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Power’s electoral finance reform proposals out

Written By: - Date published: 2:39 pm, September 28th, 2009 - 30 comments
Categories: election funding, national/act government - Tags:

hitler

The level of debate in 2008

Justice Minister Simon Power has released the Government’s proposals for reform of electoral finance law. Remember, Labour’s reforms of electoral finance law were branded an assault on democracy and free speech by National and its affiliates like the Herald.

There were protests in the streets (oddly, at the Wellington one, most of the several dozen of protesters were wearing suits and many of them were reported to be from the Business Roundtable), editorials thundered about the end of our democracy and National Party shills like Matthew Hooton and David Farrar were given air time to accuse Helen Clark of planning to abolish the free press if Labour won in 2008.

So, what radical changes is the government proposing to restore truth, justice and the New Zealand way?

Um, nothing groundbreaking to be honest. Here are the changes in Power’s document :

1. put in some guiding principles into the legislation. As is well-known, the lack of guiding principles in the previous legislation sparked a civil war.
2. allow parties to use their broadcasting allocation in media other than radio and TV and, maybe, outside of the election period(!)
3. continue clearing up the division between spending for parliamentary activities and election activities.
4. keep the current rules on donations
5. increase the spending limits for parties and candidates
6. have a fixed day for the start of the campaign period but not as early as 1 January in election year, as Labour had. Maybe 1 May. Those four months are the difference between fascist dictatorship and utopian democracy
7. clear up the definition of advertising. There were no manifestly unjust outcomes from the previous definition, just a lot of complaints and they arose from the Right’s determination to make the law appear unworkable, not the definition itself.
8. keep requirement to identify promoter of third party campaign. Remember, this was the bit of the EFA that gave Farrar kittens: ‘you’ll have to say your name and address after every speech! OMG!!’ but didn’t cause any problem in reality.
9. keep Labour’s rules around third party campaigns (eg, spending limits, need to register if spending over a certain amount) but make registering “weighted in favour of freedom of expression”
10. let third parties broadcast on TV and radio
11. New electoral agency to publish guidance on following the rules
12. Keep Labour’s penalties for breaking the rules

As you can tell I’m pretty comfortable with (in fact, quite relieved by) the new rules as they appear in Power’s document. They keep the Electoral Finance Act essentially intact. In reality, there were never any serious problems with that law, the Right just kicked up a fuss because it was an opportunity to brand Labour as draconian and anti-free speech. The fact that so much of the EFA will be kept under the new law is a vindication of Labour’s law and a tacit admission by National that they and their allies were merely playing politics with the issue.

At first blush, Power appears to have done a reasonable job and he’s done it by largely keeping the EFA intact.

Update: No Right Turn has a different view here, as does a guest post we’ve received that we’ll put up later.

30 comments on “Power’s electoral finance reform proposals out”

  1. lprent 1

    Interesting. They are proposing to keep most of the reforms that Labour put in, making largely cosmetic changes and adding meaningless waffle (a Key trademark). I’ll have a look through the proposal later to look at the devil in the details.

    On point 9 – good luck. That wording is simply stupidly vague.

    The campaign period is too short. A lot of the campaigns start a lot earlier, and as far as I’m concerned actually start in earnest about 12 months out from the election. The candidate is the least of the issue for the heart of a successful campaign locally or nationally.

    It is going to be interesting watching the wingnuts from Whale to DPF squirming to show why this is significantly different to the EFA.

    Whats the bet that NACT will try and run this through under urgency and an abbreviated select committee procedure where they ignore the majority of the submissions……

    • snoozer 1.1

      I see that in a number of the points, there’s actually a few different options proposed by the Government. I think Marty’s probably picked the likely options, but there’s still the opportunity of National slanting the whole thing to advantage the Right a lot more at the last minute, which is what No Right turn is worried about.

      Of all the Nats who could be in charge of this, Power is the most welcome. Can you imagine what a Brownlee or a Nick Smith or a Judith Collins would have come up with?

      • lprent 1.1.1

        Yeah this looks quite suspicious to me.

        11. New electoral agency to publish guidance on following the rules

        Why? This is what the electoral commission is meant to do.

        Why aren’t they just increasing funding to that body. It was clearly under-resourced for the type of crap that the wingnuts were firing at it last election.

        That makes me direly suspicious of the composition of this agency.

        • Graeme 1.1.1.1

          Why? This is what the electoral commission is meant to do.

          Actually, it’s not.

          That makes me direly suspicious of the composition of this agency.

          Something to look at, certainly, but I’m not particularly concerned. The separation between the Chief Electoral Office – monitoring candidate advertising – and the Electoral Commission – monitoring party advertising – was really cumbersome (and stupid).

          As long as the new body – to be called the Electoral Commission, I understand – is as independent as the current electoral commission, then this is a good thing. Having elections run by a government department, and the electoral roll run by an SOE isn’t the greatest idea – even though there’s independence in practice. A one-stop shop is a good idea.

          Certainly look out for the composition, but I’m really not expecting this to be an attempt to politicise or hijack electoral administration. The agencies involved now have been pushing for this for years.

    • rocky 1.2

      Whats the bet that NACT will try and run this through under urgency and an abbreviated select committee procedure where they ignore the majority of the submissions

      What, you mean kind of like how Labour changed the EFA significantly after the select committee process, and decided not to bother having a select committee and the public have input into major issues that people hadn’t had a chance to have a say on?

      On all other points I’m in agreement – the hype surrounding the EFA was hysterical and a lot of disinformation was put out there. And National do have a very nasty habit of using urgency to bypass the democratic process.

      Unfortunately the EFA is one of two examples I can think of where Labour didn’t exactly uphold the democratic process.

  2. Oh where do I start.

    1) First the huge difference is the public is being consulted on the policy behind any law changes.You are actually getting a say on it before a bill is introduced. Something Labour and Greens did not allow. They negotiated it all in secret and introduced a bill which would have made it illegal to e-mail someone your opinion on a policy issue. The final law was better, but the original bill was draconian as everyone accepted.

    2) In case you have forgotten the Human Rights Commission, headed by a unionist, declared the EFB so flawed it should be withdrawn.

    3) You have completely missed the fact the EFA got repealed, but with donation transparency retained. So this is not about keeping the EFA. It is about what changes get made to the 1993 Electoral Act. The fatc no major changes are proposed is a vote of confidence in the EA, not the EFA which Labour even voted to abolish.

    4) You shown your ignorance again in your claim I was against name and addresses on election adverts. I was never against them. In fact they have been required by law for 40+ years. What I objected to was the fact speaking at a protest rally was now considered an election advertisement and hence needed an authorisation statement.

    5) You claim the difference in regulated periods is between 1 Jan and 1 May. Wrong. 1 Jan as the EFA had it is out as even a possibility. There are four options for periods being around 1.5 months, two at three months and one at six months. And again the big difference is we are being given a choice.

    6) The proposed changes to election advertisement definition are in fact quite significant. They include personal advocacy on the Internet – changes Labour and the Greens rejected as amendments to the EFA incidentially which only exempted individual blogs, not all online personal advocacy.

    7) It does not keep the EFA rules for third parties. It gives two options (again that giving people a choice and chance to have a say) and if a regulated option is chosen, will have significantly higher thresholds and limits. Labour and the Greens set the limits well below what the independent electoral agency recommended.

    There is a lesson here for all this though. Electoral law doesn’t need to be a bitter background if you have a Minister who deals with all parties in good faith, and gives the public multiple opportunities to have their say.

    You may also wish to recall that the original EFB didn’t even have any extra transparency around donations. That was added in at select committee stage. The original EFB had really little redeeming quality.

    The final EFA was significantly better. Still flawed, but better. If the EFA had been the starting point of public consultation, rather than the end point, again there would have been less controversy.

    [David, treat your readers like idiots if you want but don’t do the same here. micky fisks you below. I just want to add that you were hollowing about the EFB in its final form and the EFA as enacted. Don’t expect us to have amnesia – Marty]

    • Oh can I comment

      The hysteria over this piece of legislation was immense and totally unwarranted when anyone considered the actual detail. To respond in particular:

      1) The public were consulted. There was a full select committee process and people had the chance to comment. There are a myriad of examples where this Government has put through contentious legislation under urgency. The 90 day Fire At Will Bill and the RMA tree felling bills spring to mind. There was also significant movement by the government after consideration of the submissions, something you subsequently concede.

      2) The HRC did say that the EFA affected the right to free speech. They were right, sort of, the EFA required registration of anyone spending a significant amount of money on election advertising and prevented people spending more than $120,000 on advertising. This is a lot of money. The EFA did not ban free speech, it did regulate the very expensive speech. If there is to be a pure rule on the freedom of speech then we may as well have no spending limits whatsoever and let the richest party win all of the time. Our democracy demands more than this.

      3) So we are talking about amendments to a “fundamentally flawed bill”. Obviously it was not “fundamentally flawed”.

      4) Speaking at a protest rally would not require an authorisation statement. Check the definition of “publish” in section 4 and then apologise.

      5) Either have a regulated period before the unknown election date or set an actual date. The parties start campaigning in earnest 12 months before the election. Why not use January 1? The “Iwi kiwi” billboards of 2005, paid for by Parliamentary Services money (gasp!) are a very good reason for an earlier rather than later date. And tell me, why is May 1 OK but January 1 is undemocratic??

      6) So if Telecom sets up a vote National website this should not be regulated?

      7) So there should be no limitation on third parties? So National should be able to set up any number of dummy organisations and then spend at will?

      There is a lesson here for all this. National will oppose and cloud and lie to get an advantage. We need a system where:

      1. There are spending limits on the parties
      2. There are spending limits on other organisations so the parties cannot bypass the spending limits
      3. Free speech is preserved but expensive speech is regulated.

      This is not too different to the old EFA.

      • Rex Widerstrom 2.1.1

        6) So if Telecom sets up a vote National website this should not be regulated?

        Ggggggaahhhh! 8-/ Why is the left’s response to the possibiluty of something like this to rush out and ban it?!

        Two questions:

        1. Why the hell shouldn’t Telecom spend it’s money any way it likes? It has as much right to freedom of speech as any business, union or individual. And if it has more money to spend on it than any of those examples, why shouldn’t it, provided it is open and transparent about it?

        2. What do you think the effect of such a campaign would be?

        If I may be so bold as to answer my own second question, it’d be about as successful as when its former chairman decided to front a “retain FPP” campaign – i.e. even those people who were toying with the idea figured that if that was the sort of company it put them in, they’d better support PR.

        In fact if I were running government relations for Telecom I’d be leveraging parties by promising to run a noisy supporter campaign unless they agreed to my agenda 😀

        • mickysavage 2.1.1.1

          Rex

          “Two questions:

          1. Why the hell shouldn’t Telecom spend it’s money any way it likes? It has as much right to freedom of speech as any business, union or individual. And if it has more money to spend on it than any of those examples, why shouldn’t it, provided it is open and transparent about it?

          2. What do you think the effect of such a campaign would be?”

          1. Because if all the corporates did this we would inevitably have a more corporate right wing country than we have. Some will rejoice. But if we have a true democracy where all views ought to be considered then the views of the wealthy should not dominate.

          2. I am not sure, possibly marginal but any skewering of the result should be avoided.

          • Graeme 2.1.1.1.1

            I wonder whether you’re overstating this particular concern. The change, as I understand it, would not allow Telecom to advertise in favour of National, only allow them to set up a website in favour of National.

            It may have a small effect of the sort you are anticipating, but if the same prohibitions apply as now to paid advertising (newspapers, TV, leaflets, online ads, etc.) then the availability of corporate-run campaign websites probably wouldn’t have a big effect.

        • sk 2.1.1.2

          Actually Rex, it is not clear that a corporate should have the same rights as an individual – including freedom of speech. This is the case before the US Supreme Court now over the Hilary Clinton documentary. There it is seen as a pivotal case.

          Also, it is not Telecom’s money. It is their shareholder’s money, and they should not have the right to spend it that way without a shareholders resolution. Afterall, their shareholders will be both left and right, as well as foreign. (as an aside, NZ SOE’s have more apparent freedom on this than corporates who can be sued by shareholders, think Timberlands and Solid Energy)

          Utimately there is no place for corporates in the political process. Democracies are increasingly tenuous as it is.

          This is a real issue when it comes to climate change policy, when heavy industry is foreign owned as in NZ. How much did Rio Tinto and Holcim donate to NACT last year?

      • labourarelooosers 2.1.2

        Not very effective fisking. More like a bit of mild bullshitting dressed up as rebuttal.

    • felix 2.2

      Marty, there’s a very good reason for David treating his readers like idiots.

      And mickeysavage, “indeed”.

  3. Rex Widerstrom 3

    I can’t think of anything Power’s done, or even said, this term that I agree with and this is no exception.

    It maintains a whole lot of stupid nitpicking rules on how money is spent (the whole “name and address on ever banner” nonsense) while doing nothing to tighten the rules on how — and from whom — that money is raised.

    As someone said over at Kiwiblog, on a thread about the banning of the use of GPS functions on iPhones and the like, National was elected with the expectation that it would get rid of the bulk of nanny statism, not perfect it.

    Regardless of how their supporters might try to spin it, I doubt this will do anything to satisfy those who opposed the EFA on the basis of principle rather than politics and it will come back to bite National when they’re seeking re-election.

    If Labour had any tactical sense it wouldn’t be crowing about a “vindication” right now, it’d be saying mea culpa, expressing astonishment that National had made the same mistakes, and promising to create an alternative policy which created the maximum degree of transparency for donations while not standing in the way of anyone — or any group — which wanted to spend its own money advocating a position, provided that advocacy were done openly.

    Edit: I should acknolwedge, however, as DPF has pointed out above, that this at least is open to consultation, so may be significantly improved. That does not, however, detract from my disappointment that Power has basically done nothing.

    • Armchair Critic 3.1

      Consultation has not been a strong point of this government. I don’t see why it will be any different on this issue.

  4. Graeme 4

    7. clear up the definition of advertising. There were no manifestly unjust outcomes from the previous definition, just a lot of complaints and they arose from the Right’s determination to make the law appear unworkable, not the definition itself.

    The EFA definition included medial releases!

    8. keep requirement to identify promoter of third party campaign. Remember, this was the bit of the EFA that gave Farrar kittens: ‘you’ll have to say your name and address after every speech! OMG!!’ but didn’t cause any problem in reality.

    I believe the suggested change will allow, for example, the use of the physical address of campaign headquarters, rather than it being required to be a home address.

  5. Marty G 5

    Graeme. I’m trying to recall the EC passing a compliant on to the Police over media releases.

    Yeah, you’ll be allowed to put your work address instead.It was the requirement to identify themselves at all that the Nats’ secret backers had a problem with.

    • Graeme 5.1

      1. It doesn’t matter whether one was actually referred to police. A warning would be enough to have a chilling effect etc. The problem isn’t people being referred to the police for sending out media releases, it’s people not sending out media releases for fear of being referred to police

      2. That said, the collection of media releases that formed Jim Anderton’s e-news of 16 May 2008 actually was referred to the police by the Electoral Commission. I refer you to Electoral Commission decision 2008-29, available on the Elections NZ website.

  6. RedLogix 6

    The most pernicious change is going to be the length of the ‘regulated period’.

    In 2005 National spent ALL of their Parliamentary funding on electioneering. They simply did it before the arbitrary three month limit that the AG had quietly told them he was going to audit for. That meant that they could start their campaign in early June that year, months before other parties could afford to do so, comfortable in the knowledge that while exploiting all their Parliamentary Services funding early, they then had a truckload of their own cash to be used in the last three months of the campaign. Thus avoiding any scrutiny by the AG’s office.

    Still didn’t stop Joyce ripping off the rules over the GST thing though.

    A short ‘regulated period’ naturally is biased in favour of the best funded party, because that party has the most opportunity to spend up large, with no legislated restraint, before the period starts.

    The correct solution is to fix the election date and a formal start date for the election campaign itself, no more than 8-12 weeks out. Any spending prior to that date should be counted as double in contributing to the total. Keep the campaigns short and focussed; the longer they drag on, the more they become a money driven media circus.

  7. Oh dear Mickey gets so much wrong.

    1) The public were not consulted on the EFB. They were allowed select cmte input on the EFA, but this is a very different thing. Mickey also overlooks that the other laws he cites had election mandates. The EFB had no such mandate, and the refusal to consult non Govt parties (unlike SImon Power) was unprecedented on major electoral law issues

    2) You confuse the EFB and EFA again. And you are also wrong when you say the EFA only affected those who spent more than $120,000. As an example the FSC’s anti-Winston billboard may have broken the law if it was considered an electorate advert which has a $4,000 cap. Also there was the classifying of personal opinion on non blog sites as advertisements that needed authorisation statements.

    3) The EFB was fundamentally flawed, as the EFA which emerged from it remained flawed. That is why Labour voted to repeal it. This is the law that the Electoral Commission itself said had a chilling effect on political participation. Shame that you still defend it.

    4) The bill which emerged from select committee did require an authorisation statement for speaking at a protest rally. It was (mainly) my highlighting of this requirement that forced a Government backdown at the cmte of the house stage.

    5) You are wrong re the Iwi/Kiwi billboards. Not one cent of them was paid by PS money. You really should try actually doing some research before you invent things. I don’t regard May 1 as okay.

    The reason Simon Power has included 1 May as an option is almost certainly because a significant number of people wanted a longer regulated period, so he has kept it as an option. You see this is how a competent and fair Minister does electoral law. You include options you may not personally be overly keen on, in order to retain bipartisan support for a fair process. This is the part you just do not grasp.

    6) Again you are wrong on the facts. Telecom can not set up a vote National website. You can only campaign in favour of a party with its permission.

    7) I think transparency is the best thing for third parties. If National did set up dummy third parties, then the media should report that and there will be a public backlash.

    Finally you propose what you want in an electoral finance system.Did you bother to actually make a submission? Don’t just whine about things here. You actually have been given an opportunity to have input – take advantage of it.

    • Graeme 7.1

      6) Again you are wrong on the facts. Telecom can not set up a vote National website. You can only campaign in favour of a party with its permission.

      Except if you are a registered parallel campaigner. Then websites you run aren’t considered to be election advertisements.

      7) I think transparency is the best thing for third parties. If National did set up dummy third parties, then the media should report that and there will be a public backlash.

      But parallel campaigners won’t be required to disclose their sources of funding under National’s proposals. I take it that you disagree?

    • ghostwhowalksnz 7.2

      We see on the Super City legislation how the promises before the legislation is passed are dropped by the wayside.
      What chance this too will be done under urgency to allow Key another holiday

  8. labourarelooosers 8

    I guess Helen Clarks ‘little red book’ election spending fraud courtesy of the EFB/A is a holy grail the Labour party and it’s supporters are hoping to repeat.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 8.1

      There is still the GST national spent on their campaign rather then paying to the broadcasters.
      Never paid back apparently.

      Ask Joyce why he OK ed it when the media buyer Rainmakers was telling him in emails the funding was inclusive of GST

  9. randal 9

    you have missed the main point. the new laws will allow third parties to spend as much money as they like supporting their candidates and running their own campaigns. how democratic is that?

    • that is one of the options.

      Also, that doesn’t apply to broadcast advertising, and indeed, in relation to supporting candidates doesn’t apply to newspaper or billboard or leaflet advertising either.

      And for that matter, it doesn’t apply to the Internet either.

      In fact, the more I think about it, the more I realise this statement is completely wrong.

      • felix 9.1.1

        Where does it apply? Passing notes in class?

        edit: That would probably be a leaflet actually.

        • Graeme Edgeler 9.1.1.1

          The proposal that “the new laws will allow third parties to spend as much money as they like supporting their candidates and running their own campaigns.” does not apply in any circumstance.

          Campaigns supporting candidates will either be banned, or if a third party registers and is subject to a spending limit, allowed on a campaign website.

  10. randal 10

    hey marty… fatboy is a specialist in running sleazy campaigns against parties and individuals here and on other sites. it is in his nature to use all the prerogatives of wealth and contacts to belittle and demonise anyone who might upset his applecart or who wont bow down to his version of kissing rich peoples arses.

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    2 weeks ago
  • New Navy vessel Aotearoa to arrive in New Zealand
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence The Royal New Zealand Navy’s new ship, Aotearoa, set sail for New Zealand on 10 June from the Republic of Korea, and is due to arrive in Auckland tomorrow, announced Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “Aotearoa is the Royal New Zealand Navy’s new fleet ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Racing Industry Bill passes third reading
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters has today welcomed the Racing Industry Bill passing its third reading, creating the legislative framework for revitalising the racing industry while limiting the need for future government intervention. “For too long our domestic racing industry has ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party seek amendment to ensure all prisoners can vote
    The Green Party has today put forward an amendment to the Electoral (Registration of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Bill to ensure all people in prisons can vote in general elections. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party welcomes new approach to delivering light rail
    The Green Party welcomes the decision to not proceed with Public Public Investment (PPI) delivery of Auckland’s light rail project and to instead run the process through the public service. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First welcomes PGF investment in Wairarapa Water
    Hon Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in the Wairarapa New Zealand First List MP Hon Ron Mark welcomes the announcement of Provincial Growth Funding investment of $1.4 million to help secure the Wairarapa’s water supply. The funding boost will allow the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC), and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First MP Mark Patterson selected as candidate for Taieri
    New Zealand First list MP Mark Patterson has been selected to represent the party in the newly formed Taieri electorate at the upcoming election. Mr Patterson, his wife Jude and two daughters farm sheep and beef at Lawrence and Waitahuna. He previously stood in the Clutha-Southland electorate however boundary changes ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ground-breaking on NZ Post depot
    Hon Shane Jones, Associate Minister for State Owned Enterprises A new ‘super depot’ to be built for NZ Post in Wellington will create around 350 jobs during construction, Associate Minister for State Owned Enterprises Shane Jones says. Shane Jones today attended a ground-breaking and blessing ceremony for the parcel-processing depot ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Putting our economic plan into action
    Our strong economic management prior to COVID-19 - with surpluses, low debt and near-record-low unemployment - put us in a good position to weather the impact of the virus and start to rebuild our economy much earlier than many other countries. Now we're putting our plan to recover and rebuild ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fleeing drivers hit new record-high yet again
    Darroch Ball MP, New Zealand First Spokesperson for Law and Order Recently released Police fleeing driver statistics have shown yet another increase in incidents with another record-high in the latest quarter. “This new quarterly record-high is the latest in a string of record-high numbers since 2014.  The data shows incidents ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fletcher Tabuteau selected as candidate for Rotorua
    New Zealand First MP Fletcher Tabuteau is pleased to be confirmed today as the party’s candidate for the Rotorua electorate. Speaking at the Rotorua AGM for New Zealand First, Mr Tabuteau said this is an election that is incredibly important for the people of Rotorua. “The founding principles of New ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Greens call for Government office to address Rainbow issues following Human Rights Commission report
    The Human Rights Commission’s PRISM report on the issues impacting people based on their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC) provides an excellent programme of work for future governments to follow, say the Greens. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters continues push for trans-Tasman travel as military take control of operations
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters said the trans-Tasman bubble had not been jeopardised after a border botch-up resulted in New Zealand having two active cases of COVID-19. On Friday, Mr Peters told RNZ's Morning Report he had heard from Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison that borders for trans-Tasman travel would open by ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters on the Government’s Covid-19 border blunder
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters said today he was pleased the army was now running the quarantine and isolation process - up until now it has been the Ministry of Health. Peters told Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking that the army knew how to introduce and follow protocols and instil discipline. ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Govt confirms investment in better radiology and surgical services for Hawke’s Bay
    The Government is pleased to confirm funding for improvements to radiology and surgical services at Hawke's Bay DHB, Health Minister Chris Hipkins says.     "The Minister of Finance the Hon Grant Robertson and former Health Minister Dr David Clark approved funding for Hawke's Bay DHB’s redevelopment of their radiology facilities ...
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    32 mins ago
  • Specialist alcohol and drug addiction services strengthened across New Zealand
    •    New funding for four beds at Napier’s Springhill Residential Addiction Centre •    A new managed withdrawal home and community service, and peer support before and after residential care at Tairāwhiti DHB  •    A co-ordinated network of withdrawal management services throughout the South Island •    Peer support in Rotorua and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    39 mins ago
  • Coastal Shipping Webinar
    Introduction, seafarers and POAL Good morning everyone, I am delighted to be online with you all today. Before I begin, I have to acknowledge that COVID-19 has disrupted the maritime sector on an unprecedented scale. The work of seafarers and the maritime industry is keeping many economies around the world ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Support for resilient rail connection to the West Coast
    A $13 million investment from Government will create jobs and improve the resilience of the rail connection between Christchurch and the West Coast, Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones and Regional Economic Development Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau say. The funding comes from the tagged contingency set aside in Budget 2020 for infrastructure projects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Major investment in safe drinking water
    The Government is investing $761 million to assist local government upgrade under-pressure water services across the country, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today.  The announcement was made at the site of the water bore that was found to be the source of the fatal ...
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    5 hours ago
  • Supporting stranded seasonal workers to keep working with more flexible options
    Recognised Seasonal Employers and migrant seasonal workers stranded in New Zealand will be able to continue working and supporting themselves with more flexible hours and roles, says Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway. The time-limited visa changes are: Stranded RSE workers will be able to work part-time (a minimum of 15 hours ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Relief for temporary migrants, employers and New Zealanders who need work
    The Government is making immediate short-term changes to visa settings to support temporary migrants already onshore in New Zealand and their employers, while also ensuring New Zealanders needing work are prioritised, Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. We are: Extending temporary work visas due to expire by the end of 2020 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Freshwater commissioners and fast-track consenting convenor appointed
    Professor Peter Skelton CNZM has been appointed as Chief Freshwater Commissioner and Alternate Environment Court Judge Craig James Thompson as Deputy Chief Freshwater Commissioner for the newly established Freshwater Planning Process (FPP). Environment Minister David Parker today also announced the appointment of Chief Environment Court Judge Laurie Newhook as the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Appointment of Judge of the High Court
    Auckland Queen’s Counsel Neil Campbell has been appointed a Judge of the High Court, Attorney‑General David Parker announced today. Justice Campbell graduated with a BCom and LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland in 1992. He spent two years with Bell Gully Buddle Weir in Auckland before travelling to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Feedback sought – Commercial Film and Video Production Facilities
    The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to better enable the development and operation of commercial film and video facilities in Christchurch. The Proposal, developed by Regenerate Christchurch in response to a request from Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Govt launches bold primary sector plan to boost economic recovery
    The Government has launched a bold plan to boost primary sector export earnings by $44 billion over the next decade, while protecting the environment and growing jobs. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today released Fit for a Better World – Accelerating our Economic Potential, a 10-year roadmap to unlock greater value ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Wellbeing of whanau at heart of new hub
    A new approach to prevent family harm that encourages greater collaboration across government and community groups is being celebrated at the opening of a new facility in Auckland. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today opened the Multi-Disciplinary Family Harm Prevention Hub Te Taanga Manawa in Lambie Road in Manukau. The facility ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Report on Auckland Port Relocation
    The Government has released a major new report on the options for relocating the Port of Auckland’s freight operations while deferring any decision on the issue. “That decision needs to be informed by policy analysis that is still to be completed. As a result it will be up to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Dual place names for Te Pātaka-o-Rākaihautū / Banks Peninsula features
    The history of Rāpaki is being restored through the inclusion of te reo in thirteen official place names on Te Pātaka-o-Rākaihautū / Banks Peninsula and around Lyttelton Harbour/Whakaraupō, the Minister for Land Information, Eugenie Sage, announced today.   “I am pleased to approve the proposals from Te Hapū o Ngāti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government and Air New Zealand agree to manage incoming bookings
    Bookings for seats on Air New Zealand flights into New Zealand will be managed in the short term to ensure the Government is able to safely place New Zealanders arriving home into a managed isolation or quarantine facility, says Housing Minister Megan Woods.  “Last week Air Commodore Darryn Webb and I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • $80 million for sport recovery at all levels
    Grant Robertson has today announced the first major release of funding from the $265 million Sport Recovery Package announced at Budget 2020.  “Today we’re setting out how $80 million will be invested, with $54 million of that over the 2020/2021 financial year for organisations from community level through to elite ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Keeping ACC levies steady until 2022
    The Government is maintaining current levy rates for the next 2 years, as part of a set of changes to help ease the financial pressures of COVID-19 providing certainty for businesses and New Zealanders, ACC Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. “New Zealanders and businesses are facing unprecedented financial pressures as a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Extended loan scheme keeps business afloat
    Small businesses are getting greater certainty about access to finance with an extension to the interest-free cashflow loan scheme to the end of the year. The Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme has already been extended once, to 24 July. Revenue and Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says it will be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New investment creates over 2000 jobs to clean up waterways
    A package of 23 projects across the country will clean up waterways and deliver over 2000 jobs Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Environment Minister David Parker announced today. The $162 million dollar package will see 22 water clean-up projects put forward by local councils receiving $62 million and the Kaipara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to Labour Party Congress 2020
    Tena koutou katoa  Nga tangata whenua o tenei rohe o Pōneke, tena koutou Nau mai, haere mai ki te hui a tau mo te roopu reipa Ko tatou!  Ko to tatou mana!  Ko to tatou kaupapa kei te kokiri whakamua  Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena tatou katoa   Welcome. I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • PGF top-up for QE Health in Rotorua
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $1.5 million to ensure QE Health in Rotorua can proceed with its world class health service and save 75 existing jobs, Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The PGF funding announced today is in addition to the $8 million ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Building a more sustainable construction sector
    A new programme, which sets a firm course for the Building and Construction sector to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, has been announced by the Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa. “A significant amount of New Zealand’s carbon emissions come from the building and construction sector.  If we’re serious ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • PGF funds tourism boost in Northland
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing more than $7.5 million in Northland ventures to combat the economic impact of the COVID-19 virus, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) investment is going to the Northern Adventure Experience and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Four new projects announced as part of the biggest ever national school rebuild programme
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced significant funding for Auckland’s Northcote College as part of the first wave of a new nationwide school redevelopment programme to upgrade schools over the next 10 years. The $48.5 million project brings the total investment in Northcote College to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19: Support to improve student attendance and wellbeing
    The Government has opened an urgent response fund to support schools and early learning services to get children and young people back on track after the Covid-19 lockdown. “While we are seeing improvements in attendance under Alert Level 1 Ministry of Education data shows that attendance rates in our schools ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Fast-track consenting law boosts jobs and economic recovery
    The law to boost the economic recovery from the impact of COVID-19 by speeding up resource consenting on selected projects has passed its second and third readings in the House today. “Accelerating nationwide projects and activities by government, iwi and the private sector will help deliver faster economic recovery and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Whanganui Port gets PGF boost
    Five port-related projects in Whanganui will receive a $26.75 million Provincial Growth Fund investment to support local economic recovery and create new opportunities for growth, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This is a significant investment that will support the redevelopment of the Whanganui Port, a project governed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More support for Sarjeant Gallery
    Whanganui’s Sarjeant Gallery will receive an investment of up to $12 million administered by the Provincial Growth Fund to support its redevelopment, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. The project is included in a $3 billion infrastructure pipeline announced by Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Shane Jones yesterday. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Funding for training and upskilling
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing nearly $2.5 million into three Te Ara Mahi programmes to support Manawatū-Whanganui jobseekers and employees to quickly train and upskill, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Up to 154 local people will be supported into employment within the first year by these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Statement from the Minister of Health Dr David Clark
      This morning I have formally tendered my resignation as Minister of Health, which was accepted by the Prime Minister. Serving as Minister of Health has been an absolute privilege – particularly through these extraordinary last few months. It’s no secret that Health is a challenging portfolio. I have given ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Scholarship placements for agricultural emissions scientists doubles
    Scholarships for 57 early-career agricultural emissions scientists from 20 developing countries is another example of New Zealand’s international leadership in primary sector sustainability, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. Mr O’Connor, announcing the scholarships today, says hundreds of applications were received for this fourth round of the CLIFF-GRADS programme (Climate, Food ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Funding for Foxton regeneration
    A project to help rejuvenate the Horowhenua town of Foxton will receive a Provincial Growth Fund investment of $3.86 million, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This funding for the Foxton Regeneration project will be used to make the well-known holiday town even more attractive for visitors and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Plan to improve protection of moa bones
    Moa bones and other sub-fossil remains of extinct species are set to have improved protection with proposals to prevent the trade in extinct species announced the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today. “We have lost too many of our native species, but these lost species, such as moa, remain an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Free lunches served up to thousands of school children in the South Island
    The Government’s free and healthy school lunches programme moves south for the first time creating jobs for around 30 people in Otago and Southland. “Eighteen schools with 3000 students are joining the programme – 11 have already begun serving lunches, and seven are preparing to start during Term 3. This is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Screen Sector recovery package protects jobs, boosts investment
    Thousands of Kiwi jobs and investment in New Zealand productions will be protected through a screen sector support package announced today by Associate Minister for Arts Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford and Minister for Broadcasting Kris Faafoi. The package also includes investment in broadcasting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New fund to help save local events and jobs
    The Government has established a new $10 million fund for the domestic events sector to help save jobs and protect incomes as it recovers from the impacts of COVID-19, Minister of Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. This funding from Budget 2020 follows talks with the event sector designed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Bill to improve fuel market competition
    The Government has taken another step in its commitment to making sure New Zealanders get a fairer deal at the petrol pump with the introduction of legislation to improve competition in the retail fuel market, says Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods. “The fuel market study that this Government ordered ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand joins global facility for pre-purchase of COVID-19 Vaccine
    New Zealand has joined a global initiative that aims to enable all countries to access a safe and effective Covid-19 vaccine, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. The COVAX Facility was recently launched by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. The Alliance includes the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Right to legal representation in Family Court restored today
    From today new legislation takes effect to both restore the right to legal representation at the start of a Care of Children (CoCA) dispute in the Family Court, and allow parties to those proceedings to access legal aid where eligible. During a visit to the Family Court in Auckland today, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Transitioning to a fully-qualified home-based ECE workforce
    Home-based early childhood education (ECE) subsidised by the government will transition to a fully qualified workforce by 2025 to ensure better and more consistent quality, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. “Quality early learning helps provide children with a strong foundation for their future,” Chris Hipkins said. From 1 January ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago