On the minimum wage referendum

Written By: - Date published: 11:50 am, February 10th, 2009 - 46 comments
Categories: national/act government, workers' rights - Tags: , ,

The Unite Union has reacted to the Government’s miserly adjustment to the minimum wage by initiating a referendum on tying the minimum wage to two-thirds of the average wage.

The principle behind the referendum is a good one. Indexing the minimum wage to 66% would be a huge step towards making sure our lowest paid workers are able to earn a living wage and would also reduce the need for the state to subsidise low wages through government transfers. It also has the backing of the Council of Trade Unions and is the level recommended by both the International Labour Organisation and the 1973 Royal Commission into Social Security.

But as sound as the principle might be, the decision by Unite to go off on its own and call a referendum strikes me as poorly thought out grandstanding that risks doing the cause more harm than good.

Because the reality is gathering the hundreds of thousands of signatures needed to hold a referendum isn’t an easy task, as the pro-smacking lobby will attest. To have any chance of success a referendum like this would need the full backing of the CTU and its 360,000 affiliated members, and even then it would be a major organising effort stretching over a period of years.

Coming from a small and severely underresourced union which has (at generous estimates) no more than a couple of thousand fee-paying members this is little more than irresponsible flag-waving that risks tarnishing the entire movement by its failure. And, as well-intentioned as Unite might be, that’s the last thing the wider movement needs right now.

I’m all for referenda – let’s just make sure we do them properly.

46 comments on “On the minimum wage referendum ”

  1. Pat 1

    Am I missing something in all these minimum wage discussions? Surely Labour had the chance to implement either a 2/3rd of average wage policy, or a $15 by 3 years policy, and chose not to. It is not enough to say they would have implemented in coalition talks, because it is pure supposition, and history shows that all bets are off in coalition negotiations with the likes of Winston.

    If Labour had the gonads to implement such a minimum wage policy when they had the chance, then even if they still lost the election, they would have left National in the position of having to carry it through, or scrapping it and facing the consequences at the next election.

    Instead, National are just carrying on Labours record of increasing it with inflation. And despite the lame efforts of Goff, Key still ends up looking like the good guy.

  2. toad 2

    Tane, I suspect (or at least hope) that Unite would not have launched this campaign if they hadn’t already discussed it within the NZCTU and been assured of organising support for it from other unions.

    I’m no great fan of referenda, because it is too easy to distort the outcome through biased wording of the question and big proxy advertising by vested interests (witness the section 59 one (where the wording can be taken to mean anything you want to to mean) and the MMP one (where big business nearly bought themselves the retention of FPP) respectively.

    So nice to see one where the wording is clear and unbiased, but I can already anticipate the untold thousands of dollars rolling in from big business for the “No” campaign if Unite do get the signatures.

  3. Tane 3

    Toad – I can assure you Unite didn’t consult the CTU before rushing off their press release. That’s what’s stupid about the whole thing, they’re grandstanding for a short-term PR hit with no thought as to how they’ll follow through and what effect this might have on the credibility of the wider union movement.

    Pat – Labour and their allies increased the minimum wage well above inflation. See the graph here. It went up more than 70% over their time in government, rising from $7 to $12 and on track to reach $15 by 2011. As with 2005, their policy in 2008 was to lock in $15 in coalition agreements with the Greens, the Maori Party and/or NZ First. By doing that they hoped to be able to make tactical ‘concessions’ on policies they agreed with anyway.

    I agree they should have followed the Greens and the CTU and pushed for indexing to two-thirds, but they didn’t. Labour’s greatest weakness was how timid they were in the face of business opposition. Hopefully they’ve learnt the lesson of their election defeat.

  4. Tane: I dunno – it’s only a problem surely if the CTU doesn’t get on board and support it? And if they don’t, then I think the union movement has worse problems than Unite’s enthusiasm.

  5. Mike 5

    Yea, save the failure and irresponsible flag-waving for the CTU’s participation in the upcoming “jobs summit”/talk fest.

  6. Pat. Labour was on the path to 2/3rds. When they came to power, the mw was just $8.50 in today’s dollars down from $8.70 when National came to power in 1990.

    Under National, the mw had fallen both in after-inflation terms and relative to the average wage. There was a lot of catching up to do.

    And you can’t do it all at once. If Labour had instantly increased the mw to 2/3rds of the average wage, it would have cost jobs.

    Labour increased the mw well above inflation. In fact, they increased it 40% above inflation over 9 years to help close the gap with the average wage, which makes this “National are just carrying on Labours record of increasing it with inflation” a conscious lie or simply naivity.

    Could Labour have gone faster and further? yeah, I reckon. But there’s no doubting they were on the right track and they made a real difference to minimum wage workers as a result.

  7. Tane 7

    I/S – the issue here is priorities. The union movement has limited resources so it has to choose which campaigns to resource and which to leave for another day. You can’t just rock up as a union with a few thousand members and dictate the CTU’s policy by media release.

    I agree the CTU has its issues – it’s too slow, it’s too decentralised and it’s too bureaucratic, and some of the more conservative unions constrain its actions. But it’s all we’ve got, and if you want to harness the power of the wider union movement then you need to go through the proper democratic processes.

    Mike – that’s a false dichotomy. I’m all for flag-waving and activism, but if we’re going to do it then let’s do it properly rather than setting ourselves up for failure in order to score a cheap PR stunt.

  8. Wouldn’t indexing the minimum wage to the average wage cause the average wage to increase every year?

    Which would in turn cause the minimum wage to rise?

    In fact, does the ‘average’ wage mean anything when the minimum wage is indexed to it? Should we perhaps use the median?

  9. toad 9

    Tane said: Toad – I can assure you Unite didn’t consult the CTU before rushing off their press release

    Okay, if that’s true then I agree with you that it was just plain silly and likely to alienate some of the larger unions, some of whom have very few low-wage workers among their membership, from the campaign.

  10. toad 10

    Chris S said: Wouldn’t indexing the minimum wage to the average wage cause the average wage to increase every year?

    That depends on what happens with wage movements at the upper end of the scale Chris. The Green Party proposal is not simple indexing, but setting 66% of the average wage as a floor for the minimum wage once it gets to that level. It does not preclude the minimum wage from increasing to a greater percentage if Government considers economic circumstances permit at some time in the futher.

  11. As Pat said, Labour had the chance to raise the minimum wage to $15 and didn’t. Its political opportunism that they’re calling for it now. If I didnt know any better I would say that this is a symbol of unions breaking traditional ties with Labour who’ve just become ‘National Lite’ (anyone else see it like that?).

    Good on the union for having the balls to take on this task. It doesnt matter that the task is hard at least they’re trying, they’re doing more for wages than their elected representatives in the beehive are doing. How about a bit of support for them.

  12. The effect of a minimum wage increase on the average wage is trival. Consider:

    100,000 fulltime minimum wage workers get a 50 cent an hour increase. Increase in total annual wage bill = $100 million.

    total annual wage bill = $68 billion

    % increase from 50 cent an hour mw increase on total annual wage bill = 0.1%

    compare that to the trend annual wage increase of around 3.5%.

  13. Tane: You can’t just rock up as a union with a few thousand members and dictate the CTU’s policy by media release.

    I think Unite just did. Unless of course the CTU wants to publicly take a position against increasing and indexing the minimum wage…?

  14. Tane 14

    lro – no issue with any union having balls to lift wages, but balls alone don’t get results and I have little time for mouth-militants. All I’m saying is let’s do these things, but let’s do them properly.

    In reference to one of your other comments, I don’t think Unite’s actions are symbolic of a political shift among unions. Unite has never been affiliated or at all close to the Labour Party, and from memory during the election they were supporting the Greens and the Maori Party. At an organisational level they also have quite a few links to the hard left – the Workers’ Party, RAM etc.

  15. I/S. It’s not quite as simple as that. By not securing buy-in from the CTU and major unions first and creating a movement-wide campaign, Unite is risking them not putting any effort into getting signatures. It’s not as if getting that number of signautres is a small operation, even for the large unions working together. It would mean using limited resources, taking them from other priorities. And if the CTU and major unions feel they have to put their weight behind the effort to avoid it failing they’re still going to be pissed at Unite for trying to direct the wider union movement by fait accompli, which plays hell with the others’ strategies and budgets. There’s politics here too: major union leaders don’t like being dragged around by a minor player.

    That said, I don’t think the union movement can allow the petition to fail because this is an issue that matters and which the CTU has already expressed support for, but they’ll have to have one of those union sit downs to some ruffled feathers and get a common strategy in place and it may not happen.

  16. Tane 16

    I think Unite just did. Unless of course the CTU wants to publicly take a position against increasing and indexing the minimum wage ?

    Perhaps I should have been more precise – I meant you can’t just rock up and dictate the CTU’s campaign priorities and budget by press release. The CTU already supports indexing the minimum wage at 66% as official policy, the question is whether they (by which I mean their 39 affiliates, the CTU itself has little organisational capacity) throw resources into a campaign on this issue.

    I read your post over at NRT and I can understand the sentiment, but are you seriously suggesting the CTU should just abandon all its other plans, carefully planned and developed through the proper democratic processes with its 39 affiliates, just to indulge Unite’s latest stunt? Are you proposing the CTU should do this every time a union decides to go off with some bright idea of its own, or just for Unite?

    Of course, it’s possible the assorted general secretaries will look at the Unite proposal and decide it’s worth getting in behind at the expense of other priorities, and it may well be a good thing if they do, but it’s important to understand that they’re under absolutely no obligation, and indeed are incredibly unlikely, to do so. The question then is how Unite expects to get the 360,000 or so signatures – without broad union support I don’t think they can.

  17. lprent 18

    I/S et al – I think Tane has covered my point….

    The big problem with referendums as far as I’m concerned isn’t about getting signatures on something like this proposition. It is shifting the damn paper around so people have an opportunity to sign it. It is a logistics nightmare.

    That is a lot of people and a lot of time. It may result in a lot of other things that might get deferred (I’m thinking here about the effort from Family Fist – if they’d spent that on locating and reforming the lousy parents…). Unless you recruit a whole new activist group to do it, it seems like a lot of effort from people with better things to do (like running this blog or getting ready for the next election)…

    In the end what you get is an expression of popular will that the government is not obligated to follow.

  18. Tui 19

    I read your post over at NRT and I can understand the sentiment, but are you seriously suggesting the CTU should just abandon all its other plans, carefully planned and developed through the proper democratic processes with its 39 affiliates, just to indulge Unite’s latest stunt?

    You mentioned that for many of the larger unions, very few members are low-waged. It may consequently be assumed that the minimum wage is not a strong priority for many of the larger unions. Why should Unite hang around waiting for the CTU to decide to spend money & (wo)man power on an issue that they have no special reason to care about? They might be waiting a hell of a long time, something that people in low-waged work frankly can’t afford to do.

  19. gingercrush 20

    Would you even want to risk it. Sure if there was such a petition and it went to the polls. I’d vote in favour. But depending how arguments were made, I could well see such a referendum be voted no. Not because most New Zealanders believe there shouldn’t be a minimum wage. But it wouldn’t take much for it to tip to 50%+ voting no. For instance arguments could be made that such a proposal simply goes too far.

    And hooray first question time of 2009.

  20. Tane: Perhaps I should have been more precise – I meant you can’t just rock up and dictate the CTU’s campaign priorities and budget by press release.

    I repeat: I think Unite just did.

    (and to address Steve and lprent): I appreciate this will cause hurt feelings among people who think they lead the union movement (or believe there should be leaders – whatever, don’t care). But the CTU has just been rather decisively outmaneuvered. Deal with it and move on.

    Finally:

    lprent: In the end what you get is an expression of popular will that the government is not obligated to follow.

    But which forces them to pay a political price if they don’t. Which in an MMP environment, could be decisive.

    But the real target isn’t National – it’s Labour. This is really about creating a constiuency for them to tap in 2011, and thereby forcing them to adopt better minimum wage policy.

  21. Tane 22

    Tui, it wasn’t me that mentioned it, but yeah, for some of the larger unions (eg PSA, PPTA, EPMU, NZEI) their members aren’t typically on or close to minimum wage, but they still give support to campaigns to lift the minimum wage – that’s what unions do. On the other hand some large unions like the NDU and the SFWU have quite a few members on or close to minimum wage.

    Overall I’d have to say the CTU has a pretty strong record on supporting low wage workers and minimum wage issues, and certainly spends a far higher proportion of its resources on this sector of the workforce than are represented in its affiliates’ membership.

  22. And hooray first question time of 2009

    If only the audio and video feeds were up.

  23. Tane 24

    I repeat: I think Unite just did.

    Well, we’ll see. They may have caused a wee media splash and they’ve done a good job with that. My concerns are around whether they win CTU support. If they do, then good on them, but I don’t hold out much hope. If they don’t win over the other CTU unions then they’ll almost certainly fail and damage the whole cause in the process.

    Or, quite likely, Unite will lose enthusiasm and move onto the next project, the whole thing will go down the memory hole and this is the last we’ll hear of it.

  24. Me: But the real target isn’t National – it’s Labour. This is really about creating a constiuency for them to tap in 2011, and thereby forcing them to adopt better minimum wage policy.

    Which, I should add, they have been good on. Their record speaks for itself in this area, and it was pretty clear there was bugger all space between them and the Greens on it last election. But this challenges them to go that little bit further with indexing, and it puts the issue in the public sphere for them to campaign on.

  25. lprent 26

    I/S: (and to address Steve and lprent): I appreciate this will cause hurt feelings among people who think they lead the union movement (or believe there should be leaders – whatever, don’t care).

    FYI: Never been part of a union and never been close to minimum wage. My background is in management, science and computers.

    To me this does look a bit like a great technique to win a battle but lose a war. Great if it gets mobilization of new people in being activists. Bloody disaster if it distracts too many existing activists from doing what needs to be done to win in 2011. In particular, to me, it looks like a distraction from the things that have to be done inside Labour (which is what I’m concerned with) in the next 5 months.

    Because of the nature of campaigning these days with MMP you win or lose an election based on how well you organize in first year after an election. That is the really important year. The reason for this is that you have to organize and campaign nationally at grassroots. That means you have to start everything earlier and run for longer than under FPP to make sure that the effort, messages and organisation is reasonably even across the whole campaign.

    Now I’d guess that Unite are going to want to have this finished by the end of this year so that it can join the Family Fist botchup question referendum in 2010. This would be  a great activity for 2010 – but 2009 ??

    Personally I’d tell any Labour activist that they have more effective things to do in the first part of this year. Maybe the Greens have more room?

  26. Tane 27

    From a union point of view I’m not particularly fussed about potential distraction from Labour’s 2011 campaign, they can look after that themselves. It’s the distraction from other upcoming union campaigns (like the fire at will legislation and the upcoming ERA reforms) that concerns me.

  27. Felix 28

    I/S: “If only the audio and video feeds were up.

    I’m getting audio from the quicktime video stream but no video. Better than nothing, but I can’t get anything from the others.

  28. Now I’d guess that Unite are going to want to have this finished by the end of this year so that it can join the Family Fist botchup question referendum in 2010. This would be a great activity for 2010 – but 2009 ??

    Family Fist’s referendum is to be held in July-August this year.

    More importantly, the timing all but rules out a referendum before 2011. Some mucking around and a month for submissions probably takes us to the end of March. Up to three months to decide the final form of the question could take us to June. A year to collect signatures takes us to April – June 2010. 2 months to check them puts us in June – August (if they just fall short, there’s a 2 month extension and another 2 month check, so October – December). Then one month to decide a date, which must be within 12 months of it being presented to the House, unless a 75% majority votes for a delay (and they can’t do that without Labour). It will take at least 6 months to organise a postal ballot (which the EC prefers). it won’t make the election (and the EC hates running referenda at the same time, since they’re not properly resourced for it) – but it will be an election year issue. And that strikes me as being quite good for the left.

  29. Felix: They’re working on the problem.

  30. Parliament webcast is up. Sadly I missed Keith Locke’s question on the SIS.

  31. Tane 32

    but it will be an election year issue. And that strikes me as being quite good for the left.

    I guess, but again, assuming they get the signatures. Without wanting to repeat myself, if they fail, or even worse fail spectacularly, in getting the signatures it’ll seriously undermine the cause they’re fighting for. I care deeply about that cause, hence my concern.

  32. Lew 33

    Chris S: Should we perhaps use the median?

    Any meaningful indexing of anything to a nominal average wage (rate of NZ Super; poverty benchmark, etc) must necessarily use the median, not the mean, for the exact reason you describe.

    L

    [yeah, I’m a big fan of using medians when you’re wanting a ratio or comparison relative to the ‘typical’ New Zealander but all the benchmarks use average at present. SP]

  33. Morgan 34

    Unite are all talk. Remember the 100,000 strong union McCarten was boasting he’d have by the end of last year? Remember all the media interviews where he talked about Unite being the future of unionism? Last I heard all they had was 600 members and a column in the Herald on Sunday.

    My advice to the CTU would be to steer well clear of McCarten’s hair-brained schemes. There are better ways to ruin morale and piss away union funds.

  34. Pat 35

    Hey Tane/Irish/SP/lprent/Sprout

    Any chance of putting up a thread entitled “Question Time Debate” or something like that, so people can discuss parliament goings-ons today?

  35. lukas 36

    Pat, you read me mind. I am finding the difference in the speakers amazing, there really is no comparison. The Speaker is actually trying to get answers out of the Ministers. Might mean question time is actually valuable time from now on.

  36. Tane 37

    Done – http://www.thestandard.org.nz/question-time-open-thread/

    Don’t say I’m not good to youse jokers.

  37. lukas 38

    thanks Tane

  38. lprent 39

    Up to three months to decide the final form of the question could take us to June. A year to collect signatures takes us to April – June 2010.

    That makes the timing better. I’m less concerned about the second half of 2009. It might interfere with local body elections in 2010 if there is the usual lack of early effort and there has to be a final rush for signatures.

    As Tane says, the real issue is that if Unite want to do this then they have to be prepared to put some organizing effort into it. As an policy it is too important to let ‘fail’ in the public perception.

  39. Matt McCarten 40

    Unite gets a lot of flack from sectarians that we have deliberately ignored over the years. But given some of the silliness on this blog we should provide some information that might help activists understand our thinking.
    The referendum idea come from our members at McDonalds who have battled their employer for over a year. Unite did consult and advise the CTU and other unions. There wasn’t a lot of buy-in for a minimum wage referendum although there was support for a CIR on something else.
    But 75% of our members are on the minimum wage or have their CEA’s linked to the minimum wage and it’s our core focus.
    Some may remember four years ago that Unite concieved the “supersizemypay” campaign for $12 an hour and end youth wages . Other unions and many on the left thought this was impossible. Sadly the attacks on this blog are similar to the ones we recieved then.
    That campaign succeeded after Unite was able to mobilse thousands (yes thousands!) of young workers and students. Interestingly we recieved almost no support until it was obvious that we were winning. Now it seems everyone takes credit for the $12 and ending youth rates.
    Unite has always had to run public campaigns to pressure our bosses rather than just relying on workplace strikes – although there wouldn’t be a week goes past without a strike somewhere.
    Unlike traditional unions our membership workplace turnover is 53% a year and in fastfoods and cinemas over 80%. We have to use our campaigns to continuely recruit and involve workers.
    My comments regarding a 100,000 member strong union was around the SFWU, NDU and Unite merge. That meant having to double the then present numbers in a couple of years. Is that unreasonable?
    Do people think the private sector unions staying at 9% of the workforce is acceptable? Does the fact that union density is now smaller than it was when Labour came to power in 1999 worry anyone? I assume the confidence exhibited by some of the bloggers here suggests there is some cunning plan that I’m not aware of?
    We have recruited over 20,000 members in 5 years but due to turnover we currently have 7500 finanical members. Even I couldn’t pay the wages of 14 organisers and 4 support staff on 2000 members. Give us some credit that for doing the hard yards that other unions have shyed away from. In the areas we are organising unionisation has for years been less than 1-3%.
    If you really want us to be a big wealthy union we could recruit in sectors other unions claim? Frankly if we did, we’d clean up. But we choose to do the areas no one else will do. (The only exemption was SkyCity where we have 1000 members and the SFWU have 300. You don’t want to hear why this happened.)
    Unite intends to force the plight of the low paid into the public conciousness. The referendum is a good way to advance it. When we get 300,000 names – which we will, does that mean that some slaggers might give us some credit or will there be another hurdle set up for Unite to jump over?
    Regards, Matt McCarten

  40. Morgan 41

    Matt – you know full well that supersize my pay was driven by one organiser with an astounding talent for campaigning. You also know that organiser bailed after bad blood created by exactly the sectarian bullshit you claim to be above. You also know that you don’t employ 14 organisers. At least not on a living wage and not without a web of . Some of us know how it works, in fact some of us have been there.

    Your (or rather Treen’s) consultation with the CTU was token to say the least and I have it on good advice that the CTU was keen to pick the referendum up and run it as a CTU initiative.

    Campaign-wise the CTU aren’t exactly fighting fit but neither is Unite. The difference is the CTU don’t constantly overplay their abilities. 300,000 valid signatures in a year is a huge organising effort. You need to ask yourself why you decided to announce your referendum when you know it will be three months until you can go ahead with it. At that time the media will be all like “what, you mean this is just starting? Weren’t you doing something three months ago?”

    That said, if you get 300,000 signatures I’ll be very pleased and I’ll happily apologize for doubting you. But as it stands I do doubt you will manage it.

  41. Matt McCarten 42

    Jeezus Morgan…chill out! Did I borrow your lawnmower and not return it?

    For background purposes, when I talked to the CTU privately the position was that the CIR was a good idea, but they’d rather support a referendum on potential changes to the Holidays Act rather than the minimum wage.

    The followup report I got from a number of secretaries at the CTU meeting you identify was that only the president was openly keen on a referendum when Mike Treen formally advised them of our intention. Why is it that somehow an idea our union comes up with to help build public consciousness around our members’ main issue is somehow attacked because some individuals from other trade unions think that they have the right of veto? Other unions come up with campaigns all the time and we don’t presume to have any right to tell them what to do.

    Anyway it made sense to initiate a referendum when the minimum wage review was announced on Monday. Our application is unlikely to get formal approval before April so we assume it’ll start in May. Impossible to get 300,000 names? It’s 1000 names a day over 12 months.

    Simon O was a (the) central organiser for the first supersizemypay campaign and deserves great credit. I think the workers who struck, the students who demonstrated and the other crew who worked long hours may have had something to do with it’s success too?

    It’s true we have a principle of not paying anyone over $40K. Call me old school, but paying union officals salaries far in excess of their members incomes seems somehow, well … unsocialist. Surely the remuneration of a union leader should be comparable with their members – not with professionals from other unions. Apparently, there used to be a time when unions were being built, no officials got paid. Imagine that!

    I’ll take my own advice now that I give to other Unite crew (I tell them not to waste their time on blogs) and go and do some work. But if anyone does want to help the campaign, drop me a line.

    Matt

    PS I promise not to write again.

  42. vto 43

    Mr McCarten, wasting time on blogs has a use. It is an easy access point to those with whom you would never normally come across (of opposing views) to test and thrash and abuse and etc. Political thrashing can take its toll on those nearest and dearest etc, so this allows that venting (and enjoyment) without upsetting those important to you. Write again you silly noodle.

  43. IrishBill 44

    Matt, you’re welcome back anytime, god knows half of the union movement and the business community have posted here at one time or another. I’m personally a big fan of unite for unionising the people that need it most and are hardest to organise but like Tane I’ve seen a few things happen that simply should not have been allowed to. But I’ve seen things in every union, political party and political group I’ve been involved with that shouldn’t happen, simply because no organisation is perfect all of the time. That said I wish you luck with the petition and will be pulling whatever strings I can in the union movement and the broader political arena to promote it. Perhaps you would like to write a piece on the standard to promote it come May?

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  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #25
    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 16, 2024 thru Sat, June 22, 2024. Stories we promoted this week, by publication date: Before June 16 ‘Unprecedented mass coral bleaching’ expected in 2024, says expert, ...
    1 day ago
  • The Realm Of The Possible.
    The People’s House: What would it be like to live in a country where a single sermon could prick the conscience of the comfortable? Where a journalist could rouse a whole city to action? Where the government could be made to respond to the people’s concerns? Where real change was possible? And ...
    2 days ago
  • Public Service Day
    Good morn or evening friendsHere's your friendly announcerI have serious news to pass on to everybodyWhat I'm about to sayCould mean the world's disasterCould change your joy and laughter to tears and painIt's thatLove's in need of love todayDon't delaySend yours in right awayHate's goin' 'roundBreaking many heartsStop it pleaseBefore ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • When is a road of National significance not a road of National significance?
    I loved everything about my first Cook Strait ferry crossing: a day parked in the car in howling Wellington wind and driving Wellington rain, waiting to hear if they were going to sail or not; watching the huge black ministerial limousines come and go; listening to the adventures of Chicken ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 days ago
  • Fact Brief – Was the Medieval Warm Period a global event?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Was the Medieval Warm Period a global ...
    3 days ago
  • Aotearoa Runs Aground
    Your face has fallen sad nowFor you know the time is nighWhen I must remove your wingsAnd you, you must try to flyCome sail your ships around meAnd burn your bridges downWe make a little history, babyEvery time you come aroundWhen I went to bed last night I thought the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • Wagon keeps movin'
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    3 days ago
  • Mainstreaming Māori
    Mainstreaming need not be inherently anti-Māori. It will be if it is done badly because it will be anti-those-in need, and proportionally more of them are Māori.That the Coalition Government says it will deliver public services on the basis of need rather than, say, race deserves consideration, even though many ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    3 days ago
  • National says “fuck you”
    The Justice Committee has reported back on the government's racist bill to eliminate Māori representation in local government. The report duly notes the Waitangi Tribunal's finding that the bill breaches te Tiriti, and the bill's inconsistency with our international human rights obligations - and then proceeds to ignore both. Instead, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Christopher Luxon is – Big in Japan
    This week our Prime Minister Christopher Luxon… mmm, let’s take a moment to consider just how good that sounds. Hope you weren’t eating.Anyway that guy. Better? That bloke from the telly, he said - what I would say to you is… I’m big in Japan. My kind of people, hard ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 21-June-2024
    Tis the winter solstice! The shortest day and longest night of the year. The good news: we’re on our way back to summertime. Here’s another roundup of stories to brighten up your Friday. Our header image is from CRL and shows Waihorotiu Station lit up for Matariki 2024 The ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    4 days ago
  • Bernard’s mid-winter pick ‘n’ mix for Friday, June 21
    Our economic momentum remains anaemic, and it’s possible the tiny increase in GDP was a ‘dead cat bounce’. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Per-capita GDP has fallen 4.3% from its peak over the last 21 months, which is more than it it fell in the Global Financial Crisis recession ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Futility of Punishment
    Hi,I was in Texas recently and couldn’t stop thinking about how in some parts of America they really like to kill their prisoners. As a society we tend to agree murder is wrong, but somewhere along the way Texas figured it’s fine if it’s after 6pm and the killing is ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • The new Beehive approach to the environment
    A persistent theme has been weaving between the Committee rooms at Parliament all this so-called “Scrutiny” week as MPs have probed Ministers and agencies about their work and plans. The question has been simply what the environmental price might be if the country begins to accelerate its infrastructure building to ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #25 2024
    Open access notables Climate Change Is Leading to a Convergence of Global Climate Distribution, Li et al., Geophysical Research Letters: The impact of changes in global temperatures and precipitation on climate distribution remains unclear. Taking the annual global average temperatures and precipitation as the origin, this study determined the climate distribution with the ...
    4 days ago
  • You take nicer pictures when you’re not drunk
    Readers keeping count will know it's more than five years since I gave up booze. Some of you get worried on my behalf when I recount a possibly testing moment. Anxious readers: today I got well tested.All the way across France I've been enquiring in my very polite and well-meaning but ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Cancer
    Turn awayIf you could, get me a drinkOf water 'cause my lips are chapped and fadedCall my Aunt MarieHelp her gather all my thingsAnd bury me in all my favourite coloursMy sisters and my brothers, stillI will not kiss you'Cause the hardest part of this is leaving youI remember the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why we shouldn’t buy new planes for the PM
    Its not often that one has to agree with Judith Collins, but yes, it would indeed cost “hundreds of millions of dollars” (at least) to buy replacement aircraft to fly the Prime Minister on his overseas missions of diplomacy and trade. And yes, the public might well regard that spending ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    5 days ago
  • The Stadium Debate – What About the Transport Options?
    A few weeks ago, Auckland Council took another step in the long-running stadium saga, narrowing its shortlist down to two options for which they will now seek feasibility studies. The recommendation to move forward with a feasibility study was carried twenty to one by the council’s Governing Body for the ...
    5 days ago
  • Bernard’s mid-winter pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 20
    Social Development Minister Louise Upston has defended the Government’s decision to save money by dumping a programme which tops up the pay of disabled workers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: It has emerged the National-ACT-NZ First Government decided to cut wages for disabled workers from the minimum wage to $2 an hour ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Where the power really resides in Wellington
    The new Chief Executive of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) yesterday gave a Select Committee a brutally frank outline of the department’s role as the agency right at the centre of power in Wellington. Ben King, formerly a deputy Chief Executive at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Climate Adam: Why we're still losing the fight against Methane
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Carbon dioxide is the main culprit behind climate change. But in second place is methane: a greenhouse gas stronger than CO2, ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: More ETS failure
    A few weeks ago, I blogged about the (then) upcoming ETS auction, raising the prospect of it failing, leaving the government with a messy budget hole. The auction was today, and indeed, it failed. In fact, it was such a failure that no-one even bothered to bid. Its easy to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Return of Jacinda.
    Oh, take me, take me, take meTo the dreamer's ballI'll be right on time and I'll dress so fineYou're gonna love me when you see meI won't have to worryTake me, take mePromise not to wake me'Til it's morningIt's all been trueEarly morning yesterday, well before dawn, doom-scrolling.Not intentionally, that’s ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • How good is the interim NW busway?
    This is a guest post by Pshem Kowalczyk, a long-time follower of the blog. With great fanfare, just over six months ago (on 12 November 2023), AT launched its interim busway for the NorthWest region, with the new WX express service at the heart of the changes. I live ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    6 days ago
  • Consumer confidence collapses after Budget, in contrast with rest of world
    The first widespread survey of consumers and voters since the Budget on May 30 shows a collapse in confidence. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The belt-tightening and tax-cutting Budget delivered on May 30 has not delivered the boost to confidence in the economy the National-ACT-NZ First Government might have ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The end for the Air Force 757s
    The Air Force 757 that broke down with the Prime Minister on board in Port Moresby on Sunday is considered so unreliable that it carries a substantial stock of spare parts when it travels overseas. And the plane also carries an Air Force maintenance team on board ready to make ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • At a glance – Was 1934 the hottest year on record?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    7 days ago
  • It's not New Zealand they've never heard of, it's him
    Sometimes you’ll just be so dog-tired, you can only keep yourself awake with a short stab of self-inflicted pain.A quick bite of the lip, for instance.Maybe a slight bite on the tongue or a dig of the nails.But what if you’re needing something a bit more painful?The solution is as ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • Some “scrutiny” II
    Last month I blogged about the Ministry of Justice's Open Government Partnership commitment to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation", and how their existing efforts did not give much reason for confidence. As part of that, I mentioned that I had asked the Ministry for its ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why the Biden “peace plan” for Gaza is doomed
    After months and months of blocking every attempt by the UN and everyone else to achieve a Gaza ceasefire, US President Joe Biden is now marketing his own three-stage “peace plan” to end the conflict. Like every other contribution by the US since October 7, the Biden initiative is hobbled ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    7 days ago
  • Raised crossings: hearing the voice of vulnerable pedestrians
    This is a guest post by Vivian Naylor, who is the Barrier Free Advisor and Educator at CCS Disability Action, Northern Region, the largest disability support and advocacy organisation in Aotearoa New Zealand. She also advises on AT’s Public Transport and Capital Projects Accessibility Groups. Vivian has been advocating and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    7 days ago
  • Leaving on a Jet Plane
    So kiss me and smile for meTell me that you'll wait for meHold me like you'll never let me go'Cause I'm leavin' on a jet planeDon't know when I'll be back againOh babe, I hate to go“The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Tuesday, June 18
    The election promises of ‘better economic management’ are now ringing hollow, as NZ appears to be falling into a deeper recession, while other economies are turning the corner. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The economy and the housing market are slumping back into a deep recession this winter, contrasting ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Scrutiny week off to rocky start
    Parliament’s new “Scrutiny” process, which is supposed to allow Select Committees to interrogate Ministers and officials in much more depth, has got off to a rocky start. Yesterday was the first day of “Scrutiny Week” which is supposed to see the Government grilled on how it spends taxpayers’ money and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • The choice could not be more stark’: How Trump and Biden compare on climate change
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Barbara Grady Illustration by Samantha Harrington. Photo credits: Justin Lane-Pool/Getty Images, Win McNamee/Getty Images, European Space Agency. In an empty wind-swept field in Richmond, California, next to the county landfill, a company called RavenSr has plotted out land and won ...
    1 week ago
  • Differentiating between democracy and republic
    Although NZ readers may not be that interested in the subject and in lieu of US Fathers Day missives (not celebrated in NZ), I thought I would lay out some brief thoughts on a political subject being debated in the … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 17
    TL;DR: Chris Bishop talks up the use of value capture, congestion charging, PPPs, water meters, tolling and rebating GST on building materials to councils to ramp up infrastructure investment in the absence of the Government simply borrowing more to provide the capital.Meanwhile, Christopher Luxon wants to double the number of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • You do have the power to change things
    When I was invited to come aboard and help with Greater Auckland a few months ago (thanks to Patrick!), it was suggested it might be a good idea to write some sort of autobiographical post by way of an introduction. This post isn’t quite that – although I’m sure I’lll ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Turning Away – Who Cares If We Don't?
    On the turning awayFrom the pale and downtroddenAnd the words they say which we won't understandDon't accept that, what's happeningIs just a case of other's sufferingOr you'll find that you're joining inThe turning awayToday’s guest kōrero is from Author Catherine Lea. So without further ado, over to Catherine…I’m so honoured ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Dissecting Tickled
    Hi,Tickled was one of the craziest things that ever happened to me (and I feel like a lot of crazy things have happened to me).So ahead of the Webworm popup and Tickled screening in New Zealand on July 13, I thought I’d write about how we made that film and ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand Webworm Popup + Tickled!
    Hi,I’m doing a Webworm merch popup followed by a Tickled screening in Auckland, New Zealand on July 13th — and I’d love you to come. I got the urge to do this while writing this Webworm piece breaking down how we made Tickled, and talking to all the people who ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • What China wants from NZ business
    One simple statistic said it all: China Premier Li Qiang asked Fonterra CEO Miles Hurrell what percentage of the company’s overall sales were made in China. “Thirty per cent,” said Hurrell. In other words, New Zealand’s largest company is more or less dependent on the Chinese market. But Hurrell is ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Review: The Worm Ouroboros, by E.R. Eddison (1922)
    One occasionally runs into the question of what J.R.R. Tolkien would have thought of George R.R. Martin. For years, I had a go-to online answer: we could use a stand-in. Tolkien’s thoughts on E.R. Eddison – that he appreciated the invented world, but thought the invented names were silly, and ...
    1 week ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #24
    A listing of 35 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 9, 2024 thru Sat, June 15, 2024. Story of the week A glance at this week's inventory of what experts tell us is extreme weather mayhem juiced by ...
    1 week ago
  • Sunday Morning Chat
    After a busy week it’s a good day to relax. Clear blues skies here in Tamaki Makaurau, very peaceful but for my dogs sleeping heavily. In the absence of a full newsletter I thought I’d send out a brief update and share a couple of posts that popped up in ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The Book of Henry
    Now in the land of Angus beef and the mighty ABsWhere the steaks were juicy and the rivers did run foulIt would often be said,This meal is terrible,andNo, for real this is legit the worst thing I've ever eatenBut this was an thing said only to others at the table,not ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Fact Brief – Is ocean acidification from human activities enough to impact marine ecosystems?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by Sue Bin Park in collaboration with members from the Skeptical Science team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is ocean acidification from human ...
    1 week ago
  • Happiness is a Warm Gun
    She's not a girl who misses muchDo do do do do do, oh yeahShe's well-acquainted with the touch of the velvet handLike a lizard on a window paneI wouldn’t associate ACT with warmth, other than a certain fabled, notoriously hot, destination where surely they’re heading and many would like them ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Still doing a good 20
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Coalition of the Unwilling?
    What does Budget 2024 tell us about the current government? Muddle on?Coalition governments are not new. About 50 percent of the time since the first MMP election, there has been a minority government, usually with allied parties holding ministerial portfolios outside cabinets. For 10 percent of the time there was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • Of red flags and warning signs in comments on social media
    Somewhat surprisingly for what is regarded as a network of professionals, climate science misinformation is getting shared on LinkedIn, joining other channels where this is happening. Several of our recent posts published on LinkedIn have attracted the ire of various commenters who apparently are in denial about human-caused climate change. Based ...
    2 weeks ago
  • All good, still
    1. On what subject is Paul Henry even remotely worth giving the time of day?a. The state of our nationb. The state of the ACT partyc. How to freak out potential buyers of your gin palace by baking the remains of your deceased parent into its fittings2. Now that New ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 weeks ago
  • The looting is the point
    Last time National was in power, they looted the state, privatising public assets and signing hugely wasteful public-private partnership (PPP) contracts which saw foreign consortiums provide substandard infrastructure while gouging us for profits. You only have to look at the ongoing fiasco of Transmission Gully to see how it was ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Illusion of Power: How Local Government Bureaucrats Overawe Democratically-Elected Councillors..
    The Democratic Façade Of Local Government: Our district and city councillors are democratically elected to govern their communities on one very strict condition – that they never, ever, under any circumstances, attempt to do so.A DISINTEGRATION OF LOYALTIES on the Wellington City Council has left Mayor Tory Whanau without a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Lowlights & Bright Spots
    I can feel the lowlights coming over meI can feel the lowlights, from the state I’m inI can see the light now even thought it’s dimA little glow on the horizonAnother week of lowlights from our government, with the odd bright spot and a glow on the horizon. The light ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago
  • Weekly Roundup 14-June-2024
    Another week, another roundup of things that caught our eye on our favourite topics of transport, housing and how to make cities a little bit greater. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Connor wrote about Kāinga Ora’s role as an urban development agency Tuesday’s guest post by ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    2 weeks ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s moves this week to take farming out of the ETS and encourage more mining and oil and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate policy axed in broad daylight, while taxpayer liabilities grow in the dark
    In 2019, Shane Jones addressed the “50 Shades of Green” protest at Parliament: Now he is part of a government giving those farmers a pass on becoming part of the ETS, as well as threatening to lock in offshore oil exploration and mining for decades. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Rage Bait!
    Hi,Today’s newsletter is all about how easy it is to get sucked into “rage bait” online, and how easy it is to get played.But first I wanted to share something that elicited the exact opposite of rage in me — something that made me feel incredibly proud, whilst also making ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    2 weeks ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
    Photo by Mathias Elle on UnsplashIt’s that new day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for our chat about the week’s news with special guests:5.00 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    2 weeks ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago

  • Transformative investment in cancer treatments and more new medicines
    The coalition Government is delivering up to 26 cancer treatments as part of an overall package of up to 54 more new medicines, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti and Associate Health Minister David Seymour announced today. “Pharmac estimates that around 175,000 people will benefit from the additional treatments in just ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • More support for drought-affected communities
    The coalition Government is providing more financial support to drought-stricken farmers and growers in many parts of the country to help with essential living costs. “Rural Assistance Payments have been made available in 38 districts affected by dry conditions to help eligible farmers and growers whose income has taken a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Job seekers to report on progress after six months from today
    A new requirement for people on Jobseeker Support benefits to meet with MSD after six months to assess how their job search is going gets underway today. About 20,000 Jobseeker beneficiaries with full-time work obligations are expected to attend MSD’s new ‘Work check-in’ seminars over the next 12 months, Social ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • New cops means more Police on the beat
    The decision to deploy more Police on the beat in Auckland CBD has been welcomed by Police Minister Mark Mitchell and Associate Police Minister Casey Costello. Starting from 1 July, an additional 21 police officers will be redeployed in Auckland City, bringing the total number of beat police in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government takes action to address youth crime
    The Government is introducing a new declaration for young offenders to ensure they face tougher consequences and are better supported to turn their lives around, Children’s Minister Karen Chhour announced today. The establishment of a Young Serious Offender declaration delivers on a coalition Government commitment and supports the Government’s target ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Reserve Bank chair reappointed
    Professor Neil Quigley has been reappointed as Chair of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Board for a further term of two years, until 30 June 2026.  “Professor Quigley has played a key role in establishing the new Board after the commencement of the new RBNZ Act on 1 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • School attendance increases
    School attendance data released today shows an increase in the number of students regularly attending school to 61.7 per cent in term one. This compares to 59.5 per cent in term one last year and 53.6 per cent in term four. “It is encouraging to see more children getting to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Record investment in public transport services
    The Government has announced a record 41 per cent increase in indicative funding for public transport services and operations, and confirmed the rollout of the National Ticketing Solution (NTS) that will enable contactless debit and credit card payments starting this year in Auckland, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“This Government is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • GDP data shows need to strengthen and grow the economy
    GDP figures for the March quarter reinforce the importance of restoring fiscal discipline to public spending and driving more economic growth, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  Data released today by Stats NZ shows GDP has risen 0.2 per cent for the quarter to March.   “While today’s data is technically in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Women continue to make up over 50 per cent on public sector boards
    Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees has reached 50 per cent or above for the fourth consecutive year, with women holding 53.9 per cent of public sector board roles, Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston says. “This is a fantastic achievement, but the work is not done. To ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government supporting Māori business success
    The Coalition Government is supporting Māori to boost development and the Māori economy through investment in projects that benefit the regions, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka say. “As the Regional Development Minister, I am focused on supporting Māori to succeed. The Provincial Growth Fund ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Better solutions for earthquake-prone buildings
    Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk has announced that the review into better managing the risks of earthquake-prone buildings has commenced. “The terms of reference published today demonstrate the Government’s commitment to ensuring we get the balance right between public safety and costs to building owners,” Mr Penk says.  “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up visit to Japan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has just finished a successful three-day visit to Japan, where he strengthened political relationships and boosted business links. Mr Luxon’s visit culminated in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio followed by a state dinner. “It was important for me to meet Prime Minister Kishida in person ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Major business deals signed on PM’s Japan trip
    Significant business deals have been closed during the visit of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to Japan this week, including in the areas of space, renewable energy and investment.  “Commercial deals like this demonstrate that we don’t just export high-quality agricultural products to Japan, but also our world-class technology, expertise, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Strategic Security speech, Tokyo
    Minasan, konnichiwa, kia ora and good afternoon everyone. Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today and thank you to our friends at the Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies and NEC for making this event possible today.  It gives me great pleasure to be here today, speaking with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
    The National Infrastructure Pipeline, which provides a national view of current or planned infrastructure projects, from roads, to water infrastructure, to schools, and more, has climbed above $120 billion, Infrastructure Minister Chris Bishop says. “Our Government is investing a record amount in modern infrastructure that Kiwis can rely on as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Making it easier to build infrastructure
    The Government is modernising the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk announced today. An independent panel will undertake an eight-week review of the Act and advise on common sense changes to enable large scale public works to be built faster and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • NZ enhances North Korea sanctions monitoring
    New Zealand will enhance its defence contributions to monitoring violations of sanctions against North Korea, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced today.  The enhancement will see the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) increase its contributions to North Korea sanctions monitoring, operating out of Japan. “This increase reflects the importance New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Speech to Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference
    Good afternoon everyone. It’s great to be with you all today before we wrap up Day One of the annual Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference. Thank you to the organisers and sponsors of this conference, for the chance to talk to you about the upcoming health and safety consultation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Ōtaki to north of Levin alliance agreements signed
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed an important milestone for the Ōtaki to north of Levin Road of National Significance (RoNS), following the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) signing interim alliance agreements with two design and construction teams who will develop and ultimately build the new expressway.“The Government’s priority for transport ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Improvements to stopping Digital Child Exploitation
    The Department of Internal Affairs [Department] is making a significant upgrade to their Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, which blocks access to websites known to host child sexual abuse material, says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “The Department will incorporate the up-to-date lists of websites hosting child sexual ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New vaccine research aims to combat prevalent bovine disease
    A vaccine to prevent an infectious disease that costs New Zealand cattle farmers more than $190 million each year could radically improve the health of our cows and boost on-farm productivity, Associate Agriculture Minister Andrew Hoggard says. The Ministry for Primary Industries is backing a project that aims to develop ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago

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