NRT: A waiting list by another name

Written By: - Date published: 1:32 pm, March 7th, 2016 - 39 comments
Categories: health, making shit up, national, spin - Tags: , , , ,

I/S at No Right Turn writes


A waiting list by another name

When National was in opposition, it rightly attacked the then-Labour government over the size of hospital waiting lists. People were suffering in pain, sometimes for years, because DHB’s were not meeting patient needs. When National became government, they announced they would fix this by setting targets for waiting lists. And they did so – by the simple expedient of stopping people from getting on them in the first place:

More than 5300 people missed out on the surgery they needed, within a three month period last year, because there wasn’t enough resources to do it.

It’s the first release of Government figures measuring the surgical need that was going unmet, by hospitals stretched to capacity and struggling to keep up.

And while it was well down on estimates of about 170,000 annually by some Government critics, Health Ministry officials warn the figures could get worse before they get better.

Rather than solving the problem, National has simply hidden it. And meanwhile, people are still suffering. Its a perfect example of PR as policy, with the added twist of dishonesty and secrecy as well. As for how they’ll “solve” it, I expect they’ll pull the same trick again and simply move it back another step. Waiting lists were banished by requiring specialist referrals. And the hidden waiting list will be banished by making it more difficult to get those referrals. People will still be left to suffer, but their suffering won’t be reflected in any statistics, so it officially won’t exist. And so the government will get to pretend that their systematically underfunded health system is coping for another few years. A PR win while doing nothing.

The real solution, of course, is to fund the health system so that it can give everyone the care they need. But National won’t do that because it would mean less money for them to give away to the rich as tax cuts in 2017. Another perfect example of their priorities.

39 comments on “NRT: A waiting list by another name ”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    A PR win while doing nothing. cutting the taxes needed to do something.

    FIFY

  2. Janice 2

    ….but, but, but the asset sales are going to fund more health (and education) aren’t they?

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      For the bludgers that now own those assets and thus have us as serfs a passive income stream for doing nothing.

  3. John Shears 3

    My Wife and I have personal experience of the delays taking place.
    I had my cataracts operated on , right then left eye, over a period of about 6 months perhaps 3-4 years ago at Greenlane Clinic.

    My wife has had one eye done nearly a year ago and is still waiting for the second to be scheduled. The latest was to say it should be before June 2016 this after having to fill out another questionaire after writing to ask when it might happen.

    These are not life threatening problems but are an essential procedure once the cataract develops.

    I am in no doubt that there is a deliberate move to slow down the number of patients being treated as far as this procedure is concerned , since I had my operations.

    • ianmac 3.1

      My brother was told that as long as one eye was OK the other cateracted one would wait indefinitely.

      • b waghorn 3.1.1

        Same mother waghorn was blind in one eye for years, and was told it wouldn’t be done, fortunately for her she was able to afford private eventually.

      • mac1 3.1.2

        I was told the same by an ophthalmologist last Friday who was very critical of the NZ system. Though being a Kiwi helping out in his retirement, he practised in Australia which he said was much more advanced in its treatment options. He was very disparaging of the one cataract rule.

    • Clashman 3.2

      My father was lucky enough to be able to go private.
      $7000 per eye!
      Don’t they do it for a couple of dollars in the Islands ?

      • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1

        My father was lucky enough to be able to go private.

        That will be what National are pushing for – privatisation. It produces a profit for bludging shareholders while costing more and reducing services. In other words, they’re pushing us to the failed US model.

        • TopHat 3.2.1.1

          After waiting 2years for a hip, I had to go private or spend another 2 years crawling to the toilet. 3 years to remedy a work accident that ACC wouldn’t touch.

  4. Keith 4

    Expect lying at the speed of light after this revelation. Expect Labour to be blamed! Expect diversions, expect the flag!

    Yes National have simply moved the goal posts, yes they have not only hidden the problem, they’ve buried it. You cannot reduce government revenue with tax cuts and revenue generating assets being sold off and hope to fund public services. Senior managers are encouraged to be creative, always at arms length from their reprehensible ministers of course. Grotesque government incentives pit like govt depts against each other to meet and exceed targets, for the winner to receive bonus budget infusions. All good you may say, getting better value for taxpayer dollar but these departments are already suffering from financial starvation. And so if they cook the books for their masters, who looks good, the National Party, thats who!

    Inside information is that Doctors recommend anyone with a first world passport to say, the UK or Australia, go to those countries for cancer treatment,. Why, because our system is years behind and woefully under funded!

    The bullshit that is reduced crime reporting masks the fact that police simply do not go after crime themselves anywhere like they did pre National. They wait for people to report it and that collapses the report quantities. But they have to, their budget too has been cut and frozen for years. All police can do is try to “prevent” crime, a Don Quixotic solution if there ever was.

    This government are behind the biggest defrauding of the public in the history of NZ. I would go as far as to say there is not a stat anymore produced by an NZ government department, that may effect Nationals hold on power, that is not tampered with somehow or another. Certainly none can be relied upon!

  5. feijoa 5

    Didn’t they cut funding for the Health Budget by 1% (which is millions) just recently??
    Looking for a link but can’t seem to find it…

    People need to get stroppy about this

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      They upped the nominal value so that they could say that they were increasing health spending but they didn’t increase it enough to cover inflation and population increases.

      In other words – they lied with numbers.

    • Richard@Down South 5.2

      $138 million required by DHB’s in ‘savings’ (dont mention cuts)

  6. Sacha 6

    That modest official figure for unmet need does not include the many many thousands whose GPs never even bothered with a specialist referral because they knew it was a waste of time. Nor does it include the same for all the other forms of treatment than cutting people.

  7. Nic the NZer 7

    Not quite correct. In fact the govt could fund both the health system and tax cuts by simply running a deficit. The deficit being ‘self funded’ by the act of paying the health professionals involved. The govt prioratised instead the ideological and political goal of running a surplus. Obviously for as long as people are willing to work for govt pay the govt faces no funding constraints in putting them to work.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1

      Running a deficit, or collecting more revenue. For example, per-capita GDP is always higher under Labour led governments, so revenue increases. They could always raise taxes on the wealthy (the biggest beneficiaries of society) and/or introduce financial transactions and capital gains taxes.

      Except they’re incompetent, so the first option is beyond their ability, and they’re stupid, so the others are beyond their imagination.

      • Nic the NZer 7.1.1

        Raising more tax revenue creates additional real space in the economy so i hope you are immagining a spending increase to go with your fantasy taxation increase. This appears unnecessary however. The govt could presently get plenty more people to work for them simply by paying them. They dont need to increase taxes first to convince them to do so as far as i can see.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1.1.1

          Just pointing out that your “solution” – of running a deficit – isn’t the only one – after all, even a history teacher managed to balance the books – and pay off a fantasist’s massive deficit – for nine straight years.

          • Nic the NZer 7.1.1.1.1

            If balancing the books is a goal of the government then they have already failed to be anything but neo-liberal in practice.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1.1.1.1.1

              So a government that provided fully publicly funded free education and healthcare, and scrapped the broken SOE model in favour of public utilities, and balanced the books, would be neo-liberal in your eyes.

              Good to know.

              • Nic the NZer

                Absolutely. I doubt that a govt can do all those things and balance the books frankly. Then it becomes a question of prioraties (balance the books or achieve useful outcomes). I suspect that English thinks hes doing a good job right now given the self imposed constraint of balancing the books actually.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  balance the books or achieve useful outcomes

                  A false dichotomy if ever I saw one.

                  • Nic the NZer

                    Why? Balancing the books is not a useful outcome itself in any way. Keeping the net change in private sector savings to be zero over some specified period (this is identical to balancing the govt books) is not a useful goal. Justify why it is a useful goal for us please.

                    Edit. Note its not a false dichotomy simply on the grounds that sometimes the govt will need to increase spending in order to get certain desirable economic outcomes. Your govt doesnt get to decide when that happens the course of the economy does.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      It’s a false dichotomy because the two aren’t mutually exclusive.

                      It’s a useful measure (not a goal, a measure) because when we use resources faster than they accrue, that’s unsustainable.

                    • Nic the NZer

                      So which resources (which we use) are used up by govt spending? As far as i was aware tax payments etc are just account entries at banks including the RBNZ.

      • Richard@Down South 7.1.2

        The could also enforce the tax policy… make sure tax fraud is down year on year… can you imagine if they took a similar approach to tax fraud as they do looking for benefit fraud?

      • Bob 7.1.3

        “or example, per-capita GDP is always higher under Labour led governments”
        OAB, you trot this lie out time and again, I link to proof you are wrong (below) and you ignore it, rinse and repeat:
        http://www.google.co.nz/publicdata/explore?ds=d5bncppjof8f9_&met_y=ny_gdp_pcap_cd&idim=country:NZL:AUS:CAN&hl=en&dl=en
        There is basically no difference between increases in per capita GDP between National and Labour, mainly because there is basically no difference in economic policy between National and Labour.

        But while you are discussing per capita GDP, note the near exponential growth in per capita GDP since the introduction of neo-liberal economics in 1984, do you now support neoliberalism?

        • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1.3.1

          No, Bob, I’m not ignoring you: you’re just wrong.

          • Bob 7.1.3.1.1

            What is the source of that graph OAB? Because it is clearly bullshit when it shows GDP deflation under the Key government.
            The only way that is correct is if the graph was produced in 2009, meaning it is either 7 years old and useless, or made-up.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1.3.1.1.1

              No, Bob, it means that per-capita gdp since the graph was compiled, can be added to make it up to date, and based on their track record I’m confident that it will show that the National Party is a little bit shit at being in government.

        • Nic the NZer 7.1.3.2

          Umm Bob your making a ‘school boy’ error there your prices are listed in nominal (current US $) terms. Inflation is the cause of the ‘near exponential’ growth trend.

        • Draco T Bastard 7.1.3.3

          note the near exponential growth in per capita GDP since the introduction of neo-liberal economics in 1984

          LOL

          1. Growth when measured by percentage per year is exponential. Even when the it’s 0.0001% it will still be exponential.
          2. Growth prior to the neo-liberal reforms was far greater. Often hitting 4% and 5% per year in the years just after WWII.

  8. tc 8

    This has been known for years.

    Yet another area the current pissweak opposition does not hammer this shonky govt over.

  9. TopHat 9

    Doctors seem to only diagnose what the system can afford to pay for, they’re as complicit as the politicians they serve.

  10. NZJester 10

    My father was on a waiting list till recently and then was informed that he had been dropped and would be required to see a specialist again to get back on the list.
    If he gets back on the list and gets his operation the statistics will only show up the time spent on the list the second time not the total wait time from when he was first accepted on the list and then dropped. That is a shady way to make out that people are not waiting long periods of time on the waiting lists.

  11. SPC 11

    The Health ministry is well experienced in cooking the books and the statistics to suit.

    With all the class of a private equity fund taking over an asset and stripping all the value out of it.

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    5 days ago
  • Personal Reflections: 10th July
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    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Oh Vienna
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    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: New Zealand forges deeper ties with NATO
    Christopher Luxon is finding his foreign policy feet. Now eight months into the job, New Zealand’s Prime Minister is in Washington DC this week to attend the NATO summit. It is the third year in a row that Wellington has been invited to the annual gathering of the North Atlantic ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: National’s carbon capture fantasy
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Harsh Truths.
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    5 days ago
  • Explainer: Simeon Brown's CCUS Announcement
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    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • The Kiwirail Interislander saga continues
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    6 days ago
  • Bernard’s Chorus for Wednesday, July 10
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    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Christopher Luxon's business acumen
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    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Meet New Zealand's Russell Brand?
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    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Why is the Government flooring it on unsafe speeds?
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    6 days ago
  • American Boy
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    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 10
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    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 10
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    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • How rural families are saving thousands with electric vehicles
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    6 days ago
  • Love to complete it all
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    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: What’s left of the Emissions Reduction Plan?
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The President They Have Got.
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    6 days ago
  • Has Progressivism Peaked?
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    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Dawn Chorus for July 9
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    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Mr Luxon goes to Washington.
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    7 days ago
  • Kiwirail at Councils Transport & Infrastructure Committee
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    7 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 9
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    7 days ago
  • What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on the...
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  • The folly of retreat in the face of defeat
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    7 days ago
  • The Parent Zone
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    David FarrierBy David Farrier
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  • Tuesday: The Kākā’s Journal of Record for July 9
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    7 days ago
  • Breaking up is so hard to do
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    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago

  • NZ, Korea strengthen relationship
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    7 hours ago
  • Investing for future growth in tourism and hospitality
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Trade Minister to attend G7 meeting in Italy
    Trade Minister Todd McClay will attend the Group of Seven (G7) Trade Ministers meeting in Reggio Calabria, Italy next week. This is the first time New Zealand has been invited to join the event, which will be attended by some of the world’s largest economies and many of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Ministers reveal consequences for unruly Kāinga Ora tenants
    Ministers are pleased to see Kāinga Ora taking a stronger approach to managing unruly, threatening or abusive tenants, Housing Minister Chris Bishop and Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka say.    “For far too long, a small number of Kāinga Ora tenants have ridden roughshod over their neighbours because, under Kāinga ...
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    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up US visit in California
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has finished a successful four-day visit to the United States with meetings in California on his final day focusing on innovation and investment.  “It has been fantastic to be in San Francisco today seeing first-hand the deepening links between New Zealand and California. “New Zealand company, EV Maritime, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister leads Indo-Pacific Four at NATO
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today chaired a meeting of the Indo-Pacific Four (IP4) countries – Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand. The IP4 met in the context of NATO’s Summit in Washington DC hosted by President Biden. “Prosperity is only possible with security,” Mr Luxon says. “We need ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • District Court judges appointed
    Attorney-General Hon Judith Collins today announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges.   The appointees, who will take up their roles in July and August at the Manukau, Rotorua and Invercargill courts, are:   Matthew Nathan Judge Nathan was admitted to bar in New Zealand in 2021, having previously been ...
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    4 days ago
  • Urgent review into Wairoa flood response begins
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    4 days ago
  • NZDF’s Red Sea deployment extended
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    4 days ago
  • Government provides support to tackle tax debt and compliance
    New compliance funding in Budget 2024 will ensure Inland Revenue is better equipped to catch individuals who are evading their tax obligations, Revenue Minister Simon Watts says. “New Zealand’s tax debt had risen to almost $7.4 billion by the end of May, an increase of more than 50 per cent since 2022. ...
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    4 days ago
  • Taking action to reduce road cones
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    4 days ago
  • Celebrating 100 years of progress
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    4 days ago
  • Foreign Minister to travel to Korea and Japan
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    5 days ago
  • Huge opportunity for educators and students as charter school applications open
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  • Decreasing gas reserves data highlights need to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
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  • Providers of military assistance to Russia targeted in new sanctions
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced further sanctions as part of the Government’s ongoing response to Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.    “Russia’s continued illegal war of aggression against Ukraine is a direct and shocking assault on the rules-based order. Our latest round of sanctions targets Russians involved in that ...
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    5 days ago
  • OECD report shows New Zealand is a red tape state
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    5 days ago
  • Government unveils five-point climate strategy
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  • National Bowel Screening Programme reaches 2 million life-saving screening kits
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    6 days ago
  • Granny flats popular with all ages
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • $25 million boost for conservation
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    6 days ago
  • New Zealand increases support for Ukraine
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    6 days ago
  • Country Kindy to remain open
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    6 days ago
  • Government lifts Indonesian trade cooperation
    New export arrangements signed today by New Zealand and Indonesia will boost two-way trade, Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says. Mr McClay and Dr Sahat Manaor Panggabean, Chairman of the Indonesia Quarantine Authority (IQA), signed an updated cooperation arrangement between New Zealand and Indonesia in Auckland today. “The cooperation arrangement paves the way for New Zealand and Indonesia to boost our $3 billion two-way trade and further ...
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    6 days ago
  • Carbon capture framework to reduce emissions
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    6 days ago
  • Faster consenting with remote inspections
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    7 days ago
  • Revision programme presented to Parliament
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    7 days ago
  • Government aligns Clean Car Importer Standard with Australia to reduce vehicle prices for Kiwis
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    7 days ago
  • NZQA Board appointments
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    7 days ago
  • More support for Wairoa clean-up
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    1 week ago
  • Minister thanks outgoing Secretary for Education
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    1 week ago
  • Minister concludes local government review
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    1 week ago
  • Consultation begins on new cancer medicines
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  • 50 years on, Niue and NZ look to the future
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    1 week ago
  • Upgrading system resulting in faster passport processing
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    2 weeks ago
  • Roads of National Significance moving at pace
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    2 weeks ago
  • New school for Flat Bush
    The Coalition Government is building for roll growth and easing pressure in Auckland’s school system, by committing to the construction of a new primary school, Education Minister Erica Stanford says. As part of Budget 24’s $456 million injection into school property growth, a new primary school (years 1-6) will be ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Dr Shane Reti's speech to Iwi-Maori Partnership Boards, Rotorua
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    2 weeks ago
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    2 weeks ago
  • Expert panel appointed to review Public Works Act
    An independent expert advisory panel has been appointed to review the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk has announced.  “The short, sharp review demonstrates the Government’s commitment to progressing critical infrastructure projects and reducing excessive regulatory and legislative barriers, so ...
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    2 weeks ago

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