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PPPs? No, please

Written By: - Date published: 12:15 pm, November 26th, 2008 - 23 comments
Categories: economy, national/act government, transport - Tags:

I’ve never seen the sense in Public-Private Partnerships. How is it ever going to be cheaper to get a private profit-making company to come on-board and take the risk for developing a piece of public infrastructure? The Government has to give them a good deal so they can make a profit, and the Government has to step in when things do go wrong because you can’t have major pieces of infrastructure vital to your economy going offline every time some company collapses. It’s not cheaper to use PPPs, it’s more expensive, more complicated, and more risky. PPPs have never been more than a tool for getting spending off the books by hiding the immediate capital costs of construction in the long-term payments to the private contractor.

But it turns out they’re not only a bad deal for the taxpayer, businesses are increasingly hesitant about PPPs. Fletcher Construction says that, while it will bid for PPPs if National/ACT puts them up it would prefer to contract in the traditional way, which leads to quicker construction anyway:

If the aim was to bring projects to fruition quickly, making them PPPs would be a retrograde step, as so much time is involved in setting up the legal framework between participants in the project, [Mark Burns CEO of Fletcher’s] said. He also questioned whether private sector funding would be viable in the current credit environment without Government guarantees, which nullified the transfer of risk to the private sector.

Some of Fletcher’s biggest roading projects this decade have been building the $300 million Northern Busway and upgrading Grafton Gully and the Central Motorway Junction.

The submission said New Zealand was too small to make the formula work other than in a handful of projects.

“Fletcher Construction formed the view years ago that there were few roading projects in New Zealand that would have the traffic volumes to justify the full transfer of risk to the private sector,” the builder said.

Sometimes benefits of transferring the risk of PPP projects to the private sector were illusory, it said, citing the British Government’s bailout of Metronet, the private operator of the London Underground.

Binns suggested that if the transfer of risk was not complete, the true benefits of PPPs came down to an analysis of the funding costs, and there was a strong argument that the Government would be better off just raising debt, potentially through infrastructure bonds, to do the project using other traditional methods of contracting.

The builder also cited major “upfront paperwork and contractual costs” on PPPs, saying the time and cost involved in this phase was significant and tended to counter any savings in the design and delivery phase.

23 comments on “PPPs? No, please”

  1. Mr Magoo 1

    So let me get this straight. One of the major players in the road building industry thinks PPPs are not a good idea?

    Not sure how to take this?

    It is a bad idea and this is more evidence. (because of the inefficiency in the relationship caused by conflicting motivations between public/private sectors.)

    It is a good idea because this guy seems to think he will make less money this way and ergo it will be cheaper for us?

    Or perhaps “the thrid way” (pun intended) is that it is simultaneously going to make him less money, cost more and simply be a complete budgetary disaster all round?

    National are usually pretty good at these so I can’t wait to see how this pans out…

  2. burt 2

    Mr Magoo

    You need to understand the picture that SP is trying to paint.

    If a major construction company says PPP are not the best way then they are not, because construction companies know what works – right?

    If a major construction company says PPP are the best way then they are not, because obviously the contruction company has a vested interest – right?

    Forget about Helen Clark and the Labour govt passing legislation which made it easier for Govt to enagage in PPP relationships, forget that Helen Clark’s wanted a tunnel built under her electorate using PPP funding arrangements. This is now – The things the Labour party wanted to do were good and the things the National party now want to do are bad. Don’t for one moment take any notice that we are talking about the same things because that is not relevant. The only relevant thing is who is talking about doing them.

    It’s easy to understand – take all logic and put it in the bin, put your partisan hat on and start typing….

  3. It seems like private partners in PPPs usually low-ball their costs to undercut each other (and, of course, the price has to be low enough that the public doesn’t say, what the hell are we doing?’) – it’s still more expensive than a normal government construction protect but not enough for the private contractor to keep in the game if anything goes wrong, or if they have miscalculated their costs (later in the article Burns says smaller companies are incapable of working out their costs over a PPP’s timeframe)

    When things do go wrong, the private partner goes bust and the Government has to step in at significant cost. Everyone loses.

  4. burt 4

    Steve P.

    Irrespective of the contractual arrangements being used when things go wrong on a major piece of public infrastructure the govt picks up the tab.
    [deleted. don’t try to threadjack. take it to kiwiblog. SP]

  5. Santi 5

    PPPs. Yes, please.

    [lprent: Ummm you got banned yesterday. But SP let it through so I’ll let the conversation continue.]

  6. burt. rather than attack me, show why Fletcher challenge is wrong.

    If the risk is always borne by the taxpayer in the end, why pay someone else a profit for taking that risk?

  7. Mr Magoo 8

    Burt: The confusion was not with what SP was trying to paint, but with what my conclusions should be when a pretty major private player is poo pooing PPPs. (like the number of Ps I got in there? Try saying it quickly)

    The standard wisdom on both the left and right suggests that PPPs would be a gain for the private sector overall. The argument is usually around what it means for the public.

    And now we have this guy saying it would end up worse for him? Not a pretty picture. A conspiracy theorist might suggest this is “reverse spin”. 🙂

    Starting to smell like something beaurocrats would come up with over a few too many wines to me. A bit like demanding waiting times are reduced while cutting spending.

    Speaking of beaurocrats, here is a joke for you:

    “How many beaurocrats does it take to organise a PPP?”

    “Far more than Labour ever used….”

  8. If the risk is always borne by the taxpayer in the end, why pay someone else a profit for taking that risk?

    That’s the key question – and its one the right can’t answer. But then, PPP’s are more about transferring wealth and hiding debt than getting a good deal for the public anyway.

  9. burt 10

    Steve P.

    If the risk is always borne by the taxpayer in the end, why pay someone else a profit for taking that risk?

    Of course you are correct (I say this so I you don’t delete my post). I think you have hit the nail on the head. The public service should train and retain construction workers. We could call it the ‘Ministry of works’ and they could be the sole ‘contractor’ engaged on all public works. That model has never failed before has it…

    Are you very young and can’t remember any of the things that have been tried and failed in the past or do you not even go as far as to consider why things are like they are today?

    Again – You have tied yourself in a knot Steve, you think private companies are only motivated by profit so when they say they are not keen on PPP arrangements have you considered that it might be a less profitable arrangement for them – IE: A better deal for the tax payers?

    If Fletchers said PPP’s were good you would say they are bad – you can’t have it both ways… Well you can and you do – but that won’t stop me pointing out that you are a partisan hack who cares not what is being talked about but only who is doing the talking.

    IrishBill: I’m certainly not young. In fact I’m too old to have to suffer boorish fools. Take a week off.

  10. burt 11

    IrishBill

    You are a complete wanker – if you want an echo chamber then so be it, otherwise get over yourself and explain what justified that banning.

    (calling you a complete wanker justifes the ban – but before that, was it that I disagreed with Steve P ?)

    IrishBill: I’ve just noticed this. Take a two week ban. You are continually overstepping the bounds and I see no reason we should host your oikish comments. I suggest you head over to Kiwiblog and call David a “partisan hack” day in day out and see what happens there.

  11. sweetd 12

    Burt

    Did you just engage in a retrospective banning?

  12. Cameron 13

    PPPs are an extremely idiotic scheme. It is sad both Labour and National suppor them! Time to fight back 😀

  13. sweetd 14

    Its funny how PPP’s came about under the leadership of Blair in UK Labour and his wonderful 3rd way politics.

  14. burt 15

    sweetd

    And everything Blair said was a good idea because his party name was “Labour”. That is why we had to have them too, like pledge cards and cash for honours.

    Times change and now the Labour party activists are just scared that National may use the tools that Labour put in place and be successful. Couldn’t have that because the key issue is not what is good for NZ but who delivers the good outcomes.

  15. PK 16

    Why PPPs? Being cynical I thought they allowed the charging for use of an item of government created infrastructure against the users of that infrastructure. Such charges being politically very unsavoury to a populace who perceive the infrastructure should be paid out of taxes. It also takes debt off the government books. Looks nice. I personally don’t mind some form of user charges if it allows something to exist that would otherwise not be fundable.

    Being less cynical there is no denying that the government generally does not perform as well as commerce in terms of running businesses. So, if a PPP needs a well run business for future revenue streams and service then it’s a good candidate. Also a PPP is about allocating risk to the most suitable entity. Commercial entities often manage risk well as they go out of business if they don’t. Not sure roading fits those criteria as it’s more about building the roads than running them in terms of a business. I’ll talk about risk below.

    Risk – Burt made a valid point – Fletcher C do well out of major infrastructure works in NZ at the moment (not a huge amount of competition as a smaller market- FC said so themselves in the article and that they have a large backlog), manages to lay off a fair amount of the construction risk back on the government currently anyway and FC doesn’t really want to get in to running the piece of infrastructure its building as it would be taking on more risk in terms of future revenue flows (and running a business it has no expertise in). FC is making money now – why take more risk without a corresponding potential reward against the risk especially as the article is saying they don’t see the revenue stream? The funding comment is a bit of red herring I feel. But as FC said in the article whether it’s better for NZ to have a PPP is very dependent on the nature of the contract and who ends up owning what risk. FC are obviously not keen to have the risk but could be a rock and a hard place for FC tie the construction work to the PPP and then they are forced to take the risk as they need the construction work.

    On the comment around the government having to step in on the demise of a PPP – I did read an article about 9 months ago putting forward a decent argument (based on analysis of PPPs in Europe had a quick look could not find it to post a link) to say most of the time it cost the government less than if they did it themselves as the reasons for the death of whatever PPP usually related to low ongoing revenues for usage charging, which would normally have been the case anyway. The private company had losses, which the government did not have to bear. In the cases were the government really suffered it typically wasn’t really a PPP as they had contractually underwritten the project and offset no risk whatsoever!!

    The article did a rough comparison with cost overruns against non PPP infrastructure investment and found similar rates of blowouts so that implied it didn’t affect construction or set-up costs. It also found many PPPs that worked but invariably the first few didn’t as government did not know how to set them up, initially.

    Whoever said it’s about wealth transfer think a little the construction companies already make a profit. If done correctly it transfers risk to them greater risk equals less profit typically.

    So, a definite worth considering but needs to be carefully done and for the appropriate PPP.

  16. deemac 17

    no need to argue about whether or not they are a good idea as they have been thoroughly trialled in the UK and are a complete disaster.
    Apart from the guaranteed profit margins for big business (small businesses don’t get a look in) the only attraction was keeping debt off the govt books in order to comply with arbitrary EU limits; but after the latest financial fiasco I think we are really over clever accounting fixes.
    There’s no problem with getting private companies to undertake govt projects providing the contracts are watertight. But PPP is like paying a mortgage then after 20 years the bank owns your house – madness.

  17. burt 18

    Steve P.

    burt. rather than attack me, show why Fletcher challenge is wrong.

    If Fletcher Challenge made a statement that they thought all construction projects should be paid in full up front and that contracts should always have early completion bonus clauses but never have late completion penalty clauses would you agree with them on that as well?

    I can’t show you why Fletcher Challenge is wrong, because they may be wrong but they may also simply prefer standard deposit and progress payment arrangements because they are more profitable or because they are less problematic from an administrative perspective.

    I suspect Fletcher Challenge would rather engage in PPP arrangements over having no work at all, but I could be wrong on that as well.

  18. Quoth the Raven 19

    burt – I don’t know many on the left that thought much of Blair’s government. Remember the Iraq war. Blair’s government did nothing but pander to business, abandon Labour’s principles and turn Britain into a police state. With that list you could easily replace Labour with National and Blair with Key and voilà you have the British Labour, I mean New Zealand National party.
    Stop making stupid assertions, Burt, you’re banned anyway.

  19. I suspect PPPs aren’t about roads. They will be about privatising health care delivery. They won’t really be PPPs….that’s just the cover for letting greedy doctors and insurance companies rake in the dosh for doing nothing more than they do now…..and probably less.

  20. Millsy 21

    We already have PPPs. The state puts up the money and the specifications, the private company signs a contract and goes off to build the item desired.

    Simple really. It works. Dont need to change it.

  21. TimeWarp 22

    Millsy, that’s not a PPP. Paying someone to do something is not the same as entering a partnership with them.

    ‘Partnership’ is the key word in PPP, and the key to understanding what is so wrong with the concept in general.

    Commercially, partnerships are entered into to spread the required investment and the associated risk between the partners. Accordingly, the returns/profits are then spread equally proportionately amongst the parties.

    The problem with PPP fundamentally is that the Government, by the very nature of being a governance and not commercial body, takes on at least the major risk if not all of it. The US $20m bailout of Citigroup is a great example of what happens when risk is transferred to the public.

    Meanwhile, the commercial entity gets at least the major return, if not all. It would have to expect an outstanding return and/or low risk, for it to enter into a PPP in the first place. Because… If the partnership was fair and advantageous to both parties in regards to the risk/return profile, then generally two or more commercial parties would have already entered a partnership in order to capture this return. (Nature abhors a vacuum, and capitalist markets are absolutely no exception.)

    That statement is slightly simplistic in that in a PPP there may be consents or other barriers to commercial partnerships that are lowered. But the fundamental principle holds true… PPP’s are required where the risk profile is too high, or the return too low, for the project to be directly profitable economically. But the projects may be desirable to the government and the community because of the long-term social good, and return to the overall economy (if not the government coffers directly).

    In general I believe PPP’s will transfer risk to the taxpayer, and profit to the shareholder – socialising losses and privatising returns.

  22. TimeWarp 23

    minor edit… “directly profitable economically” above is not strictly accurate, meant to say “directly profitable commercially”

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  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    1 week ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
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    1 week ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    1 week ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1000 of these now
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    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Vaccination, compulsion, and paternalism for the lower orders
    The National Party has come out in support of encouraging greater vaccination uptake. But it sure isn’t the way I’d do it. National’s suggested docking the benefits of those on benefit whose kids aren’t keeping up with their vaccinations. Some in National have suggested extending that to payments under Working ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • Global Protests Rage On: But Slogans Are Not Plans.
    Feeding The Flames: It is simply not enough to demand an end to “corruption”, or “inequality”, or the overbearing influence of the authorities in Beijing. These are just “lowest common denominator” demands: the sort of slogans that pull people onto the streets. They are not a plan.WHERE’S THE PLAN? Across ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 11,000 employed under Labour
    The labour market statistics have been released, and unemployment has risen to 4.2%. There are 115,000 unemployed - 11,000 fewer than when Labour took office. In that time the minimum wage has gone up by $2 an hour, which shows that the right's fears about increases causing unemployment are simply ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Boycott this democratic fraud
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has called for submissions on Andrew Little's tyrannical Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill. Normally I encourage participation in the democratic process. I am not doing so in this case. Instead, I encourage all of you to boycott this submissions process, and to post ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Why Mars is cold despite an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz If tiny concentrations of carbon dioxide can hold enough heat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Ban private jets
    Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and within it, one of the fastest sources is elite travel: billionaires flitting around the world in their private jets, spewing excessive pollution into the atmosphere just so they can avoid mixing with us dirty peasants. But in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Untold Suffering
    That's what we face if we don't stop climate change, according to a warning from 11,000 scientists:The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists. “We declare clearly and unequivocally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The left and violent misogyny
    by Phil Duncan Here’s just a few of the kind of threats issued day in and day out against gender-critical women – feminists, marxists, etc – overwhelmingly by MEN (albeit men identifying as women). “Kill all Terfs”. “Shoot a Terf today”. “All terfs deserve to be shot in the head”. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and the iPhone
    This is the third of the synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016). The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Unlike the humble cup of coffee and t-shirt that we looked at in ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

  • New Zealand’s key assets are not for sale: national interest test delivered
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries Today the Government announced the delivery of the promise to protect New Zealand interests by applying a new National Interest Test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. This further strengthening of the Overseas Investment Act will ...
    11 hours ago
  • National interest test added to protect New Zealanders’ interests
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high-risk assets to overseas buyers. Under current Overseas Investment Act (OIA) rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and ...
    12 hours ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
    Rt Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years. Declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission. Our ...
    13 hours ago
  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    1 day ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    2 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    6 days ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    7 days ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Clamp down on wheel clamping passes third reading
    New rules to clamp down on overzealous wheel clamping and extortionate fees charged in order to release a vehicle have passed their final stage in Parliament today. The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill has now passed its third reading. “These changes mean $100 will be the maximum wheel clamping ...
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    6 hours ago
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill passes first hurdle
    An independent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission is a step closer after it unanimously passed its first vote in Parliament today.  The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill lays the groundwork for establishing the Commission as a fully independent crown entity – delivering on a key recommendation of He Ara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Boosting border security with electronic travel authority – now over 500,000 issued
    We’ve improved border security with the NZeTA, New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority, which helps us to screen travellers for border and immigration risks off-shore before they travel to New Zealand. It was launched in August and became mandatory on 1 October 2019. More than 500,000 NZeTAs have been issued since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Plan of action to protect seabirds
    A proposed national plan of action to reduce the number of seabirds caught in fisheries is being circulated for public feedback. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage say New Zealand is a global centre of seabird diversity with about 145 species in our waters. It has more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • National interest test added to overseas investment rules
    The Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. Associate Finance Minister David Parker said under current Overseas Investment Act rules, assets such as ports and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
    The Government is building special housing to accommodate one of Aotearoa’s greatest taonga- our kaumātua, says the Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Speaking at a National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference in Rotorua today, the Minister reinforced the importance kaumātua play in maintaining and passing on mātauranga Māori, knowledge, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Forestry helps prisoners into jobs
    Eleven men from a pilot forestry training programme for prisoners in Northland now have full time jobs or job offers upon release, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis and Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. The ‘release to work’ programme was a collaboration between Te Uru Rākau and the Department of Corrections, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Reform of public service a step closer
    Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins today introduced into Parliament a Bill that will make it easier for the public service to tackle the biggest challenges facing Governments. The Bill represents the most significant change in the public service in 30 years. The State Sector Act 1988 will be repealed ...
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    1 day ago
  • Donations scheme to relieve pressure on families
    The families of more than 416,000 students will be better off next year as their schools have signed up to the Government’s donations scheme, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. The scheme will see almost $62.5 million in additional Government funding go to schools nationwide next year. “I’m really pleased ...
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    1 day ago
  • Further support for Samoan measles outbreak
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced further support as the Government of Samoa responds to a serious measles outbreak. “New Zealand will deploy a further 18 vaccination nurses, bringing the total to 30 working in Samoa over the next four weeks,” Mr Peters said. “A New Zealand Medical Assistance ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Speech to the Child Poverty Action Group 2019 Summit
      Fa’atalofa atu, malo e lelei, Kia ora koutou katoa Thank you to the Child Poverty Action Group for asking me to be here today to provide an update on some of the things that have been happening across my the social development portfolio.  Can I firstly acknowledge the vast ...
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    2 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Annual Conference
    ***Please check against delivery*** Good morning everyone. It is a pleasure to be with you this morning to open this year’s New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Conference and AGM. Firstly, thank you Dr Alan Jackson, NZTR Chair for your introduction. And let us acknowledge also: The NZTR Board; Dean McKenzie, Chair ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
    The Government has delivered on its promise to the over one million New Zealanders who now rent to make it fairer and more secure, Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Kris Faafoi has announced today. Both renters and landlords will benefit from the suite of practical changes to the Residential ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Two decades of marine protection celebrated at Te Tapuwae o Rongokako in Tairawhiti
    A marine conservation milestone - the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve - is being celebrated today at a community event in Tairāwhiti/East Coast attended by the Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “The creation of this marine reserve in November 1999 was a game ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
         The Government is asking the food industry to step up work to tackle obesity including reducing sugar, fat and salt in their products, better information for consumers, and tighter restrictions on advertising to children. Health Minister David Clark and Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor have responded to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
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    5 days ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
    Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting 14 November 2019 Joint Statement 1. Defence Ministers Ron Mark and Dr Ng Eng Hen today conducted their third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Singapore. 2. Building on the Enhanced Partnership signed between both countries in May this year, this annual meeting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
    A Bill to improve the court system’s response to sexual violence has passed its first reading in Parliament today. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill will reduce the trauma sexual violence complainants experience in court, while maintaining defendants’ fundamental rights and making sure the trial process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
    Streamlined payment practices are a step closer for Kiwi businesses with the formal launch of New Zealand’s e-Invoicing framework. Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says the government has now established the structure to enable automated and direct data exchange between the accounting systems of buyers and sellers. “The move to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
    Another 51 quarantine officers and four new biosecurity detector dog teams will help protect New Zealand from invasive pests and diseases this summer, says Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “The Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen New Zealand’s biosecurity system and support our valuable primary sector “New Zealand’s flora, fauna ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ space economy worth $1.69 billion
    A new report has found New Zealand’s space sector contributed $1.69 billion to the economy in the last financial year and employs 12,000 people, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. The report by Deloitte was commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and shows New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Chair for Royal Commission into Abuse
    Judge Coral Shaw has been appointed as the new Chair of the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. "Judge Shaw, who is currently one of the inquiry commissioners, is extremely well qualified for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Better mental health facilities for Palmerston North
    The Government has confirmed its third major mental health facility upgrade since the Budget, this time at Palmerston North Hospital. The Prime Minister and Health Minister today visited MidCentral DHB to announce that $30 million has been allocated to upgrade its acute mental health facility. It follows earlier announcements in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Bowel Screening hits halfway point
    The roll out of the National Bowel Screening Programme has reached the halfway mark, with 10 out of 20 District Health Boards now part of the programme. MidCentral DHB, which covers Palmerston North, Manawatu and surrounding districts, this week became the latest to DHB to offer free bowel screening to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More vaccines for meningococcal disease
    The Government welcomes PHARMAC’s decision to fund a vaccine to protect young people from meningococcal disease from 1 December this year. “Meningococcal disease is a serious threat which people at higher risk should be protected from,” says Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter. “The combined pharmaceutical budget was increased by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Fisheries innovation projects supported
    Groups involved with innovative fisheries research projects are encouraged to apply for government support in the latest funding round from the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures programme. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash says the SFF Futures funding is designed to be flexible enough to support small or large projects across a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government fixes culturally arranged marriage visa issue
    The Government has fixed an issue affecting how Immigration New Zealand has processed visa applications for culturally arranged marriages, which will now see a consistent process applied which ensures people with legitimate arranged marriages can visit New Zealand while also preventing any rorting of the system. Earlier this year Immigration ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Extension for Royal Commission into Mosque attacks
    The Royal Commission into the Attacks on Christchurch Mosques will report back on 30 April 2020 to give it more time to hear submissions and consider information, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The Royal Commission was originally scheduled to report back to Government by 10 December 2019. “There has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Terrorism and Trade on agenda as Foreign Minister visits the United States
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington DC today to attend a ministerial meeting focused on defeating ISIS, and to continue pursuing New Zealand’s trade opportunities. Mr Peters will participate in a meeting of Foreign and Defence Ministers from key countries contributing to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Hoiho get extra support alongside 168 community conservation groups backing nature
    The recently crowned Bird of the Year, the hoiho/yellow eyed penguin, is getting a much needed helping hand alongside more than 168 other community conservation projects announced Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage today. 168 community conservation projects throughout New Zealand are benefiting from $8 million in government grants, including $500,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New safety measures for modified pistols
    Controls on assault rifles and semi-automatic firearms are to be broadened to include some types of pistols, under changes to a bill currently making its way through Parliament. Police Minister Stuart Nash has tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to the Arms Legislation Bill, which is currently before a Select Committee ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit Singapore and Thailand
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark will travel to Singapore today to conduct a counterpart visit and to co-chair the third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting with his counterpart, Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen. “Singapore is one of our most important defence partners in the region, and our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Future secured for Salisbury School
    Nelson’s Salisbury School is to be rebuilt, creating a modern and suitable learning environment for students at the residential special school, Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The school for girls aged 8-15, in Richmond, was earmarked for closure by National until the process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Resource management reform options released
    The panel undertaking a comprehensive review of the Resource Management Act has identified the main issues to be addressed and options for reform and is calling for feedback to inform its final report.  In July the Government announced the comprehensive review of the resource management system, including the RMA - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission established
    An important safety valve has been added to New Zealand’s criminal justice system with the third reading of the Criminal Cases Review Commission Bill today. The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) will investigate claimed miscarriages of justice. “We’ve seen how our justice system can very occasionally get things spectacularly wrong, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Racing Industry destined to be on-track
    Racing Minister Winston Peters welcomes the tabling of the Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) 2019 Annual Report in Parliament today. He says the 2019 Annual Report marks the point when New Zealand’s racing industry’s decline was arrested and a turnaround started. RITA’s 2019 Annual Report recorded an industry net profit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • New Zealand firefighter support to Queensland
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