricity? The power that comes out of your wall socket is from exactly the same generators whether you use Genesis, Mighty River or Meridian. There might be a few tweaks around metering and the fixed charge / unit charge balance, but basically, everyone should be paying a fair price for power that encourages energy economy.

    About the only good thing in Brownlee’s announcement is that by making Meridian take on a fossil fueled station, the capability for middle-class tokenism is reduced. (Stopping climate change needs the concerted efforts of government, not 5% of Grey Lynn dwellers using hessian shopping bags).

    • Armchair Critic 5.1

      “A scientifically designed model could optimise this without a need for a pseudo-market.”
      I vaguely recall that one was produced by a PhD student at Auckland university in the early or mid 1990s. I expect it was rendered irrelevant by the market reforms the government introduced around that time.

  6. My jaw dropped to my chest when the TV One News announcer reporting on this said gleefully that if customers are asked to reduce power use at times of shortage they will receive compensation from their power company.

    Compensation? Where do you suppose this ‘compensation’ will come from? Power companies will have to provide reserves against these possible compensation payments in their accounts, and where will the money going into these reserves come from? Where else but their customers.

    All it means is that you’ll have to pay a little more for your power in the good times to provide the cash to pay you ‘compensation’ in the bad times.

    And, far worse, the companies that have more ‘green’ power, ie wind, hydro etc. are far more liable to have ‘bad’ times than the coal, gas and oil burners and so will have to make a larger provision for this ‘compensation’ – effectively adding to the price of green energy as against dirty energy.

    As the ancient saying about market-place shysters goes, “Don’t watch their eyes, watch their hands.”

  7. tsmithfield 7

    I tend to agree that whatever the government does so far as structural changes is concerned is largely cosmetic. It may smooth the pricing, but I doubt it will have a major impact on the overall trend.

    The only ways to reduce the cost of power in the long term is to increase supply, reduce demand, or a combination of both.

  8. Peter Wilson 8

    What a limp-fisted attempt to fix up what most people recognise is a broken energy market.

    As other posters have pointed out, all this will result in is higher prices during the good times, as generators build up reserves for the bad times. It will also result in higher carbon emissions, as generators will probably just switch on the thermals in preference to planning for future generation properly. Brownlee, true to form, spoke of making it easier to bring new gas generation online. So, Keith Turner (former Meridian CEOs) bold vision of a renewable future for NZ has been killed, and we become more reliant on declining fossil fuels. Really smart…

    Giving Whirinaki to Meridian is similarly daft. Whirinaki burns diesel, and produces very expensive electricity as a result. It’s also poorly sited (a bad decision by the previous government), and not particularly capable of solving power shortages in the North Island due to transmission constraints. It is a reserve station, as in,under current rules, it can only be turned on under very specific circumstances, which require the calling of a “Grid Emergency” by Transpower. Now, I imagine that Meridian will be encouraged to use this station more frequently, because otherwise, why on earth do an asset swap for an asset that can’t get used!

    Similarly, passing Tekapo A and Tekapo B to Genesis, a company which has all its experience in running Huntly. The upper Waitaki Power Scheme is designed to run as a cohesive unit. By handing Tekapo A and B over to it you are basically removing one whole storage lake (Lake Tekapo) from the mix, which reduces the efficiency of the remaining Upper Waitaki stations down the chain (Ohau A, B, and C). That is a recipe for power crises and poor water management in two of the country’s most important storage lakes.

    Finally, we have a transmission system that was designed for long term predictable power flows in single directions, from generator to consumer, The electricity market has brought about short term fluctuations in power flow and direction, all of which place great strain on the transmission system. I can only see this increasing under the current regime.

    Brownlee = Fail.

  9. Homo Domesticus 9

    Well done Brownlee. I thought you were going to get tough with electricity providers? Months of study and debate and this all you could come up with? These reforms will have zero effect on the price of electricity.

    Mr Brownlee, where is the accountability, the payback for customers? Electricity providers have ripped off customers for years with power prices soaring over 70 percent.

    What a joke.

    Homo d.

  10. Jim McDonald 10

    The focus is clearly on what this Nat Govt can and will do. And so is this meant to be Brownlee’s and the Nat Govt’s pre-Christmas sizzler policy which is turning into a fizzler?

    Quite disappointing.

  11. rod 11

    Cheaper electricity for all, promises Brownlee. Where have I heard that before,oh yes,it was that other brilliant Tory politician, Max Bradford. What ever happened to him? Give us a break Brownlee, you couldn’t run a raffle.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • New Zealand First calls for tahr cull halt
    Mark Patterson MP, Spokesperson for Primary Industry New Zealand First is supporting calls by hunters and the New Zealand Tahr Foundation (NZTF) to halt a large scale cull of Himalayan Tahr by the Department of Conservation in National Parks. The calls are supported by a 40,000 strong petition and the ...
    23 hours ago
  • Response to Spin-off allegations
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand First leader Winston Peters today scoffed at suggestions that a team of six political operatives have been dispatched to New Zealand to assist his campaign. ‘As President Ronald Reagan once said, ‘there they go again.’ ‘The clickbait journos can’t ...
    1 day ago
  • Jenny Marcroft MP to represent New Zealand First in Auckland Central
    New Zealand First is pleased to announce Jenny Marcroft as the party’s election 2020 candidate for the Auckland Central electorate. Jenny spent years working in Auckland Central, having spent a vast proportion of her broadcasting career there. She says she, "knows the place and knows the people." Ms Marcroft says ...
    2 days ago
  • Creating jobs and cleaning up our rivers
    New Zealanders deserve healthy rivers and lakes that are safe to swim in - but they have been getting worse for decades. That's why, with our latest announcement, we're investing in projects that will help clean up our rivers and lakes and restore them to health, within a generation. ...
    3 days ago
  • Jacinda Ardern: 2020 Labour Congress Speech
    Jacinda Ardern's speech to the 2020 Labour Party Congress. ...
    3 days ago
  • Kelvin Davis: 2020 Labour Congress Speech
    Kelvin Davis' speech to the 2020 Labour Party Congress. ...
    3 days ago
  • Week That Was: Another week of major progress
    This week we moved into the second half of 2020 - and our Government delivered another week of big changes and major progress for New Zealanders. Read below for a wrap of the key things moments from the week - from extending paid parental leave, to making major investments in ...
    5 days ago
  • Green Party opposes RMA fast-track bill that cut corners on environmental safeguards and public cons...
    The Green Party has opposed the COVID-19 Recovery Fast-track Consenting Bill which shortcuts normal consenting processes under the Resource Management Act (RMA), reduces public participation and narrows environmental considerations. ...
    6 days ago
  • Site of new freight hub revealed
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister of Regional Economic Development A regional freight hub for the lower North Island will be built just northeast of Palmerston North, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The Government is investing $40 million through the Provincial Growth Fund to designate and buy land and design ...
    6 days ago
  • Greens call for Guaranteed Minimum Income to alleviate skyrocketing debt with MSD
    Green Party Co-leader Marama Davidson is calling for the introduction of a Guaranteed Minimum Income to lift hundreds of thousands of people out of poverty and prevent more families entering into further debt with the Ministry of Social Development.  ...
    6 days ago
  • Winston Peters: Facts matter when taxpayer money is on the line
    There has been renewed focus on New Zealand First acting as a handbrake on the Government after our decision to not support Auckland light rail. We are a handbrake for bad ideas, that is true, but our track record since 2017 has seen New Zealand First constructively also serve as an ...
    6 days ago
  • Bill raising minimum residency requirement for NZ Super passes first reading
    Mark Patterson MP, New Zealand First List MP New Zealand First’s Fair Residency for Superannuation Bill passed its First Reading in Parliament today. The Bill makes a significant change to NZ Super by raising the minimum residency requirement from 10 to 20 years, after age 20. “Currently, a migrant of ...
    6 days ago
  • Harsher penalties for assaults on first responders one step closer
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Law and Order A New Zealand First member’s bill in the name of Darroch Ball introducing a six-month minimum prison sentence for assaults on first responders has passed its second reading in Parliament. The new offence of "injuring a first responder or corrections officer with ...
    7 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission delivers Coalition promise
    Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Deputy Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand First welcomes the launch of the new Criminal Cases Review Commission, gifted with the name from Waikato-Tainui - Te Kāhui Tātari Ture, announced in Hamilton today by Justice Minister Andrew Little. “New Zealand First has long believed in and ...
    1 week ago
  • Greens welcome huge new investment in sustainable projects
    The Green Party is celebrating over $800m in new funding for green projects, which will get people into jobs while solving New Zealand’s long-term challenges. ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand First demands answers from Meridian Energy
    Mark Patterson MP, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is appalled that Meridian seems to have been unnecessarily spilling water from its dams to drive up its profits."While New Zealanders have been coming together in some of our darkest hours, we don’t expect power gentailers to waste water and ...
    1 week ago
  • Getting New Zealand moving again: June 2020
    We wrapped up the first half of 2020 with a busy month, taking additional steps to support New Zealanders as we continue with our economic recovery. We rolled out targeted packages to support key industries like tourism and construction, helped create jobs in the environmental and agriculture sectors, and set ...
    1 week ago
  • Māori union leader appointed to Infrastructure Commission board
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Infrastructure Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones has welcomed the appointment of Maurice Davis and his deep infrastructure and construction experience to the board of the Infrastructure Commission. Mr Davis (Ngāti Maniapoto), is the seventh and final appointment to the board led by former Reserve Bank Governor ...
    1 week ago
  • Click-bait journalism at its worst
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand’s click bait journalism is taking a turn for the worse, with yet another example of sensationalist, wilful-misrepresentation of the facts. “New Zealand First has worked constructively with its Coalition partner on hundreds of pieces of legislation and policy, and ...
    1 week ago
  • Green Party proposes transformational Poverty Action Plan
    The Green Party is today unveiling its Poverty Action Plan, which includes a Guaranteed Minimum Income to ensure people have enough to live with dignity.     ...
    1 week ago
  • PGF accelerates Rotorua projects
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development The Rotorua Museum redevelopment and Whakarewarewa and Tokorangi Forest projects will be accelerated thanks to a $2.09 million Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) boost, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Getting people into jobs
    This week, we rolled out the next steps of our recovery plan, with new infrastructure investment, extra support for tourism operators, and a new programme to get Kiwis into agriculture careers. The global economic consequences of COVID-19 will continue to be a challenge, but we have a detailed plan to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Coalition commitment establishing Mental Health Commission delivered
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its final reading in Parliament today fulfilling a coalition agreement commitment. “This is an important step in saving the lives of New Zealanders and delivers a key coalition commitment ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whakatāne gets a $2.5m ‘turbo boost’
    Whakatāne has been given a $2.5 million boost to speed up previously funded projects and create more than 450 jobs in the next decade. Of those, the equivalent of 160 full-time jobs could be delivered in the next six weeks. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters is in town to make ...
    2 weeks ago
  • $2.5m PGF funding to speed up economic recovery in Whakatāne
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $2.5 million to accelerate three infrastructure projects in Whakatāne, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “This package is about ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Shane Jones calls out those holding drought-stricken Auckland ‘to ransom’ over water
    Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones is throwing his weight behind a bid by the Auckland Council to fast-track the more than doubling of the city's water allowance from the Waikato River. And he's coming out strongly against anyone who plans on getting in the way of this campaign. "It is my ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another Green win as climate change considerations inserted into the RMA
    The Green Party is thrilled to see changes to the Resource Management Act (RMA) that mean consents for large projects can be declined if they will have significant climate change implications that are inconsistent with the Zero Carbon Act and Aotearoa New Zealand’s Paris Agreement obligations.  ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Navy vessel Aotearoa to arrive in New Zealand
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence The Royal New Zealand Navy’s new ship, Aotearoa, set sail for New Zealand on 10 June from the Republic of Korea, and is due to arrive in Auckland tomorrow, announced Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “Aotearoa is the Royal New Zealand Navy’s new fleet ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Racing Industry Bill passes third reading
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters has today welcomed the Racing Industry Bill passing its third reading, creating the legislative framework for revitalising the racing industry while limiting the need for future government intervention. “For too long our domestic racing industry has ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party seek amendment to ensure all prisoners can vote
    The Green Party has today put forward an amendment to the Electoral (Registration of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Bill to ensure all people in prisons can vote in general elections. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party welcomes new approach to delivering light rail
    The Green Party welcomes the decision to not proceed with Public Public Investment (PPI) delivery of Auckland’s light rail project and to instead run the process through the public service. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First welcomes PGF investment in Wairarapa Water
    Hon Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in the Wairarapa New Zealand First List MP Hon Ron Mark welcomes the announcement of Provincial Growth Funding investment of $1.4 million to help secure the Wairarapa’s water supply. The funding boost will allow the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC), and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First MP Mark Patterson selected as candidate for Taieri
    New Zealand First list MP Mark Patterson has been selected to represent the party in the newly formed Taieri electorate at the upcoming election. Mr Patterson, his wife Jude and two daughters farm sheep and beef at Lawrence and Waitahuna. He previously stood in the Clutha-Southland electorate however boundary changes ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ground-breaking on NZ Post depot
    Hon Shane Jones, Associate Minister for State Owned Enterprises A new ‘super depot’ to be built for NZ Post in Wellington will create around 350 jobs during construction, Associate Minister for State Owned Enterprises Shane Jones says. Shane Jones today attended a ground-breaking and blessing ceremony for the parcel-processing depot ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Putting our economic plan into action
    Our strong economic management prior to COVID-19 - with surpluses, low debt and near-record-low unemployment - put us in a good position to weather the impact of the virus and start to rebuild our economy much earlier than many other countries. Now we're putting our plan to recover and rebuild ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fleeing drivers hit new record-high yet again
    Darroch Ball MP, New Zealand First Spokesperson for Law and Order Recently released Police fleeing driver statistics have shown yet another increase in incidents with another record-high in the latest quarter. “This new quarterly record-high is the latest in a string of record-high numbers since 2014.  The data shows incidents ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fletcher Tabuteau selected as candidate for Rotorua
    New Zealand First MP Fletcher Tabuteau is pleased to be confirmed today as the party’s candidate for the Rotorua electorate. Speaking at the Rotorua AGM for New Zealand First, Mr Tabuteau said this is an election that is incredibly important for the people of Rotorua. “The founding principles of New ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Greens call for Government office to address Rainbow issues following Human Rights Commission report
    The Human Rights Commission’s PRISM report on the issues impacting people based on their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC) provides an excellent programme of work for future governments to follow, say the Greens. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters continues push for trans-Tasman travel as military take control of operations
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters said the trans-Tasman bubble had not been jeopardised after a border botch-up resulted in New Zealand having two active cases of COVID-19. On Friday, Mr Peters told RNZ's Morning Report he had heard from Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison that borders for trans-Tasman travel would open by ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters on the Government’s Covid-19 border blunder
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters said today he was pleased the army was now running the quarantine and isolation process - up until now it has been the Ministry of Health. Peters told Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking that the army knew how to introduce and follow protocols and instil discipline. ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Coastal Shipping Webinar
    Introduction, seafarers and POAL Good morning everyone, I am delighted to be online with you all today. Before I begin, I have to acknowledge that COVID-19 has disrupted the maritime sector on an unprecedented scale. The work of seafarers and the maritime industry is keeping many economies around the world ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Support for resilient rail connection to the West Coast
    A $13 million investment from Government will create jobs and improve the resilience of the rail connection between Christchurch and the West Coast, Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones and Regional Economic Development Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau say. The funding comes from the tagged contingency set aside in Budget 2020 for infrastructure projects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Major investment in safe drinking water
    The Government is investing $761 million to assist local government upgrade under-pressure water services across the country, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today.  The announcement was made at the site of the water bore that was found to be the source of the fatal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Supporting stranded seasonal workers to keep working with more flexible options
    Recognised Seasonal Employers and migrant seasonal workers stranded in New Zealand will be able to continue working and supporting themselves with more flexible hours and roles, says Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway. The time-limited visa changes are: Stranded RSE workers will be able to work part-time (a minimum of 15 hours ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Relief for temporary migrants, employers and New Zealanders who need work
    The Government is making immediate short-term changes to visa settings to support temporary migrants already onshore in New Zealand and their employers, while also ensuring New Zealanders needing work are prioritised, Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. We are: Extending temporary work visas due to expire by the end of 2020 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Freshwater commissioners and fast-track consenting convenor appointed
    Professor Peter Skelton CNZM has been appointed as Chief Freshwater Commissioner and Alternate Environment Court Judge Craig James Thompson as Deputy Chief Freshwater Commissioner for the newly established Freshwater Planning Process (FPP). Environment Minister David Parker today also announced the appointment of Chief Environment Court Judge Laurie Newhook as the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Appointment of Judge of the High Court
    Auckland Queen’s Counsel Neil Campbell has been appointed a Judge of the High Court, Attorney‑General David Parker announced today. Justice Campbell graduated with a BCom and LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland in 1992. He spent two years with Bell Gully Buddle Weir in Auckland before travelling to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Feedback sought – Commercial Film and Video Production Facilities
    The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to better enable the development and operation of commercial film and video facilities in Christchurch. The Proposal, developed by Regenerate Christchurch in response to a request from Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Govt launches bold primary sector plan to boost economic recovery
    The Government has launched a bold plan to boost primary sector export earnings by $44 billion over the next decade, while protecting the environment and growing jobs. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today released Fit for a Better World – Accelerating our Economic Potential, a 10-year roadmap to unlock greater value ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Wellbeing of whanau at heart of new hub
    A new approach to prevent family harm that encourages greater collaboration across government and community groups is being celebrated at the opening of a new facility in Auckland. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today opened the Multi-Disciplinary Family Harm Prevention Hub Te Taanga Manawa in Lambie Road in Manukau. The facility ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Report on Auckland Port Relocation
    The Government has released a major new report on the options for relocating the Port of Auckland’s freight operations while deferring any decision on the issue. “That decision needs to be informed by policy analysis that is still to be completed. As a result it will be up to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Dual place names for Te Pātaka-o-Rākaihautū / Banks Peninsula features
    The history of Rāpaki is being restored through the inclusion of te reo in thirteen official place names on Te Pātaka-o-Rākaihautū / Banks Peninsula and around Lyttelton Harbour/Whakaraupō, the Minister for Land Information, Eugenie Sage, announced today.   “I am pleased to approve the proposals from Te Hapū o Ngāti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government and Air New Zealand agree to manage incoming bookings
    Bookings for seats on Air New Zealand flights into New Zealand will be managed in the short term to ensure the Government is able to safely place New Zealanders arriving home into a managed isolation or quarantine facility, says Housing Minister Megan Woods.  “Last week Air Commodore Darryn Webb and I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • $80 million for sport recovery at all levels
    Grant Robertson has today announced the first major release of funding from the $265 million Sport Recovery Package announced at Budget 2020.  “Today we’re setting out how $80 million will be invested, with $54 million of that over the 2020/2021 financial year for organisations from community level through to elite ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Keeping ACC levies steady until 2022
    The Government is maintaining current levy rates for the next 2 years, as part of a set of changes to help ease the financial pressures of COVID-19 providing certainty for businesses and New Zealanders, ACC Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. “New Zealanders and businesses are facing unprecedented financial pressures as a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Extended loan scheme keeps business afloat
    Small businesses are getting greater certainty about access to finance with an extension to the interest-free cashflow loan scheme to the end of the year. The Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme has already been extended once, to 24 July. Revenue and Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says it will be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New investment creates over 2000 jobs to clean up waterways
    A package of 23 projects across the country will clean up waterways and deliver over 2000 jobs Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Environment Minister David Parker announced today. The $162 million dollar package will see 22 water clean-up projects put forward by local councils receiving $62 million and the Kaipara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to Labour Party Congress 2020
    Tena koutou katoa  Nga tangata whenua o tenei rohe o Pōneke, tena koutou Nau mai, haere mai ki te hui a tau mo te roopu reipa Ko tatou!  Ko to tatou mana!  Ko to tatou kaupapa kei te kokiri whakamua  Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena tatou katoa   Welcome. I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • PGF top-up for QE Health in Rotorua
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $1.5 million to ensure QE Health in Rotorua can proceed with its world class health service and save 75 existing jobs, Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The PGF funding announced today is in addition to the $8 million ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Building a more sustainable construction sector
    A new programme, which sets a firm course for the Building and Construction sector to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, has been announced by the Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa. “A significant amount of New Zealand’s carbon emissions come from the building and construction sector.  If we’re serious ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • PGF funds tourism boost in Northland
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing more than $7.5 million in Northland ventures to combat the economic impact of the COVID-19 virus, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) investment is going to the Northern Adventure Experience and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Four new projects announced as part of the biggest ever national school rebuild programme
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced significant funding for Auckland’s Northcote College as part of the first wave of a new nationwide school redevelopment programme to upgrade schools over the next 10 years. The $48.5 million project brings the total investment in Northcote College to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19: Support to improve student attendance and wellbeing
    The Government has opened an urgent response fund to support schools and early learning services to get children and young people back on track after the Covid-19 lockdown. “While we are seeing improvements in attendance under Alert Level 1 Ministry of Education data shows that attendance rates in our schools ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Fast-track consenting law boosts jobs and economic recovery
    The law to boost the economic recovery from the impact of COVID-19 by speeding up resource consenting on selected projects has passed its second and third readings in the House today. “Accelerating nationwide projects and activities by government, iwi and the private sector will help deliver faster economic recovery and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Whanganui Port gets PGF boost
    Five port-related projects in Whanganui will receive a $26.75 million Provincial Growth Fund investment to support local economic recovery and create new opportunities for growth, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This is a significant investment that will support the redevelopment of the Whanganui Port, a project governed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More support for Sarjeant Gallery
    Whanganui’s Sarjeant Gallery will receive an investment of up to $12 million administered by the Provincial Growth Fund to support its redevelopment, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. The project is included in a $3 billion infrastructure pipeline announced by Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Shane Jones yesterday. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Funding for training and upskilling
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing nearly $2.5 million into three Te Ara Mahi programmes to support Manawatū-Whanganui jobseekers and employees to quickly train and upskill, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Up to 154 local people will be supported into employment within the first year by these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Statement from the Minister of Health Dr David Clark
      This morning I have formally tendered my resignation as Minister of Health, which was accepted by the Prime Minister. Serving as Minister of Health has been an absolute privilege – particularly through these extraordinary last few months. It’s no secret that Health is a challenging portfolio. I have given ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Scholarship placements for agricultural emissions scientists doubles
    Scholarships for 57 early-career agricultural emissions scientists from 20 developing countries is another example of New Zealand’s international leadership in primary sector sustainability, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. Mr O’Connor, announcing the scholarships today, says hundreds of applications were received for this fourth round of the CLIFF-GRADS programme (Climate, Food ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Funding for Foxton regeneration
    A project to help rejuvenate the Horowhenua town of Foxton will receive a Provincial Growth Fund investment of $3.86 million, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This funding for the Foxton Regeneration project will be used to make the well-known holiday town even more attractive for visitors and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Plan to improve protection of moa bones
    Moa bones and other sub-fossil remains of extinct species are set to have improved protection with proposals to prevent the trade in extinct species announced the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today. “We have lost too many of our native species, but these lost species, such as moa, remain an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Free lunches served up to thousands of school children in the South Island
    The Government’s free and healthy school lunches programme moves south for the first time creating jobs for around 30 people in Otago and Southland. “Eighteen schools with 3000 students are joining the programme – 11 have already begun serving lunches, and seven are preparing to start during Term 3. This is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Screen Sector recovery package protects jobs, boosts investment
    Thousands of Kiwi jobs and investment in New Zealand productions will be protected through a screen sector support package announced today by Associate Minister for Arts Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford and Minister for Broadcasting Kris Faafoi. The package also includes investment in broadcasting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New fund to help save local events and jobs
    The Government has established a new $10 million fund for the domestic events sector to help save jobs and protect incomes as it recovers from the impacts of COVID-19, Minister of Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. This funding from Budget 2020 follows talks with the event sector designed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Bill to improve fuel market competition
    The Government has taken another step in its commitment to making sure New Zealanders get a fairer deal at the petrol pump with the introduction of legislation to improve competition in the retail fuel market, says Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods. “The fuel market study that this Government ordered ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand joins global facility for pre-purchase of COVID-19 Vaccine
    New Zealand has joined a global initiative that aims to enable all countries to access a safe and effective Covid-19 vaccine, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. The COVAX Facility was recently launched by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. The Alliance includes the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Right to legal representation in Family Court restored today
    From today new legislation takes effect to both restore the right to legal representation at the start of a Care of Children (CoCA) dispute in the Family Court, and allow parties to those proceedings to access legal aid where eligible. During a visit to the Family Court in Auckland today, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Transitioning to a fully-qualified home-based ECE workforce
    Home-based early childhood education (ECE) subsidised by the government will transition to a fully qualified workforce by 2025 to ensure better and more consistent quality, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. “Quality early learning helps provide children with a strong foundation for their future,” Chris Hipkins said. From 1 January ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission gets to work
    The new Criminal Cases Review Commission | Te Kāhui Tātari Ture (CCRC) has started work and can now independently investigate claimed miscarriages of justice. “Even though we have appeal rights and safeguards against unsafe convictions, from time to time our justice system does get things wrong. The design of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech by the Minister of Defence to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā karangatanga maha, tēnā koutou Ki a koutou Te Āti Awa, Taranaki Whānui, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, ngā mana whenua o te rohe nei, tēnā koutou Ko Te Whare Wānanga o Aotearoa ki ngā take o te Ao (NZIIA), Ko te Rōpū Tohu Tono ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago