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OIA docs confirm English wrote propaganda ad script

Written By: - Date published: 3:22 pm, November 6th, 2009 - 38 comments
Categories: national/act government, spin - Tags: ,

Documents that the government was forced to release under the Official Information Act reveal that Bill English exercised extensive control and sign-off over each stage of his million dollar political propaganda ad, funded by publicly-owned broadcaster TVNZ.

The documents (which, unfortunately, the media organisations have not seen fit to release to the public in full) show that far from just editing the script to correct some economicic misunderstandings as he had claimed, English re-wrote it to include more of his party’s political rhetoric.

TVNZ Script: In these recessionary times
Bill English rewrite: As we emerge from the recession

TVNZ Script: “We can beat those Aussies. Time to back ourselves – kick for the corner then muscle over the line.”
Bill English rewrite: “You know, we can beat those Aussies. It’s time to back ourselves. With a bit of old fashioned Kiwi can-do, we’ll get there.”

TVNZ Script: “It’s time to give the snip snap to the zip zap plastic fantastic” (make finger scissors gesture)
Bill English Rewrite: “Lets get investing and back our exporters. That’s where the jobs will come and that’s how we can boost our incomes.”

TVNZ Script: “Keep a few bob in the bank and Bob will be your uncle. We’ll get there. Bottom line: it’s your economy too.”
Bill English rewrite: We’re nearly through the tough times and things are looking up. We have plenty of work to do. But I’m confident New Zealanders are up for it and together we’ll do it.” (Changed by TVNZ for final cut to “We’re nearly through the tough times and things are looking up. Together us Kiwis can do it.”)

English was given final sign-off on the script and on the final edit of the ad.

This whole thing stunk before, now it stinks even more of corruption. There needs to be an independent investigation. I would think the State Services Commission is the logical body. Shareholding ministers are not permitted to exercise this degree of control over the actions of Crown-owned companies. English knew that, TVNZ CEO Rick Ellis knew that, the presenter, Guyon Espiner, knew that. Everyone involved in the process knew that it is not permissible for a company to pay for a party political broadcast and it is not within the minister’s powers to direct operational matters. The public must be told how and why it was allowed to happen. Heads must roll.

On a wider note, this is another example of the rampant corruption and disregard for the rule of law that we will have to put up with from this Key Government for another two years. Key has neither the will nor the strength to pull ministers into line, especially not English.

That means that English will see fit to continue behaving as he damn well pleases. Whether its ripping us off for tens of thousands of dollars by abusing the ministerial housing allowance, abusing his ministerial powers to give himself a million dollars of taxpayer-funded ads, or whatever other rort he can come up with, English is not going to change his ways. And Key can’t make him.

38 comments on “OIA docs confirm English wrote propaganda ad script”

  1. Lew 1

    Cheers Marty, have been meaning to write something like this as a followup to my post on it last week. Go-go gadget media outcry.

    L

  2. Zaphod Beeblebrox 2

    24% youth unemployment and English added the quote “we’re nearly through it”.

  3. first Maori TV, now TVNZ.
    whatever happened to the idea of hands-off government, or government non-interference in media for that matter?
    i’ve never known such a meddling control-freak government as this one. well, at least not since Muldoon.

  4. vidiot 4

    Sorry – where’s the ‘party’s political rhetoric’ that you are banging on about ?

    #1 TVNZ original script is very negative. The re-write is more factual as the indicators are improving.

    #2 Much plainer English – excuse the pun. Less of a Rugby analogy and more of a take it all head on.

    #3 That original line makes me cringe “snip snap to the zip zap” – it’s media wonk.

    #4 Original TVNZ script far too colloquial, combined with the snip snap comment it would appear the original show was pinched at 12 year old, not a serious show about economics.

    Take the glasses off Marty, make a couple of them charts that you are famous for – and have a good weekend.

    • maybe the point is:

      a) WTF is up with TVNZ’s marketing dept directing the Minister of Finance on what to say?

      b) WTF is up with the Minister of Finance, who is a shareholding minister in TVNZ, directing TVNZ on what he will be said in their ad?

      which leads to

      c) WTF is up with the Minister of Finance ever appearing in an ad for an SOE in the first place, especially when both play an important role in the pantomine of indepence from one another?

      AND

      d) in what way is TVNZ’s credibility enhanced by this tawdry affair?

      very poor political judgement from both parties for precisely no gain but quite a few unecessary headaches.

  5. Pat 5

    “…rampant corruption…”

    An imaginery term, not to be confused with actual corruption.

  6. tsmithfield 6

    I would say the bigger question is why TVNZ is employing such lousy script writers in the first place. I think the alterations to the script flow much better and provide a better connection to the audience.

    • Pascal's bookie 6.1

      The National Party probably has more experience with this sort of ad t.

      And yeah, it does provide a better conection between the MInister of Finance and the viewer, what with the change to all the ‘we’ language, and the ‘ You know’ business.

      Not quite just fixing factual errors like this joker was reckoning:

      Hon GERRY BROWNLEE: Of course his office has not been involved in matters relating to the production of the programme, nor has his office been involved in promoting the programme. But his office most certainly has been concerned to ensure the accuracy of the script. Of course, I am sure that one or two of his advisers advised him on how he should appear on the programme. None of that would be unusual.

      (Hit tip i/s)

      • the sprout 6.1.1

        exactly Pb, government excercised full-on editorial control over TVNZ’s content, just like Muldoon.

        any journos out there, ask your forebears what is what like trying to report under Muldoon – you’ve got some great experiences to look forward to

    • Lanthanide 6.2

      Yes, that original script is so shockingly poor, I would be embarrassed for Bill if he’d gone with it. He would have come off looking like an imbecile.

      So, why was the original script so poor? Was someone at TVNZ trying to purposefully spike this ad campaign and wanted to embarrass Bill, or was this more calculated than that – provide something that is obviously drivvel in the knowledge that Bill would have to re-write it, thus fanning the flames of the controversy that was sure to arise from the ad being aired…

  7. tc 7

    Not only does the gov’t want to influence TVNZ, it wants to be seen doing it……all hail our mighty cabinet ministers and take note all you out there who dare challenge us.
    TVNZ is so pathetically managed it’s even helping to create evidence as to why it should be privatised which IMHO is the only way kiwis can get some value out of it.
    At least their slogans correct ” our nation , our voice” ‘our’ being the shareholding ministers party it appears.
    Put this issue in with their inability to even commission a decent drama, various failed (remember NZOOM) and likely to fail digital ventures (TiVo) and a CEO on nearly $1m p.a. with his bonuses and it’s about as well run now as telecom under gattung/deane which had to be legislated into competition.

  8. TVNZ: It’s time to give the snip snap to the zip zap plastic fantastic
    Bill English Rewrite: “Lets get investing and back our exporters. That’s where the jobs will come and that’s how we can boost our incomes

    To my mind this simply proves that TVNZ hires really bad writers and that English’s team were diligent in preventing their boss from looking like an idiot.

    • burt 8.1

      Danyl

      That’s a valid position.

      If I were required to speak as someone knowledgeable on [xyz] then I would also want a high degree of input into what I was saying. It’s a bit like ‘you agreed not to ask that question’ situations in interviews. What is more wrong, the fact there was a prior agreement or the fact the confidence was broken?

  9. RedLogix 9

    This Minister is a trainwreck. Consider:

    1. The ‘secret taper’ debacle, where he is forced to deny in public what he thought he was saying in private.

    2. The deliberate re-arranging of his family trust affairs to maximise his housing allowance, while at the same time he’s preaching restraint to the rest of us. Knowing this rort was so dodgy he gets a high powered lawyer mate to cover his arse … even though in the end it’s stinks so much he’s forced to pay some of it back despite his protestations that he ‘stuck within the rules’.

    3. Cancelling the very tax cuts he assured everyone prior to the election were essential to a rapid increase in economic growth, proving that he never believed his own words.

    4. Grinning goofily and coming over all ‘gee shucks we got lucky’ over TVNZ’s blatant free political advertising… when in fact he had direct involvement in the advert and was directly using his position as shareholding Minister for his own personal and political benefit.

    Four examples of outright lies and hypocrisy. If Key was a capable PM, English would be well gone by now… but this is not going to happen because English is, weirdly enough, irreplaceable for the time being.

    So far most of the media has given this govt pretty much a free pass, but at some point the sheer political mismanagement and incompetence will be impossible to cover up.

  10. burt 10

    This is further evidence why we should have a state broadcaster that is exactly that;

    TV-[insert govt de-jour name here]. Which is funded at a set level and is transparent in the fact that it is a mouthpiece of the govt de-jour. Operating with no commercial basis whatsoever.

    I’m sure this debate about public broadcasting has been had before and left leaning supporters might want to think carefully before engaging the big weapons on the ‘no state influence’ of the public TV channel(s).

  11. tc 11

    Agree with you Burt and I’d sell TVNZ and use those funds to create one……TVNZ will never be a state broadcaster, it’s spent years battling it’s charter and it’s full of the wrong type who are not creative program makers, they all left it before the 90’s ended.
    TV2 should have been separated from TV1 back when it was going from NZBC to SOE….one goes commercial the other state, opportunity lost.
    Look across the ditch and marvel and the excellent high volume/calibre output from the ABC……it can only come from genesis through to maturity not altering what’s there.
    IMHO it’s an academic debate……TVNZ is blatantly commercial and biased, time to throw it to the wolverines it courts as its culture is not compatible with independant activity.
    TV3 can’t believe its luck at what it has to compete with……not much at all really.
    The news current affairs highground in NZ remains barren……which makes it cheap which means more dividends.

  12. trademark 12

    “It’s time to give the snip snap to the zip zap plastic fantastic’ (make finger scissors gesture) […]

    Keep a few bob in the bank and Bob will be your uncle.

    Wow, who came up with these jewels? They’re turd rate.

  13. mike 13

    yawn.. this just shows how professional the Nats advisors are compared to the state broadcasters script writers

  14. bobo 14

    Can you imagine the outcry if Cullen or Clark had done this, English really is as dumb as he looks doing something so blatant as this.

  15. tsmithfield 15

    Reading the comments above, it does not seem that few disagree with the observation that the TVNZ script was terrible. Therefore, there does not seem to be any problem with improving the script from a communication standpoint.

    The issue is did English change the message to promote the National party? Reading the script above, I can’t see one single word that attempts to do this. If anything, the message is one of positive encouragement with the aim of helping get the economy back on track.Therefore, I don’t see any problem at all with the changes to the script.

    Let me ask, if readers were not aware that English had authorised the changes, is there any aspect of the alterations that would give any cause for concern with respect to promoting the National Party?

    • felix 15.1

      I think that’s a fair question. The script was obviously awful.

      But English authorising changes is not trivial – he’s the shareholding minister and he can’t be involved in this way. From this and his housing scam it really seems the guy has no idea what the words “conflict of interest” mean.

      And John Key is so relaxed he probably isn’t even aware of it.

      It also doesn’t let him off the hook for all the lying to parliament about it. Was Gerry answering on behalf of English or Key?

    • Pascal's bookie 15.2

      Lew addresses the lack of explicit ‘vote National’ stuff here:

      http://www.kiwipolitico.com/2009/10/dreams-and-realities/

      I think what makes it political for me, is comparing it to what one of these ads might normally look like. Normally we night have a journo doing a voice over or on screen talking. The politicians might have the camera pointed at them, but the ‘feel’, if you like, would be of the viewer and the journo looking at the politician doing his business, and judging him. The viewer would be ‘connected’ to the observing journo. The politician might be quoted saying “we need to cut spending” or what have you, but we are simply observing him do this.

      The way it is, we are ‘connected’ to the politician. And as you said, the new text makes that connection work better. There is not that ‘observing’ distance, we are not mediated by a journo. Bill English, the Minister of Finance and deputy Prime Minister is there in our lounge talking to us about what ‘we’ need to do, as if his political views are simply a matter of fact. That’s sure as shit political, and if the new text helps make it wrk better, and communicates that idea better then, gabba gabba hey, QED, and Bob’s your uncle.

    • Lew 15.3

      Reading the comments above, it does not seem that few disagree with the observation that the TVNZ script was terrible. Therefore, there does not seem to be any problem with improving the script from a communication standpoint.

      I have major problems with politicians ‘improving’ scripts on public TV, no matter how crap they might be. The quality of scripts is an operational matter for TVNZ — if they’re crap, then that’s TVNZ’s problem and is no matter for government to concern itself with.

      Whether they’re crap is arguable, because we’re comparing two different forms; a political ad and an ad for a TV program. There’s plenty of ways those words could have been used in a perfectly interesting and compelling ad for a TV program; the fault is not with the words themselves, but with the fact that they are incongruent with the form of the final ad. For a bit o’ political propaganda such as we ended up with, they are crap, but what the changes indicate is that that’s not really what TVNZ intended to make.

      L

      • RascallyRabbit 15.3.1

        I have major problems with politicians ‘improving’ scripts on public TV, no matter how crap they might be. The quality of scripts is an operational matter for TVNZ — if they’re crap, then that’s TVNZ’s problem and is no matter for government to concern itself with.

        Now now Lew you are just being too beltway centric – for the average political punter seeing Bill English on an advertisment for a TV show/debate/pseudo documentary whatever is going to strongly asscoiate him with his portfolio and his party whether that is the intention of the advertisement or not. How often outside of the electoral cycle and outside of the evening news does one even see this sort of coverage given to a political party or its individual members on TV? Whilst I agree that the situation is less than ideal and the format of the advertisement was irresponsible I believe that Bill English would have been seriously unwise to have taken whatever TVNZ said he should read and simply read it. Just as it would be irresponsible for say a CEO of a major company to read whatever the ad gurus said he should without checking it if he/she was fronting an ad for a company.

        I agree with you and I believe that the problem here is that this format of ad was chosen by TVNZ in the first place – with my conspiracy theory tin foil hat on I believe there is an equal chance of the following scenarios – A) the charge can be levelled at TVNZ that they were told to format that ad in such a way by the shareholding minister or B) that they knew formating this ad in this way would create a ruckus thus increasing the exposure of the month of programming and thus deliberately and consciously chose to do it this way without any input from the Minister C) that the format was always to be this way but a non-National TVNZ insider was livid with it and thus wrote the ad so poorly in the knowledge that it would have to be change and that the ruckus follwing the revelations could potentially damage the government.D) that they didn’t think twice about it and simply got Bill English to puppet their lines and yet he wasn’t too enthralled by them hence the re-write

        However I am a firm believer in Occam’s razor and as I hold managers of all stripes in NZ in very low esteem I believe that there was no malice intended its just that the drones at TVNZ could not forsee a problem as they are simply to daft and hence a fuckup was inevitable….

  16. poor attempt at distraction tsmithfield.

    forget cute issues like the quality of TVNZ ad writers. here’s why it’s a serious problem in case you missed them above:

    OIA docs confirm English wrote propaganda ad script

    OIA docs confirm English wrote propaganda ad script

  17. TightyRighty 17

    hardly corrupt practices. Though i suppose if you keep throwing the word at national enough…… Maybe then everyone will be dumb enough to forget the rampant, factual, corruption that was a hallmark of the last government.

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  • A bulletin from Greece
    Redline received this article from the KOE a Marxist party in Greece Our friends in the KOE describe here the mounting crisis in Greece and tensions on the Turkish border. As desperate people flee from their homelands which have been ruined after decades of imperialist wars and interventions the people ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • And God spake all these words, saying
    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    7 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    7 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    7 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    7 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    1 week ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    1 week ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    1 week ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    1 week ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    1 week ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago

  • Decisions made on urgent turf maintenance
    The Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson has announced that urgent maintenance of turf and care for plants in non-plantation nurseries will soon be able to go ahead under Level 4 restrictions. “The Government has agreed that urgent upkeep and maintenance of biological assets will be able to go ahead ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Acknowledging an extraordinary te reo champion
    E tangi ana a Taranaki iwi, e tangi ana te ao Māori, otirā e tangi ana te motu. Mōu katoa ngā roimata e riringi whānui ana, mōu katoa ngā mihi.   E te kaikōkiri i te reo Māori, e Te Huirangi, takoto mai. Takoto mai me te mōhio ko ngā ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Prime Minister’s remarks halfway through Alert Level 4 lockdown
    Today is day 15 of Alert Level 4 lockdown. And at the halfway mark I have no hesitation in saying, that what New Zealanders have done over the last two weeks is huge. In the face of the greatest threat to human health we have seen in over a century, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Licenses, WoFs and regos extended under lockdown
    All driver licences, WoFs, CoFs, and some vehicle certifications, that expired on or after 1 January 2020 will be valid for up to six months from 10 April 2020, Transport Minister Phil Twyford has announced. “People shouldn’t have to worry about getting fined for having an expired document if driving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Inquiry report into EQC released
    The Government has today released the report from the Public Inquiry into the Earthquake Commission chaired by Dame Silvia Cartwright.  Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission Grant Robertson says the Government wants to learn from people’s experiences following the Canterbury earthquakes and other recent natural disasters. “Dame Silvia’s report documents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • More time for health workers and elderly to get flu vaccine
    The Government has extended by two weeks till April 27 the amount of time priority groups, such as health workers and those aged over 65, have to get their flu vaccine before it is made available to the wider public. This year’s vaccination campaign is a key component of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
    Communities stepping up to help New Zealanders stay at home to break the transmission of COVID-19 and save lives have received Government support, said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “Delivering groceries for the elderly who can’t shop online, providing data packs for low income families to keep them connected, and being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
    Across New Zealand 120 sites are taking samples to be tested for COVID-19.   68 community based assessment centres (CBACs) have been established to take samples from people with COVID-19 symptoms. Alongside this, 52 other centres including designated general practices, swabbing centres, and mobile clinics are now testing people for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
    The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days ago
  • Government supports air services to offshore islands
    The Government has stepped in to support vital air links to our offshore islands, the Chatham Islands, Great Barrier Island and Motiti Island, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. “As part of our $600 million support package to minimise the impacts of COVID-19 on the aviation sector, the Government has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 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
    7 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 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
    1 week 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago