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Simon Bridges is distancing himself from Simon Bridges

Written By: - Date published: 8:01 am, March 13th, 2019 - 44 comments
Categories: electoral commission, Media, national, same old national, Simon Bridges, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

What a day yesterday was.  

The announcement that the Serious Fraud Office is investigating National’s donation scandal dropped like a bomb in Parliament.  After all it is not every day that the SFO announces that it is investigating a major political party.  In fact this has never happened before.

I have been following this story for a while and earlier on said this about the background and the possible legal issues:

… [I]t was not as if their leader had been implicated in doing anything illegal.

Parties partition up donations all the time and split $100k donations into seven $14k donations and one $2 donation for the Feng Shui, not so that the identity of the donor has to be disclosed.  After all it is not as if they were embarrassed that their giving an award to this person would not look good, or that the fact that an associate of this person wanting to be a National Party MP might be frowned on.

And the confident expressions that all was fine by independent commentators who used to be National Party General Secretaries was notable. After all they should know.

And the Electoral Law does not have provisions relating to donations funded by contributions. National’s Party Secretary was not obliged to give the donation back. He did not have reasonable grounds to believe that the donor has failed to comply with his obligation to advise that the donation had come from contributions.  He was under no obligation to disclose the fact the donation came from contributions.  And it is not an offence to file a false return.

And what about Simon Bridges in his own return mistakenly calling Aaron Bhatnagar “Cathedral Club”?  This was an innocent mistake that happens all the time.

Of course the Police seeking advice from the Electoral Commission will result in no action being taken.

Simon Bridges talking to Cameron Slater showed how desperate National was at the time.  And in a remarkable coincidence that may prove there is a divine entity the Human Rights Commission yesterday awarded record damages to Matt Blomfield to be paid by Cameron Slater.  More on this from lprent later.

So how did Bridges respond yesterday?  By saying it was a matter for the National Party and not him to worry about.  That somehow he was distanced from what had happened and essentially it was not his fault. Cue the start of a campaign to throw a hapless National Party official under the wheels of the bus.  From Jane Patterson at Radio New Zealand:

Mr Bridges’ first reaction was to try to distance himself completely, saying it was not a matter for him personally but one for party officials to deal with; the implication was those officials were ultimately responsible for filing electoral returns so any responsibility lay with them.

The SFO only says in the statement it had received the referral “in relation to the disclosure of political donations under the Electoral Act” which points squarely to National, and the people involved with it.

But there was nothing from the police or the SFO that explicitly excluded Mr Bridges.

Both authorities issued statements saying the investigation had been referred to the SFO but with few other details.

The SFO is known for investigating complex cases of financial crime, usually with big sums of money involved – it describes itself as “the lead law enforcement agency for investigating and prosecuting serious or complex financial crime, including bribery and corruption”.

But it also has the capacity to take into account “any relevant public interest considerations”. The police also noted the SFO holds “the appropriate mandate to look further into matters raised by the investigation to date” – make of that what you will.

For a super duper former prosecutor who could tell that Mallard was the leaker through his magic prosecutorial skills Bridges’s grasp of law is concerning.  There is a concept of being a party to an offence if you aid, abet, incite, counsel, or procure another person to commit an offence.

And holy diversion but Simon is now calling for the banning of donations from overseas sources.  From Jason Walls at the Herald:

National Party leader Simon Bridges has joined the Greens and a chorus of other MPs in saying he would support a ban on foreign donations to political parties.

This morning, he threw his weight behind any government proposals which would curb foreign influences in New Zealand and made specific mention of overseas donations.

“The reality of the situation, as I understand it legally, is for the most part overseas donations and the like are unlawful but there are a few small areas, such as under $1500 and so on, [which] is worth getting submissions on and clearing up.”

Current electoral law prohibits overseas donations of more than $1500 to political parties.

But these can be avoided by donating through New Zealand-registered corporate entities – such as companies, incorporated societies and trusts – which are allowed to donate regardless of whether they are owned or controlled by New Zealanders.

As an example the Inner Mongolia Rider Horse Industry (NZ) Limited gave National a donation of $150,000 and for electoral purposes this was not from an overseas person.  I hope that National will let us have more details of the source of these funds so that we can debate this proposal fully.

Getting back to the main story it must have felt like Groundhog day to Simon. And no matter what is happening when the leader of a major party distances himself from his own party you know things are getting pretty strange.

44 comments on “Simon Bridges is distancing himself from Simon Bridges”

  1. Ad 1

    😉

    OMG MIckey

    You are having such well earned fun there.

  2. vto 2

    The John Key and Nat person mantra is…

    “You’re only a criminal if you get caught”

    .. if you don’t get caught then you’re entitled to it and should be held up as a hero

    .. the Nat person mantra is nothing to admire or live life by

  3. vto 3

    “Inner Mongolia Horse Rider (NZ) Limited”… there are ways for the courts to look through such scheming and consider whether such scheming goes against the legislative intention…

    … after all, it is exactly this which the IRD was successful in with Eric Watson’s scheming of the AIL provisions just yesterday… the judge based the decision on the legislative intention… https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/111212143/watson-structured-affairs-to-dodge-tax-high-court-finds

    … what is the legislative intention with regard to overseas political donations ?? … is very clear it is … and the Inner Mongolia Horse is almost certainly such a scheming …. why isn’t it being investigated??

    This goes to the heart of the quality (or lack of) of our democratic system.

    Are the Nats gaming it? And thereby us?

    what a weak and crappy system we appear to have if plunder is so easy

    • Gabby 3.1

      I’d have thought the legislative intention was to create a foreign donor sized loophole through which foreign donors could sling money.

    • gsays 3.2

      As its all a bit complicated for these folk, tertiary educated some of ’em,
      ban all donations.

      Mic drop.

  4. Sacha 4

    Do you get the impression that JLR has handed the Police more evidence than we have seen? They would not refer it to the SFO based on what has been made public.

  5. patricia bremner 5

    This is an interesting situation. But as usual a few other items to distract the public.
    A millionaire tax dodger, and a procedural bungle by Shane. Watch Shane get pilloried to distract from Bridges and National.

  6. ianmac 6

    Kids do what Simon does.
    “Not my fault. The dog ate it.”
    ” It wasn’t me. They did it.”
    “It wasn’t me. I was somewhere else.”
    “It wasn’t me. Anyway it is so unimportant. And look at that over there.”

    • mac1 6.1

      Exactly, ianmac. Then they continue to maintain this position in spite of the evidence. The last refuge of a liar is to continue the lie. If they admit the lie, then face the condemnation of others, By continuing the lie, they hope to keep credibility at the risk of being known as a serial liar. They also hope to keep their believers onside. Or that people will move on, and forget.

      One of the serious and destructive elements to the ‘lie at all costs’ approach is that the general voter loses confidence in politicians in total, and in the democratic system.

      Remember the meme of earlier elections, “Why vote? It only encourages them.”

      Who benefitted from less participation in our democracy? A book I’ve just finished applies to right-wing attempts to lower democratic participation by various means.”Democracy in Chains” subtitled “The deep history of the radical right’s stealth plan for America” by Nancy MacLean published 2017.

      Disempower the majority. Use money to buy influence and publish propaganda. Money like this in question with political donations. Money the true provenance of which is disguised and hidden.

    • I feel love 6.2

      The opposite of a leader really isn’t he? Run and hide, who would want to follow him?

    • Incognito 6.3

      “The Bridge was open”. An all-time favourite among school kids.

  7. ianmac 7

    The National Party Secretary is regarded as straight up conscientious guy. It is unlikely that he would action faulty returns. Therefore, if so, someone else must be involved in dodgy laundry. I wonder if the lowly obedient Treasurer in Botany will turn out to be the very very naughty person who must carry the can for the innocent National Party and its innocent Leader?

    • Sacha 7.1

      Their party pres will be making sure not to be held to account.

    • Gareth 7.2

      He’s signed off on returns that fail basic maths 2 years in a row.

      Have a look at section G of the National Party annual return and divide the total amount of donations with the total number of donations in one of the categories like “More than $5,000 and less than $15,000”.

      You’ll find the average is less than the minimum for the band.

  8. WeTheBleeple 8

    Attack Ads is what he wanted it for remember – ‘You know, attack ads, that sort of thing’… All sausage, and loads of sizzle now aye.

    Bridges is dead to rights guilty that phone call totally exposes corruption, racism, political favors, bribery potential, and total and utter disregard for his team. The paper trail will be a walk in the park for SFO.

    Connecting the dots via his own statement of what the money was for, Bridges compromised the country in order to produce the

    ‘All sizzle no sausage’.

    We must admit it was a Tour de Force of advertising.

    When the general public join the dots between the phone call and that particular ad – he’s gonna look exactly as he is – completely ridiculous, and inexcusable.

    After this Bridges won’t be allowed in charge of a raffle.

    • ianmac 8.1

      If in the unlikely event that Bridges was found guilty of some money thing, how would that affect his possible return to practise Law?

      • I’m mulling a post on exactly that, ianmac.

        What I’ve learned so far is that if the SFO makes an adverse finding against him directly (ie says he knew or should have known the splitting of the donations wasn’t kosher) then, at worst, he may be charged charged with significant crimes. As an MP, that might mean he’s no longer eligible to sit in Parliament, and as a lawyer, his standing at the bar could be revoked, meaning he could only act as an ‘advocate’ or do non court related stuff like house conveyancing for the next few years.

        Not the sort of situation a former Police prosecutor should ever find himself in, I would have thought. I’ll keep digging and no doubt legal minded folk like Graeme Edgeler and Bryce Edwards will be doing the same.

        • patricia bremner 8.1.1.1

          Very interesting te reo putake, makes some of his cries for others to be sacked look like diversionary tactics. After all, he can hardly claim ignorance of the law, as he would know that wouldn’t wash. Looking forward to that post. Cheers.

        • Anne 8.1.1.2

          Since you are researching this matter te reo putake:

          this practice of slicing up donations so they came under the maximum allowable limit was going on inside the ACT Party in the 1990s. What I don’t know is whether they were local or offshore donations – or maybe both. It doesn’t really matter because it is a rort no matter who the donors are.

          Chances are National was also doing it in the 1990s.

          It was what prompted the attempt by the Clark government to change the law around electoral donations and which caused National and ACT to go into an almighty spin. You may remember it.

          • KJT 8.1.1.2.1

            Yes. I remember the “Democracy under attack” headlines from the right wing. Terrified they could no longer buy the Government they wanted.

        • xanthe 8.1.1.3

          At the heart of this issue is the fact that while party secretary is ultimatly responsible for this, their mandate in the party is not upheld and they end up signing off decisions they did not make. Inevitably where decision and responsibility are separated corruption follows. The real story is that this situation exists in political parties both left and right in new zealand. Many political parties in New Zealand need urgent constitutionial reform in this area.

      • rod 8.1.2

        He can play the drums pretty good by all accounts. Anyone looking for a drummer ?

        • mac1 8.1.2.1

          I heard him play one tune with a school jazz band, as a one off. He stayed in time but a bit ‘rocky’ for a jazz standard. A lot of drum and not much cymbals, but tight enough. The only dribbling (old drummer’s joke) he did was during his talk.

        • WeTheBleeple 8.1.2.2

          Every band in the world is looking for a drummer that is not their drummer. Or so I’ve been led to believe.

          “I want 1 big mac, 2 large fries, and 3 strawberry shakes”

          “What”

          “I want 1 big mac, 2 large fries, and 3 strawberry shakes”

          “I beg your pardon sir”

          “I want 1 big mac, 2 large fries, and 3 strawberry shake”

          “Ah, I see, you are a drummer aren’t you sir”

          “Yes, but how do you know that?”

          “This is a tyre shop.”

  9. SPC 9

    There is foreign funding and then there are residents who are part of ethnic communities that include groups that organise party donations.

    Voters are citizens or permanent residents. But only citizens can sit in parliament.

    There are also those here on various visas, right of residence (student and work) but no right to enrol and vote. They will occasionally come into the orbit of ethnic group branches of parties.

    Why not no donations from anyone not eligible to vote by being registered on the electoral roll?

    • Sacha 9.1

      Because the intent is to be *seen* to be doing something rather than actually reducing their sources of income.

    • patricia bremner 9.2

      It is the foreign donations and the possible “cut and spread” to hide the donor.

  10. ken 10

    The losers on the bus go,
    “Not my fault!”
    “Not my fault!”
    “Not my fault!”
    The losers on the bus go,
    “Not my fault!”
    All day long.

  11. Chris T 11

    I think the celebrations are slightly premature.

    We have know idea why the police gave it to the SFO.

    Just off the top of my head, it could be dodgy looking stuff from.

    Bridges
    Ross
    The donor/s
    Some other 3rd party handling it.
    The President of National

  12. Michael 12

    Schadenfreude: malicious amusement derived from other people’s misfortunes.

  13. Incognito 13

    The announcement that the Serious Fraud Office is investigating National’s donation scandal dropped like a bomb in Parliament. After all it is not every day that the SFO announces that it is investigating a major political party.

    Not according to Andrew Geddis, the SFO hasn’t yet decided that they are or will investigate the matter.

    https://www.pundit.co.nz/content/simon-bridges-national-and-the-serious-fraud-office-what-does-it-all-mean [very good read, as usual]

  14. Nick 14

    NZ needs to distance itself from Simon bridges, perhaps gift him as a trade delegation gift to China, where they accept him graciously and put him in a cupboard along with Ugg boots and the pounamu pendant gifts from previous years.

  15. KJT 15

    Then. There is the issue of politicians gaining lucrative positions, after politics, with companies they have mollycoddled while in power. But, NZ is not corrupt!
    Ex politicians often get jobs beyound there competence level, because.
    High pay and pensions for politicians was supposed to make them less likely to be influenced, by this sort of conflict of interest.

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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    6 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    6 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    6 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    1 week ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    1 week ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    1 week ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    1 week ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    2 weeks ago

  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago