NZ history of voting systems in elections

Written By: - Date published: 12:46 pm, May 13th, 2023 - 33 comments
Categories: Deep stuff, elections, electoral systems, local body elections, MMP - Tags:

This week National Party leader Christopher Luxon reiterated his stance that National will not work with Te Pati Māori, citing for his reaon that he believes that Te Pati Māori policies are divisive and trotting out the phrase “one person, one vote”. Putting aside the hideous race-baiting and a return to the Iwi / Kiwi campaigning that mickysavage wrote about, I thought it was a good idea to look into the ‘one person, one vote’ claim. This isn’t the first time that National has used the phrase, and ACT love to use it as well.

So the question is, when in our nation’s history have we had a situation where ‘one person one vote’ for all over 18 has occurred? A look at our electoral past reveals that this has never been the case and shows that once again National want to live in a world where white privileged men have all the say and the rest of us need to shut up and put up.

Here is the historical proof.

Prior to 1853 we had no elections in Aotearoa New Zealand. In 1840 after the signing of Te Tiriti, Aoterora NZ was a dependency of New South Wales with our laws arranged across the Tasman by the governor of NSW Sir George Gipps and his legislative council. In 1841 we became a separate Crown Colony to New South Wales but with a similar arrangement. William Hobson was ourt first governor and he, along with his legislative council ruled. The legislative council was made up of seven Pākehā men – the Executive Council of the colonial secretary, the attorney-general and the colonial treasurer, three justices of the peace and Hobson himself. Hobson was replaced by Robert FitzRoy in 1843 and then George Grey in 1845.

1853 saw the first general election in Aotearoa New Zealand after the 1852 New Zealand Constitution Act (UK) established a system of representative government. Only European males over 21 who owned, leased or rented property of a certain value. It is decided that elections are to be held every 5 years. No prisoners were eligible to vote until the completion of their sentence.

1867 – All Māori men over 21 become eligible to vote, but only in one of four Māori only electorates. Māori men can also now stand for Parliament. A small number of Māori who owned individal freehold land were still allowed to vote in European electorates.

1879 – “Universal” male suffrage introduced. All European men over 21 can vote regardless of whether they owned or rented property. But an amendment to the Electoral Act meant former prisoners could not register to vote again until 12 months had passed since their sentence had finished – Qualification of Electors Act 1879, s 2(4).

1890 – New Zealand’s first “one man, one vote” election. Electoral law was changed so no one could vote in more than one general electoral district, ending the long-standing practice of ‘plural voting’ by those who owned property in more than one electorate.

1893 – New Zealand women able to vote for the first time. A small number of Māori women –those defined as ‘half-castes’ in the terminology of the time, or those who owned freehold property – could have chosen to enrol in a general electorate and voted on election day of 28 November, but the majority of Māori women voted in the Māori seats which were contested on 20 December 1893. Quick note that although women were able to vote in elections, it took another 26 years before women could stand as candidates for Parliament.

1905 – Special votes are cast for the first time in a general election by registered voters away from their electorate on polling day. This provision did not apply to voters in Māori seats who continued to vote without registration. At the same time, The Electoral Act 1905 changed the scope of prisoner enfranchisement again, denying the right to vote to anyone with a sentence longer than one year’s imprisonment – Electoral Act 1905 s29(1).

1922 – residents of Rēkohu/Wharekauri/Chatham Islands were able to vote for the first time in NZ history. Previous to this they were subject to taxation without representation.

1949 – Māori electoral rolls were used for the first time, which also meant that Māori voters could now cast a special vote if they were away from their electorate on polling day.

1951 – Voting in general seats and Māori seats occurs on the same day for the first time.

1952 – Chinese minorities were finally granted the right to become naturalised NZ citizens, meaning they were finally able to vote and participate in political arenas. Despite first arriving in the 1860s, this right to become citizens are participate in NZ democracy had been denied to them for nearly 100 years.

1956 – The Elctoral Act is amended again and disqualifies all prisoners who are serving a sentence at the time of an election – Electoral Act 1956 s42(1)(b).

1969 – the voting are is lowered from 21 to 20.

1974 – the voting age is lowered to 18.

1975 – a short lived amendment to the Electoral Act 1975 saw the removal the provision that denied prisoners they right to vote. This only lasted to 1977 when the law reverted to the 1956 disqualification from voting for all prisoners.

1996 – NZ’s first general election under the mixed-member proportional (MMP) voting system occurred. This meant that all New Zealanders were able to have two votes, one for the MP to represent them in Parliament and one for the party they wanted to see in government. It also saw the first coalition government since the 1930s.

2023 – currently landlords who own properties in two different parts of the country, or in two different wards or local board areas in one municipality (ie Auckland) can vote in local body elections where they own property. This has been the case since the 1800s, probably since the first local election as voting rights in the 19th century were always tied to how much property a person owned. Bizarrely, even an organisation is eligible to vote under this plural voting rule that covers the ratepayer roll. An organisation – sports clubs, community-owned halls and businesses – that pay rates on a property it owns can nominate someone to cast a vote in council elections on it’s behalf.

In conclusion, as the historical record shows, there has only been one general election where we could claim ‘one person, one vote’ for all people in Aotearoa New Zealand over the age of 18, which was 1975. However, that has never been the case in local body elections. It is time for National to stop the fiction around voting eligibility and start dealing in facts.

Seddonville Miner

33 comments on “NZ history of voting systems in elections ”

  1. DS 1

    1898-1910: Non-ratepayers begin to be able to vote in local elections in urban areas.

    1944: Non-ratepayers in rural council areas can vote in local elections.

    Late 1980s (can't find the specific date): The ratepayer roll (then called the property vote) was abolished for local government elections.

    1991: The ratepayer roll/property vote restored for local government elections.

    Also as a nitpick, New Zealand had coalition governments from Ross Meurant's Right of Centre Party splitting off from National (and then United splitting off from National and Labour) during 1994-1996. So 1996 was not the first coalition government since the 1930s.

  2. DS 2

    1993: Prisoners serving a term of less than three years can vote.

    2010: Prisoners cannot vote, regardless of term, except if they were sentenced prior to 2010.

    2020: Prisoners serving a term of less than three years can vote.

    Bizarrely enough, the 2010 legislation restored the right to vote to murders like Clayton Weatherston, since they had been sentenced prior to 2010, but were serving more than three years.

  3. DS 3

    In conclusion, as the historical record shows, there has only been one general election where we could claim ‘one person, one vote’ for all people in Aotearoa New Zealand over the age of 18, which was 1975.

    Did the 1975 legislation say anything about insane people? If not, then not all over 18s were eligible in 1975 either.

  4. RedLogix 4

    This is the kind of absurdity you get when you view history through the lens of the present.

    The question you have to ask is – by what practical means could you determine who was eligible to vote? Because even today we strictly control this with electoral roles, and careful cross checking to ensure only people with the right to vote do so.

    But in the 1800's the conditions were very different to the present. It may surprise a lot of people to know that we did not have computers or the internet to manage complex electoral roles. Amazingly we did not have passports or border controls, there was no census, no communication between regions other than by shipping. Literally the govt of the day had no idea who was present in this country, and on what basis. So how did you conduct an election under these circumstances?

    As it happened the only reliable records government had at the time were land records – and so they very sensibly used these to determine who was allowed to vote or not. And remarkably enough this idea allowed all Maori males (who in principle all owned land in common) enjoyed universal suffrage a decade or so before all non -Maori. This fact alone utterly debunks the notion of an implacably racist colonial regime determined to disenfranchise Maori at every possible turn.

    As the decades moved on and govt capacity expanded, elections became more sophisticated and universal. To the point now where for all practical purpose every person of age gets the same access to democratic accountability. To argue otherwise is a risible nonsense.

    As for local govt – the same problem applies. How do you determine who is eligible to vote in a local district where people are moving around all the time, with no record of this?

    • DS 4.1

      That wasn't the justification – then or now – for property voting. Britain was having full censuses by the time New Zealand was getting settled.

      The traditional justification was that owning property (specifically land) gave you a stake in governmental decision-making. Government, after all, was fixated on property rights. Non-property owners were considered to be lacking that stake.

      Maori land ownership posed a problem for this system, since they owned land collectively. The solution was the Maori seats, thereby ensuring all men could vote before all Pakeha men.

      • RedLogix 4.1.1

        Britain was having full censuses by the time New Zealand was getting settled.

        New Zealand held it's first census in 1851, but it only covered non-Maori who had a permanent 'household'. And while a census might well be useful for determining the size and location of an electorate – it has never been used for determining electoral eligibility – even today. By convention the two functions were always kept separate.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1851_New_Zealand_census

        And it was not until 1915 were passport introduced, and formal New Zealand citizenship came much later in the 1950's. Again my core point is that many ideas we take utterly for granted today, simply did not apply to the world our ancestors lived in.

        • pat 4.1.1.1

          Indeed….whether the reasons for the voting rights were as stated the fact remains that confirming eligibility was problematic.

        • DS 4.1.1.2

          If they had the ability to run a census, they had an ability to run an electoral roll. Passports have never played a role in the right to vote, and the notion of distinct citizenship is simply a reflection of "New Zealand" separating itself from the wider context of the British Empire. You claimed that property ownership criteria was a mere matter of pragmatism. That was simply not true.

          It was the matter of the "stake."

          Otherwise it would be easy enough for a land-owning rich prick to provide a list of his family and servants, whereupon the servants (or at least the male ones) could vote too. But they couldn't.

          This trend is actually more noticeable in Britain itself, rather than New Zealand:

          • Pre-1832: Only rich landowners could vote (included some women, bizarrely enough).
          • 1832: Well-to-do urban men can vote too.
          • 1867: Part of the working class can vote too.
          • 1884: More of the working class can vote. But women and 40% of men still excluded.
          • 1918: All men can vote, and women over 30.
          • 1928: Universal adult suffrage.

          The trend here is not pragmatism about paperwork. The trend is a transfer of power from the rich pricks to everyone else, with the prospect of French-style Revolution being a threat in 1832, with later Reform Acts being a bidding war between Gladstone and Disraeli, and then 1918 being about the First World War. Every New Zealander who died in the War could at least vote for his Government – but that wasn't true in Britain. After the War, the moral imperative of letting all men vote was overwhelming,

          • pat 4.1.1.2.1

            Passports??…you may wish to consider that the ability to prove identity was somewhat difficult back in the day, not to mention the prevalence of changing name/identity for various reasons…..in those circumstances how can validity of voting rights be confirmed?

            • DS 4.1.1.2.1.1

              The USA was managing it in the 1830s.

              • pat

                Im not sure that citing the USAs record on democratic process is wise….they have considerable difficulty even today , so much so they are described as a flawed democracy.

                https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/democracy-countries

                Historians have noted the prevalence and relative ease of identity change in early NZ and passports were not in existence here until 1915 and the need to hold one was not commonplace not to mention the difficulty in obtaining birth certificates etc.

          • RedLogix 4.1.1.2.2

            Your argument is blind to the impact of technology on culture. Over and again we see technical progress opening the door for social change to follow.

            Now this does not discount the important work of those who had to advocate and sometimes struggle for important social change – in this case universal suffrage – but it is useless to accuse our ancestors of moral failure without regard for the real world conditions they had to contend with.

            When I read the OP I see a remarkable story of just how quickly we adopted universal suffrage once the conditions to support it became widely available.

            • DS 4.1.1.2.2.1

              Technology was never the issue. The USA was adopting universal male suffrage (for whites) in the 1830s, ditching property qualifications under pressure from Andrew Jackson. Hell, the USA actually had voting systems set up during the Civil War, to allow Union soldiers to vote without returning home.

              The Chartists in Britain were demanding universal male suffrage in the 1830s and 1840s too.

              The technology to implement it in New Zealand (and Britain) was most certainly available. The argument at the time wasn't "we can't check eligibility," but rather "if we let the peasants vote, they'll destroy everything. And next they'll want to give the vote to women."

              • RedLogix

                New Zealand was considerably more remote and less developed than the USA or Britain during this period. It was literally at the far side of the planet, isolated and lacking even basic communications, travel or institutional infrastructure. In this light your own argument inadvertently proves my point.

                And next they'll want to give the vote to women."

                That NZ then famously became the first nation to do this seems utterly lost on you.

                • DS

                  We had efficient, functioning government (multiple ones, actually – this was the era of the provinces), and far less institutional inertia than Britain. There was a reason we were considered the Social Laboratory of the world – something that rather goes against your implication that we were somehow on the Moon so far as technology went.

                  The "next they'll give the vote to women" was famously used by opponents of the Chartists. In 1832, it was even used as a reductio ad absurdum. That was the argument used at the time, in all debates about the franchise. Not practicality.

                  (I also think you'll find that the US state of Wyoming adopted women's suffrage in 1869. Not a nation, of course, but a highly remote location in the context of the time. Again, all that mattered was political will. Not issues of practicality).

                  Your desperation to excuse the wealthy elephant in the room from any political fault is duly noted.

                  • RedLogix

                    If technology is so irrelevant – why did we not have woman's suffrage 10,000 years ago? Why did it all arrive pretty much all at once, in most places in the world, in the immediate period of the Industrial Revolution?

                    • DS

                      It didn't arrive all at once.

                      France didn't have women's suffrage until 1945. Switzerland until 1971.

                      Moreover, democracy itself is a weird fluke in human history. Our species naturally defers to Kings and Priests. The notion that the common people ought to have any say in government would be considered absurd for most of history. And that's not because everyone went "oh, sorry. We just don't have the infrastructure to support it." It's because certain influential people kept appealing to the dangers of mob rule, or to the sanctity of the divine mandate.

      • Ad 4.1.2

        The Treaty of Waitangi is fully focused on property rights, so of course it affects both our concept of what the state is for and our concept of franchise as well.

        Great that franchise was widened out, but property ownership and the role of the state in conferring title is more fundamental to New Zealand than voting.

  5. Mike the Lefty 5

    Interesting and illuminating post Seddonville miner.

    I want to add a few comments about MMP.

    The two main parties, Labour and National, have never really been comfortable with MMP. They were pushed into it in the 1990s because there was a backlash against both parties for pushing their lies and deceit on the people and entrenching lacklustre career politicians in safe seats under FPP. The calls for a referendum became too loud for the National government to ignore and it was forced, largely against its (and Labour's) wishes to hold it. I don't think either Labour or National actually expected MMP to win in the final referendum and it was a profound shock to them both.

    More for National than Labour. Labour shook its head dolefully but then eventually realized that there was potential in MMP to bring in different people than the old white suits to represent the growing migrant, especially asian and pasifika population. National were a lot slower to adapt and continued to select the same old white suit farmer boy professional girl candidates they always had, whilst pouring hatred at anyone different who entered parliament over the other side of the house (think Nandor Tanzos).

    So National's "one person one vote" is actually pointless and meaningless to anyone who thinks about it but as usual National is reaching out to the non-thinking voter, the voter who only takes notice of populist slogans and is incapable of thinking beyond the catchy word play. Unfortunately there are a LOT of such people around.

    Labour should challenge National to say whether this "one person one vote" is a disguised pledge to revert to FPP voting. It probably isn't but it would be a good counter. I don't see any public appetite to return to FPP. Although MMP is not perfect, it certainly gives us a parliament that is far more representative of our society than FFP ever did and I have yet to see any list MPs with paper bags over their heads.

    • DS 5.1

      After 1978 and 1981 – back to back elections where the party getting the most votes lost the election – Labour was at least open to investigating reform. So David Lange – much to the annoyance of his cabinet colleagues – declared there would be a Royal Commission. Which recommended MMP.

      Bolger, to his credit, and again to the annoyance of his colleagues, pushed through the promised referendum.

    • Seddonville Miner 5.2

      Thanks. That is really interesting. I would argue the National still haven't come to terms with what MMP is and how it works. Look at their petty whining in 2017 about being the winners on the night. They argued that because of that they should have the first opportunity to form a government. They don't realise that being ahead on election night is like trying to claim that you won the marathon because you were leading up until the final kilometre, The finish line is the first to get to 61 seats however that occurs.

      • Incognito 5.2.1

        FYI, because you changed your username, your comment was caught in the Spam-trap; if you’d used you pre-approved username then this wouldn’t have happened.

        HTH

      • Ad 5.2.2

        National invented and implemented NZ MMP. They get it.

        • I agree Ad. Key's "cup of tea" for Epsom was their manipulation of MMP.

          They truly "understand", and they are prepared to game the situation for advantage (pun intended).yes

          • Mike the Lefty 5.2.2.1.1

            Don't agree that National invented or implemented MMP, they resisted it strongly but did it hiding behind Peter Shirtcliffe's group. But certainly John Key was the cleverest in realizing how deals could be made with political partners, something that Labour won't do.

        • DS 5.2.2.2

          The Royal Commission of 1986 stole our system of MMP from West Germany. National's only role was Bolger promising a referendum, and then (along with Labour) voting for the Electoral Act 1993.

  6. tWiggle 6

    Since when have residents, as opposed to citizens, had full national voting rights?

  7. Thinker 7

    To me, the problems don't lie with the voting process but campaign processes that ensure that candidates who can afford to mount an election campaign have to owe allegiance to somebody or someone's ideology before they even ask for our vote.

    I include the Auckland mayoralty in that.

    We need a way of holding candidates to come clean about who they associate with and who their backers are. It won't be easy though. L

  8. Ad 8

    So Seddonville is running an argument that Luxon is wrong to critique the form of New Zealand democracy because our democracy is actually far weaker than that in every single election except 1975.

    "Everything you say is shit because everything else every other time was shittier" is not a useful argument either against National or in support of New Zealand democracy.

  9. Stuart Munro 9

    Democracy is old. Much older than the Greeks. It goes back to the consensus democracies of band cultures. Sometimes only men got to vote. Certainly no-one from outside the polity could. Nevertheless these early democracies were much more genuine than one riddled with lobbyists and neutered by non-performing neo-liberal economic hacks.

    One man one vote is an ideal worth working towards – and when, relegated to the opposition benches yet again, National is obliged to subsist on the bitter and nutritious diet of those words, they might learn something from them. The moreso given that TPM mean to impose a feudal upper house with apparent Labour connivance.

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    The absolute brass neck of this guy.We want more medical doctors, not more spin doctors, Luxon was saying a couple of weeks ago, and now we’re told the guy has seven salaried adults on TikTok duty. Sorry, doing social media. The absolute brass neck of it. The irony that the ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    19 hours ago
  • Jones finds $410,000 to help the government muscle in on a spat project
    Buzz from the Beehive Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones relishes spatting and eagerly takes issue with environmentalists who criticise his enthusiasm for resource development. He relishes helping the fishing industry too. And so today, while the media are making much of the latest culling in the public service to ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    20 hours ago
  • Again, hate crimes are not necessarily terrorism.
    Having written, taught and worked for the US government on issues involving unconventional warfare and terrorism for 30-odd years, two things irritate me the most when the subject is discussed in public. The first is the Johnny-come-lately academics-turned-media commentators who … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    23 hours ago
  • Despair – construction consenting edition
    Eric Crampton writes – Kainga Ora is the government’s house building agency. It’s been building a lot of social housing. Kainga Ora has its own (but independent) consenting authority, Consentium. It’s a neat idea. Rather than have to deal with building consents across each different territorial authority, Kainga Ora ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    23 hours ago
  • Coalition promises – will the Govt keep the commitment to keep Kiwis equal before the law?
    Muriel Newman writes – The Coalition Government says it is moving with speed to deliver campaign promises and reverse the damage done by Labour. One of their key commitments is to “defend the principle that New Zealanders are equal before the law.” To achieve this, they have pledged they “will not advance ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    23 hours ago
  • An impermanent public service is a guarantee of very little else but failure
    Chris Trotter writes –  The absence of anything resembling a fightback from the public servants currently losing their jobs is interesting. State-sector workers’ collective fatalism in the face of Coalition cutbacks indicates a surprisingly broad acceptance of impermanence in the workplace. Fifty years ago, lay-offs in the thousands ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    1 day ago
  • What happens after the war – Mariupol
    Mariupol, on the Azov Sea coast, was one of the first cities to suffer almost complete destruction after the start of the Ukraine War started in late February 2022. We remember the scenes of absolute destruction of the houses and city structures. The deaths of innocent civilians – many of ...
    1 day ago
  • Babies and benefits – no good news
    Lindsay Mitchell writes – Ten years ago, I wrote the following in a Listener column: Every year around one in five new-born babies will be reliant on their caregivers benefit by Christmas. This pattern has persisted from at least 1993. For Maori the number jumps to over one in three.  ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    1 day ago
  • Should the RBNZ be looking through climate inflation?
    Climate change is expected to generate more and more extreme events, delivering a sort of structural shock to inflation that central banks will have to react to as if they were short-term cyclical issues. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāMy pick of the six newsey things to know from Aotearoa’s ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 day ago
  • Bernard's pick 'n' mix of the news links
    The top six news links I’ve seen elsewhere in the last 24 hours, as of 9:16 am on Thursday, April 18 are:Housing: Tauranga residents living in boats, vans RNZ Checkpoint Louise TernouthHousing: Waikato councillor says wastewater plant issues could hold up Sleepyhead building a massive company town Waikato Times Stephen ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 day ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the public sector carnage, and misogyny as terrorism
    It’s a simple deal. We pay taxes in order to finance the social services we want and need. The carnage now occurring across the public sector though, is breaking that contract. Over 3,000 jobs have been lost so far. Many are in crucial areas like Education where the impact of ...
    1 day ago
  • Meeting the Master Baiters
    Hi,A friend had their 40th over the weekend and decided to theme it after Curb Your Enthusiasm fashion icon Susie Greene. Captured in my tiny kitchen before I left the house, I ending up evoking a mix of old lesbian and Hillary Clinton — both unintentional.Me vs Hillary ClintonIf you’re ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 day ago
  • How extreme was the Earth's temperature in 2023
    This is a re-post from Andrew Dessler at the Climate Brink blog In 2023, the Earth reached temperature levels unprecedented in modern times. Given that, it’s reasonable to ask: What’s going on? There’s been lots of discussions by scientists about whether this is just the normal progression of global warming or if something ...
    1 day ago
  • Backbone, revisited
    The schools are on holiday and the sun is shining in the seaside village and all day long I have been seeing bunches of bikes; Mums, Dads, teens and toddlers chattering, laughing, happy, having a bloody great time together. Cheers, AT, for the bits of lane you’ve added lately around the ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 days ago
  • Ministers are not above the law
    Today in our National-led authoritarian nightmare: Shane Jones thinks Ministers should be above the law: New Zealand First MP Shane Jones is accusing the Waitangi Tribunal of over-stepping its mandate by subpoenaing a minister for its urgent hearing on the Oranga Tamariki claim. The tribunal is looking into the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • What’s the outfit you can hear going down the gurgler? Probably it’s David Parker’s Oceans Sec...
    Buzz from the Beehive Point  of Order first heard of the Oceans Secretariat in June 2021, when David Parker (remember him?) announced a multi-agency approach to protecting New Zealand’s marine ecosystems and fisheries. Parker (holding the Environment, and Oceans and Fisheries portfolios) broke the news at the annual Forest & ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    2 days ago
  • Will politicians let democracy die in the darkness?
    Bryce Edwards writes  – Politicians across the political spectrum are implicated in the New Zealand media’s failing health. Either through neglect or incompetent interventions, successive governments have failed to regulate, foster, and allow a healthy Fourth Estate that can adequately hold politicians and the powerful to account. ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    2 days ago
  • Matt Doocey doubles down on trans “healthcare”
    Citizen Science writes –  Last week saw two significant developments in the debate over the treatment of trans-identifying children and young people – the release in Britain of the final report of Dr Hilary Cass’s review into gender healthcare, and here in New Zealand, the news that the ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    2 days ago
  • A TikTok Prime Minister.
    One night while sleeping in my bed I had a beautiful dreamThat all the people of the world got together on the same wavelengthAnd began helping one anotherNow in this dream, universal love was the theme of the dayPeace and understanding and it happened this wayAfter such an eventful day ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • Texas Lessons
    This is a guest post by Oscar Simms who is a housing activist, volunteer for the Coalition for More Homes, and was the Labour Party candidate for Auckland Central at the last election. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    2 days ago
  • Bernard's pick 'n' mix of the news links at 6:06 am
    The top six news links I’ve seen elsewhere in the last 24 hours as of 6:06 am on Wednesday, April 17 are:Must read: Secrecy shrouds which projects might be fast-tracked RNZ Farah HancockScoop: Revealed: Luxon has seven staffers working on social media content - partly paid for by taxpayer Newshub ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Fighting poverty on the holiday highway
    Turning what Labour called the “holiday highway” into a four-lane expressway from Auckland to Whangarei could bring at least an economic benefit of nearly two billion a year for Northland each year. And it could help bring an end to poverty in one of New Zealand’s most deprived regions. The ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 days ago
  • Bernard's six-stack of substacks at 6:26 pm
    Tonight’s six-stack includes: launching his substack with a bunch of his previous documentaries, including this 1992 interview with Dame Whina Cooper. and here crew give climate activists plenty to do, including this call to submit against the Fast Track Approvals bill. writes brilliantly here on his substack ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • At a glance – Is the science settled?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    3 days ago
  • Apposite Quotations.
    How Long Is Long Enough? Gaza under Israeli bombardment, July 2014. This posting is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    3 days ago
  • What’s a life worth now?
    You're in the mall when you hear it: some kind of popping sound in the distance, kids with fireworks, maybe. But then a moment of eerie stillness is followed by more of the fireworks sound and there’s also screaming and shrieking and now here come people running for their lives.Does ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    3 days ago
  • Howling at the Moon
    Karl du Fresne writes –  There’s a crisis in the news media and the media are blaming it on everyone except themselves. Culpability is being deflected elsewhere – mainly to the hapless Minister of Communications, Melissa Lee, and the big social media platforms that are accused of hoovering ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    3 days ago
  • Newshub is Dead.
    I don’t normally send out two newsletters in a day but I figured I’d say something about… the news. If two newsletters is a bit much then maybe just skip one, I don’t want to overload people. Alternatively if you’d be interested in sometimes receiving multiple, smaller updates from me, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • Seymour is chuffed about cutting early-learning red tape – but we hear, too, that Jones has loose...
    Buzz from the Beehive David Seymour and Winston Peters today signalled that at least two ministers of the Crown might be in Wellington today. Seymour (as Associate Minister of Education) announced the removal of more red tape, this time to make it easier for new early learning services to be ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    3 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Will politicians let democracy die in the darkness?
    Politicians across the political spectrum are implicated in the New Zealand media’s failing health. Either through neglect or incompetent interventions, successive governments have failed to regulate, foster, and allow a healthy Fourth Estate that can adequately hold politicians and the powerful to account. Our political system is suffering from the ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    3 days ago
  • Was Hawkesby entirely wrong?
    David Farrar  writes –  The Broadcasting Standards Authority ruled: Comments by radio host Kate Hawkesby suggesting Māori and Pacific patients were being prioritised for surgery due to their ethnicity were misleading and discriminatory, the Broadcasting Standards Authority has found. It is a fact such patients are prioritised. ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    3 days ago
  • PRC shadow looms as the Solomons head for election
    PRC and its proxies in Solomons have been preparing for these elections for a long time. A lot of money, effort and intelligence have gone into ensuring an outcome that won’t compromise Beijing’s plans. Cleo Paskall writes – On April 17th the Solomon Islands, a country of ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Criminal ecocide
    We are in the middle of a climate crisis. Last year was (again) the hottest year on record. NOAA has just announced another global coral bleaching event. Floods are threatening UK food security. So naturally, Shane Jones wants to make it easier to mine coal: Resources Minister Shane Jones ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Is saving one minute of a politician's time worth nearly $1 billion?
    Is speeding up the trip to and from Wellington airport by 12 minutes worth spending up more than $10 billion? Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The six news items that stood out to me in the last day to 8:26 am today are:The Lead: Transport Minister Simeon Brown announced ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Long Tunnel or Long Con?
    Yesterday it was revealed that Transport Minister had asked Waka Kotahi to look at the options for a long tunnel through Wellington. State Highway 1 (SH1) through Wellington City is heavily congested at peak times and while planning continues on the duplicate Mt Victoria Tunnel and Basin Reserve project, the ...
    3 days ago
  • Smoke And Mirrors.
    You're a fraud, and you know itBut it's too good to throw it all awayAnyone would do the sameYou've got 'em goingAnd you're careful not to show itSometimes you even fool yourself a bitIt's like magicBut it's always been a smoke and mirrors gameAnyone would do the sameForty six billion ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • What is Mexico doing about climate change?
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections The June general election in Mexico could mark a turning point in ensuring that the country’s climate policies better reflect the desire of its citizens to address the climate crisis, with both leading presidential candidates expressing support for renewable energy. Mexico is the ...
    3 days ago
  • State of humanity, 2024
    2024, it feels, keeps presenting us with ever more challenges, ever more dismay.Do you give up yet? It seems to ask.No? How about this? Or this?How about this?When I say 2024 I really mean the state of humanity in 2024.Saturday night, we watched Civil War because that is one terrifying cliff we've ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Govt’s Wellington tunnel vision aims to ease the way to the airport (but zealous promoters of cycl...
    Buzz from the Beehive A pet project and governmental tunnel vision jump out from the latest batch of ministerial announcements. The government is keen to assure us of its concern for the wellbeing of our pets. It will be introducing pet bonds in a change to the Residential Tenancies Act ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • The case for cultural connectedness
    A recent report generated from a Growing Up in New Zealand (GUiNZ) survey of 1,224 rangatahi Māori aged 11-12 found: Cultural connectedness was associated with fewer depression symptoms, anxiety symptoms and better quality of life. That sounds cut and dry. But further into the report the following appears: Cultural connectedness is ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Useful context on public sector job cuts
    David Farrar writes –    The Herald reports: From the gory details of job-cuts news, you’d think the public service was being eviscerated.   While the media’s view of the cuts is incomplete, it’s also true that departments have been leaking the particulars faster than a Wellington ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell On When Racism Comes Disguised As Anti-racism
    Remember the good old days, back when New Zealand had a PM who could think and speak calmly and intelligently in whole sentences without blustering? Even while Iran’s drones and missiles were still being launched, Helen Clark was live on TVNZ expertly summing up the latest crisis in the Middle ...
    4 days ago
  • Govt ignored economic analysis of smokefree reversal
    Costello did not pass on analysis of the benefits of the smokefree reforms to Cabinet, emphasising instead the extra tax revenues of repealing them. Photo: Hagen Hopkins, Getty Images TL;DR: The six news items that stood out to me at 7:26 am today are:The Lead: Casey Costello never passed on ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • True Blue.
    True loveYou're the one I'm dreaming ofYour heart fits me like a gloveAnd I'm gonna be true blueBaby, I love youI’ve written about the job cuts in our news media last week. The impact on individuals, and the loss to Aotearoa of voices covering our news from different angles.That by ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Who is running New Zealand’s foreign policy?
    While commentators, including former Prime Minister Helen Clark, are noting a subtle shift in New Zealand’s foreign policy, which now places more emphasis on the United States, many have missed a key element of the shift. What National said before the election is not what the government is doing now. ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #15
    A listing of 31 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, April 7, 2024 thru Sat, April 13, 2024. Story of the week Our story of the week is about adults in the room setting terms and conditions of ...
    5 days ago
  • Feline Friends and Fragile Fauna The Complexities of Cats in New Zealand’s Conservation Efforts

    Cats, with their independent spirit and beguiling purrs, have captured the hearts of humans for millennia. In New Zealand, felines are no exception, boasting the highest national cat ownership rate globally [definition cat nz cat foundation]. An estimated 1.134 million pet cats grace Kiwi households, compared to 683,000 dogs ...

    5 days ago
  • Or is that just they want us to think?
    Nice guy, that Peter Williams. Amiable, a calm air of no-nonsense capability, a winning smile. Everything you look for in a TV presenter and newsreader.I used to see him sometimes when I went to TVNZ to be a talking head or a panellist and we would yarn. Nice guy, that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Fact Brief – Did global warming stop in 1998?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by Sue Bin Park in collaboration with members from our Skeptical Science team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Did global warming stop in ...
    6 days ago
  • Arguing over a moot point.
    I have been following recent debates in the corporate and social media about whether it is a good idea for NZ to join what is known as “AUKUS Pillar Two.” AUKUS is the Australian-UK-US nuclear submarine building agreement in which … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • No Longer Trusted: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
    Turning Point: What has turned me away from the mainstream news media is the very strong message that its been sending out for the last few years.” “And what message might that be?” “That the people who own it, the people who run it, and the people who provide its content, really don’t ...
    6 days ago
  • Mortgage rates at 10% anyone?
    No – nothing about that in PM Luxon’s nine-point plan to improve the lives of New Zealanders. But beyond our shores Jamie Dimon, the long-serving head of global bank J.P. Morgan Chase, reckons that the chances of a goldilocks soft landing for the economy are “a lot lower” than the ...
    Point of OrderBy xtrdnry
    6 days ago
  • Sad tales from the left
    Michael Bassett writes –  Have you noticed the odd way in which the media are handling the government’s crackdown on surplus employees in the Public Service? Very few reporters mention the crazy way in which State Service numbers rocketed ahead by more than 16,000 during Labour’s six years, ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago

  • Minister to Europe for OECD meeting, Anzac Day
    Science, Innovation and Technology and Defence Minister Judith Collins will next week attend the OECD Science and Technology Ministerial conference in Paris and Anzac Day commemorations in Belgium. “Science, innovation and technology have a major role to play in rebuilding our economy and achieving better health, environmental and social outcomes ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Comprehensive Partnership the goal for NZ and the Philippines
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon held a bilateral meeting today with the President of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos Jr.  The Prime Minister was accompanied by MP Paulo Garcia, the first Filipino to be elected to a legislature outside the Philippines. During today’s meeting, Prime Minister Luxon and President Marcos Jr discussed opportunities to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Government commits $20m to Westport flood protection
    The Government has announced that $20 million in funding will be made available to Westport to fund much needed flood protection around the town. This measure will significantly improve the resilience of the community, says Local Government Minister Simeon Brown. “The Westport community has already been allocated almost $3 million ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Taupō takes pole position
    The Government is proud to support the first ever Repco Supercars Championship event in Taupō as up to 70,000 motorsport fans attend the Taupō International Motorsport Park this weekend, says Economic Development Minister Melissa Lee. “Anticipation for the ITM Taupō Super400 is huge, with tickets and accommodation selling out weeks ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Cost of living support for low-income homeowners
    Local Government Minister Simeon Brown has announced an increase to the Rates Rebate Scheme, putting money back into the pockets of low-income homeowners.  “The coalition Government is committed to bringing down the cost of living for New Zealanders. That includes targeted support for those Kiwis who are doing things tough, such ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Government backing mussel spat project
    The Coalition Government is investing in a project to boost survival rates of New Zealand mussels and grow the industry, Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones has announced. “This project seeks to increase the resilience of our mussels and significantly boost the sector’s productivity,” Mr Jones says. “The project - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Government focused on getting people into work
    Benefit figures released today underscore the importance of the Government’s plan to rebuild the economy and have 50,000 fewer people on Jobseeker Support, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “Benefit numbers are still significantly higher than when National was last in government, when there was about 70,000 fewer ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Clean energy key driver to reducing emissions
    The Government’s commitment to doubling New Zealand’s renewable energy capacity is backed by new data showing that clean energy has helped the country reach its lowest annual gross emissions since 1999, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. New Zealand’s latest Greenhouse Gas Inventory (1990-2022) published today, shows gross emissions fell ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Earthquake-prone buildings review brought forward
    The Government is bringing the earthquake-prone building review forward, with work to start immediately, and extending the deadline for remediations by four years, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says. “Our Government is focused on rebuilding the economy. A key part of our plan is to cut red tape that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Thailand and NZ to agree to Strategic Partnership
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and his Thai counterpart, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, have today agreed that New Zealand and the Kingdom of Thailand will upgrade the bilateral relationship to a Strategic Partnership by 2026. “New Zealand and Thailand have a lot to offer each other. We have a strong mutual desire to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government consults on extending coastal permits for ports
    RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop and Transport Minister Simeon Brown have today announced the Coalition Government’s intention to extend port coastal permits for a further 20 years, providing port operators with certainty to continue their operations. “The introduction of the Resource Management Act in 1991 required ports to obtain coastal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Inflation coming down, but more work to do
    Today’s announcement that inflation is down to 4 per cent is encouraging news for Kiwis, but there is more work to be done - underlining the importance of the Government’s plan to get the economy back on track, acting Finance Minister Chris Bishop says. “Inflation is now at 4 per ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • School attendance restored as a priority in health advice
    Refreshed health guidance released today will help parents and schools make informed decisions about whether their child needs to be in school, addressing one of the key issues affecting school attendance, says Associate Education Minister David Seymour. In recent years, consistently across all school terms, short-term illness or medical reasons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Unnecessary bureaucracy cut in oceans sector
    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is streamlining high-level oceans management while maintaining a focus on supporting the sector’s role in the export-led recovery of the economy. “I am working to realise the untapped potential of our fishing and aquaculture sector. To achieve that we need to be smarter with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Patterson promoting NZ’s wool sector at International Congress
    Associate Agriculture Minister Mark Patterson is speaking at the International Wool Textile Organisation Congress in Adelaide, promoting New Zealand wool, and outlining the coalition Government’s support for the revitalisation the sector.    "New Zealand’s wool exports reached $400 million in the year to 30 June 2023, and the coalition Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Removing red tape to help early learners thrive
    The Government is making legislative changes to make it easier for new early learning services to be established, and for existing services to operate, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. The changes involve repealing the network approval provisions that apply when someone wants to establish a new early learning service, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • RMA changes to cut coal mining consent red tape
    Changes to the Resource Management Act will align consenting for coal mining to other forms of mining to reduce barriers that are holding back economic development, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “The inconsistent treatment of coal mining compared with other extractive activities is burdensome red tape that fails to acknowledge ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • McClay reaffirms strong NZ-China trade relationship
    Trade, Agriculture and Forestry Minister Todd McClay has concluded productive discussions with ministerial counterparts in Beijing today, in support of the New Zealand-China trade and economic relationship. “My meeting with Commerce Minister Wang Wentao reaffirmed the complementary nature of the bilateral trade relationship, with our Free Trade Agreement at its ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon acknowledges legacy of Singapore Prime Minister Lee
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today paid tribute to Singapore’s outgoing Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.   Meeting in Singapore today immediately before Prime Minister Lee announced he was stepping down, Prime Minister Luxon warmly acknowledged his counterpart’s almost twenty years as leader, and the enduring legacy he has left for Singapore and South East ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • PMs Luxon and Lee deepen Singapore-NZ ties
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon held a bilateral meeting today with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. While in Singapore as part of his visit to South East Asia this week, Prime Minister Luxon also met with Singapore President Tharman Shanmugaratnam and will meet with Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong.  During today’s meeting, Prime Minister Luxon ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Antarctica New Zealand Board appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has made further appointments to the Board of Antarctica New Zealand as part of a continued effort to ensure the Scott Base Redevelopment project is delivered in a cost-effective and efficient manner.  The Minister has appointed Neville Harris as a new member of the Board. Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Finance Minister travels to Washington DC
    Finance Minister Nicola Willis will travel to the United States on Tuesday to attend a meeting of the Five Finance Ministers group, with counterparts from Australia, the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.  “I am looking forward to meeting with our Five Finance partners on how we can work ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Pet bonds a win/win for renters and landlords
    The coalition Government has today announced purrfect and pawsitive changes to the Residential Tenancies Act to give tenants with pets greater choice when looking for a rental property, says Housing Minister Chris Bishop. “Pets are important members of many Kiwi families. It’s estimated that around 64 per cent of New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Long Tunnel for SH1 Wellington being considered
    State Highway 1 (SH1) through Wellington City is heavily congested at peak times and while planning continues on the duplicate Mt Victoria Tunnel and Basin Reserve project, the Government has also asked NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) to consider and provide advice on a Long Tunnel option, Transport Minister Simeon Brown ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand condemns Iranian strikes
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Foreign Minister Winston Peters have condemned Iran’s shocking and illegal strikes against Israel.    “These attacks are a major challenge to peace and stability in a region already under enormous pressure," Mr Luxon says.    "We are deeply concerned that miscalculation on any side could ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Huge interest in Government’s infrastructure plans
    Hundreds of people in little over a week have turned out in Northland to hear Regional Development Minister Shane Jones speak about plans for boosting the regional economy through infrastructure. About 200 people from the infrastructure and associated sectors attended an event headlined by Mr Jones in Whangarei today. Last ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Health Minister thanks outgoing Health New Zealand Chair
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti has today thanked outgoing Health New Zealand – Te Whatu Ora Chair Dame Karen Poutasi for her service on the Board.   “Dame Karen tendered her resignation as Chair and as a member of the Board today,” says Dr Reti.  “I have asked her to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Roads of National Significance planning underway
    The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has signalled their proposed delivery approach for the Government’s 15 Roads of National Significance (RoNS), with the release of the State Highway Investment Proposal (SHIP) today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Boosting economic growth and productivity is a key part of the Government’s plan to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Navigating an unstable global environment
    New Zealand is renewing its connections with a world facing urgent challenges by pursuing an active, energetic foreign policy, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Our country faces the most unstable global environment in decades,” Mr Peters says at the conclusion of two weeks of engagements in Egypt, Europe and the United States.    “We cannot afford to sit back in splendid ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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