Rashbrooke on inequality

Written By: - Date published: 9:40 am, November 24th, 2015 - 22 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war, poverty - Tags: , , ,

Max Rashbrooke has another excellent piece on inequality in The Guardian:

New Zealanders need to share our common wealth. Let’s start by discussing inequality

The emergence of a young, monied elite whose inherited wealth is highly visible is a new thing for New Zealand – but how do we respond?

The core of my book is straightforward information: new data showing that the wealthiest 10th of New Zealanders own more than half of all assets, while the poorest 50% have just 4%.

Most of the talk to date about “inequality” has actually been about poverty, the problem of the poorest families falling behind the middle. Inequality is also about the most affluent households pulling away from the rest. This matters because the two trends are connected: we can understand poverty only by understanding affluence.

Wages are so low because in the last 30 years the workplace balance of power has shifted away from salary earners and towards the owners of capital, such as shareholders, investors and banks, allowing them to take a growing share of company income. The average New Zealand working person earns $10,000 less than they would if they had kept their early 1990s share of income.

Similarly, our benefits are much lower than those in other countries – for single people they replace just a third of the average wage, whereas in the Netherlands that figure is 70%. That is partly because we don’t generate enough tax revenue from our wealthiest citizens.

We don’t tax wealth, gifts, inheritances or, except in limited circumstances, gains made from selling assets. That stance is justified by the idea that allowing some people to become very wealthy is the best route to raising incomes for all. So just as a seesaw makes no sense if we look only at one end of it, neither can poverty be understood without considering both ends of the spectrum.

For some people, these facts are confronting. While poverty can be “othered”, or held at a distance, talking about wealth forces people to see inequality, in Linda Tuhiwai Smith’s words, as “a whole-of-society problem”. They have to consider their own position of power and privilege. …

Rashbrooke also discusses the reaction to his book:

…I was a little surprised to find that only a couple of days after my book’s launch, I was described on social media as “consumed by hatred”. Others labelled me a “dangerous communist” and a “depressive leftie”.

See a depressing discussion that followed on the kinds of attacks that Rashbrooke and others have endured.

22 comments on “Rashbrooke on inequality ”

  1. Michael 1

    Labour should adopt Universal Basic Income, funded by a mixture of progressive income, capital gains, and financial transactions taxes. It should also reduce GST on most items (although increase them on luxury goods).

    • The Fairy Godmother 1.1

      I think it would be better to completely abolish gst. If we introduce wealth taxes and incteade the top tax rate dramatically we will get the buyers of luxury goods.

  2. Murray 2

    Max Rashbrooke has quite correctly condemned unjustified inequality. On this issue it is almost always overlooked that for the community as a whole aggregate credit balances must be and remain exactly equal aggregate debit balances. It is mathematically impossible to increase the wealth of the wealthy without increasing the debt of debtors.
    If the government were to collect twenty five billion dollars and twenty five cents from the wealthy and use it to reduce the debt of debtors aggregate credit balances in the community would be reduced by exactly twenty five billion dollars and twenty five cents and aggregate debt balances in the community would be reduced by exactly twenty five billion dollars and twenty five cents.
    We continually hear arguments that propose to reduce the debt of debtors without reducing the credit balances of creditors. It can’t be done.

  3. David Scott 3

    Sadly, the Labour Party of today is a gutless shadow of what we need. The first thing they could do is reverse some of the evil attacks on people struggle on welfare by National. Until they actually offer some hope for people living at the bottom of society they won’t recapture votes.

  4. Olwyn 4

    So just as a seesaw makes no sense if we look only at one end of it, neither can poverty be understood without considering both ends of the spectrum.

    Max Rashbrooke is right. If we talk about poverty by itself, then the impression is that things are going smoothly but a few people have fallen through the cracks, when in fact our current wealth/poverty divide is both systemic and broadly damaging. The shift in the balance of power between salary earners and capital has led straight to a similar shift between landowners and the landless, with Key’s government, in NZ, driving the second of these moves.

    The accumulated power of the wealthy does not come with a commensurate social responsibility. Outside of the obligations that arise within their own circles they do not see themselves as having any more social obligation than a low-paid cleaner has. Their power is no longer constrained by Christian teachings, noblesse oblige, or any broadly accepted conception of the public good. Moreover, because this inequality has been introduced to a previously roughly equal society, the poor have no province of their own into which to retreat, and must struggle to meet costs and standards that assume a level of wealth. For example, you cannot get by on cottage industries here because overheads are set in relation to wealth. The result of these developments is license at one end of the scale and despair at the other, which hardly makes for a resilient, cohesive society.

  5. savenz 5

    Personally I think that the problem of inequality rests with the rise of the company. Highly profitable companies are paying either no tax or very little tax in this country and around the world. Apparently in private companies earning over 100 million in Australia the government voted to keep their accounts secret.

    It is through companies that a lot of income and wealth is being massaged. Look at John Key, no one knows what he is worth or what he owns or where it is. If you don’t know that, how can you tax it?

    Rather than blaming 20% of individuals for not paying their share, more careful attention should be directed at companies and highly wealthy individuals.

    “We don’t tax wealth, gifts, inheritances or, except in limited circumstances, gains made from selling assets”

    Taxing all tax payers more is making the concept of a “us against them” and undermining the concept of inequality.

    Everyone has family that die and most families inherit, I’m not sure that the idea of paying more taxes is that palatable to the average Joe especially when the government is using those taxes for their own crony corporate interests.

    Likewise the focus on increasing pension age, increasingly property taxes and so forth. It is another type of austerity because those who really are at the top 1% funnel the money around and still end up not paying it. It may well increase inequality and do the opposite depending on how the government spends the money and if they crack down on corporate tax underpayment.

    You might find that the top 10% do not pay inheritance tax for example through tax planning and only the middle class and poor end up paying it, actually increasing inequality.

    It also does not take into account the massive rise in corporate welfare.

    For example the government has reportedly spent 24 million of taxpayer money on outfitting a previously NIWA boat for oil and gas exploration on behalf of Statoil and Chevron.

    Most economists have an idea that the money is somehow being captured by the middle classes and 20% of top earners. I think that the issue of focus should be how the top 1% are accumulating their wealth and the rise of the company, who are getting more profit and paying those who contribute to that wealth, less.

    In NZ very simple concepts like a living wage, diversifying exports, having a more focused immigration criteria, a limit on the wages between the highest and lowest worker within a company and so forth would work better than to tax everyone more and hope that the government does something useful with the extra taxes and those already not paying through tax loop holes their taxes, or simply not paying any tax whatsoever suddenly volunteers payment. Which to me sounds like wishful thinking.

    You have to think of the psychology of it too.

  6. Atiawa 6

    I am always surprised by the low number of comments from the regulars (with some exceptions) when issues like growing inequality are voiced on this blog. Especially so when the cause of that inequality is pointed out to be the result of the de-unionisation of the workforce. I have no idea of the union membership of those regulars who voice a regular comment, but I believe that most, in all likelihood and who are in paid employment, are unlikely to be members.
    It would seem that many of our social ill’s are caused by the decreasing number of workers belonging to unions, yet on a left leaning blog that is TS, I hear few voices that demand and/or promote a return to organised labour.

    • Anne 6.1

      Atiawa, this subject has been discussed/debated exhaustively over a number of years on this site. That is not to say the regulars are no longer interested, it’s that many of us have made our views known over and over again.

      The only thing we can do is to join the Labour Party, the Greens or Mana and advocate for the reintroduction of an organised union movement based on today’s conditions. But first we have to get into government.

      • Atiawa 6.1.1

        Thanks Anne and I appreciate your past efforts. Political solutions are not the only answer either, but I guess you have debated alternatives.
        Cheers.

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1

          part of the issue is that it is difficult to synthesise and advance solutions due to the lack of power, finances and resources that the left has. The organised Left remains (too) reliant on taking the reins of governmental power in order to implement any change.

      • Macro 6.1.2

        Exactly Anne. We have discussed this more times than I care to think. Max Rashbrooke’s most recent work just confirms the collective thoughts of many here.

  7. Craig H 7

    Increased union membership would certainly aid in reducing inequality, but as the nature of work changes, it’s not the panacea it once was.

    • Atiawa 7.1

      Modern day unions are equally interested in the future of work as they are in ensuring it;s members are adequately rewarded for that work. When I first joined the workforce some time ago, I should add, unions were also the vehicle that informed and educated the workers they represented. Some were more effective and radical than others, but they weren’t simply about securing a greater share of the economic pie. The need for the movement has never being greater.

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.1

        unions need to make obsolescent their role as an intermediary between employees and employers (this should probably have been done 40 years ago i.e. in the 1960s and early 1970s).

        Democratic worker owned enterprises need to become a serious economic phenomenon. In that kind of organisation there is no need for traditional unions.

        • Atiawa 7.1.1.1

          I don’t see unions as an intermediary, that’s the role of a mediator. Democratic unions act in the interests of the will of the majority.
          I have no issue with your second point.

          • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.1.1

            I always thought that the Nurses Organisation and the SFWU should join forces and start a major retirement care organisation throughout the country, one owned and democratically run by the workers, and have it push the money hungry rip-off corporates out of the picture.

            But unfortunately its not what they do and they don’t have any vision around that.

            • Atiawa 7.1.1.1.1.1

              If their members supported such an endeavour I don’t see a problem. Perhaps a past members retirement village.

  8. Venezia 8

    I highly recommend Max Rashbrooke’s latest book Wealth and New Zealand to all. It is well researched, evidence based and well written. He joins the dots between poverty, the incomes of struggling working people, and the rich and wealthy. And how the political system works to keep it that way. It is plain to see why the wealthy do not want some of this stuff aired in the public domain. Some parts really surprised me – like how the average working person’s income has fallen so far behind since the early 1990s. And the significant wealth holdings of many (mainly National Party) MPs, which explains a lot about how much out of touch they are with the experience of low income and working people trying to bring up kids.

    • Atiawa 8.1

      Where have you been Venezia? This issue has being discussed and debated exhaustively over a number of years. In fact Max will confirm that the rot really set in pretty soon after the introduction of the Employment Contracts Act 1991, which done away with the Award bargaining system and compulsory unionism.
      Further more there is no appetite from the workers of the country to reintroduce either of those previous industrial requirements.So we are all wasting our time demanding their return and the NZ Labour Party and other like thinking political parties should concentrate their energies on other more important band-aid areas.

  9. savenz 9

    I think to look at inequality you have to look at globalism a lot more and the rise of the mega wealthy individual and the mega wealthy organisation which has never existed in such a way before globalism in terms of reach and ability to change society.

    The irony of our taxes in NZ instead of going to schools and social welfare that they were previously used for, instead being used for corporate welfare like science grants for oil exploration, a NIWA vessel which should be used for helping Kiwis protect themselves from climate change and weather science, instead at tax payers cost now converted to help mega oil corporations look for oil.

    Under TPPA that same oil company being able to sue NZ government in separate courts for ‘lost potential profit’ or tobacco companies now suing Australia for plain packaging or in South American for not being allowed to pollute lakes.

    Inequality is about power imbalance.

    At present corporations are controlling government policy, democracy as we know it is now being eroded into something completely different.

    If you look at an individual like John Key, using his wealth collected by currency speculation to actually take over government in NZ, be a chairman of The IDU (forum in which political parties holding similar beliefs can come together in a unified voice toward the promotion of centre-right policies around the globe) and using spin doctors like Crosby Textor, contacts in media to control the news and so forth it is not a fair fight, dirty politics to control the opposition and defence and police forces now involved in completely political prosecutions (Hager, Dotcom) which benefit friends of John Key. John Key is quite happy to change employment laws for Hollywood and is actually treating his role as a way to further his own wealth and connections and his own right wing agenda.

  10. savenz 10

    If you want a fundamental challenge to inequality and capitalism here is a video from conceptual artist Teo Wells. Note this might be a challenging watch to those who do not have much experience with conceptual art.

    It’s nearly an hour but worth watching to the end to see how somebody with nothing can successfully challenge power structures and distribute ideas and how his ‘outrageous idea’ of being happy being unemployed was so undermining and outraged ministers and the public.

    Wells says; “Both myself and my collaborator Laura Shepard were persecuted by the Ministry of Welfare, slandered on national television by the acting Minister and we were subject to three court trials, lasting a year.”

    http://www.circuit.org.nz/film/the-happy-bene

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    Rob MacCulloch writes –  In their rush to discredit the new government (which our MainStream Media regard as illegitimate and having no right to enact the democratic will of voters) the NZ Herald and Newshub are arguing ACT’s Deputy Leader Brooke van Veldon is not following Treasury advice ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Top 10 for Wednesday, December 6
    Even many young people who smoke support smokefree policies, fitting in with previous research showing the large majority of people who smoke regret starting and most want to quit. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s my pick of the top 10 news and analysis links elsewhere on the morning of Wednesday, December ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Eleven years of work.
    Well it didn’t take six months, but the leaks have begun. Yes the good ship Coalition has inadvertently released a confidential cabinet paper into the public domain, discussing their axing of Fair Pay Agreements (FPAs).Oops.Just when you were admiring how smoothly things were going for the new government, they’ve had ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Why we're missing out on sharply lower inflation
    A wave of new and higher fees, rates and charges will ripple out over the economy in the next 18 months as mayors, councillors, heads of department and price-setters for utilities such as gas, electricity, water and parking ramp up charges. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Just when most ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • How Did We Get Here?
    Hi,Kiwis — keep the evening of December 22nd free. I have a meetup planned, and will send out an invite over the next day or so. This sounds sort of crazy to write, but today will be Tony Stamp’s final Totally Normal column of 2023. Somehow we’ve made it to ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • At a glance – Has the greenhouse effect been falsified?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealaders  have  high expectations of  new  government:  now let’s see if it can deliver?
    The electorate has high expectations of the  new  government.  The question is: can  it  deliver?    Some  might  say  the  signs are not  promising. Protestors   are  already marching in the streets. The  new  Prime Minister has had  little experience of managing  very diverse politicians  in coalition. The economy he  ...
    Point of OrderBy tutere44
    6 days ago
  • You won't believe some of the numbers you have to pull when you're a Finance Minister
    Nicola of Marsden:Yo, normies! We will fix your cost of living worries by giving you a tax cut of 150 dollars. 150! Cash money! Vote National.Various people who can read and count:Actually that's 150 over a fortnight. Not a week, which is how you usually express these things.And actually, it looks ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Pushback
    When this government came to power, it did so on an explicitly white supremacist platform. Undermining the Waitangi Tribunal, removing Māori representation in local government, over-riding the courts which had tried to make their foreshore and seabed legislation work, eradicating te reo from public life, and ultimately trying to repudiate ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Defence ministerial meeting meant Collins missed the Maori Party’s mischief-making capers in Parli...
    Buzz from the Beehive Maybe this is not the best time for our Minister of Defence to have gone overseas. Not when the Maori Party is inviting (or should that be inciting?) its followers to join a revolution in a post which promoted its protest plans with a picture of ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    6 days ago
  • Threats of war have been followed by an invitation to join the revolution – now let’s see how th...
     A Maori Party post on Instagram invited party followers to ….  Tangata Whenua, Tangata Tiriti, Join the REVOLUTION! & make a stand!  Nationwide Action Day, All details in tiles swipe to see locations.  • This is our 1st hit out and tomorrow Tuesday the 5th is the opening ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Top 10 for Tuesday, December 4
    The RBNZ governor is citing high net migration and profit-led inflation as factors in the bank’s hawkish stance. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s my pick of the top 10 news and analysis links elsewhere on the morning of Tuesday, December 5, including:Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr says high net migration and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Nicola Willis' 'show me the money' moment
    Willis has accused labour of “economic vandalism’, while Robertson described her comments as a “desperate diversion from somebody who can't make their tax package add up”. There will now be an intense focus on December 20 to see whether her hyperbole is backed up by true surprises. Photo montage: Lynn ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • CRL costs money but also provides huge benefits
    The City Rail Link has been in the headlines a bit recently so I thought I’d look at some of them. First up, yesterday the NZ Herald ran this piece about the ongoing costs of the CRL. Auckland ratepayers will be saddled with an estimated bill of $220 million each ...
    6 days ago
  • And I don't want the world to see us.
    Is this the most shambolic government in the history of New Zealand? Given that parliament hasn’t even opened they’ve managed quite a list of achievements to date.The Smokefree debacle trading lives for tax cuts, the Trumpian claims of bribery in the Media, an International award for indifference, and today the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Cooking the books
    Finance Minister Nicola Willis late yesterday stopped only slightly short of accusing her predecessor Grant Robertson of cooking the books. She complained that the Half Yearly Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU), due to be made public on December 20, would show “fiscal cliffs” that would amount to “billions of ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • Most people don’t realize how much progress we’ve made on climate change
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections The year was 2015. ‘Uptown Funk’ with Bruno Mars was at the top of the music charts. Jurassic World was the most popular new movie in theaters. And decades of futility in international climate negotiations was about to come to an end in ...
    7 days ago
  • Of Parliamentary Oaths and Clive Boonham
    As a heads-up, I am not one of those people who stay awake at night thinking about weird Culture War nonsense. At least so far as the current Maori/Constitutional arrangements go. In fact, I actually consider it the least important issue facing the day to day lives of New ...
    7 days ago
  • Bearing True Allegiance?
    Strong Words: “We do not consent, we do not surrender, we do not cede, we do not submit; we, the indigenous, are rising. We do not buy into the colonial fictions this House is built upon. Te Pāti Māori pledges allegiance to our mokopuna, our whenua, and Te Tiriti o ...
    7 days ago
  • You cannot be serious
    Some days it feels like the only thing to say is: Seriously? No, really. Seriously?OneSomeone has used their health department access to share data about vaccinations and patients, and inform the world that New Zealanders have been dying in their hundreds of thousands from the evil vaccine. This of course is pure ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • A promise kept: govt pulls the plug on Lake Onslow scheme – but this saving of $16bn is denounced...
    Buzz from the Beehive After $21.8 million was spent on investigations, the plug has been pulled on the Lake Onslow pumped-hydro electricity scheme, The scheme –  that technically could have solved New Zealand’s looming energy shortage, according to its champions – was a key part of the defeated Labour government’s ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    7 days ago
  • CHRIS TROTTER: The Maori Party and Oath of Allegiance
    If those elected to the Māori Seats refuse to take them, then what possible reason could the country have for retaining them?   Chris Trotter writes – Christmas is fast approaching, which, as it does every year, means gearing up for an abstruse general knowledge question. “Who was ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    7 days ago
  • BRIAN EASTON:  Forward to 2017
    The coalition party agreements are mainly about returning to 2017 when National lost power. They show commonalities but also some serious divergencies. Brian Easton writes The two coalition agreements – one National and ACT, the other National and New Zealand First – are more than policy documents. ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Fossils
    When the new government promised to allow new offshore oil and gas exploration, they were warned that there would be international criticism and reputational damage. Naturally, they arrogantly denied any possibility that that would happen. And then they finally turned up at COP, to criticism from Palau, and a "fossil ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • GEOFFREY MILLER:  NZ’s foreign policy resets on AUKUS, Gaza and Ukraine
    Geoffrey Miller writes – New Zealand’s international relations are under new management. And Winston Peters, the new foreign minister, is already setting a change agenda. As expected, this includes a more pro-US positioning when it comes to the Pacific – where Peters will be picking up where he ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the government’s smokefree laws debacle
    The most charitable explanation for National’s behaviour over the smokefree legislation is that they have dutifully fulfilled the wishes of the Big Tobacco lobby and then cast around – incompetently, as it turns out – for excuses that might sell this health policy U-turn to the public. The less charitable ...
    1 week ago
  • Top 10 links at 10 am for Monday, December 4
    As Deb Te Kawa writes in an op-ed, the new Government seems to have immediately bought itself fights with just about everyone. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Here’s my pick of the top 10 news and analysis links elsewhere as of 10 am on Monday December 4, including:Palau’s President ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Be Honest.
    Let’s begin today by thinking about job interviews.During my career in Software Development I must have interviewed hundreds of people, hired at least a hundred, but few stick in the memory.I remember one guy who was so laid back he was practically horizontal, leaning back in his chair until his ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: New Zealand’s foreign policy resets on AUKUS, Gaza and Ukraine
    New Zealand’s international relations are under new management. And Winston Peters, the new foreign minister, is already setting a change agenda. As expected, this includes a more pro-US positioning when it comes to the Pacific – where Peters will be picking up where he left off. Peters sought to align ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    1 week ago
  • Auckland rail tunnel the world’s most expensive
    Auckland’s city rail link is the most expensive rail project in the world per km, and the CRL boss has described the cost of infrastructure construction in Aotearoa as a crisis. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The 3.5 km City Rail Link (CRL) tunnel under Auckland’s CBD has cost ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • First big test coming
    The first big test of the new Government’s approach to Treaty matters is likely to be seen in the return of the Resource Management Act. RMA Minister Chris Bishop has confirmed that he intends to introduce legislation to repeal Labour’s recently passed Natural and Built Environments Act and its ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago

  • Ministers visit Hawke’s Bay to grasp recovery needs
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon joined Cyclone Recovery Minister Mark Mitchell and Transport and Local Government Minister Simeon Brown, to meet leaders of cyclone and flood-affected regions in the Hawke’s Bay. The visit reinforced the coalition Government’s commitment to support the region and better understand its ongoing requirements, Mr Mitchell says.  ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand condemns malicious cyber activity
    New Zealand has joined the UK and other partners in condemning malicious cyber activity conducted by the Russian Government, Minister Responsible for the Government Communications Security Bureau Judith Collins says. The statement follows the UK’s attribution today of malicious cyber activity impacting its domestic democratic institutions and processes, as well ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Disestablishment of Te Pūkenga begins
    The Government has begun the process of disestablishing Te Pūkenga as part of its 100-day plan, Minister for Tertiary Education and Skills Penny Simmonds says.  “I have started putting that plan into action and have met with the chair and chief Executive of Te Pūkenga to advise them of my ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change Minister to attend COP28 in Dubai
    Climate Change Minister Simon Watts will be leaving for Dubai today to attend COP28, the 28th annual UN climate summit, this week. Simon Watts says he will push for accelerated action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement, deliver New Zealand’s national statement and connect with partner countries, private sector leaders ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand to host 2024 Pacific defence meeting
    Defence Minister Judith Collins yesterday announced New Zealand will host next year’s South Pacific Defence Ministers’ Meeting (SPDMM). “Having just returned from this year’s meeting in Nouméa, I witnessed first-hand the value of meeting with my Pacific counterparts to discuss regional security and defence matters. I welcome the opportunity to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Study shows need to remove distractions in class
    The Government is committed to lifting school achievement in the basics and that starts with removing distractions so young people can focus on their learning, Education Minister Erica Stanford says.   The 2022 PISA results released this week found that Kiwi kids ranked 5th in the world for being distracted ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Minister sets expectations of Commissioner
    Today I met with Police Commissioner Andrew Coster to set out my expectations, which he has agreed to, says Police Minister Mark Mitchell. Under section 16(1) of the Policing Act 2008, the Minister can expect the Police Commissioner to deliver on the Government’s direction and priorities, as now outlined in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand needs a strong and stable ETS
    New Zealand needs a strong and stable Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) that is well placed for the future, after emission units failed to sell for the fourth and final auction of the year, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says.  At today’s auction, 15 million New Zealand units (NZUs) – each ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • PISA results show urgent need to teach the basics
    With 2022 PISA results showing a decline in achievement, Education Minister Erica Stanford is confident that the Coalition Government’s 100-day plan for education will improve outcomes for Kiwi kids.  The 2022 PISA results show a significant decline in the performance of 15-year-old students in maths compared to 2018 and confirms ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Collins leaves for Pacific defence meeting
    Defence Minister Judith Collins today departed for New Caledonia to attend the 8th annual South Pacific Defence Ministers’ meeting (SPDMM). “This meeting is an excellent opportunity to meet face-to-face with my Pacific counterparts to discuss regional security matters and to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to the Pacific,” Judith Collins says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Working for Families gets cost of living boost
    Putting more money in the pockets of hard-working families is a priority of this Coalition Government, starting with an increase to Working for Families, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon says. “We are starting our 100-day plan with a laser focus on bringing down the cost of living, because that is what ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Post-Cabinet press conference
    Most weeks, following Cabinet, the Prime Minister holds a press conference for members of the Parliamentary Press Gallery. This page contains the transcripts from those press conferences, which are supplied by Hansard to the Office of the Prime Minister. It is important to note that the transcripts have not been edited ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Lake Onslow pumped hydro scheme scrapped
    The Government has axed the $16 billion Lake Onslow pumped hydro scheme championed by the previous government, Energy Minister Simeon Brown says. “This hugely wasteful project was pouring money down the drain at a time when we need to be reining in spending and focussing on rebuilding the economy and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ welcomes further pause in fighting in Gaza
    New Zealand welcomes the further one-day extension of the pause in fighting, which will allow the delivery of more urgently-needed humanitarian aid into Gaza and the release of more hostages, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said. “The human cost of the conflict is horrific, and New Zealand wants to see the violence ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Condolences on passing of Henry Kissinger
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today expressed on behalf of the New Zealand Government his condolences to the family of former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who has passed away at the age of 100 at his home in Connecticut. “While opinions on his legacy are varied, Secretary Kissinger was ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Backing our kids to learn the basics
    Every child deserves a world-leading education, and the Coalition Government is making that a priority as part of its 100-day plan. Education Minister Erica Stanford says that will start with banning cellphone use at school and ensuring all primary students spend one hour on reading, writing, and maths each day. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • US Business Summit Speech – Regional stability through trade
    I would like to begin by echoing the Prime Minister’s thanks to the organisers of this Summit, Fran O’Sullivan and the Auckland Business Chamber.  I want to also acknowledge the many leading exporters, sector representatives, diplomats, and other leaders we have joining us in the room. In particular, I would like ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Keynote Address to the United States Business Summit, Auckland
    Good morning. Thank you, Rosemary, for your warm introduction, and to Fran and Simon for this opportunity to make some brief comments about New Zealand’s relationship with the United States.  This is also a chance to acknowledge my colleague, Minister for Trade Todd McClay, Ambassador Tom Udall, Secretary of Foreign ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • India New Zealand Business Council Speech, India as a Strategic Priority
    Good morning, tēnā koutou and namaskar. Many thanks, Michael, for your warm welcome. I would like to acknowledge the work of the India New Zealand Business Council in facilitating today’s event and for the Council’s broader work in supporting a coordinated approach for lifting New Zealand-India relations. I want to also ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Coalition Government unveils 100-day plan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has laid out the Coalition Government’s plan for its first 100 days from today. “The last few years have been incredibly tough for so many New Zealanders. People have put their trust in National, ACT and NZ First to steer them towards a better, more prosperous ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand welcomes European Parliament vote on the NZ-EU Free Trade Agreement
    A significant milestone in ratifying the NZ-EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was reached last night, with 524 of the 705 member European Parliament voting in favour to approve the agreement. “I’m delighted to hear of the successful vote to approve the NZ-EU FTA in the European Parliament overnight. This is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago

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