web analytics

Some questions

Written By: - Date published: 9:51 pm, March 5th, 2008 - 54 comments
Categories: john key, Media, rumour - Tags: , ,

Today in Parliament Bill English made a very interesting comment which, if true, raises some very concerning questions about either his own honesty or the editorial integrity of APN, publishers of the New Zealand Herald.

Referring to a quip from Michael Cullen about John Key’s statement that ‘we would love to see wages drop‘, English said:

Is the Minister aware that the newspaper concerned is going to publish a retraction?

Fascinated, a regular reader of The Standard followed up the story by making a few phone calls. Eventually he reached a senior manager at the Northern Advocate, who told him the story would not be a retraction, but a correction, and would be running in the Advocate’s sister paper the New Zealand Herald either tomorrow or in the next few days.

According to this manager the Herald’s correction will run Key’s (eventual) line that he was misquoted and had actually been talking about Australian wages all along.

If true, this is a huge turnaround from APN that needs some serious explaining. The reporter has stood by every word that was written in his original article and a transcript has been released to back him up. The editor backed the journalist and his story to the hilt in an editorial last week. And the publisher has also gone on the public record backing the story:

Northern Publishing stands by the story published in the Bay Report on December 20, 2007 in which National Leader John Key was quoted as saying “We would love to see wages drop.”

Our reporter was at the meeting with the Kerikeri District Business Association President Carolyne Brooks-Quan and recorded the conversation.

We have a transcript of the meeting and we are happy that the quotes printed in the story are an accurate record of what Mr Key said.

Furthermore, if APN does plan to run the line that Key was talking about wanting Australian wages to drop then it has even more explaining to do, because the transcript shows it is simply implausible that Key could have been talking about Australia.

Of course, we don’t know for sure if any of this is true, but it does raise some concerning questions:

1. How and why did Bill English know about the correction in advance?
2. Is it true that Key’s office tried to get journalist Greg Roberston sacked for his story?
3. Why would APN publish the correction in the Herald and not the Advocate or the Bay Report?
4. Why would APN buy Key’s line that he was talking about Australian wages when the transcript suggests this is not the case and Key has issued multiple conflicting denials?
5. Why is this suddenly a story now, more than two weeks after it broke?

Again, I stress that none of this has yet been verified. But given Bill English’s comments in the house today, our reader’s conversation with the APN manager and Key’s rather menacing comments on Havoc the other day it all looks a little murky. Hopefully Bill or APN can clear it up soon.

54 comments on “Some questions”

  1. Wilson 1

    You know if there was going to be an article they’ll have pulled it after reading this.

  2. insider 2

    It’s perfectly standard for the Herald to inform those concerned if there is to be a correction. In my experience the wording and timing are the result of negotiations. Papers don’t like admitting fault unless they have made a real booboo but you can negotiate clarifications. That said I’ve found the herald is pretty good about admitting when they get things wrong.

    Stop bringing APN into this. This is an editorial decision and each paper will do their own thing. Remember the Herald ran their own story so will likely be clairifcation of that, which was a different story than what ran in the Bay times.

  3. dave 3

    Once again I was right and the standard was wrong

  4. Odd definitions of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ you have there, Dave. Check it out:

    English: …the newspaper concerned is going to publish a retraction.

    According to the Standard, what will actually happen is that a different newspaper is going to publish a correction, ‘correction’ in this instance also having an odd definition if it directly contradicts the transcript.

    If the Standard’s commenter who phoned the Northern Advocate is to be believed, the newspaper concerned is standing by its story, not publishing a retraction. Whether some other paper that didn’t have a reporter present wants to back Key is of little relevance.

  5. Oh Dear – I wonder if Rick and John had a wee chat down at the club. I imagine National is trying to inoculate the issue but a correction stating he was talking about Australia would directly contradict Key’s statement on Havoc that he never even said the words.

    Cap: “Partying been” – I guess now it’s time for the hangover…

  6. Right there, for all to see this morning in the Herald:

    “Meanwhile, another controversy Labour has targeted will have a sequel today when Northland’s Bay Report newspaper, in which Mr Key was quoted as saying, “We would love to see wages drop”, issues a clarification.

    The Bay Report will say it accepted that any impression its report gave that Mr Key wanted wages to drop was incorrect.

    Mr Key reportedly made the comment during an informal meeting with Kerikeri Business Association head Carolyne Brooks-Quan in which they discussed the wage gap between Australia and New Zealand. It has been repeatedly used by Labour as evidence of a “secret agenda” by Mr Key.”

    How’s the heads boys, after two weeks of banging them against brick walls?

  7. george 7

    Well i have found the “correction” Buried deep in an article in the herald titled
    “Key admits blunder over Treaty”

    “Meanwhile, another controversy Labour has targeted will have a sequel today when Northland’s Bay Report newspaper, in which Mr Key was quoted as saying, “We would love to see wages drop”, issues a clarification.

    The Bay Report will say it accepted that any impression its report gave that Mr Key wanted wages to drop was incorrect.

    Mr Key reportedly made the comment during an informal meeting with Kerikeri Business Association head Carolyne Brooks-Quan in which they discussed the wage gap between Australia and New Zealand. It has been repeatedly used by Labour as evidence of a “secret agenda” by Mr Key.

    Yesterday, National described the clarification as a “retraction” when Finance Minister Michael Cullen again used the quote against Mr Key in Parliament.

    Dr Cullen also claimed Mr Key had tried to bully the editor and newspaper into sacking the reporter who wrote the article.

    Northern Advocate general manager Tony Verdon said Dr Cullen’s version of events was incorrect.

    “There was never any question of anyone being bullied or sacked for it. That was never an issue and it was never raised with us.”

    Mr Key has previously said that while he did not remember the quote it was probably a reference to Australian wages dropping.

    He claimed he was “badly misrepresented” by the Bay of Islands newspaper and “took umbrage with the reporting”.

    Ms Brooks-Quan has also backed Mr Key, telling the Herald she never got the impression Mr Key wanted wages to drop.

    However, the quote has continued to attract barbs from Labour. The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union and Council for Trade Unions have also used the quote and yesterday issued another round of press releases querying National’s commitment to wage increases.”

    How was Bill English aware of this before hand.
    Interference with the MSM?
    Seems to have a bad smell to it!

  8. Oh yes – why did it take this long? And why when Key’s last position was he never said it is the apparent position that he did but was taken out of context? Something is murky here. Very murky…

  9. James Kearney 9

    Once again the Herald does the National party’s bidding. Not a good look.

    [captcha: ‘staying Burnside’ At John Key’s place?]

  10. george 10

    I suppose the next question is why no word from the Journalist Greg Robertson ?
    I left a message of support and asked him to call me.
    I instead got a call from his manager Tony Verdon.
    Can anyone raise the reporters view or has he been silenced?

  11. higherstandard 11

    Dead story move on

  12. James Kearney 12

    hs- Why’s it in the paper then?

    The sudden about-face after two weeks and with no new evidence is very suspicious.

    There’s been some pressure applied somewhere in this case- the only question is where and by whom.

  13. mike 13

    First can we have a retraction from the Standard as well?

  14. higherstandard 14

    James I’d suggest it’s in the paper due to the ongoing quips in parliament.

    If a clarification/retraction or whatever has now been printed surely that’s the end of the matter.

    r0b – Agree absolutely which is why I’d like to see some comment regarding the HBDHB, this seems to me a far more concerning issue.

  15. insider 15

    MAybe the reason they have had to issue a clarification is because the circumstances as originally described by the Bay news and the transcript were not quite as robust as they made out…after standing by the story and the accuracy of the transcript, to then say the story gave the wrong impression is quite a turnaround.

    Perhaps it has taken two weeks for the answers as to what actually happened to flow through. PErhaps, as Key said, there was more to the story than what appeared in the paper.

  16. Tane 16

    From the Dom Post:

    “Mr Key revealed yesterday that the Bay Report would be printing a retraction, which he said had been “communicated to him” by APN chief executive Martin Simons”

    So there’s the Herald acting alone theory blown out of the water. I suspect that’s not the last we’ll hear of this.

  17. higherstandard 17

    Tane just as an update on this from the herald.

    The Bay Report will say it accepted that any impression its report gave that Mr Key wanted wages to drop was incorrect.

    Mr Key reportedly made the comment during an informal meeting with Kerikeri Business Association head Carolyne Brooks-Quan in which they discussed the wage gap between Australia and New Zealand. It has been repeatedly used by Labour as evidence of a “secret agenda” by Mr Key.

    Yesterday, National described the clarification as a “retraction” when Finance Minister Michael Cullen again used the quote against Mr Key in Parliament.

    Dr Cullen also claimed Mr Key had tried to bully the editor and newspaper into sacking the reporter who wrote the article.

    Northern Advocate general manager Tony Verdon said Dr Cullen’s version of events was incorrect.

    “There was never any question of anyone being bullied or sacked for it. That was never an issue and it was never raised with us.”

    Mr Key has previously said that while he did not remember the quote it was probably a reference to Australian wages dropping.

    He claimed he was “badly misrepresented” by the Bay of Islands newspaper and “took umbrage with the reporting”.

    Ms Brooks-Quan has also backed Mr Key, telling the Herald she never got the impression Mr Key wanted wages to drop.

    As an aside I haven’t seen anything in the Bay Report as yet had a quick look on line – the main story was a 15 year old girl killed by a drunk driver who drove into her and a number of other young ones puts things in perspective in a very depressing way.

  18. ghostwhowalks 18

    So the Chief executive of the group is now running the ‘corrections’ column.

    perhaps it was after a ‘direction’ from the board to the CEO

  19. Tane 19

    hs – that’s already been published further up the thread. What I find interesting is that the Bay Report hasn’t even been published yet. It’s an afternoon paper.

  20. the sprout 20

    “Stop bringing APN into this”

    why – you don’t think it’s a coordinated effort? the very fact that the Herald is running ‘corrections’ for its sister paper suggests inter-publication coordination.

    next the Listener will have a partially buried throw-away reference to the issue in an attempt to further innoculate.

    naive or disingenuous insider?

  21. Tane 21

    Sprout, it doesn’t matter whether people think APN has taken control of this issue from the highest levels, it’s in black and white in the Dom Post:

    “Mr Key revealed yesterday that the Bay Report would be printing a retraction, which he said had been “communicated to him’ by APN chief executive Martin Simons’

  22. Steve Pierson 22

    george. None of people who actually dealt with this story are being allowed to go on record. We’ve had correspondence with various people involved but, unfortunately, can’t cite them directly because of this gagging order which seems to have come from high up in APN.

  23. higherstandard 23

    Apologies Tane

    Didn’t read the whole thread – I still think you chaps are trying to find a story where there isn’t one.

    Oh well each to their own.

    Have a good day.

  24. the sprout 24

    for readers’ information here’s Rosenberg’s 2008 paper on media ownership in NZ, which helps for tracking APN’s “Elect National” campaign.

    Click to access mediaown.pdf

  25. ghostwhowalks 25

    There isnt a story ?
    When retractions are announced first by the deputy leader of the opposition.
    And this from the Newspaper that used the banner line democracy under threat when helen only said NZH has all ways been uncharitable to Labour.

  26. anon reporter 26

    For the benefit of the confused, or those playing deliberate diversion:

    A reporter or editor has one job. The chief executive of the publishing company has a very different one.

    The chief executive does not write, or comment on, or re-write, the stories in the papers. At least, not publicly.

    So now we know who is responsible for the APN papers’ editorial line. Not the editors.

  27. anon reporter 27

    And to add: this IS a big story. This kind of pressure on independent professionals is very disturbing indeed.

  28. r0b 28

    You know what they say – the cover-up is always more damaging than the original crime! Good to see this issue alive and well in the msm.

  29. insider 29

    Sprout

    There seems a fair bit of confusion. The Standard has said that the Herald would run a clarification not the Bay Times. Now we find that was wrong and it will apparantly be the BT – not sure what has gone wrong there, perhaps Tane can explain how the confusion arose. (I don’t class the Herald story as a clarification BTW.)

    I’ve had to negotiate corrections before and always found that if you have a good case the media are reasonable. They don’t enjoy the process and will try to minimise a correction to a clarification but I put that down to professional pride. In my experience these issues are managed by the editorial staff.

    However, if you don’t get anywhere with them and are unsatisfied, you can do what any consumer organisation suggests – take it up with the management. Didn’t Cullen do that regarding the Herald once?

  30. the sprout 30

    cheers ap

  31. higherstandard 31

    Anon

    If that’s the case and you have proof why not drop it on Nicky Hagar – he loves this kind of thing

  32. insider 32

    ap

    If a story has been misleading, it’s legitimate to question how professional and independent the poeple responsible were.

    Publishers have always influenced editorial line. That may not mean directly but they hire the editor, they are responsible for its financial performance etc. So the concept of independent editors is naive. They are independent within the boundaries set by the company they work for.

    You only have to look at the UK to see how this works with politically aligned papers. The editor of the Mirror is unlikely to be free to align it with the Tories as that would be commercial suicide.

    I think the APN CEO calling Bill English is unusual, but then it may be he is fronting for the company. That is his job at times. For all we know National was demanding a full blown front page retraction and the CEO was called in to deliver the bad news that they were getting an inside clarification.

  33. Brownie 33

    Another question, boys?

    Say you go and buy a car. The salesman tells you it has a 3 yr warranty and you buy it under this impression. Later you find out it only has a 2 yr warranty and that, for whatever reason, the salesperson got it wrong but, too late – you have allready bought the car. Being a bit angry about a missrepresentation, you would naturally ring the salesperson’s manager. The sales manager says that you must have heard wrong and backs his employee (something I personally agree with) and says no restitution will be forthcoming. Having no joy with the salesmanager, you contact the business owner. This would be entirely reasonable and I would say logical step.

    Yet when John Key believes he has been missrepresented and takes steps to seek appropriate corrective action, there are howls of derision? If the Editor refuses to “clarify” or “correct”, it would be absolutely appropriate for National to go to the owners.

    BTW, is there a complete transcript hanging around?

  34. the sprout 34

    and no doubt APN and National have a memo of understanding that needed to be observed.

  35. insider 35

    But rOb there is no evidence of such interference. Only The Standard’s inferences. ANd as shwon in this thread they got much of the clarification printing wrong, despite having a direct source/

  36. How many times does the Herald misrepresent people’s positions? How many times have ordinary people been incorrectly quoted or had their positions skewed.

    And yet poor vulnerable Mr Key is misquoted and the head of the publishing conglomerate personally tells him they are printing a correction. POLITICS OF PRIVILEGE ANYONE? This reeks, they publish incorrect things about Clark everyday and she just has to get on with it. Key on the other hand makes another enormous fuck up and the Herald jumps, licks his wounds and makes it alllll better. Yay for our media!

  37. r0b 37

    anon reporter – if you are indeed what your name suggests, then bravo for contributing here. Blogs are a great forum for whistle-blowers, and whistle-blowers do a great service to democracy.

  38. insider 38

    If I thought I had been misquoted I too would put pressure on the media to correct it. What exactly is wrong with that? You, me or Cullen saying something happened doesn’t make it true.

  39. insider 40

    I would add that the press council complaints process specifically says that people who have an issue with soomething printed must take it up with the media concerned first. Not doing so means you have no options to follow up further.

    The PC is the industry’s self governing body, so they encourage disaffected people to ‘pressure’ them. So where is the issue?

  40. You wouldn’t have a shit show in being succesful though would you insider? Unless you know something us little people don’t? Which according to your name you should…

  41. Brownie 42

    “…apparently using their mates the owners to put pressure on editors to influence what is reported.”

    rOb, Sorry but who says they are his mates? The analogy is quite correct – you keep going higher up until you get someone to make good on an error.

    And Bean

    “Key on the other hand makes another enormous fuck up”

    Isn’t this the whole point, Bean? That he didn’t stuff up and the Bay report got it wrong? Thats why they would be printing a “clarification”?

    “This reeks, they publish incorrect things about Clark everyday and she just has to get on with it. ”

    What things were factually incorrect?

    “POLITICS OF PRIVILEGE ANYONE?”

    You also have the same privilege, Bean. If someone materially affects you by getting something wrong, you too have the right to complain to whomever will listen until it’s either proven that you were right or wrong.

    Captcha: Technology 69 – this thing is scary sometimes

  42. insider 43

    Oh FFS bean. Stop looking for conspiracies in every part of your little life. It’s the online name I have been using for years in a range of fora.

    To be absolutely clear, all I know about the specifics of this case are what has appeared in public fora such as here and the papers.

    Stop taking the paranoia pills and engage on the issues.

  43. Tane 44

    they got much of the clarification printing wrong, despite having a direct source/

    No, we had a second-hand tip-off and made it very clear that’s what it was. We told our readers (some) of what we knew asked some relevant questions. I’m actually pretty stoked our tip-off was largely right.

  44. insider – the story came out in December and turned up in parliament three weeks ago. The paper stood by it until the CEO stepped in. What the fuck would the CEO (not a journalist) know about the story that the people on the ground didn’t? Answer: nothing except what he was told to do by National.

  45. “You also have the same privilege, Bean. If someone materially affects you by getting something wrong, you too have the right to complain to whomever will listen until it’s either proven that you were right or wrong.”

    Actually Brownie I don’t. I wouldn’t have the public profile to make enough of a fuss to push a paper into ‘correcting’ what I had said.

    Key here has people working for him specifically to clean up his mess and this is what they have managed to do- he stuffed up. Just like he did on Breakfast yesterday, and about Iraq and about the Auckland Airport issue. This time though he was able to throw his weight around and the herald jumped. I bet if he hadn’t been caught on camera screwing up his treaty policy he would have claimed Paul Henry lied as well.

  46. r0b 47

    Say you go and buy a car.

    All very reasonable Brownie. But – when the PM makes some mildly critical remarks of The Herald, it gets plastered all over the front page. So clearly politician’s relationships to the media are somewhat more sensitive than my relationship with a car dealer. They are news.

    Here we have Key / National, not making a few public remarks, but apparently using their mates the owners to put pressure on editors to influence what is reported. That’s news. It should be plastered all over the front page.

  47. “Oh FFS bean. Stop looking for conspiracies in every part of your little life. It’s the online name I have been using for years in a range of fora.

    To be absolutely clear, all I know about the specifics of this case are what has appeared in public fora such as here and the papers.

    Stop taking the paranoia pills and engage on the issues”

    Nerve hit anyone? next insider will use that witty zing ‘go put on your tinfoil hat’.

  48. specifically to clean up his mess

    Oh, but I think they may have made a bigger mess…

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0803/S00055.htm

  49. the sprout 50

    you’ve usually made a hit when you’re either “PC” or “a conspiracist”. the conspiracist dismissal seems to be growing in popularity at the moment.

  50. r0b 51

    But rOb there is no evidence of such interference. Only The Standard’s inferences.

    Insider, it’s true that no one has (yet) popped up with a recording of Key on the phone to the Hearld’s owners or whatever. But add up the public comments that are on record, in this thread, and also in this one:

    Did Key try to get ‘wage drop’ journalist sacked?

    If you can reasonably come to any conclusion other than “Key / National have been putting pressure on the mdeia”, well, good for you, I admire your touching faith in the purity of politicians.

  51. r0b 52

    Hey bean – good to see you back!

  52. r0b 53

    If I thought I had been misquoted I too would put pressure on the media to correct it.

    So you not see any difference between you doing that, and a major politician doing that?

    Why has it been front page news every time it seems Clark or Cullen has expressed an opinion on the media? And given that context, why should it not be front page news if Key does the same? Does he get some kind of special free pass?

    Not to mention that if he really did try to get a reporter sacked, then he way crossed the line, and he should resign.

  53. dave 54

    Yes, ther is a story here – but not the “story” told by The Standard… get your angles right, boys and girl.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • 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 ...
    7 hours 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.  ...
    8 hours 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 ...
    9 hours 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 ...
    10 hours 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 ...
    1 day 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 ...
    1 day 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. ...
    1 day 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 days 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 days 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 days 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 days 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.     ...
    4 days 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 ...
    5 days 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 ...
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days 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.  ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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. ...
    1 week 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. ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week ago
  • Fletcher Tabuteau selected as candidate for Rotorua
    New Zealand First MP Fletcher Tabuteau is pleased to be confirmed today as the party’s candidate for the Rotorua electorate. Speaking at the Rotorua AGM for New Zealand First, Mr Tabuteau said this is an election that is incredibly important for the people of Rotorua. “The founding principles of New ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Greens call for Government office to address Rainbow issues following Human Rights Commission report
    The Human Rights Commission’s PRISM report on the issues impacting people based on their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC) provides an excellent programme of work for future governments to follow, say the Greens. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters continues push for trans-Tasman travel as military take control of operations
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters said the trans-Tasman bubble had not been jeopardised after a border botch-up resulted in New Zealand having two active cases of COVID-19. On Friday, Mr Peters told RNZ's Morning Report he had heard from Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison that borders for trans-Tasman travel would open by ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters on the Government’s Covid-19 border blunder
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters said today he was pleased the army was now running the quarantine and isolation process - up until now it has been the Ministry of Health. Peters told Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking that the army knew how to introduce and follow protocols and instil discipline. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First’s Ron Mark confirms bid for the Wairarapa seat
    Hon Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in the Wairarapa New Zealand First MP and Minister for Defence and Veteran’s Affairs Ron Mark has confirmed his bid for the Wairarapa seat.“The Coalition Government has done a lot of good work throughout the Wairarapa, but many constituents have told ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First welcomes second tranche of candidates
    New Zealand First is pleased to release the names of its next tranche of candidates for the 2020 election. We’re proud to announce these hardworking New Zealanders that have put their hand up to fight for a commonsense and resilient future.Jamie Arbuckle – Kaikoura Mark Arneil – Christchurch Central Jackie ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Joint effort under way to repatriate stranded Vanuatu nationals
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence A massive joint effort between New Zealand Government agencies, employers, and the Vanuatu Government is underway to repatriate over 1000 Vanuatu nationals stranded in New Zealand, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron ...
    2 weeks ago
  • $40m for regional apprenticeships
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister of Regional Economic Development Reprioritised funding of $40 million from the Provincial Growth Fund will support up to 1000 regional apprenticeships, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones said today. The Regional Apprenticeship Initiative is part of the wider Apprenticeship Boost announced by Education Minister Chris Hipkins ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Greens welcome new ACC zero carbon plans, call for ruling out any future fossil fuel investment
    The Green Party welcomes the ACC’s announcement to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 but emphasises the need to go further, and faster to truly meet the climate change challenge. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Farmers pleased with NZ First amendments to firearms bill
    Farmers are rejoicing after Labour agreed to an amendment pushed by New Zealand First in the firearms bill that will allow the use of restricted guns for pest control.  Concessions on gun control mean farmers will be able to apply for a licence to use restricted firearms for pest control. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand launches free trade talks with the UK
    New Zealand has formally launched free trade negotiations with the United Kingdom, with hopes a swift deal could assist with the country's post-Covid recovery. The two countries announced the start of FTA talks on Wednesday afternoon, offering a new avenue for trade progress. In a statement announcing the start of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Northland’s $200m rail upgrade providing work for locals
    The Northland rail project is already providing jobs for locals, with 200 contractors and KiwiRail staff needed over the coming months. The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) has pledged $204.5 million for the project - $164.5m to upgrade the Northland rail line and $40m to buy land. New Zealand First leader ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Whanganui Port gets PGF boost
    Five port-related projects in Whanganui will receive a $26.75 million Provincial Growth Fund investment to support local economic recovery and create new opportunities for growth, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This is a significant investment that will support the redevelopment of the Whanganui Port, a project governed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • More support for Sarjeant Gallery
    Whanganui’s Sarjeant Gallery will receive an investment of up to $12 million administered by the Provincial Growth Fund to support its redevelopment, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. The project is included in a $3 billion infrastructure pipeline announced by Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Shane Jones yesterday. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Funding for training and upskilling
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing nearly $2.5 million into three Te Ara Mahi programmes to support Manawatū-Whanganui jobseekers and employees to quickly train and upskill, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Up to 154 local people will be supported into employment within the first year by these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Statement from the Minister of Health Dr David Clark
      This morning I have formally tendered my resignation as Minister of Health, which was accepted by the Prime Minister. Serving as Minister of Health has been an absolute privilege – particularly through these extraordinary last few months. It’s no secret that Health is a challenging portfolio. I have given ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Scholarship placements for agricultural emissions scientists doubles
    Scholarships for 57 early-career agricultural emissions scientists from 20 developing countries is another example of New Zealand’s international leadership in primary sector sustainability, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. Mr O’Connor, announcing the scholarships today, says hundreds of applications were received for this fourth round of the CLIFF-GRADS programme (Climate, Food ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Funding for Foxton regeneration
    A project to help rejuvenate the Horowhenua town of Foxton will receive a Provincial Growth Fund investment of $3.86 million, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This funding for the Foxton Regeneration project will be used to make the well-known holiday town even more attractive for visitors and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Plan to improve protection of moa bones
    Moa bones and other sub-fossil remains of extinct species are set to have improved protection with proposals to prevent the trade in extinct species announced the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today. “We have lost too many of our native species, but these lost species, such as moa, remain an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Free lunches served up to thousands of school children in the South Island
    The Government’s free and healthy school lunches programme moves south for the first time creating jobs for around 30 people in Otago and Southland. “Eighteen schools with 3000 students are joining the programme – 11 have already begun serving lunches, and seven are preparing to start during Term 3. This is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Screen Sector recovery package protects jobs, boosts investment
    Thousands of Kiwi jobs and investment in New Zealand productions will be protected through a screen sector support package announced today by Associate Minister for Arts Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford and Minister for Broadcasting Kris Faafoi. The package also includes investment in broadcasting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • New fund to help save local events and jobs
    The Government has established a new $10 million fund for the domestic events sector to help save jobs and protect incomes as it recovers from the impacts of COVID-19, Minister of Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. This funding from Budget 2020 follows talks with the event sector designed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Bill to improve fuel market competition
    The Government has taken another step in its commitment to making sure New Zealanders get a fairer deal at the petrol pump with the introduction of legislation to improve competition in the retail fuel market, says Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods. “The fuel market study that this Government ordered ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand joins global facility for pre-purchase of COVID-19 Vaccine
    New Zealand has joined a global initiative that aims to enable all countries to access a safe and effective Covid-19 vaccine, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. The COVAX Facility was recently launched by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. The Alliance includes the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Right to legal representation in Family Court restored today
    From today new legislation takes effect to both restore the right to legal representation at the start of a Care of Children (CoCA) dispute in the Family Court, and allow parties to those proceedings to access legal aid where eligible. During a visit to the Family Court in Auckland today, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Transitioning to a fully-qualified home-based ECE workforce
    Home-based early childhood education (ECE) subsidised by the government will transition to a fully qualified workforce by 2025 to ensure better and more consistent quality, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. “Quality early learning helps provide children with a strong foundation for their future,” Chris Hipkins said. From 1 January ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission gets to work
    The new Criminal Cases Review Commission | Te Kāhui Tātari Ture (CCRC) has started work and can now independently investigate claimed miscarriages of justice. “Even though we have appeal rights and safeguards against unsafe convictions, from time to time our justice system does get things wrong. The design of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Speech by the Minister of Defence to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā karangatanga maha, tēnā koutou Ki a koutou Te Āti Awa, Taranaki Whānui, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, ngā mana whenua o te rohe nei, tēnā koutou Ko Te Whare Wānanga o Aotearoa ki ngā take o te Ao (NZIIA), Ko te Rōpū Tohu Tono ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Six months with baby and $20 more a week for new parents
    The Government’s increase to paid parental leave kicks in today with another 4 weeks taking New Zealand up to a full 6 months (26 weeks, up from 22 weeks) leave for new parents, and the maximum weekly payment will increase by $20pw, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Infrastructure investment to create jobs, kick-start COVID rebuild
    A new package of infrastructure investments will help kick-start the post-COVID rebuild by creating more than 20,000 jobs and unlocking more than $5 billion of projects up and down New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones today outlined how the $3 billion infrastructure fund in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Statement on passage of national security law for Hong Kong
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today expressed the New Zealand Government’s deep disappointment at the passage by China’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee of a national security law for Hong Kong. “New Zealand has consistently emphasised its serious concern about the imposition of this legislation on Hong Kong without inclusive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • July 1 marks progress for workers, families
    More jobs and more family time with newborns are the centrepiece of a suite of Government initiatives coming into effect today. July 1 is a milestone day for the Government as a host of key policies take effect, demonstrating the critical areas where progress has been made. “The Coalition Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Auckland water consent referred to Board of Inquiry
    Environment Minister David Parker has today “called in” Auckland’s application to the Waikato Regional Council to take an extra 200 million litres of water a day from the lower reaches of the Waikato River for Auckland drinking water and other municipal uses.  The call-in means the application has been referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand to host virtual APEC in 2021
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker announced today that New Zealand’s hosting of APEC in 2021 will go ahead using virtual digital platforms. Mr Peters said the global disruption caused by COVID-19, including resultant border restrictions, had been the major factor in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Matakana Link Road construction kicks off and drives jobs
    The start of construction on a new link road between Matakana Road and State Highway 1 will create jobs and support the significant population growth expected in the Warkworth area, Transport Minister Phil Twyford and Mayor Phil Goff announced today. Transport Minister Phil Twyford said construction of the Matakana Link ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • PPE supplies secured as COVID-19 response focuses on border
    The Government is prioritising its latest investment in PPE for frontline health workers, including staff at managed isolation and quarantine facilities, Health Minister David Clark says. “With no community transmission of COVID-19 our response now has a firm focus on keeping our border safe and secure. “We must ensure that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • PGF funding for Parihaka settlement
    The Parihaka Papakāinga Trust in Taranaki will receive up to $14 million for a new visitor centre and other improvements at the historic settlement that will boost the local economy and provide much-needed jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Protections for workers in triangular employment
    Protections for workers who are employees of one employer but working under the direction of another business or organisation have come into force, closing a gap in legislation that  made the personal grievance process inaccessible for some workers, says Workplace Relations Minister Iain Lees-Galloway. “This Government is working hard to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government strengthens managed isolation system
    A range of improvements are already underway to address issues identified in the rapid review of the Managed Isolation and Quarantine system released today, Housing Minister Megan Woods said. The review was commissioned just over a week ago to identify and understand current and emerging risks to ensure the end-to-end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Whakatāne to go predator free with Government backing Ngāti Awa led efforts
    The important brown kiwi habitat around Whakatāne will receive added protection through an Iwi-led predator free project announced by Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage and Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau. “The Government is investing nearly $5 million into Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa’s environmental projects with $2.5 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Growing Goodwood: Expanding wood waste recycling plant in Bay of Plenty, Waikato
    An extra 4,000 tonnes of offcuts and scraps of untreated wood per year will soon be able to be recycled into useful products such as horticultural and garden mulch, playground safety surfacing and animal bedding as a result of a $660,000 investment from the Waste Minimisation Fund, Associate Environment Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Scott Watson’s convictions to be referred to Court of Appeal
    The Governor-General has referred Scott Watson’s convictions for murder back to the Court of Appeal, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. Mr Watson was convicted in 1999 of the murders of Ben Smart and Olivia Hope. His appeal to the Court of Appeal in 2000 was unsuccessful, as was his ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Protecting Kiwis with stronger financial supervision
    A new five-year funding agreement for the Reserve Bank will mean it can boost its work to protect New Zealanders’ finances, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand has a strong and stable financial system. Financial stability is an area that we are not prepared to cut corners for, particularly ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Forgotten funds and missing money
    A law change has been introduced to make it easier for forgotten funds in institutional accounts to be returned more easily to their rightful owners. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash has introduced an amendment to the Unclaimed Money Act 1971. It will update the rules controlling forgotten sums of money held ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government delivers on mental health commitment
    The Government is delivering on election commitments and a key recommendation of He Ara Oranga: Report of the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction with the establishment of a permanent independent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission, Health Minister Dr David Clark says. Legislation enabling the establishment of the fully ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand privacy law modernised
    A Bill to replace New Zealand’s Privacy Act passed its third reading in Parliament today, Justice Minister Andrew Little has announced. “The protections in the Privacy Bill are vitally important. The key purpose of the reforms is to promote and protect people’s privacy and give them confidence that their personal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tourism operators provided extra support
    Extra support is being provided to tourism businesses operating on public conservation land announced Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage today.  The Government is providing $25m worth of support to tourism operators impacted by COVID-19, with a decision to waive most Department of Conservation tourism related concession ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Queenstown infrastructure package to bolster local economy
    A central Government partnership with Queenstown will help unlock around $300 million of projects in the township and create about 320 direct jobs, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced today. The Government will contribute $85 million to the Queenstown Town Centre ($35m) project and Stage One of the Queenstown Arterials ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Key appointments to ensure high quality healthcare for New Zealanders
    Health Minister Dr David Clark welcomes the appointment of Auckland coroner Morag McDowell to the role of Health and Disability Commissioner. He is also pleased his appointments to the inaugural Paramedic Council were confirmed by gazette this week. The new Health and Disability Commissioner Ms McDowell will commence the role ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Whakatāne Māori food producers receive $2.1m PGF boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing $2.1 million in a blueberry orchard initiative, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “The Meihana Koata Trust will receive a loan from the PGF’s Whenua Māori allocation to develop an 18.8 hectare blueberry orchard on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • PGF investment in Rewa’s Village
    A well-known Māori tourism in Northland will receive $1.25 million from the Provincial Growth Fund for much-needed redevelopment, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Rēhia Charitable Trust will use the funding to upgrade Te Pā Kāinga o Rewa, or Rewa’s Village, in Kerikeri. The long-established ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government partners with Ngāti Rēhia to create kauri sanctuary
    The Government and Northland iwi Ngāti Rēhia have today announced up to $6.25 million in One Billion Trees funding for a new kauri sanctuary. Forestry Minister Shane Jones said the sanctuary would help protect kauri by creating New Zealand’s first bio-secure kauri sanctuary, free of kauri dieback disease. “I am ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago