web analytics

Ross saga quiescent, but donations scandal needs addressing

Written By: - Date published: 4:26 pm, October 25th, 2018 - 21 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, capitalism, corruption, democracy under attack, electoral commission, parliamentary spending, Politics - Tags: , ,

While the Jami-Lee Ross saga has quietened down as National hopes, there are many issues raised that have not been resolved including the central question of political party donations.
Whether the $100,000 donated by Chinese-born New Zealand businessman Zhang Yikun to the National Party was illegally redistributed by members of the “Cathedral Club” is now in the hands of police.

What is clear from the tape recording of National Party leader Simon Bridges with Ross is that money buys influence and that matter needs to be addressed.

The sum of $100,000 might seem a lot to give away to a political party, but in the greater scheme of things it is relatively paltry given, as the tape strongly suggested, it would buy one extra parliamentary seat for China’s interests.
Aotearoa already has relatively tight laws regarding anonymous donations to political parties with a $15,000 limit. It may be simply a matter of ensuring the law is upheld.

The issue of money wielding influence is best seen in the US. Political donations in the US were also tightly controlled until a 2010 Supreme Court decision declared that spending money on political causes qualified as free speech protected by the First Amendment. The decision opened the floodgates for unlimited political expenditures by corporations and unions so long as they didn’t give to campaigns directly.

That decision, according to the independent tracker of political money in the US, Open Secrets, opened the door for individuals and companies to pour millions of unregulated and uncapped “soft money” into what is called Super Political Action Committees (Super PACs) to influence the outcomes of elections without contributing to an individual candidate.
Super PACs can accept “dark money” from donors that shield their identities through shell corporations and political nonprofits which don’t have to reveal their donors.

The political donation activities of the Koch brothers, David and Charles, are most notorious. Sons of Fred Koch, who founded Koch Industries, the second largest privately held company in the US, of which they control 84%, the brothers make mind boggling financial contributions to libertarian and conservative causes, often through so-called “think tanks”. They contribute to the American Legislative Exchange Council, which promotes laws limiting lawsuits from people with terminal illness as a result of asbestos. Koch Industries own Georgia Pacific, which has been subject to these lawsuits.

Through non-profit Americans for Prosperity, the Koch brothers have organised to defeat public transit projects in several cities, (Government-funded transit contradicts the brothers’ free-market, small-government views, and they also profit from people using cars.)

A network of like-minded donors organized by the Kochs pledged to spend $US889 million from 2009–2016 and its infrastructure has been said by Politico to rival that of the Republican National Committee.

They actively fund and support organizations that contribute significantly to Republican candidates and in particular they lobby against efforts to expand government’s role in health care and combating global warming.

Among Open Secrets’ list of the top 10 donors this year is Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands casino operation, which has contributed over $US200 million to conservative candidates and causes in recent years.

Not all big donors support conservative and right wing causes. Hedge fund operator Tom Steyer, founder of Fahr, has donated $US29 million to the current election cycle so far in his quest to impeach US President Donald Trump and back Democrat candidates in next month’s elections.

George Soros’s Soros Fund Management has put $US14 million in 2018 into his Take Back America campaign.
And Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire former New York mayor and founder of Bloomberg News plans to spend $US80 million through the SuperPac , Independence, this year to ‘flip’ the House election the Democrats way.

These examples show us the corrosive effect of what can happen when money is used to wield influence.
That it can be used by a foreign entity such as China to exert its so-called “soft power”, as has been alleged in the case of Zhang Yikun and others in New Zealand, is even more disturbing.

The question is what can be done to limit such behaviour?

Since the Jami-Lee Ross affair broke, a number proponents ranging from the New Zealand Herald editorial to former British Labour Party deputy leader Bryan Gould favour public funding of political parties.

Victoria University political scientist and media darling Dr Bryce Edwards, has come out in a blog on Newsroom against this idea.

He notes political parties already get around $130 million of government funding through such vehicles as Parliamentary Services and this has caused parties to be less responsive, coinciding with a plunge in party membership, with National down to 20,000 from 200,000 and Labour down to 10,000 from 100,000.

“This state funding has already had a very strong impact on the parties.

Undoubtedly, it has reduced the organic attachment of political parties to society,” he writes.
He also argues that many on the Left favour state funding of political parties “because of the misconception that money equals power and only wealthy parties can compete”. He cites the success of unmonied parties like the Alliance, NZ First and the Greens and the failure of monied parties such as ACT, TOP and the Conservatives as refuting that argument.

Greater state funding will make the political system more moribund, entrenching the power of existing parties, Edwards says.

Gould says New Zealand should be very protective of its low level of corruption and high level of transparency, assets that are very easily undervalued.

“In cultures less accustomed than our own to the rules as to how democratic politics should function, it is natural to assume that political support can be bought,” he says.

He recalled how, when he was an MP in the UK, constituents from immigrant communities sought help bearing gifts and saw nothing wrong about expressing their gratitude for services rendered or anticipated in this way.

“The current saga is just one instance of the murky waters in which we could become swamped if the notion became established that the way to political influence lay through political donations,” Gould says.
Whether we like it or not, parties are an essential part of our democratic infrastructure and their proper functioning is central to any democratic system worth the name, he says.

“The opposition to public funding seems to stem from the view that political parties are voluntary organisations which must be responsible for their own welfare and survival, and should not therefore look to the taxpayer for support. But this is unrealistic; their role as public institutions should not be obscured by the fiction that they are private associations.”

“As the current scandal demonstrates, that fiction places us all at risk. We cannot afford to tolerate a situation where private money buys influence in public affairs. A properly functioning democracy is the responsibility of all of us; some of us might give up our time and effort to ensure that the necessary infrastructure is in place, but others should, as taxpayers, be ready to make a similarly valuable financial contribution to that essential purpose.”

The Green Party has long advocated both stricter rules on anonymity of donations and increased public funding.

“The fact of the matter is, as long as political parties are accepting donations from powerful vested interests, there is a constant risk of corruption,” said Co-leader Marama Davidson.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says she is open to taxpayer funding for political parties if there were public appetite for it. Asked if the climate was right, she was equivocal, saying she was open to having the debate if that was something the public wanted.

National will almost certainly oppose public funding because it would give away the huge funding advantage of the rich favouring National.

Germany, Sweden, Israel, Canada, Australia, Austria and Spain have subsidised party activity for decades. More recently among others France, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands and Poland have followed suit.

An important consideration in the debate is that the rich are getting richer and are therefore more easily able to wield their influence. In 2005, the Koch brothers had a combined net worth of around $US 9bn – now they’re worth over $100bn. Mike Bloomberg has added $46bn to his fortune during this same period. $20 million doesn’t make much dent in such fortunes.

And while some super rich support the progressive side of politics, polls show the wealthy are invariably socially conservative, which explains why very little money, even from left-of-centre donors, goes to support work that strongly challenges inequality.

(Simon Louisson reported for The Wall Street Journal, AP Dow Jones Newswires, New Zealand Press Association and Reuters and briefly was a political and media adviser to the Green Party.)

21 comments on “Ross saga quiescent, but donations scandal needs addressing ”

  1. Stuart Munro 1

    It needs to be stopped in its tracks.

    But other parties rely on donations too, so they’re reluctant to take it on.

    The first step is mandatory full reporting of political donations with real penalties for not doing so.

    • Dukeofurl 1.1

      Thats what happens in US mandatory reporting, sometimes around every month, of every donation to a political candidate. With a maximum of something like $2500 per person per candidate.

      What happens is that 3rd party groups advertise for or against candidates or parties without any disclosure.

    • Anne 1.2

      The first step is mandatory full reporting of political donations with real penalties for not doing so.

      The problem with that Stuart Munro is that people who donate to left-of-centre parties stand a chance of being marginalised by the state apparatus in particular. It has happened many times in the past and there are no assurances it won’t happen in the future. Many of us have hairy stories to tell about harassment by state employers based on bigoted, political perceptions.

      Left-of-centre supporters are not wealthy people and they will donate say $20/$40/$60 if and when they can spare it. Hence the reason why Labour has so many more ‘undeclared’ donations than National. The other day someone from the Nats (can’t recall who it was) attempted to spin the difference in the numbers as an example that… Labour does it too. Unfortunately the level of ignorance among the voters is so abysmal, many will think… yeah, look Labour does it twice as much.

      The best way to stop the donation scams by National is to reduce the maximum amount of so-called anonymous donations to [arguably] $2000? That covers the small donations but it would soon become obvious if a political party was playing dirty by the number of donations at $1999 they accumulate. 🙂

      • Stuart Munro 1.2.1

        Yeah – the problem is it’s obvious now.

        How much more obvious does it have to be before the hammer falls on the Gnats?

        They’ve been cheating six ways from Sunday and the motherfuckers are selling seats in OUR parliament.

        Someone needs to go to the block for that.

        Or they’ll keep doing it until our country is as messed up as the US.

  2. JohnSelway 2

    An interesting post though I have one sticking point – I don’t think the rich are ‘are invariably socially conservative’. I don’t think the rich donors on the right you highlight really give a damn about social policy. It’s all economic to them – whether it be social conservatism or social liberalism, the vote with their bank accounts and cheque books, not their moral compass.

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    In 2005, the Koch brothers had a combined net worth of around $US 9bn – now they’re worth over $100bn.

    All of which is unearned but that is typical of the rich. Very few have actually ever done anything that is beneficial to society and the world.

    The fact that such wealth gives them huge amount of political influence is just one more way as to why we can’t afford the rich.

  4. Dennis Frank 4

    The relevant principle is equality of representation, eh? When the wealthy exercise more leverage than most people, representative democracy gets skewed in their favour. It’s reassuring to hear Labour making noises about a law change to rebalance the situation: there’s a policy that it would be timely to prioritise! Likely to get consensus from NZF & GP without much difficulty.

  5. Graeme 6

    The thing that has stood out to me is the prominence that fundraising has in a National (and probably other parties as well) MP’s job description.

    This was brought out by Paula Bennett’s interview on TVNZ and highlighted in a Stuff editorial https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/opinion/107904457/editorial-the-murkiness-of-political-donations

    ” “Because that’s his job. We fundraise,” Bennett replied.

    It was a startling and revealing moment. It has been said before that the Labour Party exists to make change and that National exists to govern. But the comment from Bennett suggests the party exists only to gather the money it needs to perpetuate itself.
    ….
    The usual practice is that a party leader keeps well away from conversations with fundraisers. If a donation is offered, the would-be donor is steered towards the party president or another functionary. The leader should be above knowing where the money comes from, to reduce any potential risk of influence.

    This is why Bennett’s comment was so surprising. ”

    This practice of selling face time with front bench MPs is well on the way down the slippery slide to a corrupt banana republic and not part of the New Zealand I thought I was a citizen off.

    There should be a total separation between party fundraising and MPs, both in law and political culture. Parties can still fundraise through their membership and the public and business donate to the parties at national or electorate level, but there should be a separation of the parliamentary wing of the party from all fundraising.

    • Anne 6.1

      … there should be a separation of the parliamentary wing of the party from all fundraising.

      Labour has always operated that way Graeme and still does. All donations are processed through the party machine not the parliamentary machine. If an MP is handed a large cheque he/she will pass it on to the General Secretary (I presume) for processing. There are very strict rules around the acceptance and processing of all donations.

      I’m sure it is the same with the Greens and NZ First and to be fair, my understanding it was the case with National until more recent years……..

      • Graeme 6.1.1

        It’s not the processing of donations but rather the soliciting, and eventually requiring them for service, of them that’s the problem. When MPs are selling themselves for donations and negotiating them as well things are going downhill fast.

        The line to full blown corruption gets crossed really easily.

        Toad Barclay moved his electoral office from Gore to Queenstown because “that’s where the business was”. We’re starting to see what the National Party’s “business really is now, and it came as a shock to some National people here when they found out what Barclay was up to as well.

  6. SPC 7

    The Green Party has ramped up calls for reform of the political donation regime, saying the more than $3.5 million the National Party received in anonymous donations in 2017 shows the need for transparency.

  7. patricia bremner 8

    Jacinda said “It would be good not to have to worry about fund raising.”

    In a discussion she and Andrew Little said it would cost taxpayers $10 000 000 an ele.ction.

    She had not been aware of a demand for it as yet, though that could change.

    A cheap price to avoid outside influences. It would need to be strictly policed of course.

    • McFlock 8.1

      yeah, ten mill is f-all compared to government income and removing play-for-pay incentives for politicians to be compromised

  8. Michelle 9

    Of course the rich are getting richer because the economic and social conditions have been created to enable them to get richer as have the conditions to ensure those that are poor remain so. But what happens when the poor become much more and decide they have had enough = rebellion & civil unrest

  9. esoteric pineapples 10

    “While the Jami-Lee Ross saga has quietened down as National hopes”

    Thanks to him being put in a strait jacket

    • mickysavage 11.1

      Thanks Graham. Your eye of the storm point is a good one. Will borrow it for a post with acknowledgment!

      • veutoviper 11.1.1

        Read the Selwyn Manning article too, MS.

        The two together are some of the best I have seen. Mind you also read Whaleoil’s latest this morning ………..

    • veutoviper 11.2

      An excellent article, Graham. Thank you.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Cost of Government Southern Response proactive package released
    The Government has announced the proactive package for some Southern Response policyholders could cost $313 million if all those eligible apply. In December, the Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission, David Clark announced a proactive package for SRES claimants who settled their claims before October 2014. It trailed the judgment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • New support to reduce emissions from public building and construction projects
    Government agencies are getting new support to reduce carbon emissions generated by construction of new buildings, with the release of practical guidance to shape decisions on public projects. The Ministers for Building and Construction and for Economic Development say a new Procurement Guide will help government agencies, private sector suppliers, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • He Whenua Taurikura: New Zealand’s first Hui on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism
    The Prime Minister has opened New Zealand’s first hui on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism, which is being held in Christchurch over the next two days. The hui delivers on one of the recommendations from the report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch masjidain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Speech to inaugural Countering Terrorism Hui
    E aku nui, e aku rahi, Te whaka-kanohi mai o rātou mā, Ru-ruku-tia i runga i te ngākau whakapono, Ru-ruku-tia i runga i te ngākau aroha, Waitaha, Ngāti Mamoe, Ngai Tahu, nāu rā te reo pohiri. Tena tātou katoa. Ki te kotahi te kakaho ka whati, ki te kapuia, e ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Campaign shines a light on elder abuse
    A new campaign is shining a spotlight on elder abuse, and urging people to protect older New Zealanders. Launched on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, the Office for Seniors’ campaign encourages friends, whānau and neighbours to look for the signs of abuse, which is often hidden in plain sight. “Research suggests ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Farewelling sports administrator and philanthropist Sir Eion Edgar
    Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson today expressed his sorrow at the passing of Sir Eion Edgar – a leading sports administrator and celebrated philanthropist who has made a significant impact both within and beyond the sport sector. “Sir Eion’s energy, drive and generosity has been truly immense. He leaves ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government to apologise for Dawn Raids
    The Government will make a formal apology for the wrongs committed during the Dawn Raids of the 1970’s. Between 1974 and 1976, a series of rigorous immigration enforcement policies were carried out that resulted in targeted raids on the homes of Pacific families. The raids to find, convict and deport overstayers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Humanitarian support for Bangladesh and Myanmar
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced that New Zealand is providing NZ $8.25 million in humanitarian assistance to support refugees and their host populations in Bangladesh and to support humanitarian need of internally displaced and conflict affected people in Myanmar.  “Nearly four years after 900,000 Rohingya crossed the border ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Poroporoaki: Dame Georgina Kamiria Kirby
    E Te Kōkō Tangiwai, Te Tuhi Mareikura, Te Kākākura Pokai kua riro i a matou. He toka tū moana ākinga ā tai, ākinga ā hau, ākinga ā ngaru tūātea.  Haere atu rā ki te mūrau a te tini, ki te wenerau a te mano.  E tae koe ki ngā rire ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Feedback sought on future of housing and urban development
    New Zealanders are encouraged to have their say on a long-term vision for housing and urban development to guide future work, the Housing Minister Megan Woods has announced. Consultation starts today on a Government Policy Statement on Housing and Urban Development (GPS-HUD), which will support the long-term direction of Aotearoa ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Clean car package to drive down emissions
    New rebates for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles start July 1 with up to $8,625 for new vehicles and $3,450 for used. Electric vehicle chargers now available every 75km along most state highways to give Kiwis confidence. Low Emission Transport Fund will have nearly four times the funding by 2023 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Progress towards simpler process for changing sex on birth certificates
    The Government is taking the next step to support transgender, non-binary and intersex New Zealanders, by progressing the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration Bill, Minister of Internal Affairs, Jan Tinetti announced today. “This Government understands that self-identification is a significant issue for transgender, non-binary and intersex New Zealanders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Crown speeds up engagement with takutai moana applicants
    The Crown is taking a new approach to takutai moana applications to give all applicants an opportunity to engage with the Crown and better support the Māori-Crown relationship, Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Andrew Little says. Following discussions with applicant groups, the Crown has reviewed the existing takutai moana application ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment (AODT) Court opens
    The Minister of Justice, Kris Faafoi, and the Minister for Courts, Aupito William Sio, have welcomed the opening of a new Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment (AODT) Court in Hamilton. The AODT Court (Te Whare Whakapiki Wairua) addresses situations where substance abuse and offending are intertwined. “New Zealanders have told ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • EU and UK FTAs top of list for first ministerial trip since COVID-19
    Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor today announced details of his planned visit to the United Kingdom and European Union next week, where he will hold trade and agriculture discussions to further New Zealand’s economic recovery from COVID-19. The visit will add political weight to ongoing negotiations with both the EU ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Arihia Bennett to chair Royal Commission Ministerial Advisory Group
    Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu chief executive Arihia Bennett MNZM has been appointed chair of the newly appointed Ministerial Advisory Group on the Government’s Response to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch mosques. “Twenty-eight people from diverse backgrounds across Aotearoa have been selected for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Medical Association General Practitioners' Conference, Rotorua
    Ki ngā pou maha o te whare hauora o Aotearoa, kei te mihiTo the pillars of our health system I acknowledge/thank you Ki te ope hapai hauora o roto o tēnei rūma, kei te mihi To our health force here in the room today, I acknowledge/thank you He taura tangata, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Karangahape Road upgrades are streets ahead
    The upgrades to Karangahape Road makes the iconic street more pedestrian and cycle-friendly, attractive and environmentally sustainable, Transport Minister Michael Wood and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said at the formal celebration of the completion of the Karangahape Road Enhancements project. The project included widening footpaths supporting a better outdoor dining ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to APEC business event
    E ngā tumu herenga waka, ākina ā ngaru, ākina ā tai ka whakatere ngā waka ki te whakapapa pounamu, otirā, ki Tamaki o ngā waka Tena koutou katoa… To the great leaders assembled, who guided your waka through turbulent times, challenging waters and you continue to navigate your respective waka ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Pause on Quarantine Free Travel with Victoria extended
    Following an assessment of the COVID-19 outbreak in greater Melbourne, New Zealand’s Quarantine Free Travel pause with Victoria will continue for a further seven days, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. There are now 93 cases associated with the outbreak in greater Melbourne, spread over four clusters. Contact tracing efforts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Supplier Diversity Aotearoa Summit: Navigate 2021
    *** Check with delivery *** A mihi to all who have contributed to making today a success – starting with you! As you have explored and navigated government procurement today you will hopefully have reflected on the journey of our people so far – and how you can make a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Pukemiro School to close
    Pukemiro Primary School near Huntly will close following years of declining roll numbers, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. “I’ve consulted with the School Commissioner, and this decision acknowledges the fact that the few remaining students from last term are now settled at other nearby schools. “I want to thank ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt acts to protect NZers from harmful content
    New Zealanders will be better protected from harmful or illegal content as a result of work to design a modern, flexible and coherent regulatory framework, Minister of Internal Affairs Jan Tinetti announced today. New Zealand currently has a content regulatory system that is comprised of six different arrangements covering some ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Consultation on exemption of new builds from proposed tax rules
    The Government has today confirmed new builds will be exempt from planned changes to the tax treatment of residential investment property.  Public consultation is now open on details of the proposals, which stop interest deductions being claimed for residential investment properties other than new builds.   “The Government’s goal is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech for Predator Free 2050 Conference
    Introduction E ngā mana E ngā reo E ngā iwi Tēnā koutou katoa   Ka huri ki ngā mana whenua o te rohe nei. Tēnā koutou He mihi hoki ki a tatou kua tau mai nei i raro i te kaupapa o te rā Ko Ayesha Verrall toku ingoa No ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New stock exchange to help grow small businesses
    A new share trading market, designed as a gateway to the NZX for small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), has been granted a licence by the Government. Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister, David Clark said Catalist Markets Ltd will provide a simpler and more affordable ‘stepping stone’ for SMEs to raise capital. “This ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Visa extensions provide certainty to employers and 10,000 visa holders
    Changes to onshore visas will provide employers and visa holders with more certainty, Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi has announced. Around 10,000 Working Holiday visas and Supplementary Seasonal Employment (SSE) work visas due to expire between 21 June 2021 and 31 December 2021 will be extended for another six months to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Border class exceptions approved for more farm workers and vets
    The Government has approved border class exceptions for an additional 200 dairy workers and 50 veterinarians to enter New Zealand, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today.  “It is clear from conversations with the dairy and veterinarian sectors that they are facing workforce pressures. These border exceptions will go a long ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More freezers and South Island hub to support vaccine roll-out
    A South Island hub and 17 new ultra-low temperature freezers will help further prepare New Zealand for the ramp up of the vaccination programme in the second half of this year, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. The new freezers arrived in New Zealand on 27 May. They’re currently being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Speech at the release of Climate Change Commission's final advice
    Good morning – and thank you Prime Minister. Over the last three and half years we have been putting in place the foundations for a low-carbon Aotearoa that will be a catalyst for job creation, innovation, and prosperity for decades to come. In that future, many of our everyday tasks ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Achievable blueprint for addressing climate change released
    Report says Government making good progress on emissions reduction, but more action required Meeting climate targets achievable and affordable with existing technology Economic cost of delaying action higher than taking action now Benefits from climate action include health improvements and lower energy bills All Ministers to help meet climate targets ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Speech to release of Climate Commission final report
    A few years ago in a speech in Auckland, I compared climate change to the nuclear free movement of roughly four decades ago. And I did so for a few reasons. Firstly, because the movement of the 1980s represented a life or death situation for the Pacific, and so does ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Appointment of Judge of the High Court
    Auckland Barrister Michael Robinson has been appointed a Judge of the High Court, Attorney‑General David Parker announced today. Justice Robinson graduated with a BA and an LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland in 1996, and commenced practice as a solicitor with Brookfields in Auckland.  In 1998 he travelled to London ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government takes action to improve protections for subcontractors
    The Construction Contracts (Retention Money) Amendment Bill – which provides greater financial protection for subcontractors, has passed its first reading today. The Bill amends the retention provisions in the Construction Contracts Act 2002 (CCA) to provide increased confidence and transparency for subcontractors that retention money they are owed is safe. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 1 million more Pfizer doses to arrive in July
    Pfizer has scheduled delivery of an estimated 1 million doses of vaccine to New Zealand during July, COVID1-9 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “These consignments will double the total number of Pfizer doses we have received this year to more than 1,900,000 – enough to fully vaccinate almost 1 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Long-term home of the Independent Children’s Monitor identified
    The Independent Children’s Monitor (Te Mana Whakamaru Tamariki Motuhake), which is currently located within the Ministry of Social Development (MSD), will become its own departmental agency within Government. “Following the recommendations of several reviews, Cabinet agreed in 2019 to build a significantly expanded independent monitor for children in care,” Carmel ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Racing Integrity Board members announced
    The new Racing Integrity Board will be up and running from July 1 to ensure high standards of animal welfare, integrity and professionalism in the racing industry. Racing Minister Grant Robertson today announced the appointments to the new Board: Sir Bruce Robertson KNZM – Chair Kristy McDonald ONZM QC Penelope ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt crackdown on organised crime continues
    A major operation against multiple organised crime groups with international links will make a significant dent in drug harm and violent offending linked to organised crime networks, Police Minister Poto Williams says. “I want to take an opportunity to congratulate the Police for their role in Operation Trojan Shield. This ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Farm planning framework supports farmers into the future
    A new framework, agreed between Government and industry, will make it easier for farmers and growers to integrate future greenhouse gas emissions and freshwater regulatory requirements into their farm planning, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said. “The Good Farm Planning Principles Guide out today, provides guidance for how farmers can organise ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Enhanced Task Force Green Approved for Canterbury
    The Government has activated Enhanced Taskforce Green (ETFG) in response to the Canterbury floods. The Minister of Social Development and Employment, Hon Carmel Sepuloni says $500,000 will be made available to help with the clean-up. The flooding in Canterbury has been a significant and adverse event damaging farmland, homes, roads ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago