web analytics

Southland floods and toxic waste

Written By: - Date published: 7:05 am, February 6th, 2020 - 45 comments
Categories: disaster - Tags: , , , , , , ,

The floods in Southland over the past few days were being reported as the biggest in 35 years. A state of emergency was declared mid afternoon on Tuesday and by Wednesday morning people were being evacuated. The rain had stopped but the rivers were set to peak later in the day.

In some areas people were being told to ‘get out now’ and the army were called in in the afternoon to help. One couple were arrested and removed from their property for trying to stay and save their animals. The main trunk line was closed with two freight trains having to be abandoned near Gore. Many farms are affected and the government has declared an adverse event allow the farming welfare fund to be released.

Media coverage was sometimes patchy, in part because of the large area that was cut off from access (all road access from Otago into Southland was gone) and apparently because few national MSM outlets have journalists on the ground in Southland. The ODT, Southland Times/Stuff, and RNZ had good coverage, others appeared to struggle,

The other somewhat disturbing thing was the relative lack of visibility from central government. I know they were tied up with Waitangi, and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor flew down in the afternoon, but it was still odd to not see the government saying much. Nothing on twitter or Facebook from Labour or the Greens. Disappointing.

The inconsistent media coverage was even more obvious in the emerging story of the 10,000 tonnes of toxic waste from the Tiwai aluminium smelter being stored in the old paper mill on the banks of the Mataura River, that is at risk of releasing noxious gases on coming into contact with water. It’s a known hazard, and locals have been trying for years to get the stuff moved. Volunteers sandbagging the mill yesterday left suddenly and were not allowed back in.

University of Canterbury scientists said there was a plausible concern about serious toxicity to people and the environment. Gore District Council CE quoted in the Southland Times,

I can’t rule it out, we’re just doing the best we can.

We are definitely worried, but we are doing all we can do to make that building as resilient as possible.

There are no real measures we can take, we are going to have to react to what unfolds.

There was some confusion over the day about whether people in Mataura, where the whole town was evacuated and closed Wednesday morning, were told to leave because of the flooding or because of the risk of noxious gas. The low lying areas were obvious flood risked, but people on the hills had to leave too and a very large cordon was established around the area.

Civil Defence put out a statement mid afternoon “to quell speculation and misinformation about the ouvea premix at the Mataura paper mill”, but it left some questions unanswered eg how are they monitoring the toxic waste when they say “We have had no reports of any ammonia coming from the paper mill”. However one of the people sandbagging said they left because of the ammonia.

Meanwhile, the best explanations came from twitter. @stevens_phil backgrounder twitter thread,

Several mentions of ouvea premix being stored next to the flooding Mataura River, and the problem it poses. Not one about where it came from, why, or the fight the locals put up to prevent this from happening.

Since the news stories don’t give any context, I had to look it up.

Ouvea premix is treated aluminium smelter dross, a Class 6 hazardous substance.

Waste from Tiwai Pt.

The smelter operators outsourced the remediation of the dross to a firm that apparently bid too low and went bankrupt.

But it’s no longer Rio Tinto’s problem. Handy!

Ouvea premix is less toxic than dross, but you have to keep the stuff dry. Its intended use was for addition to concrete and lime for foundations, and in this state it is apparently considered environmentally “safe.” On its own it is a pollutant.

http://haztec.co.nz/announcements/fertiliser-firm-apologises-for-dross-dumping

Ouvea premix can also be used in the manufacture of phosphate fertilisers. But apparently no one wants to use it for that, so the former processor Taha Asia Pacific stockpiled thousands of tonnes of the stuff until it went belly up in 2016.

The liquidators managed to wash their hands of the sticky mess by saying “Not our problem” in Dec 2017. Magic.
 
 
The tar baby landed squarely in the lap of local councils, residents, and central govt.

A deal was brokered in 2018 but nothing much happened. By mid 2019 the locals were tired of the can-kicking and again pressed for urgency.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/114584661/deal-under-fire-as-ouvea-premix-removal-discussed-at-meeting

One truckload (52 bulk bags) a fortnight is the schedule. At this rate the Mataura paper mill building will be clear by 2026. How many more climate chaos-induced exceptional rainfall events arrive in Southland in that time is anyone’s guess, but I’m betting it’s greater than zero

And what is Plan B? An “accident” at sea?

The whole saga reeks. Too much like many other environmental contamination problems in NZ…no attention to remediation in the initial consents. No clear chain of responsibility.

Lots of “she’ll be right.”

[post updated to fix missing tweets in the thread]

With locals understandably concerned, I’m hoping the MSM will pick up this story today, including where the various stores of the premix are and how well they are secured. I’d also like to know what’s happened to the bags sent back to Tiwai, how is it being transported, and what the medium and long term plans are for the ongoing waste being created by the smelter, as well as investigations into the alleged dumping of some of the waste. How secure are the other storage sites for another 12,000 tonnes around Southland?

Why was waste known to become toxic on exposure to water allowed to be stored on the banks of a river with known flood risk in a building with known flood risk? Why wasn’t this sorted after previous floods in 2018 where ”environmental disaster” was narrowly avoided?

And why the hell is it left up to residents to push for this to be sorted, instead of corporations taking responsibility for their own shit?

The Matarua River and old paper mill on a good day,


Yesterday,

Photo Lisa Girao

Front page photo: the Mataura River just upstream from the paper mill during the 1978 flood.

45 comments on “Southland floods and toxic waste”

    • weka 1.1

      I'm guessing there's a bigger story here. I'm assuming the dross isn't a new byproduct of the smelter.

      • It's been well known of for several years, essentially the smelter chose the lowest bidder to get rid of it, then washed their hands of it. The lowest bidder went bankrupt leaving it lying around Southland (I think at one point it was stored in several places).

        Of course they're still making the stuff ….

  1. Robert Guyton 2

    Back in the day, the then-beautiful Mataura Falls, site of the traditional, lamprey/kanakana harvest, were dynamited so that electricity for industry could be generated by the force of the water. The bags of pre-mix sit in a building beside the falls. I suppose that when you destroy such a body, the consequences are long-term. 

  2. The smelter operators outsourced the remediation of the dross to a firm that apparently bid too low and went bankrupt.

    But it’s no longer Rio Tinto’s problem. Handy!

    And every time we hear how the corporation that wants mining, oil exploration etc rights is fully committed to ensuring that the waste products of their activity are handled appropriately, the above is literally what they are talking about.   If governments won't address that, they needn't expect people to quietly accept mining, oil exploration etc.

    • weka 3.1

      I think this also underlies why so many of the public don't trust reassurances from authorities, esp those living next door. CD can say it's safe, but wtf were the councils doing giving approval for the storage in the first place and leaving it there for so long in the second place?

    • RedLogix 3.2

      If the company recycling your household waste goes broke, do you expect it all to be delivered back to you at your cost?

      • Psycho Milt 3.2.1

        Nope. However, if I were setting up an extractive industry for personal gain that involves producing significant amounts of toxic waste, and my plan for dealing with that waste was "outsource to the lowest bidder and wash my hands of it," I'd expect the council to find that a not very satisfactory plan when it was considering my resource consent application.

        • RedLogix 3.2.1.1

          Which is the point I made below, this was a local govt resource consent problem from the get go. 

          And as Robert has confirmed … the smelter hasn't 'wiped it's hands' of the problem. Unless we can produce evidence to suggest otherwise, it's entirely likely they entered the contract to dispose of this material in the good faith expectation that it would be handled responsibly. That this didn't happen is unfortunate and it appears all parties were working their way toward a solution. 

    • Robert Guyton 3.3

      The smelter is in fact contributing financially to the removal that was underway before the flooding. As were the various councils, for all their sins.

  3. Cinny 4

    What a terrible situation.

  4. Robert Guyton 5

    To give the various councils some due, the process of removing the dross from the building beside the river was already underway. Getting to the point where that was happening was so convoluted and seemingly opaque that unravelling it on a thread here would be impossible. All parties have lost hair over this. Cinny summed it up best.

    • RedLogix 5.1

      Thanks for this. Having worked for a Regional Council in my past I can well understand how this might have happened.  Everyone was probably working towards the right outcome, but each party has their own rules and processes to abide by … and it all took far too long. 

      Very familiar.

    • weka 5.2

      Do you know why the mill was chosen, given the water issues with the waste and the flood history?

      • Robert Guyton 5.2.1

        Perhaps the owner was looking to make a quid, hiring out the space.

        • weka 5.2.1.1

          no consent needed?

          • Robert Guyton 5.2.1.1.1

            Given by the Gore District Council, I believe smiley

            • pat 5.2.1.1.1.1

              retrospectively….a year after storage started

              • weka

                I would have thought consent was needed beforehand, and that no council should have given it given the site. But, if they put it there without permission, they need to take responsibility. I assume the company directors are still alive?

                • pat

                  and living in Bahrain….and one in Invercargill, though suspect he was the patsy

                • Graeme

                  Considering there's a freezing works across the river, and the site was a paper mill until quite recently, both uses having fairly extreme hazardous substance profiles, the operator would have thought the effects would have been similar to the existing uses at Mataura.  Similar scenario / management thinking to the tannery that became a water bottling plant in Christchurch.

                  In this case the risk profile is many times greater than the previous use, but I wouldn't like to be around a paper mill or freezing works that's got the Mataura River charging through the place.

                  • Robert Guyton

                    Oh that it was stored in secure bags, easily transported. The problems here are multitudinous.

                    • Graeme

                      At least the roof doesn't leak like it did in the warehouse it was stored in at Bluff before it was moved to Mataura.

                      I don't think 'can' is quite the right word to describe the worm container, something larger than human scale might be more appropriate.

              • Sacha

                And no prosecution for that, I presume?

  5. Robert Guyton 6

    "Emergency services and others have carried out further flood protection works this morning by sandbagging around the building. Around 2,660 cumecs of water was expected at Mataura. Emergency Management Southland is co-ordinating with other relevant agencies, including iwi. Ouvea premix can produce ammonia when wet. The risks associated with the premix have been considered when setting the evacuation zones around the paper mill."

  6. adam 7

    Liberalism is working just fine then. 

    wink

  7. Graeme 8

    I wonder if this will affect the Smelter's social license to operate in Southland.  Most, like pretty much all, Southlanders view the Smelter as a very good thing to have in the district. Elsewhere in the country the view's more balanced to maybe negative regarding the value of the Smelter, but in Southland they want it, with a passion.

    The operators will be under pressure to spend a lot more on getting rid of the premix in a shorter timeframe.  There's also negotiations between the Smelter and Transpower / Meridian regarding the price the Smelter pays for power which may not be going well.  And this headline popped up on harold, saying the Smelter will sell rather than close, don't know if it's that relevant 'cause I'm too tight to spring for a sub.

    10,000 tonne of stinking premix in the middle of Mataura will complicate the negotiations.

    • weka 8.1

      what have they done with the premix historically?

      • Graeme 8.1.1

        Pretty much what's being done with it now, only worse.  A lot sat in a very dilapidated warehouse in Bluff for years, and in gravel pits and other holes in the ground.  Been a festering sore around the South for a very long time.  Unfortunately most of it pre-dates the digital age and Google, but this https://www.odt.co.nz/regions/southland/taha-sentencing-delayed gives some of the more recent shit (same link as above), can't find anything about the Bluff debacle, too old.

        • weka 8.1.1.1

          So the treating and repurposing is a more recent thing, and historically it's just been stored in various sites (often badly)?

          That link doesn't talk about the history before Taha. I'm thinking from when the smelter was opened (early 70s).

  8. Observer Tokoroa 9

    We might well say "Poor fellow my Country"

    For we are polluted from top to bottom. Our rivers not drinkable. Not safely swimmable. Yet we claim to be Clean Clean Clean. Shouted out to the world by the great John Key and his followers.

    The extent of our pollution is not known. Urban and Rural kiwis will have to learn that Pollution is crime.

    Life itself depends on Purity – whether Industry, Farming or Horticulture likes it or not.

     

     

  9. Wayne 10

    New Zealand has derelict industrial buildings, especially old freezing works in rural areas, up and down the country. These days when mines are consented, there has to be a remediation bond. Pity that was not the case with these sorts of industrial buildings. 

    It would be hard to impose this requirement retrospectively. Often the original owners are long gone, in liquidation, etc.

    Robert, does the Council have any power to take over the site and remediate it? The existing buildings are an eyesore and obviously pose some risk. Though I guess in this instance the floodwaters did not rise high enough to actually flood the building.

    • Sacha 10.1

      Resource consent to use that place to store water-sensitive waste seems defective at best.

  10. Ad 12

    From the interview with RNZ and the Gore Chief Executive this morning, the matter appears well in hand.

    I would like to see the Regional Council demolish the offending buildings, and also restore the Mataura River back to its original falls so that it is more capable of dealing with floods in future.

  11. Robert Guyton 13

    Ever played "Old Maid?

    No one wants to be stuck with the "Ouvea" card in their hand. 

    And yet it never goes away, circulating among the players, each of whom tries to keep a straight face when it arrives for fear that they'll be stuck with it. 

Leave a Comment

Use WYSIWYG comments on next comment (inactive new feature)

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • New era for vocational education
    The Government’s work to put trades and vocational education back on the agenda took another major step forward today with the passing of the Education (Vocational Education and Training Reform) Amendment Bill, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “This is a watershed day for trades and vocational education. These law changes formalise ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Bill to Amend the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Act
    Speeding up the return of Christchurch regeneration activities to local leadership is behind the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Amendment Bill introduced to Parliament today by Minister Megan Woods. “As we approach nine years since the February 2011 earthquake in Canterbury, and with the transition to local leadership well underway, the time ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Milford Track to partly reopen after storm damage
    Hundreds of New Zealanders and international visitors will be able to get back out into nature with the Milford Track partially reopening next week, after extensive assessments and repairs, the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. The popular Great Walk has been closed since 3 February after an extreme ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Government drives low-emissions transport momentum
    Up to 110 new EV chargers nationwide in cities and regions 50 electric vehicles for ride-sharing The Government is helping deliver more infrastructure and options for low emissions transport through new projects, Energy and Resources Minister Dr Megan Woods says. Tauranga, Nelson, Levin, New Plymouth and Oamaru are just some ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Kiwis better off under Coalition Government
    New Zealanders are increasingly better off under this Government as wages rise and families have more disposable income, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. Stats NZ reported today that average household disposable incomes after housing costs rose 4.9% in 2019. This was the highest rise in four years and came as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Another step towards restoring rights for screen production workers
    All New Zealanders need to have their voices heard at work to ensure we have an inclusive and productive economy. Today we introduce a Bill to do this for workers in the New Zealand screen industry, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. “The Screen Industry Workers Bill will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Enhanced Taskforce Green for Southland and South Otago
    The Government has announced further help for the Southland and Otago regions to speed up recovery efforts from the floods.  “I’ve approved Enhanced Taskforce Green (ETFG), making $500,000 available to help with the clean-up in Fiordland, Southland, and the Clutha district in Otago,” Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni said.  ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Employers and Industry take the lead to connect students to vocational education
    Following the announcement that more than 340 schools will be funded to run events promoting vocational education, the Government has announced it will fund a further 257 events to be run by employers and industry. “These industry-run events will allow more than 30,000 students to connect with more than 2,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Rental reforms a step closer with the introduction of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill
    Today the Government is making progress on a fairer and more secure rental market for renters and landlords with the introduction of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill in Parliament.  “This Bill includes a series of reforms to improve the wellbeing of the 609,700 households that live in rented homes, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Biosecurity Minister announces world first eradication of pea weevil
    A Government programme to wipe out pea weevil has achieved a world first, with Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor today announcing the successful eradication of the noxious pest from Wairarapa. This means the nearly four-year ban on pea plants and pea straw was lifted today. Commercial and home gardeners can again grow ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Temporary Accommodation Service activated for Southland flooding
    Southland residents hit by flooding caused by heavy rainfall can now access help finding temporary accommodation with the Government activating the Temporary Accommodation Service, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare announced today. “The Temporary Accommodation Service (TAS) has been activated by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to help ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Bridges: Over-hyped and under-delivered
    “Is that it?” That’s Finance Minister Grant Robertson’s response to Simon Bridges’ much-hyped economic speech today. “Simon Bridges just gave the most over-hyped and under-delivered speech that I can remember during my time in politics,” Grant Robertson said. “It’s not surprising. Simon Bridges literally said on the radio this morning ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Police to trial eye in the sky in Christchurch
    A trial deployment of the Police Eagle helicopter in Christchurch will test whether the aircraft would make a significant difference to crime prevention and community safety. “The Bell 429 helicopter will be based in Christchurch for five weeks, from 17 February to 20 March,” said Police Minister Stuart Nash. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Momentum of trade talks continues with visits to promote Pacific and Middle East links
    The Government has kept up the pace of its work to promote New Zealand’s trade interests and diversify our export markets, with visits to Fiji and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker. Building momentum to bring the PACER Plus trade and development agreement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Coalition Govt’s investment in Customs nets record drugs haul: 3 tonnes stopped at borders in 2019
    The Coalition Government’s investment in a strong border and disrupting transnational organised crime produced record results for stopping drugs in 2019, says Minister of Customs Jenny Salesa. The illegal drugs were seized at the New Zealand border by Customs, and overseas by Customs’ international border partners before the drugs could ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Separated scenic cycleway starts
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today kicked off construction of a separated cycleway alongside Tamaki Drive. A two-way separated cycleway will be built along the northern side of Tamaki Drive, between the Quay Street Cycleway extension and Ngapipi Road. There will be a separate walking path alongside. Phil Twyford said giving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Earthquake-Prone Building loan scheme: eligibility criteria announced
    Owner-occupiers of unit and apartments living in earthquake-prone buildings will have certainty about the financial support they’ll be eligible for with the release of criteria for an upcoming assistance scheme, Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa says. The Residential Earthquake-Prone Building Financial Assistance Scheme will help unit owners facing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Travel restrictions to remain in place as coronavirus precaution
    Temporary restrictions on travel from China will remain in place as a precautionary measure to protect against the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. The restrictions which prevent foreign nationals travelling from, or transiting through, mainland China from entering New Zealand have been extended for a further 8 days. This position ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Over $1 million to help Tairāwhiti youth into employment
    Employment Minister Willie Jackson announced today that Tairāwhiti rangatahi will benefit from an investment made by the Government’s He Poutama Rangatahi (HPR) scheme. The funding will go to the Tautua Village, Kauneke programme and the Matapuna Supported Employment Programme which will fund 120 rangatahi over two years. “Both programmes work ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • School attendance has to improve
    All parents and caregivers need to ensure that their children go to school unless they are sick, Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin said today. “The school attendance results for 2019 show, across the board, a drop in the number of students going to school regularly,” the Minister says. “Apart from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Crown and Moriori sign a Deed of Settlement
    A Deed of Settlement agreeing redress for historical Treaty claims has been signed by the Crown and Moriori at Kōpinga Marae on Rēkohu (Chatham Islands) today, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little has announced. Moriori have a tradition of peace that extends back over 600 years. This settlement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Waikato Expressway driving towards completion
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today with Māori King Tuheitia Pōtatau Te Wherowhero VII officially opened the country’s newest road, the $384 million Huntly section of the Waikato Expressway. The 15km four-lane highway with side and central safety barriers takes State Highway 1 east of Huntly town, across lowlands and streams ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • 3400 New Zealanders treated in first year of new hepatitis C treatment
    The rapid uptake of life-saving new hepatitis C medicine Maviret since it was funded by PHARMAC a year ago means the elimination of the deadly disease from this country is a realistic goal, Health Minister David Clark says. Hepatitis C is a blood-borne virus which attacks the liver, proving fatal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Kaupapa Māori approach for homelessness
      Kaupapa Māori will underpin the Government’s new plan to deal with homelessness announced by the Prime Minister in Auckland this morning. “Māori are massively overrepresented among people experiencing homelessness, so, to achieve different outcomes for Māori, we have to do things very differently,” says the Minister of Māori Development ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government steps up action to prevent homelessness
    1000 new transitional housing places delivered by end of year to reduce demand for emergency motel accommodation. Introduce 25% of income payment, after 7 days, for those in emergency motel accommodation to bring in line with other forms of accommodation support. Over $70m extra to programmes that prevents those at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Important step for new financial conduct regime
    Clear requirements for ensuring customers are treated fairly by banks, insurers and other financial service providers are included in new financial conduct legislation that passed its first reading today. “The recent reviews, by the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) and Reserve Bank of New Zealand, into the conduct of banks and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Applications invited for $7 million Regional Culture and Heritage Fund
    Applications are now open for the fifth round of the Regional Culture and Heritage Fund Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Grant Robertson announced today.   “I am delighted to open this year’s fund which has some $7 million available to support performing arts venues, galleries, museums and whare ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Law Commission appointment celebrates Māori and women
    The Minister of Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta today congratulated Associate Professor Amokura Kawharu on her appointment as the next President of the Law Commission.  “Amokura Kawharu will be a standout in her new role, leading in an innovative and forward looking approach to the law reform process. She will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Associate Professor Amokura Kawharu Appointed Law Commission President
    Auckland University legal academic Amokura Kawharu has been appointed as the next President of the Law Commission, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today.    Associate Professor Kawharu will take up her new appointment on 11 May 2020.   “I would like to congratulate Associate Professor Kawharu on her appointment,” Andrew ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister of Employment launches Youth Ready Employer Programme
    A programme for employers to help them engage effectively with younger employees was launched today by Minister of Employment, Willie Jackson. The Youth Ready Employer Programme contains a range of on-line templates that employers can easily access to help with employing and retaining young people in their businesses. The programme ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Budget 2020 date announced
    Budget 2020 will be delivered on Thursday 14 May, Finance Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “This year’s Budget will continue the Coalition Government’s focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while also preparing the economy for the future. “Those challenges and opportunities cannot be resolved in one budget, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s tribute to former Prime Minister Mike Moore
    I move, That this House place on record its appreciation and thanks for the devoted and distinguished service to New Zealand by the late Rt Hon Michael Kenneth Moore, member of the Order of New Zealand, a member of Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, an Honorary Member of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Agriculture Minister declares adverse event in Northland
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has today classified the drought conditions in Northland as an adverse event for the primary sector, unlocking $80,000 in Government support. “This is recognition that the extreme and prolonged nature of this dry spell is taking its toll on our farmers and growers and additional support ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police disrupt methamphetamine trade
    The Minister of Police says an operation to smash a trans national drug smuggling ring today will make a significant impact on the methamphetamine trade fuelling harm in our communities. Police have announced 10 arrests and the seizure of up to five million dollars’ worth of illicit drugs after an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Crown accounts in good shape to counter global challenges
    The Government’s books are in a strong position to withstand global headwinds, with the accounts in surplus and expenses close to forecast, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown accounts for the six months to December. The operating balance before gains and losses (OBEGAL) was above ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Racing Safety Development Fund open for applications
    Race courses can improve safety with this year’s second round of funding from the Racing Safety Development Fund. Minister for Racing Winston Peters has announced the second funding round of 2019/20 is open with $347,875 available for distribution. “The racing industry is integral to the economic and social fabric of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Strengthening New Zealand’s Immunisation System
    Hundreds of thousands of young adults will be offered measles vaccinations in a new campaign to strengthen New Zealand’s immunisation system, Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter said at its launch in Auckland today. “About 300,000 young adults aged between 15 and 29 are not fully protected against measles, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to fund Aids research
    The Government is committing $300,000 to fund research to update behavioural information to make sure HIV and STI prevention services are targeted appropriately in New Zealand. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Finance Minister Grant Robertson made the announcement at today’s Big Gay Out in Auckland. “There is much talk about ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Work to begin on a possible new public media entity
    The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media has announced work will begin on a business case to assess the viability of forming a new public media entity.   “The Government must ensure New Zealanders have a strong independent public media service for decades to come, which means ensuring public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government support for communities impacted by flooding
      Minister of Civil Defence Hon Peeni Henare announced today that the Government will contribute $100,000 to the Southland regional Mayoral Relief Fund, to support communities impacted by the recent flooding in Southland.  Mr Henare says this week’s flooding has caused significant disruption to communities in the lower South Island.  ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago