web analytics

Sticking it to the underclass

Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, April 7th, 2010 - 37 comments
Categories: benefits, class war, john key, welfare - Tags: ,

Remember “the underclass”? They were briefly fashionable in National circles in 2007. John Key expressed his oh so sincere concern at their plight in his state of the nation speech “The Kiwi Way: A Fair Go For All“. He paraded about the place with the photogenic young girl from McGehan Close. He promised fresh thinking:

Addressing the problems of the growing underclass involves tackling serious and interconnected issues of long-term welfare dependency, crime, illiteracy, poor parenting skills, social exclusion, malnutrition, drugs, and lost hope. In all areas of social policy, I am tasking National’s spokespeople to come up with policies to address the deep-seated problems in some of our families and communities.

It was all very successful political theatre, but the mask is discarded now. The Nats real attitudes to beneficiaries are ugly. Key referred to solo parents “breeding for a business”. Welfare is “a lifestyle choice”. Beneficiaries need “a kick in the pants” because “the dream is over”. Now that they are in government, National’s plans amount to nothing more than good old fashioned beneficiary bashing. They are pursuing this with an urgency that we don’t see in any other policy area…

Winz moves early to bring in tough stance on benefits

Work and Income has quietly started bumping dozens of people off the invalids benefit, months before tough new work tests officially come into force, say beneficiary advocates. They say people with long-term mental illnesses, some of whom have been on the invalids benefit for years, are being bumped down to sickness benefits because they may be capable of part-time work or study within the next two years. …

But advocates say the new hard line is ineffective in pushing people into work at present because of the recession, so the main effect is to cut the beneficiaries’ incomes by $49 a week, from the adult invalids benefit of $243 to the sickness benefit of $194. … “There’s a nationwide campaign to kick them off the invalids benefit already. They are practising the new law even before it has been changed.”

…but with their usual integrity and generosity of spirit:

$20 ‘carrot’ not for all

Unemployment and sickness beneficiaries will miss out on the main “carrot” offered in last month’s package to get people off welfare into work – a higher allowable income before benefits are clawed back.

The increase in allowable income, from $80 to $100 a week, was promised in the National Party’s 2008 election policy for all beneficiaries. But the small print in last month’s package, unnoticed at the time, says the increase will apply only to people on the domestic purposes, widows and invalids benefits and veterans pensions. …

Beneficiary Advocacy Federation spokeswoman Kay Brereton said the decision would mean a “double whammy” for people on the invalids benefit who are being bumped down to the sickness benefit by tighter enforcement of the work capability test.

Yup, that ought to sort out the underclass all right. Way to “tackle serious and interconnected issues” John! Way to “come up with policies to address the deep-seated problems in some of our families and communities”!

37 comments on “Sticking it to the underclass”

  1. just saying 1

    I was watching an tem about this on Te Karere last night and went to bed feeling physically sick.
    Where is the labour opposition on all this??

    oh, that’s right, Phil’s too busy getting back to Labour party ‘roots’ representing the working man….

  2. Pete 2

    Though I remember being pretty damn cautious when the ‘Fair Go For All’ speech came out I naively thought that maybe the leopard was considering changing its spots.

    Shame really that it was all electioneering babble to get the punters in behind the blue team.

    One thing I can say is that the Crosby/Textor machine and the corporatised and ever-reducing (quality and actual staff) media are working damn well for our current government (and former opposition when they sniffed the wind – excuse the pun). So kudos to National for their work on this, they have done bloody well.

    Shame about the government’s record on the real issues facing the public outside the levels that influence the blue team (ie anyone alluded to in the ‘Fair Go For All’ speech).

  3. Addressing the problems of the growing underclass involves tackling serious and interconnected issues of long-term welfare dependency, crime, illiteracy, poor parenting skills, social exclusion, malnutrition, drugs, and lost hope…

    Can i add post traumatic colonisation stress disorder and institutionalised racism ?

    And on the flipside, cashed up iwi really need to be seen to be supporting their weakest and most vulnerable instead of their strongest and most privileged.

    Seems theres even more riding on ‘whanau ora’ now to deliver the goods given the underclass is mostly Pasifikan inclusive of Maori.

    Oh yeah sorry, it’s not for the cuzzies just the bro’s at the mo, we’re still invisible. As you were…

    • The Baron 3.1

      I’m sorry, are you raising post-traumatic colonisation stress disorder as a serious point here?

      What a load of buuuuuuuuuuuullsh*t.

      • pollywog 3.1.1

        Sorry, but who are you again Baron…Some self styled eurocentric cyber aristocracy and what the fuck would you know about it ?

        So you dont think the negative effects of traumatic colonisation are passed on intergenerationally and cause stress and dysfunction in successive generations ?

        • The Baron 3.1.1.1

          No, I don’t. Usually for things to be classified as a “disorder” the way you have presented it are accompanied by a body of medical research that classifies and qualifies the “disorder”.

          I look forward to the journal articles that you have to back up this claim. All of those other points listed have a body of evidence against them. I don’t like them, but I accept that they play a part.

          Otherwise, I stand beside my call of BULLSH*T on PTCSD.

          By the way – my family’s move, 150 years ago, to New Zealand was pretty traumatic too. We left our home, familes and cultural background. Could be some merit in exploring the impact of that, on the same grounds – no?

          • pollywog 3.1.1.1.1

            By the way my family’s move, 150 years ago, to New Zealand was pretty traumatic too. We left our home, familes and cultural background. Could be some merit in exploring the impact of that, on the same grounds no?

            No…you weren’t colonised by force, your folks chose to come here, brought your cultural background with you, instituted culturally biased policies which dispossessed and disempowered native Pasifikans and have continually reaped the benefits since . The impact over 150 yrs is that eurocentric non Pasifikans have lesser unemployment, crime and higher education stats.

            All those points, with the body of evidence against them, are a direct result of colonisation and are symptomatic of people with post traumatic stress disorder.

            What’s your reason for why Pasifikans are the virtual underclass ?…lazy brown stupid fuckers yeah ?

            • The Baron 3.1.1.1.1.1

              I don’t know why “pasifikans” are the underclass, Polly – I don’t think anyone can really explain the full answer to that. Those other factors that you put down certainly play a part.

              But to make up mystery bloody syndromes with no basis in medical fact is just ridiculous. Again, since you’re the one claiming a disorder, I’d love to see some research to back this up. Otherwise, I can only assume you’re another person that is more interested in sensationalism than actually exploring the problems and solutions here; and stand beside my call of BULLSH*T.

              • pollywog

                I think we all know why we’re the underclass and i pretty much said so in no uncertain terms. Its just that no one really wants to face up to the fact.

                History has shown that no matter which party was in govt since govts began here, they’ve always shafted Pasifikans at the expense of promoting their own culturally appropriate policies. Its only a matter of who allocates more to the funding go round as some sort of pay off to keep quiet.

                If you keep legislating to disadvantage a peoples, sooner or later they just stop trying to pull themselves up and accept they’ll always be second class citizens, especially if the only other option is to sell out their culture to become part of the over class.

                Key’s speech…

                Addressing the problems of the growing underclass involves tackling serious and interconnected issues of long-term welfare dependency, crime, illiteracy, poor parenting skills, social exclusion, malnutrition, drugs, and lost hope. In all areas of social policy,

                …shows he knows exactly what the problems are, how they’re connected and who suffers the most from these problems. It’s just he lacks the guts to tackle anything head on and prefers to side step the issues now he has the power to implement change.

                Instead he’s using that power to enrich his eurocentric mates by way of taxcuts that will further exacerbate the problems among the underclass and now it looks like he’s going to gut ‘whanau ora’ to satisfy his redneck voter base at the expense of resourcing it to the extent that it may solve the problems he charged his spokespeople to tackle.

                As for calling bullshit. What do you think of this if you substitute Native Americans for Pasifikans ?

                http://www.tribalcollegejournal.org/themag/backissues/spring06/spring2006rg.htm

              • Descendant Of Smith

                Can i add post traumatic colonisation stress disorder and institutionalised racism ?

                Yep you can add both – the former whether it is a real disorder or not.

                It’s seems obvious to anyone who takes even a cursory look at New Zealand post colonial history – which by virtue of it’s recentness that Maori were often confused, traumatised and alienated by some of the concepts bought from overseas. Much of this activity resulted in the theft of land by direct or indirect means.

                The 1894 Validation of Invalid Land Sales Act is an interesting piece of legislation to start with. Landowners who had obtained land unlawfully prior to the Treaty in 1840 were having their land returned to Maori owners as even under pakeha law it was seen by the courts that the purchase was not lawful. So what happens is the government of the day passes legislation to make those sales, already ruled by the court as unlawful, lawful again as well as many other unlawful purchases that had not reached the courts yet.

                Those families still suffer from the loss of those lands while those who obtained them unlawfully have prospered.

                Too often pakeha want to deny their own history in this land.

                At the same time not all Europeans were here by choice – there were Irish for instance who were press-ganged and dragged over here to work as serfs on the English estates that the second and subsequent sons wished to set up – the first son got the estate back home in England you see.

                The early institutions in New Zealand were set up for the Irish Catholic kids – nary a Maori in site – who also had a loss of culture and connectedness and suffered from lack of employment and open racism in the English post colonial world.

                The optimism for Maori is that if you follow the Irish Catholic traits through four or so generations you see a resurgence in Irish culture and identity in New Zealand – albiet somewhat borrowed and fake where it sort of became cool to be Irish and suddenly everyone had Irish ancestry.

                Urbanisation in the 60’s and 70’s to work in factories and freezing works created other significant problems.

                I see the same thing happening in Maoridom with young people wanting to understand their identity, understand their language and culture. It will never be set at a frozen point in time say 1840 for cultures must and will adapt but there is much more ingrained in my kids education and understanding than there was in mine. Sometimes you have to wait for the old buggers to die before you see the real progress.

                It’s also worth noting that much of Maori unemployment has little to do with being Maori – the real issue for many is rural unemployment and unless we find solutions to that then the red herring of Maori unemployment will remain.

  4. Living the Dream!! 4

    The tactic is working the thinking of “bash the beneficiary” and “ensure there is an underclass” is being implemented by employers.

    I had a job interview a couple of weeks ago. The employer, of course, did not notify me as to offer of appointment in a timely fashion as he said he would do. Once notified a week after he said he would, I phoned to ask the perennial question “Why am I unsuitable?”

    His response was that on entering the interview I was the preferred candidate but on disclosing I was unemployed I instantly became the least prefered candidate and in fact I was wholly unsuitable.

    The work of Key and Bennett is being up taken by their minions and admirers.

    Once stuffed into the underclass, stay there.

    The matter is with The Human Rights Commission.

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      In other places being unemployed would be a count in your favour, due to immediate availability, and possibly also the belief they could get away with paying you a bit less.

  5. toad 5

    But the small print in last month’s package, unnoticed at the time…

    It was actually noticed at the time, by Metiria Turei, who put out this media release at the time, which the MSM, including Granny Herald, promptly ignored at the time.

  6. Rob M 6

    Someone needs to tell the middle-classes that jumping up and down on the poor bastards at the bottom isn’t going to raise them up any higher, and that they’re only a misstep away from being trampled in capitalism’s mosh pit themselves.
    As someone else pointed out here the end game is lower wages with the added benefit of shoring up the redneck vote.
    Thinking back to the early to mid 90s the going cash rate for labouring was $10/hr. I’m getting leaflets in my letter box every other week from the desperate offering their services for similar rates. Even using the flawed bundle that is the CPI (the weightings in no sense represent what the average low-income earner spends – housing 23%??) goods & services costing $10 in Q4 2009 would have cost you only $6.94 in Q4$ 1993.
    Like my Gen X mate said the other day, it’s just like the 90s only the music is shit.

  7. Jim Nald 7

    indeed … a double tongue within the mask

  8. just saying 8

    Again- where is the Labour opposition on this issue?

  9. big bruv 9

    Hang on a moment, according to Helen Clark the underclass does not exist.

    • lprent 9.1

      Link?

      Knowing you, and her, I’m pretty sure she didn’t exactly say that. That is just how the wingnut mythology has it.

      • big bruv 9.1.1

        There you go Iprent

        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10421881
        http://forums.pcworld.co.nz/showthread.php?t=92991

        Click to access weekly70.pdf

        Of course, as the self confessed worlds best PC geek you could have found them yourself.

        • lprent 9.1.1.1

          Ok. You’re wrong.

          Link 1 was a news article, in which it was NOT reported that Helen said there wasn’t an underclass. Why – because she didn’t say it.

          Link 2 was wingnuts in the process of making up the ‘fact’ (actually making a myth) that she had said it.

          Link 3 was Muriel Newman being her usual self, and discussing from her peculiar perspective her opinion on what Helen had actually said.

          It was interesting that you didn’t actually find a link to a news article where Helen was in fact addressing the issue of the ‘underclass’.

          Helen said that the underclass was not flourishing in NZ. At that time (2007/8) it wasn’t. But now we have a NACT government, they are trying to rectify that and increase its size as fast as possible.

          Basically big bruv, you’ve failed….. again…. must be disheartening to be a miserable failure. Why don’t you start talking about what people actually said rather than repeating idiotic myths all of the time.

          • big bruv 9.1.1.1.1

            How many more do you need Iprent?

            You guys really do like to try and rewrite history don’t you.

            • r0b 9.1.1.1.1.1

              How many more do you need Iprent?

              Ahhh – we’re still waiting for the first one BB.

              You guys really do like to try and rewrite history don’t you.

              You’re a funny guy.

            • Sam 9.1.1.1.1.2

              Good, that’s it, but louder and more often, you’re almost there! It’s almost the truth!

              Thing is, he’s exactly right – you’ve made a claim about Helen Clark saying something and then have failed to provide evidence to support this. Which is basically a polite way of saying “you’re lying through your fucking teeth”.

            • lprent 9.1.1.1.1.3

              You haven’t provided anything that supports your assertion about what Helen said yet. We’d like to see if you can back your assertion.

              To be precise, I suspect you just uttered another wingnut lie – like virtually all of the assertions of this type that you make. They are almost always incorrect.

              (big bruv + bold assertion) == lie

      • r0b 9.1.2

        Thanks for the laugh BB. None of those links has HC saying that the underclass does not exist. What else ya got?

    • Bright Red 10.1

      big bruv is living in the past. he like sit there. he can rail against helen and dream of a birghter future under Key.

      It sure beats the present, where the brighter future, the light at the end of the tunnel, is just a freight train coming our way, and Key is too lazy to do anything about it.

      • big bruv 10.1.1

        Red

        We agree on that, however, I suspect our views on how to fix things differ wildly.

  10. Ms X 11

    Like some of the writers above, I’ve been really disappointed in Labour’s reaction to this. Is it horribly unfashionable to defend the weakest, poorest and most vulnerable of our society? Yes, the mining IS an issue, but like the response to jenny shipley’s cutting of benefit rates, the silence on this is deafening. Where is the anger? Isn’t this just bullying in another form?

    • I am even more disappointed in Goff when he said something like, “you can’t punish the children for the SINS of their parents”!!! I was totally floored to hear this come out of his mouth when he was supposed to be shooting down Bennett’s plagerised ‘policy’ changes.

  11. JAS 12

    I am disappointed that nobody seems to be reacting to this in parliament. Not enough to be noticed by the general public anyway.

    I have lost count of the amount of threads I have read on boards everywhere recently (the last few months, but predominantly the past 2wks) full of nasty vitriol about sole parents. As a sole parent, it does nothing to boost my confidence in my own abilities, something much needed in this frustrating job market. It does nothing but increase my self doubt. How many others are feeling the same I wonder?

    Personally I am becoming disgusted with the general population of this country and their hatred for others in less fortunate circumstances.

  12. just saying 13

    Ms X
    I’m relieved by your response.
    Yes there are lots of important issues discussed on this forum, but I feel that even though the beating up of the weakest, sickest, and poorest is often raised, the issues involved never seem to get the traction that other issues do. Instead of a deep gut reaction it’s all resigned sighs. It’s almost as if this is a sacrifice Labour is already making and it speaks volumes about what they will be prepared to do about these ‘unpopular’ situations if they get back in.
    These are real people and they were already only just hanging on.
    The Labour Party is reminding me of the Catholic Church right now – turning a blind eye is indeed another form of bullying.
    And if this lack of moral fibre does help win an election, what then?

  13. belladonna 14

    And not a mention on Red Alert – what are the Labour Party thinking!

    • Bill 14.1

      Labour are probably quietly applauding the substance of this welfare policy and are only in disagreement with the style of delivery and some of the rhetoric surrounding its introduction.

      It was Labour, afterall, who initiated the biggest welfare cuts since the 90s when they ‘replaced’ Supplementary Benefits with Temporary Additional Support.

      And it was Labour who kicked single parents in the teeth with Working For Families insofar as (sinful?) jobless families continued to be consigned to poverty.

      Under Labour there was a softening of the general culture of WINZ ( in my experience) but the actual policies…the rules and regulations were still designed to constrict the beneficiary as though their gasping for air in the grips of a bureaucratic vice would lead on to sighs of thankful relief at picking up even the most woeful piece of employment.

  14. Agatha 15

    “Personally I am becoming disgusted with the general population of this country and their hatred for others in less fortunate circumstances.”

    Have to agree on that one. Ozzie is looking better every day. I no longer respect kiwi’s very much and have utter disdain for the pitifull loosers here who subscribe to the reinvented revived sexist culture in this country that has demonised Helen Clark for not having a penis while being in a position of power.

    I can tell you all that Phill Goffs secretary Terry Law is extemely rude and condescending and I can tell you he refused to give me his name. The only way I got was to call back.
    That suprised me as Phil Goff comes accross as a nice guy. So maybe Mr Law can be very nice to “the right people”. I still prefer Labour to National but I can tell you my dealings with them have been horrible. Many officials are just so nasty. Over the years I have defended them calling the media etc in opposition to National’s policies etc because National is much worse and I still think that. But many Labour party officials are just rude beyond belief and don’t deserve defense. I still do it because I’m so worried about just where the Nats are taking us.
    The press core are mostly cringing sycophants who are looking after their well paid jobs and even our main unions are just holding tight and looking after themselves. The people that head these organisations need jobs if they loose their union jobs and I think this keeps them fairly tame in their representation of members.

  15. r0b 16

    Ozzie is looking better every day

    I understand the sentiment, but someone has to stay and fight for NZ…

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • New Zealand First calls for tahr cull halt
    Mark Patterson MP, Spokesperson for Primary Industry New Zealand First is supporting calls by hunters and the New Zealand Tahr Foundation (NZTF) to halt a large scale cull of Himalayan Tahr by the Department of Conservation in National Parks. The calls are supported by a 40,000 strong petition and the ...
    4 days ago
  • Response to Spin-off allegations
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand First leader Winston Peters today scoffed at suggestions that a team of six political operatives have been dispatched to New Zealand to assist his campaign. ‘As President Ronald Reagan once said, ‘there they go again.’ ‘The clickbait journos can’t ...
    4 days ago
  • Jenny Marcroft MP to represent New Zealand First in Auckland Central
    New Zealand First is pleased to announce Jenny Marcroft as the party’s election 2020 candidate for the Auckland Central electorate. Jenny spent years working in Auckland Central, having spent a vast proportion of her broadcasting career there. She says she, "knows the place and knows the people." Ms Marcroft says ...
    5 days ago
  • Creating jobs and cleaning up our rivers
    New Zealanders deserve healthy rivers and lakes that are safe to swim in - but they have been getting worse for decades. That's why, with our latest announcement, we're investing in projects that will help clean up our rivers and lakes and restore them to health, within a generation. ...
    6 days ago
  • Jacinda Ardern: 2020 Labour Congress Speech
    Jacinda Ardern's speech to the 2020 Labour Party Congress. ...
    6 days ago
  • Kelvin Davis: 2020 Labour Congress Speech
    Kelvin Davis' speech to the 2020 Labour Party Congress. ...
    6 days ago
  • Week That Was: Another week of major progress
    This week we moved into the second half of 2020 - and our Government delivered another week of big changes and major progress for New Zealanders. Read below for a wrap of the key things moments from the week - from extending paid parental leave, to making major investments in ...
    1 week ago
  • Green Party opposes RMA fast-track bill that cut corners on environmental safeguards and public cons...
    The Green Party has opposed the COVID-19 Recovery Fast-track Consenting Bill which shortcuts normal consenting processes under the Resource Management Act (RMA), reduces public participation and narrows environmental considerations. ...
    1 week ago
  • Site of new freight hub revealed
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister of Regional Economic Development A regional freight hub for the lower North Island will be built just northeast of Palmerston North, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The Government is investing $40 million through the Provincial Growth Fund to designate and buy land and design ...
    1 week ago
  • Greens call for Guaranteed Minimum Income to alleviate skyrocketing debt with MSD
    Green Party Co-leader Marama Davidson is calling for the introduction of a Guaranteed Minimum Income to lift hundreds of thousands of people out of poverty and prevent more families entering into further debt with the Ministry of Social Development.  ...
    1 week ago
  • Winston Peters: Facts matter when taxpayer money is on the line
    There has been renewed focus on New Zealand First acting as a handbrake on the Government after our decision to not support Auckland light rail. We are a handbrake for bad ideas, that is true, but our track record since 2017 has seen New Zealand First constructively also serve as an ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill raising minimum residency requirement for NZ Super passes first reading
    Mark Patterson MP, New Zealand First List MP New Zealand First’s Fair Residency for Superannuation Bill passed its First Reading in Parliament today. The Bill makes a significant change to NZ Super by raising the minimum residency requirement from 10 to 20 years, after age 20. “Currently, a migrant of ...
    1 week ago
  • Harsher penalties for assaults on first responders one step closer
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Law and Order A New Zealand First member’s bill in the name of Darroch Ball introducing a six-month minimum prison sentence for assaults on first responders has passed its second reading in Parliament. The new offence of "injuring a first responder or corrections officer with ...
    1 week ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission delivers Coalition promise
    Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Deputy Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand First welcomes the launch of the new Criminal Cases Review Commission, gifted with the name from Waikato-Tainui - Te Kāhui Tātari Ture, announced in Hamilton today by Justice Minister Andrew Little. “New Zealand First has long believed in and ...
    1 week ago
  • Greens welcome huge new investment in sustainable projects
    The Green Party is celebrating over $800m in new funding for green projects, which will get people into jobs while solving New Zealand’s long-term challenges. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First demands answers from Meridian Energy
    Mark Patterson MP, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is appalled that Meridian seems to have been unnecessarily spilling water from its dams to drive up its profits."While New Zealanders have been coming together in some of our darkest hours, we don’t expect power gentailers to waste water and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Getting New Zealand moving again: June 2020
    We wrapped up the first half of 2020 with a busy month, taking additional steps to support New Zealanders as we continue with our economic recovery. We rolled out targeted packages to support key industries like tourism and construction, helped create jobs in the environmental and agriculture sectors, and set ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori union leader appointed to Infrastructure Commission board
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Infrastructure Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones has welcomed the appointment of Maurice Davis and his deep infrastructure and construction experience to the board of the Infrastructure Commission. Mr Davis (Ngāti Maniapoto), is the seventh and final appointment to the board led by former Reserve Bank Governor ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Click-bait journalism at its worst
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand’s click bait journalism is taking a turn for the worse, with yet another example of sensationalist, wilful-misrepresentation of the facts. “New Zealand First has worked constructively with its Coalition partner on hundreds of pieces of legislation and policy, and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party proposes transformational Poverty Action Plan
    The Green Party is today unveiling its Poverty Action Plan, which includes a Guaranteed Minimum Income to ensure people have enough to live with dignity.     ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF accelerates Rotorua projects
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development The Rotorua Museum redevelopment and Whakarewarewa and Tokorangi Forest projects will be accelerated thanks to a $2.09 million Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) boost, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Getting people into jobs
    This week, we rolled out the next steps of our recovery plan, with new infrastructure investment, extra support for tourism operators, and a new programme to get Kiwis into agriculture careers. The global economic consequences of COVID-19 will continue to be a challenge, but we have a detailed plan to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Coalition commitment establishing Mental Health Commission delivered
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its final reading in Parliament today fulfilling a coalition agreement commitment. “This is an important step in saving the lives of New Zealanders and delivers a key coalition commitment ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whakatāne gets a $2.5m ‘turbo boost’
    Whakatāne has been given a $2.5 million boost to speed up previously funded projects and create more than 450 jobs in the next decade. Of those, the equivalent of 160 full-time jobs could be delivered in the next six weeks. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters is in town to make ...
    2 weeks ago
  • $2.5m PGF funding to speed up economic recovery in Whakatāne
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $2.5 million to accelerate three infrastructure projects in Whakatāne, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “This package is about ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Shane Jones calls out those holding drought-stricken Auckland ‘to ransom’ over water
    Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones is throwing his weight behind a bid by the Auckland Council to fast-track the more than doubling of the city's water allowance from the Waikato River. And he's coming out strongly against anyone who plans on getting in the way of this campaign. "It is my ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another Green win as climate change considerations inserted into the RMA
    The Green Party is thrilled to see changes to the Resource Management Act (RMA) that mean consents for large projects can be declined if they will have significant climate change implications that are inconsistent with the Zero Carbon Act and Aotearoa New Zealand’s Paris Agreement obligations.  ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Navy vessel Aotearoa to arrive in New Zealand
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence The Royal New Zealand Navy’s new ship, Aotearoa, set sail for New Zealand on 10 June from the Republic of Korea, and is due to arrive in Auckland tomorrow, announced Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “Aotearoa is the Royal New Zealand Navy’s new fleet ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Racing Industry Bill passes third reading
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters has today welcomed the Racing Industry Bill passing its third reading, creating the legislative framework for revitalising the racing industry while limiting the need for future government intervention. “For too long our domestic racing industry has ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party seek amendment to ensure all prisoners can vote
    The Green Party has today put forward an amendment to the Electoral (Registration of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Bill to ensure all people in prisons can vote in general elections. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party welcomes new approach to delivering light rail
    The Green Party welcomes the decision to not proceed with Public Public Investment (PPI) delivery of Auckland’s light rail project and to instead run the process through the public service. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First welcomes PGF investment in Wairarapa Water
    Hon Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in the Wairarapa New Zealand First List MP Hon Ron Mark welcomes the announcement of Provincial Growth Funding investment of $1.4 million to help secure the Wairarapa’s water supply. The funding boost will allow the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC), and ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First MP Mark Patterson selected as candidate for Taieri
    New Zealand First list MP Mark Patterson has been selected to represent the party in the newly formed Taieri electorate at the upcoming election. Mr Patterson, his wife Jude and two daughters farm sheep and beef at Lawrence and Waitahuna. He previously stood in the Clutha-Southland electorate however boundary changes ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Ground-breaking on NZ Post depot
    Hon Shane Jones, Associate Minister for State Owned Enterprises A new ‘super depot’ to be built for NZ Post in Wellington will create around 350 jobs during construction, Associate Minister for State Owned Enterprises Shane Jones says. Shane Jones today attended a ground-breaking and blessing ceremony for the parcel-processing depot ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Putting our economic plan into action
    Our strong economic management prior to COVID-19 - with surpluses, low debt and near-record-low unemployment - put us in a good position to weather the impact of the virus and start to rebuild our economy much earlier than many other countries. Now we're putting our plan to recover and rebuild ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Fleeing drivers hit new record-high yet again
    Darroch Ball MP, New Zealand First Spokesperson for Law and Order Recently released Police fleeing driver statistics have shown yet another increase in incidents with another record-high in the latest quarter. “This new quarterly record-high is the latest in a string of record-high numbers since 2014.  The data shows incidents ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Inaugural launch of Kiribati Language Week
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio is pleased to announce the inaugural launch of Kiribati Language Week as part of the 2020 Pacific language Weeks programme. “I am so pleased that this year we are able to provide resourcing support to the Kiribati community in Aotearoa which will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • New support package for wildlife institutions
    Wildlife institutions affected by a loss of visitor revenue during the COVID-19 lockdown are set to receive government support with nearly $15 million of funding available announced Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage.  “Eco-sanctuaries, zoos, aquariums, wildlife parks, and wildlife rescue, hospital and rehabilitation facilities provide crucial support for the recovery ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • 300,000 students to benefit from free mental health services
    The Government is expanding and accelerating frontline mental health and wellbeing services at tertiary education institutes (TEI) to help students manage ongoing stresses related to COVID-19. “The lockdown has been hugely disruptive for students. Many of them have had to relocate and move to online learning, isolating them from their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Gang crime, meth harm targeted in Waikato
    The Minister of Police says a major operation against the Mongrel Mob in Waikato will make a big dent in drug harm and violent offending linked to organised crime networks. “Senior leadership of the Waikato Mongrel Mob has been taken out as a result of Operation Kingsville, which resulted in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Supporting victims and families to attend mosque attack sentencing
    The Government is extending the border exception criteria to enable some offshore victims and support people of the Christchurch mosque attacks to attend the sentencing of the accused beginning on 24 August2020, says Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway. “We want to support our valued Muslim brothers and sisters who were directly ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Boost for community freshwater restoration projects
    A project to support volunteer efforts to look after streams and rivers is getting a boost thanks to support from DOC’s Community Conservation Fund announced Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today.  “The government is backing efforts to look after waterways with $199,400 for the Mountains to Sea Conservation Trust from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • More support for women and girls
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter today announced that funding for the COVID-19 Community Fund for women and girls will be doubled, as the first successful funding applications for the initial $1million were revealed. “Women and girls across the country have suffered because of the effects of COVID-19, and I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Crown accounts stronger than forecast with higher consumer spending
    The Government’s books were better than forecast with a higher GST take as the economy got moving again after lockdown, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Crown Accounts for the 11 months to the end of May indicate the year end results for tax revenue will be stronger than forecast. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt releases plan to revitalise wool sector
    A plan to revitalise New Zealand’s strong wool sector and set it on a new, more sustainable and profitable path was unveiled today by Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. The newly-released report - Vision and Action for New Zealand’s Wool Sector - was developed by the Wool Industry Project Action Group ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding for Predator Free Whangārei
    Community efforts to create a Predator Free Whangārei will receive a $6 million boost, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage announced today. The new funding, through Government company Predator Free 2050 Ltd, will create around 12 jobs while enabling the complete removal of possums over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand to review relationship settings with Hong Kong
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced that the New Zealand Government is reviewing the settings of its relationship with Hong Kong. “China’s decision to pass a new national security law for Hong Kong has fundamentally changed the environment for international engagement there,” Mr Peters said. “New Zealand remains deeply ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding for Whangārei’s infrastructure projects revealed
    Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced details of a multimillion-dollar investment in Whangārei for infrastructure projects that will help it recover from the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 200 jobs are expected to be created through the $26 million investment from the Government’s rejuvenation package ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Managed isolation and quarantine update
    Following a second incident in which a person escaped from a managed isolation facility, security is being enhanced, including more police presence onsite, Minister Megan Woods said. “The actions of some individuals who choose to break the very clear rules to stay within the facilities means that more resourcing is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding for Kaipara district community waste programmes
    Waste reduction and recycling programmes in Kaipara are set to get a boost with Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage today announcing a $361,447 grant from the Ministry for the Environment’s Waste Minimisation Fund (WMF) Sustainable Kaipara. “The new funding will allow Sustainable Kaipara to partner with local schools, kura, community ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government will support the people and economy of Southland
    The Government will support the Southland economy in the wake of multinational mining company Rio Tinto’s decision to follow through with its long signalled closure of the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter. “This day has unfortunately been on the cards for some time now, but nevertheless the final decision is a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New transformational tools for the Predator Free 2050 effort
    New tools being developed to help boost Aotearoa’s Predator Free 2050 effort were unveiled today by Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage and Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau. A new rat poison, a camera with predator recognition software to detect and report predators, a new predator lure and a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Armoured vehicles for New Zealand Army
    The Coalition Government has approved the purchase of a fleet of Bushmaster vehicles to replace the New Zealand Army’s armoured Pinzgauers, Defence Minister Ron Mark has announced today. The new fleet of 43 Australian-designed and built Bushmaster NZ5.5 will provide better protection for personnel and improved carrying capacity. “The age ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Community-led solutions to prevent family violence
    The Government’s three prevention frameworks to reduce family violence in Aotearoa were launched this week by Associate Minister for Social Development Poto Williams.   The frameworks were developed in partnership with communities around New Zealand, and build on the work the Government has already begun with its new family violence prevention ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt confirms investment in better radiology and surgical services for Hawke’s Bay
    The Government is pleased to confirm funding for improvements to radiology and surgical services at Hawke's Bay DHB, Health Minister Chris Hipkins says.     "The Minister of Finance the Hon Grant Robertson and former Health Minister Dr David Clark approved funding for Hawke's Bay DHB’s redevelopment of their radiology facilities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Specialist alcohol and drug addiction services strengthened across New Zealand
    •    New funding for four beds at Napier’s Springhill Residential Addiction Centre •    A new managed withdrawal home and community service, and peer support before and after residential care at Tairāwhiti DHB  •    A co-ordinated network of withdrawal management services throughout the South Island •    Peer support in Rotorua and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Coastal Shipping Webinar
    Introduction, seafarers and POAL Good morning everyone, I am delighted to be online with you all today. Before I begin, I have to acknowledge that COVID-19 has disrupted the maritime sector on an unprecedented scale. The work of seafarers and the maritime industry is keeping many economies around the world ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Support for resilient rail connection to the West Coast
    A $13 million investment from Government will create jobs and improve the resilience of the rail connection between Christchurch and the West Coast, Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones and Regional Economic Development Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau say. The funding comes from the tagged contingency set aside in Budget 2020 for infrastructure projects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Major investment in safe drinking water
    The Government is investing $761 million to assist local government upgrade under-pressure water services across the country, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today.  The announcement was made at the site of the water bore that was found to be the source of the fatal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Supporting stranded seasonal workers to keep working with more flexible options
    Recognised Seasonal Employers and migrant seasonal workers stranded in New Zealand will be able to continue working and supporting themselves with more flexible hours and roles, says Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway. The time-limited visa changes are: Stranded RSE workers will be able to work part-time (a minimum of 15 hours ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Relief for temporary migrants, employers and New Zealanders who need work
    The Government is making immediate short-term changes to visa settings to support temporary migrants already onshore in New Zealand and their employers, while also ensuring New Zealanders needing work are prioritised, Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. We are: Extending temporary work visas due to expire by the end of 2020 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Freshwater commissioners and fast-track consenting convenor appointed
    Professor Peter Skelton CNZM has been appointed as Chief Freshwater Commissioner and Alternate Environment Court Judge Craig James Thompson as Deputy Chief Freshwater Commissioner for the newly established Freshwater Planning Process (FPP). Environment Minister David Parker today also announced the appointment of Chief Environment Court Judge Laurie Newhook as the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Appointment of Judge of the High Court
    Auckland Queen’s Counsel Neil Campbell has been appointed a Judge of the High Court, Attorney‑General David Parker announced today. Justice Campbell graduated with a BCom and LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland in 1992. He spent two years with Bell Gully Buddle Weir in Auckland before travelling to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Feedback sought – Commercial Film and Video Production Facilities
    The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to better enable the development and operation of commercial film and video facilities in Christchurch. The Proposal, developed by Regenerate Christchurch in response to a request from Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt launches bold primary sector plan to boost economic recovery
    The Government has launched a bold plan to boost primary sector export earnings by $44 billion over the next decade, while protecting the environment and growing jobs. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today released Fit for a Better World – Accelerating our Economic Potential, a 10-year roadmap to unlock greater value ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Wellbeing of whanau at heart of new hub
    A new approach to prevent family harm that encourages greater collaboration across government and community groups is being celebrated at the opening of a new facility in Auckland. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today opened the Multi-Disciplinary Family Harm Prevention Hub Te Taanga Manawa in Lambie Road in Manukau. The facility ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Report on Auckland Port Relocation
    The Government has released a major new report on the options for relocating the Port of Auckland’s freight operations while deferring any decision on the issue. “That decision needs to be informed by policy analysis that is still to be completed. As a result it will be up to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Dual place names for Te Pātaka-o-Rākaihautū / Banks Peninsula features
    The history of Rāpaki is being restored through the inclusion of te reo in thirteen official place names on Te Pātaka-o-Rākaihautū / Banks Peninsula and around Lyttelton Harbour/Whakaraupō, the Minister for Land Information, Eugenie Sage, announced today.   “I am pleased to approve the proposals from Te Hapū o Ngāti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government and Air New Zealand agree to manage incoming bookings
    Bookings for seats on Air New Zealand flights into New Zealand will be managed in the short term to ensure the Government is able to safely place New Zealanders arriving home into a managed isolation or quarantine facility, says Housing Minister Megan Woods.  “Last week Air Commodore Darryn Webb and I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • $80 million for sport recovery at all levels
    Grant Robertson has today announced the first major release of funding from the $265 million Sport Recovery Package announced at Budget 2020.  “Today we’re setting out how $80 million will be invested, with $54 million of that over the 2020/2021 financial year for organisations from community level through to elite ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Keeping ACC levies steady until 2022
    The Government is maintaining current levy rates for the next 2 years, as part of a set of changes to help ease the financial pressures of COVID-19 providing certainty for businesses and New Zealanders, ACC Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. “New Zealanders and businesses are facing unprecedented financial pressures as a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Extended loan scheme keeps business afloat
    Small businesses are getting greater certainty about access to finance with an extension to the interest-free cashflow loan scheme to the end of the year. The Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme has already been extended once, to 24 July. Revenue and Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says it will be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New investment creates over 2000 jobs to clean up waterways
    A package of 23 projects across the country will clean up waterways and deliver over 2000 jobs Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Environment Minister David Parker announced today. The $162 million dollar package will see 22 water clean-up projects put forward by local councils receiving $62 million and the Kaipara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to Labour Party Congress 2020
    Tena koutou katoa  Nga tangata whenua o tenei rohe o Pōneke, tena koutou Nau mai, haere mai ki te hui a tau mo te roopu reipa Ko tatou!  Ko to tatou mana!  Ko to tatou kaupapa kei te kokiri whakamua  Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena tatou katoa   Welcome. I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • PGF top-up for QE Health in Rotorua
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $1.5 million to ensure QE Health in Rotorua can proceed with its world class health service and save 75 existing jobs, Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The PGF funding announced today is in addition to the $8 million ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Building a more sustainable construction sector
    A new programme, which sets a firm course for the Building and Construction sector to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, has been announced by the Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa. “A significant amount of New Zealand’s carbon emissions come from the building and construction sector.  If we’re serious ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago