web analytics

Pike River families win a “political reality”

Written By: - Date published: 7:55 am, October 6th, 2017 - 90 comments
Categories: disaster, election 2017, Mining - Tags: , ,

Among the biggest winners of the election will be the Pike River families (Newshub):

‘We’re going to get into that drift’: Pike River families buoyant after meeting Winston Peters, Jacinda Ardern

The Pike River families say for the first time in seven years, they have hope.

Representatives including Bernie Monk, Sonya Rockhouse and Anna Osborne met with NZ First leader Winston Peters on Thursday morning, where he reaffirmed his promise of a manned re-entry and recovery of the bodies.

The likelihood of that happening is greater if Mr Peters sides with Labour and the Greens, the families believe, because both parties have already promised re-entry. They met with Labour leader Jacinda Ardern on Wednesday, but in seven years, say they’ve never sat down with anyone from National.

“Every time we’ve been up here, they’ve always found a way not to meet us,” said Mr Monk.

Patrick Gower is scathing about National:

“The National Government tried to put concrete down that mine… we will now see the character of Bill English and all the other people in the Beehive who tried to stop [going back into the mine]. They’ve probably, already in their minds, agreed to letting men go back into the Pike River drift.

“They will not go into Opposition over this… They will literally go back on everything they’ve said in order to get Winston into power. They’ll go back into Pike River… It’s hugely embarrassing.”

90 comments on “Pike River families win a “political reality” ”

  1. Interesting comment by Gower at the end of the article. Makes one wonder indeed. However , for the Pike River family’s ,- and all NZ workers , – it looks as if justice will be done under a Labour , Greens , NZ First govt. One more good reason to hope for that to happen.

    • cleangreen 1.1

      100% WK,
      “it looks as if justice will be done under a Labour , Greens , NZ First govt. One more good reason to hope for that to happen.”

      We need to pray for this indeed, as NZ is now on a fragile point of savour or destruction if it does not happen..
      Winston knows this and I hope Greens and Labour do to.

      I recall what National called West Coast people during the 2014 election. I cant repeat that awful phase of in-humanity Nasty Nat’s called our West coast cousins.

      But it serves to remind us all how National views us all as. “sub-human” is my feeling Nat’s consider us as.

  2. Doogs 2

    Sandra Lee saying this morning that he won’t go with L/GP unless the margin is greater than 61. What does she know that we don’t? Probably that Winnie wants stability more than doing what he says for people. Yes, the Natzis will do absolutely ANYTHING to retain power. Fingers crossed everyone!

    • weka 2.1

      I’m guessing she is expressing opinion rather than having insider knowledge of Peters’ intentions.

  3. When they go in I hope it allows those families to get what they want and what they need.

    • Incognito 3.2

      I hope so too! They’d want answers but I think it is highly likely that what they’ll find will raise more questions and may in fact lead further away from achieving some kind of ‘closure’ though …

  4. Sparky 4

    This is shameful and yet another reason to say goodbye to the current government.

    • Wensleydale 4.1

      Not that we need another reason, but anyone who can’t see that they’re prepared to sell their own grandmothers to stay in power is willfully deluded.

  5. Infused 5

    Yeah I call bullshit on that

    Gower is a douche bag

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1

      Would you settle for National never getting the chance to prove him wrong?

      You didn’t call Hooton a douchebag when he pointed out they have no principles.

    • Wensleydale 5.2

      And yet when Gower’s gleefully putting the boot into Labour, you seem to regard him as the Oracle of Delphi. Funny how that works.

      • garibaldi 5.2.1

        “Oracle of Delphi”? Not so Wensleydale, I think we can all agree that Gower is a total dipstick.

  6. cleangreen 6

    Infused = confused.

  7. eco Maori/kiwi 7

    Kia Kaha pike river family’s

  8. weka 8

    Have National started backtracking on their Pike River position since the election?

    • veutoviper 8.1

      Not as far as I have observed. I have seen nothing from National since the election until this morning when Paula Bennett appeared on the AM show along with Kelvin Davis. (I think they have a regular joint spot with Duncan Garner but I do not usually watch the AM show.)

      http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/election/2017/10/limited-relationship-behind-paula-bennett-s-absence-from-peters-meeting.html

      A lot of fluffies in the interview but also some very detailed discussion re Pike River from about 5mins to about 7.45min.

      Kelvin basically reinterates Labour’s commitment re possible manned re-entry, and Paula seems to stand by National’s stance over the last few months that Solid Energy are looking at a non-manned robot re-entry before Christmas, safety is all important etc, etc. Possibly a slight softening on her part compared to some of English’ statements over recent months but no real change IMO.

      • weka 8.1.1

        ta. I was wondering if National don’t want re-entry because it will open up the possibility of further investigation into what happened, and they don’t want that looked into. Which puts them in a rock and a hard place now.

        • veutoviper 8.1.1.1

          Exactly why, in many peoples’ opinions, National don’t want re-entry. There are far too many outstanding questions about the whole handling of safety in the mine before the disaster, and the actions taken or not taken at the time and afterwards.

          I have no doubts that there is much more to come out into the open in the not too distant future, including the decision of the Supreme Court on this week’s appeal re the ‘deal’ on the dropping of charges against Whittall.

          The timing of this week’s Supreme Court appeal hearing is obviously coincidental to the hiatus etc of the election preliminary outcome, but could not have come at a better time in some respects.

        • James Brown 8.1.1.2

          Nats clearly don’t want anyone back in the mine and what if it was found that some of the miners survived the initial blast and no-one ever went in to get them?
          Not sure if this is possibility but if it is would go a long way to explain their trying to get the entrance concreted in.

      • tracey 8.1.2

        What is the upshot of that recent video? The one that English said the families had seen but they said they had not?

        • veutoviper 8.1.2.1

          I am not sure, Tracey.

          My vague memories are that English, Solid Energy etc said that the video had been part of the evidence etc given to the Inquiry and the families at that time. OTOH the families and their lawyers etc said that it had not. In effect, a stalemate situation.

          This is just an assumption on my part, but it may be that this issue was put to one side for the moment (but not forgotten) while other issues/paths were being pursued such as the appeal to the Supreme Court against the ‘deal ‘on dropping the charges against Whitall et al.

  9. tsmithfield 9

    No disrespect to the Pike River families who have endured a lot, and are obviously looking for closure on this issue.

    However, I don’t think it is worth the health and safety risk to those involved in a recovery when it is a case of unburying dead people to bury them somewhere else. If it was to rescue living people, then that would be different.

    I understand that the atmosphere in the mine is now inert. So, there probably isn’t a risk of explosion in reentry. However, no-one can be sure about the geological stability of the mine after such a long time and all the explosions. What if people were to go in with only the bottled air they carry, and there was a collapse that trapped them inside the mine? Their air would quickly run out, and they would probably die before they could be rescued.

    It seems ironic to me that the Pike River mine case was used for strengthening health and safety laws, and now political parties are willing to waive those same laws, and put lives at risk for the sake of political expediency.

    I just hope that none of the politicians promoting this idea end up with blood on their hands over it.

    • Stuart Munro 9.1

      Thing is there’s more at stake than just retrieving the bodies. A careful re-entry will tell us a lot about the whole debacle.

      • tsmithfield 9.1.1

        Maybe, or maybe not. There have been a number of explosions, and the effects of the passage of time that would likely make it very difficult to draw conclusions much beyond what is already known.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1.1.1

          So you think that rushing into every single section of the mine as quickly as possible is probably inadvisable?

          Damn 🙄

      • nzsage 9.1.2

        I suspect you’re right Stuart and that is the very reason the Natz have vehemently refused to re-enter the mine.

    • So you don’t think it it worth the health and safety risk. I’m sure volunteers could be asked for or is that not good enough either. You’re clueless.

      • tsmithfield 9.2.1

        Except that wouldn’t wash in any other circumstances. Health and Safety laws still apply whether people are volunteering or not. I imagine that the families of the recovery people would not be impressed by the fact that they were allowed to go in as volunteers if they ended up getting killed as a result.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 9.2.1.1

          It’s one small step for man, way too difficult for Tsmithfield.

        • weka 9.2.1.2

          What Health and Safety laws apply to volunteers?

          If people choose to go into the mine, that’s between them and their families and doesn’t really have anything to do with you. It’s not like people are intending to be reckless.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 9.2.1.2.1

            It’s private property. National’s changes to H&S legislation have some rather perverse outcomes in this regard.

            Then again, every single other piece of legislation they passed will probably need repeal or amendment too.

            It’s a can of worm farms.

            • weka 9.2.1.2.1.1

              So if it was on public land it wouldn’t be an issue? Am trying to think of an analogous situation. Maybe recovering bodies from a shipwreck?

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Rock climbing. Kayaking. Skiing. Martial Arts, Gymnastics, Speleology, Mountaineering…

                Any activity that involves objective danger and risk assessment. Tsmithfield National’s position looks like hollow avoidance.

                • weka

                  Yes, I was thinking about SAR too, but not sure what if any legislation covers them.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Health and Safety at Work Act: volunteers are exempt from Part 3 (Worker engagement, participation, and representation), but all other parts apply.

                    I wonder if Tsmithfield has read the Act, considering that it has specific provisions for recovery of bodies.

                    Subpart 5—Duties to preserve sites and notify notifiable events
                    55 Duty to preserve sites
                    (1)
                    A PCBU (Person Conducting Business (or) Undertaking) who manages or controls a workplace at which a notifiable event has occurred must take all reasonable steps to ensure that the site where the event occurred is not disturbed until authorised by an inspector.
                    (2)
                    Subsection (1) does not prevent any action—
                    (a)
                    to assist an injured person; or
                    (b)
                    to remove a deceased person

                    My bold.

                    • McFlock

                      That doesn’t exempt them from safety requirements, just the scene preservation requirements.

                      What’s under discussion is the concept that making your way into a gassy mine is unacceptably unsafe. By that logic I would have thought all underground mining and tunnelling in NZ has been banned.

                    • weka

                      who decides what is unacceptably unsafe? (I assume it’s not defined in the Act).

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      The onus in inherently unsafe situations is “to minimise those risks so far as is reasonably practicable.”

                      “Reasonably practical” is defined in S.22:

                      Meaning of reasonably practicable

                      In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires, reasonably practicable, in relation to a duty of a PCBU set out in subpart 2 of Part 2, means that which is, or was, at a particular time, reasonably able to be done in relation to ensuring health and safety, taking into account and weighing up all relevant matters, including—
                      (a)
                      the likelihood of the hazard or the risk concerned occurring; and
                      (b)
                      the degree of harm that might result from the hazard or risk; and
                      (c)
                      what the person concerned knows, or ought reasonably to know, about—
                      (i)
                      the hazard or risk; and
                      (ii)
                      ways of eliminating or minimising the risk; and
                      (d)
                      the availability and suitability of ways to eliminate or minimise the risk; and
                      (e)
                      after assessing the extent of the risk and the available ways of eliminating or minimising the risk, the cost associated with available ways of eliminating or minimising the risk, including whether the cost is grossly disproportionate to the risk.

                      All we need now is a definition of “grossly disproportionate” 🙄

          • tsmithfield 9.2.1.2.2

            And I haven’t said anything about those who go in being responsible. Its those who let them in. Sort of like when the department of conservation was prosecuted for the Cave Creek disaster even though people stood “voluntarily” on the platform.

            • weka 9.2.1.2.2.1

              Thanks for making it clear how ridiculous your argument is.

              Cave Creek was the general public using a structure that they were utterly unaware was dangerous and that should have been safe for anyone even a child to be using.

              Pike River is a situation with known safety issues that can be planned around and mitigated and the only people who will have access are those that are trained for that work and who have done a risk assessment.

              Those two situations are not comparable.

              • tsmithfield

                Just responding to your equally ridiculous argument that volunteers aren’t bound by the act (which is true) when I had been arguing all along that it is those responsible for access to the environment are culpable.

                The fact is it isn’t public land at the moment.

                Therefore, if politicians change its status for the specific purpose of avoiding health and safety legislation, and those people are hurt as a result, then those who changed the law are directly responsible for the outcome. They should be arrested IMO.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Along with everyone who voted for deployment to Afghanistan, for exactly the same reason.

                  Oh noes, your argument is a thin tissue of sophistry and double standards.

                • weka

                  “Just responding to your equally ridiculous argument that volunteers aren’t bound by the act (which is true) when I had been arguing all along that it is those responsible for access to the environment are culpable.”

                  I haven’t argued that, I’ve asked about it.

                  Still don’t understand why you used Cave Creek as an example.

                  • tsmithfield

                    Because an organisation is responsible for the environment it maintains. If anyone is hurt because the organisation hasn’t made its environment safe, then that organisation is responsible. It doesn’t matter if the people hurt are volunteers or not.

                    For example, if a Ski Field were to not adequately warn and signpost when they are aware of a avalanche hazard in a certain area, and there is an avalanche that kills paid people and volunteers, it is ludicrous to suggest they would only be found guilty for the death of the paid people.

                    If the health and safety act doesn’t apply to employers who use volunteers, then there is nothing to stop volunteers going into the mine now.

                    My argument is that if the government removes the health and safety liability to the organisation to enable re-entry, then the government has basically assumed, at least morally, that liability themselves.

                    • weka

                      Comparison still fails because literally no-one is saying that the Pike River entry should be done unsafely.

                    • tsmithfield

                      If that is the case, then why abandon the health and safety act? If it can be made safe, then by definition there is no conflict with the health and safety act.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Someone suggested abandoning the Act?

                      [citation needed]

                      The preposition that it requires amendment to allow reentry comes from the lying mouth of Bill English. In the serendipitous event that his story turns out to be accurate, amendment, not abandonment, would suffice.

                      So who is calling for abandonment? Or are you just pulling an English?

              • tsmithfield

                If the risks can be “planned and mitigated” there is no need to void the Health and Safety Act because that is precisely what the Health and Safety Act requires.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  The story about the Act having to be amended came from the National Party. No wonder it’s bullshit.

                  • tsmithfield

                    So, there is no need to do away with the H&S Act then?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Did someone suggest that?

                    • McFlock

                      Probably not, but then it’s also perfectly feasible to exclude this case from the act or indeed alter the act to include something like “informed acceptance of hazards” in cases involving rescue or recovery of people and human remains, or to gather evidence for criminal, coronial, or other investigations.

                      So your little concern digression at comment 9 is about as reliable as a promise from Key.

            • marty mars 9.2.1.2.2.2

              No not sort of like that at all. You are really going low imo.

            • McFlock 9.2.1.2.2.3

              So if the government of next month wants to go int to Pike River, the health and safety legislation would be a barrier?

              Gosh. Isn’t it lucky that the government writes the laws. If they can change employment law at the request of hollywood, they can fucking allow this. And that’s if the hazards weren’t manageable under current mining H&S.

              • Mickey Boyle

                I was always under the impression that not all the Pike River families wanted re-entry into the mine, and in fact some of the families wanted it to remain a sealed memorial to their family members, is this not true?, is there now a consensus to re-enter?.

                • McFlock

                  Were you? That’s nice. Where do you stand on investigating the causes of a disaster? Seeking evidence to rule out criminal conduct? Should that be left up to families, too?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  The numbers are unclear. “Some” is the usual figure cited in the media. Should their wishes be allowed to over-ride the equally valid wishes of the majority, or prevent a crime scene investigation?

                  • Mickey Boyle

                    Absolutely not, but either should those who want re-entry be allowed to over-ride these families wishes. There are ways to investigate the scene and leave their loved ones in there if that is their wish. I’m not associated with anyone who lost a loved one in Pike River, im simply asking questions.

                    • McFlock

                      Thank goodness. I thought you were simply flailing around for reasons to avoid doing anything.

                    • Mickey Boyle

                      Oh you’re one of those commentators….thanks.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Funny how so many right wingers simultaneously thirst for knowledge and yet remain utterly enthralled by the party line.

                      Almost as though the questions are asked in cynical bad faith or something.

                    • McFlock

                      It’s pretty simple: if the only issue was “recovery or leave them there as a memorial”, hell, take a vote of the families.

                      But it’s not. Recovery is a major reason for it, but the potential evidence down there is also significant. For example, if gas detectors were tampered with and one is recovered, there might be evidence as to who tampered with it. Direct criminal culpability. If rescue chambers were decommissioned but reported as operational, direct criminal culpability.

                      Lessons can always be learned.

          • tracey 9.2.1.2.3

            Volunteers are covered by Health and Safety Laws so the owners of the mine are responsible/liable for anyone going into that mine.

            • Andre 9.2.1.2.3.1

              If the owners were to gift the mine and surrounds to the public to become, say, the Pike River Memorial Park, does that change the Health and Safety legal situation for mine expert volunteers that wish to go in?

              • tracey

                In my opinion it would place the onus of taking care of those volunteers on the new owners… Crown or DOC.

                I am pretty sure people cannot sign a waiver to excuse an owner from liability.

                It is ironic that appalling h and s in the name of corp greed led to this disaster and the new H and S Act and now it may stand in the way of reentry. Robots of course that is another matter entirely.

                • Andre

                  So does that now have implications for volunteer search and rescue operations in other hazardous public areas? For instance, in the gorges of the Kaituna river where the only people with the expertise that could possibly search with a reasonable risk level are top-level kayakers? It’s way too narrow for a helicopter, too hazardous for any other watercraft, access to the top of the gorge very difficult so abseilling in isn’t practical? Or caving as another instance?

                  • tracey

                    My understanding is that it is about what you put in place to limit risk not necessarily remove all risk.

                    • Andre

                      If it were public land, and a group of acknowledged mine experts turned up with their own equipment wanting to go in and said they had the expertise to assess and mitigate the risks as they went in, and that there was nothing that could reasonably be done outside to reduce risk before entering, would that meet the requirements?

                      Where I’m coming from is in my younger days I was involved in several river search and rescues with my mates that involved significant risk (though not as much risk as we took on for recreational pleasure, to be sure). At the time we were among the top kayakers in NZ, and we certainly would have had a very bad reaction to some jobsworth with no river expertise turning up trying to stop us doing a search (and hopefully rescue) by quoting some sort of health and safety act.

        • tracey 9.2.1.3

          I suspect they would have discussed consequences with family before voluntaring.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 9.3

      Apart from all the other reasons, the mine is a crime scene. Does that help you understand why it’s important?

      • tsmithfield 9.3.1

        So, how would you feel if you personally suspended health and safety laws, let people go in, and they got killed as a result? Surely, you would be guilty of manslaughter for doing so as they wouldn’t have got killed otherwise.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 9.3.1.1

          I’m not sure what your point is: apparently it’s ok for health and safety legislation to not apply to dairy farms, but crime scenes are just beyond the pale.

          • tsmithfield 9.3.1.1.1

            So the police aren’t bound by health and safety laws when they investigate crime scenes then?

            • One Anonymous Bloke 9.3.1.1.1.1

              Yes, and sometimes police die in the course of their duties, and yet are not banned from doing them.

              Basically your argument boils down to “it’s not safe it can’t be made safe”.

              Both propositions have been called into question by experts. Lies have been put about to support the first. Video evidence has emerged that confounds various other official stories.

              Not to mention your nanny state wrapping everyone in cotton wool approach is curiously at odds with your rhetoric about light-bulbs.

              • tsmithfield

                Not at all.

                If re-entry can be made safe, then there is no need to suspend the health and safety act, a tautological truth.

                The fact that politicians are suggesting changing the law suggests that re-entry can’t be made safe to the standards of the health and safety act.

                I wouldn’t have a problem with re-entry if it was done within the current health and safety act.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  “Politicians”, you say? Oh, we can be more specific than that.

                  Prime Minister Bill English says the health and safety changes made in response to the Pike River mine disaster mean the Government would be going against its own laws if it approved re-entry into the coal mine.

                  So it’s probably a cynical and deliberate lie.

                • tracey

                  If it is not reasonably practicable to make something risk free it doesnt mean you cant do it?

                  The Act states if it is reasonably practicable to put proccesses or whatever in place you must… that leaves open the possibility that you can do less than risk free and still be ok under the Act.

                  I bet those families can produce an expert report which says it is “safe”

  10. Phil 10

    “They will not go into Opposition over this… They will literally go back on everything they’ve said in order to get Winston into power. They’ll go back into Pike River… It’s hugely embarrassing.”

    … and it’s equally possible that Winston will do what Winston has done with virtually every other pet project he’s taken on since the winebox – make a big song and dance to get elected, and then do nothing once he’s in power.

  11. veutoviper 11

    Further to my comments under 8 above, RNZ National has led its last few hourly news bulletins with statements by Solid Energy re their intended non-manned re-entry using a robot.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/programmes/news-bulletin/story/201861448/radio-new-zealand-news

    The above link is to the 1pm news bulletin. There is no written article on their News website but the item basically states that SE are on track to undertake the unmanned exploration before Christmas; some delays have been experienced due to bad weather hampering helicopter support operations (everything has to be helicoptered in) ; but SE are intent on pressing ahead with unmanned exploration.

    My cynical perceptions of this are that this is another attempt to override talk etc re manned re-entry, maintain full control to avoid any real invesigation. In other words, again a probable cover-up attempt.

  12. weston 12

    personally i have no faith in the robot scenario …for one thing utilizing them seems to take a huge amount of time and they all seem to have been pretty fucking useless so far entering this mine and for another could we trust that any evidence gathered would be made available to the public ???big question marks .id rather see a team of volunteers comprising in the main cavers .These people actually LIKE going underground and there are a great many in nz Id have a lot more faith in PEOPLE reporting what they had found in fact interest is such that the reentry could be covered by a live feed if that were possible so the whole country could watch and here everything which transpired …a bullshit proof account in other words .So far as health an safety is concerned lets all just agree to flag it sometimes afterall where would the human race be today if noone had ever risked their lives to help another …frankly i think we need more heroes than we need more robots

    • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1

      Heroes

      Whoever goes in will be best served by experience, not heroism. It’s going to be a technically and emotionally challenging environment.

      That being so, they’d be negligent if they didn’t send “robots” in first.

  13. Michael 13

    How about sending Peter Whittle into the mine to recover the workers killed there when he was CEO? I can’t see anyone objecting to that (apart from Whittle, that is).

    • mickysavage 13.1

      I would support that. Captain and sinking ship etc …

    • Andre 13.2

      We already know there was a lot about how that mine operated that was unsatisfactory. While I agree with the sentiment of sending him in to deal with what he was responsible for, would you really want Whittall to be first on the scene where there might still be some really damning evidence?

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Rotuman Language week affirms language as the key to Pacific wellbeing
    The first Pacific Language Week this year  makes it clear that  language is the key to the wellbeing for all Pacific people said Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio. “This round of language  weeks begin with Rotuman. As I have always  said language is one of the pillars of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Budget delivers improved cervical and breast cancer screening
    Budget 2021 funds a more effective cervical screening test to help reduce cervical cancer rates A new breast screening system that can proactively identify and enrol eligible women to reach 271,000 more people who aren’t currently in the programme. Budget 2021 delivers a better cervical screening test and a major ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • NZ-France to co-chair Christchurch Call Leaders’ Summit
    New Zealand and France will jointly convene the Christchurch Call Community for a leaders’ summit, to take stock of progress and develop a new shared priority work plan. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and President Emmanuel Macron will co-chair the leaders’ meeting on the 2nd anniversary of the Call, on 14 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • New South Wales travel pause to be lifted tomorrow
    COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says the current travel pause with New South Wales will lift tomorrow – subject to no further significant developments in NSW. “New Zealand health officials met today to conduct a further assessment of the public health risk from the recently identified COVID-19 community cases in Sydney. It has been determined that the risk to public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • March 15 Collective Impact Board appointed
    The voices of those affected by the March 15 mosque attacks will be heard more effectively with the establishment of a new collective impact board, Associate Minister for Social Development and Employment Priyanca Radhakrishnan announced today. Seven members of the Christchurch Muslim community have been appointed to the newly established Board, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • More young Kiwis supported with mental health and addiction services
    Nearly quarter of a million more young New Zealanders will have access to mental health and addiction support in their communities as the Government’s youth mental health programme gathers pace. New contracts to expand youth-specific services across the Northland, Waitematā and Auckland District Health Board areas have been confirmed, providing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New hospital facilities mean fewer trips to Auckland for Northlanders
    Northlanders will no longer automatically have to go to Auckland for lifesaving heart procedures like angiograms, angioplasty and the insertion of pacemakers, thanks to new operating theatres and a cardiac catheter laboratory opened at Whangārei Hospital by Health Minister Andrew Little today. The two projects – along with a new ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Fair Pay Agreements to improve pay and conditions for essential workers
    The Government is delivering on its pre-election commitment to implement Fair Pay Agreements which will improve wages and conditions, as well as help support our economic recovery, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood announced today. Fair Pay Agreements will set minimum standards for all employees and employers in an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Establishment of the new Māori Health Authority takes first big step
    Sir Mason Durie will lead a Steering Group to provide advice to the Transition Unit on governance arrangements and initial appointments to an interim board to oversee the establishment of the Māori Health Authority. This Group will ensure that Māori shape a vital element of our future health system, Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Cycle trails move up a gear in Central
    Work on new and upgraded cycle trails in Queenstown, Arrowtown and Central Otago is moving up a gear as two significant projects pass further milestones today. Tourism Minister Stuart Nash has announced new funding for the Queenstown Trails Project, and will also formally open the Lake Dunstan Trail at Bannockburn ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Picton ferry terminal upgrade consent fast-tracked
    The planned upgrade of the Waitohi Picton Ferry terminal has been approved under the fast-track consenting process.  Environment Minister David Parker today welcomed the decision by the expert consenting panel to approve the Waitohi Picton Ferry Precinct Redevelopment Project.    The project will provide a significant upgrade to the ferry facilities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Quarantine Free Travel with New South Wales paused
    COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins has announced his intention to pause Quarantine Free Travel from New South Wales to New Zealand while the source of infection of the two cases announced in Sydney in the last two days is investigated.  Whole genome sequencing has linked the case yesterday to a recent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Covid-19 immigration powers to be extended
    The passing of a bill to extend temporary COVID-19 immigration powers means continued flexibility to support migrants, manage the border, and help industries facing labour shortages, Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi said. “Over the past year, we’ve made rapid decisions to extend visas, vary visa conditions and waive some application requirements ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • “Supporting a Trade-Led Economic Recovery”
    Trade Policy Road Show SpeechManukau, Auckland   Kia ora koutou – nau mai, haere mai ki Manukau, ki Tāmaki.   Good morning everyone, and thank you for this opportunity to discuss with you current global challenges, opportunities and the Government’s strategy in support of a trade-led recovery from the economic ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Building consent numbers at an all-time high
    A record 41,028 new homes have been consented in the year ended March 2021 March 2021 consent numbers the highest since the 1940s Record number of new homes consented in Auckland The number of new homes consented is at an all-time high, showing a strong and increasing pipeline of demand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Whānau-centred support for parents and tamariki
    Up to 60 whānau in Counties Manukau will be supported through the first three years of their parenthood by a new whānau-centred model of care, said Associate Health Minister, Hon Aupito William Sio. “Providing this support to young parents is something we have to get right. It’s a priority both ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ backs moves to improve global access to COVID vaccines
    New Zealand welcomes and strongly supports the announcement made by the United States Trade Representative to work for a waiver of IP protections on COVID-19 vaccines at the WTO, Trade Minister Damien O’Connor said. “New Zealand supports equitable access to COVID vaccines for all. No one is safe from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tourism communities: support, recovery and re-set plan
    TIHEI MAURI ORA Tuia te whakapono Tuia te tumanako Tuia te aroha Tuia te hunga ora Ki te hunga ora Tihei Mauri ora Ka nui te mihi ki a koutou Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa. Thank you, Hilary and thank you, Chris, and everyone at TIA for this ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Support, recovery and re-set plan for tourism communities
    Five South Island tourist communities targeted for specialist support Pressure on Māori tourism operators and Conservation facilities recognised Domestic and international-facing tourism agencies put on more secure footing Long-term plan to re-set tourism with a focus on sustainability, industry standards and regional economic diversification A plan to ensure the immediate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech on NZ Rail Plan
    Check against delivery E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā karanga maha o te wa, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa. Ki ngā mana whenua o Taranaki Whānui anō nei aku mihi ki a koutou. Nōku te hōnore kia haere mai ki te whakanuia tēnei huihuinga whakahirahira. Nō ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government hits massive milestone in Violence Prevention & Elimination
    Minister for Family and Sexual Violence Marama Davidson announced a major milestone at a hui in South Auckland today, with the launch of the national engagement process on the prevention and elimination of family and sexual violence. “There is no room for violence in our lives – there is no ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Fee waiver extended for conservation tourism businesses
    Tourism businesses operating on public conservation land will have another six months of fees waived to help them adjust to the downturn in international visitors in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Acting Minister of Conservation Dr Ayesha Verrall has announced. "We acknowledge it has been a difficult year for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • ‘Lua Wave’ to future-proof Pasifika Festivals in Aotearoa
    Pasifika festival organisers will receive additional support to adapt to the COVID-19 environment thanks to the Government’s newly launched ‘Lua Wave’ component of the Pasifika Festivals Initiative, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “This initiative has not only been to support festival organisers to recover from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Crown accounts show confidence in Govt economic plan
    The Government’s financial accounts continue to reflect the resilience of the economy and confidence in the Government’s economic recovery plan. The Crown accounts for the nine months to the end of March 2021 show both OBEGAL and the operating balance remain better than forecast in the Half Year Economic and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Energy Trusts of NZ Autumn Conference
    It’s a pleasure to be here today. Thank you Karen [Sherry] for the introduction and thanks to the Energy Trusts Executive for inviting me to speak at tonight’s event. It is an exciting time to come to speak to trustees of distribution companies. For many decades the electricity industry was ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New partnership to grow Māori success in STEM
    A new partnership with the Pūhoro STEM Academy will support thousands more rangatahi Māori to participate and succeed in the fields of science, technology, and innovation, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Since 2016, Pūhoro has worked with Māori students to build their capability and create pathways to employment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Rail builds platform for economic recovery
    Transport Minister Michael Wood and State-Owned Enterprises Minister Dr David Clark today released the Government’s long term vision for a sustainable rail network that supports our economic recovery. New Zealand Rail Plan lays out how the Government is building a resilient, reliable and safe network, as well as the indicative ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ and UK agree to lift the pace of free trade talks
    New Zealand and the United Kingdom have agreed to rapidly lift the tempo of talks, as the two countries enter a new phase in free trade negotiations, Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. “UK Secretary of State for International Trade, Liz Truss, and I spoke today about ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Counter-Terrorism Legislation Bill passes first reading
    The Counter-Terrorism Legislation Bill has passed its first reading and will now be considered by Parliament’s Justice select committee. “The Bill updates and improves New Zealand’s counter-terrorism legislation and ensures that the right legislative tools are available to intervene early and prevent harm,” Minister of Justice Kris Faafoi said. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Statement on The Speaker and Annual Review Debate
    “The serious issue of alleged sexual assault and harassment at Parliament was poorly managed and inappropriately politicised last night. The tone of the debate did not reflect well on Parliament as a whole,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “Any investigation of claims of sexual assault should be in a manner ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt motoring towards zero-carbon buses and protecting drivers’ conditions
    Transport Minister Michael Wood is seeking feedback on options for the next phase of the Public Transport Operating Model (PTOM) review to better protect bus drivers’ pay conditions, and also achieving the Government’s target of fully decarbonising the public transport bus fleet by 2035. Michael Wood said investing in our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Drop in unemployment shows Govt economic plan is working
    The Government’s economic recovery plan continues to be reflected in the labour market, with more people in work and unemployment falling. Stats NZ figures show employment rose by 15,000 in the March quarter, with 14,000 more women in work. The unemployment rate fell from 4.9 percent to 4.7 percent. This ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government sets pay and workforce expectations for the Public Sector
    The Government’s Workforce Policy Statement issued today sets out its expectations for pay and employment relations in the Public Sector, the Minister of Finance and Minister for the Public Service say. “New Zealand has had an exceptionally successful health and economic response to COVID-19. This has been supported by the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Author Ben Brown is New Zealand’s first Te Awhi Rito Reading Ambassador
    Lyttleton writer Ben Brown (Ngāti Mahuta, Ngāti Koroki, Ngāti Paoa) will be New Zealand’s first Te Awhi Rito Reading Ambassador, promoting the value of reading for children and young people, Internal Affairs Minister Jan Tinetti announced today. A poet and award-winning author, Ben Brown writes books, non-fiction and short stories ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Celebrating New Zealand’s firefighters this International Firefighters’ day
    With two fire stations already complete, and building underway on 16 fire stations around the country, today we celebrate International Firefighters’ Day for the important role firefighters have in keeping communities across the country safe, says Minister of Internal Affairs, Jan Tinetti. The work is progressing due to Government funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Ron Brierley knighthood to go
    Ron Brierley has written to the Clerk of the Executive Council to tender his resignation as a Knight Bachelor. The Queen has been informed. The forfeiture follows the Prime Minister initiating the process to remove his Knighthood. The Clerk of the Executive Council wrote to him on 6 April 2021 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Employment boost for rural communities
    The Government is continuing to create opportunities for at-risk rangatahi overcome barriers to employment, education or training with the next tranche of He Poutama Rangatahi programmes, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “We’re focused on supporting rangatahi to get what they need to progress in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Pre-Budget speech to Wellington Chamber of Commerce
    Thank you for the invitation to speak today, it is great to be here.  I mean that both sincerely and literally. For this equivalent speech last year I took part virtually, beaming in from the Beehive Theatrette with only a socially distanced press gallery bearing silent witness. You are a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Budget 2021 reprioritises nearly $1 billion
    The Government’s strong pandemic response and the better than expected economic recovery means not all the money allocated in the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund has been spent, Grant Robertson said in his annual pre-Budget speech to the Wellington Chamber of Commerce this morning. “As part of Budget preparation I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech on Digital Identity Trust Framework
    I'd like to start by thanking Graeme, David and Ben from NZTech and Digital Identity New Zealand for inviting me to speak to you. I’m so sorry I can’t be there in person, but I want to acknowledge those of you who are, including some of this country’s top tech ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago