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NRT: Half-measures on housing quality

Written By: - Date published: 2:00 pm, June 9th, 2015 - 71 comments
Categories: health, housing - Tags: , , ,

From I/S at No Right Turn


Half-measures on housing quality

Last week we learned that a child’s death had been explicitly blamed on the poor quality of the state house she lived in. The government’s polling must have been telling them about how angry the public are about that, because yesterday the government flip-flopped from calling housing standards “extreme” topromising to introduce them:

Rental properties will have to meet a set of minimum standards under rules to be unveiled by the Government next month.

The move will stop short of a full “warrant of fitness” for rentals but is aimed at ensuring all tenants have a safe and healthy home to live in, Government sources confirmed.

That is likely to include a requirement for insulation, although sources said there was still work to be done to set any standards at a practical level. It is due to be announced next month by Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith, along with an assessment of a warrant of fitness trial in state houses, and would apply to all rentals both private and public.

Any improvement is better than what we’ve got now, where there seems to be no obligation on landlords to ensure that their houses are fit for habitation and don’t kill children. At the same time, we should recognise that this is pathetically weak. There’s no mention for example of things like carpet, heating, or houses being required not to leak, despite these all being contributing factors to Emma-Lita Bourne’s death. As with capital gains taxes, National is reacting to overwhelming public demand by doing the least it possibly can, in order to protect the profits of its slumlord friends and MPs. But as with capital gains taxes, it means that it will be much easier for a future left-wing government to strengthen those provisions and require every rental home to be warm and healthy.

71 comments on “NRT: Half-measures on housing quality”

  1. The Chairman 1

    The challenge is strengthening those provisions will require to overcome the fiscal burden being passed on while balancing investor sentiment, thus avoiding an exodus.

    • McFlock 1.1

      Well, if there’s an exodus of speculators, house prices will fall and a lot more renters will be able to buy.

      • The Chairman 1.1.1

        Passing the problem on, further driving up rents while putting the wider economy at risk of a mass correction isn’t the solution.

        • McFlock 1.1.1.1

          If more renters can buy, then there are less renters.
          Less renters = less demand.
          Rents go down.

          But really there’d only be significant impacts on the housing purchase and rental markets if a large chunk of rental properties aren’t fit for human habitation. I’m sure that can’t be true, surely it’s just a few bad apples, yadda yadda, easily sorted by industry self regulation, nothing to see here, etc…

          • The Chairman 1.1.1.1.1

            With cost burdens being passed on, rents will increase.

            Moreover, less rentals at the bottom end (with an exodus outweighing demand) will result in rent increases.

            National’s plan to introduce minimum rental standards nationwide will test the waters, giving us a small taste of the wider impact of a more comprehensive rental warrant .

            • miravox 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Even without going into the housing quality standards in other countries,
              It’s been done before in NZ, it can be done again.

              6 Every living room shall be fitted with a fireplace and chimney or other approved form of heating.

              15 Every house shall be free from dampness.

              17
              (1)The materials of which each house is constructed shall be sound, durable, and, where subject to the effects of the weather, weatherproof, and shall be maintained in such a condition.
              (2)The walls and ceilings of every habitable room, bathroom, kitchen, kitchenette, hall, and stairway shall be sheathed, plastered, rendered, or otherwise treated, and shall be maintained to the satisfaction of the local authority.
              (3)Every room in every house shall be adequately floored so as to have a washable and durable surface, and every floor shall be kept in a good state of repair free from crevices, holes, and depressions.

              Housing Improvement Regulations 1947

              • The Chairman

                These are largely the same houses that are being rented out today.

                Heating (and containing it) is key to keeping a house warm.

                • miravox

                  That’s like saying there has been no substandard or poorly maintained housing used for rental since 1947.

                  Also in the context of your anxiety about the cost of healthy homes, your comment makes no sense.

                  “Heating (and containing it) is key to keeping a house warm.”
                  Well, yes. And that the what is driving the WoF for housing discussion at the moment. It’s also worth recognising there are an awful lot of other things required to provide healthy homes.

                  The point I was making is that legislation to ensure safe and healthy homes has been done in NZ before (1947). There is no reason, despite your anxiety, that it cannot be done again. There are mechanisms to contain or offset costs to landlords outside of the market model. For example, Austria has a maximum rent increase in the case of renovation but in addition to this low cost loans and housing assistance are also available to help landlords renovate and tenants afford the rents of improved dwellings. Landlords can evict tenants of renovated homes in order to seek higher rents either.

                  It’s worth looking around to see how regulation is managed in other places and times rather than accepting the status quo of dangerously unhealthy homes.

                  • The Chairman

                    Of course some homes have been neglected over the years, but a number have also been improved.

                    My concern is that costs will be passed on and improvements will do little to impact on the high cost of heating, which is the crust of the problem largely being overlooked.

                    This is not an excuse for doing nothing, it merely highlights the challenges that require to be overcome.

                    Nothing wrong with looking at overseas examples, however I’m waiting to hear how National’s minimum standards and Labour’s comprehensive warrant plan to sufficiently overcome these challenges

                    My comment was in the context of a warm home, thus your confusion.

                    Additionally, Labour seems to have a short memory (i.e. shower heads/light bulbs) voters won’t be to impressed having inspectors with clipboards going through their homes.

                    • miravox

                      Error in my previous comment ‘Landlords can evict tenants’
                      should be *cannot

                      It appears to me, from this reply, that there are two related, but separate issues in your concern. First it the cost of fuel, and second is the cost of bringing rented homes up to standard. One can’t happen efficiently without the other in terms of improving tenant well-being. Well insulated and dry housing lessens the need for expensive fuel. It also reduces the need for healthcare.

                      Having more affordable fuel makes appropriate and efficient utilisation of heating more likely.

                      Both factors are examples of market failure.

                      I think we both agree on these points. The cost of fuel, however, should not detract from regulation for habitable housing, imo.

                      As for putting private landlords ability to make a profit ahead of tenants need for warm, dry and otherwise habitable homes – I disagree with you. The only concern government should have here is who will replace the landlords who withdraw from the market. I suggest regulation will mean the housing market will work better with these landlords gone, as long as the government looks elsewhere (history and internationally) for ways to manage this exit. It appears to me (and to you, I guess) that they have no strategy for this outcome. This is what should be debated, not a watered-down housing WoF that puts landlord profits ahead of tenant well-being.

                    • The Chairman

                      @ miravox

                      I’m not using the high cost of fuel to detract from introducing rental standards, merely highlighting improving standards alone largely fails to address the growing concern.

                      As for introducing rental standards, it’s not that profits should be put first, it’s that the market model largely facilitates this, thus generally results in costs being passed on. Negatively impacting upon tenant well-being.

                      Which, of course, is the challenge to overcome.

                      Therefore, the debate is a little more complex than you imply.

                      If the Government is going to benefit from health savings going forward, some would argue the Government should therefore also cover the initial costs.

                      Voter sentiment is another balancing act the pollies will have to consider. While a number of voters may want to see standards improved, going off the public backlash over shower heads and lightbulbs, a number will also be adverse to annual inspections with state inspectors going through their homes.

                      National seem to have at least acknowledged this, Labour, however, seem to have a short memory.

                    • Weepus beard

                      Isn’t it ironic that the encouragement of power-saving devices in the home championed by the Labour government in the mid 2000’s, an idea ahead of its time, is still used as a whip by right wingers, like The Chairman, with which to beat Labour today, 10 years later?

                      Yet we almost all use such devices now and such devices might go a long way to reducing power consumption and costs in Housing NZ stock and low income rental stock.

                      The current right wing government however continues to refuse to acknowledge something that we people have realised long ago, for fear of some sort of eco light bulb backlash by their dumb voting base, one presumes.

                      As an aside, The Chairman’s use of a 10 year old Labour policy as an assault weapon differs not one bit from the constant cry by Key, Joyce and co:

                      “Labour did it too!”

                    • The Chairman

                      @ Weepus beard

                      I’m not right wing. Nor have I used power-saving devices to whip Labour. I was highlighting public discontent of the mere notion (of over the top state interference) and how quickly Labour seem to have forgotten the public backlash.

                      Which is something they must consider if they want to win back power. Not doing so allows National to further utilize this public discontent against them.

                    • Weepus beard

                      Oh well. The dead bodies are starting to pile up at the current government’s door regarding lax regulation in health and safety and in social housing and they are not shy of over the top state interference themselves with 900million payouts to rich SCF investors and the selling of state assets in order to manufacture a surplus.

                    • The Chairman

                      @ Weepus beard

                      In health and safety they sure are.

                      In social housing, not so much.

                      The two deaths recently reported both share the fact the tenants couldn’t afford heating.

                      Bailing out SCF isn’t akin to the state coming in your door. My house my castle an all that.

                    • miravox

                      @The Chairman
                      Therefore, the debate is a little more complex than you imply.

                      Really it’s not. Framing the debate in terms of competing interests is complicated. Having a policy of housing that meets the needs of the people living in houses and is energy efficient is quite straight forward.

                      There has been screeds of (ongoing) research about healthy, affordable, efficient housing that is readily available. It’s not a case of wondering about this and that anymore. The results are in.

                      “If the Government is going to benefit from health savings going forward, some would argue the Government should therefore also cover the initial costs.”

                      Yes. That is what a state housing programme is for. I don’t have any problem with that whatsoever. Having said that, my perspective comes from living in a city where 60% of all housing is state-owned, has strict standards and almost all is rent-controlled.

                  • Weepus beard

                    To “The Chairman”…

                    Quite. Heating being a necessity of life.

                    When does a government govern and when does it leave its own vulnerable citizens to the wolves?

                    That is the question.

            • McFlock 1.1.1.1.1.2

              You have heard the theory of supply and demand, right?

              Less renters = less demand: prices down
              Higher costs = less supply: prices up
              Situation: draw

              Mandatory upgrades = increased lower/midrange supply = lower rents for currently unaffordable properties.

              So at the very least, your argument about rental WoF driving up rents is plausible, but really could go either way depending on the actual numbers.

              If all houses were fit for human habitation, WoF would have no impact on the market at all. Basically, you’re just recycling the excuses that factory owners used in the 1800s to defend employing children to run beneath the steam looms.

              • The Chairman

                Less renters coupled with less rentals at the bottom end (many renters won’t be in a position to buy) would result in higher rents.

                Increased lower/mid-range supply offset by removing cheaper alternatives shifts demand, result higher rents.

                No one is forced to rent a dump, most tend to because it suits their needs and the rent is cheap.

                Increasing standards will rob people of that choice.

                • McFlock

                  The offset is offset by the lower number of renters in the mid to high level because they can afford to buy (and insulate) the houses not fit to rent.

                  Basically, this is why economics is bunk: the tenets of faith are pointless without specific data, and the specific data is unique and any subsequent data is under unpredictably different conditions.

                  But your statement “No one is forced to rent a dump” is just bullshit. Utter, utter shit. It asserts that people simply, without force, choose to live in cold damp homes they can’t afford to heat to the degree that it kills them or their baby. Yeah, nah. Learn how the other 27% of kids live before you start talking about what choices their parents aren’t forced to do.

                  • The Chairman

                    As for data, first home buyers make up a small portion of the market. Moreover, with house prices several times incomes (albeit if prices somewhat fall) there still wouldn’t be many renters in a position to buy, thus rental demand would merely shift, result higher rents.

                    My comment asserts exactly what it stated. Some are attracted to and reliant upon cheap rentals. Students are one example and we’ve all seen how a number of them treat their rentals.

                    Moreover, while circumstances may limit peoples choices, people can decline to rent a dump and can opt to continue to shop around or look at cheaper suburbs.

                    • RedLogix

                      Sighs deeply Mr Chairman. As a landlord myself I know how much bs that claim is.

                      The fact is that people’s circumstances DO limit their choices. For instance I could rent you a really nice clean 160m3 five bedroom character villa, well insulated, ventilated, re-wired with two car garage and 1200m2 section for $290 pw. Absolutely not a dump.

                      Except it’s in the fucking Wairarapa. Still interested?

                    • McFlock

                      But but but if there’s a sudden glut of homes not fit to rent to people on the housing market, and a sudden drop in investors because of these awful WoFs, first home buyers would increase as a proportion of the market, no?

                      Indeed, rental wofs sound like an awesome way to transition from a parasitic speculative market betting on how much someone else will bet people will want homes, into an actual market of people with homes and people needing a place to live.

                      As for renters, if they have nowhere to live past 31december, how can they “opt to continue to shop around”? Live in the car they don’t have? And dumps are in the cheaper suburbs.

                    • RedLogix

                      Could not agree more McF. As a landlord I’m in the business of providing decent houses for people to make their homes. More than happy to get a Rental WOF for any of them – because that adds credible value to my product and help drive out the capital inflation speculators who damage the industry.

                      I’ve said this before – I hate property price inflation. It just makes it harder for me to build and provide my product.

                    • The Chairman

                      @ McFlock

                      Indeed. But as current house values are so high, you’d require a massive price reduction to see a significant impact, thus large increase in first home buyers.

                      A price reduction of such magnitude would see the wheels fall off this economy.

                      While prices are bubbling a massive correction is not a viable solution. They key is to slow the excessive increase in prices, not destroy current values and wreck havoc on the wider economy.

                      If the situation is dire, people can opt to move in with relatives or friends short-term while they continue to shop around

                    • The Chairman

                      Does she flood, Red?

                    • McFlock

                      No, because house prices are a continuum from shithole to JAFA mansion.

                      WoFs strictly affect the lower end (a minority, if you believe property investors associations) of both the rental and purchasing markets.

                      Smaller market segment requires a less dramatic input for a significant change in a smaller segment, with an undramatic change in the aggregate market.

                    • The Chairman

                      It may only be a smaller part of the market, but coming off such a high base, prices would have to significantly drop to have a significant impact on the number of first home buyers.

                      And a drop of that magnitude would have some impact on the aggregate, thus the wider economy. The domino effect.

                    • McFlock

                      so sub-WoF properties are a “high base”?

                      I guess that we should bite that temporary bullet so that all homes in NZ are fit for human habitation. Maybe increase the accommodation supplement. But tax the landlords.

                    • RedLogix

                      @ The Chairman … nah. Not that excitable.

                    • The Chairman

                      @ McFlock

                      Depending on their location, you’d be surprised on the price some dumps can and have achieved in this overheated market.

                    • McFlock

                      in that case their price is irrespective of their property and they can be upgraded to a condition fit for human habitation with no impact on the rents.

              • john

                If you don’t think a housing WOF will increase rents, then you need to get out and run something like a lemonade stall.

                Then you might understand the simple truth that if something costs more, you’re going to have to charge more.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  The National Party can set whatever rent it chooses on state-owned housing. It’s their personal responsibility.

                  • john

                    If it charges less than the houses are worth, it would then have to cut spending elsewhere like on benefits, health or education.

                    And you’re totally delusional if you think private landlords are going to spend a fortune on getting houses up to standard and regular WOF testing and not pass the costs on to tenants.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      If incompetent Tory scum can’t run a country with warm dry housing, they’d be better off dried and used as kindling to keep kids warm in the meantime. There are plenty of competent, non-sociopathic politicians who won’t be bought so easily to replace them.

                    • john

                      There’s 49,000 MORE state houses with insulation than when Labour was in.

                      That’s 49,000 MORE.

                      Even if I remind you of that every few minutes, I’ll bet you’ll still forget it in seconds.

                      You’re so patently desperate to blame the govt for something, that you’ve probably forgotten it already

                      That’s because facts that do not suit your ideologically-driven tunnel vision are simply rejected.

                      You’re so tunnel visioned you’d reject the fact the sun rises in the east if your dogma said it rises in the left.

                      How many houses have been insulated since National came to power?

                      Can you even bring yourself to write down the number of newly insulated state houses.

                      I bet not.

                    • RedLogix

                      Oh that’s about – 7,000 per year? Fuck me my granny could have done better.

                      Oh and most of it done to very minimal standard that makes sod all real difference.

                    • john

                      Yeah – Labour doing no insulation of any houses over nearly a decede was much better.

                      It doesn’t matter how well insulated a house is – if you don’t heat it, it’s not going to make much difference – it will still be cold.

                      And if you don’t ventilate it, it will actually get even damper than an uninsulated house.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      I note that National cancelled the Green Party’s insulation scheme with 30% of state houses still un-insulated.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      it would then have to cut spending elsewhere like on benefits, health or education.

                      Or increase revenue.

                    • miravox

                      “it would then have to cut spending elsewhere like on benefits, health or education.”

                      I’m sure there would be quite a few medics happy to cut the need for spending on rheumatic fever, pneumonia and bronchiolitis.

                • McFlock

                  what you charge, and people accept, is not dictated by your expenses. It’s dictated by how much is supplied and how much demand there is.

                  If you can increase prices because of your own problems, you’re undercharging in the first place. What a nice man you must be /sarc

                  • john

                    Of course expenses have a big impact.

                    If everyone has to pay to improve their rental properties, and pay for inspections, that doesn’t change how many people still need to rent a house.

                    Prices go up.

                    Just like they did when used car importers could no longer import older cheaper models.

                    If you think all this work will get done, and all these inspections will get paid for, and the costs won’t get passed on to renters, then you’re dreaming.

                    • McFlock

                      See, if you’d argued that increased costs would lower the investment incentive and reduce supply, thereby raising prices, you’d have a position to argue from.

                      But when I go to new world to buy an orange, I give precisely zero fucks what their overheads are. If it’s cheaper at countdown, I go there.

                      As a tory, you should be familiar with supply and demand.

                    • john

                      But if countdown oranges also are required to be upgraded with warm insulated packaging and have to have an expensive WOF inspection, you can guarantee you’ll pay more for oranges.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      /facepalm

                      They do moran and they’re still cheaper. It’s truly amazing at how you RWNJs, ever crowing about how great the market is, fail to understand how it’s supposed to work.

                    • McFlock

                      but oranges are already required to meet standards, like not containing lead or banned mutating pesticides, and being pest-free if imported.

                      A bit like a WoF for oranges.

                    • john

                      I seldom ever hear anyone crowing how great the market is.

                      What is common is to hear those on the extreme left, claiming they hear it all the time.

                      I think their ears are living in the 1980s.

    • Weepus beard 1.2

      An investor exodus is exactly what is needed. Only a greedy investor would disagree.

      • The Chairman 1.2.1

        No doubt a number of investors would be happy to see rental warrants take out the bottom end of the market, resulting in removing the cheaper alternatives, thus forcing a number of renters to pay more.

        • McFlock 1.2.1.1

          while increasing the supply of the slightly less than cheaper alternatives, thus making them the cheaper alternatives

          • The Chairman 1.2.1.1.1

            No. Increased lower/mid-range supply offset by removing cheaper alternatives shifts demand, result higher rents. Forcing those seeking cheaper alternatives to pay more

            • McFlock 1.2.1.1.1.1

              Dude, seriously.
              increased supply + increased demand from below – decreased demand from above (purchasers) = go check your priviledge.

              • The Chairman

                People currently renting cheaper rentals would be force to upgrade to nicer homes as the bottom end of the market is reduced, thus shifting rental demand (as they wouldn’t be a position to purchase) resulting in offsetting the increase in lower mid-range supply. Result, higher rents.

                • McFlock

                  But we’re not reducing the number of buildings.

                  Non-WoF homes are either upgraded to minimum (increases WoF rental supply) or sold (lowers property prices for first home buyers).

                  So the lower-mid has a drop in demand (increased first home buyers due to supply of sub-WoFs), increased supply (upgraded former sub-WoFs), and increased demand (former sub-WoF renters).

                  Result: who the fuck knows.

                  A bit like how an increase in the minimum wage doesn’t increase unemployment, unless you fudge the numbers.

                  • john

                    Small increases in minimum wages do little to unemployment, but big changes do.

                    Otherwise we could simply double everyone’s wages and nothing would happen – hell why not triple or quadruple them.

                    With the housing market, there are still the same number of houses, and still the same number of people who need to live in them.

                    The difference is 35% of houses would have to start having regular inspections, and a large number of them would require expensive capital expenditure.

                    And just like if you rent a $400,000 house it will cost more than a $200,000 house, the increase in capital and ongoing costs, will pass through to rents.

                    • McFlock

                      [facepalm]
                      Does insulation expire? Why the need for regular inspections?

                      As for the rest, I repeat: when I get a haircut, I don’t care if the barber has had a rent increase. It’s strictly the cut&experience supplied vs the cost demanded.

                    • john

                      The 20,000 students in Dunedin aren’t all going to suddenly rush out and buy a house.

                      So any shifts in the market are going to be so small that the difference will be insignificant.

                      And landlords who improve their properties will charge more for them. They always have.

                      And that’s whats happened for the last hundred years so I don’t know why you’d think you’d suddenly get a different outcome to what has always happened.

                      It’s not rocket science, but if you don”t believe it, then that’s fine.

                    • McFlock

                      Right.

                      So you obviously haven’t watched the campus inner circle for a while.

                      Because every ten or fifteen years not all the availablerooms have been rented in august for the following year, and when that happens it’s hilarious watching the landlords add $10k in whistles in the hope of leasing their leith st sth dwelling for $35k. Supply vs demand. If you don’t understand the game, don’t play.

                    • locus

                      john and The Chairman have framed this discussion about supply, demand and landlords who pass on additional costs as increased rental

                      this framing is short-sighted and misdirected

                      the framing should be about the serious consequences for health and energy usage – and hence cost to society and the economy – that poor quality housing represents.

                      NZ must catch up with the current housing regulations and standards that exist in NW and Central Europe with regards to healthy homes: insulation and prevention of rising damp, mould and condensation.

                      To reframe:
                      The issue that we need to talk about is how to achieve this change in standards in NZ without escalation in rent?

                      (examples below are only to prompt discussion)

                      – how should NZ support landlords? e.g. by setting reasonable compliance timeframes, offering cheap loans or grants

                      – how to control the slumlords? e.g. inspections, fines/community service, and loss of rights for serious non-compliance

                      – how to ensure prevent spiralling rent increases? e.g. index linking rents, cost of improvements to the property only allowed to be recovered over a minimum period

                  • The Chairman

                    When sold to first home buyers, the number of rentals would be reduced.

                    But as most renters aren’t in a position to buy, there would be minimal impact on net rental demand.

                    Therefore, current rental demand from the bottom end would shift to the upgraded, lower mid-range homes. And while rentals were sold, supply of rentals in that range would fail to cope with the shift in rental demand.

                    • McFlock

                      again, all conjecture that might well fall over in practise.

                      This is getting circular. The plain fact is that you want the poor to continue dying in places that are unfit for human habitation. Your argument that making homes livable will increase homelessness has a simple solution: increase benefits and funding for HNZ.

        • Colonial Rawshark 1.2.1.2

          The government could buy those failed rentals on the cheap, and refurbish them into quality income related rentals.

  2. b waghorn 2

    Can I suggest to anyone who reads this and is involved in pushing for wofs for rentals that they add farm workers houses as a lot of the housing stock in rural areas 50s or older . I’ve seen a few shockers.

  3. There’s no mention for example of things like carpet, heating, or houses being required not to leak…

    Well, in the cases of carpet and heating, the government has no business issuing decrees about what kinds of floor coverings or heating systems must be fitted to your house so of course there’s no mention of them.

    …it will be much easier for a future left-wing government to strengthen those provisions and require every rental home to be warm and healthy.

    It will? How does a future left-wing government “require” a rental home to be warm? It could hire inspectors to go round taking indoor temperature readings and fining the tenants if they aren’t running the heating, maybe? And what does “require a rental home to be healthy” even mean?

    • McFlock 3.1

      Not being mentioned in coronor’s reports would be astep towards “healthy”.

      We already have health inspectors who visit homes, make sure they all have toilets, etc. Marginal costs to carry a thermometer when they visit is pretty minor.

  4. john 4

    How does a coroners comments about how a damp house

    “could not be ruled out as a contributing factor in her illness”

    turn into

    “a child’s death had been explicitly blamed on the poor quality of the state house she lived in.”

    I suppose it comes from a desperation to mislead.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1

      “It is entirely possible the condition of the house had contributed to the pneumonia-like illness that Emma-Lita was suffering at the time of her death,” he wrote.

      Coroner Shortland described the Housing NZ property as “very cold and not getting much sunshine [with] no carpets and only floorboards”.

      I figure if you’re going to start quoting Brandt Shortland you shouldn’t leave things out, in case people think you’re lying about a child’s death, and form unsavoury conclusions about your ethics and character.

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    So, for a brief period of history, it was alleged that a protester had punched Matt Hancock's SPAD (not a euphemism; special adviser) when Hancock visited Leeds Hospital.This was reported by the likes of Robert Peston and Laura Keunssberg, as well as the less credible Guido Fawkes.  It also quickly ...
    1 day ago
  • France’s anti-Zionism is anti-liberté
    by Daphna Whitmore Last week France passed a law that equates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. It is based on a definition of anti-Semitism that includes criticism of Israel such as: “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Another bus lockout
    Over the past year we've seen major bus problems in Hamilton and Wellington, as drivers have sought better wages and an end to the bullshit of split shifts, which basicly see them "married to the job". And now its Auckland's turn. When NZBus's drivers planned low-level strike action of not ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Showing us how its done
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. But those targets are insufficient. Meanwhile, Denmark is showing us how its done:Denmark’s parliament adopted a new climate law on Friday, committing to reach 70% below its 1990 emissions in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Public sector dysfunction should not be allowed to undermine freedom of information
    Another day, another piece of legislation with a secrecy clause. This time its the innocuous-seeming Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill, which (after establishing a new body and making it subject to the OIA in three different ways) includes the rapidly-becoming-standard clauses enabling it to request information from other public ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • “This is England, this knife of Sheffield steel…”
    The state of the United Kingdom is fractured, torn up, shredded. The Empire is gone, it died a long time ago. And yet, the country is still tracking with a lead in favour of the ones who play to the ingrained, class-bound division for political gain. It is a disgrace ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    4 days ago
  • CORSIA, coming soon to an airport near you
    On 27 September, Greta Thunberg addressed a crowd of 500,000 at the School Strike for Climate in Montreal, saying: “You are a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And Sweden is also a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And in both cases, it means absolutely nothing. Because ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    4 days ago
  • Cloaking hate speech and fake news in the right to free expression.
    It should be obvious by now but let’s be clear: The same folk who regularly traffic in disinformation, misinformation and “fake news” are also those who most strongly claim that their freedom of expression rights are being violated when moves are made to curb hate speech (as opposed to protected ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • The Physics (and Economics, and Politics) of Wheelchairs on Planes
    Michael Schulson When Shane Burcaw flies on an airplane, he brings along a customized gel cushion, a car seat, and about 10 pieces of memory foam. The whole arsenal costs around $1,000, but for Burcaw it’s a necessity. The 27-year-old author and speaker — who, alongside his fiancée, Hannah ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • To Advance Civil Rights, Oppose Transgender Extremism
    We are very pleased to publish this submission is from Lucinda Stoan. She is a social justice activist, mother, and educator, based in Washington State in the  US.   This detailed and comprehensive source-linked overview of trans issues and what is at stake will be useful for many people, especially in ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Faafoi should be fired
    Newshub last night reported that Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi had apparently promised to help out a mate with an immigration issue. While its normal for people to approach MPs for assistance in this area, when you're a Minister, the rules are different: as the Cabinet Manual says, Ministers must "at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Adrian Orr – The Reserve Bank’s Revolutionary Governor?
    New Zealand's Underarm Banker: It bears recalling that the “independence” of the Reserve Bank Governor was for decades held up by neoliberal capitalists as the most compelling justification for passing the Reserve Bank Act. Interesting, is it not, how the ruling class’s support for the Bank’s independence lasted no longer than ...
    5 days ago
  • Driving Us Up The Poll.
    Rubbish In, Rubbish Out: Put all this together, and it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that anyone who responds positively to a pollster’s request to “answer a few questions” is just ever-so-slightly weird. Desperately lonely? Some sort of psephological train-spotter? Political party member primed to skew the poll for or against ...
    5 days ago
  • Jordan Williams, Colin Craig podcast series announced
    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    6 days ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    6 days ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    6 days ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    6 days ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    1 week ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 week ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
    Professors Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall, Jude Ball, Dr Judith McCool, Anaru Waa, Dr Becky Freeman Recent media reports have presented conflicting evidence on youth vaping in NZ. While some NZ school principals report concerns about increasing vaping on school grounds and confiscating vapes, ASH Year ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • In pursuit of “Freedom and Democracy”: Forever Wars in “America’s backyard”.
    “America the Beautiful!”, staunch defender of democracy, freedom and… a whole lot of despotic tyrants that play nice with what is called “the Washington Consensus.” America is indeed capable of immense good, but like any Nation, and most assuredly any aspirant to the mantle of Empire, great, immense evil. All ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • November ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: The beginner’s guide to blogging I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is ...
    1 week ago
  • Whodunnit? Finding the mystery 1080 testing lab
    1080 is used to control pests in NZ. Its use is contested by a noisy few. A new report claims high levels of 1080 in rats washed up on a beach. Flora and Fauna of Aotearoa (F&F) won’t name the laboratory that did their testing. It has sparked a hunt ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Authoritarian Friends, Democratic Enemies.
    What Kind Of Empire? The thing for Kiwis to decide is what kind of empire they want to belong to. The kind that, while offering its own citizens democratic rights, demands absolute obedience from its “friends”? Or, the kind that, while authoritarian at home, takes a relaxed attitude to the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Boris Johnson Goes Down
    It hasn't been a good week for the Conservatives, pollwise.  All major recent polls are showing their lead shrinking.Comparing each pollster's current (between 29/11 and 22/11) and previous most recent poll.Com Res - Conservative lead down 3 points.You Gov - Conservative lead down 1 point.Kantar - Conservative lead down 4 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Interesting
    Within quick succession, Countdown maths wizard and twitterer Rachel Riley, alleged comedian David Baddiel and prominent lawyer Andrew Julius have all expressed very similar opinions / ideas:
    These #3billboards are going round London today, organised by ex-Labour people, horrified by what their party has become. Their principles haven’t changed, they’re ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Damn the Polls
    So, there have been a bunch of bad polls out for Labour, and even the Leftie's friend, Survation, have recently given the Conservatives a rip-snorting 11% lead.  You Gov's much vaunted MRP poll - which pretty much nailed the result in 2015 - is currently predicting a comfortable majority for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Europe declares an emergency
    The European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to declare a climate emergency:The European parliament has declared a global “climate and environmental emergency” as it urged all EU countries to commit to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The vote came as scientists warned that the world may have already crossed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Bi-Partisan Commitment To X-ing “P”.
    Pure Fear: Worse than Heroin, this drug’s addictive power was terrifying. People under its influence didn’t drift off to Elysium. Nor did it persuade inadequate individuals that they could conquer the world. No, this drug – pure crystal methamphetamine, “P” for short – unlocked the gates of Hell itself. It ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advice about measles: when ignorance is definitely not a virtue
    As the rate of measles infection, and of deaths, continues to climb in Samoa, antivaccination activists infectious disease proponents seem intent on doubling down on their claims about vaccination. (Check pretty much any news-media FB post about measles & you’ll see exactly what I mean.) Unfortunately, some of them have ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Samoa’s devastating measles epidemic – why and how bad?
    Samoa are experiencing a devastating measles epidemic. It is possible that 2-3% of the population will ultimately be infected by the time it is over. Hopefully the mass immunisation campaign currently under way can mitigate some of this, for many it is too late. The first question many people ask ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • “It’s basic rights we are defending”: the Meghan Murphy interview
    Meghan Murphy is a Canadian writer and journalist She runs the Feminist Current website which she founded in 2012.  She was a keynote speaker for the Feminism2020 conference in Wellington this month. When Massey University cancelled the original venue booking Feminism2020 was hosted in Parliament by MP David Seymour. Meghan ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • A week of protests in Colombia
    Text and photos by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh Colombia has lived through one week of protests against the economic measures taken by president Duque. What looked like a protest that would fizzle out after its first day on November 21st is still going strong. Part of the reason for the continuance ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Anti-neutrinos–When you are your own opposite
    Around a million billion pass through you each second, almost all originating from our sun, but few of them are likely to interact with you enroute. I was reading in a physics magazine earlier in the week about the nature of neutrinos. These are extremely numerous elementary particles, but only ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Exoplanets, life, and the danger of a single study
    By Pallab Ghosh There’s value in covering new research advances, even when the underlying science is unsettled. But there are also risks. The recent announcement that scientists discovered water on the planet K2-18b, 110 light years away, prompted a media swoon. News stories, including a piece written by me, billed ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The Intersex Continuum
    I wrote this review a couple of years ago when I was still in the process of getting my head around the politics of transgenderism, and specifically the claim that intersex conditions lend support to the notion that sex is ‘socially constructed’. Since writing this review I have come across ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Leaving us with the bill
    Two weeks ago, Malaysian-owned oil company Tamarind declared it was insolvent and went into administration after a failed offshore drilling campaign. Tamarind apparently specialises in buying oil fields at the end of their life and trying to squeeze out the last few drops of pollution. But part of their scam ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How much does flying contribute to climate change?
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz How much does our use of air travel contribute to the ...
    SciBlogsBy Shaun Hendy
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The task before us
    Two weeks ago, the Zero Carbon Act became law. Right this moment, the Climate Change Commisison will be working on its initial budgets for 2022-25 and 2026-2030, and the UN has just given them a very clear steer:Countries must make an unprecedented effort to cut their levels of greenhouse gases ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Among my favourite asteroids: (2309) Mr. Spock
    Minor planet/asteroid (2309) Mr. Spock is named not for the character in Star Trek, but for a cat that was itself imperturbable, logical, intelligent and had pointed ears In a preceding blog post I introduced one of my favourite asteroids, (2472) Bradman, and also mentioned (6581) Sobers amongst a few ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Measles deaths and antivax misinformation
    Today the death toll from measles in Samoa rose to 32. All but four of the dead were less than 5 years old. Absolutely terrible, heartbreaking, news. That statistic alone should be enough to give the lie to the common claim by antivaccination activists plague enthusiasts that “measles is a ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Colombia: the state murder of Dilan Cruz
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh It is late here in Bogotá, almost 11.30pm on Monday the 25th of November as I write this. The day began full of hope with yet more massive marches throughout the country, a mix of the International Day of Non-Violence Against Women and the National Strike. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Anti-fluoride propagandists appear not to read the articles they promote
    Anti-fluoride activists are rubbing their hands in glee over what they claim is “yet another study” showing fluoride harms the brains of children. But their promotion relies on IQ relationships which the paper’s authors acknowledge disappearing when outliers or other factors are considered. And they completely ignore other relationships ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The rise and collapse of classical political economy
    The feature below is the conclusion of A History of Economic Thought, whose author was a leading Marxist economist in Russia in the early 20th century, Isaac Ilyich Rubin.  The book arose from a course he ran at Moscow University following the Russian Revolution.  First published in Russian in 1929, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Among my favourite asteroids: (2472) Bradman
    There are many thousands of asteroids with formal names, some humdrum but other more noteworthy (depending on your predilections). One of my favourites, the name of which I was involved in suggesting, is (2472) Bradman, named for the Australian cricketing great.  As a minor planet (synonym: asteroid) spotter, I have ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Some cheap soundbites i thought up while reading about the underwhelming Conservative manifesto
    Tory manifesto: big on austerity, low on promise, non-existent on delivery. The Tories: the party so big on ambition they couldn't be arsed writing a manifesto. MLK: "I have a dream!"BJ: "I'll just have a nap." Labour: Broadband!Tories: Narrow minds! Labour have hope, dreams and ambition. The Tories will save ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Measles vaccination required to travel to islands and Phillipines
    The Ministry of Health has announced that “people under the age of 50 travelling from New Zealand to Samoa, Tonga, Philippines and Fiji” are now on the list of national priorities for MMR vaccination. Given the outbreaks of measles in Samoa, Tonga, Philippines and Fiji, the Ministry of Health is ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Giving the finger to Beijing
    Hong Kong has been protesting for six months for, demanding democracy, human rights, and an end to police violence. Today, they went to the polls in district council elections - a low-level of government with virtually no power, similar to community boards in New Zealand. But while the positions themselves ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Chief Victims Advisor reappointed for a further two years
    The Chief Victims Advisor to Government Dr Kim McGregor, QSO, has been reappointed in her role for a further two years. Dr McGregor has held the role since it was established in November 2015. She provides independent advice to government on how to improve the criminal justice system for victims. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 mins ago
  • New Zealand tsunami monitoring and detection system to be established
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare have today announced the deployment of a network of DART (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami) buoys. “New Zealand and the Pacific region are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. It is vital we have adequate warning systems in place,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    30 mins ago
  • DART Buoys Announcement
    DART Buoys Announcement Aotea Wharf, 9.30am 11 December 2019   Acknowledgements Acknowledgements to Minister for Civil Defence Hon Peeni Henare also here today. White Island It is with regret that this event shadows the tragic natural disaster two days ago. The volcanic eruptions on White Island have claimed 5 lives, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    39 mins ago
  • Final steps for racing industry reform
    Racing Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Racing Industry Bill in parliament today. This is the second of two Bills that have been introduced this year to revitalise New Zealand’s racing industry. “Our domestic racing industry has been in serious decline.  The Government is committed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Funding to promote New Zealand Sign Language initiatives
    Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni, is pleased to announce that $291,321 is to be awarded to national and local community initiatives to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). “New Zealand is one of the few countries  in the world where Sign Language is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • How New Zealand defines and recognises veterans
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced today the Coalition Government’s initial response to work completed by the independent statutory body, the Veterans’ Advisory Board. “When Professor Ron Paterson completed his review of the Veterans’ Support Act in 2018, he made a number of recommendations, including one which I referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Government to fund lion’s share of Ohakea water scheme
    The Government will fund the bulk of the cost of a rural water supply for the Ohakea community affected by PFAS contamination, Environment Minister David Parker announced today at a meeting of local residents. This new water scheme will provide a reliable and clean source of drinking water to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister statement on White Island eruption
    I have had the opportunity to be briefed on the details of the volcanic eruption of Whakaari/White Island, off the coast of Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty.  The eruption happened at 2.11pm today.  It continues to be an evolving situation.  We know that there were a number of tourists ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt funds $100k for weather-hit communities
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare have today confirmed initial Government support of $100,000 for communities affected by the severe weather that swept across the South Island and lower North Island over the weekend. The contribution will be made to Mayoral relief funds across the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Death of NZ High Commissioner to Cook Islands
    New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, Tessa Temata, died in Palmerston North over the weekend, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today. Ms Temata, 52, had recently returned to New Zealand for medical treatment. "On behalf of the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we extend ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Wellington rail upgrade full steam ahead
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced construction is underway on Wellington commuter rail upgrades which will mean more frequent services and fewer breakdowns. The upgrades include converting the Trentham to Upper Hutt single track section to a double track, with a new signalling system, upgraded stations and level crossings, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Defence Climate Change Implementation Plan released
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark and Minister for Climate Change James Shaw have announced the release of a Defence Climate Change Implementation Work Plan, titled Responding to the Climate Crisis: An Implementation Plan.  The plan sets out a series of recommendations based on the 2018 New Zealand Defence Assessment, The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt releases funding to support South Canterbury
    A medium-scale adverse event has been declared for the South Canterbury district, which will see up to $50,000 in funding made available to support farming communities which have been significantly affected by recent heavy rain and flooding in the area, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two weeks of solid rain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech at launch of Rethinking Plastics Report
    Thank you Professor Juliet Gerrard and your team for the comprehensive and extremely helpful report and recommendations. Thank you too to all the stakeholders and interested parties who have contributed ideas and thinking to it. “Making best practice, standard practice” is a great framework for change and the action plan ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt pledges next steps on plastic waste
    The Government will phase out more single-use plastics following the success of its single-use plastic bag ban earlier this year and the release today of a pivotal report for dealing with waste. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed the Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealandreport, released by her Chief Science Advisor ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • International student enrolments grow in universities and the regions
    International education continues to thrive as the Government focuses on quality over quantity, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. The tuition revenue from international education increased to $1.16 billion last year with the average tuition fee per student increasing by $960. The total number of international students enrolled in New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to Government Economics Network 2019 Conference
    I want to talk about one of the most pressing issues in our national life: the housing crisis and the poor performance of our cities. The argument I want to make to you is that generations of urban land use policy have lacked a decent grounding in economics. The consequences ...
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    4 days ago
  • DHB leadership renewed and strengthened
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says new appointments to DHBs represent a significant changing of the guard, with 13 new chairs including four Māori chairs. Today 76 appointments have been announced to complement elected board members, as well as eight elected members appointed as either chair or deputy chair.  Four ...
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    4 days ago
  • Tabuteau to advance New Zealand’s trade and political interests with European partners
    Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Fletcher Tabuteau, is travelling to Germany, Poland, Austria, and Spain next week to bolster New Zealand’s political and trade relationships in Europe. While in Spain, Mr Tabuteau will represent New Zealand at the 14th Asia-Europe (ASEM) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Madrid. “New Zealand strongly supports ...
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    5 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Kris Faafoi
    “I’ve spoken to Minister Faafoi, who has apologised for his poor handling of this issue,” Jacinda Ardern said. “I have confidence in Kris as a hardworking and effective Minister, but this should have been dealt with in a much clearer manner, and I’ve made my views on that very clear ...
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    5 days ago
  • Tonga-New Zealand Joint Ministerial Forum
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters met with Tongan Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa in Wellington today. The pair signed a Statement of Partnership setting out joint priorities for cooperation out to 2023.  “We welcomed Prime Minister Tu'i'onetoa on his first visit to New Zealand as Prime Minister. Tonga ...
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    5 days ago
  • Shooting in Kurow
    The Minister of Police Stuart Nash says his sympathies are with the family of a man who died after being shot by Police in Kurow. “Initial reports are that Police were called by a family member to help the man who was threatening to harm himself,” Mr Nash says. “However ...
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    5 days ago
  • Government delivers funding boost for ethnic communities
    Ethnic communities will be able to plan and deliver more community initiatives thanks to an increase in Government funding, Minister for Ethnic Communities Hon Jenny Salesa said today. “Ensuring Aotearoa New Zealand is a place we can all be proud to call home has been a key priority of our ...
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    5 days ago
  • Govt supports Southland farmers in sustainability
    Healthier waterways, better productivity and farmer wellbeing are front and centre in a new project involving more than 1000 Southland farmers and growers. Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor today announced that the Thriving Southland Change and Innovation Project is the first region-wide extension programme supported by the $229 million Sustainable ...
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    5 days ago
  • Flood of support for Top of the South catchment
    Work to look after nature and restore freshwater quality in Te Hoiere/Pelorus River catchment is getting a significant boost, thanks to new Government funding support Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage announced in Canvastown today. “Every New Zealander should be able to swim in their local river without getting sick, and ...
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    5 days ago
  • Eight Queen’s Counsel appointed under new criterion
    Eight Queen’s Counsel have been appointed under a process that includes the new criterion of a commitment to improving access to justice, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. “The new criterion was included this year. It emphasises that excellence and leadership in the profession can be seen through a wider, community ...
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    6 days ago
  • Major expansion for Wellington’s Onslow College
    Onslow College in Wellington will get 20 new classrooms for more than 400 students, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. The much-needed investment will relieve growth pressure the school has been experiencing for some time. Seven existing classrooms which have deteriorated over time will also be replaced, bringing the total ...
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    6 days ago
  • Talented young Kiwis awarded PM’s Scholarships to Asia and Latin America
    More than 250 young New Zealanders will add international experience to their education, thanks to the latest Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia (PMSA) and Latin America (PMSLA), Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This round of scholarships supports 252 recent graduates or current students to undertake study, research or internships ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government to improve competitiveness and transparency in the retail fuel market
    Consumers will benefit from a more competitive, transparent retail fuel market as a result of changes the Government will be making in response to the findings of the Commerce Commission’s study of the fuel sector. “We accept the Commission’s findings and, as the Prime Minister has said, we’re ready to ...
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    6 days ago
  • More cancer medicines for more people
    Five new cancer medicines have now been funded this year, meaning thousands of people have more treatment options PHARMAC has today announced that it has approved two new medicines for funding – fulvestrant for breast cancer and olaparib for ovarian cancer. This follows earlier decisions on advanced lung cancer treatment alectinib, ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government acts to sort out electoral ‘coin toss’ problem
    The Minister of Local Government, Hon Nanaia Mahuta says the Government will consider making changes to local electoral legislation before the 2022 elections to fix the problems that have arisen where elections are settled by a coin toss.  The Minister says the recount process in the Murupara- Galatea ward at ...
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    6 days ago
  • NZ to Join IMO Convention to Reduce Ship Emissions
    New Zealand will sign up to new international maritime regulations to reduce ship emissions and lift air quality around ports and harbours, Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter announced today. Subject to completion of the Parliamentary treaty examination process, New Zealand will sign up to Annex VI of MARPOL, an ...
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    7 days ago
  • Bill to empower urban development projects
    New legislation to transform our urban areas and create sustainable, inclusive and thriving communities will tomorrow be introduced to Parliament, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said. “The Urban Development Bill gives Kāinga Ora-Homes and Communities the tools it needs to partner with councils, communities, mana whenua and private developers to ...
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    7 days ago
  • Early Learning Action Plan to kickstart long term change
    Today’s launch of He taonga te Tamaiti: Every child a taonga: The Early Learning Action Plan 2019-2029 provides the foundation for long-lasting changes to early learning, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says.   “Early learning will be one of the Government’s top education priorities going into 2020,” Chris Hipkins said.   ...
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    7 days ago
  • Climate change lens on major Government decisions
    Major decisions made by the Government will now be considered under a climate change lens, Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. “Cabinet routinely considers the effects of its decisions on human rights, the Treaty of Waitangi, rural communities, the disability community, and gender – now climate change will ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Tertiary Education Commission Board announced
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced the appointment of Māori education specialist Dr Wayne Ngata and Business NZ head Kirk Hope to the Board of the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC). Dr Alastair MacCormick has been reappointed for another term. “Wayne Ngata, Kirk Hope and Alastair MacCormick bring a great deal ...
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    1 week ago
  • Next phase of Pike River recovery underway in time for Christmas
    The next phase of the Pike River Re-entry project is underway, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little says. “Fresh air will be pumped into the Pike River Mine drift this week, following acceptance of the plan for re-entry beyond the 170m barrier by New Zealand’s independent health and ...
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    1 week ago
  • Insurance contracts to become easier to understand and fairer for consumers
    New Zealand consumers will have greater certainty about their insurance cover when they need to make claims as a result of proposed government changes. “Insurance is vitally important in supporting consumers and businesses to be financially resilient when unexpected events happen,” Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Kris Faafoi said. ...
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    1 week ago
  • A new opportunity for Ngāpuhi collective and regional negotiations
    The Crown is providing an opportunity for the hapu of Ngāpuhi to rebuild its framework from the ground up for collective negotiations to deal with its historical Treaty claims, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little and Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta announced today. The Crown is also ...
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    1 week ago
  • Referendums Framework Bill passes third reading
    A Bill enabling referendums to be held with the 2020 General Election has passed its third reading. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Act is important for upholding the integrity of New Zealand’s electoral process. “The Government has committed to holding a referendum on legalising recreational cannabis at the next ...
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    1 week ago