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Still spinning “social investment”

Written By: - Date published: 10:04 am, May 7th, 2017 - 36 comments
Categories: benefits, bill english, class war, national, welfare - Tags: , , ,

People are still trying to pretend that English’s “social investment” is a new idea, and that it is somehow a “problem” for Labour. Audrey Young:

Social investment a dilemma for Labour

The dilemma has been what to say about it. Until now Labour has said very little.

When it was just a name attached to a concentrated effort to reduce the number of teenage mothers on a social welfare benefit there was not much to be said. But it is much more than that now. It is an approach about early intervention based on abundant data that is at the core of Government decision-making about social spending. It is also an approach that National has commandeered as its own and is increasingly using as part of its political branding in this election year.

[Ardern] “It is an idea that pre-dates social investment and it is one that is simply common sense.”

She is right that early intervention has been an integral part of Labour’s approach. To use the lingo, Labour “invested” heavily in early childhood education when it was last in Government.

What differentiates social investment from early intervention is its greater reliance on data to calculate future liabilities to the taxpayer in actuarial terms, to identify people through risk predictors who might be a problem, apply a fix if it has been shown to work, and measure the result. It is targeting to the nth degree and yet the one debate that has barely surfaced from the social investment approach is about targeting. The whole approach is premised on the assumption that targeting is positive and that even more precise targeting is even more positive.

Targeting versus universality was a major issue during the reforms of the late 80s and early 90s when greater targeting was introduced by Labour and National, including the abolition of the universal child benefit in 1991. Only New Zealand Superannuation survived in the broad welfare system.

The targeting debate appears to be over. The main argument now, in the context of social investment, appears to be how far is too far.

The concerns primarily centre around data and whether extreme targeting stigmatises those who become the subject of intervention. At the other end of the scale, there are concerns about who falls through the crack when risk predictors are used to identify targets for state-funded intervention. …

I wrote about how “social investment” is just repackaged “targeted welfare”: Spinning ‘social investment’. To repeat myself, of course no one is going to be opposed to targeting welfare spending where it will be most effective (here’s Labour advisor Rob Salmond writing in support). The difference is that the political left (which created social welfare) take a genuinely constructive approach, and the political right (which has always opposed welfare) is adopting some clever spin to justify reduced spending.

For other commentary, a recent Fabians presentation by Michael Cullen and Mike O’Brien:

Menace of social investment

The government has called its framework of social policy and austerity ‘the social investment approach’! It assumes current settings of economic policy and social outcomes must be held too but interventions can be taken when pressure builds for tweaks and minimal spending to save future costs. We do not respond to a housing crisis with a building programme. We do not alleviate poverty, we respond to vulnerable children by uplifting the child and let the parents flounder. …

Toby Manhire writes:

Bill English’s social investment strategy raises big questions

But as we charge down the data-bedazzled path of evidence-based social policy, there are more than a few reasons to take pause.

The social investment dawn follows the deluge of information that has become available – and crunchable – in recent years. The Dunedin longitudinal study, especially, has provided a wealth of evidence to recreate the Aristotlean “give me a child at seven” maxim in spreadsheet form.

Now, though, it’s “give me a child at three”. Last year a report based on the study and New Zealand government data, published in Nature: Human Behaviour, found that tests of brain health in children as young as three could identify those individuals likelier to in future “account for a disproportionate share of costly service use across a society’s health care, criminal justice and social welfare system”.

That’s great, but also: gulp. Who’s for a team screening of Minority Report? Are we OK with a 45 minute test on every three-year-old’s brain health to pick out the ones that are likely to be liabilities? Consider, by the way, the way that study was presented in the mainstream press: “Future criminals revealed at age three” – a headline as wrong as it is unsurprising.

Beyond the potential of stigma, there are a bunch of other reasons to tread carefully on the road to the data Damascus. English says that vast amounts of social spending have historically been wasted, having had no impact on outcomes.

But can we be so sure about that? We can’t measure everything after all. And while it clearly makes sense to target the most at-risk, might chucking everything into that basket mean neglecting a wider focus on welfare or opportunity or social mobility?

“Social investment” is in many ways just a warmer, fuzzier rebrand of what policy wonks have called the “forward liability investment model”. Does a fixation on minimising future expenditure, while overlooking enhancements in welfare, create a distorted picture?

Are we always measuring the right things, measuring it correctly, asking the right questions of the data? Might we miss institutional biases? Is there a danger, in the phrase of self-described data nerd Keith Ng, of treating data as a magic lamp that gives us whatever we ask for? What about the implications of outsourcing? Everyone OK with the prospect of eager private contractor Serco as your local social investment banker?

That’s a lot of questions. Sorry about that. But given the magnitude of the vision the government is promising it seems fair enough to ask. …

Directing welfare spending where it will do most good makes sense. But let’s make sure that that is what it is, not an excuse to simply cut funding, stigmatise, and target “undesireables”. National’s record does not inspire confidence, to say the very least. Never mind the hypocrisy of being all over data if they can use if for beneficiary bashing, and desperate to ignore it when it comes to the environment, the housing crisis, their failed education policies, and so on.


For other takes on why the English version of “social investment” should be treated with deep suspicion see Shamubeel Eaqub reported in Data-driven social welfare policy lacks humanity – economist, and Keith Ng in I’m a data nerd and a data cheerleader, but still I fear Bill English’s datatopia, and…

36 comments on “Still spinning “social investment””

  1. RedBaronCV 1

    The IRD back when, issued Westpac Bank (& others) a notice of proposed adjustment (extra tax to pay) of some $2.6 bilion from memory.

    I’ll give all this data mining & social investment **** some credibility the day it identifies and puts the type of behaviour behind this sort of tax underpayment, at the top of the list of damaging social behaviours in our community.

  2. Ad 2

    I have a few issues with Keith Ng’s article.

    Ng: “Governance is about making decisions with imperfect knowledge.”
    What a weak-ass excuse against ‘social investment’. What does he expect; a willful use of poor data? English is advocating what a good government should do: always improve data when designing policy instruments.

    “…in policy, data is just an important link in a very long chain…”
    Of course, but making one area of policy execution strong, namely data, is simply going to raise the standard for all other parts of that chain.

    “As data-driven policymaking becomes more sophisticated, the circle of experts is getting smaller, and everyone on the outside is getting left behind.”
    I view English as more interested in the positive and provable results of the social instruments available, including data, not about the policy-making per se. It’s pretty silly to see Mr Ng complain about a specific group of nerds being left behind (I guess including Mr Ng), when the point of English’s framework is to avoid arm-waving and bloated policy rhetoric and to let the facts speak the loudest. You need fewer policy arm-wavers when the facts are clearer.

    “We need to understand what it is and how to use it, or we’ll be at the mercy of data nerds and dumb machines.”
    He confesses to a ‘glass half empty’ approach, noting also that it’s inevitable whatever the government that comes in.

    The political test on English is to keep showing how the results of this approach are superior for people, not just for the taxpayer.

    To me the only useful point came from Bill Rosenberg within the Eaqub article you link to:
    the best way to eradicate social ills is to eradicate poverty. Pay people more.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1

      The best way to eradicate socials ills is to eliminate poverty.

      Not exactly. Social ills respond to changes in the GINI. English’s obsession with targeting victims ignores this fact completely.

      He’d get far better results by testing children for right wing tendencies.

      • Ad 2.1.1

        Rosenberg made that broader point about poverty including poor health, poor education, poor housing, poor social cohesion, as well as poor incomes. GINI is the shorthand for all of that, and his context of course was the Child Poverty Action Conference itself.

    • AB 2.2

      Keith Ng: “…in policy, data is just an important link in a very long chain…”
      Keith is absolutely right in this – what data are you going to collect and what purpose lies behind the decisions you make on what data to collect and not collect?

      Seems to me the data gathered will be to determine the characteristics of those that fall through the cracks. We can then see how these people are different, deficient, inadequate. The underlying assumption is that it’s their fault and we need to identify them early and fix their bad behaviour somehow.

      Whereas what is really important is to focus on the cracks themselves and why we allow them to exist. Ad is being much too kind by implying that data is somehow neutral and is always put to good use.

  3. JC 3

    This is a good article on the lack of benefit to the poor of targetted welfare and the benefits of a univeral system such as a living wage.
    https://thecorrespondent.com/4664/why-do-the-poor-make-such-poor-decisions/179307480-39a74caf

  4. Rosemary McDonald 4

    Comment from a Young Person on the topic of social housing, welfare, public health spending and the like….

    “We don’t have so many people in New Zealand that we can’t afford to look after everyone.”

    Out of the mouths of babes….

    • Karen 4.1

      +1 Rosemary. It is appalling that a country like NZ has so many people living in poverty and so many struggling to get adequate health care.

      “Social investment” is a misnomer to make it seem that only those who really need help get it, but in truth it is a deliberate plan to cut spending on social services while pretending that you are being innovative. Many people who need help but don’t fit the criteria will miss out.

      Keith Ng is right about the problems with relying on this data to make all your funding decisions. This government wants to balance their books and, unlike Ad, I am absolutely sure that they will manipulate data make it seem that they are adequately funding social services when they are actually cutting back.

      The Nats are always trying to stigmatise the poor and disadvantaged – they will use this approach to do it even more.

      • Rosemary McDonald 4.1.1

        The YP who made that comment would quite happily kick the arses of the few who exploit the welfare system…but their own brief experience on the Jobseeker benefit a few years ago gave this intelligent person a glimpse of the malevolence of MSD. Those with fewer coping skills would be quickly ground to dust.

        “Keith Ng is right about the problems with relying on this data to make all your funding decisions. This government wants to balance their books and, unlike Ad, I am absolutely sure that they will manipulate data make it seem that they are adequately funding social services when they are actually cutting back.”

        I am pretty sure this has happened with Ministry of Health Disability Support Services over the past few years. I try, but I have neither the time nor the data analysis expertise to properly investigate it. I suspect that in order to fund Boomer age care, access to funding for those with long term impairments (usually under 65) has been made more difficult….to the point there is (despite the fact there is not supposed to be… de facto means and asset testing for core services. There has always been the expectation that family will provide what was loosely termed ‘natural support’…a concept that the HRRT largely debunked in the Atkinson decision of January 2010. The subsequent Part 4 amendment to the PHDAct of 2013 actually legislates to make family ‘in the main’ responsible for the care of disabled family members…in the context of funded supports.

        First they came for the disabled….

    • Tuppence Shrewsbury 4.2

      what a naive comment. Are we going to get Bryan Gould to start a bank so he can start making money out of thin air to pay for all this “caring”

      • ropata 4.2.1

        austerity is evil, we are a rich nation, equality is possible and it was the kiwi way until the corporate sociopaths took over.

        but the nats campaign to divide society and stigmatise the poor obviously works for you

    • AB 4.3

      “We don’t have so many people in NZ thst we can’t afford to look after everyone”
      I think one of the unstated purposes of our current immigration settings is to make that no longer true.

  5. ankerawshark 5

    I am a great supporter of the evidence of the Dunedin study and the useful information it gives us, including being able to identify kids at risk when they are 3 years old. The trajectory of those kids is poor and if there is any intervention that can ensure they have better outcomes, then I find that impossible to disagree with. The evidence from the Dunedin study is as good as it gets.

    BUT the is equally good evidence about the effect on poverty on children and it turns out growing up in poverty is highly damaging. Just in terms of health outcomes it turns out those kids brought up in poverty, even if they miraculously turn things around for themselves and “do well” they still have the same poor health outcomes later in life.
    SO why not do both??? I think we have a moral duty to our children to do so.

  6. Keith 6

    National have wound down social assistance/welfare to those who are broke and in need. of that there is no doubt, be it housing, health, both mental and physical, education and basic money to live off or an ability to escape the trap they are in.

    I use the term “welfare” carefully because if you are a housing investor you are getting shit loads off the tax payer whilst you line your own pockets. As are business with their subsidised rates and taxes.

    But you have to hand it to the Nats, to cover their tracks they dump a massive amount of words on the subject such as data reports, minority reports and targeted assistance based on all manner of dubious inputs to give the appearance they care. Then the media, who have notoriously short attention span give up trying to decipher it and the opposition who cannot articulate what is wrong with National approach to welfare also give up and sound all grey and unconvincing.

    Call it what is is. If you are poor or born with something wrong, National dont care.

  7. Wayne 7

    This sort of article seemingly ignores the MOU between Labour and the Greens.

    They have committed themselves to government spending at 30% of GDP (pretty much the present) no new taxes, surpluses and reducing government debt. So very similar settings to National. I imagine Labour/Greens will not offer tax cuts, not even threshold adjustments, so they will have maybe up to $2 billion extra spending (as compared to say $1 to 1.5 billion with National).

    So then the debate is reduced to “we can do it better”. With the MOU, can there really be a revolution in the way government works? That is, spend basically the same amount of money but in a dramatically different way.

    I think not. For instance in Health National has changed almost nothing from the Clark government (which was a deliberate choice). Is Labour going to change that?

    I guess there will be more money for water quality and housing, perhaps a extra of $800 million. Useful, but not extraordinary.

    There is not much scope for other new spending. For instance both National and Labour want more police. That means Corrections will inevitably get more customers. But it reduces the money for other things.

    To me the election, at least in substance, is going to be fought on only a small number of things; immigration, water and housing. Nothing else will really matter, not when the fiscal and economic settings of both alternatives are almost identical.

    Winston gets a big edge on the immigration issue, with the election in large part being fought on his big issue. So does Winston grow from his current 10% or so to 15%, perhaps even more. If so, he will be the decisive factor in the coming election.

    Both alternative governments (and the voters) will need to understand his policies much more than they currently do. What does he really want other than immigration and Pike River. He won’t agree to cutting defence, so that is not a source of money. Are his other big things basically regional development, a lot more job training and a big infrastructure plan?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1

      We’re not planning on raising taxes and we’re going to see what the Government talks about, you know, in its tax changes that it’s foreshadowed, but we are making no plan for lifting taxes…

      We are not planning on any tax changes for the 2017 election. We will finely calibrate what we do once we see what the Government does in its foreshadowed tax changes, which we assume will be in this year’s budget, but who knows?

      I can see why you would like to spin this as a “commitment”, and I’m equally sure you wouldn’t get away with such a sloppy interpretation in court.

      When the next government has a full understanding of the true state of the books, they may need to change their plans. Nothing in Little’s statement precludes this.

      If he’d said “Labour is not going to be raising taxes”, well sure, you’d have a point.

      Along similar lines, weren’t you one of the mob that increased ACC levies on completely spurious grounds back in 2009? Did you and the rest of the cabinet know Nick Smith was spinning like a top, or did he dupe you into it? How did it work?

      • Molly 7.1.1

        From a personal point of view, the increase in ACC levies was partly to expose the scheme to negative viewpoints and articles about the “waste” and “inefficient spending”.

        After that, the access to ACC treatment has become very difficult, and often is denied, – leading to further negative connotations from patients and NZers trying to get help.

        At some point, the once valued ACC service will be suitably rebranded as a bloated, inefficient service that we will no longer recognise – and a future right-wing government will have very little opposition when they dismantle it completely.

      • tinfoilhat 7.1.2

        “When the next government has a full understanding of the true state of the books, they may need to change their plans. Nothing in Little’s statement precludes this.”

        Isn’t this released automatically ? i can’t remember which government changed the rules on this but it was long overdue.

        Edit – molly I don’t believe any future Nat led government would scrap ACC no matter how much they might want to. it is too highly valued by the NZ public and the alternative is too hideous to contemplate apart from those who contemplate the windfall from its removal (ambulance chasing lawyers, insurance companies, other bottom feeders)

        • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1.2.1

          The PREFU isn’t due ’til August.

          It reflects the opinions of the Treasury Department.

      • Wayne 7.1.3

        When a party says they have no plans to raise taxes in the election year, people are entitled to take them at their word. “We’re not planning on any tax changes for the 2017 election” seems pretty specific to me.

        The rules on government accounting are well known and accepted by both major parties. There is no room to argue the books are cooked. For instance I have never heard Grant Robertson argue that the accounts that Treasury prepares for the budget or the PREFU are somehow misrepresentative.

        The Labour Green Budget Responsibility Rules announced in March this year does limit their choices, in my view in quite a strict way.

        While I appreciate many on the left were annoyed by the budget responsibility rules, they were not aimed at committed left voters. They were aimed at middle New Zealand, to reassure them that Labour and the Greens are a safe choice.

        I would expect that if there is a Labour/Green/NZF govt then such a govt would abide by them. It is effectively the core of the “manifesto”.

        To do otherwise would be a breach of a political covenant with the voters. If they did breach the budget responsibility rules except for a crisis (not just the current issues, but something like a new GFC) they effectively would have got middle New Zealand votes by political fraud.

        I would note that NZF will readily go with the rules since they also are against raising taxes.

        • Brendon 7.1.3.1

          Wayne I believe National and Steven Joyce have vaguely indicated they want to cut taxes and also reduce debt below NZ’s long term averages. That is further than the Labour/Greens MOU have committed to, so there is a fiscal difference.

          Also the social investment model is code for contracting out public services to private providers. Bill English believes that Wellington controlled/monitored contracts using the spin of ‘big data’ to justify outside providers being used will have better results than using existing professional structures -such as DHB’s -which of course have always being evidence based/expert led.

          The social investment model is a power grab -plain and simple. Fundamentally it shows Bill and National distrusts public services and they have a desire to replace organisations with a public service culture with ones with a private sector culture. At its base this is an ideological exercise not an evidence based one. If it wasn’t ideological then the government would share ‘big data’ with public sector organisations and allow them to reconfigure as needed.

          I find it interesting that ‘good’ right wing public services such as the Police are not threatened with the social investment model. Instead it is the easily stigmatised mental health providers where National targets first.

          Bill’s social investment model is a sneaky, incremental radical way of introducing privatisation type thinking into the public sector. Despite their being no evidence the public wants existing professional health providing structures undermined or even that it will be effective. Internationally private providing systems are wasteful of resources in the health sector -there are just too many problems of power imbalances, imperfect knowledge and natural monopolies for health to be effectively provided by the private sector.

          The best bet in healthcare provision is to create a high quality public service culture -which is what we have in NZ. Deliberately undermining that is stupid.

        • Brendon 7.1.3.2

          Another danger of the social investment model is the politicising of public sector targets.

          Look at how HNZ has been treated by this government as a private sector organisation which must pay dividends and other payments to the government to the tune $1.8B -whilst homeless stats have worsened and targets have not been reached. Such as reducing the incidence of rheumatic fever -so the target was dropped.

          Same goes for privatisation of the prison service. Reoffending rate targets have been dropped from the official target list. http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2017/05/government-shifts-crime-reduction-goalposts.html

          What a load crap. I have no trust in this government’s targets. They have some sort of weird belief that their can be commercial but not politically accountable. They need to be taught a lesson at the ballot box where responsibility really lies.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1.3.3

          Of course people are entitled to take them at their word. Their word is that the “fine calibration” has yet to occur.

          If they in fact do “raise taxes”, there will be inevitable political fallout, and Little’s statement will be cited as the commitment you mentioned. Obviously it’s in your political interests to characterise it as a “covenant”, despite the disparity between what he actually said and the meaning of the word “covenant”.

          I note that by your definition, you committed political fraud when you raised GST. This is the way you want the game to be played, apparently.

          So, how did it go with Nick Smith and those ACC levies? Did he lie to Cabinet, or did you all lie to us?

    • Rosemary McDonald 7.2

      “So then the debate is reduced to “we can do it better”. With the MOU, can there really be a revolution in the way government works? That is, spend basically the same amount of money but in a dramatically different way.

      I think not. For instance in Health National has changed almost nothing from the Clark government (which was a deliberate choice). Is Labour going to change that?”

      You make a good point Wayne, National has merely entrenched what Labour wrought with our public health system…which Labour would argue was an attempt to ‘fix’ national foray into forcing the public health service into a profit driven model.

      Oh dear…we reap what we sow and all that.

      Change? Easy.

      Ditch the management model that is health and disability. Ditch the contracting out of core services to NGOs and private companies that is sucking the life, morals and $$$ from the service.

      Put real human beings in charge of the $$$…a radical idea would be to have only medical professionals with a proven track record of coal face experience in charge of policy.

      You wouldn’t pay an interior decorator to fix your car, now would you?

    • Ad 7.3

      You imply that there is insufficient difference between Labour-Greens and National.

      Let’s see how big the water, housing, and immigration stories get through winter.
      I agree New Zealand First could get near 15%.

      You will find that the differences are starker in the public mind because the current lot have been failing for three terms on those three areas. If those three are the main public interest areas, National are in real trouble.

      If I were English, I would short the focus to employment, crime, and tax.
      Safer ground.

  8. Gristle 8

    Analytics is dependent on data and models. When we have a National Government that finds it inconvenient to get data on homelessness, and overseas investment in housing or land purchases, or starts playing with models and definitions to enlarge the “success” rate of reducing criminal reoffending, then saying that they are responding to evidence is more than slightly overplaying its hand.

    If the government was wedded to evidenced approach to how it developed and implemented policy then the current way CC and pollution and water allocation would all change.

    The National Government’s approach to evidenced based policy is extensively lensed through ideology. Still maintains that trickle down economics works when the evidence shows otherwise shows ideology determining the model and then carefully selecting data to try and justify the model.

  9. Molly 9

    The main problem with targeted funding is that it makes it much harder – if not impossible – to obtain help or assistance if you are not within the target demographic.

    We need to talk about universal access to programmes and support.

    Concentrate on making access to support and programmes clear, and easy to navigate and all those who require it will be able to benefit, including those whose demographic has been identified as well as those who fall outside that criteria.

    Essentially, National uses targeted funding to reduce spending by reducing access.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1

      Worse than that: they seek to bolster the narrative that you can solve the problems of poverty by doing things to poor people.

      Macro economic settings such as the GINI coefficient are removed from the debate before it even starts. The idea that governments might be responsible for creating poverty has no room at the table.

      • Molly 9.1.1

        “Worse than that: they seek to bolster the narrative that you can solve the problems of poverty by doing things to poor people.”
        Yes, you are right.

        I would like to see wider viewpoints on the morality of such programmes being examined by the opposition, as well as in the media. I too, got sidelined into commenting on only delivery – but the issue is bigger than that.

  10. AsleepWhileWalking 10

    Whenever the government gets involved the price goes up – Peter Schiff

    • ropata 10.1

      back on planet Earth, when the government does not get involved the criminals win

      look at how disgustingly corrupt and inefficient is practically everything that Wall St. is involved in. look at the total failure of US private healthcare, the rorts of the drug companies and oil companies and weapons manufacturers. when the government doesn’t regulate, markets fail and become completely rigged.

      • Tamati Tautuhi 10.1.1

        Most markets are rigged or manipulated by the major players ?

  11. Incognito 11

    Will we hear soon from National how and when it will replace the school decile system with a system based on Predictive Risk Modelling Index AKA Future Risk Index?

    These models have been used for yonks by insurance companies and the likes. Of course, running a country & nation is completely different but that kind of subtlety tends to get lost on National because it wouldn’t fit with their dogma. Given that the New Zealand economy is a FIRE economy it raises the question what has taken National so long to come up with these Minority Reports.

    If the experience with insurance companies is anything to go by it will be near-impossible to change risk categories based on changes in circumstances, for example. In other words, one tends to get locked in a certain category. Will this also happen with children? At what stage and how will the initial risk factors be cancelled and neutralised? What are the implications for people at the opposite side of the spectrum? Will they get less targeted or targeted in a different way altogether?

    It is not clear from National how to balance predicted risk with actual & real need; the real need is not likely to be limited to those with the negative risk factors and vice versa.

    There are so many questions; the devil will be in the detail.

    • Tamati Tautuhi 11.1

      Sounds like a whole heap of B/S to me the big problem is the lower socio economic sectors of NZ are not functioning properly, due to deficiencies in the current economic model this country is running on. We need to change the software we are using ?

  12. Karen 12

    Fantastic takedown of social investment from Lynley Hood on Werewolf:

    http://werewolf.co.nz/2017/05/the-social-investment-model-explained/

    Here is a sample
    “The idea, you see, is you’re making welfare interventions based on their actual measured outcomes. It turns out people have looked into this and often the best way to get good outcomes is to just give everyone more money. So this social investment idea is something the government’s come up with to avoid doing that.”

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  • Some Thoughts On Socialism As Jeremy Corbyn Loses The UK General Election.
    Forlorn Hope: When the call came down to make Corbyn unelectable, the Establishment's journalists and columnists rose to the challenge. Antisemitism was only the most imaginative of the charges levelled against the old democratic-socialist. There were many more and, sadly, they appear to have worked. Boris Johnson may not be much ...
    3 days ago
  • Cartoonist David Low’s Radical Sympathy.
    "Rendezvous" by David Low, September 1939.DUNEDIN IS THE BIRTHPLACE of, for my money, the world’s greatest cartoonist, David Low. At the height of his powers, in 1930s London, Low’s cartoons represented the visual conscience of the civilised world. His most famous cartoon, “Rendezvous”, penned a few weeks into the Second ...
    3 days ago
  • The UK has a choice as to whether it chooses to be manipulated… or not.
    If you want to study propagandist techniques, you are typically told to study Dictatorships. Not unfair, but what’s always been more interesting to me is so-called “democratic” countries and their broader information systems. Why? Because people opt for it, even as they decry “totalitarian regimes!”.. It’s quite an eye ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    4 days ago
  • Today’s secrecy legislation
    Introducing legislation which shits on the public's right to know seems to have become a daily occurrence for this government. Today's example is the Infrastructure Funding and Financing Bill. The bill establishes a framework for the establishment of "special purpose vehicles" (SPVs) to hide debt from local government balance sheets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Time to vote!
    Below is the longlist of words and phrases generated in the korero phase of Public Address Word of the Year 2019, with some editorial moderation. Now it's time to vote. As you'll doubtless be able to see, you get three ranked choices. Use your power wisely. Or frivolously, whatever.As usual, ...
    4 days ago
  • Encryption, passwords, and self-incrimination
    The University of Waikato and New Zealand Law Foundation have released a report today on the law around encryption in New Zealand. There's stuff in there about principles and values, and how proposed government policies to provide for "lawful access" by creating backdoors would destroy the trust which makes encryption ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Drawn
    A ballot for two Member's Bills was held today, and the following bills were drawn: Insurance (Prompt Settlement of Claims for Uninhabitable Residential Property) Bill (Stuart Smith) Social Security (Exemption for Ex Gratia and Compensation Payments) Amendment Bill (Willow-Jean Prime) Neither bill seems likely to be particularly controversial. This is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Bougainville votes for independence
    Earlier in the month, Bougainvilleans went to the polls in a landmark referendum to decide on whether they would remain part of Papua New Guinea or become independent. Yesterday, the results came in, with over 97% support for independence. The referendum wasn't binding - instead it means negotiations with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Bus strikes, suspensions and solidarity
    by Daphna Whitmore This week 800 unionised bus drivers in Auckland were suspended from work after they refused to collect fares as part of a campaign of industrial action. Drivers working for Auckland’s largest bus company NZ Bus are asking for more pay and better working conditions after being offered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • How to support after the Whakaari/White Island volcanic eruption
    As details emerge about what unfolded on Whakaari / White Island two days ago, my thoughts go out to all the families affected by this terrible event. My thoughts are also with the first responders who worked in perilous circumstances to assist and protect those affected. Both local and ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarb Johal
    4 days ago
  • Final BMG poll – nothing to see here
    BMG research have unleashed their final poll of the 2019 campaign:Westminster voting intention: CON: 41% (-)LAB: 32% (-)LDEM: 14% (-)GRN: 4% (-)BREX: 3% (-1)via @BMGResearch , 06 - 11 Dec Chgs. w/ 06 Dec That's a bit of a "Dunno why we bothered" sort of poll. "Phillip, I'm afraid I've been a ...
    4 days ago
  • Grant Robertson Spends Up Large – On The Establishment!
    Grant Keeps On Trucking: Out of the $12 billion Robertson has announced for infrastructure investment, $8 billion will be allocated to specific projects, with the balance of $4 billion held in reserve. What does it say about this Government's "transformational" ambitions that 85 percent of that $8 billion is to ...
    4 days ago
  • Boris Johnson … Hides … In a Fridge
    I am not making this up.First few lines of the Dail Mail write up:Boris Johnson's exasperated media minder swore on live TV today as the PM refused to speak to Good Morning Britain before trotting into a fridge as he started an early milkround in Yorkshire. Piers Morgan was visibly ...
    5 days ago
  • Shy Labour Voters?
    In previous elections pollsters have bemoaned the 'shy Tory' - the respondent who is so fearful of being judged as a cruel and heartless bastard by an anonymous pollster, or their spouses, workmates and friends, that they lie about their intention of voting Conservative, skewing the poll figures in Labour's ...
    5 days ago
  • Seven reasons to be wary of waste-to-energy proposals
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz I was in Switzerland recently and discovered that they haven’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Reviewing the whitewash
    Back in 2015, then Ombudsman Beverley Wakem conducted a review of the OIA, Not a game of hide and seek. The "review" was a whitewash, which found no need for legislative change, and instead criticised the media and requesters - which destroyed Wakem's reputation, and undermined that of the Office ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • You Gov MRP Poll Out
    So, You Gov's MRP poll - the weird one that tries to reflect what will happen at a constituency level and which pretty much nailed the hung parliament in 2017 - is not looking too good for Labour:
    UK #GE2019 MRP seat projection:CON: 339 (-20)LAB: 231 (+20)SNP: 41 (-2)LDEM: 15 ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Accountability?
    We've known about climate change for over forty years now,and it has been a major political issue for twenty. And yet fossil fuel companies have kept polluting with impunity, while government have looked the other way and twiddled their thumbs and refused to do anything because "the economy", or just ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Delusional And Irrational: The Rise Of Paranoid Politics In New Zealand.
    Sheer Loopiness: Many of those expressing bemusement at the antics of these #turnardern effacers, were convinced that they were yet another expression of the National Party’s increasingly spiteful anti-government propaganda campaign. They marvelled at the oddness of the perpetrators’ mindset and questioned the common-sense of allowing the rest of New Zealand ...
    5 days ago
  • Things to know about Whakaari/White Island
    Brad Scott, GNS Science VolcanologistThis post was originally published by GeoNet. Following the 9 December devastating eruption at Whakaari/White Island we have put together some information about the island. New Zealand’s most active volcano Whakaari/White Island is currently New Zealand’s most active volcano, it has been since an eruptive episode ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Status quo supports status quo
    The Justice Committee has reported back on its Inquiry into the 2017 General Election and 2016 Local Elections, with a host of recommendations about how to improve our electoral systems. Some of their recommendations are already incorporate din the Electoral Amendment Bill currently before Parliament, but there's also a recommendation ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Greens abandon NeoLiberalism
    Back in 2017, in order to make themselves "electable" in the eyes of rich people who oppose everything they stand for, the Greens signed up for NeoLiberalism, adopting a restrictive set of "Budget Responsibility Rules" which basicly prevented them from using government to make things better. Now, they're finally abandoning ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Lying about a failed war
    Since invading in 2001, the US has consistently claimed that their war in Afghanistan has been going well, even when it continued year after year after year. Of course, they were lying, and thanks to the Washington Post and the US Freedom of Information Act, we get to see just ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Artificial Intelligence and You
    How should we think about artificial intelligence and the implications that it has for our work and leisure? There are many articles on artificial intelligence and its potential impacts on jobs, and the ethics of applications. These are important topics, but I want to focus on some less discussed aspects, ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Statistical manipulation to get publishable results
    I love data. It’s amazing the sort of “discoveries” I can make given a data set and computer statistical package. It’s just so easy to search for relationships and test their statistical significance. Maybe relationships which ...
    6 days ago
  • More lies on the Twitter (Dan Hodges edition)
    The other big story concerning Leeds Hospital is Boris Johnson's bizzare behaviour at Leeds Hospital, where he was confronted by a journalist and challenged about a four year old boy with suspected pneumonia who was left sleeping on the floor, rather than getting  abed like a sick kid would in ...
    6 days ago
  • LabourActivistPunchedMattHancock’sSPADGate
    So, for a brief period of history, it was alleged that a protester had punched Matt Hancock's SPAD (not a euphemism; special adviser) when Hancock visited Leeds Hospital.This was reported by the likes of Robert Peston and Laura Keunssberg, as well as the less credible Guido Fawkes.  It also quickly ...
    6 days ago
  • France’s anti-Zionism is anti-liberté
    by Daphna Whitmore Last week France passed a law that equates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. It is based on a definition of anti-Semitism that includes criticism of Israel such as: “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Another bus lockout
    Over the past year we've seen major bus problems in Hamilton and Wellington, as drivers have sought better wages and an end to the bullshit of split shifts, which basicly see them "married to the job". And now its Auckland's turn. When NZBus's drivers planned low-level strike action of not ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Showing us how its done
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. But those targets are insufficient. Meanwhile, Denmark is showing us how its done:Denmark’s parliament adopted a new climate law on Friday, committing to reach 70% below its 1990 emissions in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Public sector dysfunction should not be allowed to undermine freedom of information
    Another day, another piece of legislation with a secrecy clause. This time its the innocuous-seeming Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill, which (after establishing a new body and making it subject to the OIA in three different ways) includes the rapidly-becoming-standard clauses enabling it to request information from other public ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • “This is England, this knife of Sheffield steel…”
    The state of the United Kingdom is fractured, torn up, shredded. The Empire is gone, it died a long time ago. And yet, the country is still tracking with a lead in favour of the ones who play to the ingrained, class-bound division for political gain. It is a disgrace ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • CORSIA, coming soon to an airport near you
    On 27 September, Greta Thunberg addressed a crowd of 500,000 at the School Strike for Climate in Montreal, saying: “You are a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And Sweden is also a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And in both cases, it means absolutely nothing. Because ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Cloaking hate speech and fake news in the right to free expression.
    It should be obvious by now but let’s be clear: The same folk who regularly traffic in disinformation, misinformation and “fake news” are also those who most strongly claim that their freedom of expression rights are being violated when moves are made to curb hate speech (as opposed to protected ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • The Physics (and Economics, and Politics) of Wheelchairs on Planes
    Michael Schulson When Shane Burcaw flies on an airplane, he brings along a customized gel cushion, a car seat, and about 10 pieces of memory foam. The whole arsenal costs around $1,000, but for Burcaw it’s a necessity. The 27-year-old author and speaker — who, alongside his fiancée, Hannah ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • To Advance Civil Rights, Oppose Transgender Extremism
    We are very pleased to publish this submission is from Lucinda Stoan. She is a social justice activist, mother, and educator, based in Washington State in the  US.   This detailed and comprehensive source-linked overview of trans issues and what is at stake will be useful for many people, especially in ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Faafoi should be fired
    Newshub last night reported that Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi had apparently promised to help out a mate with an immigration issue. While its normal for people to approach MPs for assistance in this area, when you're a Minister, the rules are different: as the Cabinet Manual says, Ministers must "at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Adrian Orr – The Reserve Bank’s Revolutionary Governor?
    New Zealand's Underarm Banker: It bears recalling that the “independence” of the Reserve Bank Governor was for decades held up by neoliberal capitalists as the most compelling justification for passing the Reserve Bank Act. Interesting, is it not, how the ruling class’s support for the Bank’s independence lasted no longer than ...
    1 week ago
  • Driving Us Up The Poll.
    Rubbish In, Rubbish Out: Put all this together, and it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that anyone who responds positively to a pollster’s request to “answer a few questions” is just ever-so-slightly weird. Desperately lonely? Some sort of psephological train-spotter? Political party member primed to skew the poll for or against ...
    1 week ago
  • Jordan Williams, Colin Craig podcast series announced
    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    2 weeks ago
  • How plant-based meat is stretching New Zealand’s cultural and legal boundaries
    Samuel Becher, Victoria University of Wellington and Jessica C Lai, Victoria University of Wellington Earlier this year, the New Zealand-based pizza chain Hell Pizza offered a limited-edition “Burger Pizza”. Its customers weren’t told that the “meat” was plant-based. Some customers complained to the Commerce Commission, which enforces consumer law in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    2 weeks ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Courthouse redesign a model for the future
    The Government will invest $100 million on a new courthouse in Tauranga which will be a model for future courthouse design for New Zealand, Justice Minister Andrew Little has announced. The courthouse will be designed in partnership with iwi, the local community, the judiciary, the legal profession, court staff and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Government enables early access to 5G spectrum
    The Government has given the go ahead to enable further development of 5G networks by making appropriate spectrum available. The Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister, Kris Faafoi, has confirmed Cabinet approval for the allocation of short-term rights to an unused portion of 3.5 GHz spectrum. 3.5GHz is the first ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Record export highs picked for primary sector
    Sustained high growth in primary industry exports looks set to continue over the next two years with strong prices predicted for farmers, fishers, growers and rural communities. Minister of Agriculture and Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor today released the latest Situation and Outlook report for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New partnership to boost screen sector job opportunities
    Auckland’s growing screen sector is the catalyst for a new partnership between the Ministry of Social Development and Auckland’s economic development agency Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED). The launch today at FilmFX in Henderson, is to celebrate the partnership which looks to capitalise on the social and economic development opportunities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • A minute’s silence for Whakaari White Island victims
    A minute’s silence will be observed at 2.11pm on Monday 16 December in honour of the victims of the Whakaari White Island eruption, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed. “Wherever you are in New Zealand, or around the world, this is a moment we can stand alongside those who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ to help fund fight against measles in the Pacific region
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced New Zealand will contribute NZ$1 million of funding towards the joint United Nations Fund for Children (UNICEF) and World Health Organisation (WHO) Pacific Regional Action Plan for Measles.   “Prevention through vaccination is the most effective way of avoiding illness and a costly health emergency. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand remembers Sir Peter Snell
    New Zealand is today remembering one of our true sporting heroes, triple Olympic gold medal winner Sir Peter Snell. “He was a legend, here and around the world,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “Our thoughts are with Sir Peter’s wife Miki and their family.” “Sir Peter is recognised as New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • PM congratulates Boris Johnson on election victory
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson on his election victory.  “New Zealand and the United Kingdom are close friends and despite our distance we are strongly connected by our history and people,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “I look forward to continuing to work with Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Building a platform for the future of rail
    The Government has released its long term vision for a sustainable 21st Century rail network that gets our cities moving, connects our regions and gets more freight off the roads.   Deputy Prime Minister and State Owned Enterprises Minister Winston Peters said the Government is committed to rebuilding New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister statement Whakaari White Island recovery operation
    I want to start by acknowledging the families who have experienced such grief and such loss since the extraordinary tragedy on Monday. Today was all about reuniting them with their loved ones. We've just come from the airport where many of them were gathered and in amongst what you can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand medical specialists to provide further support to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today announced further support for Samoa’s longer term needs as it continues to respond to a devastating measles epidemic. “Samoa’s health system has experienced massive strain in the wake of the measles epidemic. The volume of patients needing care during this outbreak, and the number of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Discounted electric-bikes offered to public sector workers
    Discounted electric bikes will be offered up to public sector staff across the country as part of the Government’s work to reduce transport emissions and support healthier transport options.  Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter officially launched the new initiative at Wellington Hospital today.  “The Government has negotiated bulk-purchase ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Australia and New Zealand confirm joint bid for FIFA Women’s World Cup
    The Australian and New Zealand Governments today launch an historic joint bid to bring the FIFA Women’s World Cup to the Southern Hemisphere for the first time. Australian Minister for Youth and Sport, Richard Colbeck and New Zealand Minister for Sport and Recreation Grant Robertson will announce the bold campaign, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Blackwater gold mine gets PGF boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) has approved a $15 million loan to help re-establish a gold mining operation at Blackwater Gold Mine, near Reefton, Rural Communities Minister and local MP Damien O’Connor announced at an event on the West Coast today. “This is great news for the Coast that could ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being
    Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being A housing project by Kohupātiki whānau in Hastings is an outstanding example of a Māori-led housing initiative that can reduce financial pressure and reconnect whānau to their whakapapa says the Minister for Māori Development Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Minister Mahuta officially opened the Aroha Te Rangi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government provides more funding for major community wetland restoration project
    Restoration efforts for a significant wetland in the Hawke’s Bay are getting more support announced Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage. “Wetlands are vital to healthy landscapes and ecosystems. They function as nature’s ‘kidneys’, filtering and protecting water quality, acting as nature’s sponges after rain and are home to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Housing First to help Nelson Tasman homeless
    Nelson has today seen the launch of Housing First Nelson Tasman. Today’s launch marks the expansion of the Government’s homelessness programme, Housing First, to the top of the South Island. “Housing First is a proven programme that puts people who are experiencing homelessness and multiple, high and complex needs into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New funding to support Environment Centres working for sustainable local solutions
    New Government funding announced today will help communities make a difference in tackling environmental issues Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage announced in Hawkes Bay today. The Ministry for the Environment’s Community Environment Fund is dedicating $243,101 to growing the capacity and capability of the Environment Hubs Aotearoa’s (EHA) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
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