Public service numbers

Written By: - Date published: 5:17 pm, April 14th, 2009 - 44 comments
Categories: labour, national/act government, public services - Tags:

publicservicenumbers

I’ve just stumbled across this killer graph from the PSA on public service numbers under Labour and National.

It helpfully puts in graphical form what we’ve known all along – that for all the bleating we’ve heard from National and its sycophants about how Labour’s bloated public service was sucking the nation dry, the reality is that all Labour did in its nine years was repair a small portion of the damage the Nats did in the 1990s.

You may recall that when Labour came to power the public service was a wreck. It had got to the stage that even the results of the 1999 election were delayed because the Electoral Commission was so badly underresourced.

Looks like we’re in for more of the same from National this time round. After all, they’ve gotta pay for those upper class tax cuts somehow.

44 comments on “Public service numbers ”

  1. jerry 1

    In between the bombast it might be useful to consider what a reasonable level of public servants for NZ would be.

    I would suggest that there’s probably areas that are grossly over resourced and areas that are grossly under resourced, I’m assuming the the 55k of public servants in 1990 takes into account those working at some of the now privatised corporations ?

  2. And, I wonder if the graph might usefully incorporate the government spend on external consultancy. Presumably that could be indexed, based on the average wage wage of public servants, and added the the public service numbers?

  3. Lanthanide 3

    It’s a very biased graph because the Y axis doesn’t start at 0. It makes it look like national cut 100% of jobs (because it goes from the highest Y point to the lowest) and that Labour replaced them.

    Also I don’t know why the Y axis has the extra ’40’ hanging on each of the marks.

    The PSA fail at making graphs.

  4. mike 4

    The scary part Tane is that the massive increase in the public service showed no sign of leveling off.
    Give the nats at least 3 terms to get things back to realistic levels and by then the faceless bureaucrats should be weaned from the publics teat

    • lprent 4.1

      I’m more worried about the faceless bankers at the teat. Some of those guarantees get a bit scary when you realize that they are given to the masterminds who financed the property boom.

      Hopefully property prices will continue going down gradually to more realistic levels faster than those bozo’s (and various property speculators) drain the public finances dry. After all they have one of their own parasites in power…

      • jerry 4.1.1

        “I’m more worried about the faceless bankers at the teat”

        Eh what ………. what faceless bankers are at the government teat in NZ ?

        Which of the banks in NZ masterminded the property boom ?

        I thought you Labour party apparatchicks had given up on the Key smears ? What nexy more accusations of baby eating ?

        • lprent 4.1.1.1

          Most of them. There was a set of government guarantees put through in september/october. At last count this government has been giving it to all and shonkey, including some very dubious finance companies. Have a look at this and expand your knowledge of current affairs.

          BTW: I’d suggest that you look at the policy and about.
          I don’t take kindly to the illusions of wingnuts with lots of lines and limited intelligence about who and what I work for. It is a fast way to get a permanent leave of absence from this site.

          • jerry 4.1.1.1.1

            Weak ….the guarantee put through by the last government and strongly supported by the opposition while the legislation should have excluded the fly by night finance companies it is hardly an example of faceless bankers at the government teat.

            You know as well as I that if any of the major lending institutions have to call in the guarantee we are all likely to be economically fucked.

            In relation to the property boom – this was as usual created by the public investing wildly in property as is their want in NZ – one day perhaps a capital gains tax on property might be introduced by Labour or National to curb this behaviour but as it’ll cost either party votes I expect they will as usual do nothing.

            “I don’t take kindly to the illusions of wingnuts with lots of lines and limited intelligence about who and what I work for.”

            You’ve been very open that you are a member of the Labour party, have Helen on speed dial and are on the Mt Albert selection committee your hatred of Key is also fairly plain for all to see.

  5. Graeme 5

    The Electoral Commission has nothing to do with counting votes.

    The results of the 1999 election were delayed because there were two citizens initiated referendums at the same time. When you’ve got twice the number of votes to count it takes longer.

  6. The Baron 6

    but this all relies upon the assumption that any cut in public service staff levels is a bad thing… surely even you guys agree that where there are opportunities to improve efficiency and reduce wasteful programmes that this is a reasonable way of spending the public’s cash?

    Or instead do you guys think that every dollar spent is a good one? That is sloppy thinking – I’m sure every household would love to spend their cash willy nilly, but economic reality doesn’t make it so. Why you think that the government should be immune from such prudence is beyond me – it just seems like ideological ranting, and it has no place in government thanks!

  7. Postal 7

    Another dumb post written by someone who doesn’t work in the public sector.

    As some one who does, I can honestly say there is ample scope to either reconfigure how the number of people are currently used or even make prudent cuts in the right unproductive places.

    Quantity does NOT equal quality but nor does cutting blindly without due consideration of the likely impacts. However, the waste that one finds in government is repugnant when you consider that it is tax payer funded, often on programmes and initiatives significant sections of the taxpaying public simply wouldn’t consider a priority.

    A good old fashioned value for money drive, just as the current government is doing, is prudent given the current circumstances. You can debate the merits of their decisions but only the idelogical or self-interested (i.e. the PSA) would debate the need to undertake such a VFM drive.

    YEs any shrinkage in the public service has implications for the amount of union fees the PSA receives and therefore their ability to keep funding SKY TV at their Head Office, early friday knock off, 5 weeks annual leave etc… Things the people they represent simply don’t get… 😉

  8. George Darroch 8

    Not that I think that the general thrust is wrong – numbers are what they were in 1994 when the population was 20% less…

    How many of those on the early side of the graph (1980s) were employees of NZ Rail, Telecom etc.?

    • vidiot 8.1

      Yes – I do wonder how many public service jobs were moved over to private enterprise jobs when the asset sell off occurred. Telecom, NZ Steel, Petrocorp, Post Office Bank, State Insurance, etc.

      http://www.treasury.govt.nz/government/assets/saleshistory

      • Pascal's bookie 8.1.1

        Hint: SOE’s don’t employ civil servants.

        • vidiot 8.1.1.1

          You don’t have to be a civil servant to be in the PSA.

          “PSA membership is open to employees across the public sector. This includes all public service and non-public service departments, crown entities, district health boards, local government, state-owned enterprises, non-governmental and community organisations providing public services.”

          Oh and bugger me, you can be in the PSA if you are employed by a SOE.

          http://www.psa.org.nz/Libraries/About%20Us%20Section/psa%20coverage.sflb

          • Maynard J 8.1.1.1.1

            The graph isn’t PSA membership, it is “Public Servants”. They are not interchangable terms.

            Oh, and bugger me but you contradicted your own argument: that when the Great NZ Sell-off happened people would have left the ‘public service’, but that they could have stayed in the ‘public service’ after all. Own-goal…

          • Pascal's bookie 8.1.1.1.2

            So? Is this graph about PSA membership? What’s that got to do with anything?.

            “PSA membership is open to employees across the public sector. This includes all public service and non-public service departments, crown entities, district health boards, local government, state-owned enterprises, non-governmental and community organisations providing public services.’

            I think this graph is about the bolded bit.

            edit: M.j. snap

  9. Noddy (used to be Dr.No) 9

    I’m not quite sure what the problem is with this graph? Looks awfully nice to me.

  10. Trevor Mallard 10

    The graph is of public servants and the drop during the previous National government was post the corporatisation phase of the 1980’s. So the big numbers in the state sector previously are not in the graph. Also because health and education are not core public service the growth in teachers and nurses don’t show.

    What we found when first in government was that there was a real shortage of both skills and numbers for policy work and especially implementation. There was a deliberate effort to rebuild the public service and the numbers reflect that. That doesn’t mean however that things are perfect – and all governments should be alert to ways of doing things better. That means shifting emphasis not wholesale cuts.

    • Daveski 10.1

      Can I just add that while I don’t expect I will agree with Trevor’s comments most of the time, it is refreshing to see public commenting of an MP both here (to be expected) and at KB (most unexpected).

      Naturally, I would prefer that Trevor desists and stops giving Labour MP’s a good name 🙂

      • Pascal's bookie 10.1.1

        I think Worth should follow his example!

        Seems to have time for extra curricular activities, and he can pretend to be not wearing whatever hat he likes.

  11. 50% more public servants since 1999? So has there been a 50% increase in educational performance, increase in value of surgical and medical procedures undertaken, increase in response times to police call outs?

    No funnily enough.

    Why shouldn’t taxpayers demand more value?

    The true failure of this graph is it doesn’t match numbers to productivity, which the PSA has stubbornly refused to link pay to.

  12. ak 12

    Bottom line is, for all the months and years of shrieking and squealing about “tens of thousands” of “public service bureaucrats” twiddling their thumbs and eating up all this hard-earned taxpayer money, we’ve yet to have any identified.

    Come on lads, usually when you demonise an entire sector for populist vote-scraping there’s at least an example or two: Nia Glassie and twilight golf hip-hop tours did it for Maori, so out of “tens of thousands” you should at least be able to come up with one or two? Nope? Watch it men: on top of welching on the “north of $50” vote-buying offer, Labour-lite’s starting to look like Labour-lite-liars.

  13. Stephen 13

    50% more public servants since 1999? So has there been a 50% increase in educational performance, increase in value of surgical and medical procedures undertaken, increase in response times to police call outs?

    Some population increase I suspect.

  14. Stephen 14

    ak, you’re saying you haven’t noticed any public sector people being let go in the last few months at all?

  15. Maynard J 15

    Libertyscott, have you ever called in a plumber and been unsatisfied with the job they did laying your deiveway? Ordered pizza and complained it didn’t look after your kids properly?

    Let me put it another way – do you want a policy analyst to operate on you, a customs agent to take your 111 call, or a prison guard to teach your kids in primary school?

    You haven’t sucessfully identified the job the core public service does. If you want to add in the police, teachers and nurses I suspect the number would swell out to over 200,000.

    These in question are the people who help to create and implement Government policy. You’re barking up the wrong tree by looking at operations, teachers and police – there are hundreds, if not thousands, of indicators you’d need to look at to formulate an accurate assessment of whether we’re getting value for money. You’d need to look at every single initiative undertaken by the dozens of Government departments in the last nine years, and each & every deliverable from them, before you’d get your answer.

    National asked for a line-by-line analysis of spending (which is fine) & then demanded 5-10% cuts in spending. Note that the two are not related, and that the outcome of the latter won’t enhance the former.

    Given they’ve had nine years to figure out what to do it would be nice to see some specific targets and expanations therein. Asking for savings from them is lazy and ineffective.

  16. ben 16

    Do these numbers include the 24,000 people it used to take to run the railways very, very badly?

    Because nobody misses that.

  17. vidiot 17

    Tane – could you please link to the source article that the graph was from. Without it, or an understanding of where the data is from it’s pointless.

    a) How were these numbers derived ? Was the data based on PSA membership figures ?
    b) Do they include the state asset privatisation numbers (Telecom, NZ Steel, NZ Rail, etc) – not SOE’s ?

    • Maynard J 17.1

      Clearly not a) – PSA website has 57K members, max on graph is <45K.
      b) also unlikely – employees of SOE, Crown Entities and all aren’t included in the ‘public service’ in any description I’ve ever seen.

      I can understand that for the sake of this argument people would try to argue that National didn’t cut the public service, but the other 99% of the time the same people are proud of the fact that National gutted the Public Service and tout it as a crowning achievement, so it’s a bit of an unrealistic line to pursue.

      Just unfortunate for you all here, because the numbers show that Labour’s huge ballooning growth was nothing of the sort, when you look at the cuts at the other end. Afraid ya might have to accept that it was just spin.

      • Felix 17.1.1

        Afraid ya might have to accept that it was just spin.

        Only if they want to maintain any sort of intellectual honesty. It’s not generally an issue though.

  18. I would loooooove to see the entire graph. You know, the bit where Labour was before 1990. 🙂 Oh and if we had all these “amazing” rises of state employees why didn’t we see a proportionate increase in productivity and positive outcomes?

    • Maynard J 18.1

      Well Clint, it just so happens…

      Positive Outcomes

      There be more 🙂 than 🙁 and we’re holding our own well enough in many areas, which is good under international comparison.

      (I’d also like to see the graph for the entire century or the second half at least. Though without the corresponding outcomes – like the report linked above – it’s all a bit academic.)

  19. Ben R 19

    The slide downwards appears to have commenced under Labour in the late 1980’s.

    Showing a drop in numbers doesn’t tell us much though, just as the increase under Labour since 1999 doesn’t tell us much. Other than that the numbers changed.

    • Maynard J 19.1

      It shows that National’s talk of bloated bureaucracy and scaremongering about the numbers of public servants was false – lies pure and simple. As is the point of the post.

      • jerry 19.1.1

        No, not really, all it shows is numbers of public servants at certain periods – it gives no real insight into what the numbers represent (where they worked etc).

        The Nats could just as easily say that numbers of public servants increased by 50% under Labour’s watch……which allthough true doesn’t offer any analysis of what’s really going on.

        As I said in the first comment I would suggest that there’s probably areas that are grossly over resourced and areas that are grossly under resourced,

        • Maynard J 19.1.1.1

          What the Nats were saying is that we have a ‘Rolls Royce’ government, the bureaucracy is bloated and out of control and in need of a good bon-firing, and chuck in any other tired, arrogant anti-public service cliche you can think of, ’cause they said it. This here graph, in putting the recent numbers and growth in perspective, shows those statements to be false by any reasonable analysis, unless you can conclusivly prove we need fewer public servants per capita that we did a decade ago. Well that’s the only real option, because trying to pretend the cuts in the 90’s were due to privatisation seems to have fallen flat.

          • jerry 19.1.1.1.1

            “This here graph, in putting the recent numbers and growth in perspective, shows those statements to be false by any reasonable analysis, unless you can conclusivly prove we need fewer public servants per capita that we did a decade ago. ”

            One could just as easily say

            “This here graph, in putting the recent numbers and growth in perspective, shows those statements to be true by any reasonable analysis, unless you can conclusivly prove we need 50% more public servants per capita that we did a decade ago. ”

            And it would be just as banal – they key issue is that there has been no reasonable analysis one way or the other of what the numbers represent in terms of where and what people were employed doing and the impact of increasing or decreasing numbers within specific areas such as health, law and order etc etc.

          • Maynard J 19.1.1.1.2

            One could just as easily say

            isn’t a substitute for being correct. You wouldn’t need to try and prove which statement is true to anyone who remembers the state of the public service in the late 90’s and I’m not going to rehash it for your benefit when I’m sure you’re perfetly capable of looking into it. Most would take it as a given.

            But I think you’re making a good point if you’re going for a parody of National talking points. The entire election debate was on National’s terms – just looking at numbers without a historical context or pretending to consider whether those numbers were justified.

            And you have to agree Labour were singularly useless at doing anything about that. Someone give them some Sun Tzu, and book mark ‘Fatal Terrain’.

            they key issue is that there has been no reasonable analysis

            Here, in the media, by politicians, or all of the above? I can guarantee National’s not doing anything – remember, it’s just “Cut 5-10% and we don’t give two hoots where from” so you should probably take your concerns to them. You can use my link to the MSD 2008 Social Report, it’s a damn good place to start, which is why I brought it up.

    • Felix 19.2

      “…doesn’t tell us much. Other than that the numbers changed.”

      Yeah, that’s kind of what graphs do. They show you numbers changing.

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    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    5 days ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 10
    TL;DR: The six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty in the past day to 8:36 pm on Monday, June 10 were:20,000 protested against the Fast-track approval bill on Saturday in Auckland, but PM Christopher Luxon says ‘sorry, but not sorry’ about the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • In Defence of Kāinga Ora
    Given the headlines around the recent findings of the ‘independent’ review of Kāinga Ora by Bill English, you might assume this post will be about social housing, Kāinga Ora’s most prominent role. While that is indeed something that requires defending, I want to talk about the other core purpose of ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    5 days ago
  • Baby You're A Rich Man
    “How does it feel to beOne of the beautiful peopleNow that you know who you areWhat do you want to beAnd have you traveled very far?Far as the eye can see”Yesterday the ACT party faithful were regaled with craven boasts, sneers, and demands for even more at their annual rally.That ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Stopping a future Labour government from shutting down gas exploration
    A defiant Resources Minister Shane Jones has responded to Saturday’s environmental protests by ending Labour’s offshore oil exploration ban and calling for long-term contracts with any successful explorers. The purpose would be to prevent a future Labour Government from reversing any licence the explorers might hold. Jones sees a precedent ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #23
    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 2, 2024 thru Sat, June 8, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is Yale Climate Connection's Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths, by ...
    6 days ago
  • Fission by the river
    This is where we ate our lunch last Wednesday. Never mind your châteaux and castles and whatnot, we like to enjoy a baguette in the shadow of a nuclear power plant; a station that puts out more than twice as much as Manapouri using nothing more than tiny atoms to bring ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Fact Brief – Is the ocean acidifying?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is the ocean acidifying? Acidification of oceans ...
    7 days ago
  • 20,000+ on Queen St.
    The largest protest I ever went on was in the mid 90s. There were 10,000 people there that day, and I’ve never forgotten it. An enormous mass of people, chanting together. Stretching block after block, bringing traffic to a halt.But I can’t say that’s the biggest protest I’ve ever been ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Josh Drummond's Columns
    Hi there,I wanted to put all of Josh Drummond’s Webworm pieces all in one place. I love that he writes for Webworm — and all of these are a good read!David.Why Are So Many “Christians” Hellbent on Being Horrible?Why do so many objectively hideous people declare themselves “Christian”?Meeting the Master ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    7 days ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday soliloquy and weekend Pick ‘n’ Mix for June 8/9
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: On reflection, the six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty this week were:The Government-driven freeze in building new classrooms, local roads and water networks in order to save cash for tax cuts is frustrating communities facing massive population ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The no-vision thing
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • When Journalists are Disingenuous
    Hi,One of the things I like the most about Webworm is to be able to break down the media and journalism a little, and go behind the scenes.This is one of those times.Yesterday an email arrived in my inbox from journalist Jonathan Milne, who is managing editor at Newsroom.I don’t ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Me, elsewhere: Just say you’ll do the thing
    Wrote something over at 1/200 on a familiar theme of mine: The way we frame the economy as a separate, sacred force which must be sacrificed to, the way we talk about criminals as invaders who must be repelled, the constant othering of people on the benefit, people not in ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 week ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted
    A nice bit of news today: my 4600-word historical fantasy-horror piece, A Voyage Among the Vandals, has been accepted by Phobica Books (https://www.phobicabooks.co.uk/books) for their upcoming Pirate Horror anthology, Shivering Timbers. This one is set in the Mediterranean, during the mid-fifth century AD. Notable for having one of history’s designated ...
    1 week ago
  • Ministerial conflicts of interest
    Since the National government came to power, it has been surrounded by allegations of conflicts of interest. Firstly, there's the fast-track law, which concentrates power in the hands of three Ministers, some of whom have received donations from companies whose projects they will be deciding on. Secondly, there's the close ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The 2024 Budget Forecasts Are Gloomy Prognosis About The Next Three Years.
    There was no less razzamatazz about the 2024 Budget than about earlier ones. Once again the underlying economic analysis got lost. It deserves more attention.Just to remind you, the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update (BEFU), is the Treasury’s independent assessment and so can be analysed by other competent economists (although ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • A government that can't see twenty feet ahead
    There are two failings that consistently characterise a National government. One is a lack of imagination, the other is their willingness to look after their mates, no matter what harm it might do to everyone else.This is how we come to have thousands of enormous trucks carving up our roads. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • A post I hope is incorrect
    In May, we learned that National MP David MacLeod had "forgotten" to declare $178,000 in electoral donations. Filing a donation return which is false in any material particular is a crime, and the Electoral Commission has now referred MacLeod to police, since they're the only people who are allowed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Māori Cannot Re-Write New Zealand’s Constitution By Stealth.
    The Kotahitanga Parliament 1897: A Māori Parliament – at least in the guise of a large and representative body dedicated to describing the shape of New Zealand’s future from a Māori perspective – would be a very good idea.THE DEMAND for a “Māori Parliament” needs to be carefully unpicked. Some Pakeha, ...
    1 week ago
  • Cowpats and Colonials.
    Dumbtown, is how my friend Gerard refers to people like ZB listeners - he’s not wrong.Normally on a Friday I start by looking at Mike Hosking’s moronic reckons of the week which he vomits down the throats of his audience like helpless baby birds in a nest, grateful for the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on cutting the sick leave of vulnerable workers
    Should sick leave be part and parcel of the working conditions from Day One on the job, just like every other health and safety provision? Or should access to sick leave be something that only gradually accumulates, depending on how long a worker has been on the payroll? If enacted ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Move: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
    So long as we live in a democracy, economic policy can never be anything other than social-democratic.“HEH!”, snorted Laurie, as he waved his debit card over the EFTPOS machine. “Same price as last week. I guess budgets aren’t what they used to be.”“I wouldn’t know,” replied the young barman, wearily, ...
    1 week ago
  • In Search Of Unity.
    Kotahitanga: New Zealand’s future belongs to those who do not fear a nation carved out of unity and solidarity, and are willing to trust the carvers. Some New Zealanders will be required to step up, and others, perhaps for the first time in their lives, will be expected to step ...
    1 week ago
  • Weekly Roundup 7-June-2024
    Welcome to another Friday roundup! Here are some recent links and stories that caught our eye, perfectly timed for your watercooler discussions and weekend reading. As always feel free to share more in the comments. Our header image this week is by Patrick Reynolds, and shows Te Komititanga from above. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 week ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 7
    As Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, ACT’s Brooke van Velden is fronting proposed changes to sick pay regulations and The Holiday Act. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Did we boil the oceans by cutting pollution?
    Lowering aerosol emissions from shipping has altered clouds, with potentially drastic effects. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: Here’s the top six news items of note in climate news for Aotearoa-NZ this week, and a discussion above between Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer:New evidence is increasingly pointing at efforts ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #23 2024
    Open access notables Abrupt reduction in shipping emission as an inadvertent geoengineering termination shock produces substantial radiative warming, Yuan et al., Communications Earth & Environment: Human activities affect the Earth’s climate through modifying the composition of the atmosphere, which then creates radiative forcing that drives climate change. The warming effect ...
    1 week ago
  • Fragments
    The best observation I’ve read this week about the deep, profound harm Trump is doingTrump has hurled threats and smears at witnesses, jurors and the judge (including his family)... [he] has tried to intimidate witnesses and delegitimize the New York courts as corrupt. In continuing to incite his mob (that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • March for Nature
    Do do do do do do do doDo do do do do doDi di di di di di di di di di diNature enter me…In 2018 the Labour lead government banned new oil and gas exploration in Aotearoa. A change welcomed by those who care deeply for our environment and ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 6
    The Transport Minister is trying to push through urgent legislation that would allow him to change emissions standards for car imports without approval from Parliament, after only consulting car importers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Just as two major reports showed fossil fuel burning was warming the planet to dangerous levels and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • A Better Broadway: Act 2
    This is a guest post by reader Grant A, the second of a pair about how to fix Broadway. If you missed the beginning of the show, here’s the link to Act 1 from yesterday. Yesterday, I discussed changing traffic circulation around Broadway in Newmarket. This included implementing a car-free ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • National breaks another health promise
    National has broken another manifesto health promise, apparently to save only $550,000. It will now train an additional 25 med students next year rather than the 50 it promised. This comes on top of the delays caused by National’s coalition partners in pushing ahead with the Waikato Medical School and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Climate Adam: Coping as the world’s best known climate scientist
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Katharine Hayhoe is quite possibly the world's most famous climate scientist. She's produced wide ranging research, and communicated climate change with ...
    1 week ago
  • SIS “evidence” isn’t, again
    Back in 2016, then-Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne cancelled a New Zealand woman's passport, claiming she was a terrorist. The basis for his decision was a secret briefing by the SIS, which claimed that if she was allowed to travel, the woman would "engage with individuals who encourage acts of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • As Low As You Go
    Taking you as low as you goAs low as you goA sense of Déjà vu this morning. How many times have I begun a newsletter, “just when you thought they couldn’t go any lower…” Only for the groundhog to reappear, more pissed off than the day before.Another day with headlines ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
    New Zealand and Philippines are continuing to elevate our relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “The leaders of New Zealand and Philippines agreed in April 2024 to lift our relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership by 2026,” Mr Peters says. “Our visit to Manila this week has been an excellent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Paid Parental Leave increase to help families
    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Brooke van Velden says paid parental leave increase from 1 July will put more money in the pockets of Kiwi parents and give them extra support as they take precious time off to bond with their newborns. The increase takes effect from 1 July 2024 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Defence increases UN Command commitment
    The number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is increasing, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.  NZDF will deploy up to 41 additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend 'Summit on Peace in Ukraine' in Switzerland
    New Zealand will be represented at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine by Minister Mark Mitchell in Switzerland later this week.    “New Zealand strongly supports Ukraine’s efforts to build a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Minister Mitchell is a senior Cabinet Minister and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Big step forward for M.bovis programme
    Farmers’ hard work is paying off in the fight against Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) with the move to a national pest management plan marking strong progress in the eradication effort, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The plan, approved by the Coalition Government, was proposed by the programme partners DairyNZ, Beef ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Build To Rent opening welcomed by Housing Minister
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Housing Minister Chris Bishop formally opened a new Build to Rent development in Mt Wellington this morning. “The Prime Minister and I were honoured to cut the ribbon of Resido, New Zealand’s largest Build to Rent development to date.  “Build to Rent housing, like the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Agriculture to come out of the ETS
    The Government will deliver on its election commitment to take agriculture out of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) and will establish a new Pastoral Sector Group to constructively tackle biogenic methane, Coalition Government Agriculture and Climate Change Ministers say. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand farmers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Luxon Tokyo-bound for political and business visit
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will travel to Japan from 16-20 June, his first visit as Prime Minister.   “Japan is incredibly important to New Zealand's prosperity. It is the world’s fourth largest economy, and our fourth largest export destination.  “As you know, growing the economy is my number one priority. A strong economy means ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Bayly travels to Singapore for scam prevention meetings
    Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Andrew Bayly, travels to Singapore today to attend scam and fraud prevention meetings. “Scams are a growing international problem, and we are not immune in New Zealand. Organised criminal networks operate across borders, and we need to work with our Asia-Pacific partners to tackle ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More help for homeowners impacted by severe weather
    People who were displaced by severe weather events in 2022 and 2023 will be supported by the extension of Temporary Accommodation Assistance through to 30 June 2025. Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says the coalition Government is continuing to help to those who were forced out of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    Removing the ban on petroleum exploration beyond onshore Taranaki is part of a suite of proposed amendments to the Crown Minerals Act to deal with the energy security challenges posed by rapidly declining natural gas reserves, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “Natural gas is critical to keeping our lights on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand and Malaysia to intensify connections
    New Zealand and Malaysia intend to intensify their long-standing, deep connections, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “Malaysia is one of New Zealand’s oldest friends in South-East Asia – and both countries intend to get more out of the relationship," Mr Peters says.   "Our connections already run deep and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Ending contracted emergency housing motels in Rotorua
    The end of Contracted Emergency Housing (CEH) motels in Rotorua is nearing another milestone as the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announces it will not renew consents for six of the original 13 motels, Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka says. The government is committed to stop using CEH ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • First Home Grant closure exemptions
    The Government is providing a narrow exemption from the discontinuation of the First Home Grant for first home buyers who may face unfair situations as a result, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. “The First Home Grant scheme was closed with immediate effect on 22 May 2024, with savings being reprioritised ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Faster consenting for flood protection projects in Hawke's Bay
    Work to increase flood resilience in Hawke’s Bay can start sooner, thanks to a new fast consenting process, Minister for Emergency Management and Recovery Mark Mitchell and Environment Minister Penny Simmonds say.  “Faster consenting means work to build stop banks, spillways and other infrastructure can get underway sooner, increasing flood ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Judge Craig Coxhead and Nathan Milner newest Māori Land Court appointments
    Tangata tū tangata ora, tangata noho tangata mate. Minister for Māori Development Tama Potaka today announced acting Deputy Chief Judge Craig Coxhead as the new Deputy Chief Judge, and Nathan Milner as Judge of the Māori Land Court. "I want to congratulate Judge Coxhead and Mr Milner on their appointments ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade
    Trade Minister Todd McClay and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts, today signed three Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) agreements that will boost investment, grow New Zealand’s digital and green economies and increase trade between New Zealand and the 14 IPEF partners. IPEF’s partners represent 40 per cent of global GDP ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade and cooperation
    Trade Minister Todd McClay and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts, today signed three Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) agreements that will boost investment, grow New Zealand’s digital and green economies and increase trade between New Zealand and the 14 IPEF partners. IPEF’s partners represent 40 per cent of global GDP ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago

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