web analytics

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.”

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • National Does the Nation a Disservice
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters today called for National Party and Opposition leader Judith Collins to stop undermining democracy. “New Zealanders are sadly being fed a steady stream of misinformation about the pre-election period from the National Party,” said Mr Peters. “Its effect is to sow doubt about the legitimacy ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Speech at the graduation of Wing 340
    Graduation of Wing 340 2pm, 13 August 2020, The Royal New Zealand Police College [CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY] Introduction Ladies and gentlemen, it is a privilege to be here today to celebrate the graduation of Wing 340. Let us begin by acknowledging the presence of Coalition Government colleague, Police Minister the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Transitional housing provides much needed support for Taumarunui whānau
                                                                     Transitional housing provides much needed support for Taumarunui whānau   New emergency and transitional homes will help ease a housing shortage in Taumarunui and provide whānau with much needed support, say Māori Development Minister, Nanaia Mahuta and Whānau Ora Minister, Peeni Henare.  The Ministers officially opened five two-bedroom units ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government announces plan to tackle problem plastics and seven single-use plastic items
    Following the success of the phase out of single-use plastic shopping bags, the Government now has plans to phase out more single-use and problem plastics to reduce waste and protect the environment announced Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage. The proposals are to phase-out: some hard-to-recycle PVC and polystyrene ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New opportunities for Kōpū marine facilities
    A commercial and industrial site in Thames-Coromandel will receive $8.2 million to revamp its marine-servicing infrastructure and create new economic development opportunities, Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones has announced. This project is being supported from the $3 billion ‘shovel ready’ fund set aside in Budget 2020 to kick-start the post COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • PM comments on Auckland COVID-19 case
    After 102 days we have our first cases of Covid-19 outside of a Managed Isolation or Quarantine facility in New Zealand. Shortly I will ask Dr Bloomfield to set out the details of the case. While we have all worked incredibly hard to prevent this scenario, we have also planned ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Significant investment in Raukūmara Pae Maunga to prevent Raukūmara forest collapse
    An iwi-Crown approach programme to restore the Raukūmara forest on the East Coast of the North Island and boost employment opportunities for whānau, particularly rangatahi/young people, will receive $34 million funding, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage has announced. “Raukūmara Pae Maunga is a partnership with Te Whānau-ā-Apanui, Ngāti Porou, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New partnership central to delivering more Māori housing
    Government agencies and partners are working closer together to provide more Māori Housing through the Te MAIHI o te Whare Māori – the Māori and Iwi Housing Innovation Framework for Action (MAIHI). MAIHI is a kaupapa Māori approach that drives a system change to give effect and impact on Māori ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Manawatū Gorge replacement highway drives forward
    Site work is soon to begin on Te Ahu a Turanga: Manawatū Tararua Highway, the project to replace the former SH3 route through the Manawatū Gorge, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Phil Twyford was today in Woodville at the signing of a formal agreement by members of the Alliance ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Pacific Ministers meet to discuss regional economic priorities
    The Pacific Islands Forum Economic Ministers Meeting (FEMM) begins today and will focus on the major economic and social impacts of COVID-19 on the Pacific.  FEMM is an important congregation of Economic Ministers and senior officials from around the region, and for the first time, the annual meeting will be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Formal apology and payment to George Nepata
    Cabinet has approved a formal apology and ex gratia payment to former soldier George Nepata, announced Defence Minister Ron Mark. This payment is to recognise the New Zealand Defence Force’s failure to provide Mr Nepata with a safe system of work in April 1989 when, as a result of an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Report into Iain Lees-Galloway’s expenditure
    A report undertaken by Ministerial Services into Iain Lees-Galloway’s ministerial expenditure has found no evidence of any inappropriate transactions or spending. Ministerial Services undertook a line by line review of all his expenditure, including staff and spouse expenses for the period 1 January 2019 to 30 June 2020.  “I commissioned ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Managed isolation charges to start 11 August
    Managed isolation charges for returnees will come into force from 12.01am Tuesday 11th August, after they passed their last cabinet milestone today, Housing Minister Megan Woods said. “The new charging system balances the rights of New Zealanders to return home and helps reduce pressure on the managed isolation and quarantine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Update on New Zealand and the Cook Islands travel bubble
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Henry Puna have welcomed the completion of phase one in the establishment of a travel bubble between New Zealand and the Cook Island. Negotiations on the text of an ‘Arrangement to Facilitate Quarantine-Free Travel ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • One-stop ‘jobs and training’ shop goes live
    The Government has launched a new online, phone and onsite service to help New Zealanders connect to a range of employment support and products for workers and businesses affected by COVID-19, announced Minister of Education Chris Hipkins and Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. Connected.govt.nz is a one-stop-shop for jobseekers, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • MSD security guards to be paid Living Wage
    Security guards contracted to the Ministry of Social Development will be paid at least the Living Wage from next month supporting the Government’s commitment towards fair pay and employment conditions, announced Minister for  Social Development Carmel Sepuloni.   “MSD was  among the first government agencies to pay its employees the living ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New strategy to ensure nature thrives
    The Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today launched Te Mana o te Taiao, the Aotearoa New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy - a way forward that envisions Aotearoa New Zealand as a place where ecosystems are healthy and resilient, and people embrace the natural world. “Many of New Zealand’s plants and wildlife species ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Provider Languages Fund will support Pacific Wellbeing approach
    “Pacific languages, cultures and identity are essential to the health, wellbeing and lifetime success of our Pacific peoples and their communities in Aotearoa. The strength and resilience of Pacific Aotearoa is not only vital to their own prosperity but integral to the prosperity of all New Zealanders, and is particularly ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19: More funding for schools and boost to construction sector
    ·       $38 million to help schools cover unexpected costs related to COVID-19 ·       $69 million upgrade for online learning ·       $107 million contingency funding to support school construction suppliers facing additional costs due to the lockdown. The Government is releasing $214 million from the COVID-19 response and recovery fund to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Stay safe on the tracks – Rail Safety Week
    Despite the Government installing safety upgrades around the country, people should still take care around rail crossings, said Transport Minister Phil Twyford launching Rail Safety Week. Phil Twyford said installing safety infrastructure is crucial, but we are encouraging people to be more careful around trains too. “We’re making good progress ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government backs Manawatū social housing project
    The Government is providing a cash injection to help Palmerston North City Council complete a programme to provide 78 social housing units for vulnerable tenants. The $4.7 million to build 28 units in the Papaioea Place redevelopment comes from the $3 billion set aside for infrastructure in the Government’s COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Major funding boost for Predator Free Banks Peninsula
    A pest free Banks Peninsula/Te Pātaka o Rākaihautū is one step closer with a $5.11 million boost to accelerate this project and create jobs, announced Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage in Canterbury today. “This is a game changer for this ambitious project to restore the native wildlife and plants on Ōtautahi/Christchurch’s doorstep ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Major investment for indoor sports in Hawke’s Bay
    A Government grant of $6.4 million will expand the Pettigrew Arena in Taradale with new indoor courts of national standard. “The project is likely to take 18 months with approximately 300 people employed through the process,” Grant Robertson said. “The expansion will increase the indoor court space up to 11 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New infrastructure for Far North tourist town
    The Far North tourist destination of Mangonui is to receive Government funding to improve waterfront infrastructure, open up access to the harbour and improve water quality, Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones has announced. A total of $6.5 million from the $3 billion set aside in the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government remains committed to Women’s Cricket World Cup
    The Government has re-affirmed its commitment to supporting the hosting of the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup, which the ICC has delayed from 2021 to 2022. “This is obviously a disappointing decision for cricket players and fans around the world and for the White Ferns and their supporters here at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Green light for Te Awa River Ride in $220m nationwide cycleways investment
    Cyclists and walkers will now have a safer way to get around Taupō, Tūrangi, and between Hamilton and Cambridge, with funding for shared paths and Te Awa River Ride, Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter announced today. “The Te Awa River Ride is the latest part of massive growth ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Six major ‘shovel-ready’ cycleways funded in Christchurch
    Six major cycle routes will be completed in Christchurch thanks to funding from the Government’s investment in shovel-ready infrastructure as part of the COVID-19 recovery Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter announced today. $125 million will be invested to kick-start construction and fund the completion of the following cycleway ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Police facilities for Whanganui
    Plans are underway for a brand new state-of-the-art hub for Whanganui’s justice and social agencies, following confirmation the ageing Whanganui Central Police Station is to be replaced. Police Minister Stuart Nash has announced $25 million in new infrastructure spending to improve facilities for the wider community, and for staff who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Relativity adjustment for Waikato-Tainui and Ngāi Tahu
    An adjustment payment has been made to Waikato-Tainui and Ngāi Tahu under the relativity mechanisms in their 1995 and 1997 Treaty of Waitangi settlements, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little announced today. The latest payments to Waikato-Tainui and Ngāi Tahu are $2,700,000 and $2,600,000 respectively to ensure the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Auckland rail upgrades pick up steam
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Transport Minister Phil Twyford today kicked off the start of the Auckland NZ Upgrade Programme rail projects which will support over 400 jobs and help unlock our biggest city. Both ministers marked the start of enabling works on the third main rail line project ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • PGF support for Wairoa creates jobs
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) investment of $3.78 million in Wairoa will create much needed economic stimulus and jobs, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. PGF projects announced today include: $200,000 loan to Nuhaka Kiwifruit Holdings Ltd (operated by Pine Valley Orchard Ltd) to increase the productivity ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Public and Māori housing to trial renewable energy technology
    Tenants in public and Māori housing may be benefiting from their own affordable renewable energy in future – a fund to trial renewable energy technology for public and Māori housing has today been announced by Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods and Associate Minister for Housing (Māori Housing) Nanaia Mahuta. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $2.7m for Hokianga infrastructure
    Hokianga will receive $2.7 million to redevelop four of its wharves and upgrade its water supply, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. Far North District Council will receive $1.8 million from the Provincial Growth Fund for the work on the wharves. “The work will include the construction of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New fund to support housing and construction sector
    A $350 million Residential Development Response Fund is being established to support the residential construction sector and to minimise the economic impact from COVID-19, the Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods has announced. “The Residential Development Response Fund will help to progress stalled or at-risk developments that support our broader housing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government investment to boost Auckland’s community recycling network
    As part of a broader plan to divert waste from landfill, the Government today announced $10.67 million for new infrastructure as part of the Resource Recovery Network across the Auckland region. “This key investment in Auckland’s community recycling network is part of the Government’s Infrastructure Reference Group ‘shovel ready’ projects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Te Papa transformation starts at Cameron Road
    The Government is investing $45 million in the first stage of an ambitious urban development project for Tauranga that will employ up to 250 people and help the region grow, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says the funding has been allocated out of the $3 billion ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PGF supports Hawke’s Bay community and environmental projects
    The Government is investing more than $1.6 million from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) for a wide range of community and environmental projects in Hawke’s Bay, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. These announcements today are part of the Government’s commitment to supporting regional economies in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Low-emissions options for heavy transport a step closer
    Getting low-emission trucks on the road is a step closer with investment in infrastructure to support hydrogen vehicles, the Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods has announced. The Infrastructure Reference Group has provisionally approved $20 million for New Plymouth company Hiringa Energy to establish a nationwide network of hydrogen-fuelling stations. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New training centre to upskill workers
    A new trades training centre to upskill the local workforce will be built in the South Waikato town of Tokoroa through funding from the Government’s COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. The Government will contribute $10.84 million from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Subsequent children legislation to change
    The Government has agreed to repeal part of the Oranga Tamariki Act subsequent children provisions, Minister for Children Tracey Martin announced today. “There are times when children need to go into care for their safety – the safety and care of children must always be paramount,” Minister Martin said. “But ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago