web analytics

Spinbusting: the anchor-story

Written By: - Date published: 12:27 pm, December 4th, 2008 - 52 comments
Categories: ACC, Media, national/act government, spin - Tags:

There’s a lot of talk about the ACC budget deficit and National’s use of the issue to create an environment in which their privatisation scheme can roll with the minimum political fall-out.

Any doubt I had that this was their plan evaporated this morning when I heard Nick Smith on RNZ moving the story along by talking about maybe having to increase levies.

You see the ACC “blow out” is an anchor-story. It’s a big newsworthy story that can be spun with an “urgent” media conference and get lots of press that then anchors a whole stream of smaller stories that wouldn’t have got any coverage without it.

And National is doing exactly that. The urgent media conference was a great piece of theater as was the “ministerial inquiry”, and the lines “billion dollar blow-out” (gotta love that alliteration) and “ticking time-bomb” (oh noz! the clock is ticking!) were clearly prepared well in advance. The aim was to make as big a splash as possible and they pulled out the stops to do so.

Now they’ve created this anchor expect to see lots and lots and lots of minor ACC stories such as Nick’s ‘levies could rise’ bunkum spill out over the next few weeks with lines like “this follows closely on the heels of the billion dollar blow-out” and “against the background of a government inquiry in to the ACC timebomb” in them.

After a few months of this coverage it will look like there are a million things wrong with ACC. And then? Well, who could blame them for flogging it off?

52 comments on “Spinbusting: the anchor-story ”

  1. infused 1

    What a crap post. You still trying to blame National? Labour created this mess. Labour are paying for it.

    You’re not busting anything. Infact you’re doing what you say you’re trying to bust. You’re spinning this left side.

    IrishBill: so you’ve got nothing of substance to offer, infused?

  2. NX 2

    Okay, say you’re right & National are milking this for all it’s worth.

    But even so, it was still an advantage handed to them by Labour.

    If Labour were concerned about the Nats using this issue for political point scoring, then they should’ve done the right thing & announced the ACC funding shortfall before the election.

    Sure you can criticise the Nats for political point scoring, but ultimately it stems back to Labour – just like the issue with the 757s. So in that regard, you don’t really have a leg to stand on.

  3. Von Wereknel 3

    If God makes you laugh, one should wonder where ones future lies, Peter.

  4. IrishBill 4

    NX, show me where I’ve blamed the situation on National. This post is about having a look at how national’s spin works more than it’s about ACC.

  5. Here’s what I don’t understand…

    Why would Labour hide this ACC problem to ambush National? If Labour were in power, they would have to deal with it and the consequences thereof.

    If Labour knew about the deficit, and knew that if they made it back to the treasury benches they would have to deal with it, they must have had a plan (that didn’t involve privitising it). I wonder what it was?

    Also, why would you increase earners levies when the problem is in the non-earners account, funded by taxes? As I understood it, the two accounts are “hermetically sealed” but Smith seems to portray otherwise.

  6. IrishBill 6

    Chris, Labour were in an election campaign. They probably didn’t want this bad news coming out because of the traction it would have given National. Labour had the option of coming out with the info or letting it slide and providing National with the chance to soften the ground for privatisation. They took the route of least resistance. That was a poor decision.

  7. NX 7

    NX, show me where I’ve blamed the situation on National. This post is about having a look at how national’s spin works more than it’s about ACC.

    My point is that National wouldn’t be able to spin this if it weren’t for Labour’s incompetence.

    It’s kind of a chicken and the egg scenario. You can’t attack National without inadvertently attacking Labour.

  8. Thomas Beagle 8

    Let me get this straight…

    ACC is underfunded. The Minister for the ACC says that, because of this, levies might have to be raised to pay for the additional funding. This seems kind of reasonable to me.

    Trying to turn this into a conspiracy is just weird. How would you fix the lack of funding without raising levies?

  9. NX 9

    If Labour were in power, they would have to deal with it and the consequences thereof

    Two words – ‘December mini-budget’.

    It’s with deep irony that Labour campaigned on trust while claiming the opposition had a secret agenda.

  10. IrishBill 10

    Thomas, the increase in levies is for the earners account. That’s kept separate from the non-earners account, is in good financial conditions and doesn’t cross-subsidise. The real question is why would you raise levies for a healthy account when you can’t transfer them to the one in deficit?

    Of course if you want to discredit ACC as a whole you can take a punt that that nuance won’t be understood and then start saying things like “there could be a problem” and “levies might have to rise.” which would help produce the impression it was all going to hell.

    NX, I’ve never held back from criticising Labour before and I think this was stupid politics on their part. But like I said, this is a post about PR and how a story is manipulated more than it’s about ACC.

  11. Thomas Beagle 11

    I should note, in a followup to my own comment, that Nick Smith was talking about cost blowouts for the other accounts as well as the non-earners, therefore talking about raising levies does make sense.

    This wouldn’t make as much sense if only talking about the non-earners account.

  12. IrishBill 12

    There are no cost “blow-outs” for the earners account. In fact they’ve come under criticism in the recent past for holding too much in reserve rather than reducing levies. Smith will know this but he’s not provided a figure. I can tell you right now if they had a nasty big negative figure for the earner account they’d call an “urgent” media conference to tell everyone. They don’t so Smith has to resort to “if” and “maybe” statements to get the bad news story he needs.

  13. Bill 13

    Here’s a question. Why will the thoughtful original post on this topic or this current informative post never appear in any MSM outlet?

    Here’s the 6 500 word answer…http://www.medialens.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2860

  14. Concerned of Tawa 14

    IB “There are no cost “blow-outs’ for the earners account”

    Oh really?

    $1,300,000,000 blowout revealed today… Oops

    It was all about trust…

  15. NX,

    Did the then opposition deny they had a secret agenda?

    To all, the silly season cometh: workers and wouldbe affected by any change/s to weigh in for another bout of low conflict (so termed by their US-sourced forerunners with a close resemblance to followers nactional) industrial relations.

    Such jolly types.. christmassy.. and good will.. and riiight..

  16. Dean 16

    IB:

    “There are no cost “blow-outs’ for the earners account. In fact they’ve come under criticism in the recent past for holding too much in reserve rather than reducing levies. Smith will know this but he’s not provided a figure. I can tell you right now if they had a nasty big negative figure for the earner account they’d call an “urgent’ media conference to tell everyone. They don’t so Smith has to resort to “if’ and “maybe’ statements to get the bad news story he needs.”

    Compared and contrasted to:

    “”Department of Labour officials have advised the Government to increase the current ACC Earners Levy of $1.40 per $100 of earnings to $2.00 in 2009/10, $2.10 in 2010/11 and $2.20 in 2011/12 to cover the increased costs of the Earners’ Account.

    “The cost increases identified by officials is being blamed on increases in the number of claims, lesser rates of rehabilitation resulting in increased duration of costs, increased medical and treatment costs, expansion of the schemes entitlements, and increases in treatment injury cover.”

    Perhaps you’d care to revise your statement?

  17. tsmithfield 17

    Now there is a billion dollar blow-out on the earners account as well that Labour most likely knew about before the election.

    So, could someone here tell me, given the knowledge that Labour had prior to the election, how were they going to meet their promise to REDUCE levies? Or was that a promise to be scrapped after the convenient “mini-budget” after the election?

  18. gomango 18

    Irish Bill

    you have to be kidding with this comment:

    There are no cost “blow-outs’ for the earners account. In fact they’ve come under criticism in the recent past for holding too much in reserve rather than reducing levies.

    Read the ACC report:

    Current Total Asset position: 13.2 billion

    Current total liability position: 21.2 billion

    Lets look at the six accounts, just the net poition ie assets minus liabilities:

    Residual Claims -1.8 billion
    Motor Vehicle -2.7 billion
    Non-earners -2.4 billion
    Earners -0.8 billion
    Work +0.5 billion
    Treatment Injury -0.8 billion

    Total DEFICIT yes deficit across the six funds is 8 billion dollars. The numbers being bandied about in the press today (2.3 billion and counting) are th difference between the existing budget and the new budget. As of end of 2008 FY, the budget deficit was -6.2 billion.

    Where do you get any kind of statement saying ACC or any of the major accounts are “is in good financial conditions” or “healthy account”. You’re making facts up – please read page 91 of the ACC annual report.

    Can you please explain the following statement you made above?

    The real question is why would you raise levies for a healthy account when you can’t transfer them to the one in deficit?

    Which healthy earners account would that be – the one that is 800 million in deficit in June 2008, and now 1.3 billion in deficit? Or is it 2.1billion in deficit now – I think we’ll find its the latter.

    I appreciate the point you made about Labour sweeping this under the pre-election carpet, bad move and indefensible. Are National talking this up? Of course they are, any aura of financial mismanagement Nats can pin on Labour is obviously in their interest.

    Regarding ACC, as I sad in the other thread:

    Solvent? World Class? Best of breed? Yeah right………

  19. burt 19

    After a few months of this coverage it will look like there are a million things wrong with ACC.

    No, there is about 2,300,000,000 things wrong with ACC, just Labour didn’t want to tell us that before the election. No wonder Clark & Cullen quickly threw in the towel once they lost the election.

  20. IrishBill 20

    Well it looks like I got it wrong on the earners account. That’s a first. Go figure.

  21. Tim Ellis 21

    Okay, this is just getting more and more ridiculous. Unfortunately for IB, the very afternoon that he said that there were no deficits in the Earners’ account, the Minister announced a $1.3 billion shortfall in the Earners’ account. That was unfortunate timing, to put it mildly.

    For those who don’t know, there are six ACC accounts that are funded from a variety of sources:

    Work Account:Funded by levies on employers, according to the risk profile of the occupation for accidents in the workplace. National said pre-election that it will consider opening this account up for competition. Is self-funding, and not in deficit.

    Earners’ Account: Funded through PAYE as a levy on all earners, currently at $1.40 per $100 of earnings. Will be in deficit to the tune of $1.3 billion over the next three years. Will need to see levies rise to $2.00 per $100 of earnings to get out of deficit, or see a major reduction in cover. Complex and difficult to open up to competition. National said it would not do so.

    Non-Earners’ Account: Funded by direct transfer from the government for people not in the workforce (beneficiaries, children, superannuitants). In deficit to the tune of $900 million over the next three years. Complex and difficult to open up to competition. National said it would not do so.

    Motor Vehicle Account: Funded by petrol taxes and motor vehicle registration. Probably not in deficit. Labour announced on 28 October that levy rates would fall. Almost impossible to open up to competition, as it would involve private motorists getting individual cover. National has said it would not open up to competition.

    Treatment Injury and Residual Claims accounts: Funded from Earners, Non-Earners accounts, and employers’ accounts respectively for medical misadventure and historical employer claims. May be in deficit. Almost certainly impossible to open up the latter to competition; the former can really only be done by levying health providers. Almost certainly won’t happen.

    As for the claims that Labour didn’t want to bind the next government by making announcements prior to the election on the state of the ACC accounts, that is just plain rubbish. Labour campaigned on reducing employer levies and motor vehicle levies. They were the only accounts they mentioned when they pledged to “lower ACC levies”. Maryan Street did so almost certainly knowing of major cost blow-outs in the Earners’ and Non-Earners accounts. While promising lower employer levies, Street also announced a review of work-related pain injury cover to provide more comprehensive cover. This extra cost would have come through Employer levies.

    Street had the perfect opportunity then to set the record straight on the Earners’ and Non-Earners’ accounts. She didn’t. I find it just staggering that she could have sat on information that these accounts were facing enormous deficits, while going around the country saying she was going to reduce levies and increase ACC cover.

    I don’t have any doubt that there does need to be a full review of ACC. In the Earners’ and non-Earners’ Account, the two options are clear: either reduce cover, or have workers pay substantially more for their cover. Opening it up for competition just isn’t an option. Labour have given National a free-pass on this through their cover-up of the issues before the election. National can either continue to raise levies and blame those increased costs on Labour, or declare those increased costs as unsustainable and reduce cover. Either way, the shonky politicking that Labour played with the ACC system, and their hysteria-driven cries of “privatisation” have severely damaged their integrity on ACC.

    In the Work Account, where no real problems seem to exist, the issue of opening it up for competition is still on the table. There’s nothing in the information so far to suggest that this is more or less viable as a result of what’s come through in the last few days. There may be greater efficiencies and savings to be made from competition, particularly if the Work Account is effectively cross-subsidising other accounts.

    One further point, I was very surprised reading the ACC briefing to the Incoming Minister. It isn’t a briefing at all. It’s a propaganda document eulogising the ACC system, and Labour Party policy. It doesn’t include any of the key numbers on cost blow-outs. It reads like a cynical attempt by the ACC board to cover itself in glory. That document alone seriously undermines confidence in the ACC board.

  22. gomango 22

    Irish Bill

    I’m not really trying to score points by pointing out you got something wrong, though it would be helpful for everyone to read the latest annual report before commenting. And I must say your timing was impeccably bad to make the sweeping statements you did. After all you were only a few billion dollars wrong – hardly important, though I suspect it would have been important enough for Cullen to reverse his tax cuts were he still Finance Minister. The reality of ACC does not come close to your rose tinted view of ACC.

    What really irks me about ACC debate is the two extreme arguments (left/right) neither of which is sensible – loosely defined as “best scheme in the world/absolutely marvellous/don’t change anything versus deregulate/privatise. Neither is a sensible position, and taking the best parts of both arguments would vastly improve the system.

    Addressing the general left position – ACC IS IN A MESS and has been for years. If it were a company it would be insolvent, and its directors breaking the law. Thank god they have a stupid owner prepared to underwrite a negative equity position of over 8 billion dollars…….

    I won’t bother addressing the right position but I can assure you I would be just as negative on aspects of that too. What is clear is that any debate on ACC is uninformed unless you read their accounts.

  23. Lew 23

    Fundamentally even though National’s criticism of the previous government’s handling of the ACC accounts is valid, IB’s point stands: this is less a pragmatic issue of policy and spending than it is a symbolic issue of `socialist bureaucratic waste’, and it’ll be the mother hen to a whole lot of other issues in a similar vein which on their own might not have been worth a mention. National seem to have set this as the keystone of their agenda, and the previous government were fools to let them do so.

    L

  24. gomango 24

    Tim – the only account in actual surplus is the Work Account. I think you are confusing budgeted change in deficits with actual deficits. Some accounts may not be worse than their budgeted change in deficit (though this is unlikely in the current market environment). The other 5 accounts are all in actual deficit and I think we’ll find out over the next few days worse versus budget.

    It would be good for every post on the subject of ACC to begin with the following phrase:

    I understand ACC is over NZD 8 billion in deficit and technically insolvent, but…….

    BTW, 8 billion dollars is approximately $2,000 for every man, woman and child in NZ.

  25. Tim Ellis 25

    IB, just following up on gomango’s initial point, we all appear to have overlapped in our postings and I gave you a bit of a serve too, but good on you for being gracious enough to admit you got it wrong. It’s one of the hazards of making predictions and bold statements (I’ve done it a fair bit, too), that sometimes new information can come along and bite you. That one was a bit of a clanger but it wasn’t your fault and at least you had the balls to make the bold statement in the first place rather than sitting on the fence.

    One of the things I do admire about young SP, even though I often disagree with him, is that he does have the guts to get it out there.

  26. Tim Ellis 26

    gomango wrote:

    Tim – the only account in actual surplus is the Work Account. I think you are confusing budgeted deficits as opposed to actual deficits.

    I think I indicated projected deficits rather than actual deficits gomango. To be fair a reason that all the accounts, with the exception of the Work Account are in deficit is a function of the move from pay-as-you-go ACC funding up until 1999 transitioning to fully-funded accounts by 2014. When the Work Account was opened for competition in 1998, it was required to be fully-funded, the other accounts are still moving to that position.

    It was a near certainty, without aggressive management of the tail in each of the accounts, that levies across all accounts would rise from 1999 onwards even taking into consideration existing cover. For the last nine years Labour have pumped up the “world class system” mantra, and carefully not only ignored the massive cost of it under existing cover, but actually extended coverage as well.

    Moving from pay-as-you-go to a fully-funded model was one of the most fiscally responsible actions by any New Zealand government. It’s directly comparable to setting up the Cullen Fund to partially-fund future superannuation entitlements. Labour has dragged the chain on fully-funding ACC, not wanting to deal with the political reality that a gilt-edged accident compensation scheme is very expensive to pay for.

  27. rave 27

    Gomango:

    ” Addressing the general left position – ACC IS IN A MESS and has been for years. If it were a company it would be insolvent, and its directors breaking the law. Thank god they have a stupid owner prepared to underwrite a negative equity position of over 8 billion dollars…”

    You obviously don’t see the irony here. Right at this moment, the biggest capitalist institutions in the world eg. Citigroup, are insolvent, their directors are not in jail, and they are being bailed out to the tune of $8 trillion plus and still counting.

    The state funded ACC can be in deficit and legitimately charged to the government until the premiums are re-adjusted. There is no off balance sheet gambling going on here. No corrupt CEOs filling their bank accounts with workers savings. This is perfectly proper public financing compared with the right-wing ideological ‘socialism’ now being practiced by the worlds central banks.

    Its a right wing snow job to point to the broken toe on the thug who is busy kicking our brains out.

  28. Lew 28

    gomango: What really irks me about ACC debate is the two extreme arguments (left/right) neither of which is sensible

    I’ve been a staunch supporter of ACC in the past, and remain so – but only in comparison to the proferred alternative, which is eventual privatisation. I’ve written extensively on this and have issued a challenge to anyone who wants to try to demonstrate how opening the worker account up to competition will not eventually lead to full privatisation of that account, and nobody has yet done so (trawl through old ACC posts; I bring it up a lot).

    But while I suspect we might disagree on the balance, I think I agree with you that the system we have now is not optimal, and nor would be a wholly or partially-privatised system. The problem is that I think what we’re seeing here is a return to the old `privatise and then at least it’s not our problem any more’ ideas, which would be much worse than simply retaining the flawed system we have now. Yes, I know how flawed it is – I’ve lived through the cashflow shortages caused by their incompetence when the majority of my mum’s client base (and therefore income) have their treatment paid for by ACC. In that respect it’s a damned site better now than it was in the 80s and 90s when I was living at home.

    There are things which could be fixed – the degree of moral hazard which the cross-subsidisation system creates in some accounts, for instance. But the discourse about ACC’s problems seems to always argue for scrapping or utterly revamping the system,, reducing coverage or entitlement, or competition/privatisation, which amounts to both. We have a good system which has potential to be great – but `perfect’ is the enemy of `good enough’. The focus, in my view, should be on improving the system we have without fundamentally changing it.

    (And that’s why I’m opposed to the National policy.)

    L

  29. burt 29

    Serious changes are required in how we do accident insurance in NZ, this much is obvious and anyone who argues with that needs to answer why Labour didn’t disclose this before the election.

  30. gomango 30

    yes thats fair comment Tim- anecdotally the investment staff within ACC believe 2024 is more likely than 2014 (as they roll their eyes toward the ceiling.)

    I think we both agree is ACC is now a poorly structured system with obvious outcomes from specific public policy imperatives over the last 10 years. I don’t think the politicians can even claim unintended consequences, more like lets ignore as long as possible the consequences we know will arise from these particular policy inputs.

    The ACC board make up isnt too bad for a core quango – realistically only three are blatant political appointments without also having valid commercial, legal or investment skills – I’m thinking Butson, Fortuin and Karaitiana as the lightweights. And Pip Dunphy and Don Turkington are very sound operators. Even Neilsen and Wilson despite their past political positions bring something to the table, though maybe also an unwillingness to push back on the minister when they should.

  31. Tim Ellis 31

    Lew, I agree with you on many of your points.

    In my view, it just isn’t acceptable to continue delaying fully-funding ACC accounts. It is dishonest, and just passes the cost of current claims onto future generations. To a large degree the blow-outs are more about fully-funding (i.e., paying for the actual total costs) than significantly increasing costs.

    If we’re going to have an honest debate about the ACC system, then I think we can only have it in a fully-funded environment. Rationally, the only account that might be open to competition and privatisation is the Workers Account. The other accounts are just too difficult to unbundle and get individual cover for. It’s the only account that National has talked about opening up for competition.

    In the other accounts, citizens, taxpayers, and levy-payers do have a right to know what they’re getting in entitlements for the actual cost of the scheme. I suspect until now earners have been quite happy getting gold-plated coverage for $1.40 per $100 of earnings. Would they be just as happy getting the same cover for $2.20 per $100?

    My own view is that New Zealand just isn’t wealthy enough to pay for such a luxurious scheme. We need to have that public debate. Labour’s tactic, to shield people from the costs of the scheme, and then trumpet how wonderful the scheme was, and shrieking “privatisation” whenever National questioned it, was simply cynical and dishonest.

  32. gomango 32

    oops, broke my new rule on the last post.

    I understand ACC is over NZD 8 billion in deficit and technically insolvent, but Lew – what do you want someone to prove? I’m not sure what your competition/privatisation argument is about. There are successful govt owned entities which compete with the private sector and they haven’t been privatised. Why not ACC? Is your argument more a discussion about the meaning of the word privatisation. Are you a jesuit priest? Do I need to break out my magnifying glass and pin? Joking aside I don’t think our positions are too far apart – we want the same outcomes and don’t ant the same unintended consequences.

    And if your only proof that ACC is better now than it was is that your mothers business has better cashflow now – well really? I’m not sure your mothers earning should be one of the core objectives of a soundly designed, and carefully managed insurance scheme. I’m guessing she is not a physiotherapist?

    I don’t necessarily believe carte blanche competition is the answer, but a root cause of ACC problems is the fact it has become a social policy tool rather than, as originally intended, a workers accident compensation scheme funded by employers. Much of what ACC now does are functions that should lie with other govt departments – MSD, Health etc. Ministry of Tourism too?

    And there is no irony in my comment you highlight – I also say “thank god the banks globally have stupid owners willing to back them to the tune of x billion/trillion dollars”. We’d be in incredibly serious trouble (as opposed to the really serious trouble we are now in) if the likes of Citi, Fannie, Freddie, AIG etc fell over.

    Fundamentally here is the issue for ACC. It is a politicised outfit (in terms of the rules given to it by the minister), there is a fundamental mismatch between the political objectives which define its role, and the political will to fund it appropriately. Either ask it do less or give it more, but be honest. The one argument I like from the right is impose some discipline on its management – easiest way to do that is some targeted competition.

  33. burt 33

    Has anyone the got the energy to calculate how much $3b will cost once borrowing costs are factored in?

    By the time it’s paid back perhaps 6 years from now, after perhaps another $5b (for the same purpose) has been borrowed during the time to pay back the original $3b – what will the real cost be that was hidden from the election?

    Thankfully we don’t have a Labour govt that would try and do the whole thing from current taxation revenue. Now we can see why Cullen was such a big fan of fiscal drag, it allowed him to take so much more every year to sort this sort of shit out.

  34. tsmithfield 34

    The statement below appeared under my name. However, I definitely did not make the statement. Could someone please look into this.

    “tsmithfield
    December 4, 2008 at 8:03 pm
    Irish Bill
    Couldn’t have said it better!!
    Of course all the dunderheads who get their marching orders from the right blogs are like baying wolves at the moment chorusing with the devious Smith! A 3% shortfall in funding requires a ministerial inquiry? Give me a break! The earners shortfall will be an even smaller percentage! Wait until they are being fleeced by John’s rich mates – will they then be crying – “Oh! this is so much better!’

    captcha “norwich herman’ Now who could that be??”

    [lprent: I’m looking at it now. Checking IP’s]

  35. IrishBill 35

    TS, I noticed that too. I assumed you were being incredibly sarcastic. I’ll check it out.

    As for my comment on the earners account? I had confused it with the work account. I must be getting old. The current situation would seem to confirm that we couldn’t afford National’s extra tax cuts however. Although I’m impressed with the Nats gall in claiming the levy will claw back some of their tax cuts. One could equally argue that their cuts were unaffordable. In fact it opens up an interesting argument about whether the priority should be a solid ACC system for everyone or a tax package that primarily benefits the top 10% of earners.

  36. lprent 36

    ts: Definitely an identity jack from someone who knew your e-mail, which is why it didn’t get picked up here. It is a different IP range. I’ll contact the possible suspect, but it is a dynamic IP. Putting the IP range on moderation.

    I’d suggest that you start logging in.

  37. Mr Shankly 37

    Is ACC giving the country good value for money?

    Not really, unfortunately a system has developed in which many health professionals and others in the ‘faux private’ sector have become dependant on ACC sometimes lenient treatment and rehabilitation guidelines. If the public realised what the benefits of a treatement were and the cost of the treatment – spending would reduce dramatically.

  38. sux2bu 38

    It’s about Trust…

  39. sux2bu 39

    Funny how the Standard’s idea of “Spinbusting” is a story to completely change the focus from Labour’s concealment of their appalling mismanagement to being somehow about speculations on hypothetical future Nat policies…

  40. gomango 40

    Bill

    So your position now is ACC is a robust functioning system because the work account – the one account capable of being easily opened to competition – is in surplus whereas the rest is over 8 billion in the whole?

    Doesn’t this kind of prove the point about efficiency?

  41. tsmithfield 41

    I heard Larry Williams was talking about his experience with ACC on ZB last night. Apparently, he went in for some phisio for an injury. According to him, he had fully recovered and did not need anymore sessions. He tried to cancel the remaining ones. However, they pressured him into completing the remaining sessions anyway. Larry had the distinct impression that the phisio wanted to make sure they got the remaining ACC payments.

    I am sure there is a lot of this sort of thing that goes on. Thus, the system is probably being rorted left right and centre.

  42. justthefacts 42

    2.5 Billion and counting….”remember this election is all about trust”!

    If Clark and Cullen were people of integrity they would resign immediately, these two blatantly lied to the people of New Zealand and should have no place in our Parliament.

    Those of you who continue to defend them are equally guilty.

  43. Tim Ellis 43

    IB wrote:

    The current situation would seem to confirm that we couldn’t afford National’s extra tax cuts however.

    I don’t understand your point, IB. The cost increases in the Earners’ account will be directly paid for by Earners, meaning an increase in levies on earners to the tune of around $600 a year. That seems to me to be a very good reason to proceed with the tax cuts, with such an increased cost looming.

    I could see your argument if the blow-out constituted a cost to the taxpayer (and the non-earners account does, to the tune of $300 million), but the earners’ account isn’t paid by the taxpayer. Using an increase in levies in the earners’ account as a reason to delay tax cuts is stretching it, in my view.

  44. IrishBill 44

    Tim, as I understand it the earners account (and most of the others) have their deficits subsidised. The increased levies have been recommended to make the account self-funding by 2014. Labour looked at this and decided it would mean raising the levies to high too quickly.

    If National’s tax cuts didn’t go ahead there would be more than enough money to continue the subsidy. But it is about political priorities and National is obviously of the belief that taxcuts that focus on the top 10% of earners are a greater political priority than an ACC system that works for all New Zealanders. That’s their decision to make and having done so they need to sell it. That’s what they are doing with this media campaign.

  45. Lew 45

    Tim Ellis: In my view, it just isn’t acceptable to continue delaying fully-funding ACC accounts.

    I absolutely agree – but that’s pie in the sky at present.

    Rationally, the only account that might be open to competition and privatisation is the Workers Account.

    Correct. But my argument is that gutting this account will weaken the entire system such that it is no longer even as viable as it is today – which is to say, the only rational think to do at that point would be to sell it lock, stock and barrel for peanuts to IAG or some gang of crooks like that. That would mean an end to universal comprehensive no-fault accident cover in NZ, and that’s simply not an acceptable outcome for me.

    My own view is that New Zealand just isn’t wealthy enough to pay for such a luxurious scheme.

    I disagree, but …

    We need to have that public debate.

    I couldn’t agree more. It’s a matter of situational utility.

    gomango: but Lew – what do you want someone to prove?

    The initial gedankenexperiment was here. A fairly useful but unresolved discussion between burt, myself and others is to be found in this thread. Basically, I wanted some of the National true believers who claimed that opening the worker account up to competition would not lead eventually to privatisation to rebut this fairly elementary proof. It wasn’t a comment on the state of indebtedness of ACC or its operations – as I’ve made clear, I believe there are improvements to be made, just not via competition leading to privatisation. I’m not trying to bait anyone – I really want to see if anyone, anywhere can actually explain why it won’t happen in apparent contradiction to what we know about behavioural economics. If you want to argue privatisation is a good thing – then that’s a different argument, and one National aren’t prepared to have with the electorate.

    And if your only proof that ACC is better now than it was is that your mothers business has better cashflow now – well really?

    I meant no such thing as proof – just an offhand anecdotal observation than when an agency can’t even pay its own contractors something is badly wrong. At least they can do that now. But indeed, it shouldn’t be their top KPI.

    a root cause of ACC problems is the fact it has become a social policy tool […] it is a politicised outfit (in terms of the rules given to it by the minister),

    I agree, but we probably locate the source of the problem differently. National attacked and undermined the entire ACC concept and model with the 1998 privatisation, and did so on a strictly unilateral basis. This politicised ACC to an extent that it shouldn’t have been, and is why I think future changes must be made in consultation with those who’ll actually be implementing them, though of course not to the exclusion of other stakeholders’ needs. I think their first step should be to try and salve some of that bad blood, because like it or not, ACC and the Nats have to work together, and while they can fire the board or whoever, they can’t start rolling the tanks over the front-line staff, providers and contractors they’ve been so forthright in championing this election campaign.

    The one argument I like from the right is impose some discipline on its management – easiest way to do that is some targeted competition.

    In almost any other industry I would agree, but here we get back to my initial six-point schema of how it all turns into a US-style system which rewards providers who pay out the fewest claims at the lowest average cost to the lowest-risk clients, rather than a scheme whose objectives are properly compensating those who suffer accidents.

    And there is no irony in my comment you highlight – I also say “thank god the banks globally have stupid owners willing to back them to the tune of x billion/trillion dollars’.

    It ain’t me, babe – that was rave.

    L

  46. Tim Ellis 46

    IB said:

    Tim, as I understand it the earners account (and most of the others) have their deficits subsidised. The increased levies have been recommended to make the account self-funding by 2014. Labour looked at this and decided it would mean raising the levies to high too quickly.

    No, that isn’t correct IB. Pay-as-you-go doesn’t mean that the state subsidises it. It means that the cost of the present year’s injuries are funded from the present year’s levies. Fully-funding provides for all the future costs of accidents incurred in the one year. Let’s say you injure your back. The cost of treatment this year might be $20,000. But you might need twenty years’ treatment at that cost, so the total cost might be $400,000. By not fully-funding costs, the future cost of accidents incurred today are passed on to future levy-payers.

    If National’s tax cuts didn’t go ahead there would be more than enough money to continue the subsidy.

    It’s not a subsidy. It’s shonky accounting that puts a larger burden on future levy-payers.

    But it is about political priorities and National is obviously of the belief that taxcuts that focus on the top 10% of earners are a greater political priority than an ACC system that works for all New Zealanders. That’s their decision to make and having done so they need to sell it. That’s what they are doing with this media campaign.

    I think I’ve demonstrated that it isn’t about political priorities. As I’ve noted earlier in this post, you just can’t sell ACC. The structure of ACC and how it is funded mean that the only account that can be opened for competition is the Work account. People who understand how ACC works know that you can’t privatise the Earners, non-Earners, or Motor Vehicle accounts without removing universal cover. The earners’ account could include an opt-out provision for workers who take up private insurance, but that is effectively nothing more than an extension of the Accredited Employer scheme to earners’ cover. That’s a side issue, since it isn’t being advocated by National. So the claim that these accounts might be privatised is only ever made through mischief, or ignorance.

    Lew said:

    Correct. But my argument is that gutting this account will weaken the entire system such that it is no longer even as viable as it is today – which is to say, the only rational think to do at that point would be to sell it lock, stock and barrel for peanuts to IAG or some gang of crooks like that.

    If there is no cross-subsidy between accounts, Lew, then how would opening the worker account account up to competition, or even privatising it, weaken the system? Admittedly, ACC would lose some of its critical mass if work accident cover was removed, but ACC still would enjoy a monopoly across all other accounts, and still retain significant service buying power. A strong argument, in my view, to open the work account to competition is that it allows the ACC to focus on its other accounts.

  47. Lew 47

    Tim: There is no cross-subsidy between accounts, but that doesn’t matter to most people – as far as they’re concerned there’s `ACC’. If the earner account fails because of cherry-picking (and if you don’t think it would, I invite you to rebut my argument linked above) then it’s a short step to `ACC must be sold’.

    L

  48. IrishBill 48

    “So the claim that these accounts might be privatised is only ever made through mischief, or ignorance.”

    Perhaps I was lax with my language. If you want to be pedantic then I’ll restate: National want to privatise the work account. To return to my original post, they know that the difference between accounts is not clearly understood (even I mixed up the earners and the work account) and that the privatisation of the work account will come with less political fallout if the ACC brand as a whole is brought into disrepute with the electorate.

  49. While it doesn’t necessarily exist to make a profit, is it not a concern that by privatising the profitable part of ACC, i.e. the employer’s account, will make the rest of ACC an even bigger burden than it is currently?

    ACC will retain the dues of those who have the worst H+S records, and therefore shoulder a huge potential burden. Why should taxpayers be subsiding bad companies, and letting private operators take the best clients? The problem with the whole scenario is that it is an opening of the floodgates – comments above suggesting that we have a luxurious system do not inspire me with confidence regarding the future of universal accident cover in New Zealand.

    The claim that “competition in the employer’s account market would reduce premiums, and provide an incentive to workplaces safer” is simply bollocks. A overwhelming majority of the firms who would benefit from lower employer premiums are those whose employees are put at minimal or no risk in their occupational roles. The dangerous would remain dangerous, as they have little incentive, as the private operators would not want their business. This also omits the fact there are already strict H+S guidelines around workplaces, and that violation of these can result in criminal prosecution, a strong incentive, if any, to pay attention to occupational safety and health

  50. Tim Ellis 50

    While it doesn’t necessarily exist to make a profit, is it not a concern that by privatising the profitable part of ACC, i.e. the employer’s account, will make the rest of ACC an even bigger burden than it is currently?

    No, PP. The work account is not supposed to make a profit. It does not subsidise other accounts. Removing the work account from ACC doesn’t place a larger burden on other accounts. Arguably it allows ACC to put a tighter focus on other accounts.

    ACC will retain the dues of those who have the worst H+S records, and therefore shoulder a huge potential burden. Why should taxpayers be subsiding bad companies, and letting private operators take the best clients?

    I am not an expert in actuarial risk, but that isn’t how the scheme would work. Presently employers are already rated by risk. The worst employers, in the worst industries, with the worst health and safety ratings, do pay higher premiums. If ACC remained the default insurer for bad companies who could not get cover elsewhere, then the taxpayer wouldn’t be subsidising that burden, as they are not subsidising the work account now. In that scenario, were it to happen, then the worst employers would just face dramatically higher premiums than they do now.

    Cherry-picking is a convenient idea, but it just doesn’t stack up in a fully-funded model. Actuarial risk determines premium rates across all risk profiles.

    IB said:

    privatisation of the work account will come with less political fallout if the ACC brand as a whole is brought into disrepute with the electorate.

    Bill, it would really help the debate if we didn’t have hysterical calls from the Left of “privatisation of ACC” was not bandied about whenever the work account is discussed. As is agreed by pretty much everyone, it is really only the work account that we are talking about. This is only a small part of the ACC scheme in terms of levies collected, claims and expenditure, with around 15% of claims and 10% of claims liability. The non-earners account represents around 48% of all claims.

    National already faced the political fallout before the election by saying that they were open to moving the work account to competition. Further political fallout? I know it is a touchstone issue for unions and business, but the work account is only a very small part of ACC. Business would like to see lower premiums. Unions are concerned that coverage will be reduced in a privatised model. If coverage is guaranteed (as it was under the last National government when the work account was opened up), then I’m not convinced that opening up the work account is as likely to face political fall-out as you’re suggesting.

    Of course, it suits Labour to shriek privatisation and “ruining the integrity of the ACC scheme”, but there are much more fundamental and deeper problems with the ACC system than whether the work account is open to competition. Like whether the level of coverage across the earners’, non-earners, and motor-vehicle accounts is sustainable, and whether levy payers in those groups are prepared to continue to pay for this gold-plated scheme when they are properly fully-funded.

  51. And right on que: http://www.stuff.co.nz/4783487a11.html

    “Finance Minister Bill English has confirmed there is likely to be a “significant” rise in the amount workers pay to ACC from April 1 next year.

    ACC Minister Nick Smith yesterday said a blowout in the ACC earners account could see average wage earners lose almost a third of the value of next year’s tax cut if the incoming Government follows officials’ advice.”

  52. Rave,

    Its a right wing snow job to point to the broken toe on the thug who is busy kicking our brains out.

    Lovely!

    Now for the big question.. can’t say I’m too hopeful of an elegant answer.. but with everything else on the slide and – let’s say sanity plus markets-adjusting – how about the new administration doing the business and re-aligning costs instead of users pay more. Sure, the latter is quicker but the minister this morning yapping on about gottabe done(sorted) by Christmas can mean only servicing-to-price. aka costs-driven. Justified or not.

    So who says when enough is enough.. can you see providers.. users.. doing it?

    So how is that anybody’s brighter future if the government doesn’t unfurl the flag for folks back aways in the providers procession to recognise.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • A strong start – but can Luxon last?
    The first thing Chris Luxon did publicly after being elected as the 15th leader of the National Party was thank his colleagues. It was the proper thing to do. For it is only thanks to the cloak and dagger politics that they’ve engaged in over the past three years that ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    12 mins ago
  • Air New Zealand flight attendant named CEO after one year on job
    A 51-year-old flight attendant has completed a swift and stunning rise to CEO of Air New Zealand. New Zealand’s national carrier, Air New Zealand, has expressed great enthusiasm in announcing its new CEO today: 51-year-old Nathan Guy, a flight attendant who has spent about 1200 hours on the job. Guy ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 hours ago
  • A true story
    by Daphna Whitmore In a recent debate on free speech I closed with a true story. A woman I know – a writer – tweeted a joke in response to a man having just insulted her on the platform. The joke featured some violent imagery, but it also featured absurdist ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 hours ago
  • Māui Tikitiki a Tāranga inspires Māui Hudson’s research journey
    Māui Hudson says the characteristics of his namesake, the Māori diety Māui Tikitiki a Tāranga, enables and inspires him to confidently walk into new spaces of research. He hails from Te Whakatōhea, Ngāruahine and Ngāpuhi. Māui is a trained physiotherapist but is well-known for his leadership in creating guidelines and ...
    SciBlogsBy Rosemary Rangitauira
    6 hours ago
  • Driven to help the planet and humanity thrive
    Mihi mai ki a Dr Te Kīpa Kēpa Morgan, a professional engineer, who’s inspiring a different value system that he says can help humanity thrive and safeguard the sustainability of our planet. Kēpa affiliates to Ngāti Pikiao (Te Arawa), Ngāti Kahungunu and Ngāi Tahu. For more than a decade, Kēpa’s main ...
    SciBlogsBy Rosemary Rangitauira
    6 hours ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why an attack on Iran is back on the agenda
    Reportedly, Christopher Luxon has the edge on Simon Bridges in National’s leadership contest although there is no firm evidence for that hunch. So, one hesitates about joining a media echo chamber that amplifies Luxon’s chances ahead of the 3pm caucus meeting today. You know how it goes: Luxon doesn’t quite ...
    8 hours ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 30 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Dr David Bromell, Senior Associate, Institute for Governance and Policy Studies: “While working as a public policy advisor, NZ Politics Daily was a daily “must read” as it alerted me to wider public policy issues than workplace-based media scanning, which generally covered only subject areas that related directly to ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    8 hours ago
  • The Simple Thing That’s Hard To Do.
    What's Not To Like? There’s a reason why the self-evident benefits of a “one world government” arouse such visceral opposition from those with a vested interest in both the local and the global status quo. A world run for the benefit of all human-beings strikes at the very heart of the ...
    12 hours ago
  • A Stay of Execution: The National Library of New Zealand Caves to Authors
    Well, well. Looks like Christmas has arrived early, with a victory over vandalism. You may recall this little furore about the future of the National Library of New Zealand’s Overseas Published Collection: https://phuulishfellow.wordpress.com/2021/11/22/lack-of-public-service-announcement-the-national-library-of-new-zealand-internet-archive-and-alleged-digital-piracy/ Well, those outrageous plans to digitise and pirate copyrighted works have got enough negative attention ...
    21 hours ago
  • Climate Change: We can do it!
    RNZ reports on the other story to come out of the government's emissions budget Cabinet paper: the scale of the changes we need to make: The massive scale of the nationwide changes needed quickly to cut climate gas emissions is laid bare in newly-released government documents. [...] The number ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Climate Change: Cold feet?
    Ministry for the Environment has dumped more cabinet papers related to its recent initial consultation on the emissions reduction plan. The key document is an August cabinet paper on Emissions Budgets for 2022-2025, 2026-2030 and 2031-2035, which made the dubious in-principle decision to increase the first period's emissions budget (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Rating The Contenders.
    There Can Be Only One: Some might ask why National MPs would install yet another “successful business person” at the helm of their party? Isn’t one Todd Muller enough? Especially when Simon Bridges could become the first National politician of Māori descent to become Prime Minister.LET’S GET SOMETHING out of ...
    1 day ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Omicron, and the Bridges/Luxon dilemma
    At this early stage, the Omicron variant seems to be more infectious, and more able to bypass the protection offered by vaccines and by the antibodies generated by previous infection. The fact that it is being spread around the globe by travellers who were all presumably fully immunised and had ...
    1 day ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 29 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Dr Kevin Moore, Associate Professor in Psychology & Tourism, Lincoln University: “For me, the big advantage of NZ Politics Daily is the breadth of opinion and sources it gathers. Together. There is always a mix of news reporting, news analysis, opinion pieces and blog posts. That breadth ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 day ago
  • National is still very much the same Party even without Collins leading it… that’s the real issu...
    Judith Collins regarded Thatcher as “a personal hero” of hers. But like her hero though, it took the UK Conservative Party and their ideological counterparts here to get rid of both of them, from the inside. There’s a sort of bizarre symmetry to that really. Both were rather messy ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 days ago
  • 2021 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #48
    Listing of articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, November 21, 2021 through Sat, November 27, 2021 The following articles sparked above average interest during the week: To Breed or Not to Breed?, The Vaccine for Fake News, Ten ways to confront the climate ...
    2 days ago
  • A professor without honour in his own country
    Michael Corballis just three months before his death appeared in an interview on the Hui with Mihirangi Forbes. She made no effort to conceal her disdain for his defence of science and proceeded to lecture him on not knowing enough about mātauranga Maori to comment on it and accused him ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Businessman – and Political Novice
    The drums are beating – see Heather Du Plessis-Allan in today’s Herald – for Christopher Luxon’s bid to become National’s new (and latest) leader. It is conceded that he is a political tyro but – such is National’s current plight – it is suggested that he is a risk worth ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 days ago
  • No, Elizabeth Stuart Would Not Have Stopped the English Civil War (Probably)
    As you might have noticed, A Phuulish Fellow is a fairly eclectic blog. Even an organic one. I have my interests, and write about them as the fit takes me. And sometimes I stumble across an article I feel the need to comment on. Today, I ran across a ...
    3 days ago
  • Rumour Has It: A Númenórean Character List?
    Today we have another Amazon rumour on our hands. And for a change, it is not coming out of Fellowship of Fans. No, instead we have the following tweet doing the rounds, ostensibly listing (mostly) Númenórean characters and their code names. It’s an interesting leak, if true. And that’s ...
    4 days ago
  • Covid as Warriors
    The book I am currently working on – tentative title ‘In Open Seas’ – looks at the current and future New Zealand. One chapter describes the policy towards Covid using the trope of warfare. It covers an important period in our history but show how policy evolves and why, as ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19: the B.1.1.529 variant – what do we know?
    There’s a lot of news about a new variant originally reported in southern Africa. Early signs have prompted calls for immediate precautionary blocks on travel from the region to restrict its spread. The WHO has called an emergency conference on this variant. Here’s a round-up of what we know so ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    4 days ago
  • National Party board denies it unanimously agreed to Collins’ Faustian bargain with Satan
    Sources close to party president Peter Goodfellow say he was totally blindsided by Collins’ claims he was party to this particular satanic ritual. National Party president Peter Goodfellow is today issuing a strong denial on behalf of the party’s board, saying they did not, at any point, agree to the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    4 days ago
  • The cost of optimism
    Yesterday the National Party imploded in a messy knife-fight that cost it its leader and probably one of the contenders. So naturally, the government has taken the opportunity to do a dump of its pandemic advice, including the Cabinet papers on its controversial decisions to repeatedly lower the Auckland alert ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on National’s less than stellar choices
    Amid all the jostling in the National caucus ranks, spare a thought for Andrew Bayly. Who? Well might you ask. Plucked from obscurity by Judith Collin, elevated from number 18 to number 3 in the caucus rankings and given the Finance portfolio – a role in which he has been ...
    4 days ago
  • Are New Zealand’s universities doing enough to define the limits of academic freedom?
    Matheson Russell, University of Auckland   The news last week that University of Auckland public health researcher Simon Thornley was retracting a co-authored paper about supposed vaccination risks during pregnancy raised deeper questions about the limits of academic freedom. Thornley’s own head of department had called for the paper to ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 26 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Jean Drage, Political scientist specialist in local government: “With 78 local authorities and central government currently intent on reform, local government is a challenging area of research to keep on top of. Thank goodness for Bryce’s NZ’s Politics Daily. It is a gem, especially as it also ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • Josh Van Veen: Bridges is not the one
    Simon Bridges failed to bluff Judith Collins out of the leadership. A campaign to rehabilitate his image began shortly after the election and culminated in the publication of a memoir in August. There were persistent rumours of a deal with rival Christopher Luxon and MPs from the ‘liberal’ wing of ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • Smokefree cars – an important step towards protecting children from the hazards of smoking
    Richard Edwards, Jude Ball, Janet Hoek, George Thomson, Nick Wilson*  On November 28 new legislation to protect children from smoking and vaping in cars will come into force. This blog sets out the background and rationale for the new law, and discusses implementation, evaluation and the next steps to protect ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    4 days ago
  • Judith's Last Stand.
    Going Out With All Guns Blazing: Why didn’t Judith Collins stick with the strategy that had kept her, National’s most improbable of leaders, in power for more than a year? One might just as well ask why Rob Muldoon (that other unforgiving right-wing populist National Party leader) got drunk and ...
    4 days ago
  • Act’s Precarious Ascendancy.
    On The Lookout: It is easy to imagine how closely Seymour has been watching the National Opposition for the slightest sign of a Clark figure emerging. A respected politician, who enjoys broad support across the party and, much more importantly, who impresses the ordinary centre-right voter as having what it ...
    4 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #47, 2021
    104 articles by 574 contributing authors Physical science of climate change, effects Delayed impacts of Arctic sea-ice loss on Eurasian severe cold winters Jang et al. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 10.1029/2021jd035286 Observations of climate change, effects Divergent responses of terrestrial carbon use efficiency to climate variation from 2000 ...
    4 days ago
  • Labour’s Eyes Wide Shut To “Unruly Tenants”.
    Not Seeing The Problem: They say there are none so blind as those who will not see. And, right now, Kāinga Ora is studiously not looking. It is clear to everyone that the Minister responsible, Poto Williams, has (like so many of her colleagues) been entirely captured by her officials. ...
    5 days ago
  • Is the mob coming for Charles Darwin?
    Richard Dawkins recently noted the giants of the past are being sanctimoniously judged by nonentities of the present whose only qualification is still being alive to do so. How will the future judge our own time when we are not around? Peter Franklin from Unherd examines whether the woke can ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Blowing a Hole in Your Own Wall: Idiotic Tampering with MIQ
    Managed Isolation/Quarantine has been a fact of life for New Zealand for eighteen months. It’s not popular – there are only so many spaces available at any given time, and the process is famously opaque – but it is the key to saving New Zealand from rampant Coronavirus. That, ...
    5 days ago
  • Now Labour wants secret trials
    Today, the government introduced the Security Information in Proceedings Legislation Bill to the House. The Bill would allow the government to use classified information in civil or criminal proceedings and keep it secret from the other party. So people suing the government for human rights abuses could lose, and defendants ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The end of a toxic leader
    If there's one thing that Judith Collins is usually good at, it's using scandalous information about other people to her advantage. Not above undermining her own political party, Collins has been known to even leak against her own fellow MPs, particularly those who posed a threat to her as the ...
    5 days ago
  • A transformative government in Germany
    Back in September Germans went to the polls, and handed the politicians a tough job, with no easy majorities for anyone. The Social Democrats, Free Democrats, and Greens agreed to work together in a "traffic light" coalition, but given their political differences (its basicly ACT/Greens/Labour), expectations for real change were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Political Harakiri
    The National party must always have known that they were taking a risk when they elected Judith Collins as leader. There were, after all, good reasons why they repeatedly declined to accept her candidature when she offered herself – as she frequently did. She was always an inappropriate person to ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • Thanksgiving advice, 2021: How to deal with climate change-denying Uncle Pete
    This is a re-post from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists by Richard Somerville “Birds of a feather flock together,” so I am sure that nearly all of those reading this article accept the main findings of climate science. Yet many people don’t. Instead, they believe a variety of climate ...
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the demotion of Simon Bridges
    So Simon Bridges has been bounced from the front bench and stripped of his shadow portfolio responsibilities for the crudely “inappropriate” comments that he allegedly made to a female colleague, Jacqui Dean – and personally apologised for – about five years ago. After years of mocking Labour for its supposed ...
    5 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 25 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Dr Rosemary Wette, Associate Professor, Applied Linguistics, University of Auckland: “I’ve been browsing regularly through NZ Politics Daily for several months now. It gives me access to a range of views on current issues (helpfully organised by topic) that I wouldn’t otherwise have time to look up, or ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • The bizarre case of the Royal Society investigating academics defending science
    The Royal Society has begun a disciplinary investigation against a group of academics. The academics were defending science and in the past would have expected support from the Royal Society. The Free Speech Union has launched a campaign to defend the academics and academic freedom. Māori professor under investigation for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Ian Powell: Unionism and nursing in New Zealand
    In the around 35 years I worked for unions (over 30 with the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists and earlier with the New Zealand Educational Institute) I often cogitated over the distinction between unions and unionism. They are intertwined but not inseparable. I associate unionism with collective consciousness able to ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Today’s constitutional disgrace in Parliament
    This Government has a problem with urgency. Critics from both left and right have long complained about their lack of urgency on issues such as climate change, housing, and inequality. Likewise, in terms of the Covid response, there’s been a chorus of criticism that Labour has been complacent and sluggish ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • Vaping needs much tighter regulation as we approach Smokefree Aotearoa 2025: Two new studies
    Nick Wilson, Janet Hoek, Jennifer Summers, Driss Ait Ouakrim, Andrew Waa, Richard Edwards, Tony Blakely* Two recent studies provide new insights into the impact vaping may have on public health. The first estimates that use of modern vaping devices could be around a third as harmful to health as smoking. ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Strange Defeat: A Guest Post By Dr. Chris Harris.
    They Did Things Differently Then: And we might still be doing things differently, if the world these "Country Lads" were fighting for, and which endured for nearly 30 years after World War II, had not been supplanted by the world we inhabit now. In spite of its reality, New Zealand's ...
    6 days ago
  • More than 147km – the transformative potential of the Wellington bike network plan
    Feature image by Luke Pilkinton-Ching, University of Otago Wellington   Caroline Shaw, Anja Mizdrak, Ryan Gage* Wellington City Council is currently consulting on a cycle network for Wellington. This is a big deal. WCC are proposing a 147km cycle network around the city, the vast majority of which is new. ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 24 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Liz Brown, Senior communications advisor, Association of Salaried Medical Specialists: “The NZ Politics Daily is a fabulous resource providing a comprehensive one stop shop on what’s making news and how stories are being covered. I look forward to seeing it pop into my inbox every morning.” Anyone can sign ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Taking us for a ride
    Agricultural emissions has been an oozing sore in our climate change policy for over a decade. Exempted from the ETS in 2008, farmers were meant to be brought in and start paying for their emissions in 2012. Of course, National put a stop to that, and exempted them forever. When ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: An industry in denial
    Over the past few years it has become clear that coal has no future in Aotearoa. Rising carbon prices, a ban on new boilers and a legislated phase-out for existing infrastructure are going to drive it out of the market. To reinforce this, the government signed up for an anti-coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The “most open and transparent government ever” again
    The government is about to pass new vaccination mandate legislation under urgency. So obviously, they'd want to ensure it gets the best possible scrutiny in the limited time available by releasing the supporting policy documents, right? Of course not: On the eve of legislation to enable vaccination passes being ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on farmers playing the victim, plus Chile’s right turn
    Among the farming lobby groups, the good cop/bad cop routine has been working a treat. It suits Federated Farmers to keep daylight between itself and the Groundswell movement. Month in, year out the Federation continues to engage with the government over the very same water degradation/climate change regulations that Groundswell ...
    1 week ago
  • Important People
    The Herald has returned to form with a vengeance. In today’s issue, Barry Soper snipes at Jacinda’s handling of her regular press conferences. It seems that she did not give him an early chance to ask his very important question and took no account of his need to depart immediately ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Parliament, the Courts and the end of three strikes (for now)
    Last week, Parliament embarked on the process of repealing the so-called “three strikes” provisions in the Sentencing Act 2002. Given that Labour, the Greens and Te Paati Māori all supported this repeal Bill at first reading (and that NZ First no longer is in government to block the move), three strikes’ eventual legislative demise seems ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 23 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Martyn Bradbury, Editor, The Daily Blog “’NZ Politics Daily’ is one of the most important news and political resources run in New Zealand. The expert collation of opinion and news makes it an invaluable day to day resource as well as an incredible treasure for researchers in the future. ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s Emission Reduction Plan
    By Paul Callister and Robert McLachlan Fifty years ago, on 26 November 1971, the film “Notes on a New Zealand City: Wellington”, directed by Paul Maunder, premiered on Wellington TV. The narrator asks if Wellington’s future will involve suburban sprawl, traffic, motorways, suburban shopping malls, and the decentralization of employment; ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Dissing The Farmers.
    Neale vs The Revolting Farmers: One has to admire the way Capital Government Relations CEO, Neale Jones, covers-off all the bases of the current political zeitgeist. In a masterfully composed tweet, he lambasts the Groundswell protesters as sexists, racists and reactionaries, clinging for dear life to “a purely extractive economic ...
    1 week ago
  • How will carbon pricing impact inflation?
    This is a re-post from the Citizens' Climate Lobby blog Inflation — the decline of purchasing power as prices rise — is currently at its highest level in 30 years. This has led to concern among the public and policymakers about the rising costs of many important products like food, shelter, gasoline, ...
    1 week ago
  • (Lack of) Public Service Announcement: The National Library of New Zealand, Internet Archive, and Al...
    The National Library of New Zealand has not covered itself in glory in recent times. The decision to axe most of the Overseas Collection (some 600,000 books) in order to make way for more New Zealand items (which it collects already, and which amounts to some 3,000 items ...
    1 week ago
  • Game over for the HRPP
    Since its election loss earlier this year, Samoa's Human Rights Protection Party has been pinning its hopes on the upcoming by-elections to regain power. That was a pretty forlorn hope - with 18 seats, they would have had to win all seven by-elections and have two additional women appointed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Chinese influence and American hate diffusion.
    Over the last decade concerns have been raised about Chinese “influence operations” in NZ and elsewhere. Run by CCP-controlled “United Front” organisations, influence operations are designed to promote PRC interests and pro-PRC views within the economic and political elites of the targeted country as well as Chinese diaspora communities. The ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • The Real Interests Of The Country.
    Off Message: Into the extremely fraught relationship between Town and Country, the Groundswell organisers have blundered like an Aberdeen-Angus steer in an organic vege-shop. Unreasonably proud of their rural economic virtues, and dangerously forthright in their enumeration of the cities’ political vices, these Kiwi equivalents of America’s “good ole boys” ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 22 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Minna Reid, Law student, Victoria University of Wellington “As a Uni student, staying up to date with current affairs is always important. The Daily Politics & Democracy Project by Bryce Edwards is of great service for this. It offers varying news sources I would not have found myself ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Free speech is a people’s frank confession to itself
    by Daphna Whitmore The government is devising new “Hate Speech” laws to save New Zealand from something that has not been defined. When asked what is hate speech the Prime Minister replied “You know it when you see it”. The Human Rights Commission is supporting the law change and sees ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • 2021 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #47
    Listing of articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, November 14, 2021 through Sat, November 20, 2021 The following articles sparked above average interest during the week: Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheeple? A.I. Maps 20 Years of Climate Conspiracies, COP Negotiators Demand Nations ...
    1 week ago
  • The F Words, by Barbara Gregorich
    Book review Barbara Gregorich is a writer and long time anti-capitalist in the US. She and her husband were interviewed for Redline about the social movements of the 1960s. Her latest book The F Words, has been reviewed by Guy Miller for Redline. The F Words by Barbara Gregorich bears ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • The Scourge of the Aimless Kick
    The below-par All Black performance against France was – sadly – afflicted, again, by what has become a feature of New Zealand rugby – the scourge of the aimless kick. It is surely a truism that, to win a rugby match, you must have the ball. But time and time ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Delta Rocks Gibraltar: Lessons to be learned from Covid-19’s global resurgence.
    Hard To Beat: Perhaps the most important lesson to be drawn from what is happening in Gibraltar is that vaccination is not a magic bullet. Yes, it makes it harder to contract the virus, and significantly ameliorates its worst effects, but it does not confer absolute immunity to Covid-19 – ...
    1 week ago
  • I’ll take the masks and vaccines, thank you
    From Stuff:I don't want to be pedantic, but I'm pretty sure neither masks nor vaccines figure much in the Gospel of Saint John; nor has Jesus shown much efficacy in protecting people from anything. ...
    1 week ago
  • Hell To Pay: The alarming similarities between the Anti-Vaccination Movement and the creators of the...
    Never Let Go: If the violent prejudices of the Jim Crow South, echoing through contemporary struggles, teach us anything, it is that the defence of rationality, science and progressivism must never be allowed to falter. Those pre-modern night-riders, filled with unrelenting hate, are still out there. If the troops of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A Peak Out of Auckland? + Other Covid Musings
    At last, we have some cause for optimism out of Auckland’s interminable Covid outbreak. Knowing our luck, it might be a false dawn… but there are some signs that we have seen the peak:
    2 weeks ago
  • Sing Song about Hard Times
    Celebrating Poet Anne KennedyThe 2021 Prime Minister's Award for Literary Achievement for Poetry went to Anne Kennedy. I have enjoyed her work since her first collection Sing Song. The poems’ setting is in the domestic life of a family of four, told from the mother’s perspective: moving house, the gruelling ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • A good problem to have
    Norway is the global success story on electric car uptake, with early policy and a well-signalled 2025 cutoff point for fossil vehicles resulting in 77% of new cars being EV's. But now they have a problem: not enough dirty cars to tax: Norway’s electric dream has been credited to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the politics of anger, plus a music playlist
    Angry? Are you talkin’ to ME? Of late, the Code Red levels of resentment inspired by the government’s Covid policy almost make one hanker for the days when people could write best-selling books about New Zealanders being The Passionless People. Not anymore. A hissy fit arms race seems to be ...
    2 weeks ago

  • More Vietnam Veterans to receive compensation for Agent Orange Exposure
    Minister for Veterans, the Hon Meka Whaitiri announced today that two new conditions associated with Agent Orange exposure have been added to the Prescribed Conditions List. Under the 2006 Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Crown and representatives of Vietnam veterans and the Royal New Zealand RSA. Vietnam veterans in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Government commits to international effort to ban and regulate killer robots
    Minister of Disarmament and Arms Control Phil Twyford announced today that New Zealand will push for new international law to ban and regulate autonomous weapons systems (AWS), which once activated can select and engage targets without further human intervention. “While the evidence suggests fully autonomous weapons systems are not yet ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • New freedom camping rules – right vehicle, right place
    Tougher freedom camping laws will be introduced to prevent abuse which has placed an unfair burden on small communities and damaged our reputation as a high quality visitor destination. Tourism Minister Stuart Nash has confirmed that new legislation will be introduced to Parliament following an extensive round of public consultation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Government invests to support a classic Kiwi summer
    Vaccinated New Zealanders can look forward to Kiwi summer events with confidence, while artists and crew will have more certainty, following the launch of details of the Arts and Culture Event Support Scheme, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “The Government recognises that the arts and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Grace period for expired driver licences cruises into 2022
    Due to the ongoing Delta outbreak and extended lockdowns, all New Zealand driver licences and licence endorsements that expired on or after 21 July 2021 will now be valid until 31 May 2022, Transport Minister Michael Wood announced today. “This further extension to the validity of driver licenses recognises that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Delivered: 1,000 extra transitional homes
    A further 1,000 transitional homes delivered  New housing development starts in Flaxmere, Hastings  The Government has delivered the next 1,000 transitional housing places it promised, as part of its work to reduce homelessness. Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods is marking the milestone in Hastings at a new development that includes ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Traffic light levels announced
    The levels at which different parts of New Zealand will move forward into the COVID-19 Protection Framework this Friday have been announced. Northland, Auckland, Taupō and Rotorua Lakes Districts, Kawerau, Whakatane, Ōpōtiki Districts, Gisborne District, Wairoa District, Rangitikei, Whanganui and Ruapehu Districts will move in at Red The rest of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Financial support to move to traffic light system
    A new transition payment will be made available particularly for affected businesses in Auckland, Waikato and Northland to acknowledge the restrictions they have faced under the higher Alert Levels. Transition payment of up to $24,000 as businesses move into traffic light system Leave Support Scheme and Short Term Absence Payment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Ambassador to Russia announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Sarah Walsh as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Russia. “Aotearoa New Zealand and Russia have a long-standing relationship, engaging on a range of regional and global interests including disarmament and Antarctica issues. We also work together as members of the East ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Permanent Representative to the UN announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Carolyn Schwalger as Permanent Representative to the New Zealand Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York. “Aotearoa New Zealand is a founding member of the UN and we have worked hard to ensure our stance on human rights, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Further COVID-19 economic support for Cook Islands and Fiji announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced a further package of support for the Cook Islands and Fiji for COVID-19 economic support and recovery. “Aotearoa New Zealand remains committed to supporting our Pacific fanau and vuvale to respond to the impacts of COVID-19 on their economies, and move towards long-term ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New law will clear the air for tamariki in vehicles
    From today, it’s illegal to smoke or vape in most vehicles carrying children aged under 18 years old - whether the vehicle is moving or not. “Second-hand smoke poses an unacceptable risk to our tamariki and rangatahi,” Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall said. “We know children in vehicles ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Nine countries designated very high risk
    Nine southern African countries are being added to the very high risk countries list following public health advice around the newly discovered COVID-19 variant Omicron, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said. This afternoon, a public health risk assessment was carried out to assess the emerging evidence and any risk to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Foreign Affairs Minister concludes final stage of world trip
    Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta today departed North America to return home to Aotearoa, concluding the last stage of her 17-day world trip. The final leg of her trip saw her visit the United States of America and Canada for a number of high-level discussions. While in Washington D.C., ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Milestone launch of Pacific Languages Unit
    Today’s official launch of the Pacific Languages Unit is a milestone for our Pacific communities, the Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio said. The Pacific Languages Unit brings together a new set of language supports within the Ministry for Pacific Peoples to provide advice, commission research, maintain standards, promote ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Public Health Lecture – University of Otago
    Public Health - Lessons from New Zealand’s COVID-19 response and opportunities for the future E nga mana, E nga reo,                                          E nga iwi. Tēna koutou katoa. Ka huri ki nga mana whenua o te rohe nei. Tēna koutou. He mihi hoki ki a tatou kua tau mai nei I raro I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand statement on situation in Honiara, Solomon Islands
    Aotearoa New Zealand is deeply concerned by the events which have been unfolding in Honiara, Solomon Islands, since Wednesday. “New Zealand is a long-standing partner of Solomon Islands, and there are deep and enduring connections between our two countries,” Acting Foreign Affairs Minister David Parker said. “Our engagement in Solomon ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Nailed it! Over 500 apprentices get jobs boost
    Over 500 apprentices and cadets have been placed into work across New Zealand thanks to the Government’s booming build programme, that’s both constructing public houses, and maintaining older homes. Housing Minister Megan Woods announced the milestone today at a public housing construction site in Riccarton, Christchurch. “This Government’s investment in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Investment to support maternal mental health
    Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall has announced an investment to help expand maternal mental health services in five District Health Boards. “Supporting parent’s mental wellbeing during their child’s first 1000 days, from conception to two years of age, is critical to the long-term emotional, mental and physical wellbeing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Workplace vaccination requirements extended to cover Police and NZ Defence Force
    With the support of the organisations, additional vaccination requirements will cover sworn members, recruits and authorised officers of the New Zealand Police, and all New Zealand Defence Force staff. First doses of the vaccine for workers in these organisations are required by 17 January 2022, and second doses by 1 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Aotearoa New Zealand and Canada to pursue greater Indigenous collaboration
    During her visit to Ottawa, the Honourable Nanaia Mahuta, New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs and Associate Minister for Māori Development, met with the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Canadian Minister of Indigenous Services, and the Honourable Marc Miller, Canadian Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, to further expand and develop the positive relationship ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Māori vaccination rates reach 80% first dose
    Associate Minister of Health (Māori) Hon Peeni Henare today confirmed that Māori across the motu have now reached 80 percent for first doses of the COVID-19 vaccination nationally. “We have seen a huge increase in vaccinations for Māori throughout November, since the beginning of the month the increase for first ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Subsequent Children legislation to change
    The Government has today introduced legislation that will reverse provisions in the Oranga Tamariki Act as part of a path to rebuild trust and confidence in the organisation. “The Oranga Tamariki Amendment Bill makes a number of changes but by far the most important is the partial repeal of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Security Information in Proceedings Legislation Bill introduced to Parliament
    The Minister of Justice has confirmed the introduction of the Security Information in Proceedings Legislation Bill to Parliament. National security information is information which, if disclosed, would be likely to prejudice New Zealand’s security, defence, or international relations. “This Bill adds to the Government’s work to strengthen New Zealand’s protections ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Shortcomings revealed in power cut investigation
    No household should have had their power disconnected 18 recommendations, mostly EA and Transpower related The EA must strengthen its oversight of the system operator An investigation into power cuts that left more than 34,000 households without electricity on one of the coldest nights of the year has found that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19 Protection Framework supported by new testing and contact tracing strategy
    Wider use of rapid antigen testing from 1 December Increasing daily laboratory capacity to 60,000 PCR tests Q1 2022 A new national telehealth case investigation service with 475 investigators A nearly $1 billion investment in testing, contact tracing and case investigation A new national testing strategy will provide better protection ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Supporting New Zealanders to recover from COVID-19 in the community
    $300 million boost to Pharmac to buy new medicines to treat COVID-19 Care in the Community approach will see most cases receive initial contact from a healthcare provider wiithin 24 hours Support pack provided within 48 hours Regular health checks throughout recovery The Government is increasing the support for New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Additional support for people isolating at home
    New regional MSD COVID-19 welfare teams to coordinate social service support for those isolating at home Regional teams working alongside other government agencies, iwi/Māori and community providers for housing, food and income support Government investment of $204.1m into welfare system support for Care in the Community Minister for Social Development ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tax bill provides vital support for families
    A boost to Working for Families tax credits, as part of a package of financial support that will see 346,000 families better off, has been passed into law late last night.  Revenue Minister David Parker said the measures would lift the incomes of those receiving the Family Tax Credit, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New text service to support disabled peoples’ vaccinations
    Efforts to support disabled peoples’ vaccinations go from strength-to-strength with the launch of a new text service, Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today. The service, run by Whakarongorau Aotearoa on behalf of the Ministry of Health, is in response to feedback from the disability community and is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Proactive Calendar Release – October 2021
    ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Pacific community reach vaccination milestone
    Pacific communities across the nation have rolled up their sleeves and played their part to reach a major vaccination milestone, 90 percent  have now had their first vaccination, Aupito William Sio, Minister for Pacific Peoples and Associate Minister of Health said. “Reaching this milestone reflects the work Pacific Health Providers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Reconnecting New Zealand – the next steps
    Fully vaccinated Kiwis and other eligible travellers can travel to NZ from Australia without staying in MIQ from 11.59pm Sunday, 16 January 2022 Fully vaccinated Kiwis and other eligible travellers can travel to NZ from all other countries from 11.59pm Sunday, 13 February 2022 All fully vaccinated individuals will be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Shot in the arm for Canterbury tourism
    A brand new tourism attraction launched in the Canterbury high country is designed to transform the regional economy from seasonal peaks and troughs of past visitor trends. Regional Economic Development and Tourism Minister Stuart Nash has officially opened the Ōpuke Pools at Methven, which received government backing from the Provincial ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Combined efforts connecting locals to nature
    A Government investment in six community and iwi-led projects across the Hawke’s Bay district will provide nature-based jobs for more than 60 locals, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “Combined, these projects are contributing to a really ambitious conservation effort across the region, while at the same time up-skilling and offering ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Empowering Diverse Communities
    Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence and Sexual Violence Marama Davidson has approved five funding grants to support national-level family violence and sexual violence prevention initiatives for LGBTQIA+ people, disabled people, older people and new migrant communities. “Local community initiatives are a key lever in reducing violence. The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Moriori Claims Settlement Bill passes Third Reading
    The Moriori Claims Settlement Bill has passed its third reading at Parliament, marking the completion of the historical Treaty of Waitangi settlement process for Moriori. “This is the final milestone for Moriori and the Crown and is a new beginning in our relationship,” Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Permanent drug-checking law passed and new providers appointed
    Drug-checking services will continue to operate legally at festivals, pop-up clinics, university orientation weeks and other places this summer and beyond, thanks to a law passed today, Health Minister Andrew Little says. The services have been legal since last summer under temporary legislation that expires next month. The Government’s Drug ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific communities supported to transition to the COVID-19 Protection Framework
    The Government has agreed to support Pacific health providers and communities’ transition to the new COVID-19 Protection Framework, Minister for Pacific Peoples and Associate Minister of Health, Aupito William Sio said. The Government recognises that there is a clear need to prepare new systems and healthcare approaches, to protect and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government helps Pasifika Festivals to ride the COVID wave
    As we transition into a new way of managing COVID and take steps towards giving vaccinated New Zealanders more freedoms to enjoy Aotearoa’s arts and culture, 19 Pasifika festivals across the motu are receiving funding through the Pasifika Festivals Initiative, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni said. These ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago