web analytics

Starve the beast

Written By: - Date published: 12:39 pm, December 14th, 2010 - 48 comments
Categories: public services, tax - Tags: ,

Let’s face it. A government doesn’t accidentally spend $15 billion more than its revenue while cutting billions in taxes. The unsustainably high deficit is intentional policy, not happenstance.

In good times and bad, National’s answer is always to cut taxes:

Economic good times and record surpluses? ‘Hardworking Kiwis are being overtaxed by that greedy Michael Cullen’

Recession and record deficits? ‘We need tax cuts to boost the economy’

It doesn’t seem to make sense that your answer to two diametrically opposite situations would be the same. Unless, of course, your objectives aren’t those stated.

The rightwing wealthy elite hates public services. They believe that if you aren’t worthy enough, as measured by the market, to afford something you shouldn’t get it. And they especially hate paying the taxes to buy these public services. Being narrow-minded they can’t see that they benefit from living in a society where the less well-off get education and healthcare and a minimal income safety net.

The problem, rightwingers discovered, as they fought the creation of the welfare state in the middle of last century, is that poor people get to vote too. And they love public services. The social wage is as valuable, if not more valuable, than the market wage for many people. For the poor, public services provide some relief from the massive inequities created by the market.

But, by and large, the poor pay taxes too. And few people enjoy it. So, the Right hit on a strategy. Rather than decrying public services as inherently wrong as they had, they focused on persuading people that, rain or shine, they need tax cuts. It turns out that it’s quite easy to convince people that they should have more money in their pockets, if you don’t make them aware of the consequences. Polls regularly show big support for tax cuts but big opposition to the statement ‘would you support public service cuts to pay for tax cuts’.

But the Right knows there’s no such thing as a free lunch. The objective of the tax cut mantra is to create huge deficits that then need to be ‘fixed’ with spending cuts. This is what American conservatives call ‘starve the beast’.

Grover Norquist put it colourfully when he said “I don’t want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.”

This is what is happening all over the world. During the boom years, governments everywhere cut taxes, even Left ones like Labour, who at least cut them to the bottom end more. It seemed like they could afford to, with the massive surpluses they would otherwise have been running (except the UK and US, which ran deficits even in the boom years). Along came the great recession and more tax cuts, this time to stimulate the economy – even though the evidence is that greater government spending is more stimulatory.

Now, the deficits are out of control here and abroad. Does anyone say ‘hey, lets just return tax levels to where they were when we didn’t have a structural deficit?’ No. Because the Right has been very very successful, with the centre-Left’s meek acquiescence, in making raising taxes nearly impossible. Instead, the ‘only solution’ is austerity cuts to public services.

There’s no crisis without opportunity, and this crisis is playing perfectly into the right’s hands. We’ll be told that ‘extravagant’ public services are no longer affordable and health and education will get big cuts. We’ve already been softened up for welfare cuts. And asset sales will also become ‘necessary’ to pay off our debts.

We’ve been here before – 20 years ago. Starve the beast worked then, and it’s working now.

48 comments on “Starve the beast”

  1. Did I see Pansy’s arm firmly up her back so that her resignation would drown out what economically is much more significant news?

    And if my accountant drove the business into deficits and had no plan to fix the problem I would get a new accountant.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      Are you looking at Bill English when you say that.

      • Clarke 1.1.1

        Probably not – the difference between Bill English and an accountant is that the accountant is qualified to do their job. Bill? Not so much.

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    Great synopsis. And what are the Left going to do to make the public realise that we need to create an equitable productive society capable of raising incomes for the many, and not just cutting taxes for the few.

    As for raising tax revenues: CGT, estate tax and much more progressive PAYE please (where new upper bands are set at 5x, 10x and 40x the median wage, but the first few thousand earned a year are taxed at 0%). Oh and return GST back to 10%, the regressive tax that it is.

  3. big bruv 3

    Yep…big spending cuts.

    An immediate end to the interest free student loan bribe.
    An immediate end to the working for families bribe.
    An immediate end to long term dole bludgers receiving the benefit
    An immediate end to the DPB.
    Get rid of 75% of government departments / ministries, sack all of the public servants who work in those departments / ministries and save the tax payer a fortune.

    That is only the start……Labour created the problem by letting a history teacher play with the countries finances during an economic boom (and led us into recession well before anybody else in the world).

    I just hope that Key and the Nat’s are brave enough to make the hard choices, they have the support of the public, they have plenty of political capital it is time they started spending some of it.

    The reality is that it will not matter how tough it is, the Nat’s will be be back in power after the next election.

    • marsman 3.2

      From ZERO Public Debt to $15BILLION Public Debt. Bill English has done it again, he’s inept and he’s mismanaging the economy !

    • Lanthanide 3.3

      Expect an immediate and sustained uptick in the number of Kiwis going over to Oz.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 3.4

      If its low debt you want you may have to start voting Labour.

    • Irascible 3.5

      NZ let a money speculator / gambler combined with a treasury minion who holds to a discredited economic theory control the economy and it all turned to crap with a record budget blow out and a promised cycleway as the only means of rescue.
      The hard choice for Key & company is to admit their failures and follow Pansy into botanical oblivion.

    • NickS 3.6

      An immediate end to the DPB.

      Followed by a rise in government spending on policing, courts and prison as those utterly without (and with the will to do so) take from those with. But hey, it’s not like the DPB is relatively cheap compared to the costs of imprisoning people in conditions that meet NZ law, combined with all the other costs of crime, and unemployment obviously doesn’t exist either.

      And have you made that donation yet bb?

    • bbfloyd 3.7

      you really are boring old fart big bruv.. you obviously lost your cognitive abilities along with your eyesight long ago… now you’re reduced to not much more than telling stories about when you were in the war…. the boer war.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.8

      This is what your “solutions” will bring about BB. Total devastation.

  4. The question is, will there be another 1990-style “crisis” which forces National to sell off state assets to balance the books?

    Then the wealthy win twice – lower taxes and access to bargain basement SOEs. Of course, it will be promoted as Mum and Dad investors, perhaps the Hotchins for example?

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      LAB need to get ahead of this curve.

      • big bruv 4.1.1

        And how would they do that Viper?

        Borrow even more?
        Hand out more tax dollars earned by working people to bludgers?
        Impose crippling tax’s on anybody who earns more than the average wage?
        Bring back compulsory unionism?

        • Lanthanide

          Support people into jobs, thereby raising the tax take and lowering the welfare expense.

        • Colonial Viper

          bug bruv, whether you like it or not, people fall on hard times and need support. We are a society which should not tolerate poverty when we have huge capital resources at our disposal. $1.7B for SCF, $9.1B for rich tax payers over 4 years, etc. People can only succeed if they have the resources at their disposal to pick themselves up and dust themselves off. That part of it is their responsibility but society should understand that most people do better with support and encouragement.

          Cunliffe is clear on where our economy needs to make society both richer and fairer with those riches. A more diversified, higher value add economic base.

          Taxes should also go up on those who earn more than 5x, 10x and ~50x the NZ median income. That’s at approx $130K p.a., $260K p.a. and $1.3M p.a.

          Hard to cripple them with taxes mate, don’t fear there will still be plenty of bubbly and ham in the pantry over Christmas.

          • big bruv


            People do fall on hard times, on that we agree, however those same people should have made provision to care for themselves when those hard times come along.
            It is simply not acceptable for them to expect their fellow Kiwis to bail them out time after time.
            You are also right when you say we should not tolerate poverty, we should not tolerate laziness or those who do not make the best of the tax payer funded education they receive.

            You say that taxes should go up at 5x 10x and 50x, how much should those taxes go up by Viper?

            History does not support what you say or the constant stream of lies coming from Cunliffe, Labour would once again hammer the middle class and offer huge bribes to the idle and the lazy.

            • Colonial Viper

              however those same people should have made provision to care for themselves when those hard times come along.
              It is simply not acceptable for them to expect their fellow Kiwis to bail them out time after time.

              Wage suppression makes it impossible for large groups of workers to create their own safety net of more than a few weeks of savings. So your suggestion of self-insuring against hard times is impractical.

              Funny you use the term ‘bail out’. SCF bond holders, Southland farmers, kiwifruit growers all seemed OK with it.

              You say that taxes should go up at 5x 10x and 50x, how much should those taxes go up by Viper?

              History does not support what you say or the constant stream of lies coming from Cunliffe, Labour would once again hammer the middle class and offer huge bribes to the idle and the lazy.

              You must have missed the part where workers are the ones who have to apply their labour to make a living. They are not idle nor lazy. 160,000 unemployed would get straight back to work tomorrow – except Bill and John have no economic plan for creating jobs and is letting that human resource rot.

              As for how much taxes should go up by? 1956-1964 income taxes in the US for top earners was 91%. The period where the foundations of the middle class were built and wealth permeated through vast sections of US society: not just the very top.

              In fact today, 5% of Americans own more financial wealth than the bottom 95% put together. That top 5% has made their huge wealth on taking the fruits of the productive labour of the bottom 95% and returning them the least pay possible. Often offshoring American jobs in the process. Who did you say was lazy again?

              History does not support what

              Never knew you were a historian mate.

              • big bruv

                Your reply reeks of left wing socialist ideology..

                “Wage suppression makes it impossible for large groups of workers to create their own safety net of more than a few weeks of savings”

                What utter rubbish, what makes it impossible is the theft that is over taxation, interest free student loans, working for families and the mindset (fostered by nine years of a Labour government) that the “state” (here read tax payer) will bail out those who do not take personal responsibility for themselves and their families.

                You also put words in my mouth (if I did that to you I would be banned), I am on record as saying that SCF, Farmers and Kiwifruit growers should have been left to their own fate, if they cannot cover themselves with business insurance then tough luck.

                • bbfloyd

                  big bruv.. your comment reeks of rank stupidity, compounded with an incurable bigotry… get a life… somewhere you will be happy… uganda is on the lookout for a social welfare minister.

            • Lanthanide

              “People do fall on hard times, on that we agree, however those same people should have made provision to care for themselves when those hard times come along”
              Show me how someone on minimum wage can make provision to care for themselves when hard times come along.

              If your answer is “get a job that pays better than minimum wage”, please show me a society in which there is no minimum wage. Hint: trick question, it requires everyone to be paid $infinity.

            • Draco T Bastard

              however those same people should have made provision to care for themselves when those hard times come along.

              My nephew has house insurance which includes redundancy/income insurance. They refuse to pay. So, he made provision but it’s not helping. His savings have been used up due to the recession. He works as much as he can but he’s still close to losing his house. What else can he do?

              BB, you’re an ideologically blind idiot.

    • Bored 4.2

      Mr/s Parrot, the policy analysis from me is that buying an SOE is a really good idea as people must have these services provided…so far so good. But when the people can no longer afford these services…down she goes, investment devalued or lost. Mum and Dad Hotchins will say that the “market” has found its level, but they wont like it….they might ask something unique like having the state “fund” and “subsidise” those who cannot afford their services. Welfare…but now who is going to pay the tax bill, not us they say. Take on debt….but eeeekk theres no credit to be had because the system is bankrupt.

      Interestingly in the above scenario you are creating the preconditions Leninists and fascists love, the opportunity to provide legitimacy from a defunct system.

  5. tsmithfield 5

    “A government doesn’t accidentally spend $15 billion more than its revenue while cutting billions in taxes.”

    Actually, the tax cuts are fiscally neutral, so your comment about cutting taxes is not accurate if you are talking about the whole revenue stream.

    I suspect there is timing issues with GST here. People get their tax cuts before the government picks up the GST increase.

    • r0b 5.1

      Actually, the tax cuts are fiscally neutral, so your comment about cutting taxes is not accurate if you are talking about the whole revenue stream.

      Actually they really really aren’t.

    • lprent 5.2

      You don’t believe Bill English do you? The only thing he is economical on is the truth – surely even you recognize that by now.

      Oh I see r0b has pointed out a relevant link.

    • TS

      The cuts were not fiscally neutral unless growth exploded and confidence was immediately restored. They did anticipate a $1b deficit in the first year even if conditions were optimal.

      Conditions are way worse. There is a big hole in the accounts and no sign of how it is going to be filled.

      Unless the nats start selling everything …

      • tsmithfield 5.3.1

        I don’t object to pinging off a few things at all. So, if National wanted to go down that route there would be no objections from me.

        Allowing for growth in the projections is a reasonable assumption given the low base we are coming from.

        Of course, factors such as the earthquake and the impending drought were unknowns at the time. OTOH, the government stands to gain a windfall from the earthquake in the future with GST revenue from all the repairs, increased PAYE income from busy builders etc. So, things should turn around fairly quickly I expect.

        • Draco T Bastard

          I don’t object to pinging off a few things at all.

          That’s because you’re stupid.

          There’s a reason why the government does all the government services – it’s because they’re not commercially viable but are essential.

          • tsmithfield

            So on principal would you refuse to sell any government assets, including unused schools etc, no matter how good the business case?

            • Pascal's bookie

              That’s not what he said at all. He said he doesn’t think the business case stacks up.

              Whereas you said you think selling assets to pay for a budget hole created by a poorly designed tax package is something you could support.

            • mickysavage

              Labour also had a major drought in 2007-08 that caused the bookd to not look so good.

              And TS on principle I would tax the rich rather than sell community assets. And we are down to the bone in terms of what we can sell.

              • tsmithfield

                If we sell assets and repay debt then we have less interest to pay and thereby more to put into social needs.

                • Colonial Viper

                  If we raise taxes and repay debt then we have less interest to pay and thereby more to put into social needs.

                  We’ll also still own our own country as a sovereignty bonus.

  6. big bruv 6


    r0b quotes the standard as a source……hardly independent or known for it’s accuracy.

    [lprent: It is a source that is known for linking their posts to relevant numbers. In this case Keith Ng who I observe as being addicted to accurate numbers.

    BTW: If you don’t like it here then I’m happy to enforce a voluntary (or involuntary) ban. But if you want to stay here then it’d pay you to argue on a different basis like actual numbers or analysis. Slagging off the site on no other basis than you’re too lazy to pull your head out of your arse is a fast way to wear out my tolerance. ]

    • Lanthanide 6.1

      If you actually bothered to follow the link, you’ll see it is based around Keith Ng at Public Address.

      How about you actually rebut the article and opinion with some facts and analysis, instead of mindlessly slagging it off because it’s from “the standard”?

    • big bruv 6.2

      Lol…..oh yes Iprent, and you are so well know for your tolerance.

      [lprent: No I’m not.

      My role here does not require it, which is why I don’t bother trying to feign it and I usually rather enjoy being more than a bit of a pain when people violate the bounds of behaviour.

      Attacking the site or authors when you’re too lazy (or too incapable) to figure a valid argument is one of the things that I specifically don’t tolerate. Read the policy.

      But you know that, so now you’re starting to waste my time and I have very little tolerance for that either. ]

  7. clandestino 7

    A good reason for tax cuts is the ability to further pay down debt and increase savings. The lower tax take, lower household consumption data after the GST increase, and sustained consumer deleveraging is evidence it is working, slowly. The borrowing really isn’t an issue for me, just inflate, devalue, import less made in china crap and less oil thus nurturing manufacturing and alternative energies. Right now, a high dollar is only good for travellers and getting that new 3DHD 55 incher under the tree, 0% down 48 months to pay of course.

    Now if more people would only join Kiwisaver, increase savings and deepen our capital markets, we might actually get some private sector investment in this country’s talent, unemployed and potential industries. Also, mandate the Super fund to invest a % in long term growth sectors in NZ, so in 2025 we won’t be paying through the nose for our parents nappy changers.

    Captcha: Logical. Damn right it is.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      The lower tax take, lower household consumption data after the GST increase, and sustained consumer deleveraging is evidence it is working, slowly.

      Yeah but its the same exact evidence that we are sliding deeper into recession.

      A good reason for tax cuts is the ability to further pay down debt and increase savings.

      Yeah but its sorta silly coz individuals can pay down private sector debt while the Government racks it up due to low tax revenue.

      All you are doing is swapping private debt for public debt. You are moving the problem, not solving it. And the rich get richer all the while, as the general tax payer gets burdened with more and more public debt.

  8. joe bloggs 8

    The … deficit is intentional policy

    Yup, a policy of intentional $4b earthquakes is right up there amongst your best conspiracy theories Eddie

  9. It doesn’t seem to make sense that your answer to two diametrically opposite situations would be the same. Unless, of course, your objectives aren’t those stated.

    While not arguing against the broad thrust of your conclusion Eddie, I think you’re underestimating the role of stupidity, and hubris.

    We’re talking a Cabinet comprised of Paula Bennett, Judith Collins, Anne Tolley… hell, even John Key has only ever been successful making money off of other money, he’d have no idea how to run a productive enterprise the size of a corner dairy let alone a country.

    English has a commerce degree but (aside from the fact that those who have one tell me it’s not a lot of practical use unless you’re an accountant) he was captured by Treasury over 20 years ago when what’s needed in a Finance Minister is a healthy mistrust of Treasury so they’re always forced to offer up a range of options and opinions not just the prevailing line of thought.

    But all that wouldn’t be so bad if they realised their limitations and sought advice. However that’s where the hubris comes in. I’m sure Bennett and Collins, for instance, both sit there thinking how much better they’d be as PM, with their exciting “stop all benefits payments and offer the unemployed work building the prisons that will house them when the prison building work dries up” scheme.

    The clowns are in charge of the circus while the country is walking the tightrope.

  10. Carol 10

    Hmmm… well Duncan Garner said on TV3 news tonight, that the government needs to stop blaming the recession and the last Labour government, and start owning the problems with the economy. However, this comment didn’t make it to Garner’s print version of the story. It’s probably in the accompanying video:

    The TV3 news item and the print version, did feature a short quote from Goff:

    “We’re borrowing money to keep people in jobs and in their entitlements – that position can’t stay forever,” says Prime Minister John Key.

    ACT says massive cuts are needed, and Mr Key won’t do it.

    “I don’t believe they have the courage to do what’s right,” says ACT’s finance spokesman, Sir Roger Douglas.

    Labour says it is proof the October tax cuts were not affordable.

    “They are effectively paying for tax cuts for the wealthy by borrowing,” says Labour leader Phil Goff.

    So Mr English departs the stage for 2010, and the signs for 2011 are slightly better – but only just.

    • Pascal's bookie 10.1

      ‘Overwhelmingly 92 % said they are likely to stay in NZ; but there are still a few there, 5%, said they will move to Australia and 2.3% say they will move somewhere else’.

      Oh well that’s all right then! 7.3% is a total minority and the ‘not leaving’ win this one easily!!

  11. Deadly_NZ 11

    I’d go to Aussie but Blinglish has stolen all my money :-((So i wonder how many of the 92% are in the same boat.. You see they did not ask the right questions…

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Hon Shane Jones announces candidacy for the seat of Northland
    Hon Shane Jones, NZ First List MP based in Northland New Zealand First MP Hon Shane Jones has today announced his candidacy for the electorate of Northland. Speaking at a New Zealand First meeting in Kerikeri, Northland, Mr Jones said it was a privilege to be selected by the Party ...
    7 hours ago
  • Foreign Minister announces two diplomatic appointments
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced two diplomatic appointments: New Zealand’s High Commissioner to India and Consul-General to Hong Kong. “As New Zealand recovers from COVID-19, our diplomatic and trade networks are more important than ever. That is ...
    2 days ago
  • Week That Was: Recover and rebuild
    We started the week by announcing free apprenticeships to support Kiwis into work and to help get New Zealand moving again - and we ended the week by extending the wage subsidy to 40,000 more businesses, helping to protect businesses and workers alike.  ...
    2 days ago
  • How Budget 2020 is backing businesses
    We’re confident in the ability of Kiwi businesses to succeed in the face of COVID-19, and our Government is committed to doing our bit to enable that success. Kiwi businesses have always been innovative and resilient, and the COVID-19 pandemic has proven this yet again. Many businesses are finding new, creative ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand First confirms its first tranche of candidates
    New Zealand First is pleased to release the names of its first tranche of candidates for the 2020 election. The includes all sitting New Zealand First Members of Parliament except Clayton Mitchell MP who earlier today announced he will not be seeking re-election. In alphabetical order they are: MP ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand First MP Clayton Mitchell not seeking re-election
    Clayton Mitchell MP, New Zealand First List MP based in Tauranga New Zealand First MP Clayton Mitchell has decided not to seek re-election in this year’s General Election.  “After serious consideration and discussion with my family, I have decided to pursue other passions in my life and spend a lot ...
    2 days ago
  • Five new Lockheed Martin Super Hercules aircraft to replace ageing fleet
    Defence Minister Ron Mark has announced that new Lockheed Martin Super Hercules aircraft would replace the outdated and costly 1960s Hercules fleet. The $1.521b project will include a flight simulator for staff training and other supporting infrastructure. "This fleet will ensure the Defence Force can continue to support New Zealand's ...
    2 days ago
  • Greens urge police to rule out armed police patrols following George Floyd’s death
    The Green Party is urging the New Zealand Police to rule out the use of Armed Response Teams, following their recent trial in communities around Aotearoa. ...
    3 days ago
  • NZ First fought for changes to “poorly-targeted” rent dispute policy
    New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has described Labour's original COVID-19 commercial rent dispute proposal as "poorly targeted". Justice Minister Andrew Little has announced a temporary law change to force commercial landlords and renters to consider COVID-19 in disputes over rent issues, almost two months after the Government first floated the idea.  But ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand First ensures commercial rent dispute clause fairly applied
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand First acknowledges that some small businesses have been struggling to meet fixed costs due to the loss of revenue by COVID-19. We also know some businesses are at greater risk of insolvency when they cannot come to a reasonable ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand First disappointed that Section 70 spouses won’t get relief
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand First is disappointed that the removal of the spousal deductions has had to be delayed by the Ministry fo Social Development, due to COVID19 workload pressures. “New Zealand First has always stood for fairness when it comes to superannuation ...
    5 days ago
  • Winston Peters receives petition demanding more protection for nurses
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First On the steps of Parliament today the Leader of New Zealand First, Rt Hon Winston Peters received a petition from registered nurse Anna Maria Coervers, requesting an amendment to the Protection for First Responders Bill which will ensure the legislation also include registered ...
    5 days ago
  • Week That Was: Getting our economy moving
    It's been a busy seven days as we start to rebuild New Zealand together. From delivering extra support for small businesses, to investing in our artists and arts organisations, to cutting red tape on home DIY projects, we're rolling out our plan to get the economy and New Zealand moving ...
    5 days ago
  • Winston Peters: If protests condoned ‘why are we not at level 1?’
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters says alert level 2 restrictions have to be discussed during today's Cabinet meeting. Thousands gathered across the country, including at Parliament, yesterday for Black Lives Matter marches where social distancing and mass gathering rules were flouted. Mr Peters said the breaching of Alert Level 2 rules at ...
    6 days ago
  • Northland rail work to help create regional jobs
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of State Owned Enterprises KiwiRail’s Northland rail upgrade steps up another gear today and will help Northland recover from the impacts of COVID-19, State Owned Enterprises Minister Winston Peters says. The Government is investing $204.5 million through the Provincial Growth Fund to ...
    6 days ago
  • Green Party statement on the death of George Floyd
    “Today and every day we stand in solidarity with George Floyd’s family, friends and community who feel pain and fear about his untimely death at the hands of Minneapolis police”, said Green Party Co-leader and Māori Development spokesperson Marama Davidson. ...
    6 days ago
  • Lake Brunner’s Mount Te Kinga to go Predator Free
    Fletcher Tabuteau, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Hon Eugenie Sage, Minister of Conservation The West Coast forests of Mount Te Kinga at Kotuku Whakaoho/Lake Brunner are the latest predator free project to receive Government funding, announced Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage and Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher ...
    1 week ago
  • Green Party welcomes crucial financial support for creatives
    The Green Party says new government support for creatives and artists is a vital lifeline for a sector struggling to survive the COVID crisis. ...
    1 week ago
  • Strongest ever water reforms mean swimmable rivers within a generation
    The Green Party says major freshwater reforms announced today provide the strongest ever protections of our waterways, to help ensure the next generation can swim in the rivers of Aotearoa. ...
    1 week ago
  • Greens work to secure inquiry into Wild West student accommodation sector
    The Green Party has begun the process for a Select Committee inquiry into student accommodation, which has been exposed during COVID-19 as an under-regulated sector that straddles students with unfair debt. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand joins global search for COVID-19 vaccine
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon Megan Woods, Minister of Research, Science and Innovation Hon Dr David Clark, Minister of Health Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods,  and Health Minister David Clark today announced a COVID-19 vaccine strategy, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Budget 2020: Five things to know
    Budget 2020 is about rebuilding together, supporting jobs, getting business moving and the books back into the black. It’s an integral part of our COVID-19 economic response, and our plan to grow our economy and get New Zealand moving again. Here’s a quick look at the five top things you ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party unveils its candidate list for the 2020 election
    The Green Party is pleased to reveal its candidate list for the upcoming election. With a mix of familiar faces and fresh new talent, this exceptional group of candidates are ready to lead the Greens back into Government. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Coalition Government approves essential upgrades on Ōhakea Air Base
    The Coalition Government has approved $206 million in essential upgrades at Ōhakea Air Base.  Defence Minister Ron Mark said the money would be spent on improving old infrastructure. He said safety issues would be addressed, as well as upgrades to taxiways, accommodation and fresh, storm and waste water systems. "This ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Attributable to the Rt Hon Winston Peters
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First “I am not persisting with this case just for myself, but for all people who have had their privacy breached. Privacy of information is a cornerstone of our country’s democracy. Without it our society truly faces a bleak future. We now ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Great Walks bookings open next week
    This summer presents a great opportunity for New Zealanders to get out into nature with bookings on Great Walks for 2020/21 set to open next week, says Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage.  Bookings for the Great Walks will open between 9 and 11 June, excluding Milford and Routeburn tracks which ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Ministerial Diary April 2020
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt extends support schemes for businesses
    Extra 40,000 businesses to be eligible for wage subsidy extension Small business cashflow support application period extended The Government is today announcing further support for businesses that continue to be affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic, as the broader economy becomes one of the most open in the world following ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Five new Super Hercules to join Air Force fleet
    The Coalition Government has confirmed five Lockheed Martin C-130J-30 Super Hercules transport aircraft will be purchased to replace the existing fleet, Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today.  “Last year, Cabinet selected these aircraft as the preferred option to replace the current Hercules fleet. Procurement of the Super Hercules has been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Wairarapa Moana seeks international recognition as vital wetland
    The Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage is celebrating World Environment Day with an announcement of a major step towards Wairarapa Moana being recognised as an internationally significant wetland. “Wairarapa Moana is an ecosystem of 10,000 hectares of wetland and open water that provides a home for indigenous fish, birds and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New public housing sets standard for future
    New public housing that will save tenants money in energy bills, and provide warmer, healthier and more comfortable homes, is setting the standard for the Government’s future public housing programme, Housing Minister Megan Woods said. Dr Woods opened the new Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities complex, which has a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • First Police wing to complete training post lockdown
    A new-look Police graduation ceremony to take account of COVID19 health rules has marked the completion of training for 57 new constables. Police Minister Stuart Nash attended this afternoon's ceremony, where officers of Recruit Wing 337 were formally sworn in at the Royal New Zealand Police College without the normal support of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government makes further inroads on predatory lenders
    Mobile traders and truck shops must adhere to responsible lending requirements Interest rate cap on high-cost loans Lenders prohibited from offering further credit to an applicant who has taken two high-cost loans in the past 90 days The Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Kris Faafoi, has signalled an end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New survey shows wage subsidy a “lifeline” for businesses, saved jobs
    94% of firms say wage subsidy had positive impact on cashflow 62% of firms say support helped to manage non-wage costs like rent A survey of business that have received the Government’s wage subsidy show it has played a significant role in saving jobs, and freed up cash flow to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Tax changes support economic recovery
    New legislation introduced to Parliament today will support growth and assist businesses on the road to economic recovery, said Revenue Minister Stuart Nash. “The Taxation (Annual Rates for 2020-21, Feasibility Expenditure, and Remedial Matters) Bill proposes that businesses can get tax deductions for ‘feasibility expenditure’ on new investments,” said Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • $4.6 million financial relief for professional sports
    Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson has welcomed the first release of funds from the $265 million Sport Recovery Package announced as part of Budget 2020. Sport NZ has announced that $4.6 million in funding will go to the Wellington Phoenix, NZ Warriors, Super Rugby teams and the ANZ Premiership ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Critical support for strategic tourism assets
    An iconic New Zealand tourism attraction and the country’s 31 Regional Tourism Organisations are the first recipients of support from the $400 million Tourism Sector Recovery Plan, to help position the sector for recovery from COVID-19, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. The plan includes a Strategic Tourism Assets Protection ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Supporting Kiwi businesses to resolve commercial rent disputes
    The Government will legislate to ensure businesses that suffered as a result of the COVID-19 response will get help to resolve disputes over commercial rent issues, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. A temporary amendment to the Property Law Act will insert a clause in commercial leases requiring a fair ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Prompt payments to SMEs even more urgent
    The Minister for Small Business says new data from Xero highlights the urgency of prompt payment practices to small and medium enterprises as we move into economic recovery. Last month Government ministers wrote to significant private enterprises and the banking industry to request they join efforts by government agencies to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Free period products in schools to combat poverty
    Young people in Waikato will be the first to have free access to period products in schools in another step to support children and young people in poverty,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.  During term 3, the Ministry of Education will begin providing free period products to schools following the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Response to charges in New Plymouth
    The Minister of Police Stuart Nash has issued the following statement in response to charges filed against three Police officers this morning in the New Plymouth District Court. “Any incident involving a loss of life in Police custody is taken very seriously. The charges today reflect the gravity of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt boosts innovation, R&D for economic rebuild
    $196 million for Crown Research Institutes $150 million for R&D loan scheme $33 million for Māori research and development opportunities $12 million for the Nationally Significant Collections and Databases $10 million to help maintain in-house capability at Callaghan Innovation New Zealand’s entrepreneurs, innovators and crown researchers will benefit from a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Temporary changes to NCEA and University Entrance this year
    Further temporary changes to NCEA and University Entrance (UE) will support senior secondary school students whose teaching and learning have been disrupted by COVID-19. “The wellbeing of students and teachers is a priority. As we are all aware, COVID-19 has created massive disruption to the school system, and the Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Extended terms for the directors of the Racing Industry Transition Agency
    Minister for Racing Winston Peters today announced that the terms for the directors of the Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) have been extended to 30 June 2021. Due to the COVID-19 crisis the transition period has been extended to ensure that the Racing Industry Bill can complete its progress through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Healthy Homes Standards statement of compliance deadline extended
    The deadline for landlords to include detailed information in their tenancy agreements about how their property meets the Healthy Homes Standards, so tenants can see the home they are renting is compliant, has been extended from 1 July 2020 to 1 December 2020.  The Healthy Homes Standards became law on 1 July 2019. The Standards are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission board appointments announced
    Justice Minister Andrew Little today announced details of further appointments to the Criminal Cases Review Commission. “I am pleased to announce Paula Rose QSO OStJ as Deputy Chief Commissioner for a term of five years commencing on 15 June 2020,” said Andrew Little. “I am also pleased to announce the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Release of initial list of supported training to aid COVID-19 recovery
    The Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund (TTAF) will pay costs of learners of all ages to undertake vocational education and training The fund will target support for areas of study and training that will give learners better employment prospects as New Zealand recovers from COVID-19 Apprentices working in all industries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Emission trading reforms another step to meeting climate targets
    The Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will finally start to cut New Zealand’s greenhouse gas pollution as it was originally intended to, because of changes announced today by the Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw. The changes include a limit on the total emissions allowed within the ETS, rules to ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Queen’s Birthday Honours highlights Pacific leadership capability in Aotearoa
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says the Queen’s Birthday 2020 Honours List provides an abundance of examples that Pacific people’s leadership capability is unquestionable in Aotearoa. “The work and the individuals we acknowledge this year highlights the kind of visionary examples and dedicated community leadership that we need ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt backing horticulture to succeed
    The Government is backing a new $27 million project aimed at boosting sustainable horticulture production and New Zealand’s COVID-19 recovery efforts, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our economy. During and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Applications open for forestry scholarships
    Applications have opened for 2021 Ngā Karahipi Uru Rākau – Forestry Scholarships, which will support more Māori and women to pursue careers in forestry science, says Forestry Minister Shane Jones. “I’m delighted Te Uru Rākau is offering Ngā Karahipi Uru Rākau – Forestry Scholarships for the third year running. These ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Excellent service to nature recognised
    The Queen’s Birthday 2020 Honours List once again highlights the dedication by many to looking after our native plants and wildlife, including incredible work to restore the populations of critically endangered birds says Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. Anne Richardson of Hororata has been made an Officer of the New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Wetlands and waterways gain from 1BT funding
    The Government will invest $10 million from the One Billion Trees Fund for large-scale planting to provide jobs in communities and improve the environment, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Forestry Minister Shane Jones have announced. New, more flexible funding criteria for applications will help up to 10 catchment groups plant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New fund for women now open
    Organisations that support women are invited to apply to a new $1,000,000 fund as part of the Government’s COVID-19 response. “We know women, and organisations that support women, have been affected by COVID-19. This new money will ensure funding for groups that support women and women’s rights,” said Minister for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt supports King Country farmers to lift freshwater quality
    Healthier waterways are front and centre in a new project involving more than 300 King Country sheep, beef and dairy farmers. The Government is investing $844,000 in King Country River Care, a group that helps farmers to lift freshwater quality and farming practice, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. “Yesterday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Libraries to help with jobs and community recovery
    A major funding package for libraries will allow them to play a far greater role in supporting their communities and people seeking jobs as part of the economic recovery from COVID-19. “Budget 2020 contains over $60 million of funding to protect library services and to protect jobs,” says Internal Affairs ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Support for arts and music sector recovery
    A jobseekers programme for the creative sector and four new funds have been set up by the Government to help our arts and music industry recover from the blow of COVID-19. Thousands of jobs will be supported through today’s $175 million package in a crucial economic boost to support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Legislative changes to support the wellbeing of veterans and their families
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has welcomed the First Reading of a Bill that will make legislative changes to further improve the veterans’ support system.  The Veterans’ Support Amendment Bill No 2, which will amend the Veterans’ Support Act 2014, passed First Reading today. The bill addresses a number of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Christ Church Cathedral – Order in Council
    Views sought on Order in Council to help fast track the reinstatement of the Christ Church Cathedral  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Hon Poto Williams, will be seeking public written comment, following Cabinet approving the drafting of an Order in Council aimed at fast-tracking the reinstatement of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealanders’ human rights better protected in new Bill
    The law setting out New Zealanders’ basic civil and human rights is today one step towards being strengthened following the first reading of a Bill that requires Parliament to take action if a court says a statute undermines those rights. At present, a senior court can issue a ‘declaration of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deep concern at Hong Kong national security legislation
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today reiterated the deep concern of the New Zealand Government following confirmation by China’s National People’s Congress of national security legislation relating to Hong Kong. “New Zealand shares the international community’s significant and long-standing stake in Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability,” Mr Peters said. “New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government invests in New Zealand’s cultural recovery
    Thousands of artists and creatives at hundreds of cultural and heritage organisations have been given much-needed support to recover from the impact of COVID-19, Prime Minister and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Jacinda Ardern announced today. “The cultural sector was amongst the worst hit by the global pandemic,” Jacinda ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Better protection for New Zealand assets during COVID-19 crisis
    Key New Zealand assets will be better protected from being sold to overseas owners in a way contrary to the national interest, with the passage of the Overseas Investment (Urgent Measures) Bill. The Bill, which passed its third reading in Parliament today, also cuts unnecessary red tape to help attract ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Cleaning up our rivers and lakes
    Setting higher health standards at swimming spots Requiring urban waterways to be cleaned up and new protections for urban streams Putting controls on higher-risk farm practices such as winter grazing and feed lots Setting stricter controls on nitrogen pollution and new bottom lines on other measures of waterway health Ensuring ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Record year for diversity on Govt boards
    The Government is on the verge of reaching its target of state sector boards and committees made up of at least 50 percent women, says Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter and Minister for Ethnic Communities Jenny Salesa. For the first time, the Government stocktake measures the number of Māori, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago