web analytics

Still making things go boom dangerously

Written By: - Date published: 5:27 pm, March 15th, 2015 - 26 comments
Categories: International - Tags: , , , ,

Over the last few days I have been reading Neil Sheenan‘s “A fiery peace in a cold war“. It looks at the politics and infighting of the development of the US ICBM forces in the 50s and probably later (still reading). At the same time I’ve been reading last week’s Economist, including a feature on the current developing arms race in nuclear weapon systems. From the Economist leader

After the end of the cold war the world clutched at the idea that nuclear annihilation was off the table. When Barack Obama, speaking in Prague in 2009, backed the aim to rid the world of nuclear weapons, he was treated not as a peacenik but as a statesman. Today his ambition seems a fantasy. Although the world continues to comfort itself with the thought that mutually assured destruction is unlikely, the risk that somebody somewhere will use a nuclear weapon is growing apace.

Every nuclear power is spending lavishly to upgrade its atomic arsenal (see article). Russia’s defence budget has grown by over 50% since 2007, and fully a third of it is devoted to nuclear weapons: twice the share of, say, France. China, long a nuclear minnow, is adding to its stocks and investing heavily in submarines and mobile missile batteries. Pakistan is amassing dozens of battlefield nukes to make up for its inferiority to India in conventional forces. North Korea is thought to be capable of adding a warhead a year to its stock of around ten, and is working on missiles that can strike the west coast of the United States. Even the Nobel peace laureate in the White House has asked Congress for almost $350 billion to undertake a decade-long programme of modernisation of America’s arsenal.

The motivations are different.

Worst of all is the instability. During much of the cold war the two superpowers, anxious to avoid Armageddon, were willing to tolerate the status quo. Today the ground is shifting under everyone’s feet.

Inherently unstable states (for various reasons) like Pakistan, North Korea, Israel, and Iran appear to be using nuclear weapons or the threat of developing them to avoid change in their circumstances. They aren’t exactly states noted for their moderate internal and external politics. These are all states that are most notable for their populations of complete nutters, many of the more cynical ones in charge of those weapons.

Others want to shift the status quo.

Russia is increasingly using nuclear scenarios in their military exercises. Many of those scenarios postulate attacks on cities in neighbouring states like Warsaw or Stockholm. Bearing in mind their “plausible deniability” of special forces attacks on neighbouring states in recent years, neighbouring states either with or without Russian population enclaves have to be worried.

Resentful, nationalistic and violent, it wants to rewrite the Western norms that underpin the status quo. First in Georgia and now in Ukraine, Russia has shown it will escalate to extremes to assert its hold over its neighbours and convince the West that intervention is pointless. Even if Mr Putin is bluffing about nuclear weapons (and there is no reason to think he is), any nationalist leader who comes after him could be even more dangerous.

China is somewhat less ambiguous. They are developing a mobile second strike capability in the unfortunate traditional logic of MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction).

Nuclear expansion is designed to give China a chance to retaliate using a “second strike”, should America attempt to destroy its arsenal. Yet the two barely talk about nuclear contingencies—and a crisis over, say, Taiwan could escalate alarmingly. In addition Japan, seeing China’s conventional military strength, may feel it can no longer rely on America for protection. If so, Japan and South Korea could go for the bomb—creating, with North Korea, another petrifying regional stand-off.

All of this is eerily like the crazed nuclear and delivery systems build up in the 1950s that Neil Sheenan documents. As then, the partizian fools in the US congress play their part at putting us all at risk

 

KAL’s cartoon looking at the republican ‘help’ in tricky nuclear standoffs.

The turning point came between the US and the USSR during the Cuba crisis when the leaders at the time found that they had to talk to each other or mutually die. The decades of diplomacy following were important

What to do? The most urgent need is to revitalise nuclear diplomacy. One priority is to defend the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which slows the spread of weapons by reassuring countries that their neighbours are not developing nukes. It was essential that Iran stayed in the treaty (unlike North Korea, which left). The danger is that, like Iran, signatories will see enrichment and reprocessing as preparation for a bomb of their own—leading their neighbours to enrich in turn. That calls for a collective effort to discourage enrichment and reprocessing, and for America to shore up its allies’ confidence.

You don’t have to like the other side to get things done. Arms control became a vital part of Soviet-American relations. So it could between China and America, and between America and Putin’s Russia. Foes such as India and Pakistan can foster stability simply by talking. The worst time to get to know your adversary is during a stand-off.

Of course this is the obvious. But of course we have to look at the sterling example being set by the UN security council permanent members.

The chilling of relations between America and Russia over Ukraine has resulted in cooperation on nuclear security measures being suspended, while promised follow-on measures relating to New START have been quietly abandoned. Vladimir Putin, Mr Medvedev’s predecessor and successor, takes every opportunity to laud his country’s nuclear prowess, and is committing a third of Russia’s booming military budget to bolstering it.

It is not the only power investing in its nukes (see table). America is embarking on a $348-billion decade-long modernisation programme. Britain is about to commit to modernising its forces, as well, while France is halfway through the process. China is investing heavily in a second-strike capability. In short, there has been no attempt to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in the military and security doctrines of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, despite their commitments under the NPT. An initiative aimed at making nuclear weapons illegal under international humanitarian law, backed by over 150 NPT signatory countries, has attracted little to no support from the weapons states and only lip service from countries which welcome America’s nuclear protection.

Perhaps having NZ on the security council might be useful. Perhaps we could once again tell those idiot states, especially the US,  to lead by example.

Cannon fired nuke test 1953

Cannon fired nuke test 1953

 

26 comments on “Still making things go boom dangerously”

  1. Murray Rawshark 1

    “Perhaps having NZ on the security council might be useful. Perhaps we could once again tell those idiot states, especially the US, to lead by example.”

    I can’t see our having a government in power in the near future that would do that. National thinks the US already leads by example and Labour has been very happy to be back in the 5 eyed club.

    • Anne 1.1

      I can’t see our having a government in power in the near future that would do that.

      Actually I can. Andrew Little is strong and morally principled. I’ve had the good fortune to hear him make a speech twice now in a semi-private setting with no media present. He is more than capable of… telling those idiot states, especially the US, to lead by example.

      • Murray Rawshark 1.1.1

        It would be good if you’re right, but how does this mesh with his voting for increased participation in the 5 eyes club? That’s what giving our squirrels more power means – more involvement in the seppo gang.

  2. mickysavage 2

    Dang I was hoping we had left this insanity in the 1980s. Risking mutually assured destruction and squandering resources on nuclear weapons when we could make major inroads into poverty is rather silly.

    • lprent 2.1

      Nope. It looks to me like we’re just getting a slow tooling up amongst quite a number of nations. Technically it is getting cheaper, and there aren’t too many political constraints on doing it.

      • mickysavage 2.1.1

        Yep and the profit margins are huge …

        Behind climate change this is the biggest threat to humanity …

  3. GregJ 3

    It seems this from Flanders and Swann is still as apposite as it was in the sixties. 😥

    • Murray Simmonds 3.1

      Absolutely delightful link – thank you GregJ.

      Perhaps instead of wasting all that money on a new flag we could put some of it towards a new National Anthem.

      I’d vote for the Flanders and Swann offering as an alternative to what we presently put up with, any day.

  4. les 4

    the western nations should be the only ones allowed to have nuclear weapons because they are responsible,have high morals,ethics and are doing Gods work.

  5. These are all states that are most notable for their populations of complete nutters, many of the more cynical ones in charge of those weapons.

    I see that you included Israel in that lot, which is sensible, given the crazies currently in charge of the place. However, what disturbs me, and what is different from the 1950s, is that the same kind of crazies are ascendant in the US and Canada, and to a lesser extent the UK and Australia. For all the faults of the Key government, they aren’t mental like Abbott or Harper (and I don’t care what people say: Harper is mental).

    • lprent 5.1

      However, what disturbs me, and what is different from the 1950s, is that the same kind of crazies are ascendant in the US…

      Are you kidding? LeMay, Teller, von Neumann, Truman, Eisenhower, damn the list is endless. I swear that that entire generation of traumatised refugees and military paranoids were completely nuts, and in charge of the programmes for atomic weapons.

      And I haven’t gotten on to the congresses of the 50s. The material in some of the books I have read could be used to show the nuts that ran things.

      Those just happen to be a few of the people who have appeared in this book so far. The completely wired theories that they had and their complete inability to believe what intelligence that they had. I think that many in control of that post-two wars and depression generation in power in the US and UK were just nuts

      • Tom Jackson 5.1.1

        Eisenhower? What did he do? I have a hard time thinking he was barmier than the tea baggers. And at least some of the others on the list believed in the scientific method – such heresy would not be tolerated in today’s Republican party.

    • Colonial Rawshark 5.2

      They aren’t exactly states noted for their moderate internal and external politics. These are all states that are most notable for their populations of complete nutters, many of the more cynical ones in charge of those weapons.

      Iran is a very rational, technologically, industrially and scientifically advanced, modern Islamic society that is very keen to engage with the USA, Russia and China in both diplomatic and economic terms.

      They have signed the IAEA ‘additional protocols’ ensuring a very high level of transparency over their nuclear programme – something that Pakistan, North Korea and Israel refuse to do.

      They have also been attacked multiple times by foreign powers in their modern history but have invaded no other country in all that time. It is an old, proud civilisation widely tolerant of many religions within its own young and highly educated population.

      And its literacy rate for women today is over 95% – exactly the same as the male rate. As I understand it during the US backed Shah’s time, the figure was around 50%. Within that same time frame the birth rate in Iran has dropped from about 6 to just over 2. That’s evidence of a nation which is progressing in leaps and bounds.

      • lprent 5.2.1

        Iran is a very rational, technologically, industrially and scientifically advanced, modern Islamic society that is very keen to engage with the USA, Russia and China in both diplomatic and economic terms.

        Parts are. Parts are not. It is also not a homogenous society and has some “interesting” features in its political system – like the armed militias. Which I notice you didn’t point to their governing systems, but was the key to my point.

        They are also noticeable for the style of attacks internally on dissidents using local militias, externally using those same militias to dragoon citizens as cannon fodder during the Iran-Iraq war, and having a way of changing power that is has been pretty damn opaque to its citizens as well as to external observers but has a lot to do with using those militia to push around voters.

        The last election was rather different because it appears to have at least partially pushed out the overbearing effect of the militias for the first time in 3 decades. But the internal power structures still appear to be relatively unstable.

        • Colonial Rawshark 5.2.1.1

          Parts are. Parts are not. It is also not a homogenous society and has some “interesting” features in its political system – like the armed militias. Which I notice you didn’t point to their governing systems, but was the key to my point.

          Now that is also true. However I’d say that in D.C. the very powerful pro Israel neocon faction adds ‘spice’ and ‘non-homogeneity’ to the US political system. And they have been shown to cause actual wars, big ones. So I hesitate to conclude where the biggest danger to the Middle East is actually coming from.

          The other thing to note is that the Iranian cabinet is full of US alumni, including half a dozen or more PhDs. Their government understands the west far more than the west currently understands them.

          I found this by a former US Middle East civilian intelligence contractor who had top secret clearance quite informative:

    • Murray Rawshark 5.3

      Abbott is mental and some of his cabinet, like Pyne and Morrison, are even worse.

  6. Quote from a well known scientist.

    Humans are an advanced bred of Monkeys living on a insignificant rock floating in the middle of nowhere.

    Well, I reckon the advanced bred of monkey is about right, a few are hell bent on ending the human race, or at least there are those who can’t seem to help themselves.

    We can only despair at their idiotic mentality.
    Politicians, Who would have them ?

  7. Clemgeopin 7

    I think the world is %#@* ed.

    Is there a way to really un%#@*it?

  8. Macro 8

    Mind you lprent we are currently heating the Earth at the rate of 4-5 Hiroshimas per second. This energy far out ways the energy of all the atomic weapons we have amassed . If all the weapons were exploded at once they would be only a fraction of the energy that the Earth accumulates every year. Not to say that it wouldn’t be devastation and complete annihilation, just making the point that thanks to the massive heat sink of the oceans, if that energy were all released into the atmosphere at once we would be toast.

    • lprent 8.1

      Sure and it will cause major problems over centuries starting about now.

      But the problem with using nukes, especially ground strike, is that they act like volcanoes and pass a pall over the earth

      Human societies societies are incredibly dependent on agriculture, agrticuiture is very sensitive to weather and climate effects and either the slow effects of greenhouse gases or stratospheric debris disrupts it quite effectively. As our population continues to build well past the carrying limits we get more affected by even minor shifts in food production

  9. Wonderpup 9

    The discussion has been about the consciously planned use of nukes. What about an accident? It has only been through pure luck that a weapon hasn’t detonated accidentally. Schlosser’s book on the history of nuclear weapon ‘safety’ isn’t perfect, but it is a good read.

    http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/oct/25/command-control-eric-schlosser-review

    • greywarshark 9.1

      Bill did a piece on the Japanese nuclear plants and the fact that they are in a perilous state which can’t be contained completely.

  10. The arms race never really stopped, so much as it slowed down until the Russian economy started improving. Rather than go for wholesale nuclear arms reductions, the Russians and the Americans started upgrading existing devices where possible instead of manufacturing new ones. With the absence of any new really ground breaking treaties like Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty was when it was conceived and little effort being made to communicate concerns, the diplomatic situation is probably no better than the state of nuclear weapons on the whole.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • 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 ...
    1 day 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.  ...
    1 day 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 ...
    1 day 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 ...
    1 day 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 ...
    1 day 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 ...
    1 day 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. ...
    1 day 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 ...
    2 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 ...
    2 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 ...
    4 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 ...
    4 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 ...
    4 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 ...
    4 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 ...
    5 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. ...
    5 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. ...
    1 week 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
  • Major boost in support for caregivers and children
    Hon Tracey Martin, Minister for Children A major increase in funding and availability of support will improve the incomes and reduce the pressure on 14,000 caregivers looking after more than 22,000 children. Children’s Minister Tracey Martin says that caregivers – all those looking after someone else’s children both in and ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Forestry Minister Shane Jones moves to protect sawmills
    Forestry Minister Shane Jones has introduced a Bill to Parliament that he says will "force more transparency, integrity and respect" for the domestic wood-processing sector through the registration of log traders and practice standards. The Forests (Regulation of Log Traders and Forestry Advisers) Amendment Bill had its first reading in ...
    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
    13 hours ago
  • Ministerial Diary April 2020
    ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    1 week ago