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Spin-busting: Govt could have used surpluses for tax cuts

Written By: - Date published: 2:37 pm, October 6th, 2008 - 28 comments
Categories: economy, election 2008, labour, national - Tags:

With the economic situation deteriorating the surpluses the Government has run for the first eight years have turned to a deficit. National’s line now is that the Government ‘suquendered’ these surpluses when it could have been cutting taxes. As if when the Government runs a surplus it takes the extra money out and burns it.

What actually happened? The Government used those surpluses. The $2 billion a year for the Superannuation Fund comes out of the operating surplus, as does other capital investment. The Government reduced net debt from $22 billion in 1999 to $2 billion in 2008. The fact that there were structural operating surpluses allowed the Government to fund the Working for Families tax credits, Kiwisaver, other new spending and the $10.6 billion tax cuts package that started to take effect last Wednesday. National now supports all of those spending programmes.

If we had done what Key is saying we should have done (he doesn’t really believe it, of course) and used all the operating surpluses on tax cuts then there would be no WfF, no Kiwisaver, none of the other spending increases, no Superannuation Fund, no additional capital investment like the extra billion Labour put into transport in 2006. And we would still be holding all that extra debt. National doesn’t want to acknowledge it but there’s always a trade-off with tax-cuts, something else has to be given up.

Hypocritically, National both supports the policies that have been paid for by the surpluses and says we should have had tax cuts instead. They just hope the voters won’t consider that. Once again, their argument depends on their audience’s ignorance.

28 comments on “Spin-busting: Govt could have used surpluses for tax cuts”

  1. vidiot 1

    And just in are the Treasury Figures:

    Key figures from the fiscal update include:

    * Gross government debt to rise from 17.4 per cent of GDP to 24.3 per cent by 2013 against the Government’s target of 20 per cent of GDP on average.

    * Growth expected to be only 0.1 per cent by March 2009 before lifting to 1.8 per cent and then 3.3 per cent in the following two years.

    * The budget deficit (OBEGAL) forecast to be $64 million next year rising to $1.7 billion by 2010 and staying in deficit for 10 years.

    * A cash surplus of $2 billion in the year to June falling to a projected cash deficit of $5.9 billion in 2008/2009 and further deficits over the next four years rising to $7.3 billion by 2012. In the May budget cash deficits were forced to average $3.5 billion.

    * Dollar to decline in value by 22.7 percent by 2013.

    * 90-day interest rates falling from 8.8 per cent to 6.3 per cent by 2013

    * $496 million is all that is left in next year’s budget for new spending promises

    * Unemployment tipped to rise above 5 per cent by 2010

    * Inflation forecast to rise to 4.5 per cent by March 2009 before falling back to just under 2.5 per cent.

    * Tax revenue for the next three years to be lower on average by around $900 million.

    * The government reported a surplus for the year to June 2008 (OBEGAL) of $5.6 billion.

    So who ate all them pies ?

  2. higherstandard 3

    Or Gerry ?

    Although I suspect Nicki Haggar has secret emails to show that John Key or Don Brash are at the bottom of this

  3. NeillR 4

    Oh dear, oh dear. So instead of a tax cut for all New Zealanders, we got lumped with the horrendous WFF, which turned the middle class into welfare beneficiaries. And on top of that, more bureaucrats to oversee the whole mess. Yet in the face of massive forecast budget deficits (which make the whole WFF unaffordable) you attempt to justify the greatest economic vandalism the country’s seen since universal unemployment entitlements and the DPB.

    [lprent: Yawn – yet another troll. Looks like this one wants to roll the world back to the stone age. And its previous comments show the same level of ill-informed neolithic logic.

    I couldn’t believe an earlier comment that this pinbrain made. He said that there had been out-of-control inflation under Cullen. It seems kind of obvious that it missed the 1970’s, 1980’s, and even 1990’s. Must have had a direct time-warp from the 1950’s, because I remember what massive inflation was like here. When I started work it was heading towards 20% – not 5%. This dillbrain probably thinks that a Honda City is a high performance car]

  4. noxxano 5

    Stop defending that bastard Cullen. Labour´s goose is cooked and you bloody know it.

    Go now, go now, and maintain some decency (maybe toomuch too ask)!

  5. randal 6

    natoinal are supposed to be the party of business but so far there is not one proposal for new business. they are just going to creep round the national accounts and slice off anything they can get their greasy hands on. Its not trickle down its slurp slurp gimme sum more.

  6. well, you’ve convinced me noxxano. my fact-based economic arguments are just no match for your bile.

  7. Noxanno, your intellectual veracity is compelling.

    Kiwis shouldn’t try and resist the the approaching tide of free market fascism, but just learn to accept it, and do what your told. And ffs, be happy about it. Otherwise you are a commie.

    Go back to Kiwiblog, where your intellectual contemporaries might have anything more than utter cynicism and contempt for your bile.

  8. lprent 9

    I think noxxano is merely a refugee from the World of Warcraft. Or a bastardised bit of pig-latin where he pressed ‘n’ for the first letter rather than ‘p’. Does sound like a person you’d want to avoid because of the pox afterwards

  9. randal 10

    gee you are a tough guy noxious. calling the minister of finance bad names. does it make your puny little ego swell with vainglory you putrid little piece of shit

  10. NeillR 11

    “I couldn’t believe an earlier comment that this pinbrain made. He said that there had been out-of-control inflation under Cullen.”
    You attack the messenger rather than deal with the question. Ignoring your abuse for a second, can you tell me what it means when Cullen sets an inflation target at mid-range of 1-3% over the medium term, but we have only been able to achieve that once in the last four years?

    [it means that the world has witnessed an unprecedented increase in the price of the fuel on which our civilisation runs. You have to show causation, NeillR, merely showing something bad happened when a govt was in power is not enough. Govts are not omnipotent. SP]

  11. Funny debate.

    Cullen ought to be praised as our best finance minister, bar none.

    Because Labour has refused to jump on the tax cut bandwagon and invested in superannuation and paid off debt over the past 9 years NZ is in a very good position to ride this out. Unemployment peaking at 5%, we should be so lucky. Government debt will go up to 24% of GDP, this is far better than historical levels.

    And what do the right bray for,

    1. Tax cuts,
    2. Less bureaucracy,
    3. Less Government,
    4. More freedom for private enterprise, including the freedom for merchant bankers to charge excessive fees and destroy institutions.

    This sounds just like George Bush’s USA where the world’s current economic problems have originated.

    I look forward to the day when a right winger will apologise and say they are wrong and the centre left idea of the role of Government is actually the better role.

  12. lprent 13

    NeillR: NZ is pretty open to world markets in particular for incoming investment and cost increases on imported goods. It also have a floating exchange rate.

    Over the last 6 years the NZ/US exchange rate (which a lot of our imports are denoted in) has been down as low as under 50c and over 80c. On its own this has caused massive changes in imported inflation. Not to mention it has made my exporting ‘interesting’.

    We have also had major changes in fuel prices, a major housing price boom and bust, major changes in interest rates, and a steadily tightening skills shortage with consequent wage rises. These all also feed inflation.

    None of that is fully under any government control. What is surprising is how little inflation there has been. The reserve bank has been doing an awesome job.

    Now remember that I’ve lived through real inflation when we were hitting 20% annual inflation and massive interest rates. I’m afraid I think that your ideas are totally screwed. I’d suggest that you wake up and do some economics so you can appreciate exactly how good a job the reserve bank has been doing.

    BTW: Cullen doesn’t try to control inflation. That is Bollards job. Perhaps you should add some self-education about the responsibilities inside the governance structures in NZ.

  13. Bill 14

    I might say that I don’t know why I didn’t see this on the TV news…could it be that it was not regarded as news!? Nah, surely not.

    “On Saturday, clearly aware that they could be facing the worst economic crisis since the 1930s, the four leaders (of Germany, France, Italy and Germany) backed Sarkozy’s call for a global summit to draw up a new international financial system to replace the one adopted at Bretton Woods in 1944.

    Sarkozy urged a summit of the G8 countries, together with China, India, South Africa, Brazil, Mexico and Indonesia, by next month at the latest.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2008/oct/06/europe.germany

    And, if you wanted to contemplate just how much shit might eventually be hitting the fan, it seems that it was not just mortgages that were packaged and sold on, but credit card debt too! An interesting, well worth the read analysis is at http://www.counterpunch.org/ by Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration.

    Go, John, GO!

  14. lprent 15

    ms: Exactly – the current low level of government debt is a awesome achievement. Not only have we killed the massive debt left over from the Muldoon government, we have also started to minimize the forward debt by starting to deal with the liability of an aging population with our superannuation scheme.

    Of course the implications of this are probably beyond some peoples level of understanding. The last thing we need is some irresponsible policy from the Nat’s destroying that for a short-term electoral advantage. But that is really the hallmark of the Nat’s. They have a strong track record of trying to destroy the economy over the last 30 years. The current lot look just as fiscally irresponsible.

  15. milo 16

    Gee Lprent, what you have just described sounds a lot like “intergenerational theft” to me. Why should a 30-year old suffer to pay for previous governments (including Lange’s squandering of our foreign reserves in 1984), as well as her parents’ pensions?

    Meanwhile, the two words that seem unknown to this Government are “productivity growth”. Leaving ideology aside, that is one of the major problems with Working for Families. It is a very inefficient method of transfer payment, and this inefficiency directly hits economic productivity. Oh, and that train company looks like such a productive expenditure now, doesn’t it? Unlike previous Labour governments, this one seems to have given up on growing the size of the pie, and instead thinks the economy is a zero-sum game. They are currently being proven wrong in spades.

    Sigh, but why bother with arguments? When you accuse the Nat’s of “trying to destroy the economy” over the last thirty years, you are probably not amenable to arguments from facts or logic.

    Well, what about history then. I seem to recall that when the Nat’s took over in 1990, Labour was faced with a forecast $5 billion budget deficit, and apologised by saying “it’s only a forecast, we’ll manage it, that’s what governments do”. And here we are, 2008, facing cash deficits of nearly $6 billion, and the best we get from the Finance Minister is “steady as she goes”.

    Is this farce or tragedy?

  16. Pascal's bookie 17

    I hear hooten has discovered Keynes. Which when filtered through the needs of a tory hack, ‘means spend more and cut taxes’, presumably when the good times come back we revert to the ‘cut taxes, spend less and flog off the assets to pay off some of the debt’ plan.

    But this Labour government has wasted the good times, so can’t be trusted in the bad.

    Are they evil, stupid, both, or just made of fail?

  17. lprent 18

    milo: Most measures about productivity are a bit narrow. For the country as a whole having almost everyone who can employed, doing so, and paying taxes for the intergenerational debt seems like the most effective way of raising ‘productivity’.

    Besides you’re daft. The Cullen fund is meant to peak on its outgoings in about 2050. Isn’t your hypothetical 30 year old also going to be a a pension bludger then? Oh thats right, they aren’t a bludger because they’ve paid (partially) for it in their taxes today.

    The actual beneficeries of the Muldoon stupidities about super are pretty much on it now. Perhaps you’re suggesting that we should throw them off the pension and put them back to work to pay for their excess in 1975 onwards? I can see that going down well with the 30 year olds when they get their parents bludging off them.

    The actual answer is to make sure that the short-sighted fools from the Nat’s don’t get control of the treasury benches.

  18. milo 19

    Yes Lprent, I agree most measures of productivity are a bit narrow. And so is this silly idea of GDP per capita. Or for that matter GDP purchasing power parity. Why not toss them out in favour of gross national happiness. Or maybe we could just measure the proportion of left wing votes as a proxy for national prosperity … .

    And it’s a bit rich to diss somebody for not knowing much about economics on another thread, and then to say the economists have got it all wrong on productivity measures on this thread. But I guess, consistency, hobgoblins, and all that. Mind you, it is the blogosphere, and I’m sure I’m equally guilty !

    But on my hypothetical thirty year old – I don’t think they’ll be getting National Super. The long-term playing out of the Kiwisaver policy will see to that. Just as compulsory super ensure the pension is means-tested in Australia, so Kiwisaver will lead to means testing in New Zealand. So they will get to pay again.

  19. NeillR 21

    NeillR: NZ is pretty open to world markets in particular for incoming investment and cost increases on imported goods. It also have a floating exchange rate.
    True, but these have little relevance to the state of inflation in the country. We have had excessive non-tradeables inflation for years – it sat above 3% for six years from 2002. Cullen is responsible for what happens in the domestic economy and he’s been a profligate waster.

    Now remember that I’ve lived through real inflation when we were hitting 20% annual inflation and massive interest rates. I’m afraid I think that your ideas are totally screwed. I’d suggest that you wake up and do some economics so you can appreciate exactly how good a job the reserve bank has been doing.
    You think i haven’t. And the condtions we are currently experiencing are the most similar i can remember since Muldoon. And for good reason – Cullen and Muldoon are cut from the same cloth. If it moves, tax it and then give some of it back and make the electorate feel grateful for their gain.
    And if the PREFU is anything to go by we are faced with the same result as the Muldoon years – low growth, high inflation and an economy that is a basketcase. Incidently, pretty much the same as when National came to power in 1990.
    And the RB has done a poor job since Bollard took over in 2002. They failed to raise rates fast enough when the housing market took off, and failed to act at all during 2005 when Cullen was out of control on his spending.

    BTW: Cullen doesn’t try to control inflation. That is Bollards job.
    Of course he does. Bollard is just the civil servant who gets to implement Cullen’s (and by extension – Labour’s) policy with respect to inflation (independently of course – *snigger*). The policy targets agreement is a pact between the government and the Reserve Bank, but the RB doesn’t tell the government what it’s contents will be.

  20. Milo

    You should reread your history books or at least get one based on reality.

    Muldoon squandered the country’s financial reserves. When Lange took over there were two weeks of reserves left and the Forex market was closed AND Muldoon refused to devalue even though he had been voted out.

    I am no fan of quite a bit of what the Lange Government did but their hands were tied by the shenanigans of the so called economic miracle worker.

    The country is in tremendous shape.

    Growth has been higher than that in mineral rich Australia.

    And productivity has not gone up because we are getting towwards full employment. If you sack 100,000 kiwis from their jobs you would be pleased with the productivity increase but appalled by the social carnage.

    The only chance for your 30 year old to get super is to keep supporting labour. The Cullen fund and kiwisaver are there precisely to address this problem. A merchant banker would never do this because it would make the next 3 months figures look slightly worse.

  21. milo 23

    mickysavage: Lange said he was going to have a large devaluation. As a result, a huge number of people took positions against the New Zealand dollar. Yes, there was a constitutional crises, as Muldoon (in caretaker mode) said I’m not devaluaing, let’s wait and these positions will reverse, as people won’t be able to maintain them. Lange won the day. So the reason reserves were so low was that Lange had effectively donated them to currency speculators, by enabling them to bet on a sure thing – a pre-announced devaluation. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

    Labour set up an enquiry into those issues straight away. Guess what happened? They closed it down before it reported. They wouldn’t have done that unless the results of the enquiry were damming to Labour.

  22. noxxano 24

    Whatever the argument in favor of Cullen is, the truth of the matter is that the arrogant professor of History is about to be retired as Finance minister. His demeanour towards the Kiwi electorate is very much to blame for the upcoming demise of the Labour Party.

    I look forward to reading the socialist stalwarts lurking around here after election day. Enjoy!

  23. Felix 25

    That’s “Doctor of Social and Economic History” to you, little brain.

  24. Ari 26

    If we had done what Key is saying we should have done (he doesn’t really believe it, of course)

    Oh no, he really does believe we should have cut taxes instead of paid off debt. Perhaps he realises that cutting taxes would be mutually exclusive with the policies he now supports, or perhaps not. Or perhaps he doesn’t really support them, he just knows he has to swallow a few dead rats to win the election.

  25. Phil 27

    he really does believe we should have cut taxes instead of paid off debt.

    With interest rates around the world falling, and inflation on the way up, now is exatly the time to be taking advantage of being in debt.

  26. Milo

    You can’t have been around then. In 1984 catatonic people in Hospital realised that the NZ dollar was overvalued and needed to be devalued. Despite losing the election Muldoon refused to do so even though he received specific instructions to do so. This was the closest thing we have ever had to a constitutional crisis. The old bugger almost killed the economy with think big and the wage and price freeze, he then started to dig the grave by refusing to devalue and was only stopped when McLay offered to be sworn as a caretaker PM to do what was necessary. How you can blame Lange for this is beyond me.

    In any event there were no overseas reserves left, the economy was in that bad shape.

    Typical debate, Cullen gets criticised for “squandering” an opportunity when the reality is that he has done extraordinarily well. And the right try and spread the blame away from where it should be laid, at the feet of their leaders for historic events.

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    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    4 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
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    4 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
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    5 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
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    5 days ago
  • Saving lives
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
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    5 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
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    5 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
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    6 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
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    6 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
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    6 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
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  • The police and public trust
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    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
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    6 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
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    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
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  • Rāhui day 4
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    6 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
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    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
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  • Rāhui day 3
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  • A test of civil society.
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  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
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  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    1 week ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
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  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
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    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
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    1 week ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
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    1 week ago
  • We are not America
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
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    1 week ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    1 week ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
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    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
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  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
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    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
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    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
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    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
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  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
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  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
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    2 weeks ago

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