Open mike 14/12/2023

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 14th, 2023 - 134 comments
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Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

134 comments on “Open mike 14/12/2023 ”

  1. Pat 1

    Deja vu all over again?

    A 2015 Treasury report said that inequality in New Zealand increased in the 1980s and 1990s but has been stable for the last 20 years[9] although another 2015 article said that New Zealand’s rate of rise of inequality had been the highest in the OECD, and that New Zealand’s inequality had previously been low by OECD standards.[10] The 1991 budget had profound social effects, child poverty rose from 15% in 1990 to 29% in 1994 while violent crime peaked between 1990 and 1997.[11][12] Income inequality also accelerated, New Zealand’s GINI index rose from 0.30 in 1990 to 0.33 in 1996 and thereafter 0.34 at the turn of the century.[13] Poorer New Zealanders saw their standard of living fall from their 1984 level.[14] Unemployment also remained high for much of the decade, from 11% in 1991 to 6% in 1996 and then up again to 8% following the Asian Financial Crisis.[15]

    [Caught in Spam filter because too many hyperlinks, that have now been removed. Also added blockquote – Incognito]

    • Incognito 1.1

      Mod note

    • SPC 1.2

      This seems to be income inequality.

      Labour reduced this with WFF tax credits and the MW increases (1999-2008). More work with MW increases since 2017. And benefit adjustments recently.

      However there is now the rising cost of rents.

      Wealth inequality is still increasing – as home ownership declines and more own multiple properties. And property values rise in value greater than most peoples incomes.

      • Pat 1.2.1

        Yes, wealth inequality is still rising (including under a 'left' government) but the purpose of the post was to draw attention to the results of the fiscal austerity imposed without regard under Finance Minister Richardson….something that appears to be recurring with such similarity as to beg the question as to who's driving it?

        Remembering this is an ideology that has been (at least) modified in the worlds major economies in recent times if not outright rejected.

  2. observer 3

    It's disturbing to see the empathy deficit made so clear.

    If you work in health, why would you give your time, your expertise, your care? Why would you volunteer for anything?

    In the ACT mindset, one reason only. Money. They simply cannot comprehend the concept of people being motivated by anything else.

    ACT MP mistakes Sir Collin Tukuitonga's volunteer role for 'high-paid' position | RNZ News

    Of course the ACT MP offers no apology, no understanding, only a pathetic doubling down. No wonder Sir Collin wants nothing to do with them.

  3. Sanctuary 4

    Nicola Willis's decision to can the new ferries looks increasingly like it was made off the cuff and with a shaky grasp of the details. Currently on RNZ is she blathering on about ridiculous off load/on load road bridging for rail as "efficient" (well, efficient for her mates in the roading lobby because trucks will win) which is completely gaslighting the Kiwirail experts.

    She has also said the deal could be cancelled because the ships were not yet being built, but the Kiwirail boss on RNZ this morning more or less called her out on it, saying that they may have to build the ships and then sell them – most likely at a massive discount, since the design is bespoke for Cook Strait.

    They don't build ships like they did in the 1980 Polish shipyard that seems to live rent free in every right wingers head. Ships are largely pre-fabricated and materials are laid in ahead of assembly. The contract was signed back in June 2021, construction was due to commence next March. So Hyundai will have had already assembled materials and pre-ordered components like engines and prefabricated superstructures, booked slipways etc. The penalty fee for cancelation at this late stage would probably amount to most of the cost of just building them.

    Honestly, Willis is incoherent on this – she is cancelling the deal because of the land-based costs, saying the ships themselves were fine on a fixed price contract. But without the new facilities the ships can’t dock so… As it is, we are going to end up paying most of the price for ships specifically designed for the Cook strait, sell them to some Saudi outfit for a song to cart pilgrims to Mecca, and spend more money on a couple of inadequate vessels that will make freight cost much higher on State Highway one across the strait.

    But landlords will get their tax cut and the trucking industry will see off a competitor.

    Classic National party.

    • CharlieB 4.1

      I was reading about this some where else and it makes me wonder if the ultimate goal here is to privatise the ferry branch of Kiwi rail using the actual ferries as a bait to do that.

      So we go ahead and build the ferries, and use those as an incentive for some one to buy out the infrastructure.?

      • Sanctuary 4.1.1

        Cancelation is all gravy for National/ACT. They don't care about the infrastructure deficit, they don't believe in the government planning anything. So they simply ignore it on basis that by definition tomorrow never comes and when it does, it'll be another generations problem.

        Similarly, it furthers their determined, one sided culture war on all aspects of non-road, ICE powered transport giving a win to their post-truth base for free whilst also rewarding their sponsors in the trucking lobby by making rail uncompetitive.

      • Matiri 4.1.2

        Bluebridge (Strait Shipping) is owned by Morgan Stanley the American investment bank – did they make financial donations to any party I wonder? In 2021 they carried 56% of vehicle freight, Interislander carried the rest.

        • SPC

          The terminal will be built on land owned by KiwiRail, CentrePort and the NZTA . Interislander plans to introduce new hybrid electric ferries that are 30m longer than those currently in operation.The new terminal will be able to accommodate the larger ferries and will replace the two separate terminals currently used by StraitNZ and the Interislander. In addition, CentrePort will be able to make changes to the layout of its other port operations. The plan includes a wharf about 250m long, a ferry terminal building, changes to road, rail and pedestrian access, and marshalling and loading areas.

          More than the The future of the InterIslander is involved.

        • Patricia Bremner

          yes 100% Matiri

    • Ghostwhowalks 4.2

      The reason why the current ferries arent fit for their purposes, as that there are mostly second hand vessels bought under the Key-English government directions to avoid funding new builds in the period 2012-17. Some were short term leases initially

      Aratere – built for NZ service in 1999

      Kaiarahi built 1998 , bought in 2015

      Kaitaki built 1995 , bought 2017

      Valentine built 1999 chartered 2021 then bought 2022 because serious problems with earlier used ferries bought.

      So we are back to the recent past where capital spending was avoided and resulted in serious problems with worn out vessels

      • Sanctuary 4.2.1

        Hmmm built between 1995-99 so at replacement the fleet would be at least 27, 28, 31 and 27 years old respectively.

        Effectively, lack of a replacement path means we are looking at block obsolescence.

    • Ad 4.3

      This is basically a commercial war.

    • Belladonna 4.4

      My understanding is that the Kiwirail boss said that 'one option' was to continue the build and on-sell them (not that this was the only option)

      Daran Ponter said that – if they remove the rail component to the build – which would be easy to do – there is plenty of market for the ferries – and they should at least recover their money.

      Listening to Kathryn Ryan interview Daran Ponter (Chair – Greater Wellington Region) – fleshed this out a bit – making it clear that it was the size of the ferries – which required the huge infrastructure cost. The initial KiwiRail proposal was to take over the Wellington cargo port – and when they were knocked back (3 years ago), they had to look at investment to upscale their current site – which was already looking dubious for the size of the ferries.

      According to him, there would be no issue with commissioning rail ferries to be built which are similar in size/scale to the current ones – and which require minimal new dockside infrastructure. If you can commission large ones, you can commission smaller ones. I gather that there are few open water rail ferries operating around the world, so a rail-capable one would require a new build.

      Also Labour are saying (albeit very quietly) that they were also concerned over the cost blowouts when they were in government. It seems likely that the project would have been canned under the last government as well.

      • Pat 4.4.1

        Yes , it would have been interesting to see what Labour would have done in light of the cost blow out ….especially as it was one of the few policies that got further than governance reform.

        Is going to be costly whatever happens ….and the economy slowing faster than predicted already.

      • Ad 4.4.2

        Kiwirail are now making options up on the fly.

        There are thousands of multi-year jobs at risk in this decision on both the Picton and Wellington side.

        Check out the scale of what has been stopped dead:

        Maritime NZ might want to give the government advice on whether the Kiwirail ships are actually safe. Plenty of informal advice coming out of there that no-one in their right mind should be a passenger on those ships now.

        • Belladonna

          Plenty of informal advice coming out of there that no-one in their right mind should be a passenger on those ships now.

          In which case, Kiwirail and it's CEO and directors are criminally liable.

          There was no scenario under which these proposed replacement ships would have been delivered in the next two years.

          If the current ferries are the death-traps you are suggesting – then this is entirely on the watch of the CEO and board. Nothing prevents them from leasing or purchasing more structurally reliable ships (if that is indeed a problem) – ones which fit the current shore infrastructure – and therefore can be operational quickly.

          • Ad

            It will take one crossing in a storm to sheet this decision right back to Willis.

            At which point it will be all on pete tong.

            • Belladonna

              Only if the storm crossing happens after the scheduled arrival of the new vessals (in 2026 IIRC). Otherwise it's totally on the shoulders of the KiwiRail management.

              • Ad

                Such niceties will be lost: Kiwirail are accountable to the government and in this case directly overruled by Willis.

                Even if Willis tried to offload blame to the Kiwirail board, the Kiwirail board will simply say nothing, point to the IREX website, and let her take all the media focus.

    • Populuxe1 4.5

      The frustrating thing is that it isn't just passengers and vehicles. It means a lot of freight is going to have to be shipped coastally as well – probably planned as it will impact NZR's competitiveness against the global giants.

      • Belladonna 4.5.1

        No one is proposing shutting down the CS ferries tomorrow – or in the foreseeable future, for that matter. Cars, trucks, and freight (including rail, via the rail capable ferry) will continue to move between the north and south islands. Indeed, Kiwirail have initially leased and then purchased a 'new' (i.e. secondhand) ferry in the last couple of years – in order to support interisland freight.

        Kiwirail need to go back to the drawing board, and come up with ferry solutions which fit the existing infrastructure. The ballooning cost of the necessary shore infrastructure has made their first option unaffordable. Any competent planning team, should have second and/or third options ready to dust-off and begin costing.

    • Chess Player 4.6

      Looks to me like yet another overblown, over consulted and under costed project that the previous government used for publicity as long as it could, but was always doomed to failure.

      Time for a reset.

      No idea whether a three party coalition can solve this one, but if a government with absolute majority, unbridled power, couldn't do it, then anything from here is on the way up.

      • bwaghorn 4.6.1

        unbridled power, couldn't do it, t

        They did solve it the keels are nearly laid, when it comes to core infrastructure you just do it, Onslow is another, jobs jobs jobs, keeps the money circulating

        • Chess Player

          Singapore was taken from a swamp to a place that people flock to, in 50 years.

          Warsaw was rebuilt brick by brick using old photographs as the plans.

          Hadrian's Wall took 6 years.

          And you claim a couple keels, nearly being laid, in 3 years, is an achievement?

          Have some ambition for Pete's sake.

        • Belladonna

          Had the previous government the courage of their convictions, they could have set aside the funding before they went out of office.

          I suspect that they, too, bridled at the cost, and happily left the hot potato to the incoming government.

    • gsays 4.7

      Good comment.

      "Classic National party."

      For all the criticism of his handling of the economy, I get the feeling Muldoon would be spinning in his grave at the short-sighted, penny pinching, market driven deciscions of this incarnation of a National party.

  4. Descendant Of Smith 5

    Was talking to a friend who works in health on the weekend and they mentioned the disestablishment of Te Aka Whai Ora is going to take a significant number of Maori workers out of health as there are no jobs for them to go back to as they have been filled once they moved to Te Aka Whai Ora from elsewhere in the health system.

  5. Joe90 6

    More transperancy.



    So, the new National Govt is sitting on analysis already prepared about the repeal of the Clean Car Discount – and refusing to release. Wonder why???

  6. Ad 7

    Sorry to all you Tesla drivers, but there's a pretty-much total recall on them.

    • Leaps 7.1

      Details are not important in headlines!

      The recall applies to the USA, though it's possible Tesla may make similar changes in other countries. Also, the recall will be fixed by an OTA update in software. Sounds like the change is just a tweak in the self-driving software algorithm to check more often the the drive is paying attention.

      So speaking as a Tesla owner this means very little.

  7. Reality 8

    I remember National in its sell everything off era (late 1990s I think), including the railways. (Or it could have been Roger Douglas). Of course the several new owners (can’t remember how many, but at least two) ran them down to being a heap of junk rather than spending money maintaining the trains and infrastructure. It was Labour (Annette King as minister) that spent however many millions on the Wairarapa/Wellington upgrades. Those trains are and were absolutely essential to a functioning greater Wellington region. Just as the ferries are.

    Guess Nicola Willis will not be choosing a holiday crossing Cook Strait in the years to come. Could she cope with being stranded somewhere if the ferry broke down?

    • Peter 8.1

      Who needs the Strait when the Luxon gen has Te Puke?

    • Anne 8.2

      That sell off era started in the late 1980s under Douglas and Prebble and was continued by Richardson and co. in the 1990s. I think the first public entity to disappear was the electronic arm of the Post Office and "Telecom" (now Spark) was born.

    • Obtrectator 8.3

      "Could she cope with being stranded somewhere if the ferry broke down?"

      Easy – whistle up a Defence Force helicopter.

    • Patricia Bremner 8.4

      Willis will fly and forget the carbon, but if one of these "ships" they lease breaks down and we have another Wahine disaster…..

  8. tsmithfield 9

    Another example of a crazy decision based on woke hand-wringing.

    The Auckland Mueseum stood to make a sizeable profit by hosting the Fantastic Beasts show, but it ended up being cancelled due to its links with JK Rowling. The chain of events as outlined that led to its cancellation leaves me shaking my head.

    This sort of stuff probably explains to some degree why a lot of voters took a much more conservative stance in their voting this time around. I think a lot of people are absolutely sick of this sort of nonsense.

    • Pat 9.1

      Certainly most I interact with are…almost unanimously.

      • Robert Guyton 9.1.1

        Perhaps you should stop spouting it then 🙂

        • Pat


          • Robert Guyton

            Meant as a joke. Are the people you interact with concerned about the Fantastic Beasts exhibition not going ahead?

            • Pat

              Not specifically this event…the propensity for anything and everything (or everyone) to be 'cancelled' if some group has an objection.

              The phrase "its gone too far' is a frequent refrain…..and usually unsolicited.

              • Robert Guyton

                Like the inter-island ferries?

                The smoking cessation legislation?

                Oil and gas exploration?

                Those cancellers?

                • Pat

                  Yes Robert, like those cancellers…who will also face the electorate in the future.

                  • bwaghorn

                    I wouldn't put my faith in the electorate, after a 10 minute coffee I had with some well padded people yesterday, I'd heard how life was going to be better with a new government and how electric cars where hopless and ugly,

            • Francesca

              It’d be the reasons its been cancelled that would be foremost in people’s minds .Stop being deliberately disingenuous in the guise of Socratic debate

              • Ghostwhowalks

                Whos even aware there was even a possible "beasts" exhibition at all

                heres another cancellation to grind your gears over


              • gsays

                Good observation, Francesca.

    • Robert Guyton 9.2

      What value do you think an exhibition of invented creatures from a children's book has, tsmithfield?

      • Francesca 9.2.1

        Hang on a minute Robert

        Is irrelevance the measure Auckland Museum is using to cancel the show?

        Surely the point is that it is the association with JKRowling that has driven the decision

        God , how many exhibits would have to be removed if compliance with post modernist thought was applied?

        • Robert Guyton

          I haven’t claimed irrelevance, Francesca.

          Surely it's a decision for the museum to make.

          Why is anyone perturbed?

          • Peter

            Maybe the first to be perturbed were those who replied to the Museum's some time back survey.

            According to Duncan Grieve "Of the 500 people surveyed, a tiny minority worried about the views of Harry Potter creator JK Rowling – just two, one more than expressed concern about her implied support of witchcraft."

            Early 2023 someone called Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull came here, there was a ruckus about trans stuff and the museum show was cancelled. Not to do with the witchcraft angle the trans one.

            The easiest thing would be to put all visiting shows in the too hard basket. All the stuff about marketing. Tell you what it would do, save a lot of money if the place was closed down.

            Or look on the bright side and all the value to humans, to the country, to the city, to everything by having a top class museum.

            Apparently that's away to enlightenment. Maybe we need it given this sort saga. What's been shown is that fear of violence of one sort or another has taken away the opportunity for many thousands to have their eyes opened.

            At least we're not one of those US states. If we were, not doubt there'd be posses all over the place burning Rowling's boots or at least getting them out of libraries.

          • francesca

            Ok Robert

            Would you be so sanguine if the museum canceled a show depicting the Paleatinian struggle over time because Israel objected?

            Would you just say

            " oh well, it's the museums decision"

            Personally I would be pretty pissed off and "perurbed"

          • weka

            Surely it's a decision for the museum to make.

            Yes. And people are free to critique that given the central role museums play in society.

            Why is anyone perturbed?

            My guess is that Gender Identity activists put pressure on the museum. It's not like it's an exhibit of JKR's life's work. It's an exhibition central to contemporary what museums do.

            There are two issues:

            1. should political activists have the power to sway museums in this way? Yes, and we need to be cautious about how far that goes. Because it's not just the left that does this now.
            2. is the justification in this case valid? No. The accusation is that JKR is transphobic. What is the evidence for that? The accusation gets thrown around a lot, but not many bother to present what it is based on.
            • Peter

              Of course it was the museum's to make. And of course political activists swayed' them. What I said originally about fear of violence of one sort or another.

              It's sort of like when a couple of little kids are walking home from school and half a dozen big 13 year olds surround them saying, "Give's your shoes."

              Gender activists had their moral angle in the museum thing. Of course there are there political angles to the shoe thing too.

              • weka

                are you on a phone using the Mobile version of the site? My comment was a reply to Robert, not you.

                If you switch to the Desktop version (bottom of the page), you will find a replies list that shows (mostly) who has replied to you.

            • Robert Guyton

              Political activists?

              Wasn't it staff of the museum who raised objections?

      • weka 9.2.2

        "What value do you think an exhibition of invented creatures from a children's book has, tsmithfield?"

        Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder of Nature was open from 9–15 December 2020 and from 17 May 2021 to 3 January 2022 at the Natural History Museum. It consisted of creatures, specimens and artefacts from the museum's scientific collection displayed side by side with elements from the Wizarding World as well as digital installations. This exhibit featured 100 objects, including props from the Fantastic Beasts and Harry Potter films.

        Sounds interesting in terms of science, museums, and for HP fans.

        • Robert Guyton

          Kind of you to respond on tsmithfield's behalf, weka.

          • weka

            you're welcome 🙂

          • Sanctuary

            Weka and co have totally red pilled themselves on the trans debate, whilst the whole time imagining they are free thinkers untouched by social media post truth culture wars.

            • Robert Guyton

              I support weka in so many of their comments, but the hot-spot you allude to seems to bend their usual poise into another shape (sorry, weka), for example:

              weka wrote:

              "please supply some evidence that JKR is an anti-trans activist."

              Why the higher level of requirement with this issue?

              If someone has the view that, "JKR is an anti-trans activist", that's their view/opinion, in the same way that, "Nicola Willis is a Ruth Richardson clone" could be someone's view, not needing to be supported by evidence, I'd have thought.

      • Belladonna 9.2.3

        Possibly the idea that science can be fun. That creativity can springboard off nature to inspire a fascinating imaginary world.

        Weta Workshop sure seem to get it.

        • Robert Guyton

          Science, "fun"?

          Let's ask science if it can be fun, shall we.

          The question will have to be subjected to science, peer reviewed etc.


          Ask the lab-rats if it's "fun".

          • Belladonna

            Your dour protestantism is showing through.

            • Robert Guyton

              Ha! I'll wear that as a badge of honour, Belladonna.

              I get pigeon-holed regularly; tree-hugger, anti-farmer etc. but dour protestant is a first!

    • tsmithfield 9.3

      Thanks for the insightful replies to my comment.

      I think there is very much a slippery slope argument that we have slid a long way down already imo.

      And, I wonder how these super-sensitive luvvies are going to cope in the real world if they can't handle an event that has an association with an individual that stated views they don't like. They will simply melt if they have to mix with average people in the real world.

      • Robert Guyton 9.3.1

        "super-sensitive luvvies"

        Could you be more demeaning, tsmithfield, of young museum employees?

        • tsmithfield

          I think the description is incredibly accurate. Whether it is demeaning is beside the point. People who get that upset about such a trivial issue probably meet the description I gave. If they can't handle that, how can they possibly handle any adversity in their lives.

          • Muttonbird

            They are handling adversity quite well I think. They managed to get a revenue stream for a very wealthy, highly influential, and known anti-trans activist stopped.

            They should be applauded for that.

            • weka

              please supply some evidence that JKR is an anti-trans activist.

              • gsays

                Good luck with that.

                I've asked the same question after the same smear was made about Graham Lineham. Still waiting for an answer.

                • weka

                  the difficulty now is that so much of the GC movement has been taken up by people who are actually transphobic eg Matt Walsh, but also lots of ordinary people who just don't like gender non-conformity.

                  If liberals call someone like JKR an anti-trans activists, it's a dead end. The refusal to allow any dissent even by progressives means we can't differentiate between the Walshes who are anti-feminist, anti-progressive as well as anti-trans, and the people who want women and trans people to be ok but aren't willing to sacrifice women and kids. It also makes the largest number of people who haven't picked as side but are generally reasonable and supportive of women and trans people, to wtaf and turn away from trans support because the demands are both unreasonable and the ideology crazy making.

                  JKR is one of the people who wants the best for both women and trans people. Calling her an anti-trans activist is stupid and damages the left.

                  • gsays

                    I agree. The quality of engagement by some leaves a lot to be desired.

                    Very generous to use 'liberals' to describe the above position when idealogue or fundamentalist may be closer to the mark.

                    TBF, by radical means, moderate gains are made. Although generally round here the debate is fair and respectful and not deserving of the terf and transphobe slurs that are often bandied about.

                    Yet another sign one's position is weak or incorrect, attacking the messenger.

    • SPC 9.4


      The Harry Potter films are on TVNZ and no one is concerned.

      The young ones under 30 the ones watching still.

      B grade students on social media is not a society sample. Just let the A grade students debate with them to explain why this sort of censorship is wrong.

      The exhibit harms no one, but the precedent of suppressing creative work does.

      The idea that a group of people is harmed if someone is not blacklisted/boycotted because of their opinions is frankly a McCarthyist reprise.

  9. UncookedSelachimorpha 10

    Picton shocked by withdrawal of ferry funding!!

    Meanwhile voting place results show Picton voted for the current coalition of clowns by a robust margin.

    Vote for clowns, expect a circus.

    • SPC 10.1

      “We need the new ferries because the other ones have only got three years to run and the existing wharf we’ve got is falling to bits.

      In Picton, the iReX project included a new terminal building, a new wharf and passenger walkway, a new rail yard, new vehicle boarding and the Dublin St bridge. It needed up to 300 workers.

      “The country still has to deal with the safety of the ferry service between the North and South Island,” he said.

      “This fleet is on its last legs, we can’t have ferries breaking down in this day and age, and we nearly had a major disaster with 1000 people on board when the ferry broke down [near] Wellington.

      “With our ageing ferry service and ageing facilities, something will have to be done for safety … People overseas are looking at us as a country and going, ‘why are there major ferries breaking down in the Cook Strait?’

  10. newsense 11

    Essential workers!
    In the morning and at the going down of the sun we will remember them…as they do unpaid overtime.

    • Patricia Bremner 11.1

      yesheart Yes I was considering the delivery lady who works so hard for probably a low wage. newsense

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    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has confirmed a New Zealand Government plane will head to New Caledonia in the next hour in the first in a series of proposed flights to begin bringing New Zealanders home.    “New Zealanders in New Caledonia have faced a challenging few days - and bringing ...
    2 days ago
  • Assisted departures from New Caledonia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has confirmed a New Zealand Government plane will head to New Caledonia in the next hour in the first in a series of proposed flights to begin bringing New Zealanders home.  “New Zealanders in New Caledonia have faced a challenging few days - and bringing them ...
    2 days ago
  • Government to rollout roadside drug testing
    The Coalition Government will introduce legislation this year that will enable roadside drug testing as part of our commitment to improve road safety and restore law and order, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Alcohol and drugs are the number one contributing factor in fatal road crashes in New Zealand. In ...
    3 days ago
  • Minister responds to review of Kāinga Ora
    The Government has announced a series of immediate actions in response to the independent review of Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. “Kāinga Ora is a large and important Crown entity, with assets of $45 billion and over $2.5 billion of expenditure each year. It ...
    3 days ago
  • Pseudoephedrine back on shelves
    Associate Health Minister David Seymour is pleased that Pseudoephedrine can now be purchased by the general public to protect them from winter illness, after the coalition government worked swiftly to change the law and oversaw a fast approval process by Medsafe. “Pharmacies are now putting the medicines back on their ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand-China Business Summit
    Tēnā koutou katoa. Da jia hao.  Good morning everyone.   Prime Minister Luxon, your excellency, a great friend of New Zealand and my friend Ambassador Wang, Mayor of what he tells me is the best city in New Zealand, Wayne Brown, the highly respected Fran O’Sullivan, Champion of the Auckland business ...
    4 days ago
  • New measures to protect powerlines from trees
    Energy Minister Simeon Brown has announced that the Government will make it easier for lines firms to take action to remove vegetation from obstructing local powerlines. The change will ensure greater security of electricity supply in local communities, particularly during severe weather events.  “Trees or parts of trees falling on ...
    6 days ago
  • Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani win top Māori dairy farming award
    Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani were the top winners at this year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy awards recognising the best in Māori dairy farming. Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka announced the winners and congratulated runners-up, Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board, at an awards celebration also attended by Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Finance Minister ...
    6 days ago
  • DJ Fred Again – Assurance report received
    "On the 27th of March, I sought assurances from the Chief Executive, Department of Internal Affairs, that the Department’s correct processes and policies had been followed in regards to a passport application which received media attention,” says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “I raised my concerns after being ...
    6 days ago
  • District Court Judges appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins has announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges, to replace Judges who have recently retired. Peter James Davey of Auckland has been appointed a District Court Judge with a jury jurisdiction to be based at Whangarei. Mr Davey initially started work as a law clerk/solicitor with ...
    6 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 ...
    6 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 ...
    6 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 ...
    7 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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

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