Open mike 05/04/2024

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 5th, 2024 - 54 comments
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54 comments on “Open mike 05/04/2024 ”

  1. Bearded Git 1

    Here is a turn up for the book-a Conservative MP in the UK with genuine principles.

    I was particularly impressed with this:

    "Duncan said that any support for Israel’s current tactics in Gaza was “morally unacceptable”. “It’s what Israel has been doing for years has been wrong because the Israeli defence does not follow international law,” he said.

    “It has been backing and supporting illegal settlers in the West Bank who steal Palestinian land and it is that land theft, that annexation of Palestine, which is the origin of the problem, which has given rise to the Hamas atrocity and the battles we’re seeing.”

    • Tiger Mountain 1.1

      Whatever the political stripe if he is pointing out the obvious about Israel’s behaviour in public, good on Mr Duncan.

      Unlike our current Govt. Ministers, RNZ now seems to get important stories via OIAs because Natzo Ministers regularly refuse interviews.

      • Res Publica 1.1.1

        In their defense, have you heard Simeon Brown or Nicola Willis getting interviewed?

        If I was their staffers, I'd try keep the pair of them locked in a broom cupboard in the Beehive as far away from the media (or any other human beings) as possible.

    • Sanctuary 1.2

      A quick look at Alan Duncan's wikipedia page shows he has long been targetted by the Israel lobby for daring to have an opinion contrary to the hard line Likud party.

      • Bearded Git 1.2.1

        Corbyn will have a wry smile at that.

      • Bearded Git 1.2.2

        And here is another senior Conservative calling for a ceasefire and a halt to UK weapon sales.

        "She rounded on fellow Conservatives who seek to have a monopoly on how to support Israel, saying support for an extremist Likud-led government was not the same as support for Israel……There is nothing anti-Israeli, much less antisemitic, in taking a tougher line with the Netanyahu government. The reality is that how Israel prosecutes this war, that is the problem we have. We support their right to self-defence but they are making themselves and us less safe in the way they are doing it.”

  2. dv 2


    Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey scrambled a late evening press release insisting the Suicide Prevention Office was not a victim of the Government’s cost cutting driving, as news of public service cuts continued on Thursday.

    Doocey’s assurance was at odds with the Public Service Association, which said the office would close after the Ministry of Health confirmed 134 job losses.

    His comments also appeared to clash with the Ministry of Health itself.

    • Tiger Mountain 2.1

      Suicide Prevention Office to be canned–what could be a likely result of that one might ask…

      Thousands of public servants & contractors to be slashed also…will they be on the pitiful “Job Seeker Allowance” subject to the sadistic maze that is WINZ/MSD, or move to the provinces and milk cows with Filipinos? Middle class Wellington is in for a shake up alright–and around the country actually via gutting various Depts. and groups like the Regional Skills Leadership Groups (RSLG), people doing good work for our fellow citizens are running scared.

      Maybe the State Sector unions will learn from this and finally drop their political neutrality stance. Sometimes they are out to get you! Time for an old school NZCTU led industrial action fightback.

      • Kay 2.1.1

        Except that one has to be practically destitute to even get Jobseekers in the first place. Only once they've burned through all their savings and sold off any sellable assets (except the family home), will they qualify for the pittance. That's assuming they aren't in a relationship, and their partner isn't earning over a certain amount and is expected to be able to foot the bill for everything. The State will do everything possible to abdicate their responsibility.

        • weka

          I don't think that's quite right. Everyone in NZ is entitled to the core JS benefit if they have no income. It is not asset tested, so people with savings or a caravan or whatever won't have those count against the core benefit (they do count against some of the supplementary benefits eg accommodation and hardship benefits and grants). JS is income tested, so income from any source (including interest, but not including capital gains from housing natch) will be used to abate the core benefit.

          But it's still very bad. The couples stuff is just insane and weirdly anti-family. And anyone on a benefit for more than a few weeks is going to have to supplement their income somehow. WINZ make that very difficult and long term beneficiaries are basically forced into poverty by the state.

        • Descendant Of Smith

          Benefits are not asset tested only some additional payments are. It is sad that some people keep perpetuating this. When advocating for people I often come across cases where they had spent all their redundancy payments or savings before applying for a benefit. One case this gentleman had gone for three years eking out his redundancy. Three years he could have been getting a benefit.

          People just need to stop saying this. It does incredible harm.

          • weka

            I agree telling people they can get a benefit is really important.

            Afaik, base benefits are abated after the first $160 of other income. Supplementaries are abated from $0 at 100%, or someone is just not eligible in the first place because of assets. From Kay's link,

            Single clients who get over $160 gross a week have their benefit reduced by 70 cents for every $1.00 of income.

            For clients with a partner where both are getting or entitled to get a benefit in their own right then:

            • 35 cents is taken from each of their benefits for each $1.00 of the combined income of the client and their partner over $160 (gross) a week
            • SPC

              The rate of abatement is only 30 cents in the dollar (still after tax) in the dollar for those on the DPB.

            • Shanreagh

              Members of the PS in redundancy days gone by were actually not entitled to benefits if they had received a redudancy payment. It is not just ‘people’ saying this.

              I went several times to DSW to apply and was told that my redudancy money had to be minimised before I could apply & get a benefit. I was also told 'you don't need a benefit' and 'you'll have no trouble getting another job' This was in 1987 & 1996. By 2005 when my PS job was again made redundant I asked to take early retirement. All times and the earlier times in particular times I too divided my payment by a reduced amount of 'pay' and lived off that.

              So if they have changed the rules in the intervening years that is good. For myself I got a series of lesser paid and lesser stable jobs in the PS unitl I took early retirement in 2005. In those days the PS was a hellhole to work in with constant restructuring, realignment, right sizing as both left & right govts dug in to attain this ‘nirvana’ of not needing PS. I worked for myself and in the private sector. When I went back to one of the workplaces I formerly worked in, colleagues had had 8 or 9 or 11 restructurings depending on where they had been.

              • Descendant Of Smith

                You were mis-informed. I was helping railworkers back then and we had to keep countering this. One annoying union delegate kept telling people they had to use all their redundancy and savings. Holiday pay was a different issue as you had been paid for those days and some railway workers had lots of holiday pay accrued.

                But there is no doubt people were officially told this.


                Just checked current policy.

                Redundancy pay
                If you’re made redundant and get redundancy pay, you’ll have a stand-down of 1 or 2 weeks. It depends how much your redundancy pay is.

                The stand-down period for redundancy pay has changed over time. If you’ve had a redundancy payment, you can ask us to check if we treated this correctly when working out your stand-down period.

            • Shanreagh

              From my recollection this happened.

              Single clients who get over $160 gross a week have their benefit reduced by 70 cents for every $1.00 of income.

              DSW applied some sort of formula to draw down on the redundancy until we did not qualify. I had such terrible experiences there it has made me very scared to even see if I am able to get any additions say to my super, that I live on now.

              I think this experience plus the hardline redundancy experiences has caused much distress and waste of brain power in the PS. One of my collegues in one PS agency never got a formal PS job again, always worked on contract and was skipping ahead of restructurings for the rest of the time he was a PS. He said he just cld not go through a restructuring experience again. This was a person who was a highly skilled health sector accountant working in the of pricing etc. To my knowledge he was also told he did not qualify for any type of benefit, four children.

          • Visubversa

            Yes, one of my refugee friends got good advice when her daughter left home and she no longer qualified for the DPB. She got 2 part time jobs in Rest Homes, but was looking for full time work. She got the JSB on the basis of that. There were adjustments of course because of her other income, but she got some top ups for transport expenses etc.

            She did eventually find full time work and went off the benefit.

          • SPC

            Given how hard it is to live on a limited income – such as MW in this high cost economy (let alone benefits and super) without any savings to draw on from time to time, it is unwise to delay application for income support when eligible.

          • Kay

            My apologies, you are of course correct about the core benefits not being asset tested, but as Weka points out, the supplementary benefits are. And the major problem here is, that practically EVERYONE receiving a core benefit is now reliant on at least one of the supplements ('Temporary' Additional Support really needs a name change to 'Permanent') given that housing costs are now more than the core benefit, unless you're in social housing, or maybe freehold.

            So you might be able to (just) keep the roof over your head, but depending on how long it takes to get employed again, prepare to lose any nest egg you might have.

            As an aside- I was unexpectantly left a small monetary gift by my best friend who died tragically. I couldn't take it, because I would've lost my accommodation and TAS and been expected to use that gift to pay my rent, not a few nice things for myself. This is what we're dealing with.

        • SPC

          Yes it will be hard for those with a working partner. Very few will be eligible for income support.

          For those who cannot pay their rent

          1.couch surfing (offer $50 a night), others will need the money.
 or container sleep out.
          3.parents house, knock down a wall to create a double bedroom and sound proof the wall closest to parent)
          4.granny flat in parents backyard (they can move in later and baby sit the grandkids).

          • Descendant Of Smith

            Note it is also hard for those with a non-working partner who also pay about $4,000 per annum more tax than a couple earning the same amount.

            Our parents got a tax rebate for that until Roger Douglas arrived. Labour screwed up so many things for common sense and decency.

            Everything is predicated on a two income family these days.

            When you see this talking about families earning $180,000 per year getting help with childcare you realise they don't give a shit about people with disabilities with partners who work who don't get a cent in support either of them.

            “National’s FamilyBoost childcare tax rebate is expected to help 130,000 low- and middle-income families keep more of what they earn, with up to $75 more in their after-tax pay each week.

            “Families earning up to $180,000 will receive a 25 per cent rebate on their early childhood education expenses, to a maximum of $3,900 per year depending on their income.

            “A teacher and a plumber earning $125,000 between them who are spending $300 a week on childcare would receive a weekly rebate of $75, paid fortnightly by IRD to their bank account.

        • David

          The benefit is not asset tested. However something that I find concerning over the past 3 or years (BTW, I’m in banking/finance/investment, mainly Kiwisaver), WINZ have been telling people that they MUST apply for a serious hardship withdrawal from their Kiwisaver before WINZ will consider paying people the benefit. This is completely wrong, the rules around Kiwisaver is that it’s for retirement from 65, and to make a withdrawal under the serious financial hardship rules, the customer must affirm that they have been declined any further financial assistance from WINZ/IRD.

          If WINZ ask you to use your Kiwisaver before you can get the benefit, 1) say no, or if they insist, 2) Ask for WINZ to put it in writing advising that you have to use your Kiwisaver first, which they won’t do, because they are not allowed to ask you to use your Kiwisaver.

          • SPC

            Good advice.

            W and I are bureaucrats (who make too many mistakes and have to be called on it#), they are doing what they do because they would have to do a re-adjustment of entitlements above based benefit if the person claimed the Kiwi Saver hardship after being placed on income support*.

            Their inconvenience in those cases is no excuse to delay provision of income support etc.

            And as you note, the application for KS hardship withdrawal application is an action to be made after the income support is provided … *#

          • Shanreagh

            Oh yes I remember this. Some of us had PS retirement savings, GSF, and/or other insurance premiums that may have had bonuses attached to them. Most of us were told we had to apply to withdraw GSF, actually some in redundancy times they forcibly paid us out, we were not allowed to leave the $$$ there. They went through any insurances and we were told to cash in the bonuses.

            Some of it was trying to find out our entitlements in a climate, very like now, where we PS were told that we were bludgers and too highly paid. There was a very punitive attitude from DSW to other PS and no consistency.

            • Visubversa

              I was lucky when I was made redundant in the late 1990's. I knew the Union Delegate at the local WINZ office. I knew I did not qualify for any benefit as I had other income, but I wanted my name included in the numbers of the unemployed in the dying days of the then Nat Government.

              I got my name on the books, and was told to come back in 3 months if I had not found a job. I spent a couple of months helping with the Local Body elections, and by the time the 3 months were up – I had another job.

            • Descendant Of Smith

              Yeah in the first round of railway ones they hit up those close to turning 50 first. This was because you got paid out your GSF and you couldn't get ongoing GSF payments. They tried this with my father who had lots of accumulated leave that took him past 50. They then tried to say he should have taken his leave and he supplied them with a large pile of declined leave requests. I was in a different town by then but they had a really good union delegate who knew what they were doing. Dad said 100% of those who were 49 ended up getting GSF rather than a payout through this means.

              They really were a pack of bastards who deliberately targeted like this.

  3. Stephen D 3

    ”The United States Deputy Secretary of State has made an unusual linkage between the AUKUS security pact and deterring any Chinese move against Taiwan.”

    Ummmm, did NATO deter Putin?

    • Res Publica 3.1

      Ummmm, did NATO deter Putin?

      Ummmmm Poland and the baltics continue to exist despite Russia very much wanting them not to, so yes.

      • SPC 3.1.1

        NATO EU is attempting to boost the deterrent, unsurprising given the GOP has abandoned NATO.

        • alwyn

          What is your evidence that the GOP has abandoned NATO. That link doesn't support the claim

          • SPC

            The link is about the NATO EU nations increasing training and army numbers. One of the reasons is the decline in the reliability of the USA as an ally.

            The GOP nominee for POTUS has said he is not that committed to the defence of NATO nations. Have you not being paying attention?

            The GOP is currently blocking aid to Ukraine.

            • alwyn

              I am well aware of what the orange be-wigged idiot has said about NATO. I didn't think that the GOP would go along with him though.

              In December last year there was bi-partisan agreement that would require a super majority of the Senate to agree to such a thing. Surely the Republican Senators wouldn't go along with Trump's madness?


              • SPC

                Trump during a rally in South Carolina said he once told an unnamed foreign leader that the US would not defend that leader's country if it failed to pay enough for its defense.

                "No, I would not protect you," Trump said he told that president. "In fact, I would encourage them to do whatever the hell they want. You got to pay. You got to pay your bills."

                Rubio, one of the authors of the NATO provision, later told CNN that he did not take the former president to be suggesting he would not defend all NATO members.

                It only prevents him withdrawing the USA from NATO, it does not guarantee that a POTUS Trump would not do as he says and "encourage" a nation to attack a NATO nation he had a disagreement with.

                Trump is threatening to make US defence guarantee conditional when he is POTUS.

                Not only is he still the nominee, the GOP agreed to backtrack from a deal they made on a border agreement and aid to Ukraine when he told them to.

                The GOP has shown little resolve in the matter and Europe knows it.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 3.2

      "Ummmm, did NATO deter Putin?"

      Seems so. Putin has invaded three non-NATO neighbours in recent years (Chechnya (twice), Georgia, Ukraine), and zero NATO neighbours.

    • SPC 3.3

      New Zealand recognises that Taiwan is part of China.

      If they want to connect AUKUS Pillar 2 to the function of QUAD (containment of China) and onto a defence of Taiwan we should not sign up.

      The USA GOP (not just Trump) is abandoning Ukraine and NATO secular and democratic Europe to Russia (white race fascism and pretend Christian leadership) because they have more in common with “social conservative” Russia.

      As soon as their Pacific fleet is sunk off Taiwan, they will abandon us to China and slink off back to their 19th C isolationism.

  4. Mike the Lefty 4

    I received the latest AA (Automobile Association) magazine today.

    I expected that they might tackle the new transport minister on charging RUC on EVs, but no. They posed passive, almost bootlicking questions. It seems they are so starry eyed at having a government promising to spend a whole heap more on roads that they don't dare ask any difficult questions in case he changes his mind.

    Whenever any charges went up (like WOFs) under the Labour government the AA were screaming long and loud but when National do the same it seems to be OK with them. You can imagine the outrage that would have come from them had it been a Labour government that brought in RUC for EVs.

    I don't think I will bother to renew my AA subscription this year. I'm not interested in funding another National Party front.

    • Obtrectator 4.1

      The AA mag has long been a total waste of trees and china clay (used to make those glossy pages). I wish they'd make it optional in return for a reduction in the sub.

      Obtrectatrix once sent them a draft article detailing the trouble we'd had contesting an incorrectly-issued traffic offence notice supposedly involving our Australian hire-car (some fool had transposed a pair of digits in the rego when issuing the ticket). No interest from them whatever. The following issue carried some worthless piece about what CDs or tapes various celebs listened to while driving, with a full-colour illustration of it on the cover. 'Nuff said.

    • satty 4.2

      Also the petrol price is slowly moving up towards previous highs.

      Before the election there were near daily articles about high petrol prices, while it's very quiet about it at the moment (at least on NZ Herald and Stuff).

  5. Let's fix NZ's Citizen Initiated Referenda along the lines of the last two government referenda. Make it a vote to pass a bill that's already been drafted. How would this work in practice?

    Once the organisers of a CIR get the required number of signatures, Parliament has to pass the bill through first and second readings, so it can go through select committee processes. Then the referendum serves as the Third Reading vote. This way, people know exactly what they're voting on, and that it can definitely happen if the referendum passes.

    If you have an account in the fediverse, you can discuss this there too;

  6. Dolomedes III 6

    "David Seymour looks at regulatory shake up, potentially cutting Women, Māori out of policy talks", claims Thomas Coughlan.

    This is poor journalism, misinformation in fact. The regulatory shakeup would not cut women or Maaori out of policy talks, as there are many women and Maaori in the current government. Seymour is just suggesting the government bypass the "expertise" of two activist-dominated ministries of doubtful utility.

    • Traveller 6.1

      To be fair, the headline is the problem, not the actual article itself. AFAIK the journalists don't write the headlines.

    • SPC 6.2

      Keep the "Maaori" to Kiwblog spider.

      Most proposals have to be farmed out to population ministries like the Ministries for Women, Māori, and Pacific Peoples asking whether they think any policy changes will impact the people they are responsible for.

      So Seymour wants more of the fast tracking of legislation without impact statements that occurred last year, placed on a more permanent basis. The intent seems to diminish the role of the three ministries to reduce the relevance of their continued existence.

      Already environment, bio-security and conservation concerns have been treated in the same way.

      What next, auditing, given the not so accurate basis of near all policy costings pre election. Already the government has sidestepped adherence to norms as to statements prior to the budget.

  7. SPC 7

    30% per annum increases in insurance.

    $500 … $1000 … $2000pa when will it stop?

    At some point the government has to consider a cheap insurance alternative for homeowners, including those in high rise building (Wellington).

    • Belladonna 7.1

      Problem with 'cheap' insurance, is that the government can't afford to pay out if/when a disaster happens.
      Spreading the risk to the insurance companies (who then reinsure off shore) – is the only way that NZ can afford it.

      If Wellington properties are increasingly expensive to insure – and even become uninsurable – then surely that's a signal that those houses/apartments are in the wrong place….

      Having said that, insurance for the average Kiwi isn’t looking too bad. Current premium according to the article is still under 2K/pa – not a lot compared to the cost of rebuilding a house in today's building climate (from the article, rebuild costs up by more than 30% over the last 2 years.) – and the reinsurance costs (disasters affecting the cost/availability of reinsurance) increased up to 40%.

      Uninsurable areas are what 'unmanaged' retreat looks like. Perhaps it's time to look at 'managed' retreat.

      • weka 7.1.1

        where do you think everyone could go?

        If we take quakes, liquefaction, tsunamis, sea rise, slips and flooding, there aren't actually that many places in NZ that are safe to live. In the South Island, that's places like Lumsden in Southland. Inland on the Canterbury plains. But forget the coasts and mountains.

        • weka

          All those medium sized tourist towns beside lakes: Queenstown, Wanaka, Te Anau, they're all going to be a big problem in a big quake.

          West Coast, how would we even fix all the roads and bridges?

          Dunedin is not too bad, but tsunami risk, and in the longer term sea level rise. Shift people out onto the Taeri Plains for a while, until sea level rise and flooding kicks in?

        • Belladonna

          Well, why do you think they can stay?
          There are places which no investment of money can make safe (sea level rise, river flood plain, unstable cliffs).

          Is it better to just go on band-aiding? Paying to rebuild (or 'earthquake strengthen') in the same demonstrably unsafe locations?

          Earthquakes are a different level of risk. And totally unpredictable (who would have thought Christchurch, before 2010). Climate-related events are much more predictable in their consequences.

          • weka

            I don't think they can stay. There are obvious places in the SI already that need to be relocated. South Dunedin and Westport being two. My point is it's not enough to say managed retreat without talking about where to rebuild. As I said the other day, NZ is very bad at building in stupid places, even now.

            Disagree about quakes being totally unpredictable. We don't know the timing, but we have some good ideas on what will happen. We're simply not prepared.

            There is also going to be an intersection between quakes, tsunamis, and extreme weather events. Hopefully people still start to see soon the value in designing built spaces for resiliency, and that includes powering down and relocalising.

            I'm a fan of local design. The solutions for Te Anau are going to be very specific compared to Westport or Chch.

  8. tWig 8

    RNZ's Corin Dann grills economist Eric Crampton at the right-wing think tank NZ Initiative over levels of government spending as %GDP being still too high.. Around 3 min is a feisty exchange, as Corin does what a good journalist should, quoting facts and challenging Crampton's assumptions.

    • Traveller 8.1

      I'd hardly call the exchange 'feisty', but it's a good interview. Eric makes some good points, particularly around the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs and the media reporting of the context of current proposed cuts in staffing.

  9. Stephen D 9

    Interesting. Quite the opposite to what our CoC believes.

    ”Confounding the doomsters and gloomsters of the late 1990s, the minimum wage has raised the pay of millions of Britain’s lowest-paid workers by an average of £6,000 a year without lengthening dole queues. It has been described by one thinktank as the most successful economic policy in a generation.”

  10. adam 10

    Gun laws are going to change – so begs a couple of questions.

    If we have a school shooting, will the act party be held to account ?

    If we get another mass shooting, will the act party be paying for the costs the event causes?

    They want the guns, they should pay for it – from ACC to all medical cost, from police to prison costs these should all be charged to the act party. If one, just one mass shooting in any guise should occur. Then the when the party is bankrupt, we should look at the laws again.

    Best thing the liberals ever did in Australia was getting rid of all the automatic weapons. Shame our Tories are so bloody stupid in comparison.

    • Michael P 10.1

      From what I can see, most of what the ACT website says on this looks pretty sensible.

      Luxon's advisors (if they are any good at all) will tell him to steer well clear of making center fire assault rifles legal to obtain for anyone in NZ. From memory well over 80% of the population supported a ban on these weapons and I can't imagine that has changed much if at all so it would be a really bad political move for Luxon.

      He could win this politically by agreeing to ACT's proposed changes which seem mostly sensible but have a red line in regards to these military weapons and ensure they remain banned. As stated by post author there is absolutely zero need for anyone to own a military assault rifle other than the military itself. The hunters I know use hunting rifles and / or bows. None of them have suggested to me that they need an AK47 or similar to put some venison in the freezer.

      This might be quite a good little test to see how politically savvy Luxon (or his advisors) is / are.

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    5 days ago
  • Unions should put learning ahead of ideology
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour is calling on the Post Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA) to put ideology to the side and focus on students’ learning, in reaction to the union holding paid teacher meetings across New Zealand about charter schools.     “The PPTA is disrupting schools up and down the ...
    5 days ago
  • Craig Stobo appointed as chair of FMA
    Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Andrew Bayly today announced the appointment of Craig Stobo as the new chair of the Financial Markets Authority (FMA). Mr Stobo takes over from Mark Todd, whose term expired at the end of April. Mr Stobo’s appointment is for a five-year term. “The FMA plays ...
    5 days ago
  • Budget 2024 invests in lifeguards and coastguard
    Surf Life Saving New Zealand and Coastguard New Zealand will continue to be able to keep people safe in, on, and around the water following a funding boost of $63.644 million over four years, Transport Minister Simeon Brown and Associate Transport Minister Matt Doocey say. “Heading to the beach for ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand and Tuvalu reaffirm close relationship
    New Zealand and Tuvalu have reaffirmed their close relationship, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says.  “New Zealand is committed to working with Tuvalu on a shared vision of resilience, prosperity and security, in close concert with Australia,” says Mr Peters, who last visited Tuvalu in 2019.  “It is my pleasure ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand calls for calm, constructive dialogue in New Caledonia
    New Zealand is gravely concerned about the situation in New Caledonia, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.  “The escalating situation and violent protests in Nouméa are of serious concern across the Pacific Islands region,” Mr Peters says.  “The immediate priority must be for all sides to take steps to de-escalate the ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand welcomes Samoa Head of State
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met today with Samoa’s O le Ao o le Malo, Afioga Tuimalealiifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II, who is making a State Visit to New Zealand. “His Highness and I reflected on our two countries’ extensive community links, with Samoan–New Zealanders contributing to all areas of our national ...
    6 days ago
  • Island Direct eligible for SuperGold Card funding
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has announced that he has approved Waiheke Island ferry operator Island Direct to be eligible for SuperGold Card funding, paving the way for a commercial agreement to bring the operator into the scheme. “Island Direct started operating in November 2023, offering an additional option for people ...
    6 days ago
  • Further sanctions against Russia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today announced further sanctions on 28 individuals and 14 entities providing military and strategic support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.  “Russia is directly supported by its military-industrial complex in its illegal aggression against Ukraine, attacking its sovereignty and territorial integrity. New Zealand condemns all entities and ...
    6 days ago
  • One year on from Loafers Lodge
    A year on from the tragedy at Loafers Lodge, the Government is working hard to improve building fire safety, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says. “I want to share my sincere condolences with the families and friends of the victims on the anniversary of the tragic fire at Loafers ...
    6 days ago
  • Pre-Budget speech to Auckland Business Chamber
    Ka nui te mihi kia koutou. Kia ora and good afternoon, everyone. Thank you so much for having me here in the lead up to my Government’s first Budget. Before I get started can I acknowledge: Simon Bridges – Auckland Business Chamber CEO. Steve Jurkovich – Kiwibank CEO. Kids born ...
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand and Vanuatu to deepen collaboration
    New Zealand and Vanuatu will enhance collaboration on issues of mutual interest, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “It is important to return to Port Vila this week with a broad, high-level political delegation which demonstrates our deep commitment to New Zealand’s relationship with Vanuatu,” Mr Peters says.    “This ...
    7 days ago
  • Penk travels to Peru for trade meetings
    Minister for Land Information, Chris Penk will travel to Peru this week to represent New Zealand at a meeting of trade ministers from the Asia-Pacific region on behalf of Trade Minister Todd McClay. The annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministers Responsible for Trade meeting will be held on 17-18 May ...
    7 days ago
  • Minister attends global education conferences
    Minister of Education Erica Stanford will head to the United Kingdom this week to participate in the 22nd Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers (CCEM) and the 2024 Education World Forum (EWF). “I am looking forward to sharing this Government’s education priorities, such as introducing a knowledge-rich curriculum, implementing an evidence-based ...
    7 days ago
  • Education Minister thanks outgoing NZQA Chair
    Minister of Education Erica Stanford has today thanked outgoing New Zealand Qualifications Authority Chair, Hon Tracey Martin. “Tracey Martin tendered her resignation late last month in order to take up a new role,” Ms Stanford says. Ms Martin will relinquish the role of Chair on 10 May and current Deputy ...
    7 days ago
  • Joint statement of Christopher Luxon and Emmanuel Macron: Launch of the Christchurch Call Foundation
    New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and President Emmanuel Macron of France today announced a new non-governmental organisation, the Christchurch Call Foundation, to coordinate the Christchurch Call’s work to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online.   This change gives effect to the outcomes of the November 2023 Call Leaders’ Summit, ...
    1 week ago
  • Panel announced for review into disability services
    Distinguished public servant and former diplomat Sir Maarten Wevers will lead the independent review into the disability support services administered by the Ministry of Disabled People – Whaikaha. The review was announced by Disability Issues Minister Louise Upston a fortnight ago to examine what could be done to strengthen the ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister welcomes Police gang unit
    Today’s announcement by Police Commissioner Andrew Coster of a National Gang Unit and district Gang Disruption Units will help deliver on the coalition Government’s pledge to restore law and order and crack down on criminal gangs, Police Minister Mark Mitchell says. “The National Gang Unit and Gang Disruption Units will ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand expresses regret at North Korea’s aggressive rhetoric
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has today expressed regret at North Korea’s aggressive rhetoric towards New Zealand and its international partners.  “New Zealand proudly stands with the international community in upholding the rules-based order through its monitoring and surveillance deployments, which it has been regularly doing alongside partners since 2018,” Mr ...
    1 week ago
  • New Chief of Defence Force appointed
    Air Vice-Marshal Tony Davies MNZM is the new Chief of Defence Force, Defence Minister Judith Collins announced today. The Chief of Defence Force commands the Navy, Army and Air Force and is the principal military advisor to the Defence Minister and other Ministers with relevant portfolio responsibilities in the defence ...
    1 week ago
  • Government puts children first by repealing 7AA
    Legislation to repeal section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act has been introduced to Parliament. The Bill’s introduction reaffirms the Coalition Government’s commitment to the safety of children in care, says Minister for Children, Karen Chhour. “While section 7AA was introduced with good intentions, it creates a conflict for Oranga ...
    1 week ago
  • Defence Minister to meet counterparts in UK, Italy
    Defence Minister Judith Collins will this week travel to the UK and Italy to meet with her defence counterparts, and to attend Battles of Cassino commemorations. “I am humbled to be able to represent the New Zealand Government in Italy at the commemorations for the 80th anniversary of what was ...
    1 week ago
  • Charter schools to lift educational outcomes
    The upcoming Budget will include funding for up to 50 charter schools to help lift declining educational performance, Associate Education Minister David Seymour announced today. $153 million in new funding will be provided over four years to establish and operate up to 15 new charter schools and convert 35 state ...
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 Inquiry terms of reference consultation results received
    “The results of the public consultation on the terms of reference for the Royal Commission into COVID-19 Lessons has now been received, with results indicating over 13,000 submissions were made from members of the public,” Internal Affairs Minister Brooke van Velden says. “We heard feedback about the extended lockdowns in ...
    1 week ago
  • The Pacific family of nations – the changing security outlook
    Foreign Minister, Defence Minister, other Members of Parliament Acting Chief of Defence Force, Secretary of Defence Distinguished Guests  Defence and Diplomatic Colleagues  Ladies and Gentlemen,  Good afternoon, tēna koutou, apinun tru    It’s a pleasure to be back in Port Moresby today, and to speak here at the Kumul Leadership ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ and Papua New Guinea to work more closely together
    Health, infrastructure, renewable energy, and stability are among the themes of the current visit to Papua New Guinea by a New Zealand political delegation, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Papua New Guinea carries serious weight in the Pacific, and New Zealand deeply values our relationship with it,” Mr Peters ...
    1 week ago

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