web analytics

Shameful poverty – why we must elect a Labour led government

Written By: - Date published: 7:04 am, August 31st, 2017 - 48 comments
Categories: class war, health, housing, labour, national - Tags: , , , ,

Two excellent but very disturbing pieces in The Herald yesterday. Kirsty Johnston:

Damp, overcrowded homes bigger threat to kids than car crashes

Diseases linked to cold, damp, overcrowded homes are killing more New Zealand children than car crashes or drownings.

An average 20 children die and 30,000 are hospitalised every year from preventable, housing-related diseases like asthma, pneumonia and bronchiolitis, health statistics show.

Poor areas that have high deprivation and low incomes, lots of rental housing and fewer Europeans suffer the most – suburbs like Auckland’s Pt England and parts of Glen Eden.

Health data shows the hospitalisation numbers are climbing. Respiratory conditions in particular – like bronchiolitis and asthma – are causing more hospitalisations each year, with the most severe, such as a “third world” disease named bronchiectasis, irreparably damaging babies’ lungs.


Kirsty Johnston and Chris Knox:

Childhood diseases in the land of milk and poverty

More New Zealand children are killed by diseases linked to cold, damp, and overcrowded housing than in car crashes or drownings.

Disease casts a shadow over Parrs Park in West Auckland. It’s there in the data: the children are getting sick. And when the women open their doors, they’ll tell you.

Hospitalisations caused by poverty-related conditions have increased since 2000 – up to 43,000 last year. Respiratory diseases, in particular, are growing at much more severe rates.

Doctors argue the hospitalisations are a result of embedded child poverty levels combined with a relentless housing crisis.

“In New Zealand we have created a triple jeopardy for poor health,” says expert paediatrician Professor Innes Asher. “Poverty, unhealthy housing and inadequate basic health care puts health at risk, but when the three are combined…poor physical health is almost inevitable, as in Dickens’ times.”

“It’s deeply disappointing,” says Philippa Howden-Chapman, a professor of public health at the University of Otago. “There’s a real reluctance of landlords, who are providing a service, to maintain that service. It’s a reluctance I can only put down to the fact that most landlords aren’t concerned about depreciation but only capital gains.”

Howden-Chapman says with up to 800,000 uninsulated homes in New Zealand, she was staggered the government reduced such an important programme.

“It’s both a social and a moral argument – children end up with compromised health for their whole lives, and they die.” …

Plenty more data, personal anecdotes, and analysis in both of these pieces, everyone should read them in full.

This crisis in poverty, housing and health is a national disgrace. It is why we desperately need to elect a Labour led government in September.

48 comments on “Shameful poverty – why we must elect a Labour led government”

  1. UncookedSelachimorpha 1

    Excellent Post.

    The graph just needs “Delivering for New Zealand” splashed across the front.

  2. Dot 2

    and splashed on the website

  3. jcuknz 3

    Yes it is a national disgrace … that so many adults in NZ do not understand that having kids is expensive and don’t get pregnant when they are on low wages.
    It is not just a Pacifcia/Maori problem either.

    • Muttonbird 3.1

      Could your parents afford you? Not sure they did a good job, regardless.

    • Stuart Munro 3.2

      Part of the brighter future was supposed to be increased opportunity – but instead wages have been static and are not expected to rise for three years. Cost of living meanwhile is going through the roof, as privatized former public services gouge their customers instead of delivering the savings on which their sales were predicated.

    • It’s not the individuals but the system that we have that creates poverty. The system that you support.

      So, this is the inevitable result of your actions and beliefs. Time for you to start taking personal responsibility.

    • Lara 3.4

      Such a predictable response. And so sadly common in middle NZ today.

      Your statement has at least these three unacknowledged assumptions. I would like to think you’ll consider this, but I fear you will not.

      1. At the time of conception all prospective parents can see the future and know that their financial circumstances will not deteriorate.

      2. Every conception is the result of consensual intercourse.

      3. Contraception works 100% all of the time.

      Clearly, none of these assumptions are true.

      I don’t think you’ve thought your knee jerk attitude through very well.

      Do you think there should be a means test / income test before people are allowed to have children? What annual income do you think would be okay? The poor aren’t allowed to have kids?

  4. The Chairman 4

    “If elected the party would address unhealthy homes in its first 100 days, she said”
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/health/news/article.cfm?c_id=204&objectid=11913852

    That doesn’t allow them (Labour) the necessary time to build more homes, thus take the heat out of an overheated rental market. Allowing landlords more scope to pass related WoF costs on.

    Couple that with the warning from insurance brokers of an expected massive 50% plus increase in the cost of insurance cover, rents are going to soar. Resulting in more dropping below the poverty line.

    Adding to that inflationary pressure will be a reduction in rental supply due to the work required not being feasible for some – or landlords inability to afford to stump up the initial outlay required. Removing a number of cheaper, lower end rentals from the market.

    Therefore, what is to become of those that are struggling to cover their rent now, let alone having to cope with new WoF related rent increases? More poverty? More overcrowding?

    The main barrier to warm, dry and safe homes is lack of funding. A $2000 grant is vastly insufficient in protecting against rent increases as the outlay to meet the criteria of a comprehensive Warrant of Fitness will be considerably more. But seeing as the health savings are substantial and the need is dire, Labour should be offering more.

    So while the intention is good, the wider ramifications hasn’t been well thought through.

    As for the Greens.

    “Davidson said the Green Party would bring in a comprehensive Warrant of Fitness for houses to make sure every property – not just rentals – were warm, dry and safe.”
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/health/news/article.cfm?c_id=204&objectid=11913852

    Genuine question. What happens to a household who own their own home but cant afford to meet the criteria a comprehensive Warrant of Fitness requires? Will they be forced out of their home? Fined?

    • tracey 4.1

      Their policy of Warrant of Fitness applies to Rental properties. The Press release quoted from states this, earlier than the statement you quoted;

      ““National’s repeated refusal to put in a mandatory rental warrant of fitness is putting further lives at risk.”

      And more in an earlier statement;

      https://www.greens.org.nz/news/press-release/greens-will-fix-slum-rentals-exposed-renting-review

      • The Chairman 4.1.1

        Are you implying Davidson is incorrect? Or the policy has only now been extended to all homes?

        • tracey 4.1.1.1

          Neither, as I stated int he post you replied to, her quote was taken out of context. In full context she is clearly referring to rental homes.

          • The Chairman 4.1.1.1.1

            I don’t see how. It was a rather straight forward quote. Stating “not just rentals” was blatantly clear.

            Moreover, as you are referring to an older press release to substantiate your claim, how can you be sure it hasn’t been extended?

    • tracey 4.2

      And the cost of not addressing it, in terms of health implications and associated costs?

      • The Chairman 4.2.1

        The cost (thus taxpayer savings) is said to be substantial. Hence they should be offering more to offset costs being passed onto tenants.

    • Siobhan 4.3

      ” Removing a number of cheaper, lower end rentals from the market.”…actually I’m all for that.
      Landlords who buy cheap run down houses, (all of which probably have their rents/income artificially subsidised/propped by the taxpayer through Accommodation Allowance etc), are competing with first home buyers (ie renters).

      The less landlord owned houses, the more actual home owners.

      • The Chairman 4.3.1

        I can’t see too many of the people utilizing those homes due to their lower rent sharing your sentiment when they are forced out.

      • The Chairman 4.3.2

        As for your sentiment, Siobhan, sorry, I was in a rush before. Hence, didn’t have time to give it the attention it requires.

        So lets delve a little deeper into it now.

        Landlords who own and can’t afford to repair cheaper, lower end rentals are less likely to be well off. Therefore, reducing the value of their home (by requiring WoFs they’ll find difficult to attain) could result in tipping a number of them over and into financial hardship.

        Meanwhile, well off landlords, sensing blood in the water, will be looking to cash in on their downfall. Therefore, it would be safe to say landlords will still be competing with first home buyers.

        So we can expect to see the less well off landlords being squeezed out of the market, leaving the market to be dominated by the larger players. Who will then (with the cheaper competition largely removed) cash in on the higher rents.

        • Ad 4.3.2.1

          I agree with much of that.

          There will be some landlords who are well cashed up and will be able to buy.
          But there are some market factors mitigating against that.

          The market is already shifting. Those landlords who have strong equity ie over 75% in their properties will be able to survive most downturns. Those who have low equity – around 50% or less – will be the most vulnerable.

          Those landlords with low equity will likely sell as the market continues to decline.

          Those who have ready cash will be able to buy, but then, as the market comes down, so will owner-occupiers be able to consider buying.

          Banks and the Reserve Bank now require much higher deposits for investor buyers. So the pool of speculator-owners is going to dry up very fast.

          Under Labour, the biggest landlords are going to be social housing providers, either HNZ or community trusts. Their rents are able to be controlled.

          Also under Labour, the marketplace is going to be flooded with new houses. This will stabilise the market.

          Also under Labour, they will institute a 5-year Bright Line test, which means that the market for speculation will die.

          And under both Aussie and NZ Reserve Banks, our retail banks are being required to hold much higher deposits, and far lower percentages of risky loans. Again, investment properties will be far harder to fund.

          All you are describing is that small scale renters will quickly decrease, and that market change will be filled by the state and its proxy providers.

          If you think that’s a big task to take on, what is being described is weaning New Zealand off the idea of property investment as a whole. And onto assets and investments that will increase our productivity.

          • The Chairman 4.3.2.1.1

            “The market is already shifting. Those landlords who have strong equity ie over 75% in their properties will be able to survive most downturns. Those who have low equity – around 50% or less – will be the most vulnerable.”

            This will accelerate the shift, leading to a more consolidated market.

            “Banks and the Reserve Bank now require much higher deposits for investor buyers.”

            Yes, but that’s not a problem for those well cashed up or those utilizing equity accrued in other property.

            “Under Labour, the biggest landlords are going to be social housing providers, either HNZ or community trusts. Their rents are able to be controlled”.

            Through Income Related Rent (where the Government pays the difference between the rent tenants are able to pay and normal market rates). Meaning, housing providers will receive full market rents, albeit partly subsidised.

            And considering Labour’s connection to the Wellington model (http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/80673715/Wellington-City-looks-to-private-sector-to-head-off-its-own-affordability-crisis) it’s logical to assume this model may be adopted.

            “Also under Labour, the marketplace is going to be flooded with new houses.”

            It will take years to meet and exceed current housing demand, yet housing WoFs will be put in place within the first 100 days, according to Jacinda.

            A 5-year Bright Line test merely means investors would have to wait a little longer if they wanted to avoid the tax. Alternatively, investors would increase their turnover, flipping over more homes to offset the tax burden.

            Making investment properties far harder to fund merely locks out the smaller players .

            And constraining their ability to borrow isn’t going to lead to those smaller players investing in the far riskier productive sector.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.3.2.2

          Therefore, reducing the value of their home (by requiring WoFs they’ll find difficult to attain) could result in tipping a number of them over and into financial hardship.

          And we’re supposed to be concerned about this because?

          They’re the ones who decided to take the risk fully understanding that the government was going to have to step in and fix the housing.

          I suspect that they did that hoping that the government would give them a free upgrade.

          • The Chairman 4.3.2.2.1

            “And we’re supposed to be concerned about this because? “

            Poverty is a problem we are trying to reduce. Therefore, putting more into financial hardship is counterproductive when it comes to meeting that objective.

            • Draco T Bastard 4.3.2.2.1.1

              Poverty is a problem we are trying to reduce.

              True, we are. Propping up a housing bubble won’t do that. In fact, it does the opposite as we’ve already seen.

              Therefore, putting more into financial hardship is counterproductive when it comes to meeting that objective.

              We could offer to buy the place off of them and turn it into a state house that they can then live in. Removes their financial hardship, increases state housing and doesn’t reward immoral behaviour.

    • McFlock 4.4

      Are you suggesting that landlords aren’t already extracting the maximum possible amount from their tenants?

      • The Chairman 4.4.1

        A rather general question, which no doubt will have a mixed response.

        Here’s one for you.

        Are you suggesting that in an overheated market (where there is clearly scope) landlords won’t pass these new costs on?

        • tracey 4.4.1.1

          Isn’t the big problem that because landlords do not get good yields in places like Auckland, they have to be in it for the capital gain? And to recover the capital gain they have to sell and this is condemning people to short term rentals?

          Having just done the renting thing for the first time in 26 years I am astounded at the size of the bond, the advance rent, having to do the gardens/lawns and the extent of cleaning (including commercial carpet cleaning) I have to do when I leave. I am lucky, having sold in Auckland and moved South I have some spare. But holy crap for the poor bastards not in my position (and that is most of them).

        • McFlock 4.4.1.2

          If they want to rent out the place, and it’s already the lowest end of the market, any raised priced will lower their occupancy rate. Because capitalists ream as much money as they can before people walk away.

          • The Chairman 4.4.1.2.1

            “Any raised priced will lower their occupancy rate.”

            Being at the lower end of a overheated market, there will be plenty looking for the opportunity to secure a place with lower than market average rent.

            In general, if landlords weren’t passing costs on and extracting the maximum possible amount from their tenants, rent’s would be largely stagnant. Which, of course, they’re not.

            • McFlock 4.4.1.2.1.1

              “Passing costs” means increasing rents. If landlords are already “extracting the maximum”, they can’t raise the rents any higher – they’re already maximising their profits.

              Their profits are slightly less, is all.

              • The Chairman

                “Passing costs means increasing rents. If landlords are already “extracting the maximum”, they can’t raise the rents any higher”

                Yet, generally, rents are increasing. Which was my point. If landlords were absorbing costs, rents would be largely stagnant. Which, of course, they’re not.

                • McFlock

                  If landlords were “extracting the maximum”, rents would also be stagnant – unless tenants’ incomes were increasing.

                  • The Chairman

                    What’s increasing is the proportion of incomes going towards rents.

                    • McFlock

                      Fair call.

                      But price (as opposed to value) is a function of supply and demand, not production costs. Capitalists (successful ones) ask “what is the current going rate for properties like the one I’m considering?”, not “I’ll charge cost plus 5%”.

  5. Ad 5

    +100 Anthony

    • The Chairman 5.1

      Clearly Labour’s current stance on this matter has the potential to put more into financial hardship and lead to more overcrowding. Possibly driving more rentals underground, further robbing tenants of protection.

      So why are you so supportive?

      • tracey 5.1.1

        He is in pom-pom mode.

      • Ad 5.1.2

        I am supportive because the housing market is in catastrophic failure.

        Labour’s policy is that that they will subsidise every home owner with a grant
        of $2,000 to insulate their home:

        http://www.labour.org.nz/investing_in_warm_dry_homes

        If landlords can’t afford to bring their home sup to scratch, it will generally be because their yield on that property cannot be touched because they are mortgaged up to the top of their banking limit.

        For those, I would encourage them to sell that property to someone with the money to bring it up to a reasonable standard. That will be good for their risk, and good for others seeking to own a home.

        • The Chairman 5.1.2.1

          See my comments above. You’ll find all your points have been covered.

          To summarise, it will basically result in a transfer of wealth, putting a number of landlords into financial hardship and leaving tenants struggling to cover higher rents. Tipping more below the poverty line while forcing more to resort to overcrowding.

          • McFlock 5.1.2.1.1

            I think plantation owners had similar concern arguments when it was suggested that they might pay a fair wage rather than keeping their employees as slaves: people turfed out of their homes, the ruling elite driven to poverty, and other apocalyptic terrors.

            • The Chairman 5.1.2.1.1.1

              You clearly have the wrong end of the stick.

              I wasn’t suggesting the ruling elite will be driven to poverty. This will largely benefit the larger, more well off players. At the expense of struggling renters.

  6. Peter Bradley 6

    I don’t think NZ voters really care about poverty. Sure, there are lots of articles and media stories about people living in cars but there is little political will to really address the issues. Labour and Greens talk a good game about reducing poverty but in reality they will have little room to move should they become the next government because NZ has reduced its’ tax take significantly over the past 9 years.
    NZ’s treatment of the poor – in particular beneficiaries – was defined in the 1990’s with ruthless changes to the welfare system.
    Subsequently – Helen Clarks government introduced Working For Families tax credits but only for those deemed worthy and working enough hours to qualify. This deliberate omission by the last Labour government was presumably based on research into voter attitudes about who should receive help and who shouldn’t.
    Overall, I believe most NZ voters vehemently despise the poor and this was no better highlighted by the treatment of Metiria Turei – a brown, female from the wrong side of the tracks could not be forgiven her youthful transgressions under any circumstances. The reaction from white middle aged, middle class, male and female pundits was a unanimous foaming at the mouth rage that I have not seen expressed against anyone in politics ever – even Rachel Stewart got in on the act. It was disturbing but also revealing as it peeled back the thin veneer of egalitarianism we like to think is part of our culture. It clearly isn’t and never has been.
    It reminded me of 18th century Britain where the poor where deported to Australian prison colonies or hung for minor crimes. We have not changed as much as we’d like to think since then.

    • tracey 6.1

      Some interesting observations Peter, thanks for sharing. Your last sentence puts me in mind of this

      “… the sufferings of the poor are indeed less observed than their misdeeds; not indeed from any want of compassion, but because they are less known; and this is the reason why they are so often mentioned with abhorrence and so seldom with pity… They starve and freeze and rot among themselves, but they beg, steal and rob among their betters.” Hanoverian London, George

      • Michael 6.1.1

        Agree with you and Peter Bradley. Voters are mostly middle class these days and do not care about other people living in poverty. Neither does the Labour hierarchy, which is why “business as usual” will remain the order of the day on 24 September, regardless of which bunch of political actors score acccess to the taxpayer-funded troughs in the Beehive.
        The best outcome I can see for the poor is a strong Labour/Greens opposition in the next Parliament, holding NACT/Winston to account and, finally, developing progressive policies, such as Universal Basic Income and taxes on rents of various sorts, that actually address our country’s social and economic problems (in that order, too). Had Labour actually done any of this during the last nine years, it might be fit for government now. But it hasn’t, so it isn’t.

  7. This crisis in poverty, housing and health is a national disgrace. It is why we desperately need to elect a Labour led government in September.

    It is a disgrace but are Labour promising to go round and fix all those homes that are, essentially, worthless? If they fix them are they also going to nationalise them?

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Govt supports King Country farmers to lift freshwater quality
    Healthier waterways are front and centre in a new project involving more than 300 King Country sheep, beef and dairy farmers. The Government is investing $844,000 in King Country River Care, a group that helps farmers to lift freshwater quality and farming practice, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. “Yesterday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Support for arts and music sector recovery
    A jobseekers programme for the creative sector and four new funds have been set up by the Government to help our arts and music industry recover from the blow of COVID-19. Thousands of jobs will be supported through today’s $175 million package in a crucial economic boost to support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Legislative changes to support the wellbeing of veterans and their families
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has welcomed the First Reading of a Bill that will make legislative changes to further improve the veterans’ support system.  The Veterans’ Support Amendment Bill No 2, which will amend the Veterans’ Support Act 2014, passed First Reading today. The bill addresses a number of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Christ Church Cathedral – Order in Council
    Views sought on Order in Council to help fast track the reinstatement of the Christ Church Cathedral  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Hon Poto Williams, will be seeking public written comment, following Cabinet approving the drafting of an Order in Council aimed at fast-tracking the reinstatement of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealanders’ human rights better protected in new Bill
    The law setting out New Zealanders’ basic civil and human rights is today one step towards being strengthened following the first reading of a Bill that requires Parliament to take action if a court says a statute undermines those rights. At present, a senior court can issue a ‘declaration of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Deep concern at Hong Kong national security legislation
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today reiterated the deep concern of the New Zealand Government following confirmation by China’s National People’s Congress of national security legislation relating to Hong Kong. “New Zealand shares the international community’s significant and long-standing stake in Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability,” Mr Peters said. “New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government invests in New Zealand’s cultural recovery
    Thousands of artists and creatives at hundreds of cultural and heritage organisations have been given much-needed support to recover from the impact of COVID-19, Prime Minister and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Jacinda Ardern announced today. “The cultural sector was amongst the worst hit by the global pandemic,” Jacinda ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Better protection for New Zealand assets during COVID-19 crisis
    Key New Zealand assets will be better protected from being sold to overseas owners in a way contrary to the national interest, with the passage of the Overseas Investment (Urgent Measures) Bill. The Bill, which passed its third reading in Parliament today, also cuts unnecessary red tape to help attract ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Cleaning up our rivers and lakes
    Setting higher health standards at swimming spots Requiring urban waterways to be cleaned up and new protections for urban streams Putting controls on higher-risk farm practices such as winter grazing and feed lots Setting stricter controls on nitrogen pollution and new bottom lines on other measures of waterway health Ensuring ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Record year for diversity on Govt boards
    The Government is on the verge of reaching its target of state sector boards and committees made up of at least 50 percent women, says Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter and Minister for Ethnic Communities Jenny Salesa. For the first time, the Government stocktake measures the number of Māori, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New appointments to the Commerce Commission
    The Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister and Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister, Kris Faafoi, has today announced the appointment of Tristan Gilbertson as the new Telecommunications Commissioner and member of the Commerce Commission. “Mr Gilbertson has considerable experience in the telecommunications industry and a strong reputation amongst his peers,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Historic pay equity settlement imminent for teacher aides
    The Ministry of Education and NZEI Te Riu Roa have agreed to settle the pay equity claim for teacher aides, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This will see more than 22,000 teacher aides, mostly women, being valued and paid fairly for the work they do. “Teacher aides are frontline ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt delivers security for construction subcontractors
    Subcontractors will have greater certainty, more cashflow support and job security with new changes to retention payments under the Construction Contracts Act says Minister for Building and Construction, Jenny Salesa. A recent review of the retentions money regime showed that most of the building and construction sector is complying with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand and Singapore reaffirm ties
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong have marked the first anniversary of the New Zealand-Singapore Enhanced Partnership with a virtual Leaders’ Meeting today. The Enhanced Partnership, signed on 17 May 2019, provides the framework for cooperation across the four main areas of trade, defence and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • JOINT STATEMENT BY THE PRIME MINISTERS OF NEW ZEALAND AND THE REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE ON THE FIRST AN...
    On 17 May 2019, New Zealand and Singapore established an Enhanced Partnership to elevate our relations. The Enhanced Partnership – based on the four pillars of trade and economics, security and defence, science, technology and innovation, and people-to-people links – has seen the long-standing relationship between our countries strengthen over the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government investment supports the acquisition of new Interislander ferries
    State-Owned Enterprises Minister Winston Peters has welcomed KiwiRail’s announcement that it is seeking a preferred shipyard to build two new rail-enabled ferries for the Cook Strait crossing. “This Government is committed to restoring rail to its rightful place in New Zealand. Bigger, better ships, with new technology are yet another ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Better protection for seabirds
    Better protection for seabirds is being put in place with a new National Plan of Action to reduce fishing-related captures, Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage announced today.   The National Plan of Action for Seabirds 2020 outlines our commitment to reduce fishing-related captures and associated seabird ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Milestone in cash flow support to SMEs
    Almost $1 billion in interest-free loans for small businesses More than 55,000 businesses have applied; 95% approved Average loan approx. $17,300 90% of applications from firms with ten or fewer staff A wide cross-section of businesses have applied, the most common are the construction industry, accommodation providers, professional firms, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government protects kids as smoking in cars ban becomes law
    Thousands of children will have healthier lungs after the Government’s ban on smoking in cars with kids becomes law, says Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa. This comes after the third reading of Smoke-free Environments (Prohibiting Smoking in Motor Vehicles Carrying Children) Amendment Bill earlier today. “This law makes it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Parliament returns to a safe normal
    The special Epidemic Response Committee (ERC) has successfully concluded its role, Leader of the House Chris Hipkins said today. The committee was set up on 25 March by the agreement of Parliament to scrutinise the Government and its actions while keeping people safe during levels 4 and 3 of lockdown. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Foreign Minister makes four diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced four diplomatic appointments: New Zealand’s Ambassador to Belgium, High Commissioners to Nauru and Niue, and Ambassador for Counter-Terrorism. “As the world seeks to manage and then recover from COVID-19, our diplomatic and trade networks are more important than ever,” Mr Peters said. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Bill to counter violent extremism online
    New Zealanders will be better protected from online harm through a Bill introduced to Parliament today, says Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin. “The internet brings many benefits to society but can also be used as a weapon to spread harmful and illegal content and that is what this legislation targets,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Mycoplasma bovis eradication reaches two year milestone in good shape
    New Zealand’s world-first plan to eradicate the cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis is on track the latest technical data shows, says Agriculture and Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two years ago the Government, DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb New Zealand and industry partners made a bold decision to go hard and commit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New payment to support Kiwis through COVID
    Further support for New Zealanders affected by 1-in-100 year global economic shock 12-week payment will support people searching for new work or retraining Work programme on employment insurance to support workers and businesses The Government today announced a new temporary payment to support New Zealanders who lose their jobs due ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • PGF reset helps regional economies
    The Provincial Growth Fund will play a vital role in New Zealand’s post-COVID-19 recovery by creating jobs in shorter timeframes through at least $600 million being refocused on projects with more immediate economic benefits, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The funding is comprised of repurposed Provincial Growth ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government exempts some home improvements from costly consents
    Government exempts some home improvements from costly consents Homeowners, builders and DIYers will soon have an easier time making basic home improvements as the Government scraps the need for consents for low-risk building work such as sleep-outs, sheds and carports – allowing the construction sector to fire back up quicker ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Concern at introduction of national security legislation for Hong Kong
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says the New Zealand Government has reacted with concern at the introduction of legislation in China’s National People’s Congress relating to national security in Hong Kong.  “We have a strong interest in seeing confidence maintained in the ‘one country, two systems’ principle under which Hong ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Samoa Language Week theme is perfect for the post-COVID-19 journey
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, says the theme for the 2020 Samoa Language Week is a perfect fit for helping our Pacific communities cope with the unfolding COVID-19 crisis, and to prepare now for the journey ahead as New Zealand focuses on recovery plans and rebuilding New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Adult kakī/black stilt numbers soar
    A nearly 40-year programme to protect one of New Zealand’s most critically endangered birds is paying off, with a record number of adult kakī/black stilt recently recorded living in the wild, the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. “Thanks to the team effort involved in the Department of Conservation’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Waikato-Tainui settlement story launched on 25th anniversary of Treaty signing
    The story of the Waikato-Tainui Treaty process and its enduring impact on the community is being told with a five-part web story launched today on the 25th anniversary of settlement, announced Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “I am grateful to Waikato-Tainui for allowing us to help capture ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Taita College to benefit from $32 million school redevelopment
    Taita College in the Hutt Valley will be redeveloped to upgrade its ageing classrooms and leaky roofs, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. “The work is long overdue and will make a lasting difference to the school for generations to come,” Chris Hipkins said. “Too many of our schools are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Redeployment for workers in hard-hit regions
    The Government is allocating $36.72 million to projects in regions hard hit economically by COVID-19 to keep people working, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Projects in Hawke’s Bay, Northland, Rotorua and Queenstown will be funded from the Government’s $100 million worker ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $35m to build financial resilience for New Zealanders
    A $35m boost to financial capability service providers funded by MSD will help New Zealanders manage their money better both day to day and through periods of financial difficulty, announced Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “It’s always been our position to increase support to key groups experiencing or at risk ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New District Court Judge appointed
    Dunedin barrister Melinda Broek has been appointed as a District Court Judge with Family Court jurisdiction to be based in Rotorua, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. Ms Broek has iwi affiliations to Ngai Tai. She commenced her employment in 1996 with Scholefield Cockroft Lloyd in Invercargill specialising in family and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $206 million investment in upgrades at Ohakea Air Force Base
    The Coalition Government has approved a business case for $206 million in upgrades to critical infrastructure at Royal New Zealand Air Force Base Ohakea, with the first phase starting later this year, Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. The investment will be made in three phases over five years, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Review of CAA organisational culture released
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today released the Ministry of Transport’s review of the organisational culture at the Civil Aviation Authority. Phil Twyford says all employees are entitled to a safe work environment. “I commissioned this independent review due to the concerns I had about the culture within the CAA, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Board appointed at Stats NZ
    Ensuring that Stats NZ’s direction and strategy best supports government policy decisions will be a key focus for a new Governance Advisory Board announced today by the Minister for Statistics, James Shaw. The new Governance Advisory Board will provide strategic advice to Stats NZ to ensure it is meeting New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Principal Environment Judge
    Environment Judge David Kirkpatrick of Auckland has been appointed as the Principal Environment Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  Judge Kirkpatrick was appointed an Environment Judge in February 2014. From December 2013 to July 2016 he was Chair of the Auckland Unitary Plan Independent Hearings Panel. Prior to appointment he ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Digital connectivity boost for urban marae
    A programme to connect marae around the country to the internet has received $1.4 million to expand to include urban marae in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister Kris Faafoi and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. The funding for the Marae Connectivity Programme ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt increases assistance to drought-stricken Hawke’s Bay farmers
    The Government will provide $500,000 to the Hawke’s Bay Mayoral Drought Relief Fund to help farmers facing one of the worst droughts in living memory, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Yesterday afternoon I received a letter from Hawke's Bay's five local Government leaders asking me to contribute to the Fund. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago