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Press freedom and politics

Written By: - Date published: 12:13 pm, October 30th, 2013 - 27 comments
Categories: uncategorized - Tags:

Rebekah Brooks, once Rupert Murdoch’s favourite editor, is in the dock in London charged with conspiring to pervert the course of justice. Rupert meanwhile has turned his attention to his former home, Australia, again focussing the weight of his tabloids on Labor, first Gillard then Rudd, as Robert Manne reports in this very interesting article in the Monthly. Now Abbott is in the saddle, vicious attack has turned to fawning praise.

Meanwhile in London at the same time as Brooks faces the judge and jury, the right-wing press are resisting any notion that they should be regulated by anyone but themselves, all in the name of freedom.  But freedom to report is not the same as freedom to manipulate as Murdoch has consistently done, or to smear as in the Daily Mail’s recent attack on Ed Miliband’s father.

The media should not be the arbiters of their own standards. At the end of the day, with a few exceptions, when it comes to politics it is the proprietors or the boardrooms that make the decisions, not the editors.

27 comments on “Press freedom and politics ”

  1. Tiger Mountain 1

    “true freedom of the press belongs to them that own one” an outdated axiom in todays digital world maybe where anyone can be a publisher, but still has relevance to scum like Murdoch and his monopoly enabled wide reach and influence.

  2. Tracey 2

    Theyve had full freedom and abused it. The right to do as you please is not unfettered.

    you can do what you like but expect negative consequences for those that exercise their freedom so as to harm others

  3. TightyRighty 3

    so everyone must suffer regulation because of the actions of a few idiots? so when lynns daughter aligned herself with some of these idiots, the idea of the government monitoring seemed abominable. why can’t the left ever be consistent in the application of theory? it show the lack of intelligence that exists on the left wing

    and what about the institutional bias shown by the BBC, using taxpayers money, against free market causes? does the BBC need regulation? or the state sponsored left leaning press so many want here? will they be subject to regulation? or is it just because these murdoch outfits don’t like your agenda they need regualtion?

    • Tat Loo (CV) 3.1

      Hey mate. A basic level of firm and fair regulation is critical for the proper functioning of the economy.

      and what about the institutional bias shown by the BBC, using taxpayers money, against free market causes?

      You do realise that state agencies are supposed to represent the interests of citizens and not corporations, right?

    • lprent 3.2

      Daughter? I don’t have any kids…

      I suspect you mean my niece and her causes. But they are regulated already, that is with a curious concept called “law”. Effectively the press in the UK are arguing that they should be above that (and finding out that they are not).

      The biggest problem my niece (and many activists) have is with some thickheads called “police” who don’t appear to understand the “laws” that they are charged to enforce. They keep trying to bring spurious charges on activists who are doing their task of questioning society within the “law”. Consequently the “police” keep getting charges thrown out. Look at the operation 8 arrests and charges where the police managed to lay something like 150+ charges and managed convict on about 8 after the courts got through applying actual law.. That speaks to me of a culture that doesn’t understand the “law” amongst the police

      Personally I suspect that you (like many members of the police) simply don’t understand the way society is meant to operate inside the actual laws rather than those you think should apply.

      Or it could be that you are well-educated but too stupid to think for yourself….

      • TightyRighty 3.2.1

        I’m not saying your niece was in the wrong lynn. I’m saying that the innocents have been tarred with the same brush as the idiots and must now face “regulation” as a consequence. it’s wrong, shouldn’t happen, especially to the press. the press must be free to say whatever they like, but must stop short of breaking the law. the problem is that this post argues that because the press broke the law, what they say must now be subject to regulation. I think matt mccarten should be banned from writing columns in the HoS until unite pays it’s bills, but that’s muzzling free speech

        you may not like what they say, but they have a right to say it.

        Remember when CV was muzzled by regulations? I do, and maybe i was naive to think CV might reflect on his experience, but i certainly remember sticking up for his right to speak his mind in the hope that he would stick up for others, even if they disagreed with him. Guess I was well educated and stupid enough to believe in fair play.

        • lprent 3.2.1.1

          Remember when CV was muzzled by regulations

          CV was never “muzzled”. There was just an idiot who thought that it was possible to do so, so put in a charge. It got rejected with more than a little bit of puzzlement at NZ Council (the constitutional court in the NZLP). So your analogy is (as usual) flawed. However if there had been any substance (for instance like Chris Carter’s actions) then I’m sure that the council would have made actual judgement.

          The process of being able to lay a complaint is enshrined as part of the free speech inside the NZLP. So is the right to make silly amendments and attempt to try to get them through conference (who usually reject them).

          This is all regulated, and in a similar manner to how the media have already been regulated in UK. It is called self-regulation and it depends on the organisation following the rules by which they are in turn regulated under the law. That is “fair play” – having a legal structure that works.

          The problem with the way that the UK press operates at present is that they there is no body that actually deals with complaints in any manner worth mentioning with respect. The claims of the types of privacy breaches that are now going through the courts and are the subject of the parliamentary enquiries have been going to the industry body charged with dealing with complaints for decades to be whitewashed and rejected. The editors of the media who currently being arraigned were also members of that whitewash.

          Clearly the body charged with regulating the media in the UK failed abysmally in their duties. So they will be replaced with a more effective body under pretty much the same legal structures.

          There is no real difference between the two except that the new regulatory body is less likely to ignore and whitewash legitimate complaints.

          I just wish that they’d do the same for the toothless IPCA here who even when they actually (and seldom) uphold complaints are essentially deliberately ignored by the police.

          • TightyRighty 3.2.1.1.1

            actually, the analogy is very apt. but because it’s not absolutely perfect and i don’t agree with you, i’m completely wrong. just a weak argument from you really

    • SpaceMonkey 3.3

      Possibly because in theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is…? I can cite your “free-market” as an example. It is free in theory, in practice it is manipulated and gamed to hell.

  4. TightyRighty 4

    1) I’m not your mate.
    2) firm and fair regulation exists, the phone hackers broke the law. I don’t see the fairfax proponents in australia being subject to the scrutiny you demand for the murdoch associated press. They are very anti-abbot and pro-rudd / gillard. surely fairfax can duke it out with news corp without the help of the govt regulators.
    3) corporations are not the only free market causes, citizens are firm believers in a free market too. Also, corporations are citizens. therefore a state agency has an obligation to represent the interests of all citizens. no matter how much you hate it.

    • Naturesong 4.1

      Corporations are not citizens.

      They are psychopathic by design; zero empathy, harmful social and ecological outcomes are not considered when making decisions unless it affects the bottom line.

      They do not have the vote, however due to the concentration of capital they generally represent they have far too much influence on public policy.

      • TightyRighty 4.1.1

        Yawn. who constructed whatever device you are accessing the worlds accumulation of knowledge on?

        • framu 4.1.1.1

          the state via the military got it started sunshine

          so yawn back atchya – care to debate the assertion that corps are sociopaths?

          because if you use the definitions we apply to actual living people, big corporations fit the label

          If you want to claim they are the same as people the same rules apply.

        • Daveosaurus 4.1.1.2

          I suggest you look up the line through the owners and controllers of the people who manufacture just about anything electronic available in New Zealand these days, and in most cases at the head of the pyramid is the Chinese Communist Party. I trust you have your Little Red Book close to hand, comrade.

  5. tc 5

    Murdochs already whining about the ABC as they are more trusted (not too hard to achieve) and he wants the competition clipped, so time for Abbott to reward his favourable coverage. James had the same line going on the BBC till phone hacking saw him slink off back to murdochs basecamp america.

    I see crusher decided our poachers can be gamekeepers also, how surprising, cant have them overseen now can we.

    • karol 5.1

      Yes. The big issue with corporate media is media concentration – stifle the competition, and play up the diversionary infotainment.

      The issue of regulation of content is only part of a bigger picture of corporate concentration & domination of the mainstream media.

  6. The big mistake is that what everybody calls “the Press” is a profit driven corporate structure owned by the sme 1% that owns everything else and is not interested in news or exposure of corruption and abuse by the powerful. That is too close to home. It’s a propaganda instrument and to ask for “regulation” is something that will be used not to shut them down but to shut bloogers like this blog or my blog down.
    In he US they are now calling for a Journalist permit which will exclude the likes of me.
    Here is an example of BBC smearing which is down right dangerous.
    The hallmark of a free society is the freedom to talk politics, to ask questions, to dig through dirt if need be to unearth the truth and to publish your findings.

  7. Tracey 7

    Blah blah blah tr

    little or no regulation =

    Pike river
    leaky home
    financial company collapses

    The law always punishes the many for the few cos it sets the standard at the lowest common denominator. Given the breadth of murdochs media empire your assertion that its the few is laughable.

    so the poor media will be punished and discouraged for hacking dead kids parents and buying off the police.

    Freedom is not unfettered however much you squeal. Say what you like but cross a lin set by law and you face the consequences.

    I gather from your argument above that you opposed gcsb law changes and russias charging of the greenpeace folk with privacy afterall they were merely engaging in freedom of expression.

    • framu 7.1

      just like gun control – if your a responsible media outlet you have nothing to worry about 🙂 – (without knowing the exact details of said regulation of course)

  8. Tracey 8

    In no construct is a corporation a citizen. However if you look at tppa they have greater rights and access than citizens.

    use a dictionary, english or law and come back with your proof of your statement

  9. Tracey 9

    Post above shld read piracy not privacy.

  10. Sable 10

    The mainstream media in New Zealand and Australia resemble a badly made product from a third world country. The sort of dodgy item that would not pass muster when first world standards of health and safety are applied to it.

    We would never get to see this item on our supermarket shelves and yet unsafe, badly constructed, shonky rubbish is exactly what we are forced to endure from our mainstream journalists and their corporate masters.

    I was reading an especially turgid piece in the Listener (September 2013) as I waited for acupuncture that did a rather vicious hatchet job on Kevin Rudd. The same edition churned out not one but two works of what I would personally describe as propaganda telling us all how hysterical and silly we are to be upset by Keys spy law. Apparently Keys is a formidable and capable leader apparently and we are all very foolish to think otherwise.

    Whilst the Listener has a right to print opinion pieces I think they should be obliged to present opinions from the left and right of the political spectrum. The only criticism they could muster that I could identify was to say that Keys had, in effect, been irresponsible in not better reading the mindset of the public. Really is that all? Seriously?

    Its high time for media/journalistic reform in New Zealand. People have a right to balanced, impartial, opinion. Ironically, too, by not taking into account readers who are not right leaning these media organisations are also undermining their corporate goal of capturing as many paying subscribers as possible.

    For myself if something isn’t well made I wont buy it and that applies in spades to the mainstream media in this country.

  11. Tracey 11

    I love when righties squeal about hypocrisy. Its not that they arent hypocrites themselves and their leaders… but living in a world of constant rationalisation and justification of lies makes them big into transference

  12. captain hook 13

    the guts of it is that that news inc, rebekah brooks and roopit are psychopathically conditioned to pry into other peoples lives.
    It seems as if all the money in the world is not enough for this lot.
    are they paranoids?
    Is there are a syndrome for this in DSM-V?

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  • Neuralink and You: A Human-AI Symbiosis
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    1 week ago
  • Liam Hehir: Our obsession with American politics
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    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
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  • COVID: Back to Level 1
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  • Climate Change: Climate injustice
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    1 week ago
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #38
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  • Anyone for Collins?
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  • Crusher’s fiscal malfunction
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    1 week ago
  • Much of the commentariat’s reporting of the most recent GDP figure was misleading and unhelpful. The prize for the stupidest remark about the GDP figure for second quarter 2020 (2020Q2) released on Thursday (17 Sept) goes to Judith Collins, whose response to Grant Robertson’s comments indicated she did not ...
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  • Love and Hate as Complementary Revolutionary Acts
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    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #38
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  • Tax cuts for all!!! (except you, you, and you)
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    1 week ago
  • Great Waves Washing Over New Zealand
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    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand has role to play in resolving crisis on ‘geopolitical fault line’, Helen Clark says
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  • Euthanasia referendum: How to cut through the emotions
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    2 weeks ago
  • Why we need cameras on boats
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Graham Adams: The religious right’s campaign to spike the euthanasia referendum
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    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    2 weeks ago
  • Opportunistic looting
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    2 weeks ago
  • Uncomfortable Choices.
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  • Tony Burton: Covid and benefit payments
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    2 weeks ago
  • Talking tax: How to win support for taxing wealth
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    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
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  • Getting Tough.
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    2 weeks ago

  • Job numbers up in August
    New data from Stats NZ today shows a rise of more than 9,000 filled jobs from July – driven mostly by the education and training sector, Grant Robertson says. Filled jobs were up 9,147 to 2.2 million in August 2020 compared with July – with 7,409 of those in education ...
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    19 hours ago
  • Māori development receives funding
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Hand-up for owners of earthquake-prone units
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • PGF backing successful Māori enterprise
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Hokitika Landmark earmarked for $22m restoration
    Seddon House in Hokitika, once a hub for government on the West Coast, has been earmarked for government use once again. “Today we’re announcing a $22 million investment from the Government’s $3 billion infrastructure fund for shovel ready projects for the purchase and restoration of Seddon House in the heart of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Town halls and war memorials in PGF renovation programme
    Town halls, war memorials and other community landmarks across the country will be renovated thanks to grants totalling just under $12.4 million from the Provincial Growth Fund. Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says more than 1000 jobs are expected to be created during the renovation programme. “Town halls, other ...
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    3 days ago
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs makes two diplomatic appointments
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    4 days ago
  • NZ’s most prestigious conservation award – Loder Cup presented to Graeme Atkins
    The Minister of Conservation Minister, Eugenie Sage, today presented Aotearoa New Zealand’s most prestigious conservation award, the Loder Cup, to the 2020 winner Graeme Atkins while in Gisborne/Tūranga-nui-a-Kiwa. “Graeme Atkins of Ngāti Porou is a Department of Conservation ranger whose contribution to conservation goes well above and beyond his employment,” ...
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    4 days ago
  • Early help for whānau who need extra support
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  • Parliament to install solar and cut carbon
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  • Tuvalu Language Week theme promotes community resilience in the face of COVID-19
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    4 days ago
  • International sport back up and running in New Zealand
    The Government is welcoming today’s announcement that the West Indies and Pakistan cricket teams will tour New Zealand this summer.  “A lot of hard work has been undertaken by sports officials including New Zealand Cricket, Netball New Zealand and government officials to ensure that international sport can return safely to ...
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    4 days ago
  • 1BT funds for Northland forest taonga
    Northland’s indigenous tree canopy is set to grow for the benefit of mana whenua and the wider community thanks to nearly $2 million in One Billion Trees funding, Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Komanga Marae Trust has received more than $1.54 million to restore and enhance the native ...
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    4 days ago
  • Better health care for West Coasters as Te Nikau Hospital officially opened
    The Government has delivered a new hospital for Greymouth and is starting work on a much needed new health centre in Westport, ensuring local communities will benefit from better access to high quality integrated health services. Today, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Health Minister Peeni Henare officially open Te ...
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    4 days ago
  • Government backing local with PGF loan
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    4 days ago
  • Primary sector exports and jobs up again
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    5 days ago
  • Clean energy future for more schools
    Schools across Aotearoa New Zealand will be supported by the Government to upgrade to run on clean energy, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. The Minister has allocated $50 million from the Clean Powered Public Service Fund to replace, or convert, coal boilers in schools with clean ...
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    5 days ago
  • Building business strength with digital tools
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    5 days ago
  • New pest lures to protect nature
    The Department of Conservation (DOC) is investing $1.4 million to develop new predator lures that would be game-changers for trapping and surveillance towards a predator-free Aotearoa, the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage, announced in Christchurch today. The proposal is to develop long-life lures attractive to a range of predators—rats, mustelids ...
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    5 days ago
  • Support for innovative Pacific education responses to COVID-19 needs
    Supporting new and creative Pacific education practices as part of our COVID-19 response and recovery is the focus of a new $28.5 million Pacific Education Innovation Fund announced today by Associate Minister of Education Jenny Salesa.  “There is already an incredible amount of innovative and creative work going on in ...
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    6 days ago
  • Eligibility expanded for COVID-19 leave support
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Seasonal work visa available to more people
    The Government is putting in place a range of immigration policy changes to help fill labour shortages in key industries while ensuring New Zealanders, who have lost jobs due to COVID-19, have the chance to find new employment. “Two key sectors we are moving to help are horticulture and wine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • More border exceptions for critical roles
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Crown will not appeal Dodds v Southern Response decision
    The Crown will not appeal the Court of Appeal decision in the Dodds v Southern Response case, Grant Robertson announced today. “Southern Response will be paying the damages awarded by the Court to Mr and Mrs Dodds shortly. The Crown was already meeting their legal costs for this appeal. “The ...
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    7 days ago
  • Crucial PGF investments for Northland
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing nearly $30 million in a diverse range of projects that will create immediate and long-term jobs and lift economic and social outcomes for Northland and its people. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones made the announcement today in ...
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    7 days ago
  • $27million investment in global vaccine facility
    The Coalition Government has committed to invest $27 million in COVID-19 vaccine development through the global COVAX Facility, Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The COVAX Facility is a key part of our COVID-19 Vaccine Strategy to obtain safe and effective vaccines. It allows us to invest in a high-quality, ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government backing Māori landowners
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    1 week ago
  • New tools to make nature more accessible
    People planning to head outdoors now have a resource that lets them know how accessible an area is for people with varying levels of mobility, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. The Halberg Foundation, Sensibel, and the Department of Conservation (DOC) have launched Accessibel, a new tool which helps ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • PGF makes Māori history more accessible
    One of the most significant battle sites of the 1860s Land Wars will receive $2.96 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to improve the site and help tell the New Zealand story to visitors, Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. Nanaia Mahuta ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Making it official: The journey of te reo Māori | Kia whakapūmautia: Ngā piki me ngā heke o te r...
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  • Better-than-forecast GDP reflects decision to protect New Zealand
    Today’s better-than-forecast GDP figures show the expected impact of the decision to act quickly to protect New Zealanders from the global COVID-19 pandemic. GDP fell 12.2% in the June quarter from March, reflecting decisions to close New Zealand’s borders and enter Alert Level 4. “This result was better than the ...
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  • Boost for COVID-19 related Pacific education needs
    The Government is investing $39.7 Million over four years to support the educational needs of Pacific learners and families in the regions hardest hit by COVID-19, with Auckland getting an immediate boost, Associate Minister of Education Jenny Salesa says.   “Like all New Zealanders Pacific families want learners to do well ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • More resources for kiwi conservation
    New Zealand’s goal of 100,000 kiwi by 2030 is being helped by an extra $19.7 million in funding to accelerate iwi and community efforts to protect kiwi, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced. “$19.7 million of Jobs for Nature funding is being invested in kiwi conservation activities including increased predator ...
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  • Improving access to affordable electricity
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    2 weeks ago
  • Government achieves 50 percent women on state boards
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  • Record transport investment to help economic recovery and save lives
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford released today the final Government Policy Statement on land transport (GPS) 2021 which outlines the planned $48 billion investment in services and infrastructure over the next decade. “The final GPS supports our Government’s five-point plan for economic recovery by confirming our record investments in transport infrastructure ...
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  • Advancing clean energy technology
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  • Major milestone reached in Pike River Re-entry
    The critical area for forensic examination known as Pit Bottom in Stone has been reached in what is a major milestone for the Pike River re-entry project, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little announced. “The infrastructure located in Pit Bottom in Stone is of very significant interest in ...
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  • Economic recovery guides Govt response to retirement income policy review
    The Government is working on how New Zealand’s retirement income policies and settings can best support Kiwis in light of the COVID-19 economic recovery, with the help of the Retirement Commissioner’s latest review, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said. “The Retirement Commissioner’s three-yearly review into New Zealand’s retirement ...
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  • Iwi community hub opens in Murupara
    A new digital hub and development centre in Murupara will be instrumental in growing the region’s productivity, said Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau at the official opening of two community initiatives today. “I’m pleased to be here celebrating a significant milestone for two projects set to make a ...
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