Privatising the high country

Written By: - Date published: 1:30 pm, July 8th, 2009 - 29 comments
Categories: national/act government, privatisation - Tags: , ,

highcountrysold

According to Forest and Bird, John Key’s government has found a nice quiet way of hocking off New Zealand’s most prized assets to wealthy private interests.

National has indicated radical changes to tenure review – that’s the process South Island high country leaseholders can use to privatise parts of the farm in exchange for returning large tracts of land to the conservation estate.

So what is John Key’s government planning to do? Early indications are they’re planning to sell ALL remaining South Island high country leasehold land into private ownership.

New Zealanders, say goodbye to your birthright. Your land is being sold from under your feet, and John Key isn’t even asking you what you think about it.

– Alastair

29 comments on “Privatising the high country ”

  1. r0b 1

    Thanks for alerting us to this Alastair.

    How can we can oppose this process?

  2. cocamc 2

    And didn’t Labour buy some high country land for $40m before the 2008 election. They didn’t ask me if I wanted to buy that with public money. $40m might have been better spent on other areas.

    • Frack-checker 2.1

      Do they usually ask for your opinion on every $40 million spend?

      • indiana 2.1.1

        Don’t worry Comac…you weren’t even asked if they could buy a train set.

  3. Did’nt that nice Mr Key promise not to privatise any public assets albeit in the first term?

    • Jasper 3.1

      Unfortunately high country isn’t classed as a public asset micky. It generally falls under the jurisdiction of Landcorp, rarely DOC, and landcorp are nothing more than estate holders in a sense.

      What’s more worrying is the lovely iwi of the far north about to get most of their land (Sweetwaters) back, +compo with no plans for any of it in terms of development. This is prime land, so we should see it descend into a farcicial mess as they don’t want to have any landcorp farmers turning a profit for them.
      Gee, is there money to be made in kumara and potato in land that’s less than fertile?

  4. Mark M 4

    Unfortunately high country lease hold land is not our birth right as we dont have rights over it.
    The farmers tenure is in perpetuity ( LIP )and is basically continually rolled over every 21 years.
    We cant wander over this land without the leaseholders permission.
    The LIP tenure is as close as you can get to freehold

    I got irritated initially when Labour bought in this tenure reveiw and some farmers did very well selling freehold land.
    The upside is the land generally with the most spectactular scenery reverts back to crown ownership.

    If there isnt tenure reveiw we dont get access to any of this land without permission.

    Which is better .
    Half of something or 100% of nothing.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      Of course we had rights over it – the land was leased not sold. All Labour had to do was require that the leaseholders repair the land at their expense or leave. They’d certainly been compensated – over several generations.

      • Mark M 4.1.1

        Draco

        if you rent your house or lease a commercial premises the only person who has rights of access to your property is the landlord.
        And that is with prior notice and permission.

        The High Country lessor is the crown who will have an appointed representative , with the access rights , not the general public.

        Unfortunately that means you and I have no more rights over the leased high country than you or I have over someones state house

  5. Red Rosa 5

    Hugely contentious issue. The land giveaway to date is extraordinary – $120m by one estimate. On the same scale as some Treaty settlements, but to a handful of farmers.

    Ann Brower is the Lincoln academic who first brought this to light.

    http://www.craigpotton.co.nz/products/published/books/bookwine/whoownsthehighcountry

    The book explains all, but here is a Herald summary

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/lakes/news/article.cfm?c_id=245&objectid=10419431

    Make no mistake, National are looking to continue and extend this process. Check out Carter’s statements to recent Federated Farmers meetings, and the purring response.

    • George Darroch 5.1

      I’m still extremely fucked off that simply Labour gave away so much of our land to the landed aristocracy.

      And to those wondering why I’m doing all my complaining about Labour now that they’re in opposition? Because they’re the only people who can get us out of this mess.

  6. So Bored 6

    This debacle began under Labour and has gone from bad to worse, basically we are swapping leases for freehold title, giving leaseholders title to the preferential lower land. Much then gets sold off, subdiivided and what was once extensive grazing and pristine scenic territory that we could all enjoy becomes mansions for the wealthy…..have a look at the shores of all the southern lakes and you are confronted by roads, private no camping signs and concrete bunker “architecture”.

    It is a very sad commentary on our leaders lack of respect for the common use of land and their disregard for the despolation of previously scenic gems.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      Yep, it was very badly done by Labour.

    • Gil 6.2

      A few facts because there is a lot of misinformation so far in comments.

      Labour did not start the Tenure Review land reform process as it exists at present. It was started by the National Government in 1998, after lobbying by Fed Farmers and others. The Nats then passed the Crown Pastoral Land Act (CPLA 1998). The Minister of Lands at the time was Denis Marshall.

      High Country Crown leases are NOT in perpetuity. They are PERPETUALLY RENEWABLE leases, usually every 33 years, with a rent review every 11 years (average annual rental 86 cents a hectare until recently as there is now a case before a rent Tribunal at present). People constantly make this error about the exact nature of Crown Pastoral Leases and lessees love them doing it.

      This is because there is a very important legal difference in the two forms of lease outlined above. High country lessees try to discount this difference and claim that their leases are as good as freehold, and therefore why shouldn’t they have the right to buy the lot from the Crown and privatise if they wish.

      However perpetually renewable leases are obviously NOT as good or the same as freehold; conditions can be changed through rent review ,and when the leases are renewed, and there are significant constraints over how they are farmed which is controlled by the 1948 Land Act.

      Lessees want to get rid of all these constraints and cash in the capital value of the land by having the right to buy freehold. At present this is not allowed under the CPLA..

      This whole business has constantly flown under the radar because of apathy/ignorance by the public, most of whom live in the North Island and couldn’t give a stuff, and lack of interest and investigation by the media.

      Of course this what high country lessees and Fed Farmers want and why they hate what was revealed by Dr Ann Brower in her book “Who Owns the High Country?” (2008). Dr Brower has suffered disgraceful abuse and threats from high country lessees ever since she brought the truth to light.

      New Zealanders should wake up about tenure review and what the Government is moving towards right now. I think there is a very real risk that lessees will be offered the chance to buy out all their properties, with some degree of claytons environmental ‘protection’ under convenant of some areas, which will mean very little as no one will monitor it (as usual). The Government is moving right on down this track despite the denials…..

      Then there will be pressure on compliant district councils, often representing farmers’ interests, to change zoning and District Plans to allow speculation and develop land around lake edges. This is already happening around Lake Tekapo where the MacKenzie District Council is proposing so called ‘nodal developments’, which are actually quite large in area and will allow building around the lake edge.

      This process will just continue over the next few years because the economic value in these inflated properties lies in the fact that they are ‘bolt holes’ for the rich and famous like pop singer Shania Twain. But for some New Zealanders they are a part of our heritage and the landscape of our souls.

      But New Zealanders will just let it all happen, as they did in the 1980’s and 90’s, because most of them never bother to read the paper properly if at all, and follow these things up with action. This is a politically ignorant and very conservative country compared to Europe. And they have given the Government a mandate at the last election Totally depressing….

      By the way the High Country covers approximately 20% of the South Island and 10% of New Zealand. Just watch it disappear from our hands!

      • RedLogix 6.2.1

        Gil,

        A fine comment. You seem well informed on this topic, I’m sure Lynn would welcome a full guest posting from you if you would care to put one together.

        The disgraceful sabotaging for Jim Sutton’s Public Access reforms in 2004 was the defining issue that got me polarised and politically aware. I still loath the ACT party for it’s scaremongering role in that debacle.

        In fact the whole issue still makes me so angry I can scarcely write anything coherent about it…

  7. scotty 7

    Farmers should have to compete for high country leases ,to ensure the best possible return for the OWNERS.weed out shonky operators,and ensure access for the OWNERS.Bids from lease holders could include access rights for the OWNERS along with a commercial rate of return,which would be a novelty.Where are the headlines on righty sites about snouts in the trough.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      Actually, there’s a problem with that idea. The land needs to be restored to it’s natural state and not continue as farms. This is to help with restoring bio-diversity.

  8. aj 8

    Where do the Maori Party stand on this.

  9. Mac1 9

    Last year, at an election meeting hosted by Federated Farmers, there was much displeasure voiced at the sale of St James station by some farmers at the meeting and the local National MP, Colin King. He and they both said that the too high price would affect their rating bill.
    They were not happy that a good price could be had for selling land. Rates are based on land values and so long as prices remain in balance, rates stay the same. Rates only vary with either inflation or because some particular type of property inflates in value more or less for some factor such as desirability.
    Perhaps they saw the longer term National plan here- keep the Crown price low in order to keep the post-election 2008 sell-off of high country property at bargain prices.

  10. aj 10

    Rates have no relationship to land price per se.
    Property prices nationwide have deflated by 9% over average but any home owner who thinks they are going to see rates go down are dreaming. Same applies to rural land.
    Rates are a tax and property valuations are merely a tool for apportioning the total tax take.

  11. Mac1 11

    aj, agreed. So why were the farmers and local MP upset at the vendor getting a price which both seller and buyer were happy with? Had they an inkling of what was further down the track, under National, in terms of privatisation of high country land?

  12. Swampy 12

    Which vested interest group does “Alistair” represent?

    When the F&S Act came up for discussion it was the FMC that was out there making the most noise about it, I guess they were cheerleading the steamrollering of farmers’ privacy along with Fish and Game when they all wanted access rights to their farms.

    • Pascal's bookie 12.1

      “When the F&S Act came up for discussion it was the FMC that was out there making the most noise about it..”

      Nah. You’re thinking of Bill English and Nick Smith.

  13. Swampy 13

    Oh look there it is. Hugh Barr secretary of the Outdoor Recreation Associations. “New Zealand’s draconian trespass laws prohibit public access to private land even when covenants are in place,’ he says.

    Did you ever stop to think Hugh Barr that you might be an extremist? I just don’t get what it is with these people, the FMC, Fish and Game and the like making these outrageous attacks on people’s right to privacy. They would sure be making a big fuss if some member of the public trespassed in their own back yard. Keep on ranting because the vast majority of New Zealanders don’t care all that much.

    • RedLogix 13.1

      They would sure be making a big fuss if some member of the public trespassed in their own back yard.

      In most civilised countries people are capable of making a distinction between an urban, domestic backyard of a few hundred square meters, and many thousands of hectares of rural high country that has a grazing lease.

      And yes I care a lot. I had the enormous privilege of spending much of my teens and twenties tramping and climbing in these magical places. The stealth conversion of what were nothing more than grazing leases (that originally permitted the leaseholder exclusive rights to nothing more than the pasture) to freehold title is a massive theft of public assets for the benefit of a handful of wealthy farmers.

      These things go in cycles. There are far more of us who care than greedy, land-thieving farmers. We will eventually get it all back.

    • So Bored 13.2

      Hey Swampy, when you steal something (i.e do things like privatising the public domain by stealth) you cant expect to sit down nice, cosy and private to enjoy the spoils. If I cut off access by public right of way on a paper road to the river or lake etc thereby denying access to a public resource I would expect trouble.

  14. PCE Office 14

    Some information which may assist discussion. Dr Jan Wright, the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, released a report into the tenure review process in April this year which examined the issue from an environmental perspective (http://www.pce.parliament.nz).

    The issue of high country tenure is contentious and has some serious aspects affecting all of New Zealand, such as the risk of polluting our iconic high country lakes through intensifying agriculture.

    One of the report’s recommendations is for the establishment of a High Country Commission to examine the policy from a wider perspective, allowing different voices in the spectrum, including those representing science, to chart a way forward.

    Regarding the issue of ownership it is possible for the land to remain owned by the Crown but with changes made to how the leases are set up more ‘middle ways’ rather than the current simple split between privatisation and DoC. I should also like to note that the tenure review process only applies to pastoral leased land and not to national or conservation parks.

    Tenure review has operated, with varying degrees of enthusiasm, under all governments since 1990.

  15. Red Rosa 15

    Hugh Barr an extremist? Gotta be joking. FMC supported the tenure review legislation, under the Shipley government. It looked like a good deal for all concerned.

    Trouble was, the individual lease deals were made by LINZ, not the govt directly, and the $ outcomes kept secret. Meantime, lakeside values went through the roof so when sales such as the Wanaka and Hawea leases to freehold were made public, the proverbial hit the fan.

    Quite right to point out the $40m St James sale as now crucial to the process. There is no way tenure review, or even lease rates under the current Act, can proceed with values like that plugged into the equations.

    Pastoral leases are perpetual grazing rights, reviewable at 11 year intervals, not leases in perpetuity (LIP). Pastoral lease rates are set on land value (LV) not capital value (CV) like most leases, as the leaseholders own the improvements (VI) such as houses, sheds, fencing and tracking.

    Running through a few quick numbers for the sake of argument – assume a station valued at $20m (on the St James sale) with VI $5m leaving LV $15m to make CV $20m. Lease rates are bound under the act at 2% of LV,so annual rental $300k.

    Not a good look. A few years ago that station may have paid $15k annually, about the same as a State house.(!) So all were agreed something had to change with tenure review. And indeed it did, though not quite in the way everyone expected.

    There are few misconceptions around and some are noted above, eg. LIPis quite different to pastoral lease. Also, ‘lease rates’ are quite different to usual local body rates, which the leaseholders also pay.

    will be interesting to see how it goes from here on.

    Incidentally, the UK now has a ‘right to roam’ over farmland. This excludes walkers from the ‘homestead and curtilage’ very sensibly, and seems to be working quite well. exccpt for the farm b

  16. scotty 16

    Id be happy for Ngai Tahu to gain control of all South Island leases immediately.keeping the pink snouts out of the public trough,and ensuring public access in perpetuity .

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    7 days ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Tuesday, June 18
    The election promises of ‘better economic management’ are now ringing hollow, as NZ appears to be falling into a deeper recession, while other economies are turning the corner. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The economy and the housing market are slumping back into a deep recession this winter, contrasting ...
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    1 week ago
  • Scrutiny week off to rocky start
    Parliament’s new “Scrutiny” process, which is supposed to allow Select Committees to interrogate Ministers and officials in much more depth, has got off to a rocky start. Yesterday was the first day of “Scrutiny Week” which is supposed to see the Government grilled on how it spends taxpayers’ money and ...
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    1 week ago
  • The choice could not be more stark’: How Trump and Biden compare on climate change
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    1 week ago
  • Differentiating between democracy and republic
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    1 week ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 17
    TL;DR: Chris Bishop talks up the use of value capture, congestion charging, PPPs, water meters, tolling and rebating GST on building materials to councils to ramp up infrastructure investment in the absence of the Government simply borrowing more to provide the capital.Meanwhile, Christopher Luxon wants to double the number of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • You do have the power to change things
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    1 week ago
  • Turning Away – Who Cares If We Don't?
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    1 week ago
  • Dissecting Tickled
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand Webworm Popup + Tickled!
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    1 week ago
  • What China wants from NZ business
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    1 week ago
  • Review: The Worm Ouroboros, by E.R. Eddison (1922)
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    1 week ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #24
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    1 week ago
  • Sunday Morning Chat
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    1 week ago
  • The Book of Henry
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    1 week ago
  • Fact Brief – Is ocean acidification from human activities enough to impact marine ecosystems?
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    1 week ago
  • Happiness is a Warm Gun
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    1 week ago
  • Still doing a good 20
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    1 week ago
  • Coalition of the Unwilling?
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    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • Of red flags and warning signs in comments on social media
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    2 weeks ago
  • All good, still
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    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 weeks ago
  • The looting is the point
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Illusion of Power: How Local Government Bureaucrats Overawe Democratically-Elected Councillors..
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    2 weeks ago
  • Lowlights & Bright Spots
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    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago
  • Weekly Roundup 14-June-2024
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    2 weeks ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
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    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate policy axed in broad daylight, while taxpayer liabilities grow in the dark
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    2 weeks ago
  • Rage Bait!
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    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    2 weeks ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
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    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
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    2 weeks ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
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    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    2 weeks ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
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    2 weeks ago

  • Transformative investment in cancer treatments and more new medicines
    The coalition Government is delivering up to 26 cancer treatments as part of an overall package of up to 54 more new medicines, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti and Associate Health Minister David Seymour announced today. “Pharmac estimates that around 175,000 people will benefit from the additional treatments in just ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • More support for drought-affected communities
    The coalition Government is providing more financial support to drought-stricken farmers and growers in many parts of the country to help with essential living costs. “Rural Assistance Payments have been made available in 38 districts affected by dry conditions to help eligible farmers and growers whose income has taken a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Job seekers to report on progress after six months from today
    A new requirement for people on Jobseeker Support benefits to meet with MSD after six months to assess how their job search is going gets underway today. About 20,000 Jobseeker beneficiaries with full-time work obligations are expected to attend MSD’s new ‘Work check-in’ seminars over the next 12 months, Social ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • New cops means more Police on the beat
    The decision to deploy more Police on the beat in Auckland CBD has been welcomed by Police Minister Mark Mitchell and Associate Police Minister Casey Costello. Starting from 1 July, an additional 21 police officers will be redeployed in Auckland City, bringing the total number of beat police in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government takes action to address youth crime
    The Government is introducing a new declaration for young offenders to ensure they face tougher consequences and are better supported to turn their lives around, Children’s Minister Karen Chhour announced today. The establishment of a Young Serious Offender declaration delivers on a coalition Government commitment and supports the Government’s target ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Reserve Bank chair reappointed
    Professor Neil Quigley has been reappointed as Chair of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Board for a further term of two years, until 30 June 2026.  “Professor Quigley has played a key role in establishing the new Board after the commencement of the new RBNZ Act on 1 July ...
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    5 days ago
  • School attendance increases
    School attendance data released today shows an increase in the number of students regularly attending school to 61.7 per cent in term one. This compares to 59.5 per cent in term one last year and 53.6 per cent in term four. “It is encouraging to see more children getting to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Record investment in public transport services
    The Government has announced a record 41 per cent increase in indicative funding for public transport services and operations, and confirmed the rollout of the National Ticketing Solution (NTS) that will enable contactless debit and credit card payments starting this year in Auckland, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“This Government is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • GDP data shows need to strengthen and grow the economy
    GDP figures for the March quarter reinforce the importance of restoring fiscal discipline to public spending and driving more economic growth, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  Data released today by Stats NZ shows GDP has risen 0.2 per cent for the quarter to March.   “While today’s data is technically in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Women continue to make up over 50 per cent on public sector boards
    Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees has reached 50 per cent or above for the fourth consecutive year, with women holding 53.9 per cent of public sector board roles, Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston says. “This is a fantastic achievement, but the work is not done. To ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government supporting Māori business success
    The Coalition Government is supporting Māori to boost development and the Māori economy through investment in projects that benefit the regions, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka say. “As the Regional Development Minister, I am focused on supporting Māori to succeed. The Provincial Growth Fund ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Better solutions for earthquake-prone buildings
    Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk has announced that the review into better managing the risks of earthquake-prone buildings has commenced. “The terms of reference published today demonstrate the Government’s commitment to ensuring we get the balance right between public safety and costs to building owners,” Mr Penk says.  “The Government ...
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    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up visit to Japan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has just finished a successful three-day visit to Japan, where he strengthened political relationships and boosted business links. Mr Luxon’s visit culminated in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio followed by a state dinner. “It was important for me to meet Prime Minister Kishida in person ...
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    5 days ago
  • Major business deals signed on PM’s Japan trip
    Significant business deals have been closed during the visit of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to Japan this week, including in the areas of space, renewable energy and investment.  “Commercial deals like this demonstrate that we don’t just export high-quality agricultural products to Japan, but also our world-class technology, expertise, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Strategic Security speech, Tokyo
    Minasan, konnichiwa, kia ora and good afternoon everyone. Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today and thank you to our friends at the Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies and NEC for making this event possible today.  It gives me great pleasure to be here today, speaking with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
    The National Infrastructure Pipeline, which provides a national view of current or planned infrastructure projects, from roads, to water infrastructure, to schools, and more, has climbed above $120 billion, Infrastructure Minister Chris Bishop says. “Our Government is investing a record amount in modern infrastructure that Kiwis can rely on as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Making it easier to build infrastructure
    The Government is modernising the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk announced today. An independent panel will undertake an eight-week review of the Act and advise on common sense changes to enable large scale public works to be built faster and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • NZ enhances North Korea sanctions monitoring
    New Zealand will enhance its defence contributions to monitoring violations of sanctions against North Korea, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced today.  The enhancement will see the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) increase its contributions to North Korea sanctions monitoring, operating out of Japan. “This increase reflects the importance New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Speech to Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference
    Good afternoon everyone. It’s great to be with you all today before we wrap up Day One of the annual Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference. Thank you to the organisers and sponsors of this conference, for the chance to talk to you about the upcoming health and safety consultation. ...
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    7 days ago
  • Ōtaki to north of Levin alliance agreements signed
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed an important milestone for the Ōtaki to north of Levin Road of National Significance (RoNS), following the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) signing interim alliance agreements with two design and construction teams who will develop and ultimately build the new expressway.“The Government’s priority for transport ...
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    7 days ago
  • Improvements to stopping Digital Child Exploitation
    The Department of Internal Affairs [Department] is making a significant upgrade to their Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, which blocks access to websites known to host child sexual abuse material, says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “The Department will incorporate the up-to-date lists of websites hosting child sexual ...
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    7 days ago
  • New vaccine research aims to combat prevalent bovine disease
    A vaccine to prevent an infectious disease that costs New Zealand cattle farmers more than $190 million each year could radically improve the health of our cows and boost on-farm productivity, Associate Agriculture Minister Andrew Hoggard says. The Ministry for Primary Industries is backing a project that aims to develop ...
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    7 days ago
  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
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    1 week ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
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    2 weeks ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
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    2 weeks ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
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    2 weeks ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
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    2 weeks ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
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    2 weeks ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
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    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
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    2 weeks ago

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