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Number of Reported Child Abuse cases have dropped

Written By: - Date published: 12:27 pm, January 23rd, 2015 - 27 comments
Categories: child abuse, paula bennett - Tags:

For the first time in ten years, reported cases of child abuse have declined. Minister Tolley and I are in agreement, that the number is still appallingly high. I sincerely hope that the reduction over the last year is due to government policies because then we can expect the downward trend to continue over the next few years.

We ALL need to be accessible to children to help ensure their safety. We need more programmes in schools which teach and explore respect in all relationships so that children recognise they have recourse if they are “disrespected” and are actually in an abuse situation. I have not abused a child but as an adult I accept that responsibility for the safety of children in my community is down to me too.

Many sexual abusers of children are adept at presenting themselves as nice people to the outside world (and, I suggest, some cultivate a good community image as part of their cover). They threaten harm to the child or others they love if they “tell”. That being the case some kinds of abuse have to be attacked from a different angle than identifying perpetrators per se. By teaching respect for others and ourselves we can empower children without turning them against those who they love and genuinely love them and are not abusing them. It is not about SEX education but respect and relationship education. Emotional and physical abuse are different again, although some children experience all three. I know there have been times when I have heard an adult speaking an appalling manner to a child and have bitten my tongue.  That puts me at fault too. IF *I* as an older person if I have not the courage to speak up, how can that child?

We need to act more like a community in all things, reaching out to our neighbours (and their children) in good times and bad. Getting to know each other, support each other, and in some case, report on each other. If we do more of the first two things, we will hopefully have to do less of the reporting.

The impact of abuse on children and the cost to communities is well documented.

The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study is one of the largest investigations ever conducted to assess associations between childhood maltreatment and later-life health and well-being. The study is a collaboration between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Kaiser Permanente’s Health Appraisal Clinic in San Diego.

More than 17,000 Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) members undergoing a comprehensive physical examination chose to provide detailed information about their childhood experience of abuse, neglect, and family dysfunction. To date, more than 50 scientific articles have been published and more than100 conference and workshop presentations have been made. http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/acestudy/

20,000 cases of child abuse in NZ  is too many but is definitely better than 22,000.

IF Treasury were leading the war on child abuse on the basis of costs to the country of every case of abuse, it would be an even higher priority. This brief paper outlines the costs of abuse of children.

297 people died on our roads in 2014. Consider the time, media focus and money spent on reducing that.

 

27 comments on “Number of Reported Child Abuse cases have dropped”

  1. mickysavage 1

    I wondered at the statistics Tracey. There was some discussion on Morning Report and Children’s commissioner Russell Willis thought it may be in part because incidents are being referred to non governmental agencies rather than to CYF itself and so CYF do not necessarily capture all the incidents in the statistics. This Government have done it with police offence data, it may be that this is also not evidence that things are actually improving.

    The audio of the interview is at http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/20164585/children's-commissioner-on-child-abuse-statistics

    • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 1.1

      one of the questions that popped up when i heard this was whether this is yet another instance of gnats cooking the books. after all they have done it with the country’s finances, healthcare, etc etc

    • tracey 1.2

      Hi Mickey

      I listened to that and wondered about the collection of the data. I guess I WANT to believe that;

      A, they are dropping;
      B. the drop will continue because it is the effect of government policy

      • mickysavage 1.2.1

        There was also a recent anomaly about the collection of domestic violence statistics which I blogged about a few months ago (/lies-damn-lies-and-crime-statistics/)

        Briefly it records an increase in DV incidents between 2010 and 2013 by about 10% BUT a decrease in incidents where an offence was recorded which dropped by about 17%.

        If the police are not recording offences as often as they used to then it is likely abuse is also being reported less.

        Strange that DV incidents go up but reporting goes down …

        • tracey 1.2.1.1

          I hear you. If we were a transparent democracy, we would have information attached to ALL Government Press releases, for those who care to read, that addresses the possibility (or not) of such anomolies.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.3

      Is this a recent change, that ngos are picking up more work?

      If so, in what sense are this year’s statistics comparable to last years in any meaningful way at all?

      • Macro 1.3.1

        Yes it is a recent change and the reality is that now we have no idea whether the total numbers of abused children has dropped or not. 🙁 Non physical (verbal and psychological) abuse cases have not been recorded in these numbers as they were in the past.

  2. ghostwhowalksnz 2

    “The Government yesterday released child abuse figures for the year ending June 2014. The figure fell by 2306, or 12 per cent, on the previous year.”

    Im suspicious about these sort of ‘government says’ this or that, using numbers which they have collected ( and massaged) to show how good they are.

    We all remember the Wairarapa police team investigating child abuse, who just stuck files in a cabinet and never did any investigation let alone recorded them in the statistics.

    Sometimes a ‘drop’ can come about by simply reducing the hours of the call centre where reports are made !

    • Gosman 2.1

      You are mistaking Government with the (supposedly) independent Government agencies that are responsible for reporting. If the Government was attempting to reduce figures using different reporting techniques then it should be easy enough to identify. There will be a paper trail where the Government agency is requested to change. All you need to do is submit an OIO request. Of course you could just continue to mindlessly speculate for political purposes. I wonder which option you are likely to choose…

      • Rosemary McDonald 2.1.1

        “There will be a paper trail where the Government agency is requested to change. All you need to do is submit an OIO request. ”

        Hmm. Could be a problem with that. Agencies who contract to the government to provide disability assessements and coordinate services (NASCs) are not subject to the OIA.

        Whanau Ora, and its agencies are not subject to OIA.

        Perhaps some are getting lost in the neoliberal mire?

        • tracey 2.1.1.1

          it seems odd to me that organisations getting so much of their operating funds from taxpayer are not subject to oia. hopefully their minister is not hands off so has alot of correspondence with them.

        • McFlock 2.1.1.2

          Even if the contracting agencies were subject to OIA, if the reporting criteria changed in the contracting out process there wouldn’t necessarily be a formal request to change the scope of the criteria. Anyone looking to find the change would have to manually compare requirements for each service.

          It is one of the functions a minister would theoretically do before sign-off, but we saw how well ministerial oversight worked with novapay…

          But one never knows, there might well have been a substantial decrease in abuse. We can but hope 🙂

          • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.1.2.1

            I read somewhere that European nations reported a marked decrease in violence against children after they outlawed “physical correction”, aka assault.

            Pretty sure it was one of the submissions to the “anti-National Party Parenting Style” bill.

    • tracey 2.2

      Ghost

      See my response to Mickey

      I figured commenters would address the possible stats and lies issue 😉

      I would hope that any government’s stat collection on such an important issue would include all sources (i.e. non government orgs). We shouldn’t need to do OIA’s every time the government releases something like this, it should be included and/or attached to the Press release.

      I listened to the reporter from Canberra this morning. The Aussies seem much more grown-up about politics in many ways than we do. They seem to have seen through Abbott quickly. Apparently he pursues things if they save money, and if they turn out to not be so great just drops them… sound familiar? But Aussies are apparently expecting and now demanding coherent policy direction first… (mind you they voted him in). Take, also, the recent incident of an on court television presenter asking a world class female athlete to “give us a twirl” (so “we” can see what and who you are wearing). Apparently this too has been met with widespread amazement and embarrassment. Our PM would probably tell us which tennis player he fantasizes about (cf the actress he drooled about).

      Our children hear how our leaders speak of people. They hear how their parents speak of men and women, beneficiaries, disabled,rich and they accept it for themselves. THAT is why leadership matters.

  3. greywarshark 3

    The picture of Anne Tolley?/woman looks like a career woman hard-line jail governor. Just my quick reaction to it. And the falling stats for child abuse. Unbelievable. Somewhere they have been sidelined into a dark room and manipulated, then let back into the sunlight. Things aren’t getting better. And no change with system or it worsening, will be matched by the stats for violence and harm and pervading angst.

  4. One Anonymous Bloke 4

    I don’t believe this statistic.

    We’ve seen this government massage the figures too many times to trust anything they say at face value. In particular, the way public expenditure has been removed from OIA scrutiny is a major cause for concern (leaving the ideological pretence that the private sector is a more efficient service provider to one side).

    I wish I did believe this statistic because it would be a good bit of news.

    Look for anyone in a position of authority who contradicts it to be given the Slater treatment. They probably already have been, given the overt threats the National Party has made against charitable organisations.

  5. kiwigunner 5

    I work in a low decile school. It is always clear when things are tough out there or when they are improving for the school community I mean. This reflects then on the children. My observation is that over recents years things have gotton tougher and this is evidenced by less folk paying for school trips, less shoes on the feet of the children and more children coming to breakfast club each day. It is also reflected in my spending more time on suspected chidl abuse / neglect cases last year than any time in the previous seven years. So in my little corner of NZ this data rings a little falsely.

    • Tracey 5.1

      thanks for the anecdotal evidence kiwigunner.

    • greywarshark 5.2

      Just a note about the report on radionz this a.m. – that parents are noticing a rise in the demands for schools’ parent contributions. Now includes for many, $500 for a laptop or whatever. Bloody ridiculous poncey ideas about what constitutes education for the youngster’s future needs and advantage.

      The world’s circumference was worked out by ancient Egyptians I think. The Persians had something else was it calculus, the Greeks, the Indians thought up the concept of nought. PC. That is pre-computer. We have so much information now that nobody can be bothered with it, we can’t take it all in. Instead we make up stories that relect our wishes and ignore the facts (emperors clothes etc.) Favourite quote goes – People can’t comprehend things like infinity, so instead we ignore it mostly, and sit down and eat cheese on toast. (NB If you mix a little mustard in with the cheese it’s very tasty.)

      Learning how to process facts and information yourself with the computer as an adjunct is what is needed. But well-off countries must have their toys. Pity that we are expected to live like a well-off country for the sake of the pride of the would-bes. Just keep papering over the cracks dear, they’ll never know what a sham we are.
      edited

      • Tracey 5.2.1

        We could try an informal scheme.

        For one year decile 10 parents make their school donation to a decile 1 school and vice versa, and the academics study the results.

        • JanM 5.2.1.1

          That would be interesting, no doubt, but of questionable value, s abuse can be the result of stress and is therefore not confined to the poor. The rich hide their goings-on as they tend to have material wealth and friendly legal beagles to hide behind,

          • Tracey 5.2.1.1.1

            I was thinking more from a financial point-of-view than abuse. It might be one way to assist the higher earners to have some understanding of what you don’t get if you can’t pay school fees.

            • JanM 5.2.1.1.1.1

              Yes, that would be instructive – you’d have to offer personality transplants in many cases, though, as many of the rich are used to yelling and screaming until they get their own way 🙂

      • One Anonymous Bloke 5.2.2

        What a load of bollocks. Like arguing that today’s kids don’t need paper because their slate is enough.

        National Party vandalism underfunds low decile schools because their education policy is bigotry with lots of small print. School “fees” are a small aspect of that vandalism.

        Sheet it home to your local National Party parrot, harass the fuck out of them, because this government only has a one seat majority: hunting parrots is in this nation’s best interests.

      • Murray Rawshark 5.2.3

        Being a little pedantic here, but:

        “The world’s circumference was worked out by ancient Egyptians I think.”

        A Greek, Eratosthenes. The measurements that he based his calculation on were done in Egypt.

        “The Persians had something else was it calculus,”

        Calculus was invented by the Europeans Isaac Newton and Gottfried Liebniz in the 17th century. The Indian mathematician Bhaskara II plagiarised their work five hundred years earlier and claimed to have invented differential calculus. Europeans are still doing this, with Roy Glauber earning a Nobel Prize in Physics that should have gone to George Sudarshan.

        “the Greeks, the Indians thought up the concept of nought.”

        Babylonians, Indians and Mayans all independently invented (discovered?) zero.

        But I agree with your basic premise. Learning to use a computer gives access to a heap of data, but unless a person has developed the means to evaluate and process it, it can be worse than useless.

  6. JanM 6

    Theses statistics are essentially meaningless – the differences are too small to be significant and there are too many possible variables.
    The very stressful, competitive society we live in will always have a number of ‘victims’ and children, lacking any real independence, are the most likely to fall into that category. Until we start paying real attention to the social causes and show we ‘give a shit’ enough to do something about them, numbers may go up and down slightly, but it really is a case of ‘lies, damn lies and statistics’.
    There are good programmes available for schools and pre-schools to support children seeking help – encouraging attitudes of ‘my body belongs to me’, but results, I imagine will be somewhat variable, and not helped by the fact that there has developed some well-founded negativity about CYF from the ‘frontliners’ (usually teachers) based on past experience.

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  • Letter to a friend
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    6 days ago
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  • A test of civil society.
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  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
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    1 week ago
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  • A Compelling Recollection.
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  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
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    2 weeks ago

  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
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  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
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    2 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
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    2 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
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    2 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
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    3 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
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    3 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
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    3 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
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    4 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
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    4 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
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    4 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
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    4 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
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    4 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago