Restoring ‘one person, one vote’ to local government

Written By: - Date published: 8:53 am, June 9th, 2010 - 107 comments
Categories: community democracy, democratic participation, local government - Tags:

Each person gets the same right to vote, regardless of wealth. We regard that as a fundamental of our democracy. But it’s not true. A hangover from the days when only those with land could vote still exists. It’s called the ratepayer franchise. Most Kiwis only get to vote in the local body elections where they live but a wealthy few get to vote both where they live and where they own other property.

It’s not right, and it means that a number of small communities are losing local control to out of towners whose interests are decidedly different from those of the locals.

I was staying with a mate in a little coastal town last summer and the community was experiencing exactly this problem. The locals have always got by just fine with septic tanks but the holiday home owners find them too much hassle and want a sewer system put in. But everyone will have to carry the cost of a sewer system. At several thousand dollars a year, it’s an expensive and unnecessary luxury for the locals who mostly get by on low incomes. Basically, the out of towners want the community to pay for expensive amenities for their holiday homes, and the ratepayer franchise gives them the voting power to get it.

Similarly, in a lot of coastal towns locals feel the character of the area is being ruined by unsightly development allowed by councils that are beholden to holiday home owners due, in part, to the ratepayer franchise (this excellent piece of journalism, 27 minutes long, on RNZ a few weeks ago about coastal development was what got me thinking about the issue of the ratepayer franchise, not Celia Wade-Brown’s misdirected criticism the other day).

OK. The number of ratepayer voters isn’t huge- 5,500 – but that’s half the point. This is a special vote for those wealthy enough to own land in one constituency and live somewhere else. And in some specific constituencies they have a major impact. As the Local Elections Statistics 2007 report notes:

“Ratepayer electors comprised less than one percent of all electors for all types of elected bodies in 2007. However, in some areas, ratepayer electors comprise more than 10% of electors. For example, almost 18% of electors for the Akaroa-Wairewa Community Board were ratepayer electors. Ratepayer electors can comprise a relatively large amount of all electors in some wards, constituencies or boards, particularly in small district councils with relatively large numbers of holiday homes.”

In the Thames-Coromandel District Council election 11% of votes were cast by people who didn’t live in the district. In specific locales, it’s even higher.

In the Great Barrier Community Board election 11% of voters were out of towners. Kawhia Community Board 12%, Mercury Bay Community Board 16%, Whangamata Community Board 16%, Stewart Island Community Board 16%, Tekapo Community Board 18%. In the Tairua-Pauanui Community Board election a whooping 22% of voters didn’t live locally.

People should be allowed to vote in the local body elections for where they live. They shouldn’t be allowed to double dip just because they’re rich. That’s not fair.

One person, one vote – that’s democracy.

And I assume this thinking way behind the decision to abolish the ratepayer franchise in 1986. Unfortunately, it was restored in 1991.

My challenge is for an MP to stand up for the local communities who are having their local decisions subverted by out of towners who aren’t interested in the year-round community, only the summer amenities.

A private member’s bill could be put forward abolishing the ratepayer’s franchise and restoring the principle of one person, one vote. It would make sense for Coromandel MP Sandra Goudie to take it on because it is communities in her electorate that are most affected. But any MP could take on the job. Any takers?

107 comments on “Restoring ‘one person, one vote’ to local government ”

  1. Rates and ratepayers are a relic of feudalism and should be abolished, replaced with a transfer of a block grant from Central Government consisting of a portion of locally collected income tax and locally collected GST from all residents (and tourist visitors)

  2. Bright Red 2

    I don’t see any justification for this holiday home owner’s vote. If you want to buy a holiday home somewhere, fine, but that doesn’t give you an equal say over that community as a local who lives there year round.

    • Anita 2.1

      Are you going to make the same argument to disenfranchise NZ citizens currently living outside NZ?

      • smokie 2.1.1

        Ummm… NZers living outside the country only have one vote. If you own 10 holiday homes across 10 different areas you have ten votes.

        Time to get rid of this bloody feudalism.

        • Anita 2.1.1.1

          New Zealanders living outside New Zealand may get two votes, one in the NZ general elections and one in the elections of their country of residence.

          How is this different?

          • Ari 2.1.1.1.1

            This is different because they are not citizens of the areas where their holiday homes reside, while they are citizens of New Zealand despite their expatriation.

            Frankly, I’m fine with someone wanting to vote for the local elections where their holiday homes reside, so long as it’s because they’ve transferred their vote to that authority. But this is nothing like analogous with the overseas special vote.

            • Anita 2.1.1.1.1.1

              If we are ok with someone voting about NZ things in the NZ elections and Aussie things in the Aussie elections, then what is wrong with someone voting about Wellington things in the Wellington elections and Nelson things in the Nelson elections?

              • snoozer

                anita. how about sticking to the topic. Do you support a person getting multiple votes because they own properties in multiple councils which they are not resient in (or even necessarily visit)

                • Anita

                  I think there are problems with the ratepayer roll (but I’m not sure how to solve them all).

                  My comment was in response to Bright Red’s comment – which seems like pretty woolly thinking and would, if taken to its logical conclusion, disenfranchise a whole bunch of current NZ voters. It also illustrates the fact that simply abolishing the ratepayer roll actually has some negative consequences. It also illustrates that “one person one vote” is actually complete bollocks as it stands for good reasons 🙂

                  This is not a simple problem, we allow people to vote in more than one country for a reason, the same logic applies to multiple TLAs and RCs.

              • Carol

                Actually, I’m not so OK with that, just as I don’t think people should vote for 2 local councils. I have frequently been able to vote in both the UK & NZ elections. However, I’ve always opted to vote only in the country I have been living in. This seems fairer to me.

      • Bright Red 2.1.2

        that’s a surprisingly silly comment for you, Anita.

        NZ residents not currently living in NZ get to vote as long as they meet the residency requirements (lived in NZ less than three years ago, I think).

        That’s nothing like the situation where someone is allowed to vote not only in the place where they meet the residency rules but anywhere else they own land, whether or not they even visit, let alone live there.

        • Bunji 2.1.2.1

          NZ residents who have visited New Zealand in the last 3 years get a vote. I wouldn’t have got to help Helen back in in 2005 otherwise.

          captcha: subtle

        • Anita 2.1.2.2

          Visited NZ in the last three years, it is very similar.

          A NZ citizen who has been living (and voting) in the UK for the last 50 years may vote in NZ if they pop back every couple of years to visit family.

          • Puddleglum 2.1.2.2.1

            I don’t think the analogy holds, Anita, for a couple of reasons.

            First, nation states are very particular political and institutional forms – they monopolise coercive force, for example. They have obligations to always accept their citizens (even if just to put them in prison immediately). They can withhold entry to non-citizens. Local authorities in New Zealand have no such powers or obligations (they are not like autonomous regions in other countries, for example).

            Second, non-resident citizens can vote in New Zealand even if they don’t own property in New Zealand. It is a citizenship right and is not in any way connected with ownership rights.

            A better analogy would be if people who were neither NZ citizens nor NZ permanent residents but who owned land in New Zealand (or even some other more abstract assets such as shares in NZ companies) could therefore vote in NZ elections. I don’t think that’s the case – and many people would be disturbed if it were.

  3. Brett 3

    So anyone who owns a bach is a rich prick?
    Who ever is in charge of Labours strategy should be taken out the back and shot.

    • smokie 3.1

      I think Brett, that anyone that owns a bach shouldn’t have twice the voting power of someone that doesn’t. Or are you righties thinking of harking back to Pinochet?

      • Brett 3.1.1

        I am neither a “rightie” or a “leftie.”
        Labels are for the sheeple.
        On a side note is the disproportionate amount of English Unionist immigrants within Labour the reason behind this whole rich prick marketing campaign?

        • Bunji 3.1.1.1

          Sheeple. I love that cartoon.

        • Mac1 3.1.1.2

          Brett, I could ask for a citation for that assertion of disproportionality. 🙂

          However, I hugely suspect you are right that more immigrant union members from England are supporters of Labour than are not.

          What is not so evident to me is a “rich prick marketing campaign” that you allege. Rather, I feel there is a campaign from the NACT government to shelter behind accusations of envy to attempt to get some sort of moral superiority.

          What is not so evident to me is that these ‘English Unionist immigrants” could be responsible for this not so evident campaign.

          What is evident to me is that your question is in itself evidence of ‘sheepleness”.

          Your analogy of ‘sheeple” actually triggers with me the thought that the history of sheep is an analogy within itself of the role of apologists for the Right.

          In that history there are sheep, shepherds, owners, land clearance landlords, bailiffs and the dispossessed poor. The role of apologist seems to be analogous to the bailiff working on behalf of the laird and earning the scorn of both laird and the dispossessed.

        • snoozer 3.1.1.3

          Brett. You’re right.

          In fact, pretty much any time someone says they’re neitehr left nor right they are right.

      • comedy 3.1.2

        How do people with a bach have twice the voting power of someone who doesn’t ? ……. assuming the bach isn’t in the same council area.

        • snoozer 3.1.2.1

          not much of a holiday home if it’s in the same community board area. And it’s not refering to people who own property in the same areas.

          • comedy 3.1.2.1.1

            Yes……….. so if that’s the case how do they have twice the voting power ?

            • snoozer 3.1.2.1.1.1

              comedy. You’re making a laughingstock of yourself. here’s an example to help you understand:

              Person 1, let’s call them Sir Richard Prick, owns 10 properties all within the Tawa Community Board in Wellington.

              Person 2, let’s call them Average Joe Good Joker the Third, owns 10 properties of the same size and value as Sir Richard’s but each is in a different regional council, DHB, TA, and community board.

              Average Joe Good Joker III gets 10 votes whereas Sir Richard Prick gets one.

              Sound fair?

              • Sound fair? No. It also cannot happen. There are no ratepayer electors in DHB elections.

                captcha: lying

                • snoozer

                  What about the rest then Edgeler? Is it fair if Average Joe gets 10 times votes fro district councils and community boards?

              • comedy

                Snoozer – the point I was attempting to make is as per youamretarded below.

                http://www.thestandard.org.nz/restoring-one-person-one-vote-to-local-government/#comment-223150

                Seems a fair position to take .. to my way of thinking anyway.

                • snoozer

                  youam doesn’t actually make an argument, they just say ‘it’s fair that Average Joe gets 10 votes and Sir richard gets one’.

                  They don’t say why they think it’s fair. Probably because they don’t have anything to back up their position.

                  • comedy

                    Um they say

                    “I can easily accept that someone has the right to a vote in their usual place of residence as well as where they have a holiday home (a single vote in relation to areas/issues in which they have an interest)

                    However I can see no reason why anyone with multiple properties within a single jursidiction should be given multiple votes.”

                    You may note they specifically say “I can see no reason why anyone with multiple properties within a single jursidiction should be given multiple votes.”

    • snoozer 3.2

      I don’t see anyone calling anyone a rich prick, Brett. Bit over-sensitive I think.

      And I’m not sure what this has to do with Labour. I don’t see them mentioned in the post.

      Now, tell us, do you think it’s fair enough that someone gets mutliple votes jsut because they own land spread among voting areas?

      here’s an example that occurs to me:

      Person 1, let’s call them Sir Richard Prick, owns 10 properties all within the Tawa Community Board in Wellington.

      Person 2, let’s call them Average Joe Good Joker the Third, owns 10 properties of the same size and value as Sir Richard’s but each is in a different regional council, DHB, TA, and community board.

      Average Joe Good Joker III gets 10 votes whereas Sir Richard Prick gets one.

      Sound fair?

      • yousamretarded 3.2.1

        Your example is poor in relation to the post by Eddie but a good point in relation to multiple votes within a single jurisdiction (council area).

        I can easily accept that someone has the right to a vote in their usual place of residence as well as where they have a holiday home (a single vote in relation to areas/issues in which they have an interest)

        However I can see no reason why anyone with multiple properties within a single jursidiction should be given multiple votes.

        [fine comment but your handle is in poor taste – consider a change? — r0b]

  4. Name 4

    This argument is as silly as suggesting that because I have two children in two different schools I should only be able to stand for the BoT, or vote as a Trustee at one of them.

    Or, put another way, what about the old cry of our rebellious American friends, “No taxation without representation”? Local body rates are a tax which is spent largely on councillor’s perks and overpaid, underworked local authority workers, but the little that actually goes back to the community is spent on matters affecting property ownership – roads, rubbish and rats, as it were – so any property owner footing the bill is entitled to a say in where the money goes.

    I quite agree that rates as a concept should be abolished, along with local authorities which are the most inefficient, wasteful and inept organisations with their mouths at the public teat, but while rates are levied everyone who pays them should be entitled to a vote as to their misuse.

    • Bright Red 4.1

      It’s not like that at all. You live in one place, you get to vote in those local elections. You own property in another place that you visit a couple of times a year – or maybe don’t visit at all, it could be a rental property and you get two votes. Not fair. You’re not a local, so why do you get to vote in local elections with exactly the same voting rights as a local?

      • vto 4.1.1

        Bright Red, you clearly have an itch to scratch on this one. But what about if you visit your bach more than twice a year? Say once a month? Or what about if you spend say a third of your year there and become enmeshed in the local community in all the usual fashions? Yet your main abode is elsewhere? This is our situation. I would be most upset if we could not vote in that other region.

        Kind of makes your argument a bit useless.

        • Puddleglum 4.1.1.1

          vto, you’re arguing for a residency criterion not a property owning one and, obviously, that has to be part of it (e.g., even ‘full time’ people in a rating district will occasionally move outside that district for holidays, to visit family, business, health needs, etc. yet I don’t think anyone would argue that they should therefore lose their right to vote where they normally live.).

          But, I also disagree that voting should be decided on periods of residency alone – I think a decision has to be made as to where a single vote is made. Imagine the case of someone who spends an equal one week a year in 52 different voting areas and then expects 52 votes (you could even devise a very influential political activist movement to do that and take full advantage). They could argue that they spend equal amounts of time in each area so they should have a right to a single vote in each. But, it would be just as meaningful to argue that, actually, in each place they should only have 1/52nd of a vote.

          The point isn’t that full time residency is required to vote, it’s that simply owning property in a local council area should not deliver that right – and nor should multiple residency. Instead, people should actually have to think through and choose where they are most committed to and vote there (i.e., where their ‘home’ is – in the same way Bill English needs to specify where his ‘home’ actually is).

          BTW, the rating argument is a red herring (not that you use it). Apart from the fact that the ‘no taxation without representation’ slogan is one of the most insipid revolutionary catch-cries ever, rates could equally be seen as a property value (i.e., asset value) maintenance charge similar to shareholders having to pay for directors (at least indirectly through reduced dividends). Alternatively, it could be seen as a service charge that adds value to a property (via connecting a property to locally funded infrastructure built up over generations).

      • Sideoiler 4.1.2

        You get to vote because you have to pay.
        Maybe rates should be abolished and a poll tax could be levied instead, that way those who rent a property and pay no rates will be paying their fair share for libraries parks public art etc,or if you are not resident in the property then you are rates exempt, and have no vote.

        • Anita 4.1.2.1

          If you rent a property then you pay rent and your landlord pays the rates out of the rent. Thus you do, in effect, pay rates.

  5. burt 5

    As long as the proxy for rates (tax) is the property and not the person then this is what you get. Perhaps you would support a poll tax for collection of rates? You can’t have it all ways you know…

    • snoozer 5.1

      The world didn’t end when the ratepayer vote was abolished in the 80s.

      And are you saying that people who don’t own property shouldn’t be allowed to vote in local elections, like in the bad old days?

      It seems to me that to be logically consistant you need to support a ratepayer only franchise.

      It should either be one person, one vote or only ratepayers vote. I know which one I think is fair.

    • burt 5.2

      What is not fair is basing the rates on the value of the house rather than the number of occupants in it. But I guess Eddie will be consistent and be calling for a poll tax to remove this anomaly as part of restoring “one-person-one-vote”.

      • Ari 5.2.1

        Why is it unfair? We base taxes on income or consumption, rather than levying a flat tax on each person. Same principle, really, and the best objection is that property is the wrong basis for rates.

        • burt 5.2.1.1

          Why is it unfair? We base taxes on income or consumption, rather than levying a flat tax on each person. Same principle, really, and the best objection is that property is the wrong basis for rates.

          Rates are nothing like income or consumption tax, the value of a house has no direct connection to income or consumption. The old guy who had lived in the main street of Queenstown for 50 years while the town exploded around him forcing his rates through the roof and driving him out of town what connection to income or consumption did that have ? Rates are about providing income to local govt to deliver services to residents. Provision of roads, sewerage, water, street lighting, parks and other facilities etc. Everyone shits roughly the same amount but if you live in a $1m house taking a dump costs you a lot more than if you are one of 10 people sharing a $250K house.

          The use of property values as a proxy for who can afford to pay is just a convenient way to administer the tax. It’s a classic case of plucking the goose with the least amount of hissing which may be the method power hungry socialists like because they thrive on bashing the rich (policies of envy) but that isn’t the same thing as being fair.

          The only thing similar about rates and income taxes is that some people pay a hell of a lot more than they will ever consume and others get a free ride on their backs. If you want to say that rates are no more and no less equitable than income tax because of that then I’ll agree that in there are similar principles regarding inequities.

          • Bunji 5.2.1.1.1

            The value of a property does have a direct correlation to wealth, and hence ability to pay however. Income taxes affect those who are earning, whilst those who sit on wealth can avoid paying anything. I personally favour some tax on wealth – it helps balance the huge wealth transfer from the young to the old, that’s happening through increased house prices and the lack of provision for old-age pensions.

            The council services you mention: provision of roads, sewerage, water, street lighting, as well as rubbish collection are all per property, rather than per person, so it makes a lot of sense to charge per property. If it encourages more people to live in one household, well that’d be great as it’s more efficient economically and ecologically.

            You could argue for a flat tax on property in the same way as some argue for a flat tax on income, it depends on your idea of ‘fairness’. Personally I think those who can afford to pay more, should; it’ll be to their benefit as well.

            • burt 5.2.1.1.1.1

              If you think encouraging large numbers of low earners to cram into low value housing is a positive consequence of having rates based on property values then I’ll need to disagree with you.

      • comedy 5.2.2

        nah we base rates on the perceived value of the property which is largely made up of the perceived value of the land.

        It’s a crap system and I’d be interested in hearing of other options that people have experience with locally and overseas.

      • toad 5.2.3

        Thatcher’s Poll Tax went down real well with the British public, didn’t it Burt.

        • burt 5.2.3.1

          I never said it would be popular with people who are paying for less than they consume.

      • felix 5.2.4

        I agree burt, basing rates on property value is bollocks. The “value” of a property is such a fluid, transient, esoteric thing to measure and is often completely beyond the control of the owner.

        The example you give of the person who sits quietly in their humble home while the town around them becomes fashionable and “develops” until they can’t afford their rates bill is one I’ve seen many times.

  6. William 6

    Name wrote about “No taxation without representation”. The ratepayer franchise doesn’t only apply to individuals owning property, but also to companies.
    The logical conclusion to your argument is that every overseas owned company that pays tax in NZ should be allowed a vote in general elections! No thanks, but good luck with convincing everyone that’s a good idea.

  7. uke 7

    So if you’re a household of locals you each get a vote (over 18).

    With a holiday-home, is it only one vote?

    But what if there’s several owners, like with joint ownership or a time-share arrangement? Do they all get votes?

  8. Rob 8

    I fail to see how you can make such a bold assertion because the rights are simply not clear.

    The fact is the largest community you found with out of town votes was 22%. That means taking your sewage system example that a further 28% is needed from locals who support a sewage system. These people are being denied the right to have one by the other locals who beat them in a standard vote. It seems anomalous to me that when over the course of a year more people who are there will at some point want a sewage system than those who do not that they should not have one.

    Now you have a point if these holiday voters were a majority in any community and their will is overbearing locals but if they make up at most a 5th of the community then this simply isn’t true. What they are in fact ensuring is that they have a democratic stake in the community they also are a part of for some of the year.

    I have no problem with excluding property owner votes in favour of say property owner + must have been in the community for more than say a month in the last year. However it seems very undemocratic to me to deny a vote to someone who lives in a community but is not there the entire time.

    My Aunt who lives over in the UK is not especially wealthy she and her husband have both at times been on the invalids benefit and only come off it from time to time because they have managed to find a way to work around their illnesses that would have made most people unable to work full stop. They through saving for their entire lives have been fortunate enough to buy one run down house in France and one in England. They spend probably about 8 months of the year in England and the rest in France which is better for their health. It would seem incredibly odd to me seeing how much they are involved in their community in France if they were not entitled to a say in it at all for the time they live there. This is in fact what you are proposing.

    This is very different to a person being able to vote in multiple electorates in a general election. They are only voting for the right to be represented at a local level in all the areas they live in. Some they may not live in for the majority of the year but they nonetheless live there. Taking away from these people the right to vote in their local body elections seems wrong to me. It is entirely based on the idea that they are just rich pricks on holiday who deserve no rights. This is not true in all of these cases and it seems unfair that people should think so. The fact that you are not in a community all year round does not mean that you are not a part of it.

    If a person does not strongly feel part of a community then it is very unlikely they would vote, for a start they would have to drive to their property there to pick up the ballot wouldn’t they? If the local community decisions do not heavily affect them they would not bother. The vast majority of people who do live in the communities do not bother to vote because they cannot be bothered. I think you will find with your sewage example it is a lot more than just holiday homers who are sick of not having a sewage system. If it was not they would have no hope of ever changing the system.

    You can come up with some alternate system of allowing a person who only lives in a community part of the time as opposed to simply based on property then I would happily support that idea. However it cannot be fair to strip the vote from those who live in multiple communities and deny them all rights to a say in their local communities. Everyone who lives in a community albeit part time has a right to vote for the issues that affect them.

    • Bright Red 8.1

      Rob. 22% of an electorate is a very large voting bloc that candidates cannot afford to ignore. it means that a majority of locals can be against something but as long as the holiday home owners and a few locals are for it, it can get through.

      “Some they may not live in for the majority of the year but they nonetheless live there”

      Not necessarily. It could just be a rental property.

      “If a person does not strongly feel part of a community then it is very unlikely they would vote”

      That’s no basis for rights – ‘it don’t matter if it’s wrong, because most won’t use it’

      “Everyone who lives in a community albeit part time has a right to vote for the issues that affect them.”

      What if they never live in the community? The ratepayer vote gives votes to people who have never lived there. maybe even never visited.

      • Rob 8.1.1

        “it means that a majority of locals can be against something but as long as the holiday home owners and a few locals are for it, it can get through.”

        I am not one for Tyranny of the majority. If that 22% out of towners all voted for a sewage system you would still need 39% of locals to vote for it. Even without the out of towners 40% of the population being denied a sewage system because of the cheapness of others is unfair. It is not a “few” locals it is 39% in the highest group of out of towners eddy was able to find.

        As to your other three quotes:

        I don’t think those people merely owning rental homes etc should have a vote but if you take away the right to vote for all ratepayers who are registered as living in another area you deprive the vote of people who do live there part of the time. Please don’t misread me those people who live there part of the time have rights to vote and you wish to take their rights away in order to deprive the property owners who don’t live there. That must be justified. In my view it isn’t.

        • Lanthanide 8.1.1.1

          Surely landlords deserve to get a say in the local amenities around their properties? After all, the main value for a property is location, and if your house is in an area that currently has septic tanks, but you think your property would be worth more if it had a proper sewerage system, shouldn’t you be able to vote for what’s in your best interests?

          • snoozer 8.1.1.1.1

            so, why not let people have more votes if they have more property in a single area?

            Why not let companies vote in general elections? After all, they have an interest in the infrastructure too.

            Because democracy is about one person, one vote and the council is not simply a body for property owners.

            • Lanthanide 8.1.1.1.1.1

              Fair enough. I’d also argue that if you bought property in a certain area, and the people in that area make a decision you don’t like, tough luck, sell up. Thus it becomes another risk to buying a rental property out of town.

              IMO people would be better off buying property in areas that they are familiar with anyway, so if anything I see an additional risk to absentee-landlords as a benefit. It would also help to prevent property markets in small towns and rural areas from being over inflated by monied city folks.

        • felix 8.1.1.2

          Rob,

          You’re imagining a fantasy world where decisions about sewerage are made by referendum.

          What we’re talking about is representative democracy.

          • Rob 8.1.1.2.1

            I was using the very example he gave in the post.

            I am aware we are talking about representative government. I fail to see why people with a stake in a community should not have a right to be represented.

            • felix 8.1.1.2.1.1

              Nobody votes for a sewerage system Rob.

              There is no such result as “22% out of towners all voted for a sewage system”.

              Can’t happen. No such thing. Not how representative democracy works.

  9. uke 9

    Wow. I wonder how this might apply in the case of some Māori land, where there could literally be hundreds or thousands of owners.

    (Sorry entered this comment in the wrong place – it is a reply to Snoozer above at 7.1.)

  10. Sarge 10

    Removing the right to vote where you hold property is, simply, removing the right to vote. If a person holds property (and hence pays rates, and has a vested interest in the area), they deserve a say in how it’s managed. Otherwise you’re taking their money, and not giving them a vote. What happened to “No taxation without representation”??

    • Lew 10.1

      Residency — not ratepayer status — is the criterion for voting in local body elections.

      L

      • Sarge 10.1.1

        I’m aware of that. But people who reside in two different areas pay rates twice, so deserve a say in each area.

        • Anita 10.1.1.1

          Why?

          Do people who own two properties in one area (and therefore pay rates twice) deserve two votes?

          How about people who just own one very big property?

          • Sarge 10.1.1.1.1

            No, because society has decided money to not allow money to skew elections, hence people who own two properties in they same area, they can only vote once.

            However, people with two properties in different areas can only vote once in each area. They can’t skew anything. Stopping them from doing so is the equilvent of saying “You’re working two jobs. Therefore you only get labour rights in the first one, and not the second”.

            • Lew 10.1.1.1.1.1

              They can vote twice and influence two elections. So why should money be permitted to skew elections across multiple constituencies, if it’s not permitted to skew them within one?

              L

              • Sarge

                Because they have a vested interest in both elections.

                I do take your point. However, the problem of money skewing the elections is (relatively) small compared to the risk of citizens facing taxation without representation.

                • Lew

                  Does not someone who owns multiple properties, or more valuable properties, have a greater interest by this standard?

                  The point is that the delineation of “one person, one vote” is almost elemental — it’s only very slightly arbitrary. Certain people are excluded from “person”hood in this context — such as those deemed mentally unfit to vote, or underage. But the sort of provisos you argue open up a whole lot of potential wiggle-room: if this, why not that, etc. Best to simply have a clean system wheich recognises that political systems are first and foremost about people, not predominantly about wealth, property or privilege. Though, gods know, there are any number of ways to exercise those within the system.

                  L

  11. big bruv 11

    I have no issue with one man, one vote.

    However, voting should be restricted to those who pay tax, anybody who is on the dole for more than six months or is on the DPB should not have any voting rights.

    If you contribute then you get to have a say.

  12. big bruv 12

    Desperate for blog traffic Lew?

    • Lew 12.1

      Just can’t be arsed repeating myself, bruv.

      Sorry, burt, that I mistook you for bruv– a grave insult, I know.

      L

    • Michael Foxglove 12.2

      big bruv – for goodness sake be a bit nicer to those trying to have a reasoned debate.

  13. Mac1 13

    Big bruv, should people who only own land through trusts have votes according to this thinking? Should tax avoiders/evaders have votes? Should non-taxpaying beneficiaries like old age pensioners have the vote?

    Here be slippery slopes.

  14. big bruv 14

    Mac1

    It need not be difficult, pensioners should always have the vote, most of them have paid tax all their life.
    Long term dole bludgers and DPB parasites live off the hard work and graft of others, given they are not contributing to the overall wealth of the nation then they should not have say in how OUR money is spent.

    • snoozer 14.1

      but people on the dole pay tax, big bruv.

      And what if I’m on the dole for two years between elections do I get to vote but someone who is on for two years that includes an election doesn’t?

    • Pascal's bookie 14.2

      Why do you think it is ‘your’ money? Or rather, why do you exclude some citizens from the ‘us’ that owns the money?

      It’s not difficult. You get a tax bill. That is money that it has been determined you owe. When you pay it, it stops being ‘yours’, and becomes ‘the Crowns’. The money changes hands. It ceases to be ‘yours’ in any way that excludes other citizens from any ‘us’ you may be a part of.

      You might disagree about what the tax policy should be, and you might disagree about how the crown should spend the money it collects from taxes, but that doesn’t magically make the taxes belong to you.

    • Bunji 14.3

      So politicians, civil servants and the military shouldn’t get votes as their wages come from the public purse?

      Probably all poor people who have used too much health and education and working from families compared to the tax they’ve paid, we’d better take the vote off them.

      And people who work for volunteer organisations, why they’re certainly not moral enough to get the vote like fine upstanding taxpayer big bruv.

      • felix 14.3.1

        You may think you’re painting a ridiculous parody but this is exactly what is proposed by bruv, cactus kate, and their fascist leaning mates all over the right-wing blogosphere.

        • Cactus Kate 14.3.1.1

          If facist means that you shouldn’t get a vote when you don’t contribute, then it is what it is. I’m all for it.

          Tenants don’t pay rates, anymore than they don’t pay interest to the bank for a mortgage or lose their home if the bank forecloses. If the rates aren’t paid then hello, who is liable? It aint the tenant. It is the landlord. That person should be the ONLY person with a vote in a local body system that collects rates.

          If you have 10 homes then why not 10 votes? You are paying 10 lots of rates.

          The poor and pathetic can’t have it both ways. While democracy is supposed to equal no taxation without representation, why can’t it mean no representation unless you pay taxation?

          While ratepayers carry the burden of rates there is no valid reason why non-ratepayers should get a vote. Call it facist, call it anything you want.

          I call it correct.

          • Lew 14.3.1.1.1

            I just can’t wait until someone breaks out the “market in taxation” argument, viz: if we apportion the number of votes one may cast to the amount of tax they pay, it will drive up taxation revenue because everyone will want to pay more tax so they can have more votes!”

            L

          • Bored 14.3.1.1.2

            Cactus,

            What a squalid little scenario you seem to propose.

            So tenants dont pay rates? No of course not directly…their landlords use the rent to do that. So I supposed by dint of ownership they get to use anothers income and housing need to garner their vote.

            You say “The poor and pathetic can’t have it both ways. While democracy is supposed to equal no taxation without representation, why can’t it mean no representation unless you pay taxation?”

            Hmmmmmm….lets apply this with some vigour to democracy as we know it…first the non earning partner in a relationship, hell there go a lot of mainly female votes. Then perhaps the retired or sick (they actually do get taxed on their benefit / pensions but thats anothr story)….yeah, they dont “pay” so lets offload them, now the tenants…

            See where your rather sordid scenario ends up? If you have the cash you get to vote. Take it to iits logical conclusion and there is no democracy, only votes from those who can buy them. I suspect that suits your philosophy though, creepy.

    • Mac1 14.4

      big bruv
      My mother hardly paid tax, being of that generation in which the husband worked and the wife stayed at home. Do we make an exception for her and those non-tax-paying beneficiaries?

      Had she been widowed would we call her a DPB parasite as she sought to bring up her boys? As do others who have been widowed in a way by the desertion of their spouses?

      Do pensioners who have been mostly unemployed during the years of the working life get to keep losing their vote once they become pensioners? Who will decide who is a bludger? You, big bruv? As I say, it’s a slippery slope.

      You harken back to another time of the Liberal Government when it introduced the Old Age Pensions and recipients had to be ‘deserving’ of the charity of the State, big bruv.

      You see, I would reckon to be parasites people like the ones you avoided in my first comment- the tax evaders and avoiders. Like those two doctors who avoided $160,000 in taxation.

      Why should they have a vote, in your book?

      • Cactus Kate 14.4.1

        Why should they vote? Ergh because even after “tax avoidance” they still paid more tax than you did.

        • Bored 14.4.1.1

          Yes, paying more tax than your fellow citizen makes a person much more value to a society. Much greater a person all round, truly superior. How totally splendid.

        • Pascal's bookie 14.4.1.2

          Duh kate. They lost the case, ie they didnae pay the tax they owed.

          ergo, they aint paid for their vote.

          This whole ‘no representation without taxation’ thing is old , boring and resolved.

          What it is, is feudalism.

          In return for taxes, certain subjects (coz citizenship is extinguished as a concept) are granted privileges that other subjects don’t get.

          They way it historically gets resolved is through that other US-revolution-era phrase of ‘natural rights’. You’ll see that word ‘rights’ there is in contradistinction to the ‘privileges’ you are claiming. The ‘natural’ bit of the phrase comes from the stone cold fact that it is a right those other subjects have by virtue of their nature. ie it’s not something you can alienate from them, it’s not a socially constructed right (like citizenship, property, or private law ‘privilege’) but something they just have the ability to do.

          That starboard idiot in another thread unwittingly alluded to the French instance of this natural right-feudal privilege conflict when he talked about old ladies and knitting. Clickety click Clickety click.

          • Mac1 14.4.1.2.1

            There it is! New Right Wing theology.

            “To each according to their means. From each according to their neediness.”

            Soak the poor and give it to the rich.

  15. uroskin 15

    If only Rodney Hide would put his tiny mind to this anachronism instead of Ueber-Stadt delusions.

  16. Any takers?

    Well, I’ll happily draft the bill. But you’ll need to find an MP.

    • uroskin 16.1

      Some discussion was already started last year on this, but it needs obviously fleshing out.
      http://progbills.wikidot.com/local-body-finance-reform
      I would have thought it may appeal to both the propertied classes (property owners sharing the cost of local government with a wider tax base) and leftwingers (linking tax raising to income levels). Opponents would be Maori landowners and churches currently exempt from rates? That would also need to lead to a call to abolish tax-exempt status of property trading and exploiting charities and trusts.

  17. WH 17

    In this discussion it is worth unpicking whether each council/community board election counts as a seperate election: meaning each resident/ratepayer is entitled to one vote for that particular council/community board, resulting in a person having the potential to vote in the Tawa election on the basis of being a resident and also voting in the Martinborough election by being a ratepayer. Versus there is only one local government election that is for all of New Zealand but where you only vote within a specific geographic definition: meaning you life in Tawa so you get one vote only which can only be utilised for candidates standing for the Tawa community board.

    In the first scenario it would be logically consistent to allow a person to have a vote in two seperate elections because of their connection to each election. In the second scenario it would logically consistent to only have one vote as their is only one election.

    Seperating out whether it is only one national election or a series of seperate local elections may clarify the basis of why some people have differing opinions that are more than simply my tribe is right arguments.

    • Rob 17.1

      I would easily place them as two separate elections. The two areas councils have no say and likely no communication with each other.

  18. Bill 18

    “One person, one vote that’s democracy”

    No it’s not. That’s a sad shadow of democracy. Democracy is having the opportunity of input to decisions to the extent that those decisions will effect you.

    Simple.

    So in your scenario, the out of towners get a say. Just not as much of a say as the permanent residents.

    If you were to maintain that out of towners get no say, then the final decision could well be unnecessarily flawed and contentious due to some pertinent viewpoint or piece of information being missed.

    • burt 18.1

      The holiday batch owners were completely surprised when the council (on which they were excluded from having voting right) voted to levy an ‘out of town’ 30% markup on the rates for non permanent resident owners. “Gosh we didn’t see that coming” one totally surprised out of town owner was quoted as saying to an equally shocked local journalist.

  19. Celia WB 19

    The debate here is mainly about bach owners. My original issue was that someone who owns several companies in a city can ensure that an out of towner is nominated for each company so they end up controlling several votes for one area. We don’t expect companies to get votes at a parliamentary election so why shoudl it happen at local elections?

    The interests locally may be about care for the most vulnerable in social housing, good access for children to libraries, urban design that gives active modes more than half a chance and so on. These don’t individually affect property values but they do affect cities, towns and the quality of life.

    Some people say “who would bother to register a nominee for each property?” but if The Property Council sends out a letter urging all property owners to nominate someone for each company’s property, then they must think it’s worth doing!

    Other countries (Nordic & UK) have got rid of the abilty to vote purely due to owning property more than fifty years ago (not that their democracy is exactly perfect!!).

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    5 days ago
  • Tax cuts paid for by 13k more kids in poverty
    MSD advised the government that the indexation change it passed under urgency last night is likely to put around 7,000 extra children (and potentially up to 13,000) into poverty. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The Government has reverted indexation for main beneficiaries to price inflation from wage inflation under ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Fuel Tax Fight and Rail Fail update
    The two stories we covered at the start of the week continue to be in the headlines so it’s worth looking at the latest for each of them. Regional Fuel Tax Mayor Wayne Brown promised some ‘argy-bargy’ over the government’s decision to cancel the Regional Fuel Tax and he’s ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Arsonists
    Today, a major fire broke out on the Port Hills in Ōtutahi. Like its 2017 predecessors, it is almost certainly exacerbated by climate change. And it is still burning. The present government did not start the fire. But they piled the tinder high last time they were in power, gutting ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • I don’t know!
    http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/73411 7 examples And who actually makes the decisions? Vladimir Putin: I don’t know. America is a complex country, conservative on the one hand, rapidly changing on the other. It’s not easy for us to sort it all out.   Tucker Carlson: Do you think Zelensky has the freedom to negotiate the settlement to this conflict? Vladimir Putin: I don’t know the details, of course it’s difficult for me to judge, but ...
    6 days ago
  • Fresh thinkers
    Fresh thinking will always give you hope.It might be the kind that makes you smite your brow, exclaiming: Why didn't we think of that! It's obvious!It might be the kind that makes you go: Dude you’re a genius.Sometimes it will simply be Wayne Brown handing Simeon Brown his weasel ass ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • It is not about age, it is about team.
    Much attention has been directed at Joe Biden’s mental lapses and physical frailty. Less attention has been spent on Donald Trump’s cognitive difficulties and physical limitations, with most focus being devoted to his insults and exaggerated claims (as if they … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • ROBERT MacCULLOCH: Fletcher Building – it is time to break up NZ’s most useless company.
    Robert MacCulloch writes –  Gosh, the CEO of Fletcher Building, Ross Taylor, says today’s announcement of a half-year loss of $120 million for the company is “disappointing” and was “heavily impacted” by the Convention Centre losses. He must be crying all the way to the bank (to quote Las ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Mortgage rates seen high for even longer
    Government and borrower hopes for early mortgage cost relief look likely to be thwarted. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Stronger-than-expected US inflation data out overnight is expected to delay the first US Federal Reserve rate cut into the second half of 2024, which in turn would hold mortgage rates ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, the first of the new Parliament. And to start the Parliament off, there's a bunch of first readings. A bunch of other bills have been postponed, so first up is Duncan Webb's District Court (Protecting Judgment Debtors on Main Benefit) Amendment Bill, followed by Katie ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Three Waters go down the legislative gurgler – but what should we make of Local Water Done Well?
    Buzz from the Beehive Local Government Minister Simeon Brown – it seems fair to suppose – was flushed with success after the repeal of Labour’s divisive and unpopular Three Waters legislation. As he explained, repealing this legislation is a necessary first step in implementing his government’s Local Water Done Well ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on five of Luxon’s Gaza absurdities
    Earlier this week, PM Christopher Luxon met with 48 public service CEOs to make sure they were on board with his plans to cut spending on public services so that National can proceed to give the revenue away to those New Zealanders least in need. This wasn’t the only absurdity ...
    6 days ago
  • Love and the Fairer Sex.
    This morning I woke early with many thoughts in my head of things said, events of the week, things that matter. I’m afraid none of them involved Seymour, Willis, or Luxon so if you’re looking for something political maybe take the day off and come back tomorrow. You won’t find ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • He stood up to Muldoon and Lange and the Fji army
    Gerald Hensley, who died aged 88 on Saturday, was the key official who presided over the tumultuous events that followed the election of the Lange Labour Government in 1984. He was also instrumental in helping a key Fijian official escape the country during one of the 1987 coups. A diplomat ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    7 days ago
  • At a glance – Has Arctic sea ice returned to normal?
    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 ...
    7 days ago
  • Halo dunia!
    Selamt datang di WordPress. Ini adalah pos pertama Anda. Sunting atau hapus, kemudian mulai menulis! ...
    1 week ago
  • The PM wants a turnaround
    As a treat today I have lined up a favourite in the music slot. I love Turnaround, I cannot hear it too often, and I feel in need of a treat when I make myself listen to the Prime Minister the way I did this morning.He too, has favourites that ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • The PM wants a turnaround
    As a treat today I have lined up a favourite in the music slot. I love Turnaround, I cannot hear it too often, and I feel in need of a treat when I make myself listen to the Prime Minister the way I did this morning.He too, has favourites that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • ELE LUDEMANN: Trusting locals
    Ele Ludemann writes- A government-knows-best and predilection for central control was another unfortunate feature of the 2017-2023 Labour governments. One of the worst polices as a result of that was what started as Three Waters and became several more. The National-led government is much more trusting of locals ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    1 week ago
  • Legislation to flush away Three Waters has become a certainty – but we must wait for details on th...
    Buzz from the Beehive A  three-day information drought was broken, just after Point of Order published yesterday’s Buzz from the Beehive, and two significant ministerial announcements were made. First, the Budget will be delivered on 30 May, telling us which genuine savings have been made by eliminating waste and which ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    1 week ago
  • Rise of the Lobbyists.
    An unpopular opinion, I love Auckland.Not so much the transport or the house prices - those are pretty dire. But there’s a lot to like. We’ve a vibrant, multicultural city in a beautiful location with, mostly, friendly locals. From the native bush of the Waitakeres to the Gulf islands, it’s ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The holes in National’s water reform pipes
    Young renters just have to watch on as pipes keep failing and the Government and councils point fingers at each other, because all the incentives are for ratepayers to block rates increases, water meters, water charges and the creation of new entities. File Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: The National-ACT-NZ First coalition ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • After years of stability, Antarctica is losing ice
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by SueEllen Campbell Until recently, Antarctica’s ice has seemed surprisingly stable. In contrast to the far north, the southern continent’s massive ice sheets, glaciers, ice shelves (ice that floats on the ocean), and seasonal ice appeared to be reliably frozen: Enough snow fell ...
    1 week ago
  • Auckland’s Persistent Rail Issues
    Over the last few weeks in our weekly roundup we’ve commented on the frequent delays and cancellations that have occurred on the rail network this year since the rail network went back into full operation on the 22-Jan – with Kiwirail proclaiming they had ‘successfully delivered summer holiday infrastructure upgrades ...
    1 week ago

  • Greater support for social workers
    The Coalition Government is enhancing the professionalism of the social work sector and supporting the vulnerable people who rely on them, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says.  The Social Workers Registration Legislation Amendment Bill passed its third reading in Parliament today. It amends the Social Workers Registration Legislation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    32 mins ago
  • Government delivers greater freedom and choice for sick New Zealanders
    The coalition government is delivering on its commitment to making principled decisions by getting rid of red tape that doesn’t make sense and allowing sick New Zealanders greater freedom and choice to purchase effective cold and flu medicines. A bill amending the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 is being introduced, and changes to the Medicines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Government begins reset of welfare system
    The Coalition Government is taking early action to curb the surge in welfare dependency that occurred under the previous government by setting out its expectations around employment and the use of benefit sanctions, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. In 2017, 60,588 sanctions were applied to beneficiaries who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • State of the Nation
    Ka nui te mihi kia koutou. Kia ora, good morning, talofa, malo e lelei, bula vinaka, da jia hao, namaste, sat sri akal, assalamu alaikum. Thank you for coming to my first State of the Nation as Prime Minister. Thank you for coming to a speech where I don’t just ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • West Coast tourism attractions officially open
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will attend the official opening of two highly anticipated tourism projects on the West Coast today – Pike29 Memorial Track, dedicated to the memory of the Pike River miners, and Pounamu Pathway. “The Pike29 Memorial Track is a way to remember and honour the men ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Independent ferry service advisory group in place
    Appointments to the Ministerial Advisory Group tasked with providing independent advice and assurance on the future of KiwiRail’s inter-island ferry service have been made, State Owned Enterprises Minister Paul Goldsmith says. “It’s important for New Zealand that KiwiRail is focused on ensuring safe, resilient, and reliable ferry services over the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Joint statement from the Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada, and New Zealand
    The Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada and New Zealand today issued the following statement on reports of Israel’s planned military operation in Rafah. We are gravely concerned by indications that Israel is planning a ground offensive into Rafah.   A military operation into Rafah would be catastrophic. About 1.5 million Palestinians ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt will deliver on expanded breast screening
    The coalition Government has made the first steps in delivering on its promise to  extend free breast screening to women aged 70-74, Health Minister Shane Reti says. “As part of the 100 day plan, the Government has now met with officials and discussed what is needed in order for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government announces woolshed roadshows in support of sheep farmers
    The Government celebrates National Lamb Day (15 February 24) and congratulates sheep farmers on the high-quality products they continue to produce. Agriculture Minister McClay hosted bipartisan celebrations of National Lamb Day with industry representatives at Parliament this week to mark the anniversary of the first frozen lamb exports that left ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech: Address to the NZ Economics Forum
    It’s great to be back at the New Zealand Economics Forum. I would like to acknowledge everyone here today for your expertise and contribution, especially the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Head of the Waikato Management School, economists, students and experts alike. A year has passed since I was last before you, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government tackling high construction costs
    The Government is focused on reducing sky-high construction costs to make it more affordable to build a home, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says.  Stats NZ data shows the cost of building a house has increased by 41 per cent since 2019, making housing even more unaffordable for Kiwi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Labour’s Three Waters legislation repealed
    The Coalition Government’s legislative plan to address longstanding issues with local water infrastructure and service delivery took an important step today, with the repeal of Labour’s divisive and unpopular Three Waters legislation, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “Repealing this legislation is a necessary first step in implementing our Local ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Cost of living support for beneficiary households
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its commitment to ease the cost-of-living by increasing main benefit rates in line with inflation and ensuring the Minimum Family Tax Credit threshold remains aligned with this change, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. The Social Security (Benefits Adjustment) and Income Tax ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government announces agriculture delegations to better support Primary sector
    The coalition Government has announced ministerial delegations to support key areas across the Primary sector to deliver for New Zealand’s food and fibre sector, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay announced today. “I will be supported in my roles as Minister of Agriculture, Trade, Forestry and Hunting and Fishing, by three Associate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Waikato MoU reinforces Govt’s commitment to increase NZ doctors
    The Government has taken an important step forward in addressing a critical shortage of New Zealand-trained doctors, with today’s signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for a third medical school, Minister of Health Dr Shane Reti has announced.  “Today’s signing by the Ministry of Health and the University of Waikato ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech – Lunar New Year 2024
    Annyeonghaseyo, greetings and welcome all. It is my pleasure as the Minister for Ethnic Communities to welcome you to the first Lunar New Year Event in Parliament. Thank you to our emcees for greeting us in the different languages that represent the many cultures that celebrate the Lunar New Year. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More funding to Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti
    Urgent work to clean-up cyclone-affected regions will continue, thanks to a $63 million boost from the Government for sediment and debris removal in Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti.                                                                                                   The funding will help local councils continue urgent work removing and disposing of sediment and debris left from Cyclone Gabrielle.   “This additional ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Budget will be delivered on 30 May
    Plans to deliver tax relief to hard-working New Zealanders, rebuild business confidence and restore the Crown’s finances to order will be unveiled on 30 May, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says. The plans will be announced in the Budget which is currently being developed by Ministers.  “The last government’s mismanagement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government advances Local Water Done Well
    The Coalition Government is continuing work to restore council ownership and control of water assets by repealing Three Waters and appointing a Technical Advisory Group to provide expert advice on the implementation of Local Water Done Well, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “The Government will pass a bill to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has today announced five new diplomatic appointments.  "Strong and effective diplomacy to protect and advance our interests in the world is needed now more than ever," Mr Peters says.  “We are delighted to appoint senior diplomats from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Committee for Auckland
    It is great to be here today at this event as Minister for Auckland and Minister ofTransport. Let me start by acknowledging each one of you and thanking the Committee forAuckland for hosting this event and inviting me to speak here today. The Committee for Auckland has been a symbol ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Getting Transport Back on Track in Auckland
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has today confirmed his high-level transport priorities for Auckland, in the lead up to releasing the draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport. “Our economic growth and productivity are underpinned by a transport network that enables people and freight to move around safely and efficiently. At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government to axe Auckland Regional Fuel Tax
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has confirmed that the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax will end on 30 June 2024. “Today, I can confirm that the Government has agreed to remove the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax in line with our coalition commitments, and legislation will be introduced to parliament to repeal the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Calls for Work to Tackle Kina Barrens
    Changes to fishing rules and a significant science programme are being undertaken to address kina barrens, says Minister for Oceans and Fisheries Shane Jones. “There has been tremendous interest from iwi, communities and recreational fishers who had raised concerns about such kina infestations being a major threat to Northland’s marine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government law and order crackdown begins
    The coalition Government is making good on its promise to restore law and order by removing government funding for Section 27 reports and abolishing the previous Labour Government’s prison reduction target, Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Corrections Minister Mark Mitchell say.  “In recent years, the development of Section 27 reports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Greater focus on getting people into work
    The coalition government will refocus employment efforts and the welfare system so that supporting people who can work into jobs is the number one priority, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “Of concern in the labour market statistics released by Stats NZ today was the number of youth not ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • One year on, NZ appeals for release of Phillip Mehrtens
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has appealed to those holding New Zealand pilot Phillip Mehrtens in remote Papua, Indonesia, to release him immediately.  Phillip Mehrtens was taken hostage a year ago on 7 February in Paro, Papua, while providing vital air links and supplies to remote communities. “We strongly urge those holding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministers reaffirm Pacific connections this week
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Health Minister and Minister for Pacific Peoples Dr Shane Reti are reaffirming the importance of New Zealand’s connections to the Pacific by visiting Tonga, Cook Islands and Samoa this week.  “New Zealand enjoys strong and long-standing relationships with our Pacific partners - especially in Polynesia, where we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Rt Hon Christopher Luxon – Waitangi speech
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, rau rangatira ma. Tēnā koutou katoa. He tino mihi ki te mana whenua o tēnei rohe.  Mihi mai, mihi mai, mihi mai. Te whare e tū nei, tēnā koe.                               He-wāhi whakahirahira tēnei mō Aotearoa. Ka huri nga whakaaro, ki nga mate. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government awards primary sector scholarships to students
    Six university students studying agriculture and science have been awarded scholarships as part of the coalition Government’s efforts to boost on-the-ground support for farmers and growers. “The coalition Government is committed to improving support and operating conditions for farmers and growers,” Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says. “We’re backing a range ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister Jason Scott McHerron as a High Court Judge. Justice McHerron graduated from the University of Otago with a BA in English literature in 1994 and an LLB in 1996. From 1996 to 1999 he worked as a solicitor in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand provides further humanitarian support to Gaza and the West Bank
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that New Zealand is providing a further $5 million to respond to the extreme humanitarian need in Gaza and the West Bank.  “The impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on civilians is absolutely appalling,” Mr Peters says.  “That is why New Zealand has contributed $15 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Government consults on expanding COVID-19 Inquiry terms of reference
    The Government is delivering on its commitment to enable public input into expanding the scope of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into COVID-19 Lessons, says Internal Affairs Minister Brooke van Velden. “As committed to in both the ACT-National and NZ First-National coalition agreements, the public will be given the opportunity ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Tai Tokerau Water Boost
    A further $5 million loan has been advanced to the Tai Tokerau Water Trust for Te Waihekeora Reservoir, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says.  “Water is a precious resource, Kānoa – Regional Development and Investment Unit at the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment have done amazing work in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Fast track consenting in the fast lane
    The Government is progressing changes to resource management laws as part of its 100 Day Action Plan, with the first steps taken to establish a new fast-track consenting one-stop shop regime. “This new regime, which forms part of National’s coalition agreement with New Zealand First, will improve the speed and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • JOINT STATEMENT ON AUSTRALIA-NEW ZEALAND MINISTERIAL CONSULTATIONS (ANZMIN) 2024
    Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence the Hon Richard Marles MP and Minister for Foreign Affairs Senator the Hon Penny Wong hosted New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Winston Peters MP and Minister of Defence Hon Judith Collins KC MP on 1 February ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Minimum wage set for cautious increase
    The adult minimum wage rate will increase by 2 per cent to $23.15 an hour from 1 April 2024, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden announced today. “This Government is committed to striking the right balance between protecting the incomes of our lowest paid workers and maintaining labour ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Increased security improves ED safety over summer
    Increasing the number of security staff in emergency departments (EDs) over the busy Christmas and New Year period improved the safety of both staff and patients, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says. 200 additional security staff (93 FTEs) were provided to 32 EDs in response to concerns raised by ED ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Step Closer for European Union Free Trade Agreement
    New Zealand has moved closer to ratifying the New Zealand – European Union Free Trade Agreement (FTA), with the First Reading of legislation to bring the Agreement into force being held in Parliament today.   “Almost a decade after preparatory talks first began on an FTA with the European Union, I’m pleased to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago

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