web analytics

Pretend polling

Written By: - Date published: 10:03 am, November 16th, 2007 - 32 comments
Categories: polls - Tags:

Dodgy online polls seem to be becoming a staple of political reporting here in New Zealand. The story earlier this week on poll “hacking” sent me in search of an insightful opinion I’d heard previously.

So today, we have a guest author on The Standard – BPGP, on “Pretend polling”.

Pretend Polling
BPGP

So for the second time this year a newspaper publisher has made a story out of the fictions that are their online poll results. The first was a piece earlier this year in the Dominion Post alleging Parliamentary staff had skewed their online preferred PM poll to show Clark was ahead of Key. And now we have the Herald shrieking about how a teenaged hacker skewed their online poll to show that readers didn’t think New Zealand was “becoming a less free and democratic country”, despite the Herald’s concerted efforts to convince its readers we’re heading for a Stalinist dystopia.

Both these stories demonstrate just how bogus online polls really are, and it makes me doubt their creators have ever heard of the terms “validity” or “sampling”. It is interesting though, that despite most online newspaper polls being regularly quoted as if they were the gospel truth (at least when their outcomes show opinions advantageous to their publishers’ editorial interests), these two polls are miraculously exposed as skewed.

Sometimes publishers are generous enough to mention that the polls “aren’t scientific” & a discrete way of saying they have no validity. But invariably the next sentence will go on to quote the results as if they do have meaning that can be generalized to the greater population. After all, why would you bother to run a poll if it was actually completely meaningless?

Well, there are several reasons, but few of them to do with illuminating public opinion.

One is that online polls are useful for giving the impression that publishers interact with their audiences and are genuinely interested in listening. You might say that polls help media outlets to gauge the opinion of their audiences, but in reality they aren’t so foolish as to alter their editorial stances on the basis of such flawed data (papers like the Herald use a more sound, random sampling procedure to invite clickers to participate in a Readers’ Survey for that). Online polls are also a useful gimmick for keeping up online readers’ interest and so contributing to the maintenance of hit rates.

But the main reason for using online polling is to create an impression of popular support for the outlet’s editorial stance. If you were really cynical you might think that poll commissioners just pump the data in whichever way they want it, but in reality it’s quite unnecessary to engage in such risky manipulation. There are other ways. Like priming readers with skewed reporting on the issue, such that so long as they rely on that outlet for their information on a particular issue, they are bound to come to similar conclusions as those promoted by the outlet’s reporting.

Another way is to use priming questions. The Section 59 “debate” was a gold plated example, asking questions like “Should parents have the right to discipline their children?” when in fact the bill had nothing to do with “rights to discipline”. And then there’s misrepresenting what the poll question actually meant, as in saying that because a majority understandably agree that “parents have the right to discipline their children”, they therefore are opposed to Section 59. Yet another way is to massage the response options. Typically, very complex questions are forced into Yes/No dichotomies, when respondents may in fact have more moderate or complicated responses.

Similarly, you can alter a result just by the number of response options you allow. For example, you could ask “Do you support the EFB – Yes or No?” and get 60% for and 40% against. But if you ask “Do you support the EFB – Yes, No, or Yes but with some changes?” you might get 30% Yes, 40% No, and 30% Yes but with some changes. These results of course, would then be reported as “70% percent opposed to EFB in current form”, when the same question with just a Yes/No format would have provided an unhelpful result (for the Herald at least) showing majority support for the EFB.

The Herald and Dominion Post articles point to another, user driven form of manipulating the results – multiple voting. No matter what newspapers claim about security to measures to stop such behaviour, they will always be vulnerable to it. Cookies and IP tracking to monitor voting behaviour can easily be circumvented with SSL-flushing between votes and freeware IP masking software. A little bit of script to automate the vote-flush-re-vote process makes thousands of votes just a click or two away. The only reason the Herald poll hacker got caught was his naivete and eagerness. Had he slowed down his program’s voting rate to a more naturalistic level and used IP masking, his votes would be indistinguishable from other votes. And like I said, pollsters can’t stop this from happening & it’s not technically possible. That’s why, unlike the Herald and Dominion Post, pollsters interested in real data from online polls use password controlled logins.

Even if it were possible to preclude multiple voting in online polls, they still have an enormous problems with their generalizability (the extent to which results can be assumed to be representative of a population) because of the nature of their self-selecting sampling. At best an online poll might represent the views of a website’s readership, but most websites’ poll results aren’t even representative of the site’s readership, unless all readers are equally likely to participate in the poll. In truth this isn’t so because those who do respond tend to be those who have a particular interest in the issue & ambivalent, busy or poll-savvy readers tend ignore them. In the electronic age it’s also easy for pressure groups to group-email their supporters a link to the poll, allowing mobilized interest groups to attack an online poll with just a few clicks’ effort.

So despite the fact online polls aren’t often even representative of the site readership’s views, if the results are desirable to the website’s interests they will be purported to represent “everyone”. That becomes really problematic because it assumes that “everyone” has an equal probability of participating in the online poll, even if they’ve never heard of the site, even if they’ve never heard of the issue being polled, even if they have no online access! Real polls of the entire population go to great lengths to make sure opinions are sampled from representative proportions of the demographies that comprise the entire country, in sufficient numbers to make sure margins of error are negligible. Unlike the Herald and Dominion Post, they don’t use self-selecting samples – that is, respondents aren’t those who actively seek to participate, rather they are selected by the researcher either randomly or as part of a stratified sample ensuring representative proportions of youth, elderly, North and South Islanders, Pakeha and Maori, male and female, rural and urban, etc.

Incidentally, the main problem with the accuracy of most commercial polling today, apart from priming questions, is the obsolete sampling technique of 9am to 9pm landline telephone calling, which ‘invisibilizes’ the opinions of all those without landlines (up to 67% of households in the poorest electorates), those who rely on cell phones for their principle communication channel, those who work night shifts, and those who move frequently such that their numbers are not listed – specifically, the poor and the young. Conversely, the elderly, self-employed and less transient home-owners, those who are readily contactable by such sampling methods with long-established landlines, are over-sampled. Still wondering why commercial polling tends to favour conservatives?

But back to the current fiasco of newspapers’ online polls. Doesn’t it make you wonder how many other polls might be so skewed but were never reported as such because they ‘demonstrated’ what the publisher wanted to promote? Now that the Herald and Dominion Post have acknowledged these serious weaknesses in the validity of their polls, will we see such gallant eschewal of future online poll results by their own commissioners, no matter how attractive their outcomes might be to those who published them? Will we see an improvement in the methodological integrity of polling generally? Will we see a public education campaign by news outlets on how any poll (not just the highly-vulnerable online poll) can be manipulated? I expect if the Herald or Dominion Post did a survey to see if the public had an appetite for answers to these questions, the result would be No.

Methodologically dubious polling, in terms of both priming and sampling, was epidemic in the lead up to the 2005 election and is a far greater threat to democracy than any teenage hacker able to thwart the efforts of media conglomerates like APN and Fairfax. Bogus polling is anti-democratic because it’s used to create opinions, not reflect them as they pretend to do. They create an illusion of consensus for whichever opinion is desired by the poll’s commissioning client. And when you’re talking about a public-opinion based game like politics, manufactured “public” opinion poll results can turn into self-fulfilling prophecies.

ps: The original Dominion Post story by Patrick Crewdson (published 1 Feb 2007) has since been removed from their site, so I’ve included it below. It’s a shame Parliamentary Services didn’t press the Dom Post for evidence and pursue defamation action because I know for a fact those bogus votes didn’t originate from a parliamentary server.

Parliamentary voters try to skew Key poll

Someone in Parliament now has severe finger cramps.

Yesterday’s Dominion Post poll on whether John Key will be the next prime minister proved popular with readers – particularly with those who walk the halls of power.

With more than 33,600 votes cast, 63 per cent disagreed that the National leader would succeed Helen Clark as prime minister, while 37 per cent thought he would.

But given that 17,104 of the votes were cast from parliamentary computers, Mr Key need not despair – it appears some poll participants had a vested interest.

Parliamentary workers seemingly spent yesterday supporting the status quo, 80 per cent of the votes from Parliament saying Mr Key would not be the next prime minister.

Removing all parliamentary votes from the poll meant 55 per cent favoured him as the country’s next leader.

The poll followed his first state of the nation speech.

He warned of an emerging “underclass” in New Zealand society.

Dominion Post readers were invited to vote by text message, phone, e-mail, or online at dompost.co.nz and Stuff.co.nz

Government allies outside Parliament also responded. An e-mail campaign, understood to have originated with a union, implored recipients to vote against Mr Key, urging: “go forth and vote, fellow Labourites!”

Voting in the poll was heaviest from 9am to 10am and during the lunch hour.

A related Stuff.co.nz poll had 80.9 per cent of 4000 voters supporting Mr Key’s view about a growing New Zealand “underclass”.

32 comments on “Pretend polling ”

  1. TomS 1

    The only reason you hype such un-scientific crap is to manufacture a controversy where none exists – viz, the EFB.

  2. gobsmacked 2

    Excellent article. The way these non-polls are creeping into real news coverage is quite worrying. I can’t believe any self-respecting reporter/commentator would bother referring to them, but amazingly they do.

    Online poll update:

    “Do you support eating cute baby kittens?” 97% No.

    “Do you agree with Sue Bradford, who opposes eating cute baby kittens?” 84% No.

  3. Sam Dixon 3

    is it ok to eat the ones that aren’t cute?

    because, I’m hungry

  4. Patrick 4

    Thanks for that BPGP! It really is astounding the sort of stuff these polls cover, and even more alarming, that they’re taken seriously by some quarters of our media.

  5. Santa Claws 5

    I assume this critique would also apply to pretend petitions?

  6. the sprout 6

    you of all people should know Uncky Dave.

  7. Spam 7

    I know for a fact those bogus votes didn’t originate from a parliamentary server.

    Because you know who deliberately skewed it?

  8. Santa Claws 8

    “It’s a shame Parliamentary Services didn’t press the Dom Post for evidence and pursue defamation action”

    It’s a good thing you are a pollie and not a lawyer.

    “I know for a fact those bogus votes didn’t originate from a parliamentary server.”

    Well, since you don’t provide a name, that claim is as worth as much of one of Robespierres.

  9. Lampie 9

    Dodgy polls alright, ask any statistician or marketer. TomS comment is straight to the point and so is the sproutandthebean link!

  10. Robinsod 10

    Hey DPF Claws – you don’t like me much do you? First you ban me from your blog and now you call me a liar? Poor little Claws. Oh and it should be “Robespierre’s” the apostrophe is possessive as in “the claim belonging to Robespierre”. How many times do I have to school your dumb arse in this until you get it right?!

  11. Santa Claws 11

    Well, anyone can see that its easy to Robespierres panties in a bunch.

    Call you a liar? Where’s those SIS files then? Anyway, I only said that your comments are worthless, and they are.

  12. Robinsod 12

    DPF claws – I see you’re much nicer at KB than you are here. Why don’t you try a bit harder for us mate. Oh ans the SIS file thing is a joke, y’know like so absurd as to be funny. Kinda like your politics really…

  13. Billy 13

    Robinsod, bro’, you’re not qualified to lecture on apostrophe use.

  14. Robinsod 14

    Um Billy – I am quite literally qualified to lecture on apostrophe use.

  15. hehe burnt billio. robinsod stop getting all tricky with your educashun and such like. it’s too meany on the kb trolls

  16. Billy 16

    I’m just saying that, where I come from, we put an apostrophe on the end of bro’. Old school.

  17. Robinsod 17

    Fair enough bro (just ‘cos, against all of my political instincts, I kinda like you)

  18. god, didn’t someone already try to do that one bro? i am sure i heard this nitpicky comment elsewhere….

    once “bro” has become a recognised part of the common lexicon an apostrophe is no longer justified. it is a word in its own right.

  19. Nih 19

    You’re all well behind the times brau.

  20. r0b 20

    “DPF claws – I see you’re much nicer at KB than you are here”

    Robinsod, I think we can pretty much put to rest the theory that Claws is DPF. Check out Santa’s post on KB last night (in the Phillida Bunkle thread):

    Santa Claws Says:

    November 15th, 2007 at 8:42 pm
    I can’t believe you guys I have just been reading this thread
    Shocking
    This is what the left at Kiwiblogblog has to say

    It’s precisely this thin veneer of really nasty bigotry that seemingly bubbles away under the surface of Right wing politics that keeps many centrists oriented to the Left.

    And I hate to say it but they are right The nastiest bigoted comments do in fact come from the right in the blogoshere. We are in danger of loosing our credibility. Visit public address they have less visitors and posts but the debate is really civilized and they are on the left.
    One day some enterprising Journo is going to do a story about poltics in the blogoshere,
    God lets hope they do not visit here.

    Can some one link to a Rightish site that has intelligent reasoned conversation please ?

    No way is that DPF. And as I said in another thread – Santa – good on ya. Well done for speaking up on KB.

    Can anyone help Santa in his search for a civil right wing blog? Santa, if you find one, will you let us know here?

  21. Spam 21

    AFAIK, every blog DPF posts on, he does it under his own name / moniker.

  22. Billy 22

    I have to say that, of late, I prefer coming here as well. For one thing, what’s the point of talking to a bunch of people who agree with you? And for another, it’s not a good thing having D4J on your side. But in case you lefties get complacent, remember, Maia is on your side.

  23. r0b 23

    “I have to say that, of late, I prefer coming here as well. For one thing, what’s the point of talking to a bunch of people who agree with you?”

    Billy – there’s a good range of opinion here. And despite the fact that there are many many lapses, the tone is still mostly far better here than at KB.

    Now, I may regret asking this, but who is Maia?

  24. i have played a large part in destroying the tone of the standard today- and for that i apologise

    normally i am quite sane billy. do come and join us more often!

    maia has some good stuff to say though…

  25. Billy 25

    r0b, there’s about the same range as at KB.

    Maia is a complete piece of work. My favourite:
    http://www.imdb.com/gallery/mptv/1091/0959_2116.jpg.html?seq=14

    She is quite serious, apparently. Enjoy.

  26. r0b 26

    “i have played a large part in destroying the tone of the standard today- and for that i apologise”

    What? Bean – don’t fret – I’m a big fan of fun and hijinks! Love your work!

    It’s mindless personal attacks and ranting that bring blogs down, and these are what I hope The Standard can minimise. If this is a place where dissenting views are treated with respect (and then debated to bits!) then I’ll be happy.

  27. r0b 27

    Billy – huh? – sorry if I’m dim, but I don’t get the link?

  28. Billy 28

    Only because I posted the wrong one. Take a look at this and tell me this woman is not as mad as a cut snake:

    http://capitalismbad.blogspot.com/2006/07/beautiful-boy.html

  29. Nih 29

    She seems to have some disorders. Good thing I’m such a big fan of crazy people using the internet.

  30. AncientGeek 30

    Getting back to the topic. That is a good article.

    Online polls are a waste of time – at best they are a media space filler, and at worst they’re used to try and manipulate public opinion by editorial comment. As a programmer, I find them ridiculous – it takes minutes to manipulate them. They are so ridiculously easy I’ve never bothered to write code to do one myself – but I have given advice on how to do it. I helped advise on that DomPost one – and whoever wrote that civil servants did it is either lying or been lied to.

    It isn’t even illegal to ummm adjust the online polls. It isn’t criminal to use whatever ‘browser’ you want on a public website, and to fill in fields with whatever means you want. Sending e-mails to an e-mail poll – well the best that you could get done with is for spam – but they requested e-mail. There is no contract to enforce – where is the consideration. I’m sure that the police could figure out a creative charge (seem to do that a lot recently), but it would be thrown out of court eventually.

    However I suspect that online polls are also ineffective. The only time I’ve ever heard anyone talking about them has been when I’m associating with the chattering classes. The politicians, journo’s, activists, and of course the online equivalent of talkback radio – blogs. I suspect you probably also hear about them on real talkback – but I avoid that.

    I don’t hear about them at work, in the extended family, friends, aqquantince, etc. They aren’t raised when I’m vigorously discussing politics or the economy. ‘Normal’ people have enough sense to know that you can’t trust online polls – they don’t even trust the ‘scientific’ polls.

    I only hear about them when there is some idiot with an ego wanting push their point of view. They are the refuge of the feeble-minded – I can’t get people to agree with me, so I’ll pretend that they do.

    Pretty much what the person in the article said.

  31. the sprout 31

    nicely said AG

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Trans-Tasman travel window to close at midnight tomorrow
    A further 500 MIQ rooms released for managed returnees from NSW Further Government actions announced today are balanced to provide more certainty for Kiwis wanting to return from Australia, while continuing to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, acting Minister for COVID-19 Response Ayesha Verrall says. The actions were foreshadowed last ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Govt investing millions in Hawke's Bay and Tairāwhiti schools
    Napier Boys’ and Girls’ High Schools are among those set to benefit from a $16.5 million investment in the Hawke's Bay and Tairāwhiti region, Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash announced today. The Government has set aside money in Budget 2021 to accelerate five projects in Napier, Hastings, Havelock North ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Game changing Jobs for Nature investment for Northland
    Conservation Minister Kiri Allan has announced Jobs for Nature funding for a portfolio of projects that will create ‘game changing’ gains for nature and communities across Northland/Te Tai Tokerau as part of the Government’s acceleration of the economic recovery from COVID. “This portfolio of 12 projects will see over $20 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Third COVID-19 vaccine receives provisional approval
    New Zealand’s regulatory authority Medsafe has granted provisional approval of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for individuals 18 years of age and older, Acting Minister for COVID-19 Response Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. New Zealand secured 7.6 million doses (enough for 3.8 million people) of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine through an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Bowel-cancer screening programme is saving lives
    More than 1000 New Zealanders have had bowel cancer – New Zealand’s second-most-common cause of death from cancer - detected under the Government’s National Bowel Screening Programme, Health Minister Andrew Little said today. More than 1200 New Zealanders died from bowel cancer in 2017. The screening programme aims to save ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Govt welcomes draft report on the retail grocery sector
    The Commerce Commission’s draft report into the retail grocery sector is being welcomed by Government as a major milestone. “I asked the Commerce Commission to look at whether this sector is as competitive as it could be and today it has released its draft report for consultation,” Commerce and Consumer ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Christchurch’s Youth Hub ‘set to go’ thanks to further Government funding
    Construction of New Zealand’s first, purpose-built centre for youth well-being is ready to get underway thanks to an extra $2.5 million of COVID-19 response funding, Housing Minister and Associate Minister of Finance, Megan Woods announced today.  “The Christchurch Youth Hub is about bringing together all the things young people need ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Next step to protect Milford Sound Piopiotahi
    Expert group lays out plan to better protect iconic UNESCO World Heritage site Milford Sound Piopiotahi and its surrounds Funding confirmed for dedicated unit and Establishment Board to assess the recommendations and provide oversight of the process from here Milford Opportunities Project a test case for transformational change in tourism ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Funding for projects to reduce waste from construction and demolition
    The Government has announced funding for projects in Auckland and the lower North Island to help reduce construction and demolition waste. “Construction is the main source of waste sent to landfill, and much of this could be reduced, reused and recovered,” Environment Minister David Parker said. “The Government is funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Plan to eliminate hepatitis C as a major health threat by 2030
    A plan to eliminate hepatitis C in New Zealand, reducing liver cancer and the need for liver transplants, has been released today by Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall. “Around 45,000 New Zealanders have hepatitis C, but only around half know they have it,” said Ayesha Verrall. “Symptoms often ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • School upgrades and new classrooms for West Coast, Tasman and Canterbury
    A funding injection from Budget 2021 to complete four shovel ready projects and new classrooms at six schools and kura will provide a real boost to local communities, Minister Dr Megan Woods announced today. “This Government has committed to providing quality fit for purpose learning environments and 100,000 new student ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Warmer Kiwi Homes smashes annual target
    The Government's highly successful insulation and heating programme, Warmer Kiwi Homes, is celebrating a key milestone with the completion of more than 38,000 insulation and efficient heater installs in the year to the end of June, smashing its target of 25,000 installs for the year. “The Warmer Kiwi Homes scheme ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Exemption granted for Wallabies to enter NZ
    Bledisloe Cup rugby will be played in New Zealand after the Australian rugby team received an economic exemption to enter New Zealand. Travel between Australia and New Zealand was suspended on Friday for at least eight weeks following the worsening of the COVID outbreak across the Tasman. New Zealanders have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs makes three diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced three New Zealand Head of Mission appointments. They are: Mike Walsh as Ambassador to Iran Michael Upton as Ambassador to Ethiopia and the African Union Kevin Burnett as Ambassador to Indonesia Iran “Aotearoa New Zealand has a long-standing and constructive relationship with Iran, despite a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Enhanced Task Force Green Approved for West Coast and Marlborough
    The Government has activated Enhanced Task Force Green (ETFG) in response to the West Coast and Marlborough floods, Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “To assist with the clean-up, up to $500,000 will be made available to support the recovery in Buller and Marlborough which has experienced ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt support for upgrade of Eden Park players facilities
    Minister for Sport and Recreation Hon Grant Robertson has announced funding to upgrade the players facilities at Eden Park ahead of upcoming Women’s World Cup events. Eden Park is a confirmed venue for the Rugby World Cup 2021, the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022, and a proposed venue for matches of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • More jobs and quicker public transport motoring towards West Auckland
    Work to improve public transport for West Aucklanders and support the region’s economic recovery by creating hundreds of jobs has officially kicked off, Transport Minister Michael Wood announced today. Michael Wood and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff this morning marked the start of construction on the Northwestern Bus Improvements project. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government backs critical health research
    Research into some of New Zealanders’ biggest health concerns including cancer, diabetes, and heart disease is getting crucial support in the latest round of health research funding, Health Minister Andrew Little announced today. The funding, awarded through the Health Research Council of New Zealand, covers 31 General Project grants ($36.64 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Bay of Islands hospital facilities to bring services closer to home
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Andrew Little have joined a ceremony to bless the site and workers for Phase Two of the redevelopment of the Bay of Islands Hospital in Kawakawa today. The new building will house outpatients and primary care facilities, as well as expanded renal care ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Raukokore re-imagined with ‘smart’ relocatable rent to own housing
    Iwi, Crown Partnership Relocatable, fully insulated housing, connected to a new solar plant Provides a pathway to home ownership New housing in the remote eastern Bay of Plenty community of Raukokore shows how iwi and Crown agencies can work together effectively to provide warm, dry, energy efficient homes in a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Cabinet accepts Turkish authorities’ request for the managed return of three NZ citizens
    Cabinet has agreed to the managed return of a New Zealand citizen and her two young children from Turkey, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. The three have been in immigration detention in Turkey since crossing the border from Syria earlier this year. Turkey has requested that New Zealand repatriate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt delivers more classrooms so children can focus on learning
    Extra Government investment in classrooms and school building projects will enable students and teachers to focus on education rather than overcrowding as school rolls grow across the country, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis say. The pair visited Ruakākā School in Whangārei today to announce $100 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New station a platform for AirportLink to take off
    Every Aucklander with access to the rail network will now have a quick and convenient trip to the airport, Transport Minister Michael Wood and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said during the official opening of the new Puhinui Interchange today. The new interchange links the rail platform with a new bus ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • 10 days sick leave for employees delivered
    Legislation doubling employees’ minimum sick leave entitlement to 10 days comes into effect today, bringing benefits to both businesses and employees, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood announced today. “Our Government is delivering on a key manifesto commitment to help Kiwis and workplaces stay healthy,” Michael Wood said. “COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister congratulates Fiame Naomi Mata’afa on Election Win
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern tonight congratulated Prime Minister-elect Fiame Naomi Mata’afa on her victory in the Samoa’s general election. “New Zealand has a special relationship with Samoa, anchored in the Treaty of Friendship. We look forward to working with Samoa’s new government in the spirit of partnership that characterises this ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Quarantine Free Travel with Australia suspended
    Quarantine Free Travel from all Australian states and territories to New Zealand is being suspended as the Covid situation there worsens, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. From 11.59pm today Australians will no longer be able to enter New Zealand quarantine-free. This will be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Growing conservation efforts in Gisborne
    A big injection of Jobs for Nature funding will create much-needed jobs and financial security for families in TeTairāwhiti, and has exciting prospects for conservation in the region, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “The projects target local communities most affected by the economic consequences of COVID 19 and are designed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Flood recovery given further assistance
    The Government is contributing a further $1 million to help the flood battered Buller community, Acting Emergency Management Minister Kris Faafoi announced today. “Buller is a small community which has found itself suddenly facing significant and ongoing welfare costs. While many emergency welfare costs are reimbursed by Government, this money ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Funding for five projects to reduce food waste
    The Government is funding five projects to help address the growing problem of food waste, Environment Minister David Parker announced today. “New Zealand households throw away nearly 300,000 tonnes of food every year, half of which could still be eaten. By supporting these initiatives, we’re taking steps to reduce this ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Temporary Accommodation Service activated for West Coast flooding event
    The Temporary Accommodation Service (TAS) has been activated today - meaning residents on the West Coast of the South Island and in the Marlborough region hit by flooding over the weekend can now access help finding temporary accommodation, announced Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Poto Williams in Westport today. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pause to Quarantine Free Travel from South Australia to New Zealand
    Quarantine Free Travel from South Australia to New Zealand will be paused from 11.59am (NZT) tonight, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins has announced. However, people currently in the state who ordinarily live in New Zealand will be able to return on “managed return” flights starting with the next available flight, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand condemns malicious cyber activity by Chinese state-sponsored actors
    New Zealand has established links between Chinese state-sponsored actors known as Advanced Persistent Threat 40 (APT40) and malicious cyber activity in New Zealand. “The GCSB has worked through a robust technical attribution process in relation to this activity. New Zealand is today joining other countries in strongly condemning this malicious ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Remarks to Diplomatic Corps
    It is a pleasure to be with you all this evening. Some of you may have been surprised when you received an invitation from the Minister of Disarmament and Arms Control, and I would forgive you if you were. New Zealand is unique in having established a Ministerial portfolio ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Early Pfizer shipment boosts vaccine schedule
    The largest shipment of the Pfizer vaccine to date has arrived into New Zealand two days ahead of schedule, and doses are already being delivered to vaccination centres around the country, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. “The shipment of more than 370,000 doses reached New Zealand yesterday, following a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Backing for Bay of Islands predator free effort
    The Government is throwing its support behind an ambitious project to restore native biodiversity and build long-term conservation careers, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. Predator Free Bay of Islands aims to eradicate predators from the three main peninsulas in the region, and significantly reduce their impact throughout the wider 80,000-plus ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government commits $600,000 to flood recovery
    The Government is contributing $600,000 to help residents affected by the weekend’s violent weather with recovery efforts. Acting Minister for Emergency Management Kris Faafoi and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor have been in the Buller district this afternoon to assess flood damage and support the local response effort. They have announced ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government assisting local responses to heavy rainfall and high wind
    Acting Minister of Emergency Management Kris Faafoi says Central Government is monitoring the severe weather across the country, and is ready to provide further support to those affected if necessary. “My thoughts are with everyone who has been affected by this latest event, particularly communities on the West Coast and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • PM Ardern chairs APEC Leaders’ meeting on COVID-19
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has chaired a meeting of Leaders representing the 21 APEC economies overnight. “For the first time in APEC’s history Leaders have come together for an extraordinary meeting focused exclusively on COVID-19, and how our region can navigate out of the worst health and economic ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Health Minister welcomes progress on nurses’ pay
    The New Zealand Nurses Organisation’s decision to take the Government’s improved pay offer to members and to lift strike notices is a positive move towards settling district health board nurses’ pay claims, Health Minister Andrew Little said. “It’s encouraging that the discussions between NZNO and DHBs over the nurses’ employment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Boost for Pacific regional business
    Pacific businesses will get a much-needed financial boost as they recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to the new Pacific Aotearoa Regional Enterprise Fund, said Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio.  The new $2 million fund will co-invest in Pacific business projects and initiatives to create ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago