web analytics

Some are more equal than others

Written By: - Date published: 10:32 am, May 16th, 2011 - 42 comments
Categories: cost of living, Economy, gst, poverty, wages - Tags:

[Sorry to Michael Bott for taking so long to publish this, and to other whose guest posts we may have missed in recent weeks. Trouble with the email system]

I spent a weekend with a team of Labour volunteers listening to the concerns of the people of Masterton. A repeated remark was, ‘‘ no matter how hard I try, I just can’t get ahead’’. One hardworking mum from Colombo Rd has not bought a block of cheese for her children for months and a leg of lamb is a long remembered luxury. Pensioners told me how they get two hours home help a week and are struggling to get by. These people are not alone. For the majority of people it seems again and again that those at the top of our economy are creaming it while the rest of us are taking the biggest hits.

Hearing these people I remembered back to May last year when the Government, with much fanfare, announced a tax reform package to ‘‘stimulate the economy and take us out of recession’’. The theory was that by cutting the top income tax rate from 39 per cent to 33 per cent, middle income earners would pull themselves up by their boot straps and achieve higher incomes as they would keep more of what they made.
And those at the top of our economy could afford to save their extra income, thus kick-starting our economy with the hoped for increase in our New Zealand savings rate. These cuts were to be balanced by an increase in GST – effectively making the tax cuts self-funding. This increase was supposed to discourage consumption and encourage saving.

Company tax was to be cut. This was all meant to act as a draw card for companies to invest and employ more workers. Labour warned at the time that these tax cuts were not affordable and any increase in GST would hit middle and lower income Kiwis and chew up any tax cuts. The ability to save for most Kiwis would remain a fantasy.

Twelve months on, Labour’s warnings have been proven, unfortunately, right. On top of rising food and petrol prices, the shock of GST has meant that average Kiwis have even less money in their pockets, and any tax cut is spent on just getting by. Pensioners and lower income Kiwis have been hit hardest. Business after business closing down or cutting staff. The tax cuts for those on higher salaries has not been saved and invested in job creation. Instead, it is being geared up with yet more foreign-supplied debt. The latest March figures released by Barfoot and Thompson for property sales in Auckland show those on higher salaries are grabbing expensive properties with sales of properties worth more than $800,000 rising by 40 percent from March last year. Lower-priced houses barely rose in price.

Meanwhile, the Government is pushing ahead with its plans for asset sales. Hocking off our assets to foreign buyers and slashing spending is a return to the failed right-wing policies of the past. Middle and lower New Zealand are being ignored by this Government and they will be the ones to suffer even more if our nation’s assets are sold off. We are facing cuts to health and education and now if this Government gets a second term we’ll be paying even more to heat out homes and drink water as power companies and public utilities are sold off to wealthy foreign investors. Selling state assets to foreign corporations, will drive up the current account deficit, send profits overseas and drive up costs for Kiwis.

In 2008 this Government campaigned on closing the wage gap with Australia. Now the gap has widened and Bill English is in the embarrassing position of trying to say that this is a good thing as we can make goods cheaper here than in Australia. It appears that Bill English wants us to become the Mexico of the South Pacific.

The Government constantly tells us that the cupboard is bare and we must all tighten out belts. Yet they can: borrow $ 120 million monthly to fund tax cuts two thirds of which go to the top 10 percent of the population; provide Mediaworks – a company previously owned by the Minister of Broadcasting – with $43 million loan at a rate they couldn’t obtain on the open market; find $1.2 billion dollars to bail out private speculators in SCF; find $2 million dollars to build and gift a plastic boat to the Government’s political friends; find $6.8 million to buy themselves a fleet of BMWs to be chauffeured around in.

These things sit awkwardly with me. At a time when ordinary people are struggling to pay grocery bills and face daily the question of paying the power bill or feeding the family healthy food, life under National is very comfortable for those at the top.

42 comments on “Some are more equal than others ”

  1. It is really this simple: How can a person empathise with a hungry person, struggling to pay the rent and electric bill, who cannot afford to visit the doctor after hours, when they are not hungry, can pay the rent and electric bill and can afford to visit a doctor after hours?

    Unless people experience hardship first hand they are oblivious to it. Oblivion (state of being forgotton or being oblivious) is how the government respond to the plight of the poor.

  2. PeteG 2

    if this Government gets a second term we’ll be paying even more to heat out homes and drink water as power companies and public utilities are sold off to wealthy foreign investors.

    What facts are this statement based on? I’ve seen nothing that suggests this claim is anything like probability. For all we know the National policy will be to sell our rain to poor foreign investors (as unlikely as the claim made in the post).

    Is the point of the post “some political statements are more equal than others”?

    Many people seem to be expecting the impossible – economic growth at the same time as we reduce spending too much on crap and save more.

    • lprent 2.1

      It is pretty clear that National wants to sell down natural monopoly assets owned by the public to private investors who’d want to make a natural monopoly profit out of it.

      To date from my perspective, EVERY asset sale of a natural or near natural monopoly has proven to cost end consumers more in total over the decades than if it was still in public ownership.

      The National party and Act parties has signaled over the last couple of parliamentary terms that they think that public stakes in power and water natural monopolies should be sold off. That the operations and building of roads, prisons, and public school – which are all effective natural monopolies should be moved to the private sector.

      Now for your part – show me a natural monopoly that has been sold by the state that is more efficient for the end users over a decade period compared to something comparable run by the state. I bet that the only ones you can find have been regulated back to the state of being controlled by the state.

      But since you’re a bit of a blowhard (from the rear), I don’t expect that you will even try.

      • PeteG 2.1.1

        For your part, show me where the current National caucus have said they want to sell power or water resources to rich foreign investors.

        Blow away…

        • Armchair Critic

          It would be better to seek evidence of National’s intentions in their actions, rather than their words. And their actions point strongly towards privatisation.

          • PeteG

            And their actions point strongly towards privatisation.

            No they don’t, unless I’ve missed some privatising actions over the past two and a half years. What actions are you referring to?

            • Zorr

              Privatised prisons for one…

            • ianmac

              The talk constantly from Key, English, Brash, Smith has been about privatisation or by another name Public/private ownership. They will, if reelected, be able to say that they warned us and they will say, that after the election they have a mandate. You Pete will be nowhere to be seen.

            • Armchair Critic

              The reorganisation of local government in Auckland.
              The disbanding of ECan
              The proposed partial privatisation of some SOEs, including electricity generators.
              The reports of the Land and Water Forum, and their endorsement by Nick Smith as Minister for the Environment.
              Perhaps the words they used were too big for you? Or perhaps you can’t read between the lines? Either way, you have missed something and whether that is accidental or deliberate makes no difference – National still plan to privatise.

              • PeteG

                How much from that is owned by wealthy foreign investors?

                How many people are there who are totally against foreign ownership but who mortgage their property to wealthy foreign investors?

                • Colonial Viper

                  That’s what KiwiBank is there for, and we need to take back ownership of more of our financial system

                  People still do think that the Auckland Savings Bank is owned in Auckland and that the Bank of New Zealand is owned in New Zealand.

                  And frankly, people who have been paying off their mortgages for the last 10-20 years probably did take them out when those banks were largely NZ owned.

                  But that’s irrelevant.

                  The only worthwhile foreign investment is one which brings new technologies and facilities to NZ that we could not have otherwise accessed. Anything else should be banned.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    The only worthwhile foreign investment is one which brings new technologies and facilities to NZ that we could not have otherwise accessed.

                    And there’s no foreign investment that does that. In fact, they usually offshore tech that’s been developed here making us pay even more for it.

                    • terryg

                      yep. I once worked for a Boston, MA co. that quite literally bought the entire fuel cell research department from Waikato University and took it offshore – people and all.

                • Armchair Critic

                  Why are you asking questions about what has been done, when the post and comment thread is about what is planned? We were talking about what we think will happen, and suddenly, when some supporting evidence is provided, you move to asking about the past.
                  My point is that National have taken a number of steps to facilitate the privatisation of water and power.
                  Your response that “they haven’t done it yet” is pretty poor.
                  So, back to the subject, National plan to privatise water and power. Whether privatisation is a good thing, whether the privatisation is partial or complete, whether Labour did it too, whether National haven’t said they will privatise are all secondary to the main point, which is, in case you missed it, National plan to privatise water and power.

            • fraser

              “No they don’t, unless I’ve missed some privatising actions over the past two and a half years. What actions are you referring to?”

              i think you would learn more pete if you looked at their actions over a span of at least 10 – 20 years.

              and look at things from a global perspective.

              simply going “well they havent done anything that bad recently” means diddly squat when the people involved (both those who front and those who fund) hasnt changed.

        • lprent

          It isn’t hard to find that they want to sell off assets, either directly or as very long-term leases or on the lease payment plan that is PPP’s.

          Just look at the candid statements by Bill English prior to and after the election. In fact he wants to sell up to 49% of the state owned power companies.

          Rodney Hide put in legislation for this government that allows for 35 year leases of water infrastructure.

          Not to mention the statements by John Key. And the lunatic fringe statements by Don Brash supporting the same things.

          As for the second part of your question – selling to overseas investors. There is no effective way to prevent private investors from on-selling their investments to whomever they choose to – including overseas investors. Any attempt to put restrictive clauses in will almost certainly result in it getting overturned by the courts. Not to mention that is against the stock exchange rules. And finally it is against several treaties that we have signed – including this one that is going through the house now.

          It doesn’t matter to whom you sell the shares to in the short term. The government cannot prevent them being sold to offshore investors over the long term.

          Now let us have a look at you. Perhaps you’d like to do some actual debating rather than posturing around with an erect small drooping dick saying “look at me”. This took minutes to google.

          So how about coming up with an example where handing a natural monopoly to private investors does not cost more over the long term than a comparable organisation held as a state asset.That is significantly more difficult to find – I’ve never found one in the last 20 odd years. I just see theoretical studies not backed by any actual evidence and statements by dense wankers like yourself.

          • PeteG

            You sound a bit tetchy today.

            I’m very wary of privatisation and think it should be carefully scrutinised, I just don’t think it should be automatically ideologically ruled out. Keeping everything public is not the best solution.

            And I find it odd that people get so emotional about some forms of privatisation and ignore others. We seem to happily support wealthy foreign investors, even when things like water are involved. How many people buy and drink H2GO and Pump bottles without caring who’s making money from stupidness? Why is it best to publicly control water, sell it to foreign companies cheaply and then accept getting charged exhorbitant amounts to buy it back?

            The way we deal with public water is nuts in other ways too. It’s cheaper for me to divert all my rainwater into council drains that are costing us a fortune in rates to upgrade, and then I go to the tap and hose to use water that has been piped 40km and gone through expensive storage, treatment and reticulation. If I had to pay for tap water I’d buy a tank and be much more efficient – and it would be much cheaper in the long run.

            • vto

              You assessments are too shallow. Take this for example “If I had to pay for tap water I’d buy a tank and be much more efficient ”

              There was a comment on here a few days ago linking to news articles in the USA whereby residents are prohibited from keeping the rain that fell on their roofs because it was the property of the water monopolies. Rain harvesting they call it.

              Did you get that? Does it sink in?

              And also this of your PeteG “I’m very wary of privatisation and think it should be carefully scrutinised, I just don’t think it should be automatically ideologically ruled out.”

              If you bothered to read the commenters who you were commenting with, not one of them took an ideological stand and instead each took a firmly pragmatic approach by referring to costs and advantages for end-users and the nation as a whole. They gave examples backing up their assertions. You on the other hand provide not a single example. In fact it is you who has proven yourself to be the only non-evidence providing ideologue.

              Wake up Pete before people stop listening to you.

              • McFlock

                “I’m very wary of privatisation and think it should be carefully scrutinised, I just don’t think it should be automatically ideologically ruled out.”

                Let’s see: agree with audience, then slide the position… right up there with those folk who claim to be undecided, or to have voted Labour previously (circa 1987, no doubt), but then slide it by damning Goff with faint praise.

                As for the bottled water argument, it misses the point that a public water supply ensures that everyone (where available) has enough water for hygiene and food, and giving excessive amounts of money to corporates is an option.

                We all need water to live (except astroturfers and NACT, who feed on the tears of orphans and the blood of puppies respectively).

              • Armchair Critic

                Tell it like it is vto. Water is part of the commons. National’s latest announcements on the subject of water and its management are the theft of the commons. It’s that simple.

            • Draco T Bastard

              If I had to pay for tap water I’d buy a tank and be much more efficient – and it would be much cheaper in the long run.

              And yet we don’t see a lot of such tanks in Auckland. Is it because people don’t know that water storage tanks are quite cheap or that they figure it would cost more to actually install and maintain the tank, fittings and pump?

              • Armchair Critic

                North Shore City had some fairly good documentation on tanks. I can still find it on their website, but I don’t know how long the website will be around for. Strangely, none of these documents show up in a search of the new Auckland Council website.
                Point is, there is a fair bit of bureaucracy around the installation and use of tanks. Mostly it is for public health reasons, and to reduce flooding. Also, tanks are unusual and we are not, as a a society, used to seeing them around. That lack of familiarity discourages people from installing them.
                Regarding the costs, I have a tank only supply and it is cheaper than rates on average. Last year, when the pump blew up, was quite expensive. Living out in the country I have no choice.
                The changes in Auckland referred to above are interesting, in terms of privatisation. It takes a bit of explaining (I doubt PeteG will understand), but bear with me.
                Watercare are the water supplier and wastewater service provider for Auckland.
                They bill for water on the volume of water that passes through the water meter. The cost is $1.30/m3 for water and the same document is very vague (deliberately? where’s my tinfoil hat?) on the price for wastewater, but IIRC it’s about $4/m3.
                The volume of wastewater is estimated as a percentage of the volume of water that passes through the meter. Usually it’s 70% to 100%, depending on the land use.
                When a property has a water tank and uses it to supplement their water supply, less water passes through the water meter, because some of the demand for water is met by the tank.
                Approximately the same volume of water is returned to the wastewater system, especially if the water from the tank is used through the toilet or washing machine. But as the water has not passed through the meter, it can’t be billed for.
                Water tanks reduce the total income Watercare receives.
                Lower turn-over makes the company less “valuable” (if you take a narrow view of what constitutes value) and thereby less attractive to investors.
                Watercare and Auckland Council tanks should not be encouraging water tanks, if they intend to privatise Watercare.
                And as noted above, the references to water tanks are now difficult to find on Auckland Council’s website. Coincidentally, of course.

            • KJT

              If private business managers are so good then why can they not start and run their own entrepreneurial businesses instead of trying to steal ours.

              We have a whole generation of managers now who only know how to cost cut, speculate, asset strip and destroy value. We even elect them to lead us??

              I am not philosophically opposed to PPP’s. If, for example, a revamped DFC had put the needed capital into a company like Tait electronics (instead of it going to offshore capital owners) imagine the benefits of retaining those dividends and intellectual property here.

              It has been shown that every time the private sector is allowed into State enterprises it results in increased costs for consumers and increased costs to new Zealand as a whole as profits go offshore. They are even more costly when it has to be bought back or rebuilt after essential infrastructure is stripped by private owners.

              • PeteG

                We have to get a lot smarter with supply and use of water and power. There doesn’t seem to be enough incentive for public bodies to do that.

                We’re going to come to a major power crunch in the not too distant future (this is a wet year so that defers it a bit). There is not a lot of new capacity going in, and consumption keeps increasing. We have two major issues:
                – a lack of new public initiatives
                – too many publicly imposed restrictions

                We’re going to have to find more ways of producing, soon, or new ways (and/or motivation) to use less. Neither government nor local bodies are showing much sign of getting on top of the problem.

                • Colonial Viper

                  If we sell our power generation and the private owners pump the prices up, power use will go down.

                  • PeteG

                    Are you suggesting that as a solution? Or should we flood a few more valleys and drill for more oil?

                • Armchair Critic

                  We have to get a lot smarter with supply and use of water and power. There doesn’t seem to be enough incentive for public bodies to do that.
                  There is no incentive for private companies to get smarter with the supply and use of water and power. They make money by the volume they sell. Sell more, make more profits. Increased profits, increased value of company, increased remuneration for the senior executives.
                  How does privatising help us with this crunch you tell us is coming?

    • Draco T Bastard 2.2

      What facts are this statement based on?

      The price of telecommunications in this country are now far higher than they would be if we hadn’t sold Telecom. Deregulation, adding competition and allowing billions of dollars in profit to be off-shored has added to this.

      I’ve seen nothing that suggests this claim is anything like probability.

      Really, what cave have you been living in during the last 20 years that you’ve failed to note the extreme hikes of prices in telecommunications and electricity?

      • terryg 2.2.1

        surely Telescum havent made a single cent in profit since privatisation and sale.
        and surely that billions-per-annum profit wouldn’t have been taken offshore, as opposed to, say, re-investing it in the telecoms network.

        In much the same way as the privatised electrickery supply and transmission companies would never have made sizeable annual profits whilst simultaneously neglecting infrastructure maintenance and upgrades, leading to the major embarassment of the auckland power failure (which I can attest repeatedly made us a laughing stock on the front page of the Boston Globe among other US papers)

  3. Craig Glen Eden 3

    Peter G believes the shares will go to Mum and Dad investors and wait for it John Key is a nice guy!

    • PeteG 3.1

      We’ll know before the election how they propose to do it – I trust Key as much as any politician (and more than many) to be up front and stick to his word. One of the biggest criticisms of him is that he doesn’t deviate from his commitments much.

      I don’t know if it’s feasible, but one way of ensuring continured local ownership would be to make shares available only to KiwiSaver funds, and they need more local investment opportunities.

      • vto 3.1.1

        Tell you what PeteG, instead of selling off the power companies (to anyone) and then investing the proceeds in farming businesses (irrigation andshit removal), how about the farming businesses simply invest in their own businesses.

        After all they are the National Party supporters with their philosophies of free market forces. If their businesses are so shit hot then they can find the funds privately, rather than having to take it from poor people paying PAYE and GST.

        The whole thing is bullshit.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2

        I trust Key as much as any politician (and more than many)

        He’s a proven liar and you trust him? Wow, that I think proves that you’ve got your nose up Keys arse.

        Take on Key

      • MrSmith 3.1.3

        PM’s lies. 


        Billy Goat English’s lies.

        Keep whacking the moles. 


        • Deadly_NZ

          And as everyone has been going on about power generation having 49% (yeah Right) sold. No one has mentioned that Kiwibank will be sold to the fat cats and then more money will pour off shore. Remember Blinglish has had a hard on for selling Kiwibank to his mates for some years.

  4. vto 4

    Natural monopolies necessary for daily necessities (such as water and power) should be owned by the users in a form of co-operative.

    Similar to Fonterra. Ask Bill English about that.

    Or similar to Ravensdown Fertiliser. Ask Bill English about that.

    And similar to many many many many other enterprises in similar circumstances. Ask any farmer about co-operatives. They work well.

    • Luxated 4.1

      And yet if you suggest to a lot of farmers that the state should own something they’ll try and spit you out for being a ‘pinko commie’, the contradiction is rather amusing to my mind.

    • Colonial Viper 4.2

      Tory farmers love their co-operative enterprises and collective joint ventures.

      Everyone helps everyone else make more money.

      What’s there not to like? Socialism for the wealthy 🙂

    • Draco T Bastard 4.3

      Natural monopolies necessary for daily necessities (such as water and power) should be owned by the users in a form of co-operative.

      Which effectively means either local government (water) or the state (Power, telecommunications).

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    Yet they can: borrow $ 120 million monthly


  6. infused 6

    Well the mistake living in Masterton. It’s always been a hole.

  7. randal 7

    that is not a nice thing to say infused. where do you live?

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Joint Statement: New Zealand and Australian Trade Ministers
    Hon Damien O'Connor MP, New Zealand Minister for Trade and Export Growth, and Hon Dan Tehan MP, Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, met virtually on Monday 20 September to advance trans-Tasman cooperation under the Australia-New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement (CER). CER is one of the most ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Prime Minister’s Post Cabinet Press Conference/COVID-19 Update opening statement
    ***Please check against delivery***   E te tī, e te tā, nau mai rā [To all, I bid you welcome]   As you will have seen earlier, today there are 22 new community cases to report; three of which are in Whakatiwai in the Hauraki area, and the remainder in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Major milestones for Māori COVID-19 vaccine rollout as new campaign launches
    Whānau Ora and Associate Health (Māori Health) Minister Peeni Henare acknowledges two major milestones in the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination programme for Māori. “I am very pleased to announce more than 50 percent of eligible Māori have received their first dose and 25 per cent are now fully vaccinated,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government funding to fight infectious diseases
    $36 million for research into Covid-19 and other infectious diseases The investment will improve our readiness for future pandemics Research will focus on prevention, control, and management of infectious diseases The Government’s investing in a new Infectious Diseases Research Platform to boost Aotearoa New Zealand’s Covid-19 response and preparedness for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Quarantine-free travel with Australia to remain suspended for a further 8 weeks
    Suspension to be reviewed again mid to late November Decision brought forward to enable access from Australia to first tranche of around 3000 rooms in MIQ Air New Zealand working at pace to put on more flights from Australia from October    The suspension of quarantine-free travel (QFT) with Australia has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Extra support for Ethnic Communities to share vaccination information
    Extra support is being made available to Ethnic Communities to help them share COVID-19 vaccination information within their communities, Minister for Diversity, Inclusion and Ethnic Communities Priyanca Radhakrishnan said. “We know we need to get every eligible person in New Zealand vaccinated. A fund being launched today will allow for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • School holidays remain unchanged for Auckland region
    School holidays in Auckland will continue to be held at the same time as the rest of the country, starting from Saturday, 2 October, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “I’ve carefully considered advice on the implications of shifting the dates and concluded that on balance, maintaining the status quo ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government continues crackdown on gangs and organised crime
    Operation Tauwhiro extended until March 2022 Since it was launched in February, Operation Tauwhiro has resulted in:   987 firearms seized $4.99 million in cash seized 865 people charged with a firearms-related offence Gangs and organised crime groups will continue to be relentlessly targeted with the extension of Police’s successful ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to Body Positive 'HIV Treatments Update Seminar 2021'
    E ngā mana E ngā reo E ngā iwi Tēnā koutou katoa Ka huri ki ngā mana whenua o te rohe nei. Tēnā koutou. He mihi hoki ki a tatou kua tau mai nei I raro I te kaupapa o te rā. Nō reira tēnā koutou katoa Acknowledgements It’s a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Power bill changes bring fairness to charges
    A key recommendation of an independent panel to make electricity charges fairer across all households will be put in place, the Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods has announced. “Phasing out the regulations on ‘low-use’ electricity plans will create a fairer playing field for all New Zealanders and encourage a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ economy’s strong momentum will support rebound from Delta outbreak; COVID fund replenished
    The economy showed strong momentum in the period leading up to the recent Delta COVID-19 outbreak, which bodes well for a solid economic rebound, Grant Robertson said. GDP rose 2.8 percent in the June quarter, following on from a 1.4 percent increase in the previous March quarter. This was a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Projects create benefits into the future
    Making a well-known lake swimmable and helping to halt the decline of the endangered hoiho/yellow-eyed penguins are among a suite of new projects being supported by the Government’s Jobs for Nature programme across the southern South Island, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “It’s no secret that many of our most ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Opening statement for Whāriki Indigenous Small Business Roundtable
      Kei ngā tōpito e wha o te āo e rere ana te mihi maioha ki a koutou nō tawhiti, nō tata mai e tāpiri ana ki tēnei taumata kōrero mo te ao hokohoko arā mā ngā pākihi mo ngā iwi taketake Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa – Pai Mārire.  ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New members appointed to Kāpuia
    The Government is adding four additional members to Kāpuia, the Ministerial Advisory Group on the Government’s Response to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch mosques. “I’m looking forward to having Pamela MacNeill, Huia Bramley, Melani Anae and Katherine Dedo  join Kāpuia and contribute to this group’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Timeline confirmed for Emissions Reductions Plan
    Cabinet has agreed to begin consulting on the Emissions Reduction Plan in early October and require that the final plan be released by the end of May next year in line with the 2022 Budget, the Minister of Climate Change, James Shaw confirmed today. “Cabinet’s decision allows organisations and communities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Pay parity pathway for early learning teachers confirmed
    Pay parity conditions and higher funding rates for education and care services will come into force on 1 January, 2022, Minister of Education Chris Hipkins confirmed today. The Government signalled this work in Budget 2021. “From 1 January, 2022, centres opting into the scheme will receive government funding and be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Nurses Organisation Conference 2021
    Kia Ora tatau katoa.   Ka tuku mihi ki nga nēhi, He pou Hauora o Aotearoa, E ora ai tatou.   Whakatau mai  I runga i te kaupapa o te ra Te NZNO conference.   Tena koutou tena koutou Tena tatou katoa   Good morning, and thank you inviting me ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government investment in farmer-led catchment groups sweeps past 150 mark
    171 catchment groups have now been invested in by the Government 31 catchment groups in the Lower North Island are receiving new support More than 5,000 farmers are focussed on restoring freshwater within a generation through involvement in catchment groups  Government investment in on-the-ground efforts by farmers to improve land ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Fight to protect kauri on track
    The Government is pitching in to help vital work to protect nationally significant kauri forests in Auckland, Minister of Conservation Kiri Allan says. “Ensuring the survival of these iconic trees for future generations means doing everything we can to prevent the potential spread of kauri dieback disease,” Kiri Allan said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Joint statement of Mr Bernard Monk; Hon Andrew Little, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry,...
    [Note: The Parties have agreed on terms to fully and finally settle the proceeding and will jointly issue the below statement.] At the heart of this litigation are the lives of the 29 men tragically lost at the Pike River mine on 19 November 2010 and to whom we pay ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More financial support for businesses
    Today’s decision to keep Auckland in a higher COVID Alert Level triggers a third round of the Wage Subsidy Scheme which will open for applications at 9am this Friday. “The revenue test period for this payment will be the 14th to the 27th of September. A reminder that this is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Aotearoa New Zealand provides further humanitarian support for Afghanistan
    Aotearoa New Zealand is providing a further $3 million in humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today.  “There is significant humanitarian need in Afghanistan, with the crisis disproportionately affecting women and girls,” said Nanaia Mahuta. The UN has estimated that 80% of the quarter of a million ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Innovative te reo prediction tool announced in Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori
    A new Māori language prediction tool will play a key role in tracking our te reo Māori revitalisation efforts, Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson announced today. He Ara Poutama mō te reo Māori (He Ara Poutama) can forecast the number of conversational and fluent speakers of te reo Māori ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further Government support for people to access food and essential items
    The Government is responding to need for support in Auckland and has committed a further $10 million to help people access ongoing food and other essential items, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced today. This latest tranche is targeted at the Auckland region, helping providers and organisations to distribute ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Half a million Pfizer vaccines from Denmark
    The Government has secured an extra half a million doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines from Denmark that will start arriving in New Zealand within days, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. “This is the second and larger agreement the Government has entered into to purchase additional vaccines to meet the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Inland Revenue providing essential COVID support for businesses
    Inland Revenue is seeing increased demand for Resurgence Support Payments and other assistance schemes that it administers, but is processing applications quickly, Revenue Minister David Parker said today. David Parker said the Resurgence Support Payment, the Small Business Cashflow (loan) Scheme and the Wage Subsidy are available at the same ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand marks 20th anniversary of 9/11 attacks
    New Zealand is expressing unity with all victims, families and loved ones affected by the September 11 2001 terrorist attacks, and all terrorist attacks around the world since, including in New Zealand. “Saturday marks twenty years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States, which killed nearly 3,000 people ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to SPREP Environment Ministers
    Talofa Honourable Ulu of Tokelau Faipule Kelihiano Kalolo Tēnā koutou katoa and warm Pacific greetings from Aotearoa to your excellencies, ladies and gentlemen. The new science released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on 8 August paints an alarming picture of the projected impacts of climate change on the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Additional Resurgence Support Payments to support business
    Businesses affected by higher Alert Levels will be able to apply for further Resurgence Support Payments (RSP). “The Government’s RSP was initially intended as a one-off payment to help businesses with their fixed costs, such as rent. Ministers have agreed to provide additional payments to recognise the effects of an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • More Dawn Raids scholarships announced
    Details of the ‘Manaaki New Zealand Short Term Training Scholarships’, a goodwill gesture that follows the Government’s apology for the Dawn Raids of the 1970s, were released today by Pacific Peoples Minister Aupito William Sio. “These scholarships that are targeted to the Pacific will support the kaupapa of the Dawn Raids’ ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • One-way quarantine-free travel for RSE workers starting in October
      One-way quarantine-free travel for Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) workers from Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu starts in October New requirement for RSE workers to have received their first vaccination pre-departure, undertake Day 0 and Day 5 tests, and complete a self-isolation period of seven days, pending a negative Day 5 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt boosts Pacific suicide prevention support
    Applications have opened for the Pacific Suicide Prevention Community Fund as the Government acts to boost support amid the COVID delta outbreak. “We know strong and connected families and communities are the most important protective factor against suicide and this $900,000 fund will help to support this work,” Health Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt parks the expiry of licenses, WoFs and regos
    As a result of the Delta outbreak, driver licences, Warrants of Fitness (WoFs), Certificates of Fitness (CoFs), vehicle licences (‘regos’) and licence endorsements that expired on or after 21 July 2021 will be valid until 30 November 2021, Transport Minister Michael Wood has announced today. “While this extension won’t officially ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19 community fund to provide support for vulnerable women and girls
    Minister for Women Jan Tinetti today announced a $2 million community fund that will provide support for women and girls adversely affected by COVID-19. “We know that women, particularly those who are already vulnerable, are disproportionally affected by the kind of economic disruption caused by COVID-19,” Jan Tinetti said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Next phase of support for Fiji’s COVID-19 response announced
    A further NZ$12 million of support for Fiji’s COVID-19 response has been announced by Foreign Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta today. The package builds on previous tranches of assistance Aotearoa New Zealand has provided to Fiji, totalling over NZ$50 million. “Fiji remains in a very challenging position in their response to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Robotic asparagus harvester aimed at addressing industry challenges
    The Government is backing a $5 million project to develop a commercial-scale autonomous robotic asparagus harvester, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. The Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund (SFF Futures) is contributing $2.6 million to the project. Project partner Robotics Plus Limited (RPL) will build on a prototype asparagus ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Additional Pfizer vaccines to arrive tomorrow
    More than a quarter of a million additional doses of the Pfizer vaccine are on their way from Spain to New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. The additional doses will arrive in Auckland on Friday morning to help meet the current surge in demand for vaccination. “It’s been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Young people to have their voices heard in Youth Parliament 2022
    The dates and details for Youth Parliament 2022 have been announced today by Minister for Youth Priyanca Radhakrishnan, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Youth Parliament is an opportunity for 141 young people from across Aotearoa New Zealand to experience the political process and learn how government works. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Boosting support for tertiary students affected by COVID-19
    Students facing a hard time as a result of COVID-19 restrictions will continue to be supported,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. The Government is putting a further $20 million into the Hardship Fund for Learners, which will help around 15,000 students to stay connected to their studies and learning. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Immediate relief available for Māori and iwi organisations
    The Government has reprioritised up to $5 million to provide immediate relief to vulnerable whānau Māori and communities during the current COVID-19 outbreak Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson announced today. The COVID-19 2021 Whānau Recovery Fund will support community-driven, local responses to gaps in access and provision of critical ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago