Splits and divisions on minimum wage

Written By: - Date published: 3:53 pm, February 2nd, 2009 - 28 comments
Categories: national/act government, wages, workers' rights - Tags:

So Cabinet has deferred its decision on the minimum with John Key simply promising “it won’t be very far away at all”. Now that’s just shoddy.

In tough economic times we need strong government leadership. Now is the time for certainty and action, it’s not the time to dither and umm and ahh. But we shouldn’t be surprised at the dithering. There are two opposing forces in Cabinet battling it out on the minimum wage.

First, John Key, ever the populist will be trying to do whatever it takes to stop National from slipping into the unpopularity it enjoyed for almost two decades. Key will be wanting to push the minimum wage higher to avoid boxing National into the unpopular mould of neo-liberal madness.

Second, Bill English, who has been telling the public for the past month that its simply not time to increase wages, will be pushing fiscal conservatism. Bill will be arguing National has to be a responsible government (by his definition of responsible) and keep the minimum wage right where it is, or at the very least keep the movement very low.

So who will win? With the decision deferred there can’t be any doubt that Cabinet is split. We’ll have to wait, but the results will be telling. Lets see who the real power behind the new government is.

28 comments on “Splits and divisions on minimum wage ”

  1. TightyRighty 1

    Clever Eddie, a good piece of insightful commentary into what might be happening in Cabinet as we write.

  2. gingercrush 2

    How has National been unpopular for two decades?

    Agreed that defering/delaying its decision is stupid.

  3. Jimbo 4

    Eddie – you yourself acknowledge the “tough economic times”.

    Enlighten us: how will raising the minimum wage at this point help NZ navigate the recession?

    “Strong government leadership” would acknowledge very clearly that now is not this time.

  4. gingercrush 5

    Because people in the most trouble who are employed are likely to be those on lower wages. Any movement upwards in the minimum wage means those employees aren’t hurt by increasing costs. Look at the price of petrol later, its going back up meaning many of those workers will find it more difficult to afford petrol. The problem is, small businesses may struggle in paying the worker. But it will help New Zealand ultimately, because it lessens the impact of workers going backwards as no movement in the minimum wages means less purchasing power.

    Personally, I would be quite happy for the minimum wage to increase to 16 dollars within two-three years as long as there are cuts in business tax which I think should go down to 25%.

  5. irnswn 6

    Unpopular for 2 decades – are there some election results i am overlooking, because since 1988 national was teh top polling party in 1990 (landslide), 1993, 1996, and 2008. Hardly unpopular or is a party only popular when it acheives 99% plus of the popular vote…

  6. sweeetdisorder 7

    Ginger

    Lets say the min wage goes up to $16 an hour? Lets say you employ 5 people. The conditions you describe have just assigned one person to unemployment. What is better, 5 people employed at lower wages, or 4 employed with a bit more money and the 5th on unemployment?

    Increasing the min wage now more than ever is a stupid thing to do. Unemployment is rising, low paid workers are not a scarce resource. Better for many reasons to be in a job than not.

  7. gingercrush 8

    Well not if businesses receive a tax cut themselves. 30% is in my opinion too high and 25% would be much better and would lessen the impact of higher minimum wage costs.

  8. Draco T Bastard 9

    Unpopular for 2 decades – are there some election results i am overlooking, because since 1988 national was teh top polling party in 1990 (landslide), 1993, 1996, and 2008.

    “National won the 1990 election with 47.8 percent…”
    “…National retained power with a mere 35.1% of the votes…” (1993)
    “…:National 33.8% of the party vote…” (1996)
    Chapter 9, Prosperity for All?, Brian S. Roper

    They started losing popularity in 1990 after the election when they continued doing what Labour had been doing ie, implementing the neo-liberal reforms that very few people wanted. The thing about it is that National, even with their 12% lead over Labour, weren’t voted in in 1990 – Labour was voted out.

    So, yeah, they’ve been unpopular for 2 decades.

  9. mike 10

    “unpopularity it enjoyed for almost two decades”

    Good one ed, maybe in the pinko hand wringing fraternity but not by the majority of mainstream NZers who are finally celebrating the start of a long centre right reign.

  10. Jimbo 11

    Ginger – don’t disagree with your sentiments regarding helping those in need, but raising the minimum wage by 10-20% at this point is not the cure.

    People who have a job on the minimum wage are not the most needy at the moment. The most needy are people who do not have a job at all and business that will go under (leading to more jobless) unless costs fall and/or sales and productivity increase.

    Your suggested policy helps a small group of people (those employed on the min wage) and HURTS the larger and more needy group described above.

    I look at this way:

    1. From a government perspective – keeping someone in a job on the minimum wage is better than moving that person onto the benefit for a number of reasons including (a) government doesn’t have to “pay” the person the benefit, (b) the person is involved in society in a productive way which may mean greater self-esteem etc than if unemployed, (c) the person may be paying tax.

    2. From a business perspective – raising the minimum wage across ALL your employees might significantly raise costs at a time when businesses can least afford it. If businesses are already making employees redundant, how does this policy “slow the flood”. Answer – It doesn’t. It speeds it up.

    3. If you want to encourage growth again, you need to get businesses taking on “marginal employees”. Imagine a small business saying “can we afford an extra packer, machinist, cleaner?” Raising the cost of that extra employee will not help during a recession.

  11. Felix 12

    You guys crack me up.

    A month ago the best way to help our poorest workers was to take all their rights away for 90 days.

    Now, apparently, they’re even better off if we pay them less too (in real terms).

    I can’t wait to hear the next solution – slashing their tyres, perhaps?

  12. bobo 13

    Was watching Key on Cambell live tonight he looked a bit lost when asked what exact public infrastructure projects ideas he might fast track, kept trying to bring up tax cuts and ignored the rail network expansion idea with “lets not be too hasty”. Feels likes its still October last year when watching him.

  13. gingercrush 14

    Yes but we’re not talking 10-20%. A 50 cent increase in the minimum wage, from $12.00 to $12.50 is a mere 5%. You an justify whether that is increase is too much or what not. But I don’t think its such a crippling number that numerous people will lose their jobs. There is a danger that if minimum wage earners get an increase, then other workers too will want an increase. But one could also say, that would have a positive effect because it increases purchasing power.

    My suggested policy is another matter.Its a pipe dream that will never happen. 1. A National nor a Labour party would increase the minimum wage to such a degree. 2. Neither party would be likely to target business tax amounts and decrease by 5%. Reason being the National party is more fixated on personal tax cuts and Labour doesn’t favour tax cuts. So really my suggested policy is moot because it would never happen. 3. Its likely to have major inflation implications that could actually hurt the economy. 4. Increasing wages to such a degree without real improvements in productivity could be damaging.

    Its also interesting that you have completely ignored the fact, my suggested policy takes into account increased cost by businesses. Thus why there would be a tax deduction from 30% to 25%. But the whole point is moot anyway.

  14. burt 15

    If the first $10,000 of earnings were tax free that would make a massive difference to the take home pay of minimum wage earners and probably allow us to remove all the middle class welfare that has helped stagnate our economy.

    Too simple I guess, there is no picking of winners and losers which is something socialists cannot help themselves from doing. For Labour it was only ever about identifying the demographics that were not voting for them and bribing them to give two ticks to Labour.

  15. stunningly weak performance from Key on Campbell Live tonight:

    http://www.3news.co.nz/John-Key-responds-to-your-suggestions-on-jumpstarting-the-economy/tabid/367/articleID/89437/cat/84/Default.aspx

    he’s looking tired already! is he starting to find it all a bit hard?

  16. Tom P 17

    “Good one ed, maybe in the pinko hand wringing fraternity but not by the majority of mainstream NZers who are finally celebrating the start of a long centre right reign.”

    So we’re back to the old Don Brashism “mainstream NZers.” Mike what to f… is a “mainstream NZer” or is it the 55 per cent that didn’t vote for your beloved National Party. Wake up and smell the coffee and keep your exclusive terms to yourself or at least have the decency to explain what you mean by mainstream. Or is it a case of “I’m not actually sure what mainstream is or I’m too afraid to say!”

  17. burt 18

    TomP

    I thought mike was exercising restraint by not directly saying “We won, you lost – eat that”.

  18. Jimbo 19

    Felix – any attempt to address the point some of us made? It’s not an all-out assualt on helping people, it’s simply a logical and reasoned argument why raising the minimum wage is not the best way to go about it.

    Unless you are personally going to pay the costs assoiciated with raising the minimum wage in NZ, it’s perfectly legitimate to ponder for a bit on what the consequences might be.

    In this particular case, the theory is that raising the minimum wage might mean (1) some people on the minimum wage will be made redundant, and (2) some possible new jobs will not come about at all.

    In the middle of a recession, it’s worth weighing up which is the lesser of two evils.

    It’s pretty tiresome at times. If you gave up the “I’m a leftie so I’m right. You’re a rightie so you eat babies” mindset, and if you were prepared to at least acknowledge there are people who sincerely want the best for this country but disagree on how to achieve it, you might just learn something.

  19. Jimbo 20

    Ginger –

    Didn’t ignore you tax cut idea, just suspect it would be a gigantic loss of revenue for the Govt at this point and is not that clear how it ties in with the extra min wage costs a business might face.

    For example, struggling businesses not making much profit at all would probably not be helped much. Booming law firms filled with no-one working on the min wage, would probably profit greatly from the tax cut…!

  20. Draco T Bastard 21

    In this particular case, the theory is that raising the minimum wage might mean (1) some people on the minimum wage will be made redundant, and (2) some possible new jobs will not come about at all.
    In the middle of a recession, it’s worth weighing up which is the lesser of two evils.

    How about this if the minimum wage isn’t increased:
    (1) Some people on minimum wage can no longer afford to buy as much as they did before, decreasing demand forces businesses to cut people making even more people redundant (2) some businesses, planned for the strong economy, will see the weakened state and not come about at all.

    Both are possible outcomes. Cutting wages, which is what would be happening if the minimum wage isn’t increased, will slow down the economy.
    Of course – some businesses are already actively cutting wages seemingly wanting to force a deeper recession.
     

  21. Leftie 22

    NO to keeping the minimum wage as is…A political party campaigning on closing the wage gap with Australia MUST raise the minimum wage. A future prime minister stating on national tv that he will put the minimum wage up MUST do so. National Party credibility at stake here. NO to a rerun of the 1990s.

  22. BeShakey 23

    “If the first $10,000 of earnings were tax free that would make a massive difference to the take home pay of minimum wage earners and probably allow us to remove all the middle class welfare that has helped stagnate our economy. ”

    Your following tirade against Labour was a bit unfair, given they looked at this in detail then ruled it out. I suspect because: it would make it quite easy for a lot of very rich people with decent accountants to avoid a lot of tax (something the NZ system is good at avoiding, unlike others like the US); it would provide tax cuts to everyone, rather than focussing on those who need the money the most (and I’m one of the people that would have got more from $10k tax free rather than Labours actual cuts, so don’t give me any rubbish about how this is just jealousy or hatred of the rich); and (I think but could be wrong) it was expensive and the costs were very volatile.

  23. Felix 24

    Jimbo: If you gave up the “I’m a leftie so I’m right. You’re a rightie so you eat babies’ mindset, and if you were prepared to at least acknowledge there are people who sincerely want the best for this country but disagree on how to achieve it, you might just learn something.

    If these were new arguments you’d have more of a point, but we’ve been down the neoliberal economic road before as a nation and it’s frankly nonsense to suggest it will be any better this time.

    You’re essentially arguing the case for making all the same mistakes again and you wonder why I don’t take your points seriously.

    Also I don’t think I’ve accused anyone of eating babies, just of stripping workplace rights and cutting the spending power of the poorest workers.

  24. burt 25

    BeShakey

    Rich people with good accountants will only be stopped from distorting the tax system if rates are completely flat and there is no difference between taxation rates for separate entities such as individual tax, company tax, trustee income, beneficiary income etc. Progressive taxation is what provides the distortion opportunity from income splitting. As NZ has one of the lowest thresholds in the developed world when it comes to top tax rates – don’t fool yourself that the NZ tax system is good at avoiding distortions.

    Gareth Morgan – The Review and Flat Tax: No courage of conviction

    The most pleasing graph in the Tax Review’s recent report is the one that demonstrates the total futility of having a progressive personal income scale. We all know the lengths people go to in order to avoid paying more income tax – sheltering in Trusts and companies, splitting income with non-earning family members, moving into the black economy. We know that in aggregate that’s a hell of a dead weight weighing down on the economy as these folk and their accountants expend a lot of time and energy to avoid the grab of the taxman.

    But what’s not perhaps so well known is that successive governments with their staunch efforts to protect a progressive income scale have been defending a regime that achieves negligible redistribution. It is little more than a populist programme of futility.

  25. Draco T Bastard 26

    Rich people with good accountants will only be stopped from distorting the tax system if rates are completely flat and there is no difference between taxation rates for separate entities such as individual tax, company tax, trustee income, beneficiary income etc.

    You’re deluding yourself Burt. People will still try and make sure that they’re paying as little tax as possible. The rich will still have the advantage because they can afford accountants and lawyers.

  26. fraser 27

    DTB

    yeah – how often does an accountant hear the line – ” nah, stop there, im only paying as much tax as anyone else”

  27. Jimbo 28

    Felix –

    Your characterisation of any policy that disagrees with raising minimum wage right now as “stripping workers rights”, and your refusal to even acknowlegde that some wellmeaning social policies may have negative side-effects (which should also be considered) is tiresome.

    It’s total rubbish to dismiss this sort of discussion as being “neoliberal” or the “same mistakes” we’ve previously made. This country HAS a minimum wage and no sensible commentator is asking for it to be abandoned. You on the other hand seem to believe that raising the minimum wage is a costless exercise (or if it has a cost, some rich business owner will bear it).

    Listen carefully – raising the minimum wage could lead to further unemployed. The people who would be made unemployed are the people who can least affort it (already minimum wage). The centre-Left is crying out for advocates to give up on beating the drum and come up with some insightful and meaningful ideas that at least acknowledge the importance of industry.

    (Funnily enough, your new article today about the estimates of the job losses that will result AGREES with the point that’s being made…! You’ve decided to quote the stats because you like the fact the estimates of job losses are low. Answer the question though – do you concede that the model is correct? Raising the min wage by too much leads to job losses???)

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    Given the headlines around the recent findings of the ‘independent’ review of Kāinga Ora by Bill English, you might assume this post will be about social housing, Kāinga Ora’s most prominent role. While that is indeed something that requires defending, I want to talk about the other core purpose of ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    5 days ago
  • Baby You're A Rich Man
    “How does it feel to beOne of the beautiful peopleNow that you know who you areWhat do you want to beAnd have you traveled very far?Far as the eye can see”Yesterday the ACT party faithful were regaled with craven boasts, sneers, and demands for even more at their annual rally.That ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Stopping a future Labour government from shutting down gas exploration
    A defiant Resources Minister Shane Jones has responded to Saturday’s environmental protests by ending Labour’s offshore oil exploration ban and calling for long-term contracts with any successful explorers. The purpose would be to prevent a future Labour Government from reversing any licence the explorers might hold. Jones sees a precedent ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #23
    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 2, 2024 thru Sat, June 8, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is Yale Climate Connection's Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths, by ...
    6 days ago
  • Fission by the river
    This is where we ate our lunch last Wednesday. Never mind your châteaux and castles and whatnot, we like to enjoy a baguette in the shadow of a nuclear power plant; a station that puts out more than twice as much as Manapouri using nothing more than tiny atoms to bring ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Fact Brief – Is the ocean acidifying?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is the ocean acidifying? Acidification of oceans ...
    7 days ago
  • 20,000+ on Queen St.
    The largest protest I ever went on was in the mid 90s. There were 10,000 people there that day, and I’ve never forgotten it. An enormous mass of people, chanting together. Stretching block after block, bringing traffic to a halt.But I can’t say that’s the biggest protest I’ve ever been ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Josh Drummond's Columns
    Hi there,I wanted to put all of Josh Drummond’s Webworm pieces all in one place. I love that he writes for Webworm — and all of these are a good read!David.Why Are So Many “Christians” Hellbent on Being Horrible?Why do so many objectively hideous people declare themselves “Christian”?Meeting the Master ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    7 days ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday soliloquy and weekend Pick ‘n’ Mix for June 8/9
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: On reflection, the six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty this week were:The Government-driven freeze in building new classrooms, local roads and water networks in order to save cash for tax cuts is frustrating communities facing massive population ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • The no-vision thing
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    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • When Journalists are Disingenuous
    Hi,One of the things I like the most about Webworm is to be able to break down the media and journalism a little, and go behind the scenes.This is one of those times.Yesterday an email arrived in my inbox from journalist Jonathan Milne, who is managing editor at Newsroom.I don’t ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Me, elsewhere: Just say you’ll do the thing
    Wrote something over at 1/200 on a familiar theme of mine: The way we frame the economy as a separate, sacred force which must be sacrificed to, the way we talk about criminals as invaders who must be repelled, the constant othering of people on the benefit, people not in ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 week ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted
    A nice bit of news today: my 4600-word historical fantasy-horror piece, A Voyage Among the Vandals, has been accepted by Phobica Books (https://www.phobicabooks.co.uk/books) for their upcoming Pirate Horror anthology, Shivering Timbers. This one is set in the Mediterranean, during the mid-fifth century AD. Notable for having one of history’s designated ...
    1 week ago
  • Ministerial conflicts of interest
    Since the National government came to power, it has been surrounded by allegations of conflicts of interest. Firstly, there's the fast-track law, which concentrates power in the hands of three Ministers, some of whom have received donations from companies whose projects they will be deciding on. Secondly, there's the close ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The 2024 Budget Forecasts Are Gloomy Prognosis About The Next Three Years.
    There was no less razzamatazz about the 2024 Budget than about earlier ones. Once again the underlying economic analysis got lost. It deserves more attention.Just to remind you, the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update (BEFU), is the Treasury’s independent assessment and so can be analysed by other competent economists (although ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • A government that can't see twenty feet ahead
    There are two failings that consistently characterise a National government. One is a lack of imagination, the other is their willingness to look after their mates, no matter what harm it might do to everyone else.This is how we come to have thousands of enormous trucks carving up our roads. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • A post I hope is incorrect
    In May, we learned that National MP David MacLeod had "forgotten" to declare $178,000 in electoral donations. Filing a donation return which is false in any material particular is a crime, and the Electoral Commission has now referred MacLeod to police, since they're the only people who are allowed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Māori Cannot Re-Write New Zealand’s Constitution By Stealth.
    The Kotahitanga Parliament 1897: A Māori Parliament – at least in the guise of a large and representative body dedicated to describing the shape of New Zealand’s future from a Māori perspective – would be a very good idea.THE DEMAND for a “Māori Parliament” needs to be carefully unpicked. Some Pakeha, ...
    1 week ago
  • Cowpats and Colonials.
    Dumbtown, is how my friend Gerard refers to people like ZB listeners - he’s not wrong.Normally on a Friday I start by looking at Mike Hosking’s moronic reckons of the week which he vomits down the throats of his audience like helpless baby birds in a nest, grateful for the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on cutting the sick leave of vulnerable workers
    Should sick leave be part and parcel of the working conditions from Day One on the job, just like every other health and safety provision? Or should access to sick leave be something that only gradually accumulates, depending on how long a worker has been on the payroll? If enacted ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Move: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
    So long as we live in a democracy, economic policy can never be anything other than social-democratic.“HEH!”, snorted Laurie, as he waved his debit card over the EFTPOS machine. “Same price as last week. I guess budgets aren’t what they used to be.”“I wouldn’t know,” replied the young barman, wearily, ...
    1 week ago
  • In Search Of Unity.
    Kotahitanga: New Zealand’s future belongs to those who do not fear a nation carved out of unity and solidarity, and are willing to trust the carvers. Some New Zealanders will be required to step up, and others, perhaps for the first time in their lives, will be expected to step ...
    1 week ago
  • Weekly Roundup 7-June-2024
    Welcome to another Friday roundup! Here are some recent links and stories that caught our eye, perfectly timed for your watercooler discussions and weekend reading. As always feel free to share more in the comments. Our header image this week is by Patrick Reynolds, and shows Te Komititanga from above. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 week ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 7
    As Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, ACT’s Brooke van Velden is fronting proposed changes to sick pay regulations and The Holiday Act. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Did we boil the oceans by cutting pollution?
    Lowering aerosol emissions from shipping has altered clouds, with potentially drastic effects. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: Here’s the top six news items of note in climate news for Aotearoa-NZ this week, and a discussion above between Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer:New evidence is increasingly pointing at efforts ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #23 2024
    Open access notables Abrupt reduction in shipping emission as an inadvertent geoengineering termination shock produces substantial radiative warming, Yuan et al., Communications Earth & Environment: Human activities affect the Earth’s climate through modifying the composition of the atmosphere, which then creates radiative forcing that drives climate change. The warming effect ...
    1 week ago
  • Fragments
    The best observation I’ve read this week about the deep, profound harm Trump is doingTrump has hurled threats and smears at witnesses, jurors and the judge (including his family)... [he] has tried to intimidate witnesses and delegitimize the New York courts as corrupt. In continuing to incite his mob (that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • March for Nature
    Do do do do do do do doDo do do do do doDi di di di di di di di di di diNature enter me…In 2018 the Labour lead government banned new oil and gas exploration in Aotearoa. A change welcomed by those who care deeply for our environment and ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 6
    The Transport Minister is trying to push through urgent legislation that would allow him to change emissions standards for car imports without approval from Parliament, after only consulting car importers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Just as two major reports showed fossil fuel burning was warming the planet to dangerous levels and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • A Better Broadway: Act 2
    This is a guest post by reader Grant A, the second of a pair about how to fix Broadway. If you missed the beginning of the show, here’s the link to Act 1 from yesterday. Yesterday, I discussed changing traffic circulation around Broadway in Newmarket. This included implementing a car-free ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • National breaks another health promise
    National has broken another manifesto health promise, apparently to save only $550,000. It will now train an additional 25 med students next year rather than the 50 it promised. This comes on top of the delays caused by National’s coalition partners in pushing ahead with the Waikato Medical School and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Climate Adam: Coping as the world’s best known climate scientist
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Katharine Hayhoe is quite possibly the world's most famous climate scientist. She's produced wide ranging research, and communicated climate change with ...
    1 week ago
  • SIS “evidence” isn’t, again
    Back in 2016, then-Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne cancelled a New Zealand woman's passport, claiming she was a terrorist. The basis for his decision was a secret briefing by the SIS, which claimed that if she was allowed to travel, the woman would "engage with individuals who encourage acts of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • As Low As You Go
    Taking you as low as you goAs low as you goA sense of Déjà vu this morning. How many times have I begun a newsletter, “just when you thought they couldn’t go any lower…” Only for the groundhog to reappear, more pissed off than the day before.Another day with headlines ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago

  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
    New Zealand and Philippines are continuing to elevate our relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “The leaders of New Zealand and Philippines agreed in April 2024 to lift our relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership by 2026,” Mr Peters says. “Our visit to Manila this week has been an excellent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Paid Parental Leave increase to help families
    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Brooke van Velden says paid parental leave increase from 1 July will put more money in the pockets of Kiwi parents and give them extra support as they take precious time off to bond with their newborns. The increase takes effect from 1 July 2024 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Defence increases UN Command commitment
    The number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is increasing, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.  NZDF will deploy up to 41 additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend 'Summit on Peace in Ukraine' in Switzerland
    New Zealand will be represented at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine by Minister Mark Mitchell in Switzerland later this week.    “New Zealand strongly supports Ukraine’s efforts to build a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Minister Mitchell is a senior Cabinet Minister and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Big step forward for M.bovis programme
    Farmers’ hard work is paying off in the fight against Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) with the move to a national pest management plan marking strong progress in the eradication effort, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The plan, approved by the Coalition Government, was proposed by the programme partners DairyNZ, Beef ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Build To Rent opening welcomed by Housing Minister
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Housing Minister Chris Bishop formally opened a new Build to Rent development in Mt Wellington this morning. “The Prime Minister and I were honoured to cut the ribbon of Resido, New Zealand’s largest Build to Rent development to date.  “Build to Rent housing, like the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Agriculture to come out of the ETS
    The Government will deliver on its election commitment to take agriculture out of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) and will establish a new Pastoral Sector Group to constructively tackle biogenic methane, Coalition Government Agriculture and Climate Change Ministers say. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand farmers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Luxon Tokyo-bound for political and business visit
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will travel to Japan from 16-20 June, his first visit as Prime Minister.   “Japan is incredibly important to New Zealand's prosperity. It is the world’s fourth largest economy, and our fourth largest export destination.  “As you know, growing the economy is my number one priority. A strong economy means ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Bayly travels to Singapore for scam prevention meetings
    Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Andrew Bayly, travels to Singapore today to attend scam and fraud prevention meetings. “Scams are a growing international problem, and we are not immune in New Zealand. Organised criminal networks operate across borders, and we need to work with our Asia-Pacific partners to tackle ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More help for homeowners impacted by severe weather
    People who were displaced by severe weather events in 2022 and 2023 will be supported by the extension of Temporary Accommodation Assistance through to 30 June 2025. Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says the coalition Government is continuing to help to those who were forced out of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    Removing the ban on petroleum exploration beyond onshore Taranaki is part of a suite of proposed amendments to the Crown Minerals Act to deal with the energy security challenges posed by rapidly declining natural gas reserves, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “Natural gas is critical to keeping our lights on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand and Malaysia to intensify connections
    New Zealand and Malaysia intend to intensify their long-standing, deep connections, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “Malaysia is one of New Zealand’s oldest friends in South-East Asia – and both countries intend to get more out of the relationship," Mr Peters says.   "Our connections already run deep and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Ending contracted emergency housing motels in Rotorua
    The end of Contracted Emergency Housing (CEH) motels in Rotorua is nearing another milestone as the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announces it will not renew consents for six of the original 13 motels, Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka says. The government is committed to stop using CEH ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • First Home Grant closure exemptions
    The Government is providing a narrow exemption from the discontinuation of the First Home Grant for first home buyers who may face unfair situations as a result, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. “The First Home Grant scheme was closed with immediate effect on 22 May 2024, with savings being reprioritised ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Faster consenting for flood protection projects in Hawke's Bay
    Work to increase flood resilience in Hawke’s Bay can start sooner, thanks to a new fast consenting process, Minister for Emergency Management and Recovery Mark Mitchell and Environment Minister Penny Simmonds say.  “Faster consenting means work to build stop banks, spillways and other infrastructure can get underway sooner, increasing flood ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Judge Craig Coxhead and Nathan Milner newest Māori Land Court appointments
    Tangata tū tangata ora, tangata noho tangata mate. Minister for Māori Development Tama Potaka today announced acting Deputy Chief Judge Craig Coxhead as the new Deputy Chief Judge, and Nathan Milner as Judge of the Māori Land Court. "I want to congratulate Judge Coxhead and Mr Milner on their appointments ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade
    Trade Minister Todd McClay and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts, today signed three Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) agreements that will boost investment, grow New Zealand’s digital and green economies and increase trade between New Zealand and the 14 IPEF partners. IPEF’s partners represent 40 per cent of global GDP ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade and cooperation
    Trade Minister Todd McClay and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts, today signed three Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) agreements that will boost investment, grow New Zealand’s digital and green economies and increase trade between New Zealand and the 14 IPEF partners. IPEF’s partners represent 40 per cent of global GDP ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago

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