web analytics

Shock horror right wing think tank thinks NZ not very democratic

Written By: - Date published: 10:04 am, January 18th, 2018 - 74 comments
Categories: accountability, australian politics, blogs, David Farrar, Deep stuff, democracy under attack, democratic participation, dpf, Globalisation, International, Politics, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, us politics - Tags:

The usual suspects are touting a report that suggests New Zealand is not very democratic, and ranks 39th in the world behind such democratic heavyweights such as Guatemala, Kiribati, Panama, and Colombia. Top ranked nation is Ireland, and our Australian neighbours are ranked fifth. The United States is ranked 44th although I would not necessarily disagree with this particular ranking.

Newly declared and totally impartial Constitutional Lawyer and electoral reform campaigner Jordan Williams had this to say:

New Zealand’s mediocre ranking in a new index of electoral freedoms is embarrassing and shows the need for electoral reform, says constitutional lawyer and electoral reform campaigner Jordan Williams, who is now the Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union.

Mr Williams said, “New Zealand usually performs well on indexes of economic strength, non-corruption, and general freedoms, but the first World Electoral Freedom Index (WEFI) identifies an area for serious improvement.”

“New Zealand is ranked 39th of 198 countries. That’s behind Australia (5th), the United Kingdom (9th), India (20th), and even Kiribati (29th) and Guatemala (34th).”

“While the report says we perform well in two of the four indexes, we are let down by our limited Passive Suffrage Freedom (ranked 105th) and Elector Empowerment (ranked 112th).”

“This report suggests New Zealand has far too many restrictions around candidate participation, campaign freedom, and accountability. Further, voters lack powers to directly change laws or oust elected representatives.”

“This result is embarrassing for a country that leads the world in many areas. But under MMP and current electoral laws, it’s inevitable. We could improve our standing in next year’s index by taking the best of overseas electoral systems – perhaps an upper house to keep Parliament in check, recall elections, and a way for citizens to initiate binding referenda.”

“It is a real failing that voters have no tools to recall elected officials who totally go off the reserve. List MPs are accountable to parties, not directly to voters and even a mayor like Len Brown could not be sacked. The proposed ‘waka-jumping’ law is likely to see us fall further in these rankings.”

And the opposition’s pollster has repeated the claims uncritically.

The report is compiled by the Foundation for the Advancement of Liberty. This organisation is a Spanish based private entity and clearly believes in the sanctity of the market and the importance of individual freedom. The vision of the foundation is that of “prosperous human societies, organized through the spontaneous order of culture and market, and respectful of all of their members’ individual freedom.”

The report has been funded privately, untainted by the stain of public money.  From the report:

No taxpayer money has been used for the research work, the physical production of this report or its distribution.  All financial and other resources used have been voluntarily given by private donors.

So why did New Zealand do so badly? After all I thought our democracy was pretty robust.

The report generally scores countries in four different areas and the ranking depends on the sum of the individual scores.

New Zealand did well in two of the four areas.  In Political Development we were ranked 8th in the world and 4th in active sufferage.  But we were ranked 105th in Passive Suffrage and 112th in Elector Empowerment.

It appears the report writers hate MMP.  Again from the report:

In fact, only Ireland, which leads the 2018 ranking, reached an outstanding level of electoral freedom, slightly exceeding the 80 points out of a maximum possible 100. Among other virtues, Ireland is one of the few countries with a single transferable vote system, which, according to the recently deceased professor Sartori, is the purest of all, and, in his opinion, perfectly proportional.”

It is bizarre that MMP which is as proportional a system that you can imagine should be marked down and STV considered to be the most proportional of systems.  This would however explain Australia’s high ranking and why Germany, ranked 64th in the world, was ranked so low.

The other ranking New Zealand did poorly in, the elector empowerment index appears to have been because the power of referendums is poor and there is no direct ability to recall elected members.  But this appears to be a rather theoretical scoring of constitutional provisions rather than an active assessment of individual’s powers.  New Zealand ranked below Iraq, Tunisia, Egypt, Ghana, Israel, Kosovo among other nations.  You have to wonder about the appropriateness of the marking or the design of the test.

No doubt the right will use this as further evidence that the last election result was a travesty and National should be in power.  In their minds 44% of the electorate has priority over the other 56% mainly because the 44% is their 44%.

But I hope the media treat this particular report with a great deal of scepticism.  And check into how the result was achieved before quoting its conclusion.

74 comments on “Shock horror right wing think tank thinks NZ not very democratic”

  1. Stuart Munro 1

    I guess the subtext is that the Gnats are relying on buying some more waka jumpers, having exhausted the possibilities of support parties.

  2. Muttonbird 2

    I assume by “campaign freedom”, Williams means the ability for private money to enter politics in a big way, unrestricted and undetected.

    Also not sure how promoting a host of binding citizen-initiated referenda sits with the mission of the Taxpayers’ Union to keep the costs of government down.

  3. Ed 3

    Maxim Institute often on RNZ without any mention of their bias.

  4. red-blooded 4

    Frankly, the idea that any FPP-based system should score more highly than a proportional system makes this report highly suspect, IMHO. And one would have thought that the four descriptors could (at least) have been weighted, according to their usefulness and importance. After all, how often does the electorate need to recall an MP?

    • Anon 4.1

      STV has it’s place, would be better than FPP for electorates, and better than status quo if we insist on retaining a threshold for party votes.

  5. Wensleydale 5

    So basically… “MMP makes it harder for our grasping, venal friends in the National Party to get re-elected, therefore democracy is ruined.”

    You lost. Suck it up and move on with your lives. It’s getting embarrassing.

  6. Sanctuary 6

    The Foundation for the Advancement of Liberty appears to be yet another astroturf Hayekian far right libertarian think tank funded through a web of similar organisations, particularly a certain “Atlas Network” (there is a clue in the title). The Atlas network was set up back in the day by a libertarian British guy called Antony Fisher, who was a buddy of Hayek and lived next door to Milton Friedman, and Fisher was a member of all the usual suspects like the ultra-libertarian Mount Pelerin Society.

    This particular outfit, as far as I can tell from the Spanish language bios, has a heavy representation of anti-Castro Cubans and they exist largely to tell South Americans and Spaniards off for not appreciating Pinochet.

    According to Source Watch “…major Atlas donors have included the Koch Foundation, ExxonMobil, MasterCard, John Templeton, Donors Trust, and the American government. The Atlas Network began with the Institute of Economic Affairs, which was established by Antony Fisher in 1955, and has grown into a consortium of “450 think tanks around the world.” Through these think tanks, the Atlas Network distributed over $5 million in 2016, and nearly $30 million since 2009…”

    in other words, Jordan Williams loves the Foundation for the Advancement of Liberty because like the Taxpayers Onion it represents no one and nothing beyond the interests of libertarian billionaire funders, and he’d love some of that sweet, sweet hidden cash.

    Otherwise, nothing to see here. far right libertarian propaganda is doing what it always does, citing itself through a web of fake and astroturf organisations to further the interests of the .001%.

    • Ross 6.1

      The Taxpayers Onion? I must confess that when I hear Williams and Farrar pontificating, it makes me want to cry.

    • greywarshark 6.2

      Taxpayers Onion, very poignant, I wondered why its mention always bring tears to my eyes. Damn Ross, he was too fast for me – I step aside to the winner.

      • mickysavage 6.2.1

        Im sure they chose to call themselves a Union to annoy the feck out of progressives …

        • NZJester 6.2.1.1

          The fact they call themselves Tax Payers instead of Tax Dodgers I think annoys us more than them using Union in their name.

          • greywarshark 6.2.1.1.1

            Tax Payers! It plays to a myth that only the wealthy support the country, paying to the government like charity givers and so superior about their supposed largesse and value to the nation. It ignores the supposedly universal GST set at a rate that they were paying in Switzerland when I was there in the 60-70’s, and totally unsuitable as a tax rate for our type of economy.

            And it ignores how tax has been organised, with the provision for untaxed transport to work allowance, tool allowance etc. which was helpful to employed workers being removed – while independent tradesmen had different settings. And it was to make tax simple? Just at the time we got computers that could do anything in a matter of milliseconds. Simple? I think they think that we don’t think because we are simple. Maybe they are right, or just get distracted too easily when required to face multiple challenges.

            Families had rates worked out on tax tables like F1, F2, etc with less tax until about F5, and that was automatic and ao did not need a special provision like Working for Families tacked on like an extra.

            And of course tax lawyers can organise financial matters so that little tax is paid by wealth creators. I remember one year one POTUS paid no income tax when in power. What a good example to the people of how capitalists behave quite legally and supposedly, ethically.

            Union of course is sort of sneering and satirical in its use by the TU. But they are as we know a very strong union in truth. Only they wouldn’t know truth, they can’t handle the truth!

        • The Fairy Godmother 6.2.1.2

          And it’s so dishonest, I’m a taxpayer but they don’t represent me and have never invited me to join. Perhaps some of us should try. That would be funny.

  7. repateet 7

    What is electoral freedom? Is that when you have independent reports and recommendations from independent commissions and give them to Judith Collins who says, “Up you, I can’t be bothered” ?

    And then have people like David Farrar and Jordan Williams grizzling about our lack of electoral freedom?

  8. Sanctuary 8

    “…And then have people like David Farrar and Jordan Williams grizzling about our lack of electoral freedom..?”

    Basically they are two entitled white guys who think they know everything. I wouldn’t worry to much about what they say.

  9. greywarshark 9

    “a new index of electoral freedoms” birthed by Jordon Williams who does the wailing that a human infant would supply. The finale of the post critiquing the index explains it all obviously.

    …No doubt the right will use this as further evidence that the last election result was a travesty and National should be in power. In their minds 44% of the electorate has priority over the other 56% mainly because the 44% is their 44%…

    It appears the report writers hate MMP. Again from the report:
    In fact, only Ireland, which leads the 2018 ranking, reached an outstanding level of electoral freedom, slightly exceeding the 80 points out of a maximum possible 100. Among other virtues, Ireland is one of the few countries with a single transferable vote system, which, according to the recently deceased professor Sartori, is the purest of all, and, in his opinion, perfectly proportional.”

    It is bizarre that MMP which is as proportional a system that you can imagine should be marked down and STV considered to be the most proportional of systems. This would however explain Australia’s high ranking and why Germany, ranked 64th in the world, was ranked so low….

    The report is compiled by the Foundation for the Advancement of Liberty. This organisation is a Spanish based private entity and clearly believes in the sanctity of the market and the importance of individual freedom.

    The vision of the foundation is that of “prosperous human societies, organized through the spontaneous order of culture and market, and respectful of all of their members’ individual freedom.”

    The report has been funded privately, untainted by the stain of public money. From the report:

    Utopian with a twist of piquant lemon from the RW tree. And being funded privately does not mean anything these days when what comes out of the privates, well it is just using a bit of the excess money sloshing over the side of the barrels that governments have supplied.

  10. Ross 10

    The problem might be – 9 years under Muldoon, 9 years under Bolger, 9 years under Key and English. If we dont have as much electoral freedom as others it might be because its not a priority for the Right.

    • ropata 10.1

      RWNJ only want some democratic window dressing to cover up their true intentions of pillaging the nation and the people, then they can justify themselves with talk of a “mandate”

    • Hornet 10.2

      And the intervening periods of 15 years under Labour led governments? Be serious, please.

      • Ross 10.2.1

        Hmmm 27 years versus 15 years…you clearly think the numbers are comparable. And when you consider the Lange government was probably more right-wing than some Tory governments, you might realise where the problem lies.

  11. Booker 11

    I think the bigger question is why the media pass on these press releases from the taxpayers union as valid news.

  12. greywarshark 12

    They are sure to promote controversy on TS and result in clickbait for the smeedia!

  13. Chris 13

    Constitutional lawyer my arse. The guy’s listed as an in-house lawyer for the taxpayers union – his own phony outfit. Who the heck else would take him on? Was interesting how quickly his name disappeared from the Franks Ogilvie site when Dirty Politics blew up. Even filthy Franks didn’t want him. Shame because Williams would’ve felt right at home there.

  14. CHCOff 14

    The fundamental problem of political democracy alone is that of the expression of the democratic idea through centralised decision making.

    This is inherently a contradiction.

    Secondly, the integration of shared stockholder mass decision making expertise to technically specific practicalities is the other contradiction which wastes alot of time & resources to ridiculous extremes, and is in strak contrast to the natural funcitioning of pratical everyday life in any society.

    Churchill is famously attributed to having said that democracy is a terrible system, but its better than all the alternatives.

    That’s only half true on both accounts; there are far worse ( or base ) systems than democracy as is widely thought of, there is not a lack of better or mutually complimentary alternatives within the democracy framework of government itself.

    The problem is really one of deeply ingrained human social habit, that goes back to the transition from subsistence direct cause and effect social systems relative to nature, to the ever increasing cushion from this that is provided by technological application to the elements of nature.

    A somewhat counter balancing adaption to the aspects or elements of ruling corporate structures that can be so distended and deranged resulting from this deeply rooted issue in the modern age would be gender equality in corporate culture.

  15. Tanz 15

    When you have one small party with barely seven percent of the vote and no electorate seat being in the position of choosing the govt (and having one hundred percent of the power over the two large partys who both polled in double digit figures), then anyone with a brain would know that MMP is a screwy system. Just wait till it doesn’t work for Labour, very possibly at the next election (due to not enough support partners), we’ll wait and see how many on the left still just love MMP then…as I have always said, had the shoe been on the other foot, and Labour had actually won the election, but Winston had chosen National, the howls of outrage at such an undemocratic outcome from the left would be deafening…but it’s always different when it suits the left, isn’t it. One thing, at least National kept their scruples, and did not sell their soul for the box seat position. Short term pain, long term gain. The electorate will reward National for their principles alone. Seven percent and Labour gave him Deputy PM and Foreign Minister plust a huge amount of portfolios. Winston really played Ardern and co, and continues to do so. Waka Jumping Bill, what an outrage, for starters. Unbelievable, the cheek.

    • Muttonbird 15.1

      That’s funny. A party with 0.69% of the vote and a sweetheart deal in Epsom chose the government last time. I’m sure you were apoplectic about that.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 15.1.1

        You know what the funniest part is? Tanz voted for Winston.

        • Muttonbird 15.1.1.1

          I don’t see the problem with the waka-jumping thing. These MPs use the party machinery and resources to get elected. If they then turn against the party, then out the freaking door they go. If Tanz thinks that is the outrage then she’s been living under a rock for some years now. Oh, wait…

          • One Anonymous Bloke 15.1.1.1.1

            I see the problem with the waka jumping thing: it impinges on the sovereignty of Parliament. That’s why I think it’s appropriate only where list MPs are concerned. Their contract with the electorate is dependent on their party affiliation.

          • greywarshark 15.1.1.1.2

            Muttonbird
            +1
            I think standing as an MP under one party’s banner and then wanting to jump ship whether you are list or electorate should be something not allowed. It is something that would further destroy faith in the political system.

          • mickysavage 15.1.1.1.3

            I don’t see the problem with the waka-jumping thing

            I don’t either. If your position depended on support from a party then there should be an expectation that you will support the party’s principles.

        • Tanz 15.1.1.2

          yeah, and I gladly admit that. So I was suckered, like the rest of NZ First Voters, or at least half of them. We all make mistakes! It would be funny if it wasn’t so very bad for the country. The scoundrel lied. Bye bye Kingmaker.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 15.1.1.2.1

            You only admitted it once I called you out. Before then you were busy telling everyone it was “obvious” that Winston was colluding with Labour “from the start”.

            Be that as it may, I’m delighted you’re still trying to get people to listen to your delusional gobshite. That’s for nothing, now do something.

          • solkta 15.1.1.2.2

            So you voted for the only party that refused to commit to who they would go into coalition with and now you are pissed that they went with the grouping that was able to give them more of their policy. Not something i would normally say on this site, but fuck you are stupid.

          • Psycho Milt 15.1.1.2.3

            yeah, and I gladly admit that. So I was suckered, like the rest of NZ First Voters…

            “Suckered,” you call it? You wanted a National government and chose to express that preference by voting for a different party that features little policy overlap with National. That’s not “being suckered,” that’s “being an imbecile.”

      • Tanz 15.1.2

        The difference being, Muttonbird, is that National also won that election, therefore a National govt was also then what the majority wanted, but Act did not have National over a barrel as Winston did with both Labour and National this time. He called all the shots and acted as though he had a huge mandate. Big diff. Act do as they are told, as per their tiny vote percentage. That’s why I don’t complain. National had the moral mandate to govern then, as they also did this time, no matter who Winston chose. Simply more votes to National, yet again.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 15.1.2.1

          Winston has your mandate 😆

          • Tanz 15.1.2.1.1

            He’s broken every promise so far. He doesn’t care about mandates, only baubles and power. He gained votes by those lies, and he also implied pre-election that he was going with National. But silver cloud, always, he won’t be any sort of ‘maker’ again! A betrayer to his base and many of his voters. No wonder he feels he has to change our electoral law with such rubbish as the waka jumping bill – that says so much; he trusts no one, not even his own.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 15.1.2.1.1.1

              You can’t even recognise your own incompetence. PT Barnum rents space in your head.

            • Jimmy Ramaka 15.1.2.1.1.2

              73% of NZF voters preferrred a Labour/NZF Coalition so I guess 27% were unhappy or not unhappy with the result ?

        • Muttonbird 15.1.2.2

          National didn’t win that election with 47%, numb-nuts. What they did was form a government with three partners, two of which they have since destroyed, and the other from which they continue receiving fellatio.

          • Tanz 15.1.2.2.1

            They outpolled Labour, the other major party. Therefore more people wanted National than Labour. Our convention has always been the highest polling party is govt. In fact, National outpolled both Labour and the Greens. How is it possibly democratic that second place gets to be govt over first? And National have most of the electorate MPs. But just twist it to suit you, that is all the left ever do. End of the day, National still lead in the polls, that must be a worry to your side. The majority still prefer blue.

            • Psycho Milt 15.1.2.2.1.1

              How is it possibly democratic that second place gets to be govt over first?

              Maybe you should get yourself a children’s book on how Parliament works and how elections work, and maybe a simple maths book that explains what percentages are, then perhaps you won’t ask such embarrassingly stupid questions in future.

            • Brian Tregaskin 15.1.2.2.1.2

              Well Tanz call it a revolution –the election was stolen from a party (Born to rule) that had only 44% of the vote, You lost, get over it and move on -the world is not black and white. National are likely a generation away from regaining power. The big issue with them is their policies actually work against even most of the voters that vote for them. My money is National out for at least three terms to perhaps a kinder to the people National emerges out of the ashes.

              • Wensleydale

                We’ve had “kinder to the people National” before. It’s essentially the same old diseased cadaver shuffling around with a crude latex mask stapled to its decomposing face. Anyone who has been paying attention for the last three or so decades knows exactly what National are and who they represent. And they’re only ever kinder to the people if it serves their own interests, and never for very long.

            • Jimmy Ramaka 15.1.2.2.1.3

              You obviously still do not understand MMP and you are a TROLL ?

            • Obtrectator 15.1.2.2.1.4

              “Our convention has always been the highest polling party is govt.”

              Exactly so. It’s a convention, not an immutable rule, or law.

              Conventions by their very nature are always at risk of being disregarded. (Such as, for instance, the one that the person holding the office of POTUS comports himself with some degree of dignity and restraint.)

            • KJT 15.1.2.2.1.5

              What is so hard to understand that 56% of voters got the parties they wanted in power. If National had got in with NZ first 51% of voters would have got the parties in that they wanted. Either would have been a legitimate result under MMP rules, but 56% is more of a majority than 51%.
              Especially as a majority of NZF voters wanted Winston to go with Labour.

    • The Fairy Godmother 15.2

      Sigh! this is so dumb. National, Act, Labour and the Greens had all decided who they would go with. NZ First was the last one to make up their minds. Everyone decided, just not at the same time and not as fast as our short attention spanned media would like That’s democracy.

  16. adam 16

    Recalling MP should be standard.

    I’d like to suggest we start with Denise Lee, it been how many months since the election, and still no electoral office. Apart from Madin speech, all she been doing is eating her lunch.

    The only way to contact this electorate MP is via email. This is piss poor for an electorate MP and we should have the right to vote this slacker out.

    Recall her, and lets have another election in Maungakiekie.

  17. Et Tu Brute 17

    One of our lowest scores is with “Passive Suffrage” at 69.5%, or 105th place globally.

    Passive Suffrage is the right to run for elected office, as opposed to Active Suffrage which is the right to vote for the elected office (we got 83.7% = goodish).

    What do you think is lowering our Passive Suffrage score? High cost of entering politics? Small voter base? Honestly not sure, but would be interested in opinions.

    • Thinkerr 17.1

      Dont know if you will see this. Ive been offline for a few days and its a late reply.

      Thanks for explaining this. It confused me.

      I would think it means that people cant stand any reasonable chance of getting into parliament without selling their soul to a major political party.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Government-funded security system in dairies foils robbery
    A dairy owner in St Kilda, Dunedin was delighted to hear that an attempted robbery of his establishment was foiled by a government-funded security system. Sean Lee was delighted at how well the anti-theft smoke system worked. When a knife-wielding man entered the store, the shop assistant immediately pressed a ...
    22 mins ago
  • Customs nabs more than 3 tonnes of drugs bound for New Zealand in 2019
    Customs says it stopped more than three tonnes of illegal drugs coming into New Zealand last year. This includes 1,180kg of methamphetamine, 329kg of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine precursors, which could have been converted into 246kg of methamphetamine, 739kg and 6469 pills of MDMA or Ecstasy and 60kg of cocaine. Offshore, ...
    23 mins ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund pays for temporary water supply in Northland
    Hon. Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development Up to $2 million will be allocated from the Provincial Growth Fund to set up temporary water supplies in Kaikohe and Kaitaia where drought is biting hard, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. Drought conditions in Northland have led to ...
    33 mins ago
  • Christchurch trial new defense against fleeing drivers
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Law and Order New Zealand First welcomes the deployment of an Eagle Police helicopter in Christchurch in what is a step towards fulfilling its long-standing goal to increase the use of police helicopters for the front line, particularly in addressing the scourge of fleeing drivers. Christchurch leads ...
    1 day ago
  • Week That Was: A Government of progress
    It may have been the first sitting week of 2020, but our Government is already in full-swing - managing a strong economy, investing in infrastructure, and working to break the cycle of homelessness. Read below for all that, and more... ...
    4 days ago
  • Winston Peters calls Opposition “lemon suckers” during debate on gang numbers
    In a heated debate in Parliament, National's Deputy Leader Paula Bennett claimed that “nearly 1600 patched gang members have been added” since the Coalition Government took power. To illustrate her point, she altered a chart used by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to show her government’s progress in housing to instead ...
    4 days ago
  • Speech by the Rt Hon Winston Peters at Parliament’s Opening 2020 ‘We all Need Insurance’
    Speech by the Rt Hon Winston Peters at Parliament’s Opening 2020 "We all need insurance" This year New Zealanders are going to have a clear choice to make That choice is between: Optimism versus pessimism; More progress versus back to the future; Investment versus divestment; Unity versus division. New Zealand ...
    6 days ago
  • 8 ways the Big New Zealand Upgrade will change New Zealand
    The Government has announced the biggest investment in New Zealand’s infrastructure in a generation with the New Zealand Upgrade Programme. ...
    1 week ago
  • Shane Jones slams Auckland Airport’s board over runway closures
    Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones has slammed the Board of Auckland Airport following the airport's runway closing twice within two weeks due to maintenance. Around 2,000 passengers were affected by last week’s runway closures, according to 1NEWS. Another maintenance closure on January 24 saw two international flights and three domestic flights ...
    1 week ago
  • Public media business case a practical step
    Jenny Marcroft, Spokesperson for Broadcasting New Zealand First supports the commissioning of a business case to assess the viability of a new public media entity. “A strong media environment is critical for a healthy democracy. New Zealand First is a strong supporter of a diverse, independent media,” New Zealand First broadcasting spokesperson ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Waitangi
    This week, the focus was on Waitangi - a great opportunity to reflect on who we are, and who we want to be as a nation. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • West Coast tech firms and iwi get Provincial Growth Fund cash boost
    Pounamou and technology industries in the West Coast region are set to receive more than $2 million in Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) funding. This was announced by the Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau during Waitangi Day commemorations in Hokitika. He said $800,000 would be given to Development West ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Unemployment down, wage growth up proof of strong labour market
    Clayton Mitchell MP, New Zealand First spokesperson for Labour and Industrial Relations Unemployment and wage growth numbers released by Stats NZ today demonstrate a labour market in good shape with unemployment falling to 4.0%, the underutilisation rate falling to an 11 year low, and wage growth at a 10-year high ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First welcomes official opening of Te Rau Aroha Museum
    Hon. Ron Mark, New Zealand First Spokesperson for Defence New Zealand First Spokesperson for Defence Ron Mark, welcomes the official opening of Te Rau Aroha, a new museum at Waitangi Treaty Grounds as part of our Coalition Agreement. “It is a great honour to be part of an effective Government ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech: Opening of Waitangi Museum Te Rau Aroha
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister Good morning, Let us start with important acknowledgements. First, this special day, in remembrance of the 28th Maori Battalion, is also to honour all those men and women who have risked their lives in the service of our country. Second, special guest Robert ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters: “New Zealand will look to build on relationship with the UK”
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand will look to build on its relationship with the United Kingdom and recommit to the European Union, after the country officially left the continental union recently. The Minister said New Zealand already cooperates closely with Britain on defence and security issues and has ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Kiwis better off under Coalition Government
    New Zealanders are increasingly better off under this Government as wages rise and families have more disposable income, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. Stats NZ reported today that average household disposable incomes after housing costs rose 4.9% in 2019. This was the highest rise in four years and came as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • Another step towards restoring rights for screen production workers
    All New Zealanders need to have their voices heard at work to ensure we have an inclusive and productive economy. Today we introduce a Bill to do this for workers in the New Zealand screen industry, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. “The Screen Industry Workers Bill will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Enhanced Taskforce Green for Southland and South Otago
    The Government has announced further help for the Southland and Otago regions to speed up recovery efforts from the floods.  “I’ve approved Enhanced Taskforce Green (ETFG), making $500,000 available to help with the clean-up in Fiordland, Southland, and the Clutha district in Otago,” Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni said.  ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Employers and Industry take the lead to connect students to vocational education
    Following the announcement that more than 340 schools will be funded to run events promoting vocational education, the Government has announced it will fund a further 257 events to be run by employers and industry. “These industry-run events will allow more than 30,000 students to connect with more than 2,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Rental reforms a step closer with the introduction of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill
    Today the Government is making progress on a fairer and more secure rental market for renters and landlords with the introduction of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill in Parliament.  “This Bill includes a series of reforms to improve the wellbeing of the 609,700 households that live in rented homes, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Biosecurity Minister announces world first eradication of pea weevil
    A Government programme to wipe out pea weevil has achieved a world first, with Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor today announcing the successful eradication of the noxious pest from Wairarapa. This means the nearly four-year ban on pea plants and pea straw was lifted today. Commercial and home gardeners can again grow ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Temporary Accommodation Service activated for Southland flooding
    Southland residents hit by flooding caused by heavy rainfall can now access help finding temporary accommodation with the Government activating the Temporary Accommodation Service, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare announced today. “The Temporary Accommodation Service (TAS) has been activated by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to help ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Bridges: Over-hyped and under-delivered
    “Is that it?” That’s Finance Minister Grant Robertson’s response to Simon Bridges’ much-hyped economic speech today. “Simon Bridges just gave the most over-hyped and under-delivered speech that I can remember during my time in politics,” Grant Robertson said. “It’s not surprising. Simon Bridges literally said on the radio this morning ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Police to trial eye in the sky in Christchurch
    A trial deployment of the Police Eagle helicopter in Christchurch will test whether the aircraft would make a significant difference to crime prevention and community safety. “The Bell 429 helicopter will be based in Christchurch for five weeks, from 17 February to 20 March,” said Police Minister Stuart Nash. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Momentum of trade talks continues with visits to promote Pacific and Middle East links
    The Government has kept up the pace of its work to promote New Zealand’s trade interests and diversify our export markets, with visits to Fiji and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker. Building momentum to bring the PACER Plus trade and development agreement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Coalition Govt’s investment in Customs nets record drugs haul: 3 tonnes stopped at borders in 2019
    The Coalition Government’s investment in a strong border and disrupting transnational organised crime produced record results for stopping drugs in 2019, says Minister of Customs Jenny Salesa. The illegal drugs were seized at the New Zealand border by Customs, and overseas by Customs’ international border partners before the drugs could ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Separated scenic cycleway starts
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today kicked off construction of a separated cycleway alongside Tamaki Drive. A two-way separated cycleway will be built along the northern side of Tamaki Drive, between the Quay Street Cycleway extension and Ngapipi Road. There will be a separate walking path alongside. Phil Twyford said giving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Earthquake-Prone Building loan scheme: eligibility criteria announced
    Owner-occupiers of unit and apartments living in earthquake-prone buildings will have certainty about the financial support they’ll be eligible for with the release of criteria for an upcoming assistance scheme, Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa says. The Residential Earthquake-Prone Building Financial Assistance Scheme will help unit owners facing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Travel restrictions to remain in place as coronavirus precaution
    Temporary restrictions on travel from China will remain in place as a precautionary measure to protect against the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. The restrictions which prevent foreign nationals travelling from, or transiting through, mainland China from entering New Zealand have been extended for a further 8 days. This position ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Over $1 million to help Tairāwhiti youth into employment
    Employment Minister Willie Jackson announced today that Tairāwhiti rangatahi will benefit from an investment made by the Government’s He Poutama Rangatahi (HPR) scheme. The funding will go to the Tautua Village, Kauneke programme and the Matapuna Supported Employment Programme which will fund 120 rangatahi over two years. “Both programmes work ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • School attendance has to improve
    All parents and caregivers need to ensure that their children go to school unless they are sick, Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin said today. “The school attendance results for 2019 show, across the board, a drop in the number of students going to school regularly,” the Minister says. “Apart from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Crown and Moriori sign a Deed of Settlement
    A Deed of Settlement agreeing redress for historical Treaty claims has been signed by the Crown and Moriori at Kōpinga Marae on Rēkohu (Chatham Islands) today, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little has announced. Moriori have a tradition of peace that extends back over 600 years. This settlement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Waikato Expressway driving towards completion
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today with Māori King Tuheitia Pōtatau Te Wherowhero VII officially opened the country’s newest road, the $384 million Huntly section of the Waikato Expressway. The 15km four-lane highway with side and central safety barriers takes State Highway 1 east of Huntly town, across lowlands and streams ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • 3400 New Zealanders treated in first year of new hepatitis C treatment
    The rapid uptake of life-saving new hepatitis C medicine Maviret since it was funded by PHARMAC a year ago means the elimination of the deadly disease from this country is a realistic goal, Health Minister David Clark says. Hepatitis C is a blood-borne virus which attacks the liver, proving fatal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Kaupapa Māori approach for homelessness
      Kaupapa Māori will underpin the Government’s new plan to deal with homelessness announced by the Prime Minister in Auckland this morning. “Māori are massively overrepresented among people experiencing homelessness, so, to achieve different outcomes for Māori, we have to do things very differently,” says the Minister of Māori Development ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government steps up action to prevent homelessness
    1000 new transitional housing places delivered by end of year to reduce demand for emergency motel accommodation. Introduce 25% of income payment, after 7 days, for those in emergency motel accommodation to bring in line with other forms of accommodation support. Over $70m extra to programmes that prevents those at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Important step for new financial conduct regime
    Clear requirements for ensuring customers are treated fairly by banks, insurers and other financial service providers are included in new financial conduct legislation that passed its first reading today. “The recent reviews, by the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) and Reserve Bank of New Zealand, into the conduct of banks and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Applications invited for $7 million Regional Culture and Heritage Fund
    Applications are now open for the fifth round of the Regional Culture and Heritage Fund Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Grant Robertson announced today.   “I am delighted to open this year’s fund which has some $7 million available to support performing arts venues, galleries, museums and whare ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Law Commission appointment celebrates Māori and women
    The Minister of Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta today congratulated Associate Professor Amokura Kawharu on her appointment as the next President of the Law Commission.  “Amokura Kawharu will be a standout in her new role, leading in an innovative and forward looking approach to the law reform process. She will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Associate Professor Amokura Kawharu Appointed Law Commission President
    Auckland University legal academic Amokura Kawharu has been appointed as the next President of the Law Commission, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today.    Associate Professor Kawharu will take up her new appointment on 11 May 2020.   “I would like to congratulate Associate Professor Kawharu on her appointment,” Andrew ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Minister of Employment launches Youth Ready Employer Programme
    A programme for employers to help them engage effectively with younger employees was launched today by Minister of Employment, Willie Jackson. The Youth Ready Employer Programme contains a range of on-line templates that employers can easily access to help with employing and retaining young people in their businesses. The programme ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Budget 2020 date announced
    Budget 2020 will be delivered on Thursday 14 May, Finance Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “This year’s Budget will continue the Coalition Government’s focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while also preparing the economy for the future. “Those challenges and opportunities cannot be resolved in one budget, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister’s tribute to former Prime Minister Mike Moore
    I move, That this House place on record its appreciation and thanks for the devoted and distinguished service to New Zealand by the late Rt Hon Michael Kenneth Moore, member of the Order of New Zealand, a member of Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, an Honorary Member of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Agriculture Minister declares adverse event in Northland
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has today classified the drought conditions in Northland as an adverse event for the primary sector, unlocking $80,000 in Government support. “This is recognition that the extreme and prolonged nature of this dry spell is taking its toll on our farmers and growers and additional support ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police disrupt methamphetamine trade
    The Minister of Police says an operation to smash a trans national drug smuggling ring today will make a significant impact on the methamphetamine trade fuelling harm in our communities. Police have announced 10 arrests and the seizure of up to five million dollars’ worth of illicit drugs after an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Crown accounts in good shape to counter global challenges
    The Government’s books are in a strong position to withstand global headwinds, with the accounts in surplus and expenses close to forecast, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown accounts for the six months to December. The operating balance before gains and losses (OBEGAL) was above ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Racing Safety Development Fund open for applications
    Race courses can improve safety with this year’s second round of funding from the Racing Safety Development Fund. Minister for Racing Winston Peters has announced the second funding round of 2019/20 is open with $347,875 available for distribution. “The racing industry is integral to the economic and social fabric of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to fund Aids research
    The Government is committing $300,000 to fund research to update behavioural information to make sure HIV and STI prevention services are targeted appropriately in New Zealand. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Finance Minister Grant Robertson made the announcement at today’s Big Gay Out in Auckland. “There is much talk about ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Work to begin on a possible new public media entity
    The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media has announced work will begin on a business case to assess the viability of forming a new public media entity.   “The Government must ensure New Zealanders have a strong independent public media service for decades to come, which means ensuring public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government support for communities impacted by flooding
      Minister of Civil Defence Hon Peeni Henare announced today that the Government will contribute $100,000 to the Southland regional Mayoral Relief Fund, to support communities impacted by the recent flooding in Southland.  Mr Henare says this week’s flooding has caused significant disruption to communities in the lower South Island.  ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New grants for seismic strengthening of heritage buildings
    Heritage buildings throughout New Zealand will benefit from the $1.1 million in Heritage EQUIP funding grants announced today. “These grants for seismic strengthening projects help private building owners get the advice they need to start building work or to get the work completed,” Grant Robertson says. “Timaru’s Grosvenor Hotel has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Next level results for game development industry
    A new survey has found New Zealand’s game development sector has grown beyond expectations and is on track to becoming a billion dollar industry in 2025, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford says. “New Zealand’s interactive media sector grew by 42 per cent in last financial year to $203.4 million, according ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • More than 70 marae online through PGF
    Te Tii, the lower marae at Waitangi, is among more than 70 marae now connected to broadband internet thanks to the Provincial Growth Fund’s marae connectivity scheme, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones said today. In February 2019, the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) allocated $21 million to connect rural towns ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF supports West Coast connectivity
    The West Coast has had a funding injection of over $1.2 million from the Provincial Growth Fund, Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced at Waitangi Day commemorations in Hokitika today.  The PGF projects announced are:  $800,000 to Development West Coast for a Grey District Regional Digital Hub ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Agriculture Minister declares adverse event in Southland
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has declared an adverse event for the Southland and Otago regions, unlocking Government support for farmers and growers. “Widespread flooding has resulted in severe disruption, with many people evacuated from their homes and many farms being affected by flood waters. It’s putting pressure on our farmers, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago