web analytics

Should The Left Do Authoritarian Populism Like The Right Does?

Written By: - Date published: 10:17 am, June 21st, 2017 - 54 comments
Categories: Donald Trump, International, Jeremy Corbyn, uk politics, us politics - Tags:

Another election for UK Labour, another (close) loss. Sigh. But wait! There’s France’s Macron! Can’t he be the leftie anti-Trump? He now has as big a majority in his government as Trump’s Republicans do.

So what if the left had an authoritarian populist in power and got some stuff done?

Why can’t the left generate candidates like Donald Trump who upset diplomatic orders, dominate public discourse, and set out an alternative view for an advanced rule-based democracy?

With climate change, environmental degradation, property crises, poverty crises, and decades of vision-free national policy, isn’t real force necessary? Can the left yearn for executive authority?

Or is this just wrong to imagine? Jeremy Corbyn, for example, appears to be a Labour leader without demagogic capacity, preferring detailed policy prescriptions retold in his trademark grey-whiskered scruffy style for public consumption.

Part of the answer is in the history of the left over the previous century. It’s been really easy to tar the left as being on a continuum that supported spectacularly bloodthirsty revolutions in Russia, China, eastern Europe, central Asia, central Africa, south-east Asia, and beyond. We don’t need another Stalin. Too few of the left foreswore revolution, so that tarring has been easy. So why does a leftie Trump seem so hard to imagine, so off-putting? Isn’t this the kind of scale of disruption that the world needs, from the left?

The first answer is, of course, no-one needs a leader as rude or ignorant. Successful politics is about more than making omelettes with eggs. It’s possible to achieve really useful stuff diplomatically, and it’s hard.

The second, is that every country is different. National leadership matters because countries still matter. Each historical and social context demands a different response, within its own democratic framework.

But it’s easy to feel frustration. With the comprehensive economic and societal restructures that New Zealand has gone through, there’s a real question about why we have not seen the rise of more radicalised populist parties. Moderate policies over 6 elections here have generated very moderate results here. What we are seeing across many developed economies is a politics responding to sluggish or declining growth, resistant high real underemployment, no wage and salary growth, declining regions, and whole manufacturing economic bases of social life simply shipped out. Worse than here.

What is being observed through much of Europe, the UK, and the USA are manifestations of a rising tide of right-wing populist politics that really is taking power. And the left, to be honest, is being left behind in every country I can think of.

In little old New Zealand, rather than observing New Zealand First rise to pre-eminence here, they remain between 9-12% and have never been a challenge to the largest two parties. Why?

Let’s look at a couple of comparators.

Singapore is about the same size in population, and is like us a very young nation with a sensitive local population significantly displaced by immigrants. Singapore’s ruling People’s Action Party won the country’s general elections, but earned its lowest percentage of the popular vote since coming into power more than half a century ago.

Lee Kuan Yew, father of modern Singapore, could be seen as a populist authoritarian leftie. His policies about media influence, housing ownership, state ownership, and highly prescriptive economic policies have formed a different kind of society than that which we could imagine or countenance here, but it is strong, dynamic, and filled with public ownership.

But their elections are getting more competitive. There are signs of political liberalisation and maturity. Their context for elections is a paternalistic and technically rational administrative state, reasonably credited with the republic’s remarkable success and largely insulated from political pressures, united by one leader with immense charisma and drive who determined to stay the course, crush opposition, and embed his political successor and his policies. So “populism” in that sense really means a much stronger democracy than they have yet had.

Singapore – clean, meritocratic, pragmatic – has had its origins set down a particular form of democracy and state that is different to the liberal democratic trajectory.

And then there’s France. Macron is no hard leftie. He wants a harder, stronger, more self-reliant Europe. So does Trump. But Macron once taught philosophy and can cite Moliere from memory – doesn’t that make him at least bourgoisie-sympathetic? Hmmm. He’s certainly supportive of climate change: “Lets Make The Planet Great Again”. But that’s comparing him to Trump’s refusal to deal in facts. Macron’s economic policies on employment would fit pretty well with those of Prime Minister Bill English – although that’s comparing to the still highly regulated labour conditions found in France. Macron’s first bill will be aimed at “moralising” French politics by imposing term limits and barring MPs from hiring family members or working as consultants. You could almost describe it as … draining the swamp. I also suspect that the United States and United Kingdom will no longer be able to effectively outsource foreign policy to Merkel’s Germany with a more assertive Gaullist in France.

There’s still some small hankering for a Trump of the left: a great roaring charismatic figure rising up the unwashed and downtrodden, dominating and reviving the fortunes of the left. That is, do what the right have done better. I still hear assumptions that the hard left will rise again as leftist party machines get their ideological mojo back on track. Instead the world is demonstrating that there will be more countries who are run by centrist pragmatists with strong personalities and outsider status parties.

Since 1990, our own Prime Ministers have been exceedingly well mannered and only mildly clever even when pushed on the international stage, and also very careful to implement societal change through technocratic means not force, supported by MMP coalitions that widen their social mandate.

The historical memory of the left is more sensitive to charges of authoritarianism than the right. Maybe that’s just for old people. I also have a sneaking suspicion that the left needs its leaders to always obey the system they have created: the rules-based order of the state must function more perfectly for the left than the right, because they need the restraining force of the state’s legal instruments against the market a whole bunch more than the right does. Because the left needs the system more, the leftie leader must always defer to the system more. Perpetual taming.

But there are looming crises that the left cares about that are particularly hard to solve without really discomfiting paradigm-smashers like Donald Trump. If Trump succeeded as Lee Kuan Yew did by bluntly smashing norms to sweep aside the paralysis of ideological and political deadlock, and installed a technocratic government focused on performance and results, upon which actual legitimacy of popular support are staked, then that question of “the leftie version of Trump” will arise again.

54 comments on “Should The Left Do Authoritarian Populism Like The Right Does?”

  1. mordecai 1

    “But wait! There’s France’s Macron! Can’t he be the leftie anti-Trump?”
    It seems authors on this blog are having a bad week with facts. Macron is not a ‘leftie’. He was a member of the Socialist party of France until 2008, but has recently distanced himself from any connection with socialism. Macron is pro-business, pro-trade, and a self described centrist.

    • Ad 1.1

      OMG I spent a full paragraph explaining all that, and in more precise detail. I even compared his parallels with Trump policy positions. Read the damn post.

      • mordecai 1.1.1

        You claimed macron is a leftie. He isn’t. Oh, and BTW, the socialists got trounced in the French elections.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.2

        You’re wasting your time. Mordecai doesn’t do English Comprehension. He’s now fixated on the “fact” that you said Macron is a leftie and no amount of explanation will change that.

        You can spell it out in tiny words, point out that the question “But wait! There’s France’s Macron! Can’t he be the leftie anti-Trump?” is what we hu-mans call “rhetorical”, whatever.

        None of this will make the slightest difference other than to provide an ongoing illustration of the Dunning-Kruger effect.

        • McFlock

          He’s pretty funny though.

          He’s a bit like Trump’s lawyer referring to the investigation, then accusing the interviewer of putting words in his mouth when the interviewer simply repeats what the guy said. Complete refusal to reflect on self. And when all else fails, pretends to lose any knowledge of the English language 🙂

  2. greywarshark 2

    Jonathan Pie might like the idea of forcing something useful to people through.
    Papering over Poverty – one of his good rants with good points.

    • Ad 2.1

      Jonathan Pie is just Bomber with even less governance experience.

      • Lara 2.1.1

        Oh no, come on now. Jonathan Pie is entertaining. Bomber, with all his “comrade” BS is just annoying.

        And Pie does tend to make rather a lot of sense really.

  3. McFlock 3

    There be dragons.

    Thing is, for every Mandela who steps down constitutionally, there are a dozen Mugabes or whomever. Authoritarianism can end well, but almost never does, and I also think that the “good” authoritarians have likely been fondly remembered as the bad they did is oft interred with their bones, papered over by the bumper-sticker “made the place tidy and built up the economy”. Be interesting to see the opinions of people who got on the wrong side of them.

    • Ad 3.1

      Can a future leftie government go far further than Helen Clark or other incrementalist governments while not resorting to non-authoritarian means?

      I think the first question before you get into government is: what can you achieve within the limits of the powers you have?

      Then figure if you have appetite and will to achieve even more by getting even more power.

      • McFlock 3.1.1

        The Triumph of the Will is all well and good, but I think that above a certain level the strength of will and what that enables one to sacrifice in order to achieve your ends becomes inconsistent with the nominal ends you had when you started that journey.

        The left is about cooperation, socialism. Not about dictation. “What I say, goes” is inconsistent with “liberty, equality, fraternity”.

        • Ad

          God I just wish that had been true in the history of the lefts’ governments across the last century, I really do.

          I even wish that had been true of social democrat governments.

          I would like to think there were definitional limits that ruled out the human will to power, capitalised or not. We are all too human. Left or right.

          This is the right debate to have though.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            I think you’re missing a fundamental feature of social democratic governments: they have to survive against the forces that would tear them apart.

            The opposition isn’t supine when the left is in government. Far from it.

            • Gosman

              This is the excuse most totalitarian leftist governments use to excuse their oppressive policies. “We had to protect the revolution from the reactionary forces arrayed against us”.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Really? How fascinating.

                Meanwhile, I was talking about social democratic governments. That’s why I said “social democratic governments”, to give readers a hint that that was what I was talking about.

                You really are fucking useless at reading, as well as being a lying hypocrite.

          • In Vino

            Consider also that the field was always slanted, given Capitalism’s hostility to the very idea of socialism/communism. And a determination to stamp it out.

            Socialism/communism was only ever tried in poor countries, never in the industrialised rich countries. (Russia was big enough to have industry, but on income per capita, always remained a poor country.) (And don’t quote Argentina, which, like NZ, was rich from primary industry for a while. But primary industry provides only a temporary window. Rich countries need heaps of heavy industry.)
            Secondly, Socialism/communism has never been tried in a country with democratic traditions. Russia had a history of despotism under the Czars, and it is well argued by some that Stalin was the most recent of the great Czars. Despots took over and destroyed the socialistic ideals of all those revolutions.

            No fair trial ever held. Right wing rednecks who claim that socialism/communism is a proven failure are simplistic morons who have no depth of historical knowledge.

            • RedLogix

              Socialism/communism has never been tried in a country with democratic traditions

              Exactly. Look at how long it took to get from the Magna Carta to the modern Westminster democracy. And how much blood got split along the way.

            • dobby

              the latest attempt in Venezuela hasn’t worked either. What’s the excuse there?

              • Stuart Munro

                Perhaps you should have a look at the failures of non-socialist states to give you some perspective. In principle Venezuela should resemble Saudi, with significant oil-financed social spending. But instead a corrupt elite decided to contest ownership of the oil assets – resulting in simmering instability.

          • McFlock

            It’s not that the will to power is inconsistent with any definitional limits, it’s that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

            So some people who might have started out with noble causes, like Mugabe, lose all their original principles after being in total power for a while. That’s why Mandela is so spectacular: he achieved his goals and walked away.

            To continue the theme, once you look into the abyss of power through force, the abyss looks back into you…

  4. gsays 4

    the reason we don’t see these people is that they are worn down by the status quo then torn apart by fellow comrades for not being right on enough.

  5. One Anonymous Bloke 5

    Corbyn suggesting requisitioning private property in response to the centrist mass murder at Grenfell. He’s quite capable of wielding authority if you ask me.

    • Ad 5.1

      Aye well, let’s see when he’s actually in power.
      I’ve seen plenty talk poetry on the hustings and hear it go straight prose when in power.

    • Incognito 5.2

      Hmmm, are authority and leadership one and the same?

  6. Stuart Munro 6

    First Dog on the Moon was addressing this question or a related one just the other day.


    • Ad 6.1

      Yup that’s pretty awesome cartooning.

      When Winston Peters can still look like the Tom Jones of politics, there’s something missing.

  7. AB 7

    Occasionally for amusement I read comments on the Daily Telegraph. A number of people commenting there see Corbyn as a rabble-rousing, populist Marxist. Whereas I would have thought he lacks the rhetorical and verbal firepower to be a traditional populist of that sort. I’m thinking for example of the speech that landed Eugene V. Debs in jail during WW1 as a contrast to Corbyn’s polite, reasonable meanderings.
    However he does seem to be popular if not ‘populist’ – perhaps when the ‘rabble’ is ready to be roused it takes only a light touch. So maybe we shouldn’t typecast our populists so much, I think they might come in many forms.
    On authoritarianism – a primary goal of the left should be to limit the unaccountable private power of one citizen (or corporation) over other citizens. This makes left wing ideology anti-authoritarian in its purpose. But if private power can be broken only by state power, how do you avoid becoming the thing you oppose? In reality though, most ‘left’ governments don’t even get to run up against this dilemma because they are so timid when it comes to challenging private economic power due to the damage that can be inflicted by disinvestment and capital flight. I don’t see this situation changing any time soon – even a Corbyn-led government would be very, very cautious on this front.
    So a populist left- yes, but an authoritarian left just isn’t a possibility right now.

    • Ad 7.1

      Yes I would agree with you generally – what I am pointing to is a democratic dilemma. The crises are growing in force, but it appears as if only the right has the will to seize and break power structures.

      I don’t agree that this statement: “a primary goal of the left should be to limit the unaccountable private power of one citizen (or corporation) over other citizens” means that left wing ideology is anti-authoritarian in its purpose.

      It is leftie governments formed the modern instruments of state, together with its massive and grinding Leviathan of coercive instruments. And for the left, it is the state that needs the power and the courage to challenge markets and regulate them to rebuild coherent society again. The left have had plenty of authoritarian governments that have done this.

      • McFlock 7.1.1

        Authoritarianism works in countries that have systems which support monolithic party blocs, parties that can have a majority without coalition or compromise.

        The “left” tends to shun monolithic blocs, fracturing into a thousand pieces on the continuua of incrementalist to revolutionary and authoritarian to acentric. Tories like monoliths more.

        A left-wing government thats authoritarian just enough, but not too much, is a very rare beastie indeed.

        • Ad

          I’m not sure about that first point. Corbyn and Sanders come from pretty different political cultures. I’m not sure bloc formation is the ground for authoritarianism. The ground for authoritarianism is fertile whenever there are both sufficient crises to warrant a population willing to take commands, and when charismatic leaders rise who can play with these crises towards popular command of a singular public agenda.

          We definitely have a personality deficit on the left in New Zealand. Winston still looks good, and that’s a pretty low bar. Joyce looks interesting, English is looking coherent, Little just appears little.

          I still don’t trust a future Labour-Green government to have the will to wield the instruments of power that are still available. Even in housing, where they are making the largest promises. In fact after this amount of time I don’t think there are public servants left who can remember how to really crack heads across Departments.

          • McFlock

            Corbyn and Sanders both work in variations of FPP systems where it largely comes down to Party A vs Party B, rather than having to find common ground between any mixture of Parties A through F on an issue by issue basis.

            Labour and the Greens recognise that it’s not a case of them having a single will to wield power, it’s a case of everybody’s different wills working together to push the mass in a different course. It’s not as efficient as one propellor, or all propellors pointing in the same direction, but that’s the reality of politics: some party propellors point more left or right than others, and it’s the combined force that determines the eventual direction.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1.2

        …leftie governments formed the modern instruments of state, together with its massive and grinding Leviathan of coercive instruments.

        The coercive instruments were there long before that; cf: The Code of Ur-Nammu, Magna Carta etc… no-one expects the Spanish Inquisition either.

        • Ad

          Let’s stick to the postwar state for clarity of discussion please.

          • One Anonymous Bloke


            If you insist, I’m pretty sure Nixon, Thatcher, Pinochet, Reagan, Bush, Bush, Milosevic, Netanyahu and Howard had something to do with the formation of the modern instruments of state too.

            That is to say, they took paradigms that have existed for millennia and chose the ones that suited them best.

      • AB 7.1.3

        “leftie governments formed … grinding coercive instruments”
        I think it’s useful to distinguish authority that is based (even distantly) on democratic processes, from authority that isn’t. They are different in nature even if it may not feel like it if you are on the receiving end.

        “it appears as if only the right has the will to seize and break power structures.”
        I think the will to do so may come from having the power to do so. Easier to break structures that you are already a member of (e.g. Trump)

  8. Stuart Munro 8

    I think a moderate authoritarian left government would play rather well right now – the problem is more the crowding out of such possibilities by other parties who style themselves left.

    The rationale that was used to loot assets like rail and electricity generation has proven to be utterly false; these could be renationalized without a murmur except for the whining of far-right bloggers.

    • Ad 8.1

      Could you imagine a Rogernomic-force and Rogernomic-speed government of the left?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1.1

        Sure. I can also imagine how stupid and disruptive such a government could be unless it took great pains to keep its head well pulled in.

        Democracy actually works if you apply it. Consultation produces far better decisions than diktat.

      • Stuart Munro 8.1.2

        Yes – but not among contemporary parties as I see it at present.

        The market at all costs movement is clearly a failure, so a streamlined version of what we had pre-Rogergnomics would presumably provide measurable gains.

        However, the appeasement of significant monopolist interests by major parties, seafood and road transport for example, suggests that they would struggle to find the political will however blatant the need.

        Labour is not producing reformist/economist leadership, so a clear template for that kind of reform is not coming from them.

        The Greens have many excellent policies, but not a raising grassroots prosperity tide driver like Rewi Alley’s Gung Ho.

        Winston would be amenable to such a process so long as he is in the driving seat (It’s good to be the king!) but plays his cards too close to his chest for any predictions to be made.

        The Gnats are simply too corrupt to function at all, much less contrive a coherent reform.

        ACT is merely a flaccid vesicle of adipose tissue – it’s reforming days are behind it.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 8.2

      There might be a bit of capital flight too, unless said return of stolen and fenced property was managed very carefully.

      • greywarshark 8.2.1

        We would have to be mot careful. Chile was big gungho and was taken out by its generals with USA assistance, as their interests had much to lose and wouldn’t stand for it. The USA will be back for another practice run of possible intervention here in October.

  9. BM 9

    MMP rules out NZ ever having to suffer the trump like fuckwitteries America is facing.

    Left or right, any asshat who wants to be a dictatorial wanker is pushing shit uphill, our political system and ratios doesn’t allow it.

    Which is NZ has been so centric for the last 20 years, that’s all you can be in an MMP environment.

    • Stuart Munro 9.1

      Rubbish – Key was every bit as irresponsible as Trump, he just didn’t tweet his meltdowns to the whole world. Both equally worthless – no governance happened.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.2

      MMP rules out NZ ever having to suffer the trump like fuckwitteries America is facing.

      We just had one such fuckwit retire.

    • Ad 9.3

      If that were the case, we would expect other countries with similar electoral systems to also have strong politicians like Trump from rising. I don’t see any evidence for this claim.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • New Zealand First calls for tahr cull halt
    Mark Patterson MP, Spokesperson for Primary Industry New Zealand First is supporting calls by hunters and the New Zealand Tahr Foundation (NZTF) to halt a large scale cull of Himalayan Tahr by the Department of Conservation in National Parks. The calls are supported by a 40,000 strong petition and the ...
    5 days ago
  • Response to Spin-off allegations
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand First leader Winston Peters today scoffed at suggestions that a team of six political operatives have been dispatched to New Zealand to assist his campaign. ‘As President Ronald Reagan once said, ‘there they go again.’ ‘The clickbait journos can’t ...
    5 days ago
  • Jenny Marcroft MP to represent New Zealand First in Auckland Central
    New Zealand First is pleased to announce Jenny Marcroft as the party’s election 2020 candidate for the Auckland Central electorate. Jenny spent years working in Auckland Central, having spent a vast proportion of her broadcasting career there. She says she, "knows the place and knows the people." Ms Marcroft says ...
    6 days ago
  • Creating jobs and cleaning up our rivers
    New Zealanders deserve healthy rivers and lakes that are safe to swim in - but they have been getting worse for decades. That's why, with our latest announcement, we're investing in projects that will help clean up our rivers and lakes and restore them to health, within a generation. ...
    7 days ago
  • Jacinda Ardern: 2020 Labour Congress Speech
    Jacinda Ardern's speech to the 2020 Labour Party Congress. ...
    7 days ago
  • Kelvin Davis: 2020 Labour Congress Speech
    Kelvin Davis' speech to the 2020 Labour Party Congress. ...
    7 days ago
  • Week That Was: Another week of major progress
    This week we moved into the second half of 2020 - and our Government delivered another week of big changes and major progress for New Zealanders. Read below for a wrap of the key things moments from the week - from extending paid parental leave, to making major investments in ...
    1 week ago
  • Green Party opposes RMA fast-track bill that cut corners on environmental safeguards and public cons...
    The Green Party has opposed the COVID-19 Recovery Fast-track Consenting Bill which shortcuts normal consenting processes under the Resource Management Act (RMA), reduces public participation and narrows environmental considerations. ...
    1 week ago
  • Site of new freight hub revealed
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister of Regional Economic Development A regional freight hub for the lower North Island will be built just northeast of Palmerston North, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The Government is investing $40 million through the Provincial Growth Fund to designate and buy land and design ...
    1 week ago
  • Greens call for Guaranteed Minimum Income to alleviate skyrocketing debt with MSD
    Green Party Co-leader Marama Davidson is calling for the introduction of a Guaranteed Minimum Income to lift hundreds of thousands of people out of poverty and prevent more families entering into further debt with the Ministry of Social Development.  ...
    1 week ago
  • Winston Peters: Facts matter when taxpayer money is on the line
    There has been renewed focus on New Zealand First acting as a handbrake on the Government after our decision to not support Auckland light rail. We are a handbrake for bad ideas, that is true, but our track record since 2017 has seen New Zealand First constructively also serve as an ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill raising minimum residency requirement for NZ Super passes first reading
    Mark Patterson MP, New Zealand First List MP New Zealand First’s Fair Residency for Superannuation Bill passed its First Reading in Parliament today. The Bill makes a significant change to NZ Super by raising the minimum residency requirement from 10 to 20 years, after age 20. “Currently, a migrant of ...
    1 week ago
  • Harsher penalties for assaults on first responders one step closer
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Law and Order A New Zealand First member’s bill in the name of Darroch Ball introducing a six-month minimum prison sentence for assaults on first responders has passed its second reading in Parliament. The new offence of "injuring a first responder or corrections officer with ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission delivers Coalition promise
    Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Deputy Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand First welcomes the launch of the new Criminal Cases Review Commission, gifted with the name from Waikato-Tainui - Te Kāhui Tātari Ture, announced in Hamilton today by Justice Minister Andrew Little. “New Zealand First has long believed in and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Greens welcome huge new investment in sustainable projects
    The Green Party is celebrating over $800m in new funding for green projects, which will get people into jobs while solving New Zealand’s long-term challenges. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First demands answers from Meridian Energy
    Mark Patterson MP, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is appalled that Meridian seems to have been unnecessarily spilling water from its dams to drive up its profits."While New Zealanders have been coming together in some of our darkest hours, we don’t expect power gentailers to waste water and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Getting New Zealand moving again: June 2020
    We wrapped up the first half of 2020 with a busy month, taking additional steps to support New Zealanders as we continue with our economic recovery. We rolled out targeted packages to support key industries like tourism and construction, helped create jobs in the environmental and agriculture sectors, and set ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori union leader appointed to Infrastructure Commission board
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Infrastructure Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones has welcomed the appointment of Maurice Davis and his deep infrastructure and construction experience to the board of the Infrastructure Commission. Mr Davis (Ngāti Maniapoto), is the seventh and final appointment to the board led by former Reserve Bank Governor ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Click-bait journalism at its worst
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand’s click bait journalism is taking a turn for the worse, with yet another example of sensationalist, wilful-misrepresentation of the facts. “New Zealand First has worked constructively with its Coalition partner on hundreds of pieces of legislation and policy, and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party proposes transformational Poverty Action Plan
    The Green Party is today unveiling its Poverty Action Plan, which includes a Guaranteed Minimum Income to ensure people have enough to live with dignity.     ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF accelerates Rotorua projects
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development The Rotorua Museum redevelopment and Whakarewarewa and Tokorangi Forest projects will be accelerated thanks to a $2.09 million Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) boost, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Getting people into jobs
    This week, we rolled out the next steps of our recovery plan, with new infrastructure investment, extra support for tourism operators, and a new programme to get Kiwis into agriculture careers. The global economic consequences of COVID-19 will continue to be a challenge, but we have a detailed plan to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Coalition commitment establishing Mental Health Commission delivered
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its final reading in Parliament today fulfilling a coalition agreement commitment. “This is an important step in saving the lives of New Zealanders and delivers a key coalition commitment ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whakatāne gets a $2.5m ‘turbo boost’
    Whakatāne has been given a $2.5 million boost to speed up previously funded projects and create more than 450 jobs in the next decade. Of those, the equivalent of 160 full-time jobs could be delivered in the next six weeks. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters is in town to make ...
    2 weeks ago
  • $2.5m PGF funding to speed up economic recovery in Whakatāne
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $2.5 million to accelerate three infrastructure projects in Whakatāne, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “This package is about ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Shane Jones calls out those holding drought-stricken Auckland ‘to ransom’ over water
    Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones is throwing his weight behind a bid by the Auckland Council to fast-track the more than doubling of the city's water allowance from the Waikato River. And he's coming out strongly against anyone who plans on getting in the way of this campaign. "It is my ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another Green win as climate change considerations inserted into the RMA
    The Green Party is thrilled to see changes to the Resource Management Act (RMA) that mean consents for large projects can be declined if they will have significant climate change implications that are inconsistent with the Zero Carbon Act and Aotearoa New Zealand’s Paris Agreement obligations.  ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Navy vessel Aotearoa to arrive in New Zealand
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence The Royal New Zealand Navy’s new ship, Aotearoa, set sail for New Zealand on 10 June from the Republic of Korea, and is due to arrive in Auckland tomorrow, announced Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “Aotearoa is the Royal New Zealand Navy’s new fleet ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Racing Industry Bill passes third reading
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters has today welcomed the Racing Industry Bill passing its third reading, creating the legislative framework for revitalising the racing industry while limiting the need for future government intervention. “For too long our domestic racing industry has ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party seek amendment to ensure all prisoners can vote
    The Green Party has today put forward an amendment to the Electoral (Registration of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Bill to ensure all people in prisons can vote in general elections. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Green Party welcomes new approach to delivering light rail
    The Green Party welcomes the decision to not proceed with Public Public Investment (PPI) delivery of Auckland’s light rail project and to instead run the process through the public service. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First welcomes PGF investment in Wairarapa Water
    Hon Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in the Wairarapa New Zealand First List MP Hon Ron Mark welcomes the announcement of Provincial Growth Funding investment of $1.4 million to help secure the Wairarapa’s water supply. The funding boost will allow the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC), and ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First MP Mark Patterson selected as candidate for Taieri
    New Zealand First list MP Mark Patterson has been selected to represent the party in the newly formed Taieri electorate at the upcoming election. Mr Patterson, his wife Jude and two daughters farm sheep and beef at Lawrence and Waitahuna. He previously stood in the Clutha-Southland electorate however boundary changes ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Ground-breaking on NZ Post depot
    Hon Shane Jones, Associate Minister for State Owned Enterprises A new ‘super depot’ to be built for NZ Post in Wellington will create around 350 jobs during construction, Associate Minister for State Owned Enterprises Shane Jones says. Shane Jones today attended a ground-breaking and blessing ceremony for the parcel-processing depot ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Putting our economic plan into action
    Our strong economic management prior to COVID-19 - with surpluses, low debt and near-record-low unemployment - put us in a good position to weather the impact of the virus and start to rebuild our economy much earlier than many other countries. Now we're putting our plan to recover and rebuild ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Fleeing drivers hit new record-high yet again
    Darroch Ball MP, New Zealand First Spokesperson for Law and Order Recently released Police fleeing driver statistics have shown yet another increase in incidents with another record-high in the latest quarter. “This new quarterly record-high is the latest in a string of record-high numbers since 2014.  The data shows incidents ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Inaugural launch of Kiribati Language Week
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio is pleased to announce the inaugural launch of Kiribati Language Week as part of the 2020 Pacific language Weeks programme. “I am so pleased that this year we are able to provide resourcing support to the Kiribati community in Aotearoa which will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • New support package for wildlife institutions
    Wildlife institutions affected by a loss of visitor revenue during the COVID-19 lockdown are set to receive government support with nearly $15 million of funding available announced Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage.  “Eco-sanctuaries, zoos, aquariums, wildlife parks, and wildlife rescue, hospital and rehabilitation facilities provide crucial support for the recovery ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • 300,000 students to benefit from free mental health services
    The Government is expanding and accelerating frontline mental health and wellbeing services at tertiary education institutes (TEI) to help students manage ongoing stresses related to COVID-19. “The lockdown has been hugely disruptive for students. Many of them have had to relocate and move to online learning, isolating them from their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Gang crime, meth harm targeted in Waikato
    The Minister of Police says a major operation against the Mongrel Mob in Waikato will make a big dent in drug harm and violent offending linked to organised crime networks. “Senior leadership of the Waikato Mongrel Mob has been taken out as a result of Operation Kingsville, which resulted in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Supporting victims and families to attend mosque attack sentencing
    The Government is extending the border exception criteria to enable some offshore victims and support people of the Christchurch mosque attacks to attend the sentencing of the accused beginning on 24 August2020, says Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway. “We want to support our valued Muslim brothers and sisters who were directly ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Boost for community freshwater restoration projects
    A project to support volunteer efforts to look after streams and rivers is getting a boost thanks to support from DOC’s Community Conservation Fund announced Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today.  “The government is backing efforts to look after waterways with $199,400 for the Mountains to Sea Conservation Trust from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • More support for women and girls
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter today announced that funding for the COVID-19 Community Fund for women and girls will be doubled, as the first successful funding applications for the initial $1million were revealed. “Women and girls across the country have suffered because of the effects of COVID-19, and I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Crown accounts stronger than forecast with higher consumer spending
    The Government’s books were better than forecast with a higher GST take as the economy got moving again after lockdown, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Crown Accounts for the 11 months to the end of May indicate the year end results for tax revenue will be stronger than forecast. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt releases plan to revitalise wool sector
    A plan to revitalise New Zealand’s strong wool sector and set it on a new, more sustainable and profitable path was unveiled today by Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. The newly-released report - Vision and Action for New Zealand’s Wool Sector - was developed by the Wool Industry Project Action Group ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding for Predator Free Whangārei
    Community efforts to create a Predator Free Whangārei will receive a $6 million boost, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage announced today. The new funding, through Government company Predator Free 2050 Ltd, will create around 12 jobs while enabling the complete removal of possums over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand to review relationship settings with Hong Kong
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced that the New Zealand Government is reviewing the settings of its relationship with Hong Kong. “China’s decision to pass a new national security law for Hong Kong has fundamentally changed the environment for international engagement there,” Mr Peters said. “New Zealand remains deeply ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Funding for Whangārei’s infrastructure projects revealed
    Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced details of a multimillion-dollar investment in Whangārei for infrastructure projects that will help it recover from the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 200 jobs are expected to be created through the $26 million investment from the Government’s rejuvenation package ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Managed isolation and quarantine update
    Following a second incident in which a person escaped from a managed isolation facility, security is being enhanced, including more police presence onsite, Minister Megan Woods said. “The actions of some individuals who choose to break the very clear rules to stay within the facilities means that more resourcing is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Funding for Kaipara district community waste programmes
    Waste reduction and recycling programmes in Kaipara are set to get a boost with Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage today announcing a $361,447 grant from the Ministry for the Environment’s Waste Minimisation Fund (WMF) Sustainable Kaipara. “The new funding will allow Sustainable Kaipara to partner with local schools, kura, community ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government will support the people and economy of Southland
    The Government will support the Southland economy in the wake of multinational mining company Rio Tinto’s decision to follow through with its long signalled closure of the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter. “This day has unfortunately been on the cards for some time now, but nevertheless the final decision is a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New transformational tools for the Predator Free 2050 effort
    New tools being developed to help boost Aotearoa’s Predator Free 2050 effort were unveiled today by Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage and Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau. A new rat poison, a camera with predator recognition software to detect and report predators, a new predator lure and a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Armoured vehicles for New Zealand Army
    The Coalition Government has approved the purchase of a fleet of Bushmaster vehicles to replace the New Zealand Army’s armoured Pinzgauers, Defence Minister Ron Mark has announced today. The new fleet of 43 Australian-designed and built Bushmaster NZ5.5 will provide better protection for personnel and improved carrying capacity. “The age ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Community-led solutions to prevent family violence
    The Government’s three prevention frameworks to reduce family violence in Aotearoa were launched this week by Associate Minister for Social Development Poto Williams.   The frameworks were developed in partnership with communities around New Zealand, and build on the work the Government has already begun with its new family violence prevention ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt confirms investment in better radiology and surgical services for Hawke’s Bay
    The Government is pleased to confirm funding for improvements to radiology and surgical services at Hawke's Bay DHB, Health Minister Chris Hipkins says.     "The Minister of Finance the Hon Grant Robertson and former Health Minister Dr David Clark approved funding for Hawke's Bay DHB’s redevelopment of their radiology facilities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Specialist alcohol and drug addiction services strengthened across New Zealand
    •    New funding for four beds at Napier’s Springhill Residential Addiction Centre •    A new managed withdrawal home and community service, and peer support before and after residential care at Tairāwhiti DHB  •    A co-ordinated network of withdrawal management services throughout the South Island •    Peer support in Rotorua and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Coastal Shipping Webinar
    Introduction, seafarers and POAL Good morning everyone, I am delighted to be online with you all today. Before I begin, I have to acknowledge that COVID-19 has disrupted the maritime sector on an unprecedented scale. The work of seafarers and the maritime industry is keeping many economies around the world ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Support for resilient rail connection to the West Coast
    A $13 million investment from Government will create jobs and improve the resilience of the rail connection between Christchurch and the West Coast, Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones and Regional Economic Development Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau say. The funding comes from the tagged contingency set aside in Budget 2020 for infrastructure projects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Major investment in safe drinking water
    The Government is investing $761 million to assist local government upgrade under-pressure water services across the country, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today.  The announcement was made at the site of the water bore that was found to be the source of the fatal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Supporting stranded seasonal workers to keep working with more flexible options
    Recognised Seasonal Employers and migrant seasonal workers stranded in New Zealand will be able to continue working and supporting themselves with more flexible hours and roles, says Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway. The time-limited visa changes are: Stranded RSE workers will be able to work part-time (a minimum of 15 hours ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Relief for temporary migrants, employers and New Zealanders who need work
    The Government is making immediate short-term changes to visa settings to support temporary migrants already onshore in New Zealand and their employers, while also ensuring New Zealanders needing work are prioritised, Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. We are: Extending temporary work visas due to expire by the end of 2020 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Freshwater commissioners and fast-track consenting convenor appointed
    Professor Peter Skelton CNZM has been appointed as Chief Freshwater Commissioner and Alternate Environment Court Judge Craig James Thompson as Deputy Chief Freshwater Commissioner for the newly established Freshwater Planning Process (FPP). Environment Minister David Parker today also announced the appointment of Chief Environment Court Judge Laurie Newhook as the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Appointment of Judge of the High Court
    Auckland Queen’s Counsel Neil Campbell has been appointed a Judge of the High Court, Attorney‑General David Parker announced today. Justice Campbell graduated with a BCom and LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland in 1992. He spent two years with Bell Gully Buddle Weir in Auckland before travelling to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Feedback sought – Commercial Film and Video Production Facilities
    The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to better enable the development and operation of commercial film and video facilities in Christchurch. The Proposal, developed by Regenerate Christchurch in response to a request from Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt launches bold primary sector plan to boost economic recovery
    The Government has launched a bold plan to boost primary sector export earnings by $44 billion over the next decade, while protecting the environment and growing jobs. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today released Fit for a Better World – Accelerating our Economic Potential, a 10-year roadmap to unlock greater value ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Wellbeing of whanau at heart of new hub
    A new approach to prevent family harm that encourages greater collaboration across government and community groups is being celebrated at the opening of a new facility in Auckland. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today opened the Multi-Disciplinary Family Harm Prevention Hub Te Taanga Manawa in Lambie Road in Manukau. The facility ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Report on Auckland Port Relocation
    The Government has released a major new report on the options for relocating the Port of Auckland’s freight operations while deferring any decision on the issue. “That decision needs to be informed by policy analysis that is still to be completed. As a result it will be up to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Dual place names for Te Pātaka-o-Rākaihautū / Banks Peninsula features
    The history of Rāpaki is being restored through the inclusion of te reo in thirteen official place names on Te Pātaka-o-Rākaihautū / Banks Peninsula and around Lyttelton Harbour/Whakaraupō, the Minister for Land Information, Eugenie Sage, announced today.   “I am pleased to approve the proposals from Te Hapū o Ngāti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government and Air New Zealand agree to manage incoming bookings
    Bookings for seats on Air New Zealand flights into New Zealand will be managed in the short term to ensure the Government is able to safely place New Zealanders arriving home into a managed isolation or quarantine facility, says Housing Minister Megan Woods.  “Last week Air Commodore Darryn Webb and I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • $80 million for sport recovery at all levels
    Grant Robertson has today announced the first major release of funding from the $265 million Sport Recovery Package announced at Budget 2020.  “Today we’re setting out how $80 million will be invested, with $54 million of that over the 2020/2021 financial year for organisations from community level through to elite ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Keeping ACC levies steady until 2022
    The Government is maintaining current levy rates for the next 2 years, as part of a set of changes to help ease the financial pressures of COVID-19 providing certainty for businesses and New Zealanders, ACC Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. “New Zealanders and businesses are facing unprecedented financial pressures as a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Extended loan scheme keeps business afloat
    Small businesses are getting greater certainty about access to finance with an extension to the interest-free cashflow loan scheme to the end of the year. The Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme has already been extended once, to 24 July. Revenue and Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says it will be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New investment creates over 2000 jobs to clean up waterways
    A package of 23 projects across the country will clean up waterways and deliver over 2000 jobs Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Environment Minister David Parker announced today. The $162 million dollar package will see 22 water clean-up projects put forward by local councils receiving $62 million and the Kaipara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Speech to Labour Party Congress 2020
    Tena koutou katoa  Nga tangata whenua o tenei rohe o Pōneke, tena koutou Nau mai, haere mai ki te hui a tau mo te roopu reipa Ko tatou!  Ko to tatou mana!  Ko to tatou kaupapa kei te kokiri whakamua  Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena tatou katoa   Welcome. I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • PGF top-up for QE Health in Rotorua
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $1.5 million to ensure QE Health in Rotorua can proceed with its world class health service and save 75 existing jobs, Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The PGF funding announced today is in addition to the $8 million ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Building a more sustainable construction sector
    A new programme, which sets a firm course for the Building and Construction sector to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, has been announced by the Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa. “A significant amount of New Zealand’s carbon emissions come from the building and construction sector.  If we’re serious ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago