web analytics

On Hickey on tax cuts

Written By: - Date published: 7:16 am, April 11th, 2011 - 24 comments
Categories: economy, tax - Tags: ,

Last year Fran O’Sullivan came clean on National’s tax cuts:

But all the elaborate dancing on the head of the proverbial pin does not disguise the raw reality that English’s billion-dollar bet that his Budget tax-go-round would turbo-charge New Zealand’s economic growth has (so far) proved to be a fizzer.

Now Bernard Hickey has weighed in with his verdict: “Simply put, it’s not working”. Leading up to this conclusion, Hickey sets out the clearest explanation that I have seen of the “theory” behind the tax cuts:

Deeper into mire as tax reforms fail

Back in May last year when the Government announced the biggest tax reforms since the mid-1980s there was plenty of hope. The theory looked good. Cutting the top income tax rate from 39 per cent to 33 per cent seemed to kill three birds with one stone.

Good, three birds, let’s have them:

It encouraged those on middle incomes to strive for higher incomes in the knowledge they would keep more of it.

Sorry, that’s bollocks. Those on middle incomes strive for higher incomes because striving for higher incomes is pretty much what most of us do. If you’re chasing a thousand dollar raise the $60 variation between one tax rate and another is chickenfeed. Does the gap between a $610 net increase and $670 really make a difference to anyone’s motivation? A difference that we can measure in the economy? If so, please show me the proof.

It removed the gap between the top income tax rate and the family trust rate, closing down a big loophole.

If that is supposed to be an argument for growth then it’s bollocks again. Removing that gap stimulates the economy how precisely? If tax avoidance is a problem then fix tax avoidance. If you want the family trust rate aligned with the top tax rate then why not raise the family trust rate? Closes the same loophole.

And those on higher incomes could afford to save their extra disposable income, which would boost New Zealand’s savings rate and give capital markets a kick-start.

That’s not obviously bollocks, but it was pretty clear that the option of saving was going to be competing with two (sadly more compelling) other options. First, paying of debt, and second, buying cheap imported shiny plastic junk. Once again, where is the data on this? Historically what do the middle class do with tax cut windfalls? My guess is that savings and productive investment in capital markets isn’t as big an effect as we would like.

In short, I’m very glad that Hickey set out the “theory” behind the income tax cut. But I find it utterly unconvincing. Tax cuts don’t cause growth. Instead, Nationals cuts favour the rich, increasing the socially damaging inequalities in our country, as well as (obviously) starving the government of income.

On the rest of the Nats tax package, Hickey continues:

The increase in the GST rate was designed to help pay for the cut and discourage consumption, therefore encouraging saving.

The changes to the rules on claiming depreciation of buildings for tax purposes and the removal of Loss Attributing Qualifying Companies (LAQCs) as a vehicle for rental property investors were supposed to take some heat out of the property market, and force investors to look at other options.

The company tax cut was supposed to encourage companies to invest here and employ more people. All these would bring down the budget deficit and transform the economy from a consuming and borrowing junkie into an investing and exporting powerhouse.

Simply put, it’s not working.

The shock of the GST increase, on top of rising food and petrol prices, has forced consumers deeper into their spending shells. GST has hurt a swathe of society that could least afford it. Companies are shedding staff. The tax cuts for those on higher salaries has not been saved and invested in job-creating export industries. Instead, it is being geared up with yet more foreign-supplied mortgage debt. …

The Government would say it’s too early to judge the tax package and also point to the effect of the Christchurch quake on the economy. But the early signs aren’t good. It’s worth asking again: what was it all for?

Come on Bernard, your last question was far too easy. What was it all for? To shift wealth from the poor to the rich. It’s a National government. Same as it ever was.

Update (lprent): Bernard says

This final paragraph was cut out of the column I sent to the Herald. Which answered my own question.

“We have a higher budget deficit, higher debt, weaker growth, a weaker current account deficit and higher unemployment. But a certain section of New Zealand is now much richer in both income and wealth through a tax cut and higher property prices. ”

And here is the piece in full undedited technicolor over here

 

24 comments on “On Hickey on tax cuts”

  1. marsman 1

    Double Dipper Bill English,Double Fail Minister of Finance.

  2. Good post Rob.

    It is time to review the great lie of the 2010 budget, that tax cuts would cause a “macronomic effect” which would stimulate the economy and increase the tax cut.  Not only is the theory bogus but the addition of a line item in the budget to then claim that the tax cuts were fiscally neutral is also a lie.

    12 months down the line it seems that things are getting worse, not better.

    There is now a greater more pressing need to review and IMHO reverse the cuts.

    • Bored 2.1

      It’s the old hoary “trickle down” theory all over again with the same result, give the rich more and they will take even more.

    • Herodotus 2.2

      MS would you also reduce GST back to 12.5%? Because without the 2nd all you are doing is making life more difficult for kiwis to live. Funny thing when we hear of tax changes from an opposuition we never also hear of reversing where the govt increases its take. Rememebr tax creep and the stingy M.Cullen with his tax cuts … oh was that because his new tax that was to eat more into our take home pay than the cuts were to deliver were not supported. 

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    Historically what do the middle class do with tax cut windfalls? My guess is that savings and productive investment in capital markets isn’t as big an effect as we would like.
     

    NAT tax cuts weren’t aimed at the middle class (those earning $50K to $80K p.a.). They were aimed at the top 5% of the population, those on $90K p.a. plus.
     
    And those are people who engage professional investment advice, use brokerages etc.
     
    That tax cut money flows straight into property investments (useless for creating productive enterprise but great for making housing more unaffordable and jacking up mortgage debts) and also to offshore capital markets (because you have to be a sucker to put your money in the NZX, instead of the ASX or Singapore shares).

  4. vto 4

    Hickey is a lightweight and never particularly stimulating. Always a follower of commentary, not a leader of such or a developer of new ideas. Runs a good website so I’ve heard though.
     
    Nonetheless, another tack for the nat coffin. Latest polls seem to suggest further droopage for them is imminent too.

    • sean 4.1

      Okay, so the general consensus here is that taxing less is not the way to kick start the economy, and doesn’t provide incentives for people to work harder.
       
      So how about some suggestions for what should be done?  The last Labour government rode an economy based on a house of cards built from debt, and a bloated public sector creating the illusion of high unemployment.  That approach didn’t work either.
       

      • Sam 4.1.1

        Well said Sean. Hickey makes perfect sense but being a swing voter I voted for the Nats because it was a convincing economic plan. If u dont like it fair enough but once we have American bipartisanship like I just read we’re all screwed.

  5. Steve Withers 5

    The tax cuts, for me are just one more example of the dangers inherent in faith-based economic policy in particular and faith-based policy making generally.  The Nats are genuine in the sense they (except for the cynical ones who know better) really, truly believe these polices will work. That they don’t doesn’t appear to dent their faith. It just means they need to pray …um….try harder. 

    What annoys me is National are thus rendered poor stewards of our publicly owned assets. Instead of enhancing their value, they are degrading their value…with the stated goal of flogging them off at some point – when they can get away with it. Of course they would be flogged off to people who would naturally support National – or parties like National globally. It amounts to little more than theft.

    From climate change to energy to urban development to taxation to public transport….National is headed full speed into the past, the wrong direction…and WASTING billions of our increasingly scarce dollars in doing it.

    On top of that, they are touting NZ as a low-wage economy to overseas investors….revealing their policy of wage parity with Australia to be more manure for the dumb voters who are suckered by the “Nice Mr. Key” and his crew of scammers.

  6. Afewknowthetruth 6

    The problem is not that tax cut theory is bollocks, but that the entire economic system is bollocks.

    1. Create money out of thin air via loans.
    2. Create the money for loans but not the money to meet interest payments, which then come from dilution of money already in the system, i.e. create inflation.
    3. Make the system dependent on perpetual growth when living on a finite planet on which perpetual growth is a mathematical impossibility.
    4. Make the system almost totally dependent on a resource we have very little of and which is now in worldwide decline, i.e. oil.
    5.Make the system entirely dependent on destruction of the habitability of the planet we live on via pollution.

    It’s only  matter of time now. We may have ten years before it all goes kaput. We may have just a few months.

    I’m sure the elites know the system is doomed, which is why they are looting the till quickly and buying gold etc. before it does all go under.

    • Shane Gallagher 6.1

      Dude – chill out and then read some money theory… Money is “trust” – that is all it is in the end. Is trust a finite thing? No, it is nothing tangible. So in essence money is not tangible. 

      Yes we need to move to a sustainable economy so I agree with points 3-5. The current model needs growth to sustain employment and when it experiences a shock then the drivers of growth also drive the recession. We need to change the economic model – and I do not hear anyone on the Labour side even thinking about that let alone formulating policy around the idea. Stuck in the 20th century, just like NACT are stuck in the 19th century.

      Oh and when is Labour going to stop self-destructing?- I just saw the headline on stuff(fox wants you to know).co.nz Just curious?

      • Carol 6.1.1

        Oh and when is Labour going to stop self-destructing?- I just saw the headline on stuff(fox wants you to know).co.nz Just curious?

        And yet Labour & Goff’s percentage went up in the latest Colmar Brunton.  Meanwhile, none of the MSM are headlining the spat within National over the Rodney selection as presented on The Nation this week; religious fundies & South African, violence-disposed, white supremacist refugees from the post-Apartheid era stacking the National selection process with people from their churches – and exposoing friction and factionalism within the Nats.

      • Afewknowthetruth 6.1.2

        Shane.

        Money is more than trust. It is a medium of exchange for resources and energy. The trust aspect is that it will be exchangeable for goods or energy in the future. The people of Argentina found out how trustworthy money was a decade ago. Zimbabwe a little later. Money can very quickly become valueless, as we are seeing when we go shopping these days.

        Since we cannot get resources without energy (without energy nothing happens), it all comes down to money being an accepted medium for the purchase of FUTURE supplies of energy. That becomes quite a problem if the anticipated future supplies do not exist (which they don’t).

        It is interesting that Portugal is now on the same slippery slope as Ireleand and Greece, with the government digging a deeper hole for the people by the day. Unable to repay loans and forced to take out ever bigger loans to keep the economy afloat just a little longer, but having no significant energy supplies  they have to import the energy needed to maintian economic activity at ever higher cost. The whole thing will spiral out of control until a default occurs, at which point the economy will grind to a halt because there won’t be the energy (oil) needed to maintian economic activity. Spain looks like the next major nation to go under: 20% unemployment and a collapsing property market  -the inevitable consequence of bubble economics.  

        That is exactly where the present government is taking NZ, of course, though NZ is not as far down the track as a lot of countries. However,  NZ is spending the last of its international credit worthiness on ridiculous projects like sports arenas, artworks and motorways, and on imports of gas-guzzling vehicles, motorboats etc.     

        One thing has become fvery clear to me. They’ll just keep doing it till they can’t, whether its the government, the local council or ordinary people.

  7. Rich 7

    Something that I’ve not seen pointed out is that the most popular form of “saving” by affluent NZers, rental property <strike>speculation</strike> investment, actually works out as net borrowing.

    If I have $100k and put it on term depo or buy shares with it, that’s savings.

    If I have the same $100k and put it down as a deposit on a $400k rental property, then I’m borrowing $300k and buying an asset with the $100k. Any capital gain is tax free, so it’s highly efficient tax wise. The only downside is the risk that the price will fall and I’ll be in negative equity, but even in that case, the bank will be very unlikely to foreclose.

    • sean 7.1

      Not as simple as you make out Rich…….
       
      If you borrow money to buy shares, yes, they would be CG taxed when you sold them, IF you made a profit.  In theory, your money should be being used as capital to improve the company you invested in.
       
      Buying a property, and not getting CG taxed on it means you keep it for a while – over that while you have to put thousands into it to cover the rates, repairs, maintenance, upgrades (insulation, heating, kitchen, bathroom etc), as well as providing work and income for property managers, lawyers, tradesmen and accountants.  With shares you just sit there and bank the dividends.
       
       

  8. Steve Withers 8

    sean: For NZ, there isn’t really much that can be done in the short term. What would make sense for the long term would be a huge problem in the short term. The solution I see as being in our long term interest would be to incrementally restore tarriffs in sectors seen as foundations for skills and manufacturing capacity that would support future expansion of the same policy into other sectors. The aim would be to put the economy on an energy and technology footing that makes sense locally, on its own terms. To be more self-sufficient. Why? Because the tyranny of distance will become a greater burden as oil prices climb ever higher in the decades ahead. Both for exporting and for importing. Meanwhile, continue exporting what sells well – and food will always sell well given we’re heading for 9 billion people in the near future globally and the Northern Hemisphere seems intent on risking environmental degradation of otherwise arable land.  We must also reserve agricultural land so we don’t have to requisition it back from under single-family dwellings when urban sprawl has become unsustainable. Another reason for broadening our skills base is to provide opportunities and careers for young people so they can stay here. The current economic polices have severely stunted many careers entirely…literally forcing Kiwis with interests in those area to go overseas to do those things – like manufacturing design and engineering – and since those are declining careers here, they can’t come back.

    But to “kick start” the economy in today’s understanding of it would be difficult and wasteful. China makes everything cheaper than we do, except food…and even there they are moving aggressively to compete in dairy – or just buy ours.

    Also difficult because NZ is sold to people everywhere as a lifestyle choice. People immigrate here to enjoy that better lifestyle. The finer weather. The landscape. The beaches and coasts. They don’t want to  work 80 hours a week. We have invested a HUGE amount of money to attract people who want to just…chill. Secondly, we’re far away and the tyranny of distance will become a greater burden as oil prices climb ever higher in the decades ahead. 

    As long as Kiwis continue to buy into the “global economy” myth…which leaves us with a relatively narrowly based commodity-producing economy largely owned by people who don’t live here, things won’t change.  

    Neither Labour nor National are the party to lead NZ into the future we will face….but the Greens may be. At least they see the problems clearly. The two big parties still – for the most part – are “business as usual” when the writing is clearly on the wall for business as usual.

  9. Galeandra 9

    Nice one, Steve. Takes me all the way back to Bill Sutch’s opinions in Colony or Nation and The Responsible Society in NZ. I agreed with them at the time I read them (late 60’s) and much of what goes on globally today  reconfirms my views. Hunkering down as a society in the sense of self-sufficiency is entirely sensible. We don’t want to many rich kiwitwits from Swissbanksville to join our reverse diaspora though. 

  10. Cheers ROB

    This final paragraph was cut out of the column I sent to the Herald. Which answered my own question.

    “We have a higher budget deficit, higher debt, weaker growth, a weaker current account deficit and higher unemployment. But a certain section of New Zealand is now much richer in both income and wealth through a tax cut and higher property prices. ”

    And here is the piece in full undedited technicolor over here…
    http://www.interest.co.nz/opinion/52986/opinion-bernard-hickey-argues-last-years-tax-package-failing-transform-nz-so-far-it-ha

    cheers

    • r0b 10.1

      Hi Bernard – thanks for stopping by.  I’m enjoying your columns a lot.

      Interesting that the Herald cut your final paragraph!

    • sean 10.2

      Its all very well to criticise – how about a bit of work on how you think our country can get out of this?

      • Colonial Viper 10.2.1

        Maybe you should follow your own advice instead of being such an asshole and do a bit of work to answer your own question e.g.
         
        http://www.interest.co.nz/opinion/52908/opinion-bernard-hickey-details-5-solutions-turn-around-nz-incs-slide-penury-through-fo

        • sean 10.2.1.1

          Because Bernard Hickey is [mind your manners sean] for evaluating the merits of tax cuts after they’ve only been in for 6 months.
           
          What school does he come from where economic policies can impact the economy in a few months?  If that was possible economies around the world should all be booming, if all it takes is a few months to completely change things. [Probably the same school as Bill English and John Key, who promised that the package would trigger an “aggressive recovery” and bring us “roaring out of recession”. — r0b]
           
          I’m not going to look up his other articles when his analysis for the tax cuts failure was that more 800k+ properties are being sold in Auckland than previously and that someone at a bank told him more big income earners are over leveraging themselves.
           
          Total clown.

  11. sean 11

    I think its pretty hilarious Bernard Hickey claiming the tax cuts are a failure after only 6 months.  Since when has an economic policy been able to be judged on its merits after only 6 months of being in action, and not even through one tax return cycle yet?
     
    His proof was that more 800k+ properties are being sold in Auckland and because someone told him that high income earners are approaching banks to over leverage themselves because of their 6 cents in the dollar tax windfalls.  Yep – 6 cents in the dollar is enough to make me go running to the bank and ask for more money so I can negatively gear myself.
     
    Thats about the deepest and most complete analysis I’ve ever seen on the state of the economy, thanks Bernard.  Hickey is still smarting that his claim of a 40% across the board collapse in house prices never came to fruition.  He ended up looking like a total clown.  This just reinforces it further.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Creating jobs and cleaning up our rivers
    New Zealanders deserve healthy rivers and lakes that are safe to swim in - but they have been getting worse for decades. That's why, with our latest announcement, we're investing in projects that will help clean up our rivers and lakes and restore them to health, within a generation. ...
    20 hours ago
  • Jacinda Ardern: 2020 Labour Congress Speech
    Jacinda Ardern's speech to the 2020 Labour Party Congress. ...
    21 hours ago
  • Kelvin Davis: 2020 Labour Congress Speech
    Kelvin Davis' speech to the 2020 Labour Party Congress. ...
    21 hours ago
  • Week That Was: Another week of major progress
    This week we moved into the second half of 2020 - and our Government delivered another week of big changes and major progress for New Zealanders. Read below for a wrap of the key things moments from the week - from extending paid parental leave, to making major investments in ...
    3 days ago
  • Green Party opposes RMA fast-track bill that cut corners on environmental safeguards and public cons...
    The Green Party has opposed the COVID-19 Recovery Fast-track Consenting Bill which shortcuts normal consenting processes under the Resource Management Act (RMA), reduces public participation and narrows environmental considerations. ...
    4 days ago
  • Site of new freight hub revealed
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister of Regional Economic Development A regional freight hub for the lower North Island will be built just northeast of Palmerston North, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The Government is investing $40 million through the Provincial Growth Fund to designate and buy land and design ...
    4 days ago
  • Greens call for Guaranteed Minimum Income to alleviate skyrocketing debt with MSD
    Green Party Co-leader Marama Davidson is calling for the introduction of a Guaranteed Minimum Income to lift hundreds of thousands of people out of poverty and prevent more families entering into further debt with the Ministry of Social Development.  ...
    4 days ago
  • Winston Peters: Facts matter when taxpayer money is on the line
    There has been renewed focus on New Zealand First acting as a handbrake on the Government after our decision to not support Auckland light rail. We are a handbrake for bad ideas, that is true, but our track record since 2017 has seen New Zealand First constructively also serve as an ...
    4 days ago
  • Bill raising minimum residency requirement for NZ Super passes first reading
    Mark Patterson MP, New Zealand First List MP New Zealand First’s Fair Residency for Superannuation Bill passed its First Reading in Parliament today. The Bill makes a significant change to NZ Super by raising the minimum residency requirement from 10 to 20 years, after age 20. “Currently, a migrant of ...
    4 days ago
  • Harsher penalties for assaults on first responders one step closer
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Law and Order A New Zealand First member’s bill in the name of Darroch Ball introducing a six-month minimum prison sentence for assaults on first responders has passed its second reading in Parliament. The new offence of "injuring a first responder or corrections officer with ...
    5 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission delivers Coalition promise
    Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Deputy Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand First welcomes the launch of the new Criminal Cases Review Commission, gifted with the name from Waikato-Tainui - Te Kāhui Tātari Ture, announced in Hamilton today by Justice Minister Andrew Little. “New Zealand First has long believed in and ...
    5 days ago
  • Greens welcome huge new investment in sustainable projects
    The Green Party is celebrating over $800m in new funding for green projects, which will get people into jobs while solving New Zealand’s long-term challenges. ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand First demands answers from Meridian Energy
    Mark Patterson MP, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is appalled that Meridian seems to have been unnecessarily spilling water from its dams to drive up its profits."While New Zealanders have been coming together in some of our darkest hours, we don’t expect power gentailers to waste water and ...
    6 days ago
  • Getting New Zealand moving again: June 2020
    We wrapped up the first half of 2020 with a busy month, taking additional steps to support New Zealanders as we continue with our economic recovery. We rolled out targeted packages to support key industries like tourism and construction, helped create jobs in the environmental and agriculture sectors, and set ...
    6 days ago
  • Māori union leader appointed to Infrastructure Commission board
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Infrastructure Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones has welcomed the appointment of Maurice Davis and his deep infrastructure and construction experience to the board of the Infrastructure Commission. Mr Davis (Ngāti Maniapoto), is the seventh and final appointment to the board led by former Reserve Bank Governor ...
    6 days ago
  • Click-bait journalism at its worst
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand’s click bait journalism is taking a turn for the worse, with yet another example of sensationalist, wilful-misrepresentation of the facts. “New Zealand First has worked constructively with its Coalition partner on hundreds of pieces of legislation and policy, and ...
    6 days ago
  • Green Party proposes transformational Poverty Action Plan
    The Green Party is today unveiling its Poverty Action Plan, which includes a Guaranteed Minimum Income to ensure people have enough to live with dignity.     ...
    1 week ago
  • PGF accelerates Rotorua projects
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development The Rotorua Museum redevelopment and Whakarewarewa and Tokorangi Forest projects will be accelerated thanks to a $2.09 million Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) boost, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: Getting people into jobs
    This week, we rolled out the next steps of our recovery plan, with new infrastructure investment, extra support for tourism operators, and a new programme to get Kiwis into agriculture careers. The global economic consequences of COVID-19 will continue to be a challenge, but we have a detailed plan to ...
    1 week ago
  • Coalition commitment establishing Mental Health Commission delivered
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its final reading in Parliament today fulfilling a coalition agreement commitment. “This is an important step in saving the lives of New Zealanders and delivers a key coalition commitment ...
    1 week ago
  • Whakatāne gets a $2.5m ‘turbo boost’
    Whakatāne has been given a $2.5 million boost to speed up previously funded projects and create more than 450 jobs in the next decade. Of those, the equivalent of 160 full-time jobs could be delivered in the next six weeks. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters is in town to make ...
    1 week ago
  • $2.5m PGF funding to speed up economic recovery in Whakatāne
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $2.5 million to accelerate three infrastructure projects in Whakatāne, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “This package is about ...
    1 week ago
  • Shane Jones calls out those holding drought-stricken Auckland ‘to ransom’ over water
    Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones is throwing his weight behind a bid by the Auckland Council to fast-track the more than doubling of the city's water allowance from the Waikato River. And he's coming out strongly against anyone who plans on getting in the way of this campaign. "It is my ...
    1 week ago
  • Another Green win as climate change considerations inserted into the RMA
    The Green Party is thrilled to see changes to the Resource Management Act (RMA) that mean consents for large projects can be declined if they will have significant climate change implications that are inconsistent with the Zero Carbon Act and Aotearoa New Zealand’s Paris Agreement obligations.  ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Navy vessel Aotearoa to arrive in New Zealand
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence The Royal New Zealand Navy’s new ship, Aotearoa, set sail for New Zealand on 10 June from the Republic of Korea, and is due to arrive in Auckland tomorrow, announced Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “Aotearoa is the Royal New Zealand Navy’s new fleet ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Racing Industry Bill passes third reading
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters has today welcomed the Racing Industry Bill passing its third reading, creating the legislative framework for revitalising the racing industry while limiting the need for future government intervention. “For too long our domestic racing industry has ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party seek amendment to ensure all prisoners can vote
    The Green Party has today put forward an amendment to the Electoral (Registration of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Bill to ensure all people in prisons can vote in general elections. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party welcomes new approach to delivering light rail
    The Green Party welcomes the decision to not proceed with Public Public Investment (PPI) delivery of Auckland’s light rail project and to instead run the process through the public service. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First welcomes PGF investment in Wairarapa Water
    Hon Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in the Wairarapa New Zealand First List MP Hon Ron Mark welcomes the announcement of Provincial Growth Funding investment of $1.4 million to help secure the Wairarapa’s water supply. The funding boost will allow the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC), and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First MP Mark Patterson selected as candidate for Taieri
    New Zealand First list MP Mark Patterson has been selected to represent the party in the newly formed Taieri electorate at the upcoming election. Mr Patterson, his wife Jude and two daughters farm sheep and beef at Lawrence and Waitahuna. He previously stood in the Clutha-Southland electorate however boundary changes ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ground-breaking on NZ Post depot
    Hon Shane Jones, Associate Minister for State Owned Enterprises A new ‘super depot’ to be built for NZ Post in Wellington will create around 350 jobs during construction, Associate Minister for State Owned Enterprises Shane Jones says. Shane Jones today attended a ground-breaking and blessing ceremony for the parcel-processing depot ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Putting our economic plan into action
    Our strong economic management prior to COVID-19 - with surpluses, low debt and near-record-low unemployment - put us in a good position to weather the impact of the virus and start to rebuild our economy much earlier than many other countries. Now we're putting our plan to recover and rebuild ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fleeing drivers hit new record-high yet again
    Darroch Ball MP, New Zealand First Spokesperson for Law and Order Recently released Police fleeing driver statistics have shown yet another increase in incidents with another record-high in the latest quarter. “This new quarterly record-high is the latest in a string of record-high numbers since 2014.  The data shows incidents ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fletcher Tabuteau selected as candidate for Rotorua
    New Zealand First MP Fletcher Tabuteau is pleased to be confirmed today as the party’s candidate for the Rotorua electorate. Speaking at the Rotorua AGM for New Zealand First, Mr Tabuteau said this is an election that is incredibly important for the people of Rotorua. “The founding principles of New ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Greens call for Government office to address Rainbow issues following Human Rights Commission report
    The Human Rights Commission’s PRISM report on the issues impacting people based on their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC) provides an excellent programme of work for future governments to follow, say the Greens. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters continues push for trans-Tasman travel as military take control of operations
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters said the trans-Tasman bubble had not been jeopardised after a border botch-up resulted in New Zealand having two active cases of COVID-19. On Friday, Mr Peters told RNZ's Morning Report he had heard from Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison that borders for trans-Tasman travel would open by ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters on the Government’s Covid-19 border blunder
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters said today he was pleased the army was now running the quarantine and isolation process - up until now it has been the Ministry of Health. Peters told Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking that the army knew how to introduce and follow protocols and instil discipline. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First’s Ron Mark confirms bid for the Wairarapa seat
    Hon Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in the Wairarapa New Zealand First MP and Minister for Defence and Veteran’s Affairs Ron Mark has confirmed his bid for the Wairarapa seat.“The Coalition Government has done a lot of good work throughout the Wairarapa, but many constituents have told ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First welcomes second tranche of candidates
    New Zealand First is pleased to release the names of its next tranche of candidates for the 2020 election. We’re proud to announce these hardworking New Zealanders that have put their hand up to fight for a commonsense and resilient future.Jamie Arbuckle – Kaikoura Mark Arneil – Christchurch Central Jackie ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Joint effort under way to repatriate stranded Vanuatu nationals
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence A massive joint effort between New Zealand Government agencies, employers, and the Vanuatu Government is underway to repatriate over 1000 Vanuatu nationals stranded in New Zealand, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Extended loan scheme keeps business afloat
    Small businesses are getting greater certainty about access to finance with an extension to the interest-free cashflow loan scheme to the end of the year. The Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme has already been extended once, to 24 July. Revenue and Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says it will be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • New investment creates over 2000 jobs to clean up waterways
    A package of 23 projects across the country will clean up waterways and deliver over 2000 jobs Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Environment Minister David Parker announced today. The $162 million dollar package will see 22 water clean-up projects put forward by local councils receiving $62 million and the Kaipara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Speech to Labour Party Congress 2020
    Tena koutou katoa  Nga tangata whenua o tenei rohe o Pōneke, tena koutou Nau mai, haere mai ki te hui a tau mo te roopu reipa Ko tatou!  Ko to tatou mana!  Ko to tatou kaupapa kei te kokiri whakamua  Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena tatou katoa   Welcome. I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Building a more sustainable construction sector
    A new programme, which sets a firm course for the Building and Construction sector to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, has been announced by the Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa. “A significant amount of New Zealand’s carbon emissions come from the building and construction sector.  If we’re serious ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • PGF funds tourism boost in Northland
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing more than $7.5 million in Northland ventures to combat the economic impact of the COVID-19 virus, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) investment is going to the Northern Adventure Experience and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Four new projects announced as part of the biggest ever national school rebuild programme
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced significant funding for Auckland’s Northcote College as part of the first wave of a new nationwide school redevelopment programme to upgrade schools over the next 10 years. The $48.5 million project brings the total investment in Northcote College to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19: Support to improve student attendance and wellbeing
    The Government has opened an urgent response fund to support schools and early learning services to get children and young people back on track after the Covid-19 lockdown. “While we are seeing improvements in attendance under Alert Level 1 Ministry of Education data shows that attendance rates in our schools ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Fast-track consenting law boosts jobs and economic recovery
    The law to boost the economic recovery from the impact of COVID-19 by speeding up resource consenting on selected projects has passed its second and third readings in the House today. “Accelerating nationwide projects and activities by government, iwi and the private sector will help deliver faster economic recovery and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Whanganui Port gets PGF boost
    Five port-related projects in Whanganui will receive a $26.75 million Provincial Growth Fund investment to support local economic recovery and create new opportunities for growth, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This is a significant investment that will support the redevelopment of the Whanganui Port, a project governed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • More support for Sarjeant Gallery
    Whanganui’s Sarjeant Gallery will receive an investment of up to $12 million administered by the Provincial Growth Fund to support its redevelopment, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. The project is included in a $3 billion infrastructure pipeline announced by Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Shane Jones yesterday. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Funding for training and upskilling
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing nearly $2.5 million into three Te Ara Mahi programmes to support Manawatū-Whanganui jobseekers and employees to quickly train and upskill, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Up to 154 local people will be supported into employment within the first year by these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Statement from the Minister of Health Dr David Clark
      This morning I have formally tendered my resignation as Minister of Health, which was accepted by the Prime Minister. Serving as Minister of Health has been an absolute privilege – particularly through these extraordinary last few months. It’s no secret that Health is a challenging portfolio. I have given ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Scholarship placements for agricultural emissions scientists doubles
    Scholarships for 57 early-career agricultural emissions scientists from 20 developing countries is another example of New Zealand’s international leadership in primary sector sustainability, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. Mr O’Connor, announcing the scholarships today, says hundreds of applications were received for this fourth round of the CLIFF-GRADS programme (Climate, Food ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Funding for Foxton regeneration
    A project to help rejuvenate the Horowhenua town of Foxton will receive a Provincial Growth Fund investment of $3.86 million, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This funding for the Foxton Regeneration project will be used to make the well-known holiday town even more attractive for visitors and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Plan to improve protection of moa bones
    Moa bones and other sub-fossil remains of extinct species are set to have improved protection with proposals to prevent the trade in extinct species announced the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today. “We have lost too many of our native species, but these lost species, such as moa, remain an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Free lunches served up to thousands of school children in the South Island
    The Government’s free and healthy school lunches programme moves south for the first time creating jobs for around 30 people in Otago and Southland. “Eighteen schools with 3000 students are joining the programme – 11 have already begun serving lunches, and seven are preparing to start during Term 3. This is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Screen Sector recovery package protects jobs, boosts investment
    Thousands of Kiwi jobs and investment in New Zealand productions will be protected through a screen sector support package announced today by Associate Minister for Arts Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford and Minister for Broadcasting Kris Faafoi. The package also includes investment in broadcasting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New fund to help save local events and jobs
    The Government has established a new $10 million fund for the domestic events sector to help save jobs and protect incomes as it recovers from the impacts of COVID-19, Minister of Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. This funding from Budget 2020 follows talks with the event sector designed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Bill to improve fuel market competition
    The Government has taken another step in its commitment to making sure New Zealanders get a fairer deal at the petrol pump with the introduction of legislation to improve competition in the retail fuel market, says Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods. “The fuel market study that this Government ordered ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand joins global facility for pre-purchase of COVID-19 Vaccine
    New Zealand has joined a global initiative that aims to enable all countries to access a safe and effective Covid-19 vaccine, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. The COVAX Facility was recently launched by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. The Alliance includes the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Right to legal representation in Family Court restored today
    From today new legislation takes effect to both restore the right to legal representation at the start of a Care of Children (CoCA) dispute in the Family Court, and allow parties to those proceedings to access legal aid where eligible. During a visit to the Family Court in Auckland today, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Transitioning to a fully-qualified home-based ECE workforce
    Home-based early childhood education (ECE) subsidised by the government will transition to a fully qualified workforce by 2025 to ensure better and more consistent quality, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. “Quality early learning helps provide children with a strong foundation for their future,” Chris Hipkins said. From 1 January ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission gets to work
    The new Criminal Cases Review Commission | Te Kāhui Tātari Ture (CCRC) has started work and can now independently investigate claimed miscarriages of justice. “Even though we have appeal rights and safeguards against unsafe convictions, from time to time our justice system does get things wrong. The design of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech by the Minister of Defence to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā karangatanga maha, tēnā koutou Ki a koutou Te Āti Awa, Taranaki Whānui, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, ngā mana whenua o te rohe nei, tēnā koutou Ko Te Whare Wānanga o Aotearoa ki ngā take o te Ao (NZIIA), Ko te Rōpū Tohu Tono ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Six months with baby and $20 more a week for new parents
    The Government’s increase to paid parental leave kicks in today with another 4 weeks taking New Zealand up to a full 6 months (26 weeks, up from 22 weeks) leave for new parents, and the maximum weekly payment will increase by $20pw, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Infrastructure investment to create jobs, kick-start COVID rebuild
    A new package of infrastructure investments will help kick-start the post-COVID rebuild by creating more than 20,000 jobs and unlocking more than $5 billion of projects up and down New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones today outlined how the $3 billion infrastructure fund in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Statement on passage of national security law for Hong Kong
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today expressed the New Zealand Government’s deep disappointment at the passage by China’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee of a national security law for Hong Kong. “New Zealand has consistently emphasised its serious concern about the imposition of this legislation on Hong Kong without inclusive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • July 1 marks progress for workers, families
    More jobs and more family time with newborns are the centrepiece of a suite of Government initiatives coming into effect today. July 1 is a milestone day for the Government as a host of key policies take effect, demonstrating the critical areas where progress has been made. “The Coalition Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Auckland water consent referred to Board of Inquiry
    Environment Minister David Parker has today “called in” Auckland’s application to the Waikato Regional Council to take an extra 200 million litres of water a day from the lower reaches of the Waikato River for Auckland drinking water and other municipal uses.  The call-in means the application has been referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand to host virtual APEC in 2021
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker announced today that New Zealand’s hosting of APEC in 2021 will go ahead using virtual digital platforms. Mr Peters said the global disruption caused by COVID-19, including resultant border restrictions, had been the major factor in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Matakana Link Road construction kicks off and drives jobs
    The start of construction on a new link road between Matakana Road and State Highway 1 will create jobs and support the significant population growth expected in the Warkworth area, Transport Minister Phil Twyford and Mayor Phil Goff announced today. Transport Minister Phil Twyford said construction of the Matakana Link ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • PPE supplies secured as COVID-19 response focuses on border
    The Government is prioritising its latest investment in PPE for frontline health workers, including staff at managed isolation and quarantine facilities, Health Minister David Clark says. “With no community transmission of COVID-19 our response now has a firm focus on keeping our border safe and secure. “We must ensure that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • PGF funding for Parihaka settlement
    The Parihaka Papakāinga Trust in Taranaki will receive up to $14 million for a new visitor centre and other improvements at the historic settlement that will boost the local economy and provide much-needed jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Protections for workers in triangular employment
    Protections for workers who are employees of one employer but working under the direction of another business or organisation have come into force, closing a gap in legislation that  made the personal grievance process inaccessible for some workers, says Workplace Relations Minister Iain Lees-Galloway. “This Government is working hard to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government strengthens managed isolation system
    A range of improvements are already underway to address issues identified in the rapid review of the Managed Isolation and Quarantine system released today, Housing Minister Megan Woods said. The review was commissioned just over a week ago to identify and understand current and emerging risks to ensure the end-to-end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Whakatāne to go predator free with Government backing Ngāti Awa led efforts
    The important brown kiwi habitat around Whakatāne will receive added protection through an Iwi-led predator free project announced by Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage and Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau. “The Government is investing nearly $5 million into Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa’s environmental projects with $2.5 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Growing Goodwood: Expanding wood waste recycling plant in Bay of Plenty, Waikato
    An extra 4,000 tonnes of offcuts and scraps of untreated wood per year will soon be able to be recycled into useful products such as horticultural and garden mulch, playground safety surfacing and animal bedding as a result of a $660,000 investment from the Waste Minimisation Fund, Associate Environment Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Scott Watson’s convictions to be referred to Court of Appeal
    The Governor-General has referred Scott Watson’s convictions for murder back to the Court of Appeal, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. Mr Watson was convicted in 1999 of the murders of Ben Smart and Olivia Hope. His appeal to the Court of Appeal in 2000 was unsuccessful, as was his ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Protecting Kiwis with stronger financial supervision
    A new five-year funding agreement for the Reserve Bank will mean it can boost its work to protect New Zealanders’ finances, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand has a strong and stable financial system. Financial stability is an area that we are not prepared to cut corners for, particularly ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Forgotten funds and missing money
    A law change has been introduced to make it easier for forgotten funds in institutional accounts to be returned more easily to their rightful owners. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash has introduced an amendment to the Unclaimed Money Act 1971. It will update the rules controlling forgotten sums of money held ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago