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Pulling the ladder up behind him

Written By: - Date published: 2:18 pm, August 13th, 2008 - 16 comments
Categories: john key, welfare - Tags:

A lot of you won’t remember it but there was a time in this country when being on a benefit wasn’t seen as the fault of the person receiving it and the idea of a social welfare system was about just that: the welfare of our society. It took a campaign of right-wing scaremongering through the late eighties and nineties to change that and, in my opinion, we are a much meaner and poorer people for allowing this vile mentality to be planted in our national psyche.

There’s a must read piece up on scoop at the moment by Anne Else that reminds us of how we treated sole parents before we lost our compassion and that points out how John Key was himself a beneficiary of that treatment.

Back in 1969, when Key’s mother and her three children went onto the widow’s benefit, they would have received about 65 percent of the average wage, plus the family benefit of $3 a week for each child. Housing costs were much lower than they are now, especially if, like them, you lived in a state house. Basic foods were subsidised. Electricity costs were among the cheapest in the world.

So John Key’s family was poor, but not desperately so. Sole parent benefits stayed at 65 percent or more of the average wage until National slashed them in the early 1990s. They’ve never got anywhere near that level since.

If Mrs Key had been able to do some paid work as well, she would have been allowed to keep her earnings. By earning the maximum allowed, a widow or deserted sole mother with one child could receive more income than a general labourer. The standard exemption for other income was then worth around 60% of the one-child benefit rate. But by 1985 it had sunk to 15%, and has barely recovered since.

I doubt Key would be in the position he is now without state housing, his mother’s widows benefit, free health and education and all the other good things that helped create the best educated and most prosperous generation this country has ever seen.

It’s just a shame his policies are designed to deny others the same chances he had.

16 comments on “Pulling the ladder up behind him”

  1. Greg 1

    Thats simply a ridiculous notion. You cannot critisise Key for the actions of the government when he was growing up. Its dumb to consider the policies of the past as a benchmark for the future, they come from a different time, in a different era. There used to be free tertiary education for all, but even most Labour supporters would see this as a bad idea now

  2. Pardon me IB, but wasn’t there a LABOUR government in the late 1980’s – and weren’t Helen Clark, Michael Cullen, Phil Goff, Annette King and Trevor Mallard a part of it?

  3. Crank 3

    This question is genuine and in no way meant to be racist.

    I wonder how much New Zealanders attitude to beneficiaries and the change in remuneration levels was caused by the swelling of the beneficiary ranks through immigration from the Islands?

  4. IrishBill 4

    Greg, these were policies that created a broad middle class in New Zealand. Similar policies are still in place in many (mostly European and Scandinavian countries) and funnily enough these are also countries with high median wealth, literacy and health and with low crime.

    One of the biggest scams pulled on New Zealanders was the move to an aspirational free-market model that quickly descended into the vicious individualism that has cause great harm to our society.

    I feel comfortable criticising John Key for having had the advantages of a decent social security system and then pushing to further erode that system for others.

  5. IB is making the point that the welfare system that gave Key a chance in life has been degraded by politicans like him since then and his policies will only make the situation worse.

    Crank. I don’t know about back then, but now beneficiary numbers are falling, not swelling, and Pacific Islanders make up 7.6% of beneficiaries, compared to 7.3% of the population… of course there are proportionally fewer Pacific Islanders above retirement age but more below working age… so no significant overrepresentation at any rate.

  6. IrishBill 6

    IV2, So what if they were Labour? Am I supposed to be all worried about criticising them because their right-wing lunacy had a red rossette attached to it? Get a life.

    The current government has gone a small way to addressing the damage done in the 80’s/90’s but not enough. I certainly don’t think the answer is to vote in a party that has an agenda to resume where they left off in ’99. Do you?

  7. Pascal's bookie 7

    Great post Irish

    Crank, interesting question.

    the following quote is from Lee Atwater, a Republican party strategist:

    You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968 you can’t say “nigger” – that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now [that] you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites.

    What Lee is saying here, is that in the States back in the 50’s it was easy to get the large racist southern vote and you could do it quite blatantly. This was the era when the south was solidly Democratic Party.

    With the Civil rights era in the 60’s, things began to change. Overt racism became a vote losing proposition, so the language was about state rights and so on. This leads into the Nixon’s ‘Southern Stratergy’ when the South went to the GOP based on these issues.

    When you get to Reagan and Bush1 the language has to be even more coded. So you get ‘Welfare queens’ and ‘Tax cuts’. Doesn’t sound racist at all, but the racists know what you are talking about, Blacks get more welfare, so cutting taxes and slashing welfare hurts blacks. Sounds all crazy conspiricy talk but that Atwater quote is legit, those are the tactics he used to help get Reagan elected.

    Whether that applies in NZ I don’t know. But dawn raids are a part of our history, and some of Michale Basset’s writings on welfare are seriously dodgy in this regard. IMV

  8. monkey-boy 8

    “It’s just a shame his policies are designed to deny others the same chances he had.”
    Can you outline for me which policies you refer to when you say this?

  9. IrishBill 9

    MB:

    Taking the rights from workers in the first 90 days of a new job

    Forcing sole parents to work regardless of their personal situations

    Pressuring sickness and invalid beneficiaries into work

    Taking the cap of GP’s fees

    Rewarding those rich enough to pay back student loans in lump sums

    Privatising ACC

    Putting youth criminals into “bootcamps”

    Refusing to commit to increasing the minimum wage

    Putting vulnerable workers at risk of losing their 4th week’s leave

    Tax cuts for the rich

    Softening the ground for asset sales

    Each of these policies represents a “small target” move – none of them are the end of the world by themselves but each one is an incremental step backwards and that means three years of things getting gradually worse rather than steadily better. Why would anyone vote for that?

    There are a lot of things that need to be done that will take a centre-left government to do them (note: I don’t believe we currently have a centre-left government). National is not the answer.

    Now could you outline why you (presumably) think they are?

  10. r0b 10

    There used to be free tertiary education for all, but even most Labour supporters would see this as a bad idea now

    Not this one. Free Education Now!

  11. Rex Widerstrom 11

    I couldn’t agree more with the post, Irish. There’s some excuse for people who’ve never lived on welfare to not realise how fair it used to be or, if more recently, how unfair it’s become. But to have been raised in a State house by a beneficiary and to not then accept that others in a similar position deserve at least a similar chance suggests someone who, for all the spin to the contrary, has forgotten his roots.

    Sadly Labour have done nothing to rebalance the benefit system after Shipley and Co got done gutting it (the abatement regime would have been a good place to start) and National know there’s easy votes in beneficiary-bashing so they’re certainly not going to act.

    This is an area where the Greens have some good policy. It’s just a pity they chose other issues on which to flex their muscles.

  12. Anita 12

    Have you noticed that women on the widow’s benefit won’t be forced to work? So if your husband dies leaving you raising your children alone (e.g. Key’s Mum) there’s no enforced work/study, but if your husband beat you and the kids so you left him you will be forced to work or study.

    Equality in action eh!

  13. IrishBill 13

    Thanks Rex, as you know I am a firm supporter of the greens for just such reasons. I think, in terms of implementing a lot of centre-left policy there is a lot of fear in Labour about challenging the perceptions around the welfare state that were created with taxpayer’s money (such as the massive misinformation campaign encouraging people to dob beneficiaries in).

    In many ways the current government has underestimated the public’s willingness to accept pragmatic and fair left ideas and have thus missed a lot of opportunities to make this country a lot better. If they are voted out this year they may well go down in history as the government that were too timid to really make the change they should have (and that a lot of their supporters wanted them to).

  14. GMan 14

    I watched the speech where John Key introduced their welfare policy. One of the features of the policy as you well know, is a one year time limit. He also seemed to be saying that because his mother was on a widow’s benefit that he knew what it was like to be poor. He went on to say that his mother EVENTUALLY went on to find work. I just wondered how long she took to finally get work. I mean if he is going to use being in a welfare family as some kind of moral justification for putting restrictions and sanctions on social welfare, he should have a think about how his mother and family would have been affected by such rules.

  15. My wife got her law degree in the days when tuition at Vic Uni was $129 / year. Had the present regime been in place, she would likely not have been able to do it. She ended up 2nd-equal in her graduating year.

    The brain drain isn’t just people leaving new Zealand. It’s also the unrealised potential because people are put off higher study by the huge debts they must incur today unless they have well-off parents who also want to help.

  16. Kevyn 16

    IrishBill, I appreciate the thrust of your argument but things weren’t quite as rosey as you potray them.

    Speaking from personal experience the widow’s benefit was means tested in the 1970s. Those who had gone without in order to pay for life insurance or into a superannuation fund found their dependents gained little from that sacrifice.

    I remember the bottle drives and galas to pay for arts and crafts and music and sports equipment. When I was in the standards my parents were on the PTA so I heard a fair bit about the limits to how much of our education was “free”.

    I can’t comment on healthcare being free but living in a suburb with no car and six kids meant it wasn’t accessable health care.
    No amount of funding can make up for such basic failings and not being able to get to a doctor. Either my mum was too proud to have a district nurse visiting or some fool had decided that concept wasn’t needed in cities.

    Milk and bread were subsidised, I remember that quite clearly.

    Cheap housing and cheap electricity gets my gander up. Omitting insulation to keep the purchase price down and get more poeple to buy their own homes is something we expect from spec builders. Governments are supposed to provide gevernance. You don’t have to be an accounant to work out that insulation pays for itself several times over during the average lifetime of a house. For governments to encourage uninsulated houses, and even build their own, and then resort to subsidising the excessive amounts of energy needed to heat them was madness. Especially as wise governance should have had regard to the wider impact on health spending and the balance of payments. Turbines have to be imported but insulation was literally growing on the sheep’s back.

    There may have been a time in this country when being on a benefit wasn’t seen as the fault of the person receiving it. But the fact that the number of people on the unemployment benefit in the 1950s was one-tenth of the number who classified themselves as out of work in the census suggests that potential beneficiaries did see it as their fault or, simply that access to the UB was more difficult than today because there was a pretty strict definition of “no jobs available”. I’m inclined to think that the former explanation was the more common one, but only judging from the writings of Barry Crump and comments from my many uncles and aunts of that generation (children of the depression).

    IMHO there is strong evidence that the prosperity and social security of that era have the opposite cause and effect from the one you claim, or rather that the flow from social security to prosperity is a feedback rather than an initiator.

    Despite everything I have said I still have to agree 100% that specifically for John Key it is a shame his policies are designed to deny others the same chances he had. That’s because he makes no attempt to support those policies with robust research, in fact how many social studies teachers would accept the Nats policy releases as home work from their students. Reminds me of “Where’s the beef?”. Mind you, Jenny Shipley tried that “rational decision making” approach and was condemned for not being “compassionate”.

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    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
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    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    1 week ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
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    1 week ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
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  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Only Way Through This Crisis Is Together.
    Together: In leading New Zealand through the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Prime Minister could do a lot worse than allow herself to be guided by the spirit of collective sacrifice and co-operation that animated the New Zealanders of 80 years ago. Most Kiwis alive today have had no opportunity to prove their ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
    Associate Health and Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare has today announced the Government’s plan to support Māori communities and businesses in the face of COVID-19. “Our Government’s $12.1 billion economic package will help many Māori whānau, workers and businesses, whether it’s through wage subsidies, income support and worker redeployment, or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
    The Government and the hospitality industry have worked together to produce guidelines to assist with managing and reducing transmission of COVID-19, Health Minister David Clark announced today.  The guidelines developed between the Government, Hospitality New Zealand and SkyCity Entertainment Group, set out how the new restrictions on physical distancing and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
    Four stage Alert System for COVID-19 announced New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 – Reduce Contact New Zealanders over 70 and those with certain medical conditions told to stay at home as much as they can to reduce risk of contact with the virus Workplaces to implement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago