web analytics

Standard scoop: Another senior Nat failed to disclose conflicts

Written By: - Date published: 10:39 am, October 28th, 2008 - 31 comments
Categories: corruption, economy, election 2008, john key, national - Tags:

Last month, Key lied when he was asked whether he had more Tranzrail shares, over which he had failed to declare his conflict of interest. On Sunday, it was revealed on The Standard that Key had also held shares in Fletcher Challenge Forests, which was campaigning for the Government to buy the rails off Tranzrail, at the same time as he was using his powers as an MP to gain information on the prospects for that sale. He didn’t reveal that conflict of interest, either. But Key wasn’t the only Nat breaking the rules.

In between 2002 and 2005, Gerry Brownlee asked numerous written and oral questions, and gave numerous speeches about Contact Energy, and about government policy that relates to Contact Energy’s share price. He often criticised policies that would reduce Contact’s profitability – environmental standards, Kyoto, the establishment of the Electricity Commission – and asked questions on specific Contact projects.

Here is an example from 2002 of just one of the instances in which Brownlee used his powers as an MP to obtain information on Contact Energy:

Gerry Brownlee: In the light of that answer, why has Contact Energy put on hold its combined-cycle gas plant planned for Otahuhu [Hansard,8 Oct, 2002]

Here is another from 2003

Gerry Brownlee: Can the Minister confirm that the Government is considering establishing a systems operator who will buy and sell all generated electricity, doing away with the market and destroying all incentives for investment in new generation that we desperately need?

and one more from 2003

Gerry Brownlee: Is the Minister aware that similar comments from the Prime Minister last week wiped millions of dollars off the capital value of Contact Energy; can he tell us whether he has discussed those threats with the Minister for State Owned Enterprises; and can he also tell us how bringing generators to their knees helps the current crisis?

He seems a little upset about the drop in Contact’s share price, doesn’t he? Well he might, because Gerry Brownlee was a Contact shareholder; he had a financial interest in Contact’s performance and share price. In none of the instances I’ve seen where Brownlee refers to Contact or its interests does he reveal he is a shareholder. He first made it public when the Pecuniary Interests Register came into force in 2006. Prior to that, he did not declare his conflict of interest as he was required to do, even as he used his privileges as an MP to obtain information that gave him special information on the value of those shares.

I discovered Brownlee’s shareholding while examining the share registers of eight New Zealand companies. My primary purpose was to ascertain whether John Key had any holdings in those companies (more on those holdings later); I only checked whether Brownlee has a holding in Contact on a whim. So what are the odds that there are not more, undiscovered, conflicts of interest that the Nats have kept secret?

As with the secret agenda tapes, what we are seeing here is almost certainly just a small snapshot of the full picture. Even more concerning than the secret conflicts of interest that have been discovered is the knowledge that this is just the tip of the iceberg.

[Update: Brownlee’s shares disappear in 2006, when he creates a family trust. Presumably, the shares went into the trust. Parliamentary procedure expert Idiot/Savant argues that, while listing an interest in the pecuniary interests register (as Brownlee has done with his trust) removes the need to reveal conflicts of interest under SO166, a conflict arising from assets within a trust that are not named in the register still needs to be revealed. To put it bluntly, if Brownlee stills owns the shares in his family trust, he still needs to reveal the conflict of interest notwithstanding that he has registered his trust.]

31 comments on “Standard scoop: Another senior Nat failed to disclose conflicts”

  1. yl 1

    Great work Steve,

    Keep the crime busting going. It might not be front page stuff but it is more straw on the camels back. (the camel being National, and the straw being more lies and corruption).

  2. NeillR 2

    even as he used his privileges as an MP to obtain information that gave him special information on the value of those shares
    Howso? I haven’t seen a single piece yet which shows anything other than questions being asked in parliament – a public forum, which is televised. So at the same time Brownlee asked the questions they became a matter of public record and as such, the market was fully aware. Do you really have any understanding of markets and disclosure?

  3. Quoth the Raven 3

    If Gerry Brownlee bashing a pensioner didn’t sully National party supporters opinion of him I doubt this will.

  4. Ianmac 4

    Good Stuff Steve.
    NeillR: Should Bill Ralston declare his interest in John Key as his media trainer, when asking questions on public TV?
    Should David Farrar declare his interest in being a National Party blogger, when appearing as an “independent” commentator on TV or Radio?
    Should Gerry or John declare a pecuniary interest when asking questions in Parliament (which is a privileged position which others outside do not have)? This even before any money is made or shares traded which would lift it to greater more serious levels.
    I ask as a non legal non economist person.

  5. NeillR.The standing orders are clear – it doesn’t matter that these statements and questions go on the public record, it is that someone with a financial interest in the company is asking questions without revealing that interest which is the violation of the rules.

  6. vidiot 6

    NeillR – No he (SP) doesn’t.

    If he (Brownlee) was asking questions behind closed doors, he would have a conflict of interest and could be in breech of insider trading rules. However, as you (NeillR) has pointed out, all matters in the chambers are public record, so no wrong doing can be found.

    Now the questions I would like to ask SP is why do you have such a beef with our politicians who are willing to back NZ companies ? Do you not think it’s a good idea to back NZ made ?

    Next you will be assumpting that because Brownlee has shares in Contact, that he can’t argue against the compulsory introduction of CFB’s as the impact of switching over to these will see Contact’s profit’s lowered. Or promoting the electrification of Auckland Rail, as Contact might be the ones powering that.

    [this has nothing to do with insider trading rules. It is about the rules of Parliament. MPs are given privileges, powers of inquiry that ordinary people don’t have, they have to abide by rules on the use of those powers. MPs are allowed to speak on any issue but they must reveal any conflict of interest when they do so. Brownlee and Key have failed to do so. SP]

  7. coge 7

    Good on NZ politicians for investing in local companies. Sure, some of these investments turned out to be complete dogs, but good on the politicians for backing them. I’m reasonably confident that some Labour pollies have adopted the same approach.

  8. NeillR 8

    NeillR: Should Bill Ralston declare his interest in John Key as his media trainer, when asking questions on public TV?
    I suppose he should if Paul Holmes declares his interest in sleeping over at Helen and Peter’s.

  9. Janet 9

    Declaring a conflict of interest when discussing anything you could potentially benefit financially from, is generally an ethical issue, and, increasingly, a legal one. Best advice is always to declare in the interests of transparency and others can judge whether it is relevant or not.

    Notable examples when people don’t declare conflicts of interest when ethically they should, in my opinion, include some writers on a particular well-known weekly magazine, several contributors to the op ed pages of the newspapers, the sacked Hawkes Bay DHB, as well as the MPs already mentioned.

  10. T-rex 10

    Does the moron Brownlee still own those shares Steve? Because if so, I’d say his behaviour earlier this year during the “Power Crisis OMG WTF That Wasn’t”, namely endlessly talking up the degree of peril the country faced, was fairly self serving. No doubt he wanted to make Labour look bad – that’s self servingness that I can accept from the opposition. But did you see how much money Contact made during the high spot prices? Clyde and Roxborough are basically run of river dams – you can’t just shut them down. If power is cheap, contacts profits are lower.

    I’m mostly bitter because someone who is so clearly an ill-informed idiot leveraged his moronic opinions into more airtime than anyone not accused of blowing up a childcare centre should ever receive.

    Good ol’ Gerry. Tirelessly championing the dire times in the electricity industry… well, you know, at least right up until the point that it rained. Durn rain.

    In fact, when it comes right down to it, how the f*ck can a political parties energy spokesperson EVER have shares in a power company without a conflict of interest, especially in a semi-regulated market. What a joke. I now dislike him even more, and I already disliked him quite a lot.

  11. rave 11

    Have these questions been put to Key and Brownlee by Francesca Mold yet?
    I would like to see Key derailed and Brownlee getting a charge up his whatsit.

  12. T-Rex. Impossible to know. He owned the shares in his own name in the 2006 register but in 2007 he had set up a trust and the shares had disappeared (presumably, but not provably, into the trust). for the purposes of the standing order, that’s ok, so it’s not a breach of the rules, but there should be questions about a shareholder in a power company using his power as Opposition Energy spokesperson trying to scare up a power crisis every year.

    captcha: ‘locked recounts’ are vision of New Zealand, post-election?

  13. rave.. Kevin Taylor responded to the Key story, said it was like saying an MP has a conflict of interest if they talk about petrol prices because they own a car. Not true of course. A conflict of interest arises from a special interest that person has, not something everyone has, and Key owned shares in a company campaigning for the Government to undertake a certain action (buy the rails) at the same time as he was asking questions about that action.

  14. NeillR 14

    SP, it’s not a conflict of interest. A conflict of interest would arise if he were a shareholder in a company – let’s say it made wind generated turbines for power consumption and then the government happened to buy those turbines.
    Or if a DHB decided to contract out part of it’s operation and the company that got the contract was run by that MP’s spouse. Or a conflict of interest might arise if someone was looking to gain residency and the MP in question invited the person along and got them to drop a wad of cash into the collection box and later they got given residency. Those are examples of conflicts of interest.

    [no, you just don’t understand the rules. Here is Standing Order 166(1)
    166 Declaration of financial interest
    (1) A member must, before participating in the consideration of any item of business [business means activity of Parliament], declare any financial interest that the member has in that business.
    If Key had a conflict of interest over his Tranzrail shares, and he conceded he did, then Brownlee had one over his Contact shares. SP]

  15. Daveski 15

    I know this is not a Labour site because LP says so and as much as I disagree with LP’s comments (he’s is openly Labour and says so) I respect his comments.

    But this line of attack contrasts vividly with SP’s line on Winston. Moreover, for this to be relevant, it would need to be accompanied by a similar analysis of the left MP’s to prove that this is of consequence.

    To be more constructive, I think the Standard is having a bit of an identity crisis. I understand the intended purpose but posts such as these illustrate it is less a left wing labour forum of like minded people and more of a surrogate pro-Labour site.

    Yes I have read the About pages 🙂

    But SP’s line of attack mean this site is becoming more Labour and less labour.

  16. Tane 16

    Daveski. SP, like the rest of us, opposes a National-led government. While in Auckland he had a look at the share register and found Nat MPs had been engaging in dodgy behaviour. He is now making that behaviour public.

    There’s no identity crisis here, just a bunch of National supporters who don’t like seeing their heroes exposed and, in your case, are desperate for a line.

  17. Danny 17

    “Is the Minister aware that similar comments from the Prime Minister last week wiped millions of dollars off the capital value of Contact Energy; can he tell us whether he has discussed those threats with the Minister for State Owned Enterprises; and can he also tell us how bringing generators to their knees helps the current crisis?”

    If Brownlee said that while he was an undisclosed shareholder, he is an idiot, and he is in trouble. Plain and simple.

    NeillR/Vidiot; this is not about “markets and disclosure”. It is not an accustion concerning securities law at all. It is about “conflicts” and “pecuriary interests” (the latter often needing a consideration of the ‘market price’ when the interest is non-direct, which is not the case here).

    Therefore, it is patently obvious that you are either 1. confused; or 2. politically motivated.

  18. Daveski. I’m a Green voter, always have been. Been a member since 2003. Inactive though.

    and I’m not sure how a post revealing the results of research I have conducted for the Standard on National MP’s conflicts of interest has anything to do with whether this site is broad Left or Labour

  19. Quoth the Raven 19

    There’s no identity crisis here, just a bunch of National supporters who don’t like seeing their heroes exposed and, in your case, are desperate for a line.

    Don’t worry DPF will soon provide them with their scripts.

  20. Daveski 20

    Tane/Sp

    Acknowledged your points although you are assuming I am a National supporter.

    I certainly don’t hero worship the Nats – I’ve been quite open about their public failings.

    Clearly, conflict of interest is a valid line of attack. However, this is far from an open case of corruption and as I’ve noted fails the test of whether this is something that is characteristic of just some MP’s or whether similar straw men could be created about Labour or other left MP’s.

    SP – you have acknowledged your Green status before. My comments are based on perception.

    To me, this looks like the left being desperate for a line given the polls.

    I’m not trolling, not trying to deflect, but it’s the equivalent of the Kiwis saying at least we won the haka against the Kangaroos.

  21. Danny 21

    Vidiot?NeillR,

    … and Brownlee can ask/state whatever he damn pleases about Contact as a shareholder and as a member of Parliament, provided he first discloses that interest.

    Securities law does not come into it unless he 1. becomes an information insider, and 2. acts on that information (disclosure of his interest is irrelevant to that point, and besides, it is not even close to what was suggested). You have both mistakenly (deliberately?) confused the two to create a higher threshold for wrongdoing.

    The test is simple.
    1. a member of Parliament; 2. an interest; 3. that interest not being disclosed; and 4. participation in business related to that interest.

  22. Akldnut 22

    NeillR – Daveski You can put up all the different scenarios and whine as much as you like but that dosn’t change the fact that they’ve both been snapped not conforming to parliamentary rules.

    Daveski you need to look at your third scenario again because
    1. The MP in question did not “get” anyone to drop off a wad of cash, it was a donation.
    2. He acknowledged having a form of dealing “as such” with this guy by passing it on to the next person as the rules state that he should. ( Look he ‘s following the rules and he’s not going to make any money out of it – unlike some dodgey pricks)
    3. The dude was hedging his bets by dropping of a wad of cash to national as well. (or was it a donation?…. mmmmm convenietly ommited again)

  23. Steve:
    He owned the shares in his own name in the 2006 register but in 2007 he had set up a trust and the shares had disappeared (presumably, but not provably, into the trust). for the purposes of the standing order, that’s ok, so it’s not a breach of the rules

    Really? SO 165 includes benefits to trusts in which the MP has an interest in the definition of a financial interest. And while SO 166 allows MPs to avoid declaring an interest already contained in the register, if the register simply lists the trust rather than the shares, then there is arguably still a duty to declare. Which likely makes some of his questions and debating points (particularly over climate change) over the last few years in breach of standing orders as well.

    You should do some more digging into this. The results would be fascinating, and help protect our democracy.

  24. Dancer 24

    Good work here Steve. And for those who are unclear on standing orders – they are the rules that MPs live by – and so are important (it was a breach of the SOs that got Winston sent to the priviliges select committee). This is what Mr Key said about SOs over the earler Tranzrail event on Sunrise (23 September)

    JK: at the time in 2002, when I came into Parliament, there wasn’t a pecuniary interest list to register it on so it didn’t work like that. The correct process for me to have followed was if there was a point at which I asked um, information about a company that I had a shareholding under a standing order, I should’ve declared that and ah, I failed to do that. I was, that was a genuine error on my part.

    Now Mr Brownlee is an experienced politician so he should have known better (so should Mr Key but that’s a different story!)

  25. the sprout 25

    Great stuff. If only we had like, journalists, who could do this stuff too.

  26. Danny 26

    Yes quite.

    Of all people, Mr Brownlee is in absolutely no position to downplay the importance of standing orders or the significance of this apparently egregious breach.

  27. Ianmac 27

    Idiot Savant: Having great respect for your perceptions , I think your input is a great help. How do you think the story should be unfolded.

  28. randal 28

    handed out in free broadsheets every morning at wellington and auckland railway stations

  29. Sarah 29

    I think Steve doesn’t like people having shares in the first place. Oh those filthy capitalists.

    [I own shares. Would a perfect world not have this system of wealth ownership? Sure but that doesn’t make it immoral to own shares in the existing system. SP]

  30. Steve,

    Your checking back some and I’d like know whether other related-to-stock issues have been taken up by the mp.. looking for options.. and if available data or details whether option/s and/or option contract rights issued with any such financial asset/s..? The former could be regular to shareholders, the latter privileged and – in the circumstances you describe – most definitely in need of disclosure..

  31. Ianmac 31

    Jerry Brownlee has answered the Standard’s contention in the Press today.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/thepress/0a28824.html?source=nav
    Says that there was never any requirement to declare.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • “This is a genuine crisis situation”: Minister Shane Jones talks about drought in Northland
    Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones was on RNZ’s Morning Report talking about the recent droughts in the Northland region and what the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is doing to alleviate its impact. The PGF recently announced a funding of $2 million for temporary water supplies to Kaikohe and Kaitaia, ...
    23 hours ago
  • Shane Jones defends water storage and real meat, hits out at local councils and director James Camer...
    Speaking to The Country’s Jamie Mackay, New Zealand First MP and Cabinet Minister Shane Jones talks water storage, plant-based meat imitation, and superstar Hollywood director James Cameron. While water storage may have its critics, Minister Jones defended the scheme by saying: “unless we invest and continue to invest” in this ...
    1 day ago
  • Shane Jones: Iwi leaders are sell-outs for blocking water action
    Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones is accusing northern iwi leaders of selling out Māori by voting for ideologically-driven court cases rather than practical steps to increase water supply. “I just think that iwi leaders who think that water issues are going to be solved by perpetually fighting in the ...
    1 day ago
  • Government-funded security system in dairies foils robbery
    A dairy owner in St Kilda, Dunedin was delighted to hear that an attempted robbery of his establishment was foiled by a government-funded security system. Sean Lee was delighted at how well the anti-theft smoke system worked. When a knife-wielding man entered the store, the shop assistant immediately pressed a ...
    2 days ago
  • Customs nabs more than 3 tonnes of drugs bound for New Zealand in 2019
    Customs says it stopped more than three tonnes of illegal drugs coming into New Zealand last year. This includes 1,180kg of methamphetamine, 329kg of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine precursors, which could have been converted into 246kg of methamphetamine, 739kg and 6469 pills of MDMA or Ecstasy and 60kg of cocaine. Offshore, ...
    2 days ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund pays for temporary water supply in Northland
    Hon. Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development Up to $2 million will be allocated from the Provincial Growth Fund to set up temporary water supplies in Kaikohe and Kaitaia where drought is biting hard, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. Drought conditions in Northland have led to ...
    2 days ago
  • Christchurch trial new defense against fleeing drivers
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Law and Order New Zealand First welcomes the deployment of an Eagle Police helicopter in Christchurch in what is a step towards fulfilling its long-standing goal to increase the use of police helicopters for the front line, particularly in addressing the scourge of fleeing drivers. Christchurch leads ...
    3 days ago
  • Week That Was: A Government of progress
    It may have been the first sitting week of 2020, but our Government is already in full-swing - managing a strong economy, investing in infrastructure, and working to break the cycle of homelessness. Read below for all that, and more... ...
    6 days ago
  • Winston Peters calls Opposition “lemon suckers” during debate on gang numbers
    In a heated debate in Parliament, National's Deputy Leader Paula Bennett claimed that “nearly 1600 patched gang members have been added” since the Coalition Government took power. To illustrate her point, she altered a chart used by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to show her government’s progress in housing to instead ...
    6 days ago
  • Speech by the Rt Hon Winston Peters at Parliament’s Opening 2020 ‘We all Need Insurance’
    Speech by the Rt Hon Winston Peters at Parliament’s Opening 2020 "We all need insurance" This year New Zealanders are going to have a clear choice to make That choice is between: Optimism versus pessimism; More progress versus back to the future; Investment versus divestment; Unity versus division. New Zealand ...
    1 week ago
  • 8 ways the Big New Zealand Upgrade will change New Zealand
    The Government has announced the biggest investment in New Zealand’s infrastructure in a generation with the New Zealand Upgrade Programme. ...
    1 week ago
  • Shane Jones slams Auckland Airport’s board over runway closures
    Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones has slammed the Board of Auckland Airport following the airport's runway closing twice within two weeks due to maintenance. Around 2,000 passengers were affected by last week’s runway closures, according to 1NEWS. Another maintenance closure on January 24 saw two international flights and three domestic flights ...
    1 week ago
  • Public media business case a practical step
    Jenny Marcroft, Spokesperson for Broadcasting New Zealand First supports the commissioning of a business case to assess the viability of a new public media entity. “A strong media environment is critical for a healthy democracy. New Zealand First is a strong supporter of a diverse, independent media,” New Zealand First broadcasting spokesperson ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Waitangi
    This week, the focus was on Waitangi - a great opportunity to reflect on who we are, and who we want to be as a nation. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • West Coast tech firms and iwi get Provincial Growth Fund cash boost
    Pounamou and technology industries in the West Coast region are set to receive more than $2 million in Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) funding. This was announced by the Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau during Waitangi Day commemorations in Hokitika. He said $800,000 would be given to Development West ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Unemployment down, wage growth up proof of strong labour market
    Clayton Mitchell MP, New Zealand First spokesperson for Labour and Industrial Relations Unemployment and wage growth numbers released by Stats NZ today demonstrate a labour market in good shape with unemployment falling to 4.0%, the underutilisation rate falling to an 11 year low, and wage growth at a 10-year high ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First welcomes official opening of Te Rau Aroha Museum
    Hon. Ron Mark, New Zealand First Spokesperson for Defence New Zealand First Spokesperson for Defence Ron Mark, welcomes the official opening of Te Rau Aroha, a new museum at Waitangi Treaty Grounds as part of our Coalition Agreement. “It is a great honour to be part of an effective Government ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech: Opening of Waitangi Museum Te Rau Aroha
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister Good morning, Let us start with important acknowledgements. First, this special day, in remembrance of the 28th Maori Battalion, is also to honour all those men and women who have risked their lives in the service of our country. Second, special guest Robert ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters: “New Zealand will look to build on relationship with the UK”
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand will look to build on its relationship with the United Kingdom and recommit to the European Union, after the country officially left the continental union recently. The Minister said New Zealand already cooperates closely with Britain on defence and security issues and has ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government charters Air NZ flight to assist Wuhan departure
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Foreign Affairs The Government has agreed with Air New Zealand to charter an aircraft to assist New Zealanders leaving Wuhan, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced.  The aircraft will have capacity for around 300 passengers and will fly from Wuhan to ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Dargaville pontoon to be upgraded
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund will invest $4 million for Kaipara District Council to upgrade the Dargaville pontoon, the first in its plan to improve wharves on Kaipara Harbour, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Regional ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Up to $12.7m for Northland water projects
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Government will provide up to $12.7 million to make Northland more resilient in the face of extreme weather, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Water is ...
    3 weeks ago

  • PM speech at Parliamentary Chinese New Year celebration 2020
    Nǐn hǎo (Hello in Mandarin). Xīn Nián Kuài Lè (Happy New Year in Mandarin) Néi Hóu (Hello in Cantonese). Sun Nin Fai Lok (Happy New Year in Cantonese) Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Thank you for your invitation to attend this celebration today. I would like to acknowledge ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Tougher penalties for gun crime a step closer
    Tougher penalties for gun crime are a step closer with the passage of firearms reform legislation through another stage in Parliament. The Arms Legislation Bill has tonight passed its Second Reading. “The changes have one objective - to prevent firearms falling into the wrong hands,” said Police Minister Stuart Nash. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Arms Legislation Bill: Second Reading
    Introduction Mr Speaker We all know why we are here today. It has been a long journey. The journey did not actually begin on 15 March 2019. It began on 30 June 1997. Almost 23 years ago, Justice Sir Thomas Thorp told us what was wrong with our firearms legislation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • New era for vocational education
    The Government’s work to put trades and vocational education back on the agenda took another major step forward today with the passing of the Education (Vocational Education and Training Reform) Amendment Bill, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “This is a watershed day for trades and vocational education. These law changes formalise ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Bill to Amend the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Act
    Speeding up the return of Christchurch regeneration activities to local leadership is behind the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Amendment Bill introduced to Parliament today by Minister Megan Woods. “As we approach nine years since the February 2011 earthquake in Canterbury, and with the transition to local leadership well underway, the time ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Milford Track to partly reopen after storm damage
    Hundreds of New Zealanders and international visitors will be able to get back out into nature with the Milford Track partially reopening next week, after extensive assessments and repairs, the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. The popular Great Walk has been closed since 3 February after an extreme ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Government drives low-emissions transport momentum
    Up to 110 new EV chargers nationwide in cities and regions 50 electric vehicles for ride-sharing The Government is helping deliver more infrastructure and options for low emissions transport through new projects, Energy and Resources Minister Dr Megan Woods says. Tauranga, Nelson, Levin, New Plymouth and Oamaru are just some ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Kiwis better off under Coalition Government
    New Zealanders are increasingly better off under this Government as wages rise and families have more disposable income, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. Stats NZ reported today that average household disposable incomes after housing costs rose 4.9% in 2019. This was the highest rise in four years and came as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Another step towards restoring rights for screen production workers
    All New Zealanders need to have their voices heard at work to ensure we have an inclusive and productive economy. Today we introduce a Bill to do this for workers in the New Zealand screen industry, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. “The Screen Industry Workers Bill will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Enhanced Taskforce Green for Southland and South Otago
    The Government has announced further help for the Southland and Otago regions to speed up recovery efforts from the floods.  “I’ve approved Enhanced Taskforce Green (ETFG), making $500,000 available to help with the clean-up in Fiordland, Southland, and the Clutha district in Otago,” Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni said.  ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Employers and Industry take the lead to connect students to vocational education
    Following the announcement that more than 340 schools will be funded to run events promoting vocational education, the Government has announced it will fund a further 257 events to be run by employers and industry. “These industry-run events will allow more than 30,000 students to connect with more than 2,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Rental reforms a step closer with the introduction of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill
    Today the Government is making progress on a fairer and more secure rental market for renters and landlords with the introduction of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill in Parliament.  “This Bill includes a series of reforms to improve the wellbeing of the 609,700 households that live in rented homes, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Biosecurity Minister announces world first eradication of pea weevil
    A Government programme to wipe out pea weevil has achieved a world first, with Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor today announcing the successful eradication of the noxious pest from Wairarapa. This means the nearly four-year ban on pea plants and pea straw was lifted today. Commercial and home gardeners can again grow ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Temporary Accommodation Service activated for Southland flooding
    Southland residents hit by flooding caused by heavy rainfall can now access help finding temporary accommodation with the Government activating the Temporary Accommodation Service, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare announced today. “The Temporary Accommodation Service (TAS) has been activated by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to help ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Bridges: Over-hyped and under-delivered
    “Is that it?” That’s Finance Minister Grant Robertson’s response to Simon Bridges’ much-hyped economic speech today. “Simon Bridges just gave the most over-hyped and under-delivered speech that I can remember during my time in politics,” Grant Robertson said. “It’s not surprising. Simon Bridges literally said on the radio this morning ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Police to trial eye in the sky in Christchurch
    A trial deployment of the Police Eagle helicopter in Christchurch will test whether the aircraft would make a significant difference to crime prevention and community safety. “The Bell 429 helicopter will be based in Christchurch for five weeks, from 17 February to 20 March,” said Police Minister Stuart Nash. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Momentum of trade talks continues with visits to promote Pacific and Middle East links
    The Government has kept up the pace of its work to promote New Zealand’s trade interests and diversify our export markets, with visits to Fiji and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker. Building momentum to bring the PACER Plus trade and development agreement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Coalition Govt’s investment in Customs nets record drugs haul: 3 tonnes stopped at borders in 2019
    The Coalition Government’s investment in a strong border and disrupting transnational organised crime produced record results for stopping drugs in 2019, says Minister of Customs Jenny Salesa. The illegal drugs were seized at the New Zealand border by Customs, and overseas by Customs’ international border partners before the drugs could ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Separated scenic cycleway starts
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today kicked off construction of a separated cycleway alongside Tamaki Drive. A two-way separated cycleway will be built along the northern side of Tamaki Drive, between the Quay Street Cycleway extension and Ngapipi Road. There will be a separate walking path alongside. Phil Twyford said giving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Earthquake-Prone Building loan scheme: eligibility criteria announced
    Owner-occupiers of unit and apartments living in earthquake-prone buildings will have certainty about the financial support they’ll be eligible for with the release of criteria for an upcoming assistance scheme, Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa says. The Residential Earthquake-Prone Building Financial Assistance Scheme will help unit owners facing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Travel restrictions to remain in place as coronavirus precaution
    Temporary restrictions on travel from China will remain in place as a precautionary measure to protect against the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. The restrictions which prevent foreign nationals travelling from, or transiting through, mainland China from entering New Zealand have been extended for a further 8 days. This position ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Over $1 million to help Tairāwhiti youth into employment
    Employment Minister Willie Jackson announced today that Tairāwhiti rangatahi will benefit from an investment made by the Government’s He Poutama Rangatahi (HPR) scheme. The funding will go to the Tautua Village, Kauneke programme and the Matapuna Supported Employment Programme which will fund 120 rangatahi over two years. “Both programmes work ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • School attendance has to improve
    All parents and caregivers need to ensure that their children go to school unless they are sick, Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin said today. “The school attendance results for 2019 show, across the board, a drop in the number of students going to school regularly,” the Minister says. “Apart from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Crown and Moriori sign a Deed of Settlement
    A Deed of Settlement agreeing redress for historical Treaty claims has been signed by the Crown and Moriori at Kōpinga Marae on Rēkohu (Chatham Islands) today, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little has announced. Moriori have a tradition of peace that extends back over 600 years. This settlement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Waikato Expressway driving towards completion
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today with Māori King Tuheitia Pōtatau Te Wherowhero VII officially opened the country’s newest road, the $384 million Huntly section of the Waikato Expressway. The 15km four-lane highway with side and central safety barriers takes State Highway 1 east of Huntly town, across lowlands and streams ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • 3400 New Zealanders treated in first year of new hepatitis C treatment
    The rapid uptake of life-saving new hepatitis C medicine Maviret since it was funded by PHARMAC a year ago means the elimination of the deadly disease from this country is a realistic goal, Health Minister David Clark says. Hepatitis C is a blood-borne virus which attacks the liver, proving fatal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Kaupapa Māori approach for homelessness
      Kaupapa Māori will underpin the Government’s new plan to deal with homelessness announced by the Prime Minister in Auckland this morning. “Māori are massively overrepresented among people experiencing homelessness, so, to achieve different outcomes for Māori, we have to do things very differently,” says the Minister of Māori Development ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government steps up action to prevent homelessness
    1000 new transitional housing places delivered by end of year to reduce demand for emergency motel accommodation. Introduce 25% of income payment, after 7 days, for those in emergency motel accommodation to bring in line with other forms of accommodation support. Over $70m extra to programmes that prevents those at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Important step for new financial conduct regime
    Clear requirements for ensuring customers are treated fairly by banks, insurers and other financial service providers are included in new financial conduct legislation that passed its first reading today. “The recent reviews, by the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) and Reserve Bank of New Zealand, into the conduct of banks and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Applications invited for $7 million Regional Culture and Heritage Fund
    Applications are now open for the fifth round of the Regional Culture and Heritage Fund Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Grant Robertson announced today.   “I am delighted to open this year’s fund which has some $7 million available to support performing arts venues, galleries, museums and whare ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Law Commission appointment celebrates Māori and women
    The Minister of Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta today congratulated Associate Professor Amokura Kawharu on her appointment as the next President of the Law Commission.  “Amokura Kawharu will be a standout in her new role, leading in an innovative and forward looking approach to the law reform process. She will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Associate Professor Amokura Kawharu Appointed Law Commission President
    Auckland University legal academic Amokura Kawharu has been appointed as the next President of the Law Commission, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today.    Associate Professor Kawharu will take up her new appointment on 11 May 2020.   “I would like to congratulate Associate Professor Kawharu on her appointment,” Andrew ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister of Employment launches Youth Ready Employer Programme
    A programme for employers to help them engage effectively with younger employees was launched today by Minister of Employment, Willie Jackson. The Youth Ready Employer Programme contains a range of on-line templates that employers can easily access to help with employing and retaining young people in their businesses. The programme ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Budget 2020 date announced
    Budget 2020 will be delivered on Thursday 14 May, Finance Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “This year’s Budget will continue the Coalition Government’s focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while also preparing the economy for the future. “Those challenges and opportunities cannot be resolved in one budget, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s tribute to former Prime Minister Mike Moore
    I move, That this House place on record its appreciation and thanks for the devoted and distinguished service to New Zealand by the late Rt Hon Michael Kenneth Moore, member of the Order of New Zealand, a member of Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, an Honorary Member of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Agriculture Minister declares adverse event in Northland
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has today classified the drought conditions in Northland as an adverse event for the primary sector, unlocking $80,000 in Government support. “This is recognition that the extreme and prolonged nature of this dry spell is taking its toll on our farmers and growers and additional support ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police disrupt methamphetamine trade
    The Minister of Police says an operation to smash a trans national drug smuggling ring today will make a significant impact on the methamphetamine trade fuelling harm in our communities. Police have announced 10 arrests and the seizure of up to five million dollars’ worth of illicit drugs after an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Crown accounts in good shape to counter global challenges
    The Government’s books are in a strong position to withstand global headwinds, with the accounts in surplus and expenses close to forecast, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown accounts for the six months to December. The operating balance before gains and losses (OBEGAL) was above ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Racing Safety Development Fund open for applications
    Race courses can improve safety with this year’s second round of funding from the Racing Safety Development Fund. Minister for Racing Winston Peters has announced the second funding round of 2019/20 is open with $347,875 available for distribution. “The racing industry is integral to the economic and social fabric of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Strengthening New Zealand’s Immunisation System
    Hundreds of thousands of young adults will be offered measles vaccinations in a new campaign to strengthen New Zealand’s immunisation system, Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter said at its launch in Auckland today. “About 300,000 young adults aged between 15 and 29 are not fully protected against measles, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago