web analytics

NRT: “Too hard”

Written By: - Date published: 2:05 pm, March 20th, 2017 - 53 comments
Categories: accountability, bill english, farming, national, water - Tags: , , ,

I/S at No Right Turn writes…


“Too hard”

That’s what Prime Minister Bill English thinks of the issue of charging profiteers for water:

There will be no price put on the country’s water before the election because it’s “too hard” to work out who owns it, says Prime Minister Bill English.

While Environment Minister Nick Smith has called any move to charge bottled water companies or put a ban on them exporting water “farcical” – English’s response has been a bit more watered down.

“In New Zealand for a long long time it’s been the case that no one owns the water. You’d be disrupting 100 years of practice and we’ve had a system in New Zealand where it’s first come first served,” he told Newshub.

“You’d have to work out pretty basic things like who owns it? What would you charge them? Who else would you charge?

“Because other people make money out of water, including the tourist boats that float on it…If there was a simple, easy answer here it would already be in place.”

“Right now, it is too hard,” said English.

Sure, it’s hard. But too hard? Not really. Unlike Bill English, I don’t think its beyond the wit of the government’s policy analysts to craft a solution here, or of their Treaty negotiators to settle the immediate Treaty issues that it raises (because lets be honest: like the rest of New Zealand, its stolen property, and Maori deserve to be compensated for it). In fact the last bit seems particularly easy; based on past precedent around fisheries and aquaculture, the government would just end up paying 20% of such charges to local iwi.

The real barrier to National (and therefore English) acting on this is because that “no-one owns water, first come, first served” policy disproportionately benefits one group and allows them to profiteer from a public resource while destroying its value to others. That group is farmers – and they donate to the National Party. Again, I don’t believe its beyond the wit of MfE’s policy analysts to devise a charging scheme which differentiated between low-value uses like farming and high-value ones like water-bottling while ensuring free use for public purposes like town supply, but it would mean farmers having to finally pay for that public resource they are stealing from us. And that will never happen as long as National is in government.

53 comments on “NRT: “Too hard””

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    There will be no price put on the country’s water before the election because it’s “too hard” to work out who owns it, says Prime Minister Bill English.

    Actually, it’s really easy. It’s just like all that oil and minerals that we charge royalties on – it belongs to the entire country as a scarce resource which the government is there to properly manage.

    “In New Zealand for a long long time it’s been the case that no one owns the water. You’d be disrupting 100 years of practice and we’ve had a system in New Zealand where it’s first come first served,” he told Newshub.

    Continuing to do something wrong because it would upset the precedent of doing it wrong is not a valid reason for preventing change.

    Because other people make money out of water, including the tourist boats that float on it…

    We do charge tourist boats for the use of the water that they’re floating on in the form of taxes that the business pays.

    Of course, that’s a distraction from the fact that we’re giving away a scarce resource to businesses to make a huge profit on.

    • inspider 1.1

      More water passed under the Mercer Bridge on the Waikato river, and out to sea in less time that it took to type this post, than is exported in bottles from NZ in a year.

      Good luck explaining to pensioners or parents of teenagers they will have to pay for every bath or shower to fix this crisis in public policy.

      • Corokia 1.1.1

        Lots of us already pay for household water

        • inspider 1.1.1.1

          We all pay for distribution. Some pay via a meter (good for single people with low use), some via a fixed charge on rates (good for families with high use). Draco wants you to pay an additional fee for every litre used.

          • McFlock 1.1.1.1.1

            No, it seems to only concern those who exploit a public resource for commercial advantage would be expected to pay for that privilege.

          • You_Fool 1.1.1.1.2

            I am pretty sure my water bill has a charge per L used, not per km transported… SO I am being charged for the water I use.

            Also the ownership issue seems pretty straight forward. New Zealand owns it, thus NZ should charge for it, via it’s proxy called the “government”. I could pay for it too but then I will likely pay less tax anyway (or should) so win/win

      • McFlock 1.1.2

        Bullshit scaremongering.

        Water is a public right, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t owned. Domestic water should be free, supplied by the government where reasonable domestic supplies can’t be sorted as a reasonable part of dwelling development.

        Businesses need to pay for the profit they make from the public asset. No business has a right to exist, but people do.

        • inspider 1.1.2.1

          So hospitals need to pay more for the oxygen they use that is captured from the public atmosphere? Maybe bring back a window tax for the businesses that benefit from the public sunlight? And charge the ferries for use of the sea while we are at it.

          • McFlock 1.1.2.1.1

            🙄

            Are we running short of oxygen? Then yes, private hospitals seeking to profit from that scarcity should be charged. Just as air polluters should be charged financially if not criminally, just as the people who put shit in our waterways aren’t.

            • inspider 1.1.2.1.1.1

              So you are basing your position on scarcity or profit off public assets?

              • McFlock

                Both. Maybe it is too hard for tories to understand.

                Resources of the land, air and see are public assets. Dominion over these assets in NZ is shared ownership between the Crown and Iwi, as a result of the Treaty of Waitangi.

                If the resource isn’t scarce but is automatically shared amongst everybody in the community to a sufficient and generally equal level, you could charge for it, but nobody would buy it because they just get their own for free.

                Where it is scarce but is an individual’s right, it therefore needs to be distributed equitably. This means that if somebody wishes to make a profit off it, they need to pay a dividend back to the community because they’re using more than their equitable share.

                Seems consistent and easy enough to me.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.3

        More water passed under the Mercer Bridge on the Waikato river, and out to sea in less time that it took to type this post, than is exported in bottles from NZ in a year.

        Which, of course, is meaningless. Water flowing in a river helps to keep the river healthy. Taking water out of the river helps to kill it.

        Good luck explaining to pensioners or parents of teenagers they will have to pay for every bath or shower to fix this crisis in public policy.

        Aucklanders already pay for every drop they use and I don’t recall them ever complaining about it. It’s part and parcel of the market system.

        You’re now demanding that we don’t use a market system to allocate resources?

        Sure, what do you think we should use? USSR command economy maybe?

        • inspider 1.1.3.1

          It’s not meaningless when people are claiming bottled water shouldn’t be exported due to claims of scarcity. It puts that claim into perspective.

          I’m not against a market solution, just conservative on the benefits vs the disruption. I don’t think it will be the panacea you think.

          • Draco T Bastard 1.1.3.1.1

            It’s not meaningless when people are claiming bottled water shouldn’t be exported due to claims of scarcity. It puts that claim into perspective.

            Only in the perspective that you don’t think that the environment counts.

            Which is delusional at best and probably psychopathic.

    • Wayne 1.2

      Draco,

      It is actually quite hard.

      The problem is consistency of treatment.

      For instance irrigation water will necessarily have a much lower value than water used in beverages. Otherwise all irrigation will cease, since if all water had the same charge it would be infinitesimal on a litre basis, probably less than a cent or two.

      Picking up on simony’s comment below. A 15 c/l charge is quite significant. It gets added to the price and therefore the margin. By the time it gets to retail it could be an extra 30 c/l. That might be enough to cause consumers to switch brands.

      Similarly all users of beverage water (wine, beer, soft drinks, bottled water) would presumably pay the same irrespective of whether the final product is consumed in NZ or exported. New Zealand does not do export taxes, and neither should we.

      What about industrial users, those who incorporate water in the final product compared to those who use it for cooling?

      What about hydro dams which just run the water through?

      One could go on and on about all the issues. And that is before we get to the TOW issues.

      It will be like the ETS, very difficult to do without wrecking the economy.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1

        A 15 c/l charge is quite significant. It gets added to the price and therefore the margin. By the time it gets to retail it could be an extra 30 c/l. That might be enough to cause consumers to switch brands.

        It might be enough to realise that buying bottled water is a truly stupid idea.

        What about industrial users, those who incorporate water in the final product compared to those who use it for cooling?

        What about them?

        The pricing mechanism isn’t there to ensure that businesses can make a profit but to encourage our scarce resources to be utilised in best way possible.

        What about hydro dams which just run the water through?

        Technically, they’re not actually using the water. As in, they’re not removing it from the river. Although a pollution charge may be worth considering.

        It will be like the ETS, very difficult to do without wrecking the economy.

        It wouldn’t wreck the economy – neither would the ETS. A few unsustainable businesses would go under but that’s part and parcel of the pricing mechanism and, as I’ve been told, capitalism.

        In other words, it would save the economy because we’d no longer be subsidising unsustainable businesses.

        • RedBaronCV 1.2.1.1

          Maybe we charge when the water is moved off site in a non natural way.
          And permits can’t be traded so that water moves off site – has to be used where extracted – in parts of the US some places have been left without water/ farms/local economy/jobs etc as the permit has been moved upriver or some variation of.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.2.2

        For instance irrigation water will necessarily have a much lower value than water used in beverages. Otherwise all irrigation will cease, since if all water had the same charge it would be infinitesimal on a litre basis, probably less than a cent or two.

        That’s actually the point of the pricing mechanism. If something can’t be done at the market price (note: SINGLE) then it doesn’t get done.

        You don’t have multiple prices for multiple uses as that’s actually undermining the pricing system.

        • Antoine 1.2.2.1

          Can I just say that a single price for water would be quite wrong.

          At a minimum, the pricing should reflect:
          – scarcity – with the price being higher when the water is more scarce (Water should be free when there’s a flood and it would otherwise be wasted, but extremely expensive when it’s from a heavily depleted aquifer)
          – distribution cost – with the price being higher when the user is benefiting from public water reticulation assets – or lower if the water is taken directly from source, or taken via assets that the user has already paid for
          – whether the water is returned in good condition (as per a hydro dam) or lost to the system (like a farm)
          – grandfathering – with parties with long standing usage rights paying less than new comers.

          If there’s one thing I’m sure of, it’s that a charge for water will not materially affect bottlers, because their markup is so high. This is basically about farming.

          A.

          PS As I write this, I see McFlock is making a similar point

          • Draco T Bastard 1.2.2.1.1

            – scarcity – with the price being higher when the water is more scarce (Water should be free when there’s a flood and it would otherwise be wasted, but extremely expensive when it’s from a heavily depleted aquifer)

            Are you sure about that? Because indication are that it’s soon going to cost more than gold.

            The simple fact of the matter is that potable water is very, very scarce.

            distribution cost – with the price being higher when the user is benefiting from public water reticulation assets – or lower if the water is taken directly from source, or taken via assets that the user has already paid for

            Why should it cost more when the reticulation is paid for by rates?
            Why should farmers get a discount?
            Why are you confusing the price of reticulation for the cost of water?

            grandfathering – with parties with long standing usage rights paying less than new comers.

            Nope – everyone gets treated the same because otherwise we build injustices into the system.

      • McFlock 1.2.3

        We already look at water resource use and management and issue permits. What we don’t do is charge businesses a fair price for the resource everyone owns but they get to exploit to the detriment of everyone else.

        Dams should have fish ladders/bypasses. Land farms and fish farms should not pollute adjacent waterways and land with industrial levels of biowaste. Server farms and factories that use water as coolant shouldn’t return water at a temperature that doesn’t kill fish.

        The cost of water should reflect its scarcity at each source: you want to irrigate your land rather than use it for more appropriate crops/intensity? It should be uneconomical to take so much from your local aquifer that the river dries up. It you can ship it in from somewhere that water is cheaper, fine. But don’t fuck it up for everyone downstream.

  2. There is a management system ” Just in time”,which as an option, may be used to increase efficiency across many business activities. Lo and behold this present govt have eclipsed this or any other method to address problems facing this country with their very own solution , –via their think tank . they have evolved a world first method of addressing problems by introducing “Just to hard methods.–” As a back up, their down the track ,someday ,one day alternative is one day soon to be announced ,- “The just too late ” governing method. All their own work.

  3. AB 3

    Water is part of the Commons – owned equally by everyone. Therefore it can’t be appropriated for private gain without both the permission and the compensation of the public. Start from that principle and work something out.
    Rain we need to treat differently – but lakes, streams, rivers, aquifers etc. are part of the Commons.

  4. Tophat 4

    Auckland council didn’t think it was too hard to price water;
    Volumetric charge: $2.454 per 1,000 litres, including GST
    https://www.watercare.co.nz/common-content/billing-and-payment/Pages/default.aspx

    • inspider 4.1

      That’s the wastewater charge. It’s $1.444 for supply. But that’s the reticulation cost, not the selling price of water.

      • Tophat 4.1.1

        Thank you clearing that up. :/

      • Whispering Kate 4.1.2

        I don’t know what Watercare bill you are looking at but mine reads volumetric charge for water is $1.444 / kL, waste water is $2.454/kL and then the Fixed wastewater charge of $205.00 pa.

        Obviously we are paying for fresh water coming into the house – why else would people want to conserve to try and keep their bills as low as they can. If it was only a reticulation charge for potable water then there would be a fixed charge only. The Council can tell it how ever way they like – we are having to pay for potable water here in Auckland. The more you use they then can charge it as grey water to get out of the truth which is we are charged whatever we do with it potable or grey.

        When the Government try and say nobody owns the water – why can they not just come to an agreement with Maori that the water belongs to New Zealand – that way they could stop foreign interests from bottling it for free. I wonder how it would be if countries came in here first in first served and started digging for our gold and coal or oil and exporting it for free.

        • greywarshark 4.1.2.1

          Interesting thought about foreign companies using another country’s resources. I was looking at an item from stuff about salmon farming in Tasmania. They are worried because farming is in an enclosed bay and the sedimentation is affecting the sea floor health and the condition and quantity of the sea life
          .
          Now wait for it – one owner of salmon farms is suing the local Council and government for not keeping its harbour pollution free. The company is complaining there is an excess of salmon farming allowed, causing pollution. So the probably foreign companies are costing the Australian government in administration and monitoring costs and the companies are going to cost big legal fees as they jostle for position and argue for better conditions than they can get back where they came from. I wonder what the net profit to the host country is after all the costs are counted.

          http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/aquaculture/90541014/marlborough-sounds-salmon-farm-relocations-compared-to-troubled-tasmania-situation

          ABC published statements from a scientific report in January saying salmon and other marine creatures in Macquarie Harbour were suffering due to drastically low levels of oxygen. No living marine creatures could be found within 500 metres from the cages at one salmon farm site.

          Environmental organisation Environment Tasmania released a report on salmon farming in the harbour, saying a build-up of sediment from fish farm waste in sites with low current speeds could cause an environment where oxygen was scarce and flora and fauna could not survive.

          “Scientific research shows that sheltered bays and harbours cannot support the amount of pollution introduced by intensive farming, or provide optimal conditions for fish health and growth,” the report said. …

          Salmon farm company Huon Aquaculture is taking the Tasmanian government to court for allegedly failing to protect the harbour environment….

          In Tasmania, Huon was claiming the Environment Protection Authority (EPA), and the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE) allowed companies to intensively farm salmon in numbers in Macquarie Harbour far greater than the environment could sustain.

          • Draco T Bastard 4.1.2.1.1

            I wonder what the net profit to the host country is after all the costs are counted.

            Companies only set up shop if they can leave with more than they came with. In other words, the host country will be losing on the deal.

  5. adam 5

    All right I’m off to dam the local stream and claim my first user fights. Who gives a rats about the people who live their, I’m just enforcing my first in, first served right!

    Long live King Bill!

    For the literalist types, the above is sarcasm; lowest form, and all that.

    • Whispering Kate 5.1

      Quite agree, it would seem we are a country which says first in first served for everybody. You can even buy citizenship if you offer enough money. Its happening with our housing all over New Zealand although the housing isn’t for free, but it may as well be at the rate of knots our residential suburbs are being invaded. We personally are seeing the turnover of home ownership changing hands two and three times in a year, it becomes a bit confusing as one is never too sure who lives in what house anymore in our suburb. We live with auctions going on on our doorstep on a weekly basis – what has happened to suburban cohesion where folks knew each other and helped each other out. Obviously its too easy for just anybody to own homes in this country, come on it, help yourself, bugger our own first home buyers and their endless struggle to find the cash to own a home. No wonder our kids are becoming angry and who blames them – I feel for parents who have more than two kids as it will be impossible to give them all a leg up on to the housing market.

      I think the Government has lost the plot personally.

    • miravox 5.2

      “All right I’m off to dam the local stream…”

      In that case, as water is free, I’ll be off to the shop to open a bottle of water and freely transfer it to my own storage container. I’ll replace the empty bottle and leave a few cents to cover the cost water collection, transport and storage.

  6. greywarshark 6

    Poof. Those of us who own freehold land have a certificate of title which refers to it being granted bt the crown. So when government wish to take that land from us they can by cancelling our interest in it in favour of the crown. Patricia Grace put up a terrific fight against the government taking land for roading that had special importance to Maori.

    In the same way government can claim rivers and a riparian strip. Government can agree to give this back to Maori or share interest in the river and the water pertaining to it. Any movement of water from it should be on licence and paid for and monitored. But we have always had a class of self-made men trying to dominate the country’s financial opportunities to gather more, and land is a good bet
    if it is in the right place, which once was with nearby water, but now it can be sucked off to poor drylands.

    The Colorado River once fed fertile lands in Mexico, then the USA divided its flow and allocated Mexico only 10% of the water.
    http://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/freshwater/rivers/

    Tracing the once mighty Colorado River after the depredations of land owners
    which in turn probably has affected climate change which limits it more.
    http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/the-colorado-river-runs-dry-61427169/?page=2

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/15/opinion/where-the-colorado-river-runs-dry.html

    • Andre 6.1

      If you ever want a trip down the rabbit hole, try getting your head around water laws in western states. It really is an alternate universe. Colorado particularly. Up until last year you weren’t even allowed to collect rainwater from your roof.

      • greywarshark 6.1.1

        Andre
        Amazing eh. And there are other aspects to the water situation relating to how the implacable farmers managed to get water that the native Indian people always had and still needed. I am fairly sure that is part of the Colorado story.

  7. simonm 7

    The Fijian government seems to have worked out how to successfully charge royalties for water that’s being commercially bottled and sold offshore. See the quote from the ‘Living Traditionally’ site below.

    “The (Fijian) government receives taxes per litre for its exported water. In 2010, the government proposed a tax levy increase rate, per litre. Raising from 1/3 of a cent to 15 cents per litre, equalling F500,000 to F22.6 million ($231,397 USD to $10,644,254 USD).

    The Fiji Water company considered moving to a new water source in New Zealand but the Fiji government threatened to lease the well to a competing company. Fiji Water accepted the new tax levy and continued to collect and export Fiji’s water.”

    I don’t see why it should be difficult for New Zealand to implement a similar scheme that allows us to share in the enormous profits that are being made from this industry.

    http://livingtraditionally.com/what-you-didnt-know-about-fiji-water-but-should/

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      The only difficulty the government is having is explaining why businesses get to make a huge amount of profit at our cost.

  8. Ad 8

    English is rightly worried.

    One subtext is iwi:
    – Tainui have a special ‘ownership’ of the Waikato.
    – The Wanganui River is now legislated as a person.
    – Let’s not forget fishing rights and the Key-Smith debacle over the Kermadecs

    Then there’s the problem that some councils like Auckland pretty much monopolize it from fresh to stormwater to sewerage

    Other non-unitary councils can’t even regulate and prosecute for pollution let alone sale.

    The health regulator for water commodification is Min Health.

    Then there’s the power companies who own dams and the water within them – the government no longer get control them.

    We haven’t even got to pricing irrigation with and consistency.

    Definitely too hard before election.

  9. Thinkerr 9

    It is possible to charge for water…

    I’ve been paying for the trickle down policies since the day I started working (86).

  10. Tamati Tautuhi 10

    Sounds like a shit of a problem for Bill, it is an absolute buggars muddle, no forward planning by Central Government what so ever?

  11. Antoine 11

    Putting in place a good national charging regime for water is a hard hard job. Its gonna take decades not months, based on experience from other utilities. Doesnt mean we shouldnt start soon, though.

    • Draco T Bastard 11.1

      No, really, it’s not and it should take months to do. It most certainly should not take decades which is the same as saying that we should do nothing – which is remarkably similar to all your other arguments about where things that need to be done but you insist that nothing can be done.

      • Antoine 11.1.1

        Do you know how long it took to establish water charging in Auckland, from the start of metering to the charging regime being in place?

        Or how long the electricity market has taken to develop, so far?

        These things don’t happen quickly.

        A.

        • Draco T Bastard 11.1.1.1

          Do you know how long it took to establish water charging in Auckland, from the start of metering to the charging regime being in place?

          Wrong question.

          The question is: How long did it take to investigate and write the regulations?

          Or how long the electricity market has taken to develop, so far?

          There isn’t an ‘electricity market’ and never will be because it’s a natural monopoly. The artificial attempt we have now isn’t working because it’s humans trying to force into effect something that will never exist.

  12. Tui 12

    stop stealing our taonga!!!

    ~ Tui

  13. Smilin 13

    When your govt consistently sells off the sovereignty of the country for 8 yrs is it any wonder we get a statement from the current PM
    in regards to water
    A munted reply to the fact they have created a commodity definition for water
    So its a resource like anything else we sell and the current ownership models that Maori have and the govt with the irrigation of farms should easily apply to this new money spinner of bottling
    Pay for the resource its that simple and the control of it should not be a corporate based system as it is a renewable resource therefore it needs to be governed in a sustainable manner ie those who actually have done the studies on every source of our water should be the power in how these commercial entities get resource consent instead of some band of corporates who think they should have the power to control the resource without it having any sovereignty issues to deal with
    But thats too hard because it gets to the crux of the matter these profiteers want it all just like every other commercial enterprise
    Corporate tax 28% what more do they want is that not enough incentive to pay your share you greedy bastards

    • Draco T Bastard 13.1

      You don’t get rich by paying for anything, you get rich by getting others to pay you for what’s theirs.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

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

  • Gang crime, meth harm targeted in Waikato
    The Minister of Police says a major operation against the Mongrel Mob in Waikato will make a big dent in drug harm and violent offending linked to organised crime networks. “Senior leadership of the Waikato Mongrel Mob has been taken out as a result of Operation Kingsville, which resulted in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    32 mins ago
  • Supporting victims and families to attend mosque attack sentencing
    The Government is extending the border exception criteria to enable some offshore victims and support people of the Christchurch mosque attacks to attend the sentencing of the accused beginning on 24 August2020, says Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway. “We want to support our valued Muslim brothers and sisters who were directly ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    39 mins ago
  • Boost for community freshwater restoration projects
    A project to support volunteer efforts to look after streams and rivers is getting a boost thanks to support from DOC’s Community Conservation Fund announced Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today.  “The government is backing efforts to look after waterways with $199,400 for the Mountains to Sea Conservation Trust from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • More support for women and girls
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter today announced that funding for the COVID-19 Community Fund for women and girls will be doubled, as the first successful funding applications for the initial $1million were revealed. “Women and girls across the country have suffered because of the effects of COVID-19, and I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Crown accounts stronger than forecast with higher consumer spending
    The Government’s books were better than forecast with a higher GST take as the economy got moving again after lockdown, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Crown Accounts for the 11 months to the end of May indicate the year end results for tax revenue will be stronger than forecast. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Govt releases plan to revitalise wool sector
    A plan to revitalise New Zealand’s strong wool sector and set it on a new, more sustainable and profitable path was unveiled today by Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. The newly-released report - Vision and Action for New Zealand’s Wool Sector - was developed by the Wool Industry Project Action Group ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Funding for Predator Free Whangārei
    Community efforts to create a Predator Free Whangārei will receive a $6 million boost, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage announced today. The new funding, through Government company Predator Free 2050 Ltd, will create around 12 jobs while enabling the complete removal of possums over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • New Zealand to review relationship settings with Hong Kong
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced that the New Zealand Government is reviewing the settings of its relationship with Hong Kong. “China’s decision to pass a new national security law for Hong Kong has fundamentally changed the environment for international engagement there,” Mr Peters said. “New Zealand remains deeply ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Funding for Whangārei’s infrastructure projects revealed
    Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced details of a multimillion-dollar investment in Whangārei for infrastructure projects that will help it recover from the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 200 jobs are expected to be created through the $26 million investment from the Government’s rejuvenation package ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Managed isolation and quarantine update
    Following a second incident in which a person escaped from a managed isolation facility, security is being enhanced, including more police presence onsite, Minister Megan Woods said. “The actions of some individuals who choose to break the very clear rules to stay within the facilities means that more resourcing is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Funding for Kaipara district community waste programmes
    Waste reduction and recycling programmes in Kaipara are set to get a boost with Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage today announcing a $361,447 grant from the Ministry for the Environment’s Waste Minimisation Fund (WMF) Sustainable Kaipara. “The new funding will allow Sustainable Kaipara to partner with local schools, kura, community ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government will support the people and economy of Southland
    The Government will support the Southland economy in the wake of multinational mining company Rio Tinto’s decision to follow through with its long signalled closure of the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter. “This day has unfortunately been on the cards for some time now, but nevertheless the final decision is a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New transformational tools for the Predator Free 2050 effort
    New tools being developed to help boost Aotearoa’s Predator Free 2050 effort were unveiled today by Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage and Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau. A new rat poison, a camera with predator recognition software to detect and report predators, a new predator lure and a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Armoured vehicles for New Zealand Army
    The Coalition Government has approved the purchase of a fleet of Bushmaster vehicles to replace the New Zealand Army’s armoured Pinzgauers, Defence Minister Ron Mark has announced today. The new fleet of 43 Australian-designed and built Bushmaster NZ5.5 will provide better protection for personnel and improved carrying capacity. “The age ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Community-led solutions to prevent family violence
    The Government’s three prevention frameworks to reduce family violence in Aotearoa were launched this week by Associate Minister for Social Development Poto Williams.   The frameworks were developed in partnership with communities around New Zealand, and build on the work the Government has already begun with its new family violence prevention ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt confirms investment in better radiology and surgical services for Hawke’s Bay
    The Government is pleased to confirm funding for improvements to radiology and surgical services at Hawke's Bay DHB, Health Minister Chris Hipkins says.     "The Minister of Finance the Hon Grant Robertson and former Health Minister Dr David Clark approved funding for Hawke's Bay DHB’s redevelopment of their radiology facilities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Specialist alcohol and drug addiction services strengthened across New Zealand
    •    New funding for four beds at Napier’s Springhill Residential Addiction Centre •    A new managed withdrawal home and community service, and peer support before and after residential care at Tairāwhiti DHB  •    A co-ordinated network of withdrawal management services throughout the South Island •    Peer support in Rotorua and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Coastal Shipping Webinar
    Introduction, seafarers and POAL Good morning everyone, I am delighted to be online with you all today. Before I begin, I have to acknowledge that COVID-19 has disrupted the maritime sector on an unprecedented scale. The work of seafarers and the maritime industry is keeping many economies around the world ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Support for resilient rail connection to the West Coast
    A $13 million investment from Government will create jobs and improve the resilience of the rail connection between Christchurch and the West Coast, Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones and Regional Economic Development Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau say. The funding comes from the tagged contingency set aside in Budget 2020 for infrastructure projects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Major investment in safe drinking water
    The Government is investing $761 million to assist local government upgrade under-pressure water services across the country, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today.  The announcement was made at the site of the water bore that was found to be the source of the fatal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Supporting stranded seasonal workers to keep working with more flexible options
    Recognised Seasonal Employers and migrant seasonal workers stranded in New Zealand will be able to continue working and supporting themselves with more flexible hours and roles, says Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway. The time-limited visa changes are: Stranded RSE workers will be able to work part-time (a minimum of 15 hours ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Relief for temporary migrants, employers and New Zealanders who need work
    The Government is making immediate short-term changes to visa settings to support temporary migrants already onshore in New Zealand and their employers, while also ensuring New Zealanders needing work are prioritised, Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. We are: Extending temporary work visas due to expire by the end of 2020 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Freshwater commissioners and fast-track consenting convenor appointed
    Professor Peter Skelton CNZM has been appointed as Chief Freshwater Commissioner and Alternate Environment Court Judge Craig James Thompson as Deputy Chief Freshwater Commissioner for the newly established Freshwater Planning Process (FPP). Environment Minister David Parker today also announced the appointment of Chief Environment Court Judge Laurie Newhook as the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Appointment of Judge of the High Court
    Auckland Queen’s Counsel Neil Campbell has been appointed a Judge of the High Court, Attorney‑General David Parker announced today. Justice Campbell graduated with a BCom and LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland in 1992. He spent two years with Bell Gully Buddle Weir in Auckland before travelling to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Feedback sought – Commercial Film and Video Production Facilities
    The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to better enable the development and operation of commercial film and video facilities in Christchurch. The Proposal, developed by Regenerate Christchurch in response to a request from Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt launches bold primary sector plan to boost economic recovery
    The Government has launched a bold plan to boost primary sector export earnings by $44 billion over the next decade, while protecting the environment and growing jobs. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today released Fit for a Better World – Accelerating our Economic Potential, a 10-year roadmap to unlock greater value ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Wellbeing of whanau at heart of new hub
    A new approach to prevent family harm that encourages greater collaboration across government and community groups is being celebrated at the opening of a new facility in Auckland. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today opened the Multi-Disciplinary Family Harm Prevention Hub Te Taanga Manawa in Lambie Road in Manukau. The facility ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Report on Auckland Port Relocation
    The Government has released a major new report on the options for relocating the Port of Auckland’s freight operations while deferring any decision on the issue. “That decision needs to be informed by policy analysis that is still to be completed. As a result it will be up to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Dual place names for Te Pātaka-o-Rākaihautū / Banks Peninsula features
    The history of Rāpaki is being restored through the inclusion of te reo in thirteen official place names on Te Pātaka-o-Rākaihautū / Banks Peninsula and around Lyttelton Harbour/Whakaraupō, the Minister for Land Information, Eugenie Sage, announced today.   “I am pleased to approve the proposals from Te Hapū o Ngāti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government and Air New Zealand agree to manage incoming bookings
    Bookings for seats on Air New Zealand flights into New Zealand will be managed in the short term to ensure the Government is able to safely place New Zealanders arriving home into a managed isolation or quarantine facility, says Housing Minister Megan Woods.  “Last week Air Commodore Darryn Webb and I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • $80 million for sport recovery at all levels
    Grant Robertson has today announced the first major release of funding from the $265 million Sport Recovery Package announced at Budget 2020.  “Today we’re setting out how $80 million will be invested, with $54 million of that over the 2020/2021 financial year for organisations from community level through to elite ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Keeping ACC levies steady until 2022
    The Government is maintaining current levy rates for the next 2 years, as part of a set of changes to help ease the financial pressures of COVID-19 providing certainty for businesses and New Zealanders, ACC Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. “New Zealanders and businesses are facing unprecedented financial pressures as a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Extended loan scheme keeps business afloat
    Small businesses are getting greater certainty about access to finance with an extension to the interest-free cashflow loan scheme to the end of the year. The Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme has already been extended once, to 24 July. Revenue and Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says it will be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New investment creates over 2000 jobs to clean up waterways
    A package of 23 projects across the country will clean up waterways and deliver over 2000 jobs Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Environment Minister David Parker announced today. The $162 million dollar package will see 22 water clean-up projects put forward by local councils receiving $62 million and the Kaipara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to Labour Party Congress 2020
    Tena koutou katoa  Nga tangata whenua o tenei rohe o Pōneke, tena koutou Nau mai, haere mai ki te hui a tau mo te roopu reipa Ko tatou!  Ko to tatou mana!  Ko to tatou kaupapa kei te kokiri whakamua  Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena tatou katoa   Welcome. I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • PGF top-up for QE Health in Rotorua
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $1.5 million to ensure QE Health in Rotorua can proceed with its world class health service and save 75 existing jobs, Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The PGF funding announced today is in addition to the $8 million ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Building a more sustainable construction sector
    A new programme, which sets a firm course for the Building and Construction sector to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, has been announced by the Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa. “A significant amount of New Zealand’s carbon emissions come from the building and construction sector.  If we’re serious ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PGF funds tourism boost in Northland
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing more than $7.5 million in Northland ventures to combat the economic impact of the COVID-19 virus, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) investment is going to the Northern Adventure Experience and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Four new projects announced as part of the biggest ever national school rebuild programme
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced significant funding for Auckland’s Northcote College as part of the first wave of a new nationwide school redevelopment programme to upgrade schools over the next 10 years. The $48.5 million project brings the total investment in Northcote College to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Support to improve student attendance and wellbeing
    The Government has opened an urgent response fund to support schools and early learning services to get children and young people back on track after the Covid-19 lockdown. “While we are seeing improvements in attendance under Alert Level 1 Ministry of Education data shows that attendance rates in our schools ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago