Recession’s ‘rough edges’ hit families – no help from govt

Written By: - Date published: 4:20 pm, July 20th, 2009 - 48 comments
Categories: benefits, families, labour, national/act government, unemployment - Tags: ,

Labour leader Phil Goff has called for a temporary relaxation of the rules for getting the dole. Too many Kiwis on low and middle incomes are losing their jobs but are not able to get any assistance from the Government (despite having paid taxes for years) because their partner has a modest income.

John Key ruled out any help out of hand. In his mind, you losing your job is just a “lagging indicator”.

His Social Development Minister, Paula Bennett, rather than addressing the issue, lustily attacked a strawman saying she didn’t think a person whose partner is on $200,000 (less than 1.5% of people are on more than $150,000) needs the dole. Farrar tries the same distraction – waffling on about a theoretical family where both adults were on $100,000 before one lost their job (less than 10% of households have a total income over $143,000).

As they did with Working for Families, the Right indulges in meaningless rants about a few well-off families getting assistance. This overspill into higher income is meant to be justification for not giving much needed assistance to low and middle income families at all. It’s throwing the baby out with the bathwater stuff.

The stupid thing is that these objections, marginal as they are, could easily be addressed by imposing a household income cap or a sliding scale on any relaxation of dole rules. It says a lot that the Nats would rather dismiss the policy out of hand than find a way to help these families.

Because the fact is tens of thousands ordinary Kiwi families on low and middle incomes are losing their livelihoods and being denied any government assistance.

If your partner has any income, it decreases your dole. If your partner is on $534 a week you can’t get the dole at all. That means if your partner is on just over the minimum wage and you lose your job, you can’t get any dole. You and your family have to make do on a total income as low as $534 a week. That’s a major drop in your income and financially devastating for a family trying to service a mortgage.

It’s good to see Goff coming forward with these constructive ideas. It shows the distinction between Labour, which is looking for ways to help ordinary Kiwis hit by the recession, and do-nothing National, which can only think of the rich.

48 comments on “Recession’s ‘rough edges’ hit families – no help from govt ”

  1. Easy way to get around the strawman arguments: make the policy only applicable to those earning under a certain amount.

    There. Done.

    • jcuknz 1.1

      Since the Government is willing to help firms stay in business why don’t they consider the effect, disasterous for more than the family concerned, of a two income family mortgaged to the hilt [ I know that is stupid, but it is hard to forecast the future] when one of them looses their job.

      Rather than Jarbury’s suggestion of a ‘cut-off’ it should be a gradual reduction depending income. Otherwise one dollar under is AOK and one dollar over is nothing … that is also silly..

      John Key is obviously talking to the selfish folk who object to anybody getting more than they have, such as the folk who are always gunning for DPBites.

  2. Lanthanide 2

    I don’t understand why Goff didn’t just propose a sliding scale on total household income to ward off any of National’s predictable attacking and deflecting responses.

    I think a good total household income level would be about $70k, or the same threshold for the top tax rate. Over 70k, you aren’t eligible for the dole, and then say from 35k to 70k there’s a linear sliding scale of how much of it you are eligible for.

    Pretty simple to think about, and pretty simple to communicate – why didn’t Goff say this himself?

    • Bright Red 2.1

      because it’s a marginal side issue?

      The bigger issue is getting families the help they need.

      • Lanthanide 2.1.1

        That’s exactly my point, it’s a marginal side issue, so take the small amount of time and effort to fix it up to begin with, to prevent National from having an easy target they can make a big deal over and therefore avoid having to discuss the idea on its merits altogether.

  3. Anita 3

    Labour would never have given income support to the very wealthiest – but they’ve used this issue to their political advantage. Not only has it pointed out to National’s core constituency that National won’t act to help them, but it’s also set up any number of media stories of articulate presentable people hit by the recession and abandoned by National.

    Cynical and disingenuous, sure – but smart politics.

  4. Mike 4

    Interesting graph in this Matthew Yglesias post about how small unemployment benefits are in the US for people losing their jobs.

    It seems laid-off NZ workers are markedly worse off than American, dead last amongst the OECD countries listed.
    I guess that’s one OECD ranking Key doesn’t care about.

    • Tim Ellis 5.1

      Interesting graph, Mike.

      Labour had nine years to increase unemployment benefits, but didn’t.

      • aj 5.1.1

        In that 9yrs the focus was reducing unemployement and they were hugely successful

        • Chess Player 5.1.1.1

          Ah, well, yes, I guess it’s true they employed 44% more public servants….

  5. graham 6

    where does the money come from?

    • poptart 6.1

      you could start with putting the top tax rate back up to 39 cents. and cutting the $35 million subsidy to private schools.

      • BLiP 6.1.1

        Lets get the $1 billion the foreign owned banks owe us – oh, that’s right , the banks are running the show now. I mean, they did pay to get their man John Key in place. So, while New Zealanders go hungry and shiver in the cold of winter, BNZ, WestPac, ANZ, and National are creaming it.

        Thanks National Inc.

        • Tim Ellis 6.1.1.1

          So nothing constructive from you then Blip.

          • BLiP 6.1.1.1.1

            What – suggesting we take back the billion dollars John Key’s mates have stolen is not constructive? Well, fuck you and everyone that looks you.

            • Tim Ellis 6.1.1.1.1.1

              I suspect the moderator’s on holiday.

              BLiP, what billion dollars are you talking about?

            • BLiP 6.1.1.1.1.2

              Wake up, dickhead. The John Key National Government Inc rort of Aotearoa is underway – they know, I know, and now you know. But what’s being done about? Sweet fuck all .

            • Tim Ellis 6.1.1.1.1.3

              BLiP, calm down. There is no excuse for that kind of language and abuse.

              The transactions you are referring to took place between 1998 and 2005. That is, almost entirely during the last Labour Government. The IRD assessed tax; the banks disputed the tax, and the dispute is following the normal judicial process.

              If the banks lose their appeal, they will have to pay the entire tax owing, plus interest and penalties.

              It has nothing to do with John Key, or who his friends are. He has no power to intervene to stop banks from paying the tax they owe.

              The select committee inquiry you are referring to would have no power to intervene in a tax case currently before the court.

            • BLiP 6.1.1.1.1.4

              Fuck off – shit for brains!

              Your mutual masturbation buddy Bill English had a chance to stop the rorting of the economy dead in its tracks but wimped out.

              Nine months in and you’re still blaming Labour – you’re an old 33 RPM stuck in a filthy groove.

              [Dude, settle down. Seeing as you’re a regular I’ll leave it at a warning, but please be aware that abuse like yours above is not tolerated on this blog.]

    • poptart 6.2

      i mean, that is if you are really interested in helping working families with the rough edges off the recession and not just in governing for your rich mates.

    • Bright Red 6.3

      putting the 38 cent tax rate back to 39 cents would pay for it.

      Hands up who got anything from that tax cut?

      9% of taxpayers, according to Treasury. And over half of those (the ones on 70K to 90K) got less than $4 a week.

      • stormspiral 6.3.1

        $4 a week would pay for a couple of loaves of cheap bread for a poor family. It wouldn’t be very nutritious, with the folate stripped away along with most other nutrients, but it would fill a few stomachs.

        Now wouldn’t that cause a scream!

      • jarbury 6.3.2

        I got the independent earner credit. That was about it.

  6. toad 7

    As I suggested here this morning, I really think think Goff’s suggestion should be introduced permanently, not just for the duration of the recession.

  7. Sting 8

    Oh great stuff toad the spouse of the Air NZ Chief can claim the dole while the parasite sucks $3 million a fucking year. Get a grip you stupid greeny retard dickhead!

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 8.1

      Or she could have a legal separation and get it anyway. Then they can have a second marriage when she gets a job.

      • Sting 8.1.1

        Hey why worry as 250, 000 government parasites got their snouts in the public piggy bank. Fucking appalling in a country of only four million. Mental as anything! Just watch the waste on TVNZ idiot box or fly on no food Air NZ.What a jackass country.

        • Zaphod Beeblebrox 8.1.1.1

          Bit like the parasites with their rental properties claiming the interest payments or the ones with family trusts not paying their proper amount of tax or those with overseas tax havens or those driving around in company vehicles for private use- if you really wanted to get angry you could target them.

  8. TightyRighty 9

    wail wail gnash gnash go the left as the evil genius DPF points out a flaw in their knight in shining armour goffs plan. what about the social effect of welfare? the endless cycle of poverty, squalor and violence that has steadfastly refused to die amongst the poorer sectors of society, and can seemingly be traced to one common denominator, the recurrent lack of a job. how about spending money, which is in short supply, on efforts to get people back into work, and not paying them to do nothing. how about work for the dole? there we go, nice simple answer, everyone wins. we’ll even save money on a productivity commission, as all those previously unproductive, will now be productive. some millions we can save right there, and we can have some nice new motorways, railways or cycleways.

    anti-spam: reliable, only when the right is in

    • stormspiral 9.1

      You’re talking about the social effects of joblessness and poverty. They are the triggers.

      Welfare causes nothing, other than poverty itself. The societal disconnection is the poison in the mix. That’s the starting point.

      …and working for the dole has been tried. Who do you think planted all the trees in the Kaingaroa forest during the Depression for 7/6 (about 75c) a week?

      Aside from anything else, it’s too darned expensive in monetary terms.

      Better to put the money at the top of the cliff, rather than running over the injured with the ambulance, and the longer the hammering continues, the more costly it will get.

  9. infused 10

    I’ve always thought you should work for the dole… I was on it for 2 years and sat on my ass.

  10. Doug 11

    TV3 called poor Phil Santa Clause at least he was dressed in red.

  11. RedLogix 12

    All these suggestions are half-way measures. The simplest, most powerful reform of the tax system is called Universal Income.

    In the NZ context it would work like this. Everyone over the age of 18 has one unique tax associated bank account. IRD puts say $160 pw into it (~$8,500 pa). All PAYE income is taxed at a flat rate of about 33%… first dollar to the last. All company tax is assessed at the same rate.

    All individualised benefits, unemployment, DPB, student allowances, etc, are then abolished. (Saving something in the order of $500m pa administration costs annuallly.) Any remaining benefits, like superannuation, accomodation allowances and WFF are assessed on a household/family basis, and consolidated within a smaller more focussed WINZ.

    The critical advantages of this system are:

    1. Eliminates all marginal tax rate poverty traps. Every dollar earned is tax at exactly the same rate; makes right wingers happy.

    2. Treats all tax payers exactly the same, regardless of age, family status or income. Overall tax rates are inherently progressive; makes left wingers happy.

    3. Eliminates almost all loopholes and distortions. Eliminates the ‘fiscal drag’ effect of inflation. Eliminates the unfair treatment of couples who are taxed as individuals, but can only access a benefit as a couple.

    When taxation was first introduced it was done on an annual basis because the amount of cumbersome hand driven paper work made it impractical to assess tax any more frequently. My father recalls what a great step forward PAYE was for the average worker, no more whacking great tax bill at the end of the year.

    Worse still the process of collecting tax and redistributing was always divorced from each other, one function into what we call IRD, the other into WINZ. Logic would strongly suggest that this is a deeply inefficient arrangement. The IT age has changed all this. With computers shifting money in and out of tax accounts on a weekly or even daily basis, implementing a simple, robust Universal Income is trivial. It is an enormous opportunity whose time has come.

    Goff is almost onto it.

    • Daveski 12.1

      Surprised you haven’t got my comments on this. I agree that it does actually achieve many of the goals of the right yet achieves many of the goals of the left. Really really interesting.

    • jarbury 12.2

      Bloody interesting idea there Red……

    • TightyRighty 12.3

      best answer i’ve seen so far. apart from the flat rate at 33%, the idea is sound.

  12. mike 13

    Good ole ‘Wack it on the bill’ phil – did he say where he was taking the money from to do this or does it just go on the Govts credit card??

    • RedLogix 13.1

      Do the sums mike. The unemployment benefit at about $10k pa directly costs the govt about $100m pa for every 10,000 unemployed. It’s not actually a huge sum, not compared to the $1.5b tax cut Key gave the wealthy in April.

    • BLiP 13.2

      Here’s a coupla billion to start with – so long as you don’t mind pissing off John Key’s puppet masters.

  13. Hearing Goff’s comments and Key’s reaction made me glad that I voted for National for the first time.

    Keep talking Mr Goff your words are handing National a second term.

    • ghostwhowalks 14.1

      So you like Keys reaction – ( negative).

      Funny he had the same reaction to labours Working for Families which he opposed before he was for it.
      The same reaction he had to interest free student loans, he was against before he was for it.
      The same reaction he had to 40 hours free early childhood , he was opposed it before he was for it
      the same reaction he had to home insulation, could he be such a hypocrite to oppose and then adopt it.

      Could it be you like hearing bullshit, because Key could very well allow some couples to receive the dole while one is working leaving you high and dry

      You may be full of principles but Key has none.

  14. It was just a soundbite by Goff meant to get a reaction from his base, Key treated it as such.

    • Draco T Bastard 15.1

      Actually, the soundbite was from JK and you and the rest of RWNJs bought without a thought.

  15. Galeandra 16

    BD said It was just a soundbite by Goff meant to get a reaction from his base, Key treated it as such.

    You wish.
    Key looked quite small- minded with his contemptuous fairies at the bottom of the garden reference on 1 tonight, especially when it was pointed out after that clip that it’s a tiny 1.5 % of earners who’d be able to cream it from Goff”s idea.

    Key’s getting near the end of his chain with a lot of the average income & very worried punters

  16. George.com 17

    The policy Labour took in to the election was (roughly) 15 weeks dole when losing your job, irrespective of your parteners income. Time to look for other work, or do some retraining, and an adjustment period as the realties of living on sfa compared to a wage start to hit. It was actually a reasonable policy. “John Key or Phil Goff wife would get it” is sort of a dumb argument. Certainly benefits the low and middle income earners. And importantly, Labour also had a commit to ongoing training. Sure, National can point to the cost whilst simultaneously doing little about unemployment. Labours policy was about some financial cushion from unemployment and ramping up training. Not just a hand out but the opportunity to upskill and improve your value. Fleshing out the full Labour plan will highlight the compariitive ‘do nothing’ approach from National.

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    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    6 days ago
  • Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
    Photo by Mathias Elle on UnsplashIt’s that new day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for our chat about the week’s news with special guests:5.00 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    6 days ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on how moderates empower the political right
    Struth, what a week. Having made sure the rural sector won’t have to pay any time soon for its pollution, PM Christopher Luxon yesterday chose Fieldays 2024 to launch a parliamentary inquiry into rural banking services, to see how the banks have been treating farmers faced with high interest rates. ...
    7 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Thursday, June 13
    In April, 17,656 people left Aotearoa-NZ to live overseas, averaging 588 a day, with just over half of those likely to have gone to Australia. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Thursday, June 13 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Our guide to having your say on the draft RLTP 2024
    Auckland’s draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) 2024 is open for feedback – and you only have until Monday 17 June to submit. Do it! Join the thousands of Aucklanders who are speaking up for wise strategic investment that will dig us out of traffic and give us easy and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    7 days ago
  • The China puzzle
    Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrives in Wellington today for a three-day visit to the country. The visit will take place amid uncertainty about the future of the New Zealand-China relationship. Li hosted a formal welcome and then lunch for then-Prime Minister Chris Hipkins in Beijing a year ago. The pair ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    7 days ago
  • Fossil fuels are shredding our democracy
    This is a re-post of an article from the Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler published on June 3, 2024. I have an oped in the New York Times (gift link) about this. For a long time, a common refrain about the energy transition was that renewable energy needed to become ...
    1 week ago
  • Life at 20 kilometres an hour
    We are still in France, getting from A to B.Possibly for only another week, though; Switzerland and Germany are looming now. On we pedal, towards Budapest, at about 20 km per hour.What are are mostly doing is inhaling a country, loving its ways and its food. Rolling, talking, quietly thinking. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Hipkins is still useless
    The big problem with the last Labour government was that they were chickenshits who did nothing with the absolute majority we had given them. They governed as if they were scared of their own shadows, afraid of making decisions lest it upset someone - usually someone who would never have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Exercising with the IDF.
    This morning I did something I seldom do, I looked at the Twitter newsfeed. Normally I take the approach of something that I’m not sure is an American urban legend, or genuinely something kids do over there. The infamous bag of dog poo on the front porch, set it on ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Helm Hammerhand Anime: First Pictures and an Old English ‘Hera’
    We have some news on the upcoming War of the Rohirrim anime. It will apparently be two and a half hours in length, with Peter Jackson as Executive Producer, and Helm’s daughter Hera will be the main character. Also, pictures: The bloke in the middle picture is Freca’s ...
    1 week ago
  • Farmers get free pass on climate AND get subsidies
    The cows will keep burping and farting and climate change will keep accelerating - but farmers can stop worrying about being included in the ETS. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Wednesday, June 12 were:The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Six ideas to secure Te Huia’s Future
    This is a guest post by our friend Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which features “musings about public transport and other cool stuff in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and around the globe.” With Te Huia now having funding secure through to 2026, now is ...
    Greater AucklandBy Darren Davis
    1 week ago
  • The methane waka sinks
    In some ways, there may be less than meets the eye to the Government announcement yesterday that the He Waka Eke Noa proposal for farmers to pay for greenhouse gas emissions has been scrapped. The spectre of farmers still having to pay at some point in the future remains. That, ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • At a glance – Does positive feedback necessarily mean runaway warming?
    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 ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Farmers get what they wanted – for now
    Since entering office, National has unravelled practically every climate policy, leaving us with no effective way of reducing emissions or meeting our emissions budgets beyond magical thinking around the ETS. And today they've announced another step: removing agriculture entirely. At present, following the complete failure of he waka eka noa, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Presumed Innocent?
    The blue billionaireDistraction no interactionOr movement outside these glazed over eyesThe new great divideFew fight the tide to be glorifiedBut will he be satisfied?Can we accept this without zoom?The elephant in the roomNot much happens in politics on a Monday. Bugger all in fact. Although yesterday Christopher Luxon found he ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on our doomed love affair with oil and gas
    What if New Zealand threw a fossil fuel party, and nobody came? On the weekend, Resources Minister Shane Jones sent out the invitations and strung up the balloons, but will anyone really want to invest big time in resuming oil and gas exploration in our corner of the planet? Yes, ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Building better housing insights
    This is a guest post by Meredith Dale, senior urban designer and strategist at The Urban Advisory. There’s a saying that goes something like: ‘what you measure is what you value’. An RNZ article last week claimed that Auckland was ‘hurting’ because of a more affordable supply of homes, particularly townhouses ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • Putin would be proud of them
    A Prime Minister directs his public service to inquire into the actions of the opposition political party which is his harshest critic. Something from Orban's Hungary, or Putin's Russia? No, its happening right here in Aotearoa: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Public Service Commission will launch an ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths
    This is a repost from a Yale Climate Connections article by SueEllen Campbell published on June 3, 2024. The articles listed can help you tell fact from fiction when it comes to solar and wind energy. Some statements you hear about solar and wind energy are just plain false. ...
    1 week ago
  • Juggernaut
    Politics were going on all around us yesterday, and we barely noticed, rolling along canal paths, eating baguettes. It wasn’t until my mate got to the headlines last night that we learned there had been a dismayingly strong far right result in the EU elections and Macron had called a ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Numbers Game.
    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, ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    2 weeks ago

  • Prime Minister wraps up visit to Japan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has just finished a successful three-day visit to Japan, where he strengthened political relationships and boosted business links. Mr Luxon’s visit culminated in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio followed by a state dinner. “It was important for me to meet Prime Minister Kishida in person ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Major business deals signed on PM’s Japan trip
    Significant business deals have been closed during the visit of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to Japan this week, including in the areas of space, renewable energy and investment.  “Commercial deals like this demonstrate that we don’t just export high-quality agricultural products to Japan, but also our world-class technology, expertise, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Strategic Security speech, Tokyo
    Minasan, konnichiwa, kia ora and good afternoon everyone. Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today and thank you to our friends at the Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies and NEC for making this event possible today.  It gives me great pleasure to be here today, speaking with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
    The National Infrastructure Pipeline, which provides a national view of current or planned infrastructure projects, from roads, to water infrastructure, to schools, and more, has climbed above $120 billion, Infrastructure Minister Chris Bishop says. “Our Government is investing a record amount in modern infrastructure that Kiwis can rely on as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Making it easier to build infrastructure
    The Government is modernising the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk announced today. An independent panel will undertake an eight-week review of the Act and advise on common sense changes to enable large scale public works to be built faster and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ enhances North Korea sanctions monitoring
    New Zealand will enhance its defence contributions to monitoring violations of sanctions against North Korea, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced today.  The enhancement will see the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) increase its contributions to North Korea sanctions monitoring, operating out of Japan. “This increase reflects the importance New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Speech to Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference
    Good afternoon everyone. It’s great to be with you all today before we wrap up Day One of the annual Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference. Thank you to the organisers and sponsors of this conference, for the chance to talk to you about the upcoming health and safety consultation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Ōtaki to north of Levin alliance agreements signed
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed an important milestone for the Ōtaki to north of Levin Road of National Significance (RoNS), following the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) signing interim alliance agreements with two design and construction teams who will develop and ultimately build the new expressway.“The Government’s priority for transport ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Improvements to stopping Digital Child Exploitation
    The Department of Internal Affairs [Department] is making a significant upgrade to their Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, which blocks access to websites known to host child sexual abuse material, says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “The Department will incorporate the up-to-date lists of websites hosting child sexual ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New vaccine research aims to combat prevalent bovine disease
    A vaccine to prevent an infectious disease that costs New Zealand cattle farmers more than $190 million each year could radically improve the health of our cows and boost on-farm productivity, Associate Agriculture Minister Andrew Hoggard says. The Ministry for Primary Industries is backing a project that aims to develop ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago

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